Monthly Archives: April 2017

Grass Seed Coverage

New Lawns
5 lb. bag covers up to 1,000 sq. ft.
20 lb. bag covers up to 4,000 sq. ft.
50 lb. bag covers up to 10,000 sq. ft.

  • Remove any debris such as branches, rocks, etc.
  • There should be no clumps in the top soil
  • Level the area so water will not pool or collect
  • Spread grass seed with spreader on recommended spreader setting
  • Fertilize after seeding with a starter fertilizer and keep seed moist
  • Do not use weed killers before or after planting grass seed

Over Seeding
2 ½ lb. bag covers up to 1,000 sq. ft.
3 lb. bag covers up to 1,200 sq. ft.
7 lb. bag covers up to 2,800 sq. ft.
12 lb. bag covers up to 4,800 sq. ft.
20 lb. bag covers up to 8,000 sq. ft.
40 lb. bag covers up to 16,000 sq. ft.
50 lb. bag covers up to 20,000 sq. ft.

  • Mow lawn as short as possible
  • Loosen the soil in bare spots
  • Remove debris and dead grass
  • Level out areas where excess water collects and fill with new top soil
  • After seeding, fertilize with a starter fertilizer and water. Keep soil moist until seed germinates.

Spring and fall are the best times plant grass seed. Grass seed germinates best when temperatures are between 60° and 80° F.

Small Areas:
Spread by hand or with a Scotts® handheld spreader

Large Areas:
Apply using a Scotts® drop or broadcast push spreader.

Scotts® Spreader Settings:
Broadcast/Rotary Spreader Models-Turf Builder Edgeguard Mini, Basic, Standard, Deluxe Edgeguard®, Edgeguard® DLX, LawnPro, & SpeedyGreen
Overseeding – 7 ½
New Lawn & Bare Spots-13

Scotts® Drop Spreaders
Accugreen Model
Overseeding -10
New Lawn & Bare Spots – 13

Scotts® Hand-Held Spreaders
Handygreen II, Easy Hand-Held
Overseeding -5
New Lawn & Bare Spots-5 (Go over lawn twice)

Scotts Easygreen®
Overseeding-30
New Lawn & Bare Spots -32

A Guide To The Optium pH For Crop Growth

So, what does this mean?
The level of acidity or alkalinity of the soil is measured by pH (potential Hydrogen ions). It is a measure of the amount of lime (calcium) in your soil, and the type of soil that you have.  Soil in moist climates tends to be acidic and those in dry climates tend to have alkaline.  A soil with a pH lower than 7.0 is an acid soil and one with a pH higher than 7.0 is alkaline.  The soil must be adjusted to suit the plant which will occupy that area if it is not already within the plants requirement range.

Testing your soil pH
We sell several different types of soil pH testing kits, these kits range from inexpensively to moderately priced.  They consist of a test tube, some testing solution and a color chart.  You put a sample of your soil in the tube, add a few drops of the test solution, shake it up and leave it for an hour or so to settle.  The solution in the tube changes color according to the pH of your soil.  Compare the color of your sample with the color chart that came with the kit.  Matching colors will tell you the pH of your sample.  The better kits will also come with advisory booklets about how to interpret your result.

Adjusting your soil pH
Once you have determined the pH you can amend the soil, if needed to accommodate the plants in your garden using materials commonly available here.

If you need to raise the soil pH to make it more alkaline
It is easier to make the soil more alkaline than it is to make them more acidic. Because different soil types react different ways to the application of lime you will have to add more lime to clay soils and peat soils than you will in sandy soils to achieve the same result.
To raise your pH by 1.0 point and make your soil more alkaline:
-Add 4 ounces of hydrated lime per square yard in sandy soils
-Add 8 ounces of hydrated lime per square yard in loamy soils
-Add 12 ounces of hydrated lime per square yard in clay soils
-Add 25 ounces of hydrated lime per square yard in peat soils
If your soil is over-acidic, you may consider gradually adjusting the soil over a year time period and testing it periodically.  You can try adding such components as hardwood ash, bone meal, crushed marble or crushed oyster shells as this will also help to raise the soil pH.

If you need to lower the soil pH to make it more acidic
If your soil needs to be more acidic, sulfur may be used to lower the pH if it is available.  To reduce the soil pH by 1.0 point, mix in 1.2 oz. of ground rock sulfur per square yard if the soil is sandy, or 3.6 oz. per square yard for all other soils.  The sulfur should be thoroughly mixed into the soil before planting.  Sawdust, composted leaves, wood chips, cottonseed meal, leaf mold and especially peat moss will lower the soil pH.

Remember to always read and follow manufacturers label instructions when using chemicals. 
-Use appropriate protection such as dust mask and gloves.
-The best way to adjust pH is gradually over several seasons.
-Lime should be applied only when tests show it to be necessary.
-If the soil is excessively alkaline, you may find that you are better off to build a raised bed using fresh, screened topsoil.
-If you are still not sure what to do, please feel free to call us or ask someone at our Customer Service Desk.So, what does this mean?
The level of acidity or alkalinity of the soil is measured by pH (potential Hydrogen ions). It is a measure of the amount of lime (calcium) in your soil, and the type of soil that you have.  Soil in moist climates tends to be acidic and those in dry climates tend to have alkaline.  A soil with a pH lower than 7.0 is an acid soil and one with a pH higher than 7.0 is alkaline.  The soil must be adjusted to suit the plant which will occupy that area if it is not already within the plants requirement range.

