Category Archives: Annual Plants

Why are my leaves turning yellow?

Why are my leaves turning yellow?

Whether you garden indoors or out, a successful gardener needs to learn how to read plants.

It’s important for us to be able to understand the language of a plant and they make it easy for us to know when they’re feeling a bit under the weather.  Both  houseplants and landscape plants will show signs of yellowing leaves when they need some extra TLC (tender loving care.)

Even when their outward signs show us they need some attention, sometimes figuring out what they need is a mystery. There are a number of reasons a plant’s leaves will turn yellow. Among the reasons are overwatering, underwatering, stress caused by temperature changes, soil conditions, lack of proper nutrients, pests, disease, the age of the plant, pot-bound roots and transplant shock. Out of all of those contributing factors, overwatering or underwatering is usually the main culprit.

Here are the top 7 reasons for yellowing leaves:
  • Overwatering – Too much water is just as harmful as too little. Soil that doesn’t drain well will drown the roots. Without oxygen, the roots will die, and the leaves will turn yellow and fall off. Wait until the plant’s soil begins to dry, then water sufficiently and wait until the soil starts to dry out again before watering. Make sure your container has adequate drainage holes and water less frequently. When repotting an overwatered plant check its roots. Black roots indicate decomposition and a certain death sentence if not taken care of, while white roots are an indication of a healthy plant. When repotting a plant with black roots, trim back all the dark areas leaving only healthy white roots to recover. If there’s a green crusty appearance to the soil surface, this is algae, and it too is an additional symptom of overwatering.
  • Underwatering – If plants do not receive enough water they will drop their leaves to prevent dying. Often times it’s the way the plant is being watered that’s the problem. To encourage the roots to grow deep in the soil, water your plants less, but water them thoroughly to be sure the roots are getting plenty or moisture. Make sure you’re watering your plants properly: wait until the soil begins to dry, then water it fully, and wait until the soil starts to dry out before watering again.
  • Lack of Light – To determine if your yellow leaves are caused by a lack of light check the lower leaves first. If the lower leaves appear to be more faded than yellow, it could be a sign of a light deficiency. Plants need proper light for photosynthesis to occur. Be sure to rotate your pots periodically, so all foliage is exposed to sunlight. If the yellowing begins on the side away from your light source, it might be caused by too little light reaching these back leaves. Research your plants specific light requirements to be satisfied you are providing it what it needs to thrive. Some plants like indirect light, while others require full sun. Plants with too little light will often become leggy as they try to reach toward the light.
  • Temperature – Typically seen more in landscape plants than houseplants, a significant temperature change can leave the tips of your plants looking burned. Most often this occurs in the spring when tender new leaves are affected by a late freeze. If this happens, trim off the burned areas, and allow for new growth. With houseplants, most prefer particular temperature ranges. Some like it cool, around 50-60 F while others prefer in warm around 70-80 F. Some plants will drop their leaves when moved to a new location that has a significant temperature change. Tropical plants do not like colder temperatures, so keep them away from air-conditioner vents.
  • Pests – If the yellow spots on your leaves appear along with tiny critters (be sure to check the undersides of the leaves), then you have an insect problem. First, identify the pest and then treat for that particular insect. Typical bug infestations on plants are caused by one of the following: mites, aphids, mealybugs, thrips, scale, or whiteflies. Repeatedly washing the plants or applying an insecticidal or horticultural soap is one treatment that is often effective as well as environmentally safe.
  • Nutrient Deficiencies – If the top leaves of your plant are yellowing, or there is an unusual pattern of yellowing (i.e. the veins remain dark while the tissue between them turns yellow), it’s most likely a nutrient deficiency.
    • Iron deficiency – This causes yellowing, stunted growth and interveinal chlorosis. You will see it normally in new growth first.  Test your soil and maintain a pH below 7.
    • Potassium deficiency – The leaves, especially older leaves, may have brown spots, yellow edges, yellow veins or brown veins. Add a potassium fertilizer containing potash.
    • Nitrogen deficiency – This causes stunted growth and yellow edges on the tips of the leaves. The veins may be yellow, and sometimes the whole leaf will be pale yellow. Add used coffee grounds to the soil to increase its nitrogen, or apply a balanced fertilizer.
    • Magnesium deficiency – This causes yellowing of the leaves between the veins with the veins remaining green and usually appears on lower leaves first. Treat the plant’s soil with Epsom
    • Calcium deficiency – This will cause crinkled, mottled or distorted leaves and will not allow the tips of the leaves to grow. Add agricultural lime to the soil.

