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Archive: Apr 2019

  1. Purple Vegetables for Color and Nutrition

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    At various times and places, purple has been the color of royalty, rock stars, and rebellion. It has represented bravery, as well as overwrought prose. A shade of purple—mauve—was even used to describe the 1890’s, a time when the invention and widespread use of aniline dyes made purple fabrics and clothes widely available.
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  2. Beautiful Flowers for Rain Gardens

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    This summer rain garden shows a mix of flower favorites. (Image by David Steakly)

    Any low, wet area in the yard where rainwater runoff collects after a storm has the potential to be a spectacular, flower-filled rain garden. Maintaining these landscape reservoirs as beneficial gardens rather than stressed turf will save time and headaches and improve your yard’s looks—as long as you plant the right plants and create a design for all-season bloom.

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  3. RESiLIENCE® – A Beneficial Plant Substance that May Make a Plant Stronger*!

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    Sun Gro® Horticulture is proud of its exclusive potting mix additive, RESiLIENCE®, our trade name for horticultural silicon (Si), a beneficial plant substance. RESiLIENCE® is an all-natural, water-soluble mineral that is included as an ingredient in many Black Gold® mixes. RESiLIENCE®-enhanced growing mixes are enriched with beneficial silicon—a technology developed by the company’s own research horticulturists.

    Potting mixes fortified with RESiLIENCE® could offer gardeners real growing benefits. Numerous trials have shown that plants grown in RESiLIENCE®-enhanced mixes may exhibit:

    • Improved Trichome Development
    • Earlier Flowering
    • Better Root Growth
    • Longer Time Before Wilting
    • Increased Stem Diameter
    • And Quicker Recovery from Infrequent Watering

    In some trials, certain species of container- and garden-grown plants were also found to recover better from less-than-perfect watering, which may give your potted plants an edge on hot, sunny days.

    Gardeners have had additional questions about RESiLIENCE®. Here are some of the most common FAQs:

    What are the benefits of RESiLIENCE®-enhanced mixes?

    Time and time again, research at universities, commercial grower trials, and the Sun Gro Horticulture Discovery Center, supported positive growing results with RESiLIENCE®. The results were impressive in over 40 common bedding plants tested, such as red salvia, snapdragons, calibrachoa, verbena, and black-eyed-Susans. The plants tested showed visible increases in plant growth and vigor in addition to better roots and stems, earlier flowering, and delayed wilting.

    Do RESiLIENCE®-enhanced mixes benefit all garden plants?

    We cannot be certain, but positive research results were shown in a wide variety of common bedding plants. For the plants tested, week-by-week growth data was collected in a controlled greenhouse setting. Tests were conducted using Black Gold®, Fafard®, and Sunshine Advanced® retail mixes as well as Sun Gro’s Sunshine®, Fafard® and Metro Mix® professional lines of peat-based and bark-based growing and propagation mixes. All of the mixes trialed were fortified with the same level of RESiLIENCE®.

    According to Janet Rippy, Ph.D., lead researcher of the RESiLIENCE® program at the Sun Gro Discovery Center, “Results may vary by species, growing conditions, and growing practices, but after extensive research and trialing, we are confident that RESiLIENCE® mixes may benefit plant growth in numerous important horticultural plants.”

    The research is ongoing, but as we learn more, the benefits become increasingly clear. Silicon-enriched RESiLIENCE® mixes may offer natural growing support to container plants grown indoors or out. Savvy gardeners should seek growing mixes with the valuable RESiLIENCE® additive.

  4. Bald Cypress for the Landscape

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    Bald cypress “knees” are an interesting characteristic of mature specimens planted in moist soils.

    Even if you’ve never been to the Southeast U.S., you’re probably familiar with one of its signature plant communities: the bald cypress swamp. Nothing looks more “Deep South” than a flooded grove of buttress-trunked Taxodium distichum draped with Spanish moss. It might surprise you then to learn that bald cypress makes an excellent (and hardy) subject for all sorts of garden situations in regions as cold as USDA Hardiness Zone (minus 10 to minus 20 F).
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  5. Wishbone Flowers for Shade Garden Color

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    The flowers of Torenia Summer Wave® Large Blue look spectacular close up.

    Gardeners the world over have long suffered from a common ailment—we covet plants, climate conditions, and time that we don’t have. This is especially true of gardeners with shady landscapes. Our gardens may support all kinds of ferns, but we want roses. Hostas the size of small houses sprout without any help at all while we pine for sunflowers. The list of “wants” versus realities goes on and on.
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  6. Lessons from Wartime Victory Gardens

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    Victory Gardens inspired millions of Americans that had never gardened to grow food to feed their families. Everyday people learned to garden on a homesteading scale. And, my family was no exception. My maternal grandparent’s Victory Garden taught them to fend for themselves and eat well when wartime rations were most limited.
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