Haven’t we been having a BEAUTIFUL August! Who knew August could be such an amazing month?
I hope that you are enjoying the bounty of the gardens, the beauty of the cone flowers and Roses of Sharon, and all that it has to offer!
Where can you find your gardening tools, seeds, and plants? It’s time to make a big shout-out to independent nurseries.
A neighbor was really having trouble with her flowers. She had a beautiful setting, lots of sun, watered when dry, deadheaded when needed, but the plants just wouldn’t grow. They were poor, and they were lackluster. What could be the problem?
She was still learning how to garden, but was having trouble finding the right techniques. She went back to the big-box store she got the original plants from and bought them again — same thing. She had to go out and find the soil and plants as there weren’t any employees. The heat was already causing the plants to suffocate. She wanted to find out what I could do.
First, soil that is soil-less — or a light mix of potting soil that doesn’t compact — is generally made of about 1/3 sand, 1/3 peat, and 1/3 perlite for water retention or vermiculite for aeration.
Second, go to a retail garden center or independent nursery. These people are our neighbors. These are independent small businesses that require our support. We often go to Walmart, Lowes or Menards in search of bargains.
All of the invasive species we’ve discussed in this column remain relevant. I’d be willing to wager 75% that they came from a big-box store. They don’t know Noble County or you.
Wisdom is priceless You don’t just buy a plant from the local nursery. These people are knowledgeable and manage lush greenhouses and gardens. Many of them are descendants of families who have been in this business for generations. It is impossible to get a better understanding about the climate and local environment. They can talk about soil, insects, critters, water features and mulch, as well other topics.
You want a gardenhose that lasts. Shears that won’t fall apart? They can help you choose the best equipment.
Independent growers can also be responsive. These nurseries can be responsive if you require more organic products or more options. They adapt to local gardener needs. You want worm casings; you get worm casings. By buying from your local greenhouse, you can show that you care. The power of your purse! If we don’t support these knowledgeable small businesses, they will slip away. Be loyal to them.
Subscribe to their newsletters and connect with them on social media to help your local greenhouse. Please share your experience with your gardening friends if you enjoyed it. Tell them where the best growers are located. If you are connected, you can find out about workshops and events in gardening, potting and vegetable gardening. Landscape and garden centres are natural community centers in the county that address climate and environmental concerns.
Noble County has many retail garden centers. Here are three. If you know of other centers in Noble County, I’ll be happy to shout them out and let gardeners know who is out there.
Countryscapes and Gardens, 1680 Lincolnway West Ligonier IN 46767
Hulen’s Landscaping, 4061 U.S. 6, Kendallville, IN 46755
Schaller Greenhouse, 1825 S.R. 3, Avilla, IN 46710
Oh, and my friend! She visited Clayton Garden Center, Kosciusko County, and found that soil was the problem. Her flower boxes are beautiful this year.
Tree Column-Jim Nixon
Editor’s note: This story and photos are published with permission of Purdue
University and courtesy Kendallville Tree Commission