Thursday, May 5, 2016

Row Covers and Garden Tunnels for Plant Protection

Extend your gardening season and protect your plants from frost, wind and insect damage!  

Guest Author:  Mark Greene

Floating Row Covers

Floating Row Covers protect plants against frost, excessive wind and insects. To choose the right row cover weight for your crops it's necessary to also consider light transmission. For example, a 1 oz./sq.yd. cover provides more protection than a lighter weight cover, but does not allow as much light through to the plants. Choose from three different weights, ranging from a 0.5 oz. to 1.25 oz. to provide your crops both protection and adequate light for healthy growth. For general use, we recommend a 0.5 oz. weight for moderate frost protection and 85% light transmission. Cover individual rows with 6' wide floating row covers or quickly cover larger gardens with 25' x 25" blankets. 

 Easy Fleece Jacket for Plant Protection 
If you are looking to cover individual plants in containers or hanging baskets, Easy Fleece Jackets do the trick. These thick 1.25 oz. polypropylene jackets feature a built in drawstring for easy closure and securing around plants and containers. Jackets are available in three sizes: small 26.5" W x 31.5" H, medium 31.5" W x 39" H, and large 47" W x 70" H.

Garden Tunnels for Plant Protection Gardeners love using Garden Tunnels to provide a simple way to extend the growing season while protecting plants from frost, wind chill, and garden pests. These allow you to plant up to two weeks earlier and in tests, this garden tunnel has been shown to keep growing vegetation up to 25°F warmer than outside temperatures. Here in Rochester NY, we have used them to grow lettuce into December, even after 12" of snow! Easy Fleece Tunnels combine wire hoops with row cover material are easy to install tunnels can even protect tall plants like tomatoes and peppers.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Pick the Right Pots to Get Healthy Plants

Guest Author:  Mark Greene

If you started your transplants in small cells or pellets, you may have to "bump them up" into larger plant pots before they are ready to be transplanted into the garden. Large items like pumpkins and squash can be started in pots, then transferred to the garden. Jiffy peat pots or Dillen plastic pots are top choices for your garden needs.

Jiffy peat pots are excellent for starting plants like vegetables, vine crops and large growing annuals. These pots help encourage vigorous plant growth and a strong root system. When you transplant pot and plant into the garden, the roots are not disturbed and therefore the plant's growth is not stunted. Jiffy 3" pots hold enough soil to sustain large, fast growing plants like squash or pumpkins. Jiffy Pots are also extremely versatile, allowing you to sow what seeds you have without leaving unfilled seeding trays. When you only want one or two of any one variety, Jiffy Pots are a convenient choice- and what's more, they're biodegradable!


Dillen plastic pots are great for growing a large selection of plants. Some plants, like geraniums and most perennials, take several months to develop to a size appropriate for transplant. For these plants, plastic containers can have an advantage over peat pots. If a plant is going to be in the pot for more than a couple of months before being planted into a
container or your garden, peat pots that can start to break down. Peat pots get soft over time, letting the roots break   through and grow outwards. If you prefer a more durable pot, transplant your perennial seedlings into Dillen plastic pots in spring, and watch them grow into larger, developed plants ready for the garden.

Keep your containers from drying out by adding a few teaspoons of Soil Moist products to your soil mix. The polymers absorb the water and release it back into the soil when needed.
With the right containers for your flowers and vegetables, your deck and patio will be bursting with color and flavor.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Planting a Bee Friendly Garden

Guest Author:  Daniel Roath  

Gardeners are eager to get their plants in the ground as spring approaches. When planning your garden, consider accommodating honeybees and other beneficial pollinators. In return, the bees will pollinate your flowers, increasing your garden's annual yield. 

Here is a helpful guide as you prepare your bee-friendly garden:

Choose plants that attract honey bees based on bloom shape and scent. Bees are drawn to two kinds of flowers. They like to crawl into the shelter of tubular-shaped flowers, and flatter blooms offer easy access. They draw from a variety of pollen and nectar's to satisfy their dietary needs. Plan for season-round blooms, choosing plants with successive blooms to help sustain the bees with a readily available food supply through as many seasons as possible. Grouping bee-friendly plants together will help attract bees.
Provide a fresh water source. Water is used to dilute and dissolve crystallized honey. It can also be evaporated and fanned throughout the hive to cool it during warm weather. Not to mention water is a refreshing drink for bees on a hot day. If you do not have a natural water source to draw from, consider placing a bird bath or shallow dish in your garden.

Plan your garden this year to aid these beneficial pollinators and consider becoming a beekeeper yourself. Brushy Mountain has all the resources to help you get started. Visit for more details.