Archive for July, 2011

Free Dahlias at Hahn Nursery

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

Dahlias are one of my favorite flowers, they are just starting to bloom now (at least for me). My friends down at Hahn Nursery have a bunch of bulbs left over and said that they are just going to give them away.

I’ll be making the announcement on TV and then the radio so get a free dahlia before they are gone.
I think you’ll get blooms by the end of the season and you can save the tuber over the winter if you’re interested. All you have to say is you heard about it here.

I’ll detail how when the time is right.

Hahn is located in Ross at Babcock and Three Degree, their phone number is 412-635-7475. The nursery is only five minutes from my house, so I’m there just about every day getting stuff for blogs, TV and radio segments.

You should make friends with the people at your local nursery, you’ll get the same type of deals. They want the plants to have a good home instead of ending up in the compost pile.

Time to fertilize as seen on KDKA’s PTL

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

We’re a little further than halfway through the season and plants need a little boost. An organic fertilizer will give them just what they need .
The Espoma line offers a fertilizer for just about everything. Hollytone, Gardentone and Flowertone are just a few of the choices.
For containers I use liquid fertilizers and there are many choices. Fish emulsion works just fine as do others.
But you can make your own fertilizer out of compost or well aged animal manure. It’s called compost tea.

Just take some compost and wrap it in something permeable like a floating row cover, cheesecloth or burlap and place it in a bucket of water.
Let it steep and when the water is the color of strong tea your ready to use it on plants.
It’s certainly the cheapest fertilizer out there and it might be the best too.

Kitchen garden of herbs as seen on KDKA-TV’s PTL

Thursday, July 21st, 2011


There’s an easy way to plant a kitchen garden filled with herbs, just put them in a big container.
Nurseries have everything on sale this time of the years and that includes herbs.
I usually start with a tall basil in the middle of the container and then use shorter plants like oregano, thyme and sage around the outside.
Many of the plants will winter over fine in the windowsill and it’s nice to have a little taste of summer in the off season.
The bigger the pot, the less it needs to be watered. I use Plant Pro Potting Soil that I get from Hahn Nursery in Ross. That’s also where I got the plants I used on TV.

Butterfly Plants as seen on KDKA-Tv’s Pittsburgh Today Live

Thursday, July 14th, 2011


There’s nothing like the site of butterflies in the garden and summer is their prime time.

It’s not too late to plant some of the things they love and they will even help pollinate some of the flowers.

Butterfly bush is one of their favorites, I love ‘Black Knight’ but there are lots of cool colors and varieties out there including an orange one.

Butterfly weed is another tough plant that will come pack year after year. It’s a host plant for the insects, so the larvae will want to eat some, but it’s OK to share, right?

I’ve planted hibiscus, scabiosa, marigolds, monarda, lilies, salvia, coneflower, dahlias, coreopsis, cosmos and more to attract butterflies.

Butterflies like to feed in the sun, so that’s the best place for the plants. Of course it’s better for them if the garden is chemical free. And they could use some water in a shallow dish too.

One amazing thing about adding all these flowers to the landscape besides their beauty is how many other native insects visit the flowers.

Take time to sit down and watch on a warm, sunny day and watch nature at work in the garden. You’ll be amazed at how many species you will see.

Here’s a great online butterfly identification tool if you want to know who’s visiting the garden. You can even send in your own photos.

Here’s a complete list of plants that butterflies are attracted to.

Butterfly Bush is probably the most popular plant to attract butterflies

Cocktail Plants as seen on KDKA’s PTL

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

There are two categories of plants we talked about on KDKA, herbs and small fruiting shrubs.
Herbs like basil, rosemary, mint, stevia, lemon thyme, thyme and others can be used for adding a fresh taste to cocktails. And there’s still time to plant all these plants.
They are all easy to grow. Just fill a sunny planting bed with compost, drop in the plants, water, mulch and stand back. You’ll be enjoying summer drinks before you know it.
Raspberries, blackberries and blueberries are just as easy. Sun, compost and mulch will give you berries year after year.
You can vote for your favorite cocktail as seen on the show here.