Testing your soil pH
We sell several different types of soil pH testing kits, these kits range from inexpensively to moderately priced.  They consist of a test tube, some testing solution and a color chart.  You put a sample of your soil in the tube, add a few drops of the test solution, shake it up and leave it for an hour or so to settle.  The solution in the tube changes color according to the pH of your soil.  Compare the color of your sample with the color chart that came with the kit.  Matching colors will tell you the pH of your sample.  The better kits will also come with advisory booklets about how to interpret your result.

Adjusting your soil pH
Once you have determined the pH you can amend the soil, if needed to accommodate the plants in your garden using materials commonly available here.

If you need to raise the soil pH to make it more alkaline
It is easier to make the soil more alkaline than it is to make them more acidic. Because different soil types react different ways to the application of lime you will have to add more lime to clay soils and peat soils than you will in sandy soils to achieve the same result.
To raise your pH by 1.0 point and make your soil more alkaline:
-Add 4 ounces of hydrated lime per square yard in sandy soils
-Add 8 ounces of hydrated lime per square yard in loamy soils
-Add 12 ounces of hydrated lime per square yard in clay soils
-Add 25 ounces of hydrated lime per square yard in peat soils
If your soil is over-acidic, you may consider gradually adjusting the soil over a year time period and testing it periodically.  You can try adding such components as hardwood ash, bone meal, crushed marble or crushed oyster shells as this will also help to raise the soil pH.

If you need to lower the soil pH to make it more acidic
If your soil needs to be more acidic, sulfur may be used to lower the pH if it is available.  To reduce the soil pH by 1.0 point, mix in 1.2 oz. of ground rock sulfur per square yard if the soil is sandy, or 3.6 oz. per square yard for all other soils.  The sulfur should be thoroughly mixed into the soil before planting.  Sawdust, composted leaves, wood chips, cottonseed meal, leaf mold and especially peat moss will lower the soil pH.

Remember to always read and follow manufacturers label instructions when using chemicals. 
-Use appropriate protection such as dust mask and gloves.
-The best way to adjust pH is gradually over several seasons.
-Lime should be applied only when tests show it to be necessary.
-If the soil is excessively alkaline, you may find that you are better off to build a raised bed using fresh, screened topsoil.
-If you are still not sure what to do, please feel free to call us or ask someone at our Customer Service Desk.

steps on how to become a better herb gardener

 Nothing makes a gourmet dish tastier than fresh herbs added to it. There are a variety of fresh herbs that are easy to grow including Mint, Oregano, Basil, Cilantro, Rosemary, Thyme, and many others.

1: Start with the right variety. Fresh herbs come in many varieties and can taste vastly different from one another. Read the fine print and look for the exact variety you favor best. For instance, there are two main varieties of Oregano: Mediterranean and Mexican. Mediterranean is the most common variety cooks find in their kitchen, whereas Mexican is often used in tomato dishes to add some spice. There are also many different varieties of mint. The Spearmint plant is much more potent than the Apple Mint plant. With that being said, it is very important to know your variety.

2: Water those herbs! Herbs should be watered a moderate amount every day. Some houseplants flourish with one solid watering per week, but most delicate herbs require moderate and regular watering. Many find Miracle Gro useful and helpful in the growing process. Even a diluted solution of Miracle Gro occasionally can help many herbs flourish.

3: Cutting the Plants & Picking the Herbs. In order to keep a plant healthy, a frequent trim from time to time is recommended. It is important to trim the herb just above a growing set of leaves. We would advise letting it grow 3-4” before another trim. When picking the plant, it is imperative to pick from the top leaves. The bottom leaves on a plant are the solar panels, and act as the power and strength for your herb’s growth.

In order to maintain a healthy herb, it is crucial to supply the plant with the proper nutrients. Healthy soil, water, and sunlight is all you need to ensure you have a constant supply of fresh herbs at your fingertips.

How we use them to grow our annuals

    The term ‘Beneficial Bugs’ encompasses a wide variety of insects that assist farmers and gardeners with pollination and pest control. Here at the Garden Factory we use these beneficial bugs to help grow our annuals. In keeping with modern organic and eco-friendly pest control methods, we have chosen to use certain species of beneficial bugs in our new greenhouse to prevent and manage any bug problems that may arise. The bugs that we release into the greenhouse will only survive as long as they have a food source – that being the undesirable pests. You do not need to be at all concerned about bringing a plant from our greenhouse into your home. These microscopic bugs live short durations, and feed only on the unwanted bugs. The species of bugs we use to protect our plants are listed below.

Phytoline Persimilis

Phytoline Persimilis is a well-known predator of the two-spotted spider mite. The adults and young stages of Phytoline Persimilis will feed on both the adults and eggs of the spider mite. This can help prevent those aggravating spider mites that can infest your plants.

Amblyline Cucumeris

Amblyline Cucumeris is a key treatment for the control of Western Flower Thrips. The Amblyline Cucumeris feeds on thrips larvae, eliminating them before they become a problem.

Orius Insidiosus

Orius Insidiosus, also known as Minute Pirate Bugs, are generalist predators that feed on aphids, spider mites, scale insects, insect eggs, thrips, and whiteflies, among others.

Cryptolaemus Montrouzieri

Cryptolaemus montrouzieri (Lady Beatle) adult females lay eggs in the egg sack of adult female mealybugs. Their larval stage lasts 12-17 days, during which a single larvae may consume 250 mealybugs.

The beneficial bugs play a major role in keeping your gardens safe and healthy. In the production of our annuals we slip a small biodegradable packet into the soil in which the bugs disperse. Remember these are not bad bugs and they only live off the unwanted insects, therefore once these unwanted insects are not around the beneficial bugs die off. This is one eco-friendly way for gardeners to get rid of the unwanted bugs that infest our beautiful flowers & gardens.