Your All Things Plants weekly news: February 1, 2013

There were 7 new gardening ideas posted last week:

Winter Garden:  An opportunity

By ShadyGreenThumb
February 1, 2013
Winter Garden: An opportunity

Winter gardens with their dormant trees and shrubs, twiggy bushes and empty space often present a depressing view. Here's what we do. (214 words - Read the full article)

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Making a Pebble Planter

By goldfinch4
January 31, 2013
Making a Pebble Planter

Looking for a little project to pass the time when cold or rainy weather keeps you out of the garden? How about making a cute pebble planter. This design works especially well for succulents and alpine plants because of the excellent drainage this pot provides. (802 words - Read the full article)


ATP Podcast #4: Seed starting and more

By dave
January 30, 2013
ATP Podcast #4: Seed starting and more

Come hear Dave and Trish discuss all the news about ATP, gardening updates from Texas, and the main feature of today's show: our favorite tips and ideas about seed starting. (51 words - Read the full article)


Basil and bugs

By SongofJoy
January 29, 2013
Basil and bugs

Aphids are drawn to prolific leaf growth and may attack herbs such as basil. (189 words - Read the full article)


Starting Lavender from seed

By Joannabanana
January 28, 2013
Starting Lavender from seed

It's possible to have early blooms the first year. Lavender seeds break dormancy when stratified. Roll seeds in a damp paper towel, put in a freezer bag and let sit at room temperature for a few hours. Place sealed bag in the freezer overnight. Thaw, sow in pre-moistened soil mix and place under lights. The seeds will germinate within a few days and will bloom by mid-June if you sow them the end of February. Lady Lavender is a consistent first year bloomer.


What's blooming in January

By LarryR
January 27, 2013
What's blooming in January

I live in a house that's 113 years old. One of its advantages, especially since I'm a gardener, is very wide windowsills, some as wide as 11 inches. Perfect for potted plants. Windowsills allow those of us in temperate regions to continue gardening indoors during the winter while the outdoor garden slumbers. And the light is free. We don't have to buy grow lights nor pay for the electricity to run them. Come on in and discover what's blooming on my windowsills and who won last month's Mystery Blossom Contest. (1,207 words - Read the full article)


Adding height to a trellis for hops

By Joannabanana
January 26, 2013
Adding height to a trellis for hops

Some vigorous vines, like hops, require an extra tall trellis. Even if you found a 10 foot trellis, I'm not sure how you would get it home. One of the easiest solutions is to secure two six foot trellises together. (155 words - Read the full article)


The most popular images last week from our plant database:

Photo of Iochroma (Iochroma cyaneum 'Plum Beauty') by Calif_Sue:
Image from plant ID 156553

Photo of Iochroma (Iochroma cyaneum 'Royal Blue') by Calif_Sue:
Image from plant ID 119269

Photo of Blue Chalk Sticks (Curio talinoides var. mandraliscae) by Calif_Sue:
Image from plant ID 114394

Photo of Dahlia (Dahlia 'Aitara Majesty') by RosinaBloom:
Image from plant ID 186625

Photo of Tulip (Tulipa 'Ancilla') by LorettaNJ:
Image from plant ID 528905

Photo of Dutch Crocus (Crocus x luteus 'Yellow Mammoth') by eclayne:
Image from plant ID 119246

The most active threads this week:
Subject OP Area Replies
flowers weather and chat TexasPlumeria87 Sandbox forum 70
Sedum Chat and Photos for 2013 valleylynn Sedum forum 45
Hypertuffa question???? crittergarden All Things Gardening forum 36
Newcomer seeking advice! serse Sempervivum and Jovibarba forum 31
Now that is cute! woofie Making a Pebble Planter 29
Watched Forums valleylynn Site Talk forum 28
Iochroma virginiarose Plant Database forum 27
Problem adding new plants Calif_Sue Plant Database forum 25
Banner for January 28, 2013 by mcash70 mcash70 Site Banners forum 25

Some new recommendations from our members:
rogertheshrubber recommended Bluestone Perennials and wrote:

I bought quite a few plants from them over a few seasons. I started noticing some really puny plants at times. They offer a guarantee but I just quit ordering from them. Haven't tried them in the last year or two.

BigGerminator recommended Sustainable Seed Company and wrote:

All I can say is....WOW! The seeds are unbelievable and it is a fantastic company filled with great people.

They have an uncomprehensible amount of seeds (more than 1,500) and they are ALL certified organic with tons coming in heirloom varieties. Not to mention the fact that they are grown on an environmentally sustainable farm in CA and have seeds grown and sourced only in America.

An environmentally sustainable company, run by kind people supporting American farmers, and they grow outstanding seeds?! Get on board people!

TweedleLeeDee recommended Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. and wrote:

Excellent service and prompt polite correspondence, on their website is a breeze,...good quality seeds that germinate quickly...good selection of heirlooms, .....
all this means a first class rating to me!

chelle recommended Garden Harvest Supply and wrote:

Garden Harvest Supply is simply a wonderful company to deal with!

Phone inquiries are dealt with promptly, efficiently and pleasantly. Their online ordering system is easy to use, shipping is timely and reasonably priced, and merchandise arrives in great condition.

A year or two ago I called the company and spoke with a representative about their company's policy concerning wholesale orders. At that time, the amount needed to place a wholesale order was well above what I would be likely to spend. I found out today that wholesale purchases of certain plants are currently available without meeting that limit. Yay!

Some of their sales inventory is updated later in the season, so if something you want is marked "sold out" check back, it's probably just a temporary delay. I plan to order about 75 percent of my specialty annuals, new perennials and shrubs from Garden Harvest Supply this year.

Anne recommended Stokes Seeds Ltd and wrote:

I've only had fantastic experiences with Stokes when buying seeds and supplies/accessories. They often carry the individual colours from a series that you typically can only find in mixes with other Canadian seed companies. It's one of those companies I order from every year and I've never been let down by them.

Some numbers from last week: