Selecting the right Hydrangea to perform in your garden.

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There are so many questions people have regarding Hydrangea.  It’s understandable, there are multiple varieties and each has different uses and ideal conditions.

White Hydrangeas are the hardiest garden plants and reliably perform in our area.  There are several different types of white Hydrangea.

The white mop-heads are Hydrangea Arborecesens.  You may know them as Annabelle or Incrediball. They are very hardy and provide massive flowers in late June through July.  Some varieties like Invincible Spirit are pink colored. This species is native to the eastern United States and are very dependable performers with very little need for attention.  They will take sun or part shade and give reliable blooms every year.

Some other white types are the taller PGs.  PGs typically bloom in late summer into early fall and have upright cone shaped flowers.  These include a wide assortment of different varieties such as Unique, with its lacey upright blooms, Limelight with its massive long-lasting flowers, also Pinky Winky that turns a nice pink shade as the blooms mature, and Quick Fire with its early blooms.  These are the toughest of all the Hydrangeas. They can take full sun, and somewhat dry conditions. The flowers are very reliable, and the plant is generally deer resistant.

Another native is Hydrangea Quercifolia, Oakleaf Hydrangea.  These are mid-summer bloomers with upright cone shapes and can also really put on a show in the fall with fantastic scarlet foliage.  The Oakleaf will tolerate a fair amount of sun and grow to about 4-5’ depending on the variety.

The last of the whites is the fantastic June blooming Climbing Hydrangea.  This vine performs very well in our climate particularly on north facing exposures.  The lace cap type flowers only last a couple weeks, somewhat shorter than other types but it’s still very worthwhile and will give you many years of carefree enjoyment.

Hydrangea Macrophylla are the more colorful cousins in this family.  They are a bit more particular on the correct growing environment, but when they are planted in the right place they are well worth it.  In years past you would only find really nice examples in coastal areas like Cape Cod or our own local shore line. This is because they tend to actively grow late into the fall and start early again in the spring.  This tendency leaves them susceptible to having the flower buds damaged by cold. The moderating effect of shoreline conditions allows them to bloom reliably. Over the last couple decades breeding and selection breakthroughs have created new varieties that not only bloom on buds formed the prior year (which are susceptible to frost and cold over the winter) but also bloom on new growth like the PGs.  With this breakthrough, not only will you typically get a great show in June and July, but you can expect blooms throughout the season, sometimes right up until frost! One of the tricks for getting the best color on these types is to pick the right variety for the color you want. Endless Summer or Penny Mac, for blue, Bloomstruck for purple/blues and many others including bi-colors like Edgy Hearts. The other trick is to know your soil pH.  Use the right soil amendments like Aluminum Sulfate or acidifying fertilizer like Holly Tone for rich blues or raise the pH with lime for better pinks. Within this same group are also the Lace-cap types. They have flat topped flowers with intensely colored centers and add another look to your garden altogether. Macrophyllas in general are a bit fussier about their location and like some protection from strong mid and late day sun. Make sure they have plenty of water!

This is a lot of information, so if you want help choosing what’s best for your yard please stop in and speak to one of our horticulturalists to find the right choice for you!

Burnett’s Country Gardens, Route 85, Salem, CT

(860) 949-8722

 

 

Veggie Garden Tips

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Want to start a veggie garden? Here are some tips and tricks for veggie garden success!

First things first. Location, Location, Location!

You will need to create your garden in a warm sunny spot that gets at least six hours of direct light. Don’t overwhelm yourself, start with a small area that you can take on.

2. Good soil is a must for success.Test it and see what exactly you are working with. Enrich it with compost and fish emulsions.

3. Know your ZONE! (Salem CT is Zone 6)

Knowing your zone will allow you to know what will do well in your climate. It will also determine when you can safely plant each veggie through the season.

4. Attract Pollinators

Borage is a favorite among honeybees and the leaves are great for salad greens.

Honeybees also like peppers, squash, cucumbers and pumpkins!

5. Weed Regularly

Most importantly plant what you like to eat!

Have more questions or want to learn more? Come on out and see us for more great tips to get your garden growing. Ask about our Veggie Garden Success Kit, it will help make your garden great this year!

Burnett’s Country Gardens, Route 85, Salem, CT

(860) 949-8722

3 Seasons Of Bloom

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When thinking about what to plant for perennials this year, you may want to consider what will bloom in the months to come. Here are a few ideas for perennials to plant so you have something blooming in Spring, Summer and Fall.

For Shade:
Spring: Hellebores
Summer: Hostas/Astilbes
Fall: Heuchera

For Sun:
Spring: Phlox
Summer: Echinacea
Fall: Montauck Daisy
These can all be planted now or any time through the summer and early fall.
We recommend the penobscot blend planting mix and the bio tone when planting these.
The astilbes, hostas, echinacea and montaucks are all pollinator friendly too!

What You Need To Know About Mulch

mulch

Question: What are the different types of Mulch?

Todd: We carry Hardwood, Cedar, Hemlock, Dark Pine, Forest Blend, and Wood Chips.

 

Question: Why should I use one type of mulch over the other?