Nutrient Deficiencies

Plant photos by organicagardensupply.com

  • Old Age – Often a plant has just outlived its natural plant life, succumbing to yellowing leaves and aging-out.

Please note that whatever the cause of your plant’s illness, remember it may take weeks or even months for a plant to recover and return to normal growth.

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Here at Wingard’s Market, we specialize in providing outstanding customer service, offer professional gardening advice, and answers to your everyday gardening questions. Stop by and visit our Beautiful Gift Shoppe and Fresh Produce Market while you stroll under century-old pecan trees. It’s truly a Garden Wonderland!

Located at 1403 North Lake Drive in Lexington, SC. Call us at (803) 359-9091

Embrace the Shade in your SC Garden

Shade Gardening Made Easy

shade gardening

Unless you’ve lived in the Midlands in July and August there’s no way to describe “hot” other than blistering, all day, bake in the sun heat! As South Carolinians, we’re always on the lookout for a lush, shady hideaway in our gardens. Here at Wingard’s Market, we want to help you make your shade garden the ideal spot to retreat from the hot summer sun.

For many gardener’s shade can be a challenge and while some plants do well in low light, there are many plants to choose from that thrive in shady conditions. The key is to figure out which plants will adapt well to the light level of your landscape.

Over time your gardens will change. Trees and shrubs will mature, water condition and air circulation will change, and hardscape elements will be added. The first factor before choosing your arsenal of shade loving plants it to figure out what degree of shade your garden will have. From there you can go about choosing your favorite shade loving plants.

Classify your level of shade:

  • Morning Shade, Afternoon Sun – This is NOT considered shade!  If this is the only shade you have in your garden, stop reading.  Nothing here applies to you.
  • Morning Sun, Afternoon Shade – An area in your garden that the sun is blocked for much of the day, mainly between 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 m. Typically found in established gardens where mature trees block out the sun all but for a very short period of time early or late in the day. North facing exposure can generally be classified as partial shade.
  • Filtered Sun – The sun makes its way through tree limbs for most of the day providing “dappled” light on the ground. The plants that grow in this environment are basically the same as the ones that grow in Morning Sun/Afternoon Shade.
  • Full Shade – An area that is under shade all day with little or no direct sunlight. Typically found in thick tree canopies or in dense trees. Other areas may be under stairways, decks or covered patios positioned on the north side of your home.
    • There are some plants, in our experience, which really do best in full shade. Cast Iron, Edgeworthia, Hosta, Ferns, Aucuba, and Fatsia.  Other shade plants will be fine in full shade, but those listed here actually NEED it.

For a complete list of shade loving annuals, perennials, shrubs and trees click here.

Be aware that your light patterns will change with the change of seasons.  Sections of your garden may be in full sun in the winter and in full shade in the summer.  The amount of shade an area gets in the summer is most important in choosing your plants.  Shade plants will generally tolerate full sun in the winter.   Keep a watchful eye on your garden throughout the year as trees, and shrubs mature and your landscape changes.  

As you plan your shade garden keep these few factors in mind:

  • Shaded areas usually lack adequate moisture as the rain is blocked by a canopy of trees, and tree roots absorb most of the water. Shade gardens need regular watering even during rainy periods. For shrubs and trees, a drip system is recommended.
  • The more sun a shade plant gets, the more water it needs.
  • In South Carolina, warm climate shade plants can grow actively all year round so they must be fed a complete fertilizer in early spring and summer.
  • To keep your garden growing for many years, remove low-hanging branches from trees that tend to keep your gardens hidden from view and prevent adequate air flow.
  • If the lack of water is an issue, turn to raised beds or pottery to keep tree roots from stealing all the
  • Most shade plants want some sun (morning or filtered). Flowering plants, especially, need some sun in order to produce flowers.

While summer is now upon us, turn to your shade loving areas to escape the scorching summer sun and enjoy the lush green plants that thrive in our area. Once you’ve discovered all the shade loving beautiful annuals, perennials, trees, and shrubs suitable for shade gardening you may never want to fight the sun again.

