Click here to learn more about How to Care for Your Farm-Grown Christmas Tree from the National Christmas Tree Association.
The first day of fall is just weeks away and here at Bath Garden Center & Nursery we are ready! Besides autumn decor and fun spooky gifts, we are starting to move the Chrysanthemums, or Fall Mums, from our greenhouse where we lovingly care for them all summer, to the shelves for our customers to decorate for the season. Mums are a wonderful part of a cheery fall decor for home or office. Whether you are using them for an annual display or a perennial planting, your choice of plant and the way you care for them will make a difference in the quality and number of blooms you will get. Here are some tips for buying and caring for mums to enjoy the full bounty of this lovely flowering plant.
When to Buy Mums
The answer to this basic question depends on when you want it your flowers. If you want immediate blooms, go ahead and buy a plant in full bloom. If you want them to reach their peak in the days or weeks after you purchase your plant, choose one that is loaded with flower buds. Another key factor in timing the blooming of mums is to remember that they are a cool weather flower. They can continue to bloom for up to a month in cool temperatures but for only a few days if it is hot out, so keep this in mind as you plan your purchase. If you time your purchase just right you can get maximum blooms and enjoy them for weeks.
Think Outside of the Pot
Of course you can keep your mums in the pot in which you bought them, but you can also plant as a permanent addition to your flower beds. It is important to get your plant in the ground, and preferably established before the first frost. Here in Fort Collins, the average first frost occurs around October 2nd. You should plant them in a sunny place and in well-drained soil that should be kept moist. Mums are one of the flowers that benefits from timely deadheading, so make sure to visit your plant often and remove dead flowers.
Caring for Planted Mums for a Fall Bloom
When you have an established mum plant in your flower bed and want them to have a thick layer of blossoms for the fall, there is a secret: well-timed pinching. As buds start popping out through the summer months, just pinch them off. The result will be more branching and more flowers. To keep the blooms coming year after year there is another trick to remember. As the season comes to an end, leave the foliage to wither in place over the winter and clean it up as part of spring cleaning. Plants allowed to wither in place have stronger roots and come back more vibrantly in the spring. These little secrets will have people amazed at your fall mum blooms! If you have any other questions about mum or are ready to add some autumn colors to your seasonal decor, stop by Bath Garden and Nursery today. We have Mums in over 40 colors so you can find the exact one to make your seasonal decor perfect.
by Zack Hill
Normally on bright sunny afternoons, when there is no work to be done, and I have a free morning or afternoon to sit and enjoy myself in my garden, I love to watch all the comings and goings of the life that is constantly rampaging through my backyard. I will see neighborhood cats taking naps in the sunshine or dragonflies examining all the dandelions that I have been too lazy to remove. One thing I have noticed, however, that’s weighed heavily on my mind is how few bees I have seen buzzing about this year, compared to how many I have noticed in previous years in the exact same garden. I have been hoping that maybe the neighbors have planted a garden that the bees find vastly superior to my own, or maybe they have simply moved on to build hives in other places. Whatever the cause I decided to compile a list of simple things that can be done to benefit our tiny fuzzy friends, things that I am starting to do, and you can do as well to hopefully bring more bees into our yards and lives for years to come.
Plant beneficial flowers to help bees collect pollen and attract them to your yard.
This one seems obvious, but many people do not know that bees are more partial to some plants than others, and will want to hang around more depending on what is planted in your garden! Bees love colorful flowers, especially flowers that are blue, purple or yellow, so be sure to keep that in mind when deciding what plants to stick in the ground next season. There are also many plants they prefer and favor such as Bee Balm, Lavender and Black-Eyed Susans. Remember, if you are unsure of what flowers to plant to attract bees, most greenhouses or nurseries have bee-mix flower seeds that you can sow to avoid all the hassle of hand picking bee friendly plants.
Remember, bees get thirsty just like humans do!
Bees can fly great distances while gathering pollen and may become dehydrated at some point during their flight. However, by leaving small water dishes or fountains outside, with tiny rocks or structures for bees to perch on, they will have places to rehydrate along the way and will be more active around your yard. Bees tend to become lethargic when they are dehydrated so the better hydrated they are, the better they will be able to pollinate your garden.