Todd: Mostly the differences are aesthetic, based on which color you prefer.  Except wood chips and forest blend they are all mostly bark products, whereas wood chips and forest blend are mostly wood

 

Question: Why should I use mulch to help my landscape?

Todd: Mulch keeps the weeds down, prevents moisture loss from the soil and shows off the plants really well.

 

Question: Why should we use certain mulch close to the house verses further away?

Todd: Generally, stay away from mulches that are primarily wood near your house, they can attract wood eating insects, which can be problematic for your home.  They also tend to steal fertilizer (nitrogen) from the soil as they decompose.  Furthermore, most colored (dyed) mulches like the red ones, are mostly wood ground up and colored to look like bark and can be problematic in the same way wood chips are.  Keep wood chips and wood mulches away from your house. They are ok for beds not connected to your house.

 

Question: What is the best process for transitioning mulch from one color to another?

Todd: Just be sure to use at least 3″ so that the old color does not easily show through if the mulch is disturbed.

 

Question: Do you need to buy mulch every year or can you turn it over and skip a year?

Todd: As mulch is always decomposing, new mulch should really be applied each year to keep weeds down and color fresh and attractive.  It only takes a skim coat of 1-2″ if staying with the same color.

 

Question: Is it safe for pets?

Todd: All of our mulches should be safe for pets and kids, they are natural products that contain no chemicals or harmful ingredients. Of course, pets and kids should never ingest it for chocking and other reasons.

Burnett’s Country Gardens offers bulk delivery of loam, compost and mulch. 

We are running a special on our Forest Blend!  Now Only $24.99 (regularly 29.99) for a cubic yard.

Schedule your order now. Call us at (860) 949-8722

Burnett’s Country Gardens, Route 85, Salem, CT

 

Topsoil, Loam, Compost- What you need to know.

Close-up of gardening tool in a sustainable greenhouse in countryside

When it comes to dirt there is actually a lot to know. Most importantly what are the different types and what do you need for one project verses another. To help us understand, Todd Burnett gives us the low down on our dirty little friend…SOIL.

Question: There are many different types of soil sold. What is the difference between topsoil, loam, compost and growers mix?

Todd: Topsoil and Loam are essentially the same thing, they are the top layer of soil that differs from the soil below because it has years of decomposed organic matter (from falling leaves, etc).  This organic matter enables the base mineral soil to hold a lot more water and nutrients for the plants.  The top soil we sell is enriched with a small amount of compost already.

The compost we sell is basically decomposed leaves. This is what you would use if your soil was already pretty good, but you wanted to enrich it for a veggie garden or flower bed.  It usually gets tilled or manually turned into the soil to incorporate it and mix it into the soil profile, so it’s evenly distributed throughout the root zone (the top 18 inches+/-).

Growers mix is what you would use in a container that you would plant flowers or veggies in.  It is a soil-less mix that allows for good drainage (so the roots get enough oxygen) but holds the right amount of water and nutrients.  

Question: What is best for a veggie garden?

Todd: Unless the soil is really poor, usually compost is all that is needed.  The bagged Coast of Maine composts generally contain more nutrients than the bulk (leaf) compost.  So, if you have a limited area to do it may be wise to spend the extra money and buy the bagged products.

Question: What is best for your lawn?

Todd: Usually topsoil is all that is needed for a lawn unless the existing soil is extremely sandy.

Question: What is best for flower beds?

Todd: Typically, compost is best for flower beds as it helps enrich the nutrients and water holding capacity of the existing soil.

Question: What is best for planters and pots?

Todd: For planters and pots I always recommend potting soil.  Black Gold or our Greenworld commercial mix both work great.  

Have more questions or want to learn more? Come on out and see us for more great tips to get your garden growing.

Burnett’s Country Gardens offers bulk delivery of loam, compost and mulch. Contact us to place your order.

Burnett’s Country Gardens, Route 85, Salem, CT

(860) 949-8722

 

 

Growing an Indoor Herb Garden

herbsIf you love cooking with herbs and want to bring a taste of spring into your home before the weather outside is cooperating, starting an indoor herb garden is the way to go!  Unlike when you plant your herbs outside, when in your house herbs prefer to live in their own container rather than being potted up together. This practice also allows you to tend to each herbs individual needs for light and water.

Containers with good drainage are key to keeping herbs healthy. Select a potting mix rather than a potting soil when planting herbs in the house because mixes promote better drainage. A good, seaweed based fertilizer can boost the health and heartiness of your indoor herb garden.  We carry Neptune’s Harvest at Burnett’s and many of our customers have told us that even though it can be a little stinky, it has helped their indoor herbs (and houseplants) thrive! Herbs like sunlight, so find a nice sunny spot for your herbs. Don’t crowd them, they need some breathing room.  Give them a slow watering 2-3 times per week. Enjoy!

Mum Festival & Craft Show

Join us as we celebrate the flowers of the season – MUMS! Two weekends of family fun, rain or shine. This year we welcome local artisans to sell their handmade crafts during the Mum Festival, booths will be set up inside the greenhouse and outside near the hayride entrance. Check out the schedule of workshops during the festival so you can get a little crafty too!

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