Stop in and see us and take advantage of the native shade-loving plants we currently have in stock:

  • Trees: Dogwood, Redbud
  • Shrubs: Anise, Coastal Native Azalea, Carolina Allspice, Oakleaf & Annabelle Hydrangeas, Leucothoe
  • Ferns: Cinnamon, Christmas, Ostrich
  • Perennials: Cranesbill Geranium, Heuchera, Columbine

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Here at Wingard’s Market, we specialize in providing outstanding customer service, offer professional gardening advice, and answers to your everyday gardening questions. Stop by and visit our Beautiful Gift Shoppe and Fresh Produce Market while you stroll under century-old pecan trees. It’s truly a Garden Wonderland!

Located at 1403 North Lake Drive in Lexington, SC. Call us at (803) 359-9091

Save the Bees – What you can do to help.

save the bees

Honey bees, bumblebees, and other bees are disappearing at alarming rates, and they need your help!

As gardeners, it is our responsibility to reach out and save these yellow pollen-dusted bees from extinction. Bees play a vital role in pollinating over 150 crops grown in the US each year, which equals at least every third bite of food you take each day.  Bees pollinate some of our primary food sources such as apples, blueberries, citrus, melons, pears, plums, pumpkins, and squash. Bees also pollinate plants fed to livestock, as well as fiber-producing plants such as cotton, one of South Carolina’s leading crops. It’s essential to our health and our food supply that we take an active role in preserving the plight of the honey bee.

How can you help?

Whether you live in the city or in the country, there are a few ways you can attract bees to your garden and help save these little workhorses from disappearing.

  • Plant bee loving plants native to your area. In South Carolina, plant native bee balm, coneflower, goldenrod, and milkweed.
  • Bees love these flowers the best: bee balm, coneflower, fennel, goldenrod, hosta, lavender, lantana, lobelia, salvia, sunflower, sedum, sweet alyssum, yarrow, and zinnia.
  • Bees love blue, yellow and purple flowers. Shallow blossoms like daisies, asters, zinnias and Queen’s Anne’s Lace are their favorites.  Notice, they are not so interested in red flowers, like hummingbirds are.
  • Plant flowers so that you have something blooming year-round.  For early spring, plant forsythia, in the summer try St. John’s wort, in the fall plant pansies, and make sure your landscape has camellia’s for a winter bloom. 
  • Don’t forget the flowering herbs such as basil, mint, oregano, sage, thyme, and rosemary,
  • Add fruit trees such as apples, lemon, pears, plums and cherry trees.
  • Plant vegetables and herbs and allow some of them to go to seed, such as lettuce, garlic chives, and broccoli.
  • Learn to love weeds especially dandelions, clover, milkweed, and goldenrod.
  • Bees thrive on single flowers …those with one ring of petals. Those provide more nectar and pollen than double flowers.
  • Bees are more attracted to flowers that grow in clumps.
  • Plan your garden so something is always in bloom.
  • Plant one square yard of the same kind of plant.
  • Plant your garden in bright sunny areas.
  • Reduce the size of your lawn to add more bee friendly plants.
  • Provide shelter by leaving pieces of old wood to make nests in.
  • Offer them fresh water by floating a piece of wood for landing in your bird bath.
  • Add a bee hive or a bee house to your garden.
  • Limit the use of insecticides.  Instead of spraying for mosquitoes, use multiple pots of lemon grass, citronella and lemon balm.  Spray plants that have an insect infestation with insecticidal soap, which won’t hurt the bees.

bee loving plants

Did you know?

  • One honeybee colony has a foraging range of 18,000 acres.
  • It takes 12 bees their entire lifetime to make a teaspoon of honey.
  • Honey bees visit 2 million flowers to make one pound of honey.
  • Field bees visit 50 to 100 flowers during each trip.
  • Honeybees fly 12 to 15 miles per hour and flap their wings 12,000 times per minute.
  • Honeybees are covered in hair designed to trap pollen.  Even their eyes have hair on them.
  • Honey is essentially dehydrated nectar from flowers.  Bees eat honey and pollen from flowers.  They ferment the pollen first and mix it with honey in order to be able to digest it.
  • A strong hive may contain up to 60,000 bees.

