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Planting in this Heat

Farmington Gardens has some great sales going on right now.

The annual Parking Lot Sale is not to be missed! There are a variety of large size bushes and trees ready to go home with you.

Getting these plants in the ground takes more effort at this time of year.  You may even need more than one day if you count all the soaking time. These bigger plants require big holes. It might be in an area that has not been getting irrigation this summer because you are not wasting water and have been concentrating on the plants not empty spaces.

  • Dig a regular size hole – two times as wide and as deep as the plant is in the pot.
  • Now, fill the hole with water and let it drain. This allows the surrounding soil to absorb water so it won’t be sucking up the water intended for your new plant.
  • In the meantime, really soak the potted plant. This makes sure the plant is well hydrated before planting in the ground and makes the roots less susceptible to damage. If you have a container large enough to fill with water to let the pot sit in, that is great.
  • In a wheelbarrow, mix your compost with native soil and dampen before using.

Are you getting the drift here? Damp hole, damp potted plant and damp soil. At this point, during these hot summer days, you may need to give yourself some hydration too.

  • Plant as you normally do, making sure you add water halfway through and tamp down to get out all the air pockets.
  • Finish backfilling, water, and then add a few inches deep of mulch farther out than the plant’s drip line. This helps keep the soil and roots from drying out too quickly. Make sure you do not build up mulch around the trunk. Leave a few inches. You can mound the mulch on the outer edge to create a well. This makes watering easier and helps avoid run off.
  • Plan your watering routine – use a drip, soaker hose or slow and long release from the hose. The plant will be producing new tender roots to grow into the new soil and should never be allowed to dry out.

These extra steps will help ensure your Bargain Priced Plants

will reward you with Top Dollar Beauty.

Garden to Table: Picnics, Family Reunions, and Potlucks

Saturday's Menu


Quick, Easy, and Effortless Picnic Snacks


Tropical Stargazer Fruit Skewers


Pan Bagnat – A Beautiful, Big, Pressed Picnic Sandwich


Fresh Broccoli Salad with Dried Cherries & Almonds


And for Dessert:  Peach & Blackberry Crisp


Garden to Table Cooking Classes focus on cooking with fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables from your garden. Complimentary samples of every recipe we feature are provided.

What's New and Blooming 7/08/2015

Create a checkerboard of color with hardy and drought tolerant sempervivum, sedums, or delosperma. Low growing or up to 24 inches tall, it is easy to find a sunny spot in your garden or planters for them. The taller sedums bloom later in the season.


Create Your Own Tropical Paradise With Mandevillas

With trumpet-like blooms all summer long, the Sun Parasol Mandevilla Vine – 'Pretty Crimson' cannot be beat for setting a tropical scene. The velvety red flowers with their darker throats are prolific on deep green vines that can grow to 30 feet in one season! They intertwine with each other making it perfect for growing in smaller spaces like a balcony or patio.

Whether you let them hang down from the basket or climb up a trellis, their beauty and delicateness will take you away to your own tropical paradise.


These mandevilla prefer full to part sun and moist, but not wet, soil. They definitely do not like to sit in water nor do they want to dry out. Think tropical rains every day.

Fertilize weekly with a flower boosting formula like Dr. Earth Flower Girl Bud and Bloom Booster.You want to keep those large flowers coming.

Treat the Sun Parasol Mandevilla as an annual – a yearly vacation away to the tropics. You might even try sipping on a fruit drink with a flower tucked in your hair!

Colorful Summer Blooming Crape Myrtles

crape myrtle Natchez with white bloomsA tree that loves the heat!

What a find (especially with the temperatures we are now experiencing) and it comes in so many colors! Crape myrtles or lagerstroemia can sometimes worry homeowners as they leaf out later than most of the plants in our area – usually in May. No worries! They wait for the warmth of the sun BUT that means that their trusses of blooms start opening in summer – long after our spring blooming trees and shrubs have finished. Most will continue producing flowers through autumn- sometimes well into October depending on the weather. Pruning out any dead blooms encourages the plant to keep putting out new trusses.


          Arapaho                          Zuni                    Pink Velour               Petite Embers
crape myrtle Arapaho with red flowers crape myrtle 'Zuni' with pink blossoms crape myrtle  Pink Velour crape myrtle Petite Embers with deep pink flowers

You have but to choose size and color. The Petites can grow to 5 feet but can be kept smaller with pruning. This can be done regularly during the season with a final one in winter. Crape myrtles bloom on new wood. Do not make drastic pruning cuts. Shortening a branch will give it strength, control its growth to your wants and help it further branch out to produce more of those showy flowers- in white, pink, purple or red.

                                                                                                         Petite Red Imp

row of crape myrtle Petite Red Imp

Lagostroemia ‘Zuni’ – dark lavender- and ‘Pecos’ – pink- can grow to 9 feet while ‘Arapaho’- red, ‘Centennial Spirit’-dark purple, and ‘Natchez’ –white can grow up to 20 feet after 10 years. How beautiful 'Natchez' is against the blue sky as seen in the top photo.

