Million Pollinator Garden Challenge

Changing Seasons has joined the nationwide effort to promote the health of North America's pollinators. This is an exciting opportunity for you to get involved while adding beauty to your yard.

The Million Pollinator Garden Challenge is an initiative of the National Pollinator Garden Network to support the health of pollinating animals. The objective of the challenge is to increase nectar- and pollen-providing landscapes of every size to address one of the significant threats to pollinator health: the scarcity and degradation of forage. The goal is to promote and count 1 million pollinator forage locations across North America.

Austin Little, landscape designer and Assistant Retail Manager, has designed some Do-It-Yourself garden plans ("Butterfly and Hummingbird Garden" and "Pollinator Garden") to help guide you with your own pollinator garden. Stop by the garden center to pick up a plan; select your plants and materials and get started. Once you have installed your garden, complete the following steps at http://millionpollinatorgardens.org:

  1. Register your garden as a pollinator habitat.
  2. Upload a photo of your garden and complete the requested information.
  3. Share your garden on our Facebook page to encourage your friends and family to get involved. You will feel good about doing your part while enjoying the beauty of the flowers and pollinators in action. (Consider submitting a photo to our monthly Facebook Pollinator Photo Contest - see our Facebook page each month for details.)

 

Gardeners Know the Best Dirt

To enjoy more success with any plantings, gardeners want soil that has the right texture and ph level. How do you know? What do you do?

TEXTURE:

Take a sample of soil from your yard about 3" down. To determine the soil type, do a "roll test". This is done by rolling small amount of dirt in your hand. If it sticks together like Play-Dough, your soil is towards the clay side. If it does not stick together and is a gritty texture, it is toward the sand side. If it falls apart in your hands and has little grit, it is toward the dirt side.

Gypsum can be added to soil to break up the clay. This will provide better drainage for your plants. Organics such as composted manure can also improve the texture.

SOIL PH:

Take a sample of soil from your yard about 3" down. Use a do-it-yourself soil Ph testing kit or a Ph meter. The result will show if your soil has a low Phd (acidic) or a high Ph (alkaline).

To Raise Ph - add lime (see bag for instructions)

To Lower Ph - add cottonseed meal or a soil acidifier (again see product instructions)

HAVING THE BEST SOIL IN TOWN

     Whether you are growing vegetable, herbs, flowers or house plants, having a good soil in your containers is a key element to success.  So what determines a good soil mix?  A good mix can be defined by what is in it and how well it drains.  Some soils will just have the basics such as peat moss, vermiculite, perlite and possibly some bark.  Other mixes will add in sources of fertilizers and ph adjusters. Knowing what your plant likes will be a big part in choosing what soil you will pick as well as if you are going to want to add fertilizers to the mix or use the natural or non-natural fertilizers already in the mix.  For example, a geranium plant would be very happy in a basic peat, vermiculite, perlite mix with fertilizers added from time to time.  By contrast, a tomato plant, though it could grow in this mix, would do better in a mix that has natural fertilizer in it and has some ph controls added such as dolomite lime.  There are also specific plant soils such as Cactus soil, Orchid soil and African Violet soil.  These have already been formulated to provide the specific plant what it needs.

     In most cases, potting soils found at chain stores will not provide good drainage or adequate fertilizer amounts.  Purchasing more high end soils will result in greater success. 

Indoor Growing for January

One of the fastest growing trends in gardening for 2017 is "indoor gardening". Many enjoy growing their own fresh produce year-round. With an indoor hydroponic system, you can control the lighting, nutrients and moisture. Pests and diseases are much easier to control.

Some gardeners prefer to grow with soil. Changing Seasons' preferred organic mix is M3 Michigan Made Mix. M3 was made to simplify the organic growing process. You do not need to buy and mix growing mediums and nutrients - it's all contained in M3. With a mix of Canadian Peat Moss and Composted Michigan Sphagnum, the M3 Mix is fortified with Seabird Guano, Greensand, Blood & Bone Meal, Lime and Rock Phosphates to give a complete organic meal to your fruiting or flowering plant.

Come visit our Indoor Growing Shop. We have greatly expanded our indoor growing supplies including LED Grow lights, hydroponic systems, plant nutrients and supplements, portable grow tents and of course, professional advice to help you enjoy gardening success.

Happy Growing!