Garden Talk: March 11, 2010
From NGA Editors
Snow in Summer
Sweet alyssum (Lobularia) is such a versatile plant, it deserves a spot in just about every garden. Its frothy mounds of flowers look great as an edging plant, in a hanging basket or trailing over the edge of a container or window box. This year Proven Winners introduces a new hybrid alyssum called Snow Princess that promises to be even more of a surefire performer.
This new cultivar is a breakthrough in terms of heat tolerance and will continue blooming profusely even as the summer heats up. Snow Princess is a sterile cultivar, so it puts its energy into long bloom and vigorous growth instead of setting seed. It grows 4-6 inches tall and grows quickly into a broad mound of fragrant white blossoms that thrives in full or part sun.
For more information on these and other new introductions from Proven Winners, go to: Proven Winners.
Composting Made Easy
Adding compost to your soil is one of the best ways to improve growing conditions in any garden. Compost helps to lighten heavy soil, increase the water-holding capacity of sandy soils, encourage healthy populations of helpful soil organisms and provide nutrients for crops.
Want to make your own but are unsure how to begin? Help is at hand! Composting for Dummies will walk you through the steps needed to turn household waste, yard clippings and more into nutrient-rich compost, build and maintain your own compost bin, use worms to aid in composting and give your flower and vegetable gardens a boost of energy. Authored by Cathy Cromell, southwest desert regional garden editor for the National Gardening Association, this great new addition to the Dummies series will give you lots of useful, easy-to-understand information leavened with characteristic humor.
For more information on this new book, go to: For Dummies.
Gardening is great exercise, but all the bending and stooping needed as you weed, prune and plant can take its toll on your back. For those of us whose backs arent as strong as they once were, a new product from Gardeners Supply Company can make tending your vegetable or flowers a lot more comfortable.
The Standing Garden raises your plants to waist height where you can snip herbs, pick lettuce or deadhead flowers without complaint from your back. Made of rot resistant cedar on a powder-coated metal stand, the 10 ½ -deep container holds 100 quarts of soil.
Its even self-watering, with a 4 gallon water reservoir. Placed on your deck or doorstep, it would be a great spot for fresh herbs, salad greens or a couple of tomato plants.
Greencare for Troops
Greencare for Troops is a nationwide outreach program coordinated by the non-profit organization Project Evergreen, whose mission is to preserve and enhance green space in communities across the country. Greencare for Troops connects local green industry professionals and volunteers with the families of men and women serving our country in the armed forces.
By providing free lawn and landscape maintenance services to military families whose major breadwinner is on active duty away from home, life is made a little easier for these families who bear such a heavy burden, and it allows those at home who benefit from the service of our soldiers a way to give back. So far, Greencare volunteers have provided help to thousands of military families.
For more information on Greencare for Troops and how you can help, go to: Greencare for Troops.