New at the Garden Center

New at the Garden Center:

We’ve already had our first few snowflakes. Fall is definitely here, and with it the cooler weather actually preferred by certain plants in the garden – lettuce, kale, Swiss chard, mustard greens, bok choi, as well as some you might not be familiar with, but which are certainly worth trying, such as mâche and claytonia. Sugar acts as the plant’s internal antifreeze, so with the approach of frosty weather, brassicas turn their starch into sugar, resulting in sweeter, milder Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, and the like.

To help you protect the slightly less hardy lettuce and spinach, the East Garden Center now has frost blanket in bulk.  Measure your raised bed or area you would like to protect an additional 8 degrees, remembering to cover the ends of the rows as well, then come in and we’ll roll out just as much of this heavy duty row cover as you need. It weighs 1.5 oz. per square yard and is 6 feet wide. The material lets both light and rain through, but holds in warmth. Multiple strips can be joined or overlapped to protect wider beds. This is what I did to cover my 4’ wide raised bed; the cover is held in place with clothespins, attaching it to a frame made from ½ inch CPVC plumbing pipe.

Garden seeds for the 2014 season are already here! The Livingston Seed Company sent their packets in early November so that we would be able to offer an outstanding selection well before the big box stores.  We have some exciting new products this time, including a mix of several colors of carrots, not just orange and purple.

Dave Smith of Linton is making garden trugs for us – handsome wooden boxes for carrying the handmade tools you may remember seeing last year. He has developed some new tools as well. Be sure to stop in and try them in your hand.

You’ve no doubt noticed the hydroponic gardens at the south end of the Patio Room. We are expanding this line with the AeroGarden, a table top unit that makes it a snap to grow herbs and vegetables right in your kitchen all year around.

The Garden Center is now home to the Sprouting Seeds department. Sprouts are very easy to grow, and make a tasty and extra nutritious addition to sandwiches, salads, stir fry, or even eaten straight out of the jar. Try fenugreek, clover, alfalfa, broccoli, mung bean, lentil, sunflower, and several more varieties.

Looking for a holiday centerpiece?  Need to make up with someone? The Garden Center is now in charge of cut flowers for bouquets. We also have an outstanding selection of low-light houseplants including decorative and medicinal aloes in the Patio Room.

Christmas trees will be arriving early in Thanksgiving week. Things will become very busy in the Garden Center then, so right now would be a very good time to beat the rush and come check out our new offerings. Our hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day.

Written by Chris Bobbitt