How to repot a houseplant

When bringing your houseplants inside for the winter, check each one to see if it is “root bound.”

If the roots are growing in a thick circular pattern at the bottom of the pot, then it needs to be stepped up to the next sized planter.

In the video and article below we show you how:

To keep your plants healthy, the roots need fresh soil to grow into, and your plant needs a bigger pot.

Choose a pot that is the next size up. This little guy was in a 4″ pot, so we are stepping him up to a 6″ pot.

  • Wet down the potting soil (never use dry potting mix, you will send your plant into shock!).
  • The consistency should be like cookie dough or brownie mix.
  • Fill the bottom of the pot with the moist potting mix.
  • “Tickle” the roots of your plant.
  • (Untangle and spread the roots so the can grow in different directions into the new soil.)
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  • Hold the plant at the desired height in the pot with one hand, and fill in the soil around it with the other.
  • Tamp down the soil with your fingers – firmly, but gently – enough so the plant doesn’t tip over and out of the pot, but don’t crush it into the pot.
  • Finally, let your newly repotted plant soak up water from the bottom (30 minutes or so), which will help the roots adjust and establish themselves in their stylish new home.

 

Learn more about houseplant care next weekend, September 23rd & September 24th at the shop.

Stop by any time Saturday or Sunday. Bring your problem children (house plants) for analysis.

We will repot your houseplants for you! 

 

How to plant a tree

Don’t be intimidated by tree planting! Here’s how the professionals at Victoria Gardens plant happy healthy trees:

Digging the hole: When planting trees, the planting hole should be bigger than the diameter of the root ball, but not deeper! You want the top of the container or root ball level with the ground surface. Once you finish your hole, you want to firm the soil at the bottom of the hole, so the root ball sits on a solid surface. If you set the tree on soft, freshly turned over soil at the bottom of your hole, the dirt could settle one way or the other and your tree could be crooked a day or two after planting!

Remove the cage and burlap: If you purchased a tree with a root ball, you will need to snip the metal cage apart with wire-cutters and REMOVE IT COMPLETELY! Then peal of the burlap COMPLETELY (And carefully, keeping the root ball in tack)! If you leave the cage and burlap on, you will inhibit the roots, and therefore stunt the growth of the entire tree. A tree planted in it's cage can become girdled and die.

Tickle the roots: If you brought your new tree home in a container (which we recommend!), then remove it from the pot and "tickle" the roots, loosening strands at the bottom edges and along the sides. This will encourage them to grow out in all directions immediately.

Feed the roots, not the leaves: Victoria recommends Espoma Biotone Starter, which is organic and stimulates root growth, lowering the chances of the tree experiencing stress.

Trees experience stress? Yes, and it can be caused by a variety of environmental factors. These stresses are “recorded” by the tree, and scientist can see the evidence of a drought or flood or defoliation hundreds of years ago in the rings of trees. Damaging insects will attack a stressed tree before a health one, and stress now can have effects years later.

Avoid stress! Planting smaller is better: Younger trees are more adaptable, and make the transition to a new environment with greater success. They make up for their small size with faster growth rates and better overall health for years after planting.

Amend your soil: Mix organic material in with your soil as you backfill (We like the Moo Doo, Dynamulch or compost to amend the soil. Some people use peat moss, although because it is mined, and not renewable, we recommend a peat replacement product made of coconut fibers. Cover the root ball with backfill and firm in the soil around it. ("Firm" not concrete hard - the tree's roots still need to push through the soil so don't take out any aggression, foot stomping, and the like, on the surrounding soil of your young tree.)

Water, water, water: The first year of any tree's life is the most important when it comes to watering. When you pick up your trees from Victoria Gardens, they are addicted to water. You must wean them off their watering schedule: water everyday for the first four or five days, every other day for then four or five, then every third day, ect. (A Gator can help!) The tree will adjust to it's surrounding with minimal stress, if you make the transition over a period of several weeks. After that, supplemental watering should be done weekly during dry periods.

Help from a ‘Gator': After the initial weaning, if you cannot reach your newly planted tree with the hose or if you plan on going away for more than a week, use a Treegator. Treegator is a drip irrigation system in a bag, which will release water over time, keeping your young tree from experiencing stress.

Keep the weedwacker and lawnmower at bay! The bark of most young trees damages easily, extra care is needed when mowing or using any garden tools around them. Injuries not only weaken dogwoods, but bring an onset of unwanted insects and fungus to the damaged bark.

Choose the right tree! Sun or shade? Moist soil or dry soil? Visit our nursery in Rosendale and we’ll help you choose!

How to make your garden an all season delight

"I'm too late!"

We hear from clients and customers all the time that they feel that if they don't plant in May, then they have missed their window of opportunity and they will just have to wait until next year.

This is crazy talk!

The gardening season continues: June, July, August, September, and sometimes extends to Thanksgiving! That's when the ground is warm enough for plants to put down roots before going dormant for the winter.

That is four or five more months, 120 to 150 more days, 1,440 to 1,750 daylight hours left in the gardening season!

Another thing we hear from customers is that they feel like they have to do it all at once.

This is also crazy.

Because of the nature of plant growers and the nature of the plant nursery business, we tend to have the plants that bloom in June in stock...in June. The plants that bloom in July we have on display...in July.

So if you buy all your plants t once, there is a good chance your garden looks fantastic for that one month, but then quiet the rest of the gardening season.

If your garden is quiet this week, visit Victoria Gardens and choose a couple plants in bloom to brighten up this time in your garden year after year! Visit through out the season and your garden will become an all season delight.

Remember the gardening season is looong.

Visit and be inspired.

Victoria Gardens Nursery is located on the corner of Cottekill Rd and Rt. 213 in Rosendale. (845) 658-9007

5 garden chores to do after a heavy rain

After a heavy rain, there are a handful of garden chores you will want to do before the soil dries out again.

#1. Weed

The moisture in the soil makes weeding so much easier than after a week of dry weather. The soil is soft and you have a better chance of pulling the whole root out.

#2. Deadhead

After a heavy rain, some perennials and annuals may need to be cut back if they were damaged or flattened. And any spent flowers can be trimmed off.

 

Gerber daisies – deadhead spent flowers and they will rebloom all summer long

#3. Check for wet spots

Area that are slow to drain and stay wet for days after a storm need special attention. If this area is up against your house foundation, you may need to reroute your gutters or install a French drain.

If it is a spot you would like to plant, you will need to choose wet-tolerant plants. Many trees, shrubs, and perennials can thrive with “wet feet” (like river birch, dappled willows, Ligularia, Siberian iris, Chelone, and the ground cover Lysimachia.)

#4. Plant

Again, the moisture in the soil makes digging easy. After you’ve cleared out the weeds and deadheaded spent flowers, you will see spaces in your garden that need color.

When you visit the nursery, the perennials and shrubs blooming now are the plants that will bloom at this time every year. Shopping and planting throughout the season this year is a way to guarantee continuous color for years to come.

 

Show-stopping lupines will spread by seed and naturalize in your garden

If you have a young garden and you are waiting for perennials and shrubs to grow to their mature size, you can fill in holes just for the summer with annuals.

#5. If you haven’t already, lay down a 2″ to 3″ layer of mulch. Mulch helps retain the moisture in the soil during the hot dry spells that can happen throughout the summer.