Don’t be afraid of the bees…enjoy them.  It’s fun to watch them fill their tiny legs with bright yellow pollen and take it back to their hives. Observe them, photograph them, and encourage them to live in your garden.

Do you want to learn more about adding bees to your South Carolina garden? Check out this article put out by the Clemson Extension Office on Native Bees.

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Here at Wingard’s Market, we specialize in providing outstanding customer service, offer professional gardening advice, and answers to your everyday gardening questions.  Stop by and visit our beautiful Gift Shoppe, Fresh Produce Market, and take a stroll under century-old pecan trees through our Garden Wonderland!

Located at 1403 North Lake Drive in Lexington, SC. Call us at (803) 359-9091

Classic Heirloom Tomato Varieties

Add to Your Summer Vegetable Garden

The taste, the smell, the classic heirloom tomato will not let you down.  Seeds that have been preserved throughout generations will leave your mouth watering for more!

tomato

Here is a list of our favorite heirloom varieties …many you can find in our Fresh Produce Market throughout the summer months.

1. – Mortgage Lifter is a classic heirloom tomato with a terrific tale. In 1940s Logan, West Virginia, a radiator repairman crossed four of the biggest tomatoes he could find to produce this beauty. He sold seedlings of it, using the proceeds to pay off his $6,000 mortgage in six years. All these years later, it’s still a popular tomato among West Virginia gardeners—and does very well in other parts of the country, too. Plants bear extra-large beefsteak tomatoes with few seeds and mild flavor. Fruits are pink when mature and perfect for slicing onto sandwiches. Mortgage Lifter bears fruit all summer long. Plants definitely need staking or tall caging; gardeners report this tomato to grow as tall as 10 feet.

2. – The Cherokee Purple was rediscovered by tomato grower Craig LeHoullier. LeHoullier claimed that it was more than 100 years old, originated with the Cherokee people. The Cherokee Purple tomato has a unique dusty rose color. The flavor of the tomato is extremely sweet with a rich smoky taste. The Cherokee Purple has a refreshing acid, is watery, thick-skinned and earthy with a lingering flavor. The Cherokee Purple plants are very prolific making this plant a good heirloom for gardeners and farmers.

3. – German Johnson: German Johnson (also known as German Johnson Pink) is an heirloom that came with immigrants to Virginia and North Carolina.  It is one of the four ‘grandparents’ of the Mortgage Lifter tomato.  It is indeterminate with large fruits that are ‘rough’ (not nice and smooth like a Celebrity, but kind of ridged) and way ¾ to 1.5 pounds.  They have pink skin with yellow shoulders, mild taste, low acidity, and are a very meaty fruit with few seeds.  They have heavy yields.  They are good sliced or for canning.

4. – Black Krim: This heirloom tomato originates from the Isle of Krim in the Black Sea, near the Crimean Peninsula of Ukraine. It is believed that soldiers returning home from the Crimean War, in the late 19th century, gathered these seeds and began sharing them. As a result these seeds were later widely distributed throughout Europe.   The Black Krim is highly regarded for its excellent, yet bold taste, and medium to large size. This tomato can vary in color ranging from a reddish brown hue towards the bottom of the fruit, then darkening to greenish-dark purple shoulders. Just a pinch of salt is needed to enhance the flavor, since this tomato already has a slight salty taste.

5. – Paul Robeson: These taste bud tantalizers are native to the southern Ukraine, a relatively small area on the Crimean Peninsula and were limited to only a handful of recognizable varieties. Their seeds were later distributed throughout Western Russia after the Crimean War by soldiers, returning home, during the early 19th century.   Through the years, new varieties of all shapes and sizes began to appear throughout the Imperial Russian Empire. They were also known to be grown in modern-day Mexico by the Aztecs. Eventually, they spread north. We know that Alexander W. Livingston, a legendary tomato seedsman and tomato breeder from Reynoldsburg, Ohio, described purple tomatoes he had collected as a child during the 19th century.    “Black” tomatoes are not really black. They cover a range of dark colors including deep purple, dusky deep brown, smoky dark mahogany with dark green shoulders and bluish-brown.   The depth and darker range of coloration seems to be encouraged by a higher acid and mineral content in the soil or higher temperatures. In northern climates the greater the amount of exposure to and the intensity of UV rays, the darker the color of fruit that will be produced.   Besides their extremely dark colors, black tomatoes are especially noted for their exceptionally rich, earthy tastes. Among all colors, black tomatoes are blessed with the strongest taste and are typically the most admired among true tomato aficionados.