Look closely at the leaves. Some have tinges of deeper plum in them. Most give off wonderful fall color in yellows or orangey-red.

They have year round interest because their bark is usually multicolored as it exfoliates. Some gardeners even cut out the lower branches to highlight the bark of the trunk. Whether used in mass plantings or as a specimen, crape myrtles will be admired!
Plant in full sun in a spot with good drainage. They like regular water the first growing season but can take less once established. It is an easy care bush or tree that attracts hummingbirds and butterflies.                       

Click on photo for larger image.

On SALE -- 25% OFF--regular price

What's New and Blooming 7/01/2015

Try some easy care succulents.

They are "In" as table decorations or have then close by on the deck or patio.

Give succulents good drainage and place them where they get sun but not all day. They require little water as they are able to store liquid in their fleshy leaves. Definitely drought tolerant. That's a good thing when we are spending time watering so many other plants during these hot summer days!

The succulents pictured are tender. They cannot stay outside all winter. Bring them inside as houseplants during the coldest days. You will have them for another season.

Create your own groupings with similar looking succulents or try grouping ones with totally different leaves. The absolute easiest - try one of our ready-made succulent bowls.

All annuals 50% OFF until July 9th

THE HEAT IS ON!       Water Wisely Tips Part 2 - Planters

You already know that planters and baskets require more care than plants in the ground.

There is usually less soil to retain water or for the plants to grow into over the season-especially your lush, closely planted ones. Roots fill in spaces where once water could be absorbed.

♦During these hot spells you may need to water your pots and planters TWO or MORE times a day.

♦Check that more than just the top few inches has absorbed water. Give time for the water to drip down through the entire root area. Sometimes it starts running directly down the inside exterior of the pot and never reaches the central area of the planter. The water follows a path of least resistance. In this case, it is good to set the pot in a deep bucket or tray of water and let it wick up to the root zone.

Place your pots on trays to hold water and prevent it from running off. During these especially hot days, hold your spray nozzle over the pot until the water runs out the bottom and then fill up that bottom tray with even more water!

Caution! Never let your plants stand for days in water. Too much water is not a good thing! Daily temperatures and moisture retention guide your watering habits.

♦The direct sun heats up the pots themselves, especially dark plastic ones. Roots can get overheated. Smaller pots may be moved together to a shadier area during these hot days. Yes, even the sun loving plants will do fine for a while out of the intense hot sun. Massing them helps create a mini greenhouse effect. They then will lose less water through transpiration. This is also good to do if you are going on vacation and are having a neighbour water for you. They will thank you!

Remember the more you water, the more nutrients are lost as the water goes through the pots. Fertilize regularly.

Cooler days will come. They always do. By paying attention to the daily temperatures and checking the soil conditions, your planters can be looking lush for the whole season.

What's New and Blooming 6/24/2015


Decorate your patio, balcony or front entrance for July 4th.


Celebrate Independance Day

The Heat is On!  Water Wisely Tips Part 1

soaker hose

  • Try not to let your planted landscape dry out. It is more difficult to jump start than to maintain a consistant moisture level. The plants, without their cells full and strong with water, can be weakened and more susceptible to disease and insects. Be proactive!
  • Long, deep watering is better than short frequent spurts of water. Get the water down to the roots. Create a well with mulch to hold water by the root area. Mulch around your plants to avoid evaporation once moist.
  • Water early in the morning especially if you water overhead. This allows the plants’ leaves to dry off during the day and avoid any fungal diseases from spreading. It also gives them a store of water for the day’s heat.
  • Water in the cool of the evening if you are able to get the water directly to the soil around the plants. There is less evaporation than at midday and more water gets to the roots.

Soaker hoses or a drip irrigation system work the best for allowing the water to percolate down to the roots. Water isn’t wasted through run off. Our new tree Dew Right bags work well on newly planted trees.

If your garden is on a timed sprinkler system, remember that newly planted trees and shrubs usually require supplemental water the first year as their roots have not yet spread out into your planted area. Give them extra water.

With this heat, we perspire while plants transpire. Water naturally is given off through their leaves. The warmer the temperatures, the more this occurs. We counteract this by drinking more liquids. Remember to give your plants more water than usual.

  • That means, depending on the plant, you may have to water more than once during these hot days.

One last note.

If you have neglected to give regular, long, deep waterings and your tree or shrub has some browning leaves, don’t worry. Continue on a good regime. The plant has been stressed and may drop some leaves. New leaves will be produced when the plant rehydrates.

Tips for watering planters in this heat coming next!

What's New and Blooming 6/17/2015

Which of These Father's Day Gift Ideas Might Your Dad Like?

Cooling Waters or Benches to Rest On


Playful Statuary

Wall Hangings

Asian Inspirations and Friends

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