Leave a bare spot somewhere in your garden
I know this idea may sound counterintuitive to having a lush thriving garden with bees buzzing about, but leaving a bare spot of dirt somewhere in your yard can help ground nesting bees have a place to build a hive, and allow mason bees to gather mud that they use for building egg cells. Remember to mark any nests that you find so that you can remember to leave them undisturbed while you are gardening, and if you do not like the look of a bare patch of dirt in your garden, try leaving it in a corner of your yard, and planting flowers all around it so that it is hard to notice when looking at it from the rest of your garden.
Choose plants that can provide pollen and nectar
Nectar and pollen are vital food sources to bees, as nectar provides all the important carbohydrates for bees and pollen provides sugars and fats for the bees to feed on. Bees have an easier time harvesting pollen and nectar from simple, open flowers. Bees would much rather find a whole bunch of Dandelions compared to more complex flowers such as Begonias.
Avoid using chemicals and pesticides in your lawn
Chemicals and pesticides such as common weed killers and insecticides can actually be quite damaging to bee populations. Chemical treatments such as Round-Up can actually get into the nectar produced by flowers (especially weeds like Dandelions) and might get taken back to the hive where they can cause further problems. If you are looking to attract more bees to your yard I recommend using more bee-safe products like Neem Oil or Nematodes for insect problems and use a hoe or other garden tool to remove weeds from your garden by hand.
Hopefully by using these five tips you will be able to not only attract more bees to your yard or community garden, but also be able to keep them happier. That means more pollination and ultimately more crops at the end of the season. If you really want to do your part to help save the bees, consider figuring out where some local beekeeping classes are held and get involved in some hive building!
Fun fact: WOW! There are over 16,000 different bee species around the world, many of which are actually ground-dwelling. The fuzzy little honey bee just happens to be the species that we think of most. If you have any questions about what flowers to grow for your friendly, neighborhood bees, stop in at Bath Garden Center, on the corner of Timberline and Prospect and talk to one of our staff members.
Bee. (2019, June 21). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bee
Nicholls, H. (2015, June 15). Earth – The truth about bees. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20150615-the-truth-about-bees
Ten things you can do to help bees. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.queenofthesun.com/get-involved/10-things-you-can-do-to-help-bees/
Flowers for honey bees. (2014, May 14). Retrieved from https://fafard.com/terrific-flowers-for-honey-bees/
20 Simple Gardening Tips to Help Bees. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.buzzaboutbees.net/Simple-Gardening-Tips-To-Help-Bees.html
Hochwald, L. (2017, August 18). 9 honeybee-friendly plants. Retrieved from https://www.mnn.com/your-home/organic-farming-gardening/stories/9-honeybee-friendly-plants
Do-It-Yourself Planting can be a lot of fun, but there are some things you need to know before you start.
Where: Know your plant’s sun and water needs, and mature size when you choose a location. Remember to contact www.call811.com before you dig.
When: The best times to plant trees or shrubs in Colorado are Spring (March 15th-June 15th) or Fall (September 1st- October 15th). New plantings do best in moderate temperatures.
What You’ll Need:
- Sharp Shovel
- Tape Measure
- Tarp — using a tarp for your soil pile makes mixing and cleaning up much easier
- Compost — Recommended: Myke (mychorrhizal fungi), used directly on the root ball, or liquid Fertilome Root Stimulator added to the water
- Garden hose
- Mulch — Shredded cedar & ‘Gorilla Hair’ mulch are best for wind resistance
- Stakes, wire, tree straps, mallet (or post pounder if you have one) — Staking is only necessary for trees 6 feet or taller
- Tree wrap
- Soak the area one day before for easier digging.
- Support plants from the bottom when moving — don’t lift by the trunk.
- Lay the plant on its side and wiggle or cut off the container. Loosen circling roots with your fingers.
- Measure depth and width of the root ball.
- Dig a saucer-shaped hole EXACTLY AS DEEP and 3X THE WIDTH of the root ball. Leave a small mound of soil at the center for stability.
- If you’re using Myke, apply to the root ball now.
- Set your plant down so that the top of the ball is 1-2″ above the original soil level.