6. – Pruden’s Purple: Many folks find this tomato variety comparable in every way to the favorite Brandywine. It has even ranked higher at times in my taste trials. Great for hot day and cool night climate. Large potato leaf vine produces lots of 1-lb., slightly flattened, pretty, blemish-free, purple-pink fruits with few tomato seeds and excellent flavor.

7. – Homestead: An old favorite dating from 1954. Developed by the University of Florida especially for hot climates and known for its reliability to set fruit at high temperatures. Produces firm, meaty tomatoes. Large vines help shade fruit to protect from sunburn, and will need to be staked or caged. Plants in our test garden, where the growing conditions are ideal, bear an average of 50 pounds of fruit over a 6 to 7 week period.

8. – Arkansas Traveler: Originating before 1900 in the Ozark Mountains, Arkansas Traveler is prized for very flavorful, medium-sized tomatoes that resist cracking and keep on coming, even in drought and hot weather. Taste is mild, like the pink color of the fruit. Popular in its home state and beyond. Indeterminate vines do best in tall cages.

9. – Tennessee Britches: From a gardener named Buckley in Dresden, Tennessee who passed the seed on to Joe Atnip who named it “Britches” after his oldest daughter when she was a little girl. Ruffled dark pink beefsteak tomatoes, sweet flavor, 1-2 lb fruit with thick skin. Ripens from beautiful cream yellow to red.

10. – Belgium Giant: An heirloom variety from Ohio dating back to the1930’s, although its name and shape suggests roots in the old Belgian ribbed tomatoes. Plants produce large quantities of huge fruit; with some as large as five pounds (my personal best is 3.3 pounds). Tomatoes are very sweet, meaty, and turn dark pink when mature. A low-acidity tomato that is excellent for salads, sandwiches, and canning. The pink skin occurs as the result of clear skin over red flesh, while most red tomatoes have a yellow skin over red flesh.

11. – Marion:  Developed by the USDA vegetable station in Charleston, South Carolina in 1960, Marion is open-pollinated and well adapted to the South. A Rutgers type, but earlier and more disease-resistant. Indeterminate vines bear smooth, deep-globed, and crack resistant fruit all season. High yielding and vigorous, so be sure to stake or cage. A great slicing tomato.

12. – Purple Dog Creek:  This seed is a rare old family heirloom from Dog Creek in Hart County, Kentucky. Their deep purple-pink fruit can grow up to 1 to 1½ lbs. each. Hardy and disease resistant, they stand up to the hot temperatures of South Carolina. According to Amish Land Seeds, there is an interesting story behind the seeds that were given first as a thank you gift to church volunteers. 

13. – Hazelfield Farm: Found as a chance seedling at Hazelfield Farm, a modern organic farm in the Lexington Kentucky area, where it was out-performing many named varieties surrounding it at the time!  Believed to be a chance cross between Carmello and Marmande. Medium-sized plants produce abundance of good-tasting, 8 ounce, slightly flattened red tomatoes, even under adverse conditions of hot, dry summers.

14. – Earl’s Faux: A fantastic heirloom Tomato! From Earl Cadenhead who found the seed for this potato leaf tomato variety in a packet of Red Brandywine from a seed trade. Following continued grow outs and additional success, he chose to share these seeds with members of Garden Web. The TomatoFest seed trials proved this variety a WINNER! Our organic tomato seeds produce big, vigorous plants that yield abundant crops of 12-16 oz., beautiful rose-pink, smooth skin, beefsteak tomatoes with a rich, complex and wonderful flavor. The flavor so outstanding that this tomato has won awards in tomato tastings. A great sandwich tomato. We couldn’t get enough BLTs this summer!

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Here at Wingard’s, we offer a variety of heirloom tomato plants throughout the growing season. Stop buy and pick up a few to add to your summer vegetable garden.  Interested in growing heirloom vegetables? 

 Are you new to Vegetable Gardening?  Check out our collection of gardening videos.

