Celebrate Spring with Bloom’n Gardens Landscape at the Spring Atlanta Home Show

Bloom n gardens Atlanta Home ShowToday we celebrate the Spring Equinox, the date that the day and the night share equal hours.  As a gardener we mark the calendar each year for celebration that there will now be more daylight hours to get things done outside, at least until the Fall counterpart shifts the tide. What better way to usher in Spring than a visit to the Atlanta Home Show.  Bloom’n Gardens Landscape will again celebrate our green thumbs with a unique landscape design in booth #1216. We love how the show allows us to connect with friends and customers and hope to create a garden space that gets you thinking about your OUTBACK. [Read more…]

Companion Gardening: When Plants Work Together

The climbing temperatures in Georgia are heralding in the start of Summer, and with it, the time for vegetable gardens. Whether you’re on an apartment patio or have an expansive back yard, you have space for a few vegetables of your own, and how you use your space will determine how many different kinds of veggies and fruits you can enjoy. Companion gardening allows your plants to work together, making the most of your space and efforts while also helping to reduce insect issues and to boost flavor.

marigolds in a garden

Marigolds are an excellent companion plant, keeping insects off of veggies, fruits, and other plants.

Companion gardening for beginners: The first steps

If you’re using your garden for vegetables this summer, you probably already have a few tasty plants at the top of your planting wish-list. Make a list of the items you want to grow, then take a look at which plants they pair well with using a companion planting chart.

Once you have a list of good neighbors, think about the space you have available, as well as challenges your garden might face. For instance, do you have limited shade? A tall neighboring plant can provide shade for a shorter plant that needs partial instead of full sun. Is there a particular, bothersome insect that’s common in your area? Plant a bug-repelling plant nearby the vegetables most popular to this predator. Soon, you’ll have a complete list of good companion plants to fill your space.

Maximize flavor while you minimize pests

Companion gardening is perhaps best known for its ability to help with pest control. By planting marigolds around your veggies, you’ll cut down on the number and species of insects that are attracted to them. Herbs, such as basil and sage, also help deter certain pests. Other plants help with pest control by attracting insects to them and away from other plants; Nasturtiums attract aphids, protecting other plants they love, such as sugar snap peas, from this common pest.

In addition to offering protection, companion plants can even offer an enhanced or altered flavor to help your vegetables taste the way you’d like. Some gardeners say that planting basil next to tomatoes will enhance the flavor and yield of the crop. Another popular combination is summer savory and beans, where summer savory is said to also improve the growth and flavor of the beans.

Understand your enemies

Your garden is like a social circle–Some plants will make great companions and bring out the best in each other; others just won’t get along. Some plants do not do well with other, specific varieties, i.e. onions and garlic are said to inhibit the yield from peas. Others, like fennel, do not seem to get along with most other plants and should be planted separately.

Don’t be afraid to try new things

As you plant your garden this year, don’t be afraid to jump into the world of companion gardening. Make the most of your pairings in pots (tomato plants and basil both do well in containers, especially when planted together) or in your large garden bed. Helpful guides are readily available to give you the who’s-who when it comes to friends and foes of the flora, so study up and let your garden work together for a tastier, higher yielding garden this year.

 

Are you already trying companion gardening? What groupings have you found success with?

Photo via Flickr

Serviceberry Trees Cure Our Cabin Fever

Serviceberry - One of my favorite spring flowering trees.Ever get that blah feeling in the winter when it’s too cold to go outside day in and day out, I know I do. Where I come from it is extremely common and is known as Cabin Fever. No it’s not something contagious, just a state of mind we get ourselves in. Cabin Fever occurs when people accustomed to spending a lot of time outdoors are forced inside by cold weather conditions. Relief does not come until we are once again able to enjoy our time outside. I believe that Mother Nature gave us April in order to rejuvenate the spirit as we emerge from our hibernated state and shake off our winter depression. In the South, we are lucky that our growing season begins fairly early. As our neighbors to the north only dream of fragrant flowers and hours spent out of doors, we can actually experience it rather comfortably. Nothing gets me outside more than the site of our spring flowering trees.
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