- Mix original back-fill soil with compost in a blend of 1/3 compost:2/3 soil and gently tamp the blend around the roots.
- Water slowly and thoroughly with a hose—adding more back-fill if the soil settles.
Mulching: Surround your new planting with a 2-4″ layer of mulch but make sure to leave a few inches clear around the trunk for airflow.
Staking: Trees more than 6 feet tall should be staked, but not for longer than one or two years. Use fabric straps to protect the bark and keep a slight sag in the wires for natural sway.
Watering: After the initial watering, new plants need water at least once a week. In the full heat of summer, you may need to water more often. Proper moisture is key — too much is just as bad as too little. Regular deep watering is better than frequent light watering. If you are not sure whether to water, there is a simple way to check:
Dig into the soil 8 inches out from the edge of the hole and 8 inches deep. Squeeze the soil in your hand — if the soil crumbles, it’s time to water. If it forms a ball, it’s okay for a while longer.
Don’t forget Winter water! We can have very dry winters in Colorado and plants still need moisture. Water once a month if we haven’t gotten enough rain or snow.
Feeding: Root stimulator is essential when planting and also we recommend a mild, balanced fertilizer, such as our Espoma all-purpose Plant-tone, during the first year.
Wrapping: Trees and shrubs can suffer from sunscald in our intense Winter sun. We recommend wrapping all newly planted trees in their first Winter. Use paper tree wrap around the trunk up to the lower branches. Apply the wrap in late Fall (early November) and remember to remove it in the Spring (mid-March).
Trees | Shrubs | Vines | Perennials | Roses | Grasses
We offer a ONE (1) YEAR GUARANTEE for these plants. Simply return the plant (a sample or photo works fine too) along with the receipt within ONE YEAR of the purchase date for a one time store credit in the amount of the ORIGINAL PURCHASE PRICE.
MYKE TREE & SHRUB: We also offer a 5-Year Extended Guarantee for our Woody plants that is valid only with receipt(s) showing purchase of both the plant material & MYKE at the time of planting.
Our guarantee DOES NOT COVER the cost of original planting OR delivery.
If you have concerns about the condition of your plant material, please call our Nursery at 970-484-5022. Or stop stop in at Bath Garden Center, on the corner of Timberline and Prospect and talk to one of our staff members. We’d be happy to answer any questions.
Please don’t dig up your plants before contacting us, THIS COULD VOID YOUR WARRANTY.
Our goal is to help you grow happy and healthy plants.
Annual Flowers | Herbs | Veggies | Houseplants
30-DAY GUARANTEE from date of purchase
- Unused merchandise may be returned with receipt within 30-days of purchase.
- All clearance sales are final.
- All returns require a receipt for a full refund.
Now is the Time to Trap the Queen
Wasps are nothing new. They’re a nuisance, they’re aggressive, and in the case of allergies, can be deadly. So do yourself, and you loved ones a favor and use these tips to keep the wasp swarms at bay this summer.
1. Trap the Queen in the Spring
Understanding the behavior of wasps is crucial to keeping their numbers down. During the winter, the queen is protected in a sheltered space. But in the early spring, it’s finally warm enough for her to venture out. It’s in this time that she is looking for a new site for her nest.
Using a wasp trap can be an incredibly effective and eco-friendly way to prevent major issues all summer. If you trap the queen early enough, you’ll stop an entire nest from starting. But don’t worry, these traps use pheromones, so they won’t hurt our bee friends at all!
2. Soap & Water
Another eco-friendly option for wasp management is good ol’ soap and water. Some wasp removal experts say that you can handle small hanging nests with a bit of soapy water. Mix 2 tablespoons of dish soap in a spray bottle and fill with water. The soap will clog their spiracles, the pores that they breathe through, and will kill them almost immediately.
3. Use a Decoy Nest
With all the bad buzz that wasps get, they actually do have a very important role in the ecosystem. They are predatory insects, and they feed on pests like aphids, caterpillars, and even West Nile-carrying mosquitoes. So if you’d like to try to scare them away before you take more extreme measures, try this Decoy Hornet’s Nest.
It acts as a scarecrow, telling the wasps that a whole nest of their natural predators are near. Many people swear by these; however, they are more to prevent a wasp nest from forming. If you already have wasp nests, you will have to remove them first.
4. As a Last Resort, Use Wasp Spray
Wasp spray is often the tool most turned to when you already have a booming wasp issue. If you choose to go this route, try to go with an eco-friendly option like EcoSmart Wasp & Hornet Killer. Make sure to spray the nests at sunrise or sunset, when they are less active. Soak the nest and try to spray as many insects out as you can, and make sure you have enough spray to finish the job the first time. Here at Bath Garden Center, we offer tips and products to help you grow better, naturally so we always suggest non-toxic methods first!
What are some other techniques that you’ve found to effectively curb a wasp infestation?
Dracaena Fun Facts
Fun Fact #1: The origin of this plant’s name means “Female Dragon”
The name Dracaena comes from the Greek word drakaina, which means female dragon. The Dracaena contains a resin in the stem, which was compared to dragons blood due to the red gum-like quality. For many centuries, this was used for dyes, medicine, and even toothpaste. However, we mostly only use it for varnish and photoengraving today.
Fun Fact #2: Dracaena is related to the Asparagus family
Though the displayed traits may be very different from this favorite summertime veggie, they are indeed under the Family Asparagaceae. The Genus Dracaena is made up of about 40 different species, the most popular being “Song of India.”
Fun Fact #3: Dracaena is toxic to cats & dogs
This one may not be as fun as the other facts, but important nevertheless.
If eaten, cats and dogs have vomiting, overproduction of saliva, and lack of appetite. Cats may also may have dilated pupils. Make sure you keep your fluffy friends in mind while choosing houseplants, and if you just can’t live without the Dracaena, please make sure you are educated and cautious.
Whenever you have questions about plants, whether it’s keeping your children and animals safe, or you are battling pests, know you can always turn to Bath Garden for the answers. We are conveniently located on the NW corner of Prospect and Timberline. Stop by and see us!
How to Have a Fresh Veggie, Fruit, and Herb Garden in Small Spaces
Imagine this. You walk outside on a warm June evening, the smell of fresh cut Grass fills your senses. You glide over to your abundant garden, full of Lettuce, Tomatoes, and Summer Squash. You pick a few Cherry Tomatoes, and pop them into your mouth. The sweet satisfaction of a hard summers work finally pays off.
You open your eyes, realize you live in a rented 2nd story apartment with no yard, and feel defeated. Will your garden only grow in your dreams?
With the rental movement on the rise, and housing becoming more restrictive, it can be difficult to find the proper space to plant anything. But as Jurassic Park has taught us, life finds a way. Whether you have a small studio apartment, an HOA, or simply want a beautiful garden with minimal maintenance, we have a few ideas to turn your gardening dreams into reality.
Pot it Up
Who says you need to have a plot of land to have a gorgeous garden?
Many herbs as well as Lettuce and Spinach can be grown indoors successfully. Be sure to talk to your local garden store for specifics.
This not only allows you to grow your favorite veggies wherever you’d like, but also to add fun visual interest to your humble abode.
2 birds, 1 stone. Love it.
DIY Compact Your Compost
Speaking of 2 birds with 1 stone, check out this multi-functioning beauty. If you’re anything like me, you don’t want to throw food into the trash, only for it to sit in the landfill and never decompose. And, if you’re anything like me, you don’t have space for a heap of compost in your yard, or kitchen— or really anywhere. Introducing the DIY Garden Tower! Quiet Corner, a resource for making life easier, published this awesome tutorial on how to make you’re own Compost/Garden Tower. You can put kitchen scraps and worms in the center compost pipe to feed and grow up to 45 healthy, nutritious plants in the outer pockets. Who’s up for this DIY project this weekend?!
Raise it Up
If you happen to have a yard, even if it’s small:
A. I’m jealous
B. You can have an amazing outdoor garden in a raised garden bed!
Not only is this a space saver, it’s a relatively easy way to implement edible landscaping without using heavy rototillers, moving rock, or digging at all. Build your raised bed up to waist level if you can, your back and knees will thank you later!
What are some of the ways you’ve innovated you’re gardening tactics?