Growing Heirloom Vegetables

Seeds Handed Down from Generation to Generation

Hopefully you have memories of the sweet taste of summer tomatoes, picked and enjoyed right in the middle of your grandparent’s garden. No store-bought hybrid, hot-house grown tomato can compare to the deep rich flavor of this summer fruit! The vegetables our grandparents grew were most likely from seeds handed down from generation to generation. Heirloom vegetables are indeed defined as ones that have been preserved over time. They also can be defined as any vegetable that has been grown for a certain length of time. However, they are specially categorized and their flavor is superior in taste and tenderness.

Growing Heirloom Vegetables

In recent decades fewer people saved seeds from year-to-year. They lost their connection to their heritage. Today, most vegetables are grown to please the consumer who prefers uniform shapes and the ability to purchase vegetables year-round throughout the country.

Heirloom seeds that have been open-pollinated in a particular region become adapted to the area’s soil, climate and pests. Many heirloom gardeners save money and avoid having to purchase new and expensive seeds each year. ( Hybrid seeds cannot be saved since they will not produce similar plants from year to year.)

The best seeds to save.

If you want to start your own seed bank, there are many self-pollinating seeds that produce plants like the parent plant. Here are a few that grow well in the South:

  • Beans
  • Peas
  • Peanuts
  • Lettuce
  • Eggplant
  • Peppers
  • Tomatoes

Insects that visit your garden will cross pollinate your plants, so it is a good practice to plant them at least ten feet apart for varieties.

Certain vegetables that are pollinated by the wind need to be raised with at least a few hundred yards or more between them to preserve a true heirloom variety. Those vegetables are:

  • Onion
  • Cucumbers
  • Corn
  • Pumpkins
  • Squash
  • Broccoli
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Melons
  • Radishes
  • Spinach
  • Swiss chard
  • Turnips

If your garden space is small it is best to only grow one variety of each vegetable at a time to prevent cross-pollination that will alter a true heirloom vegetable.

Harvesting seeds.

After you have picked and harvested most of your fresh vegetables, be certain to save seeds from 3 or 4 of the healthiest plants. Allow your seeds to ripen fully on the plant before you harvest them.

To extend their storage life, only harvest your seeds on warm dry days. Bring them inside for their final drying time before storing them. Heirloom seeds have a shelf life of 3-5 years if stored properly. Place your dried seeds in glass jars with secure lids in a cool dry place.

According to Clemson University you can add diatomaceous earth to the seeds when storing them to help prevent insect damage. Also, if you store seeds in the refrigerator you can increase their life expectancy.

Before using seeds the following year, test for germination. Sprout seeds between moist paper towels; if germination is low, either discard the seeds or plant extra seeds to give the desirable number of plants.

Taste test.

Growing heirloom vegetables is becoming more popular as many gardeners are dissatisfied with the taste and quality of hybrid varieties. Although slightly more expensive than hybrid seeds, there is no need to ever purchase more than one packet of heirloom seeds of each variety you want to grow.

Heirloom seeds do have a few drawbacks. The mature vegetable will bruise more easily, and they can’t be stored as long, but their flavor is by far tastier than any hybrid you can grow.

In the long term, heirloom seeds produce a higher quality vegetable. Once you find the varieties that work best in your southern garden, treat your seeds like gold and you will always have a successful garden.

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Here at Wingard’s we offer a variety of heirloom tomato plants throughout the growing season. Or, you can stop in and check our Fresh Produce Market for fresh heirloom tomatoes to take home and enjoy with your next meal.  Click here for a list of some of the classic heirloom tomato varieties you may find during the summer months here at Wingard’s.

 Are you new to Vegetable Gardening?  Check out our collection of gardening videos.

Container Gardens for Small Spaces

Liven up any living space

Who doesn’t love the taste of a sun-ripe tomato or a sprig of fresh mint in their ice tea on a hot summer day? How about the vibrant colors that only annuals can bring to your porch, or the smell of flowers the hummingbirds just can’t pass up? Container gardens for small spaces is your answer!

small space gardening
Here at Win
gard’s we love the versatility of container gardening and are excited to be able to show our customers they can garden no matter where they live.

You don’t have to have a big yard or live in the country all you need is a couple pots, a sunny location and you are on your way to enjoying the taste and smells of a sweet South Carolina Summer.

Here are some quick and easy tips to get you started:

Choosing a container:

  • You are only limited by your imagination when it comes to choosing a container for your mini garden. Pots and planters come in an array of sizes and shapes, but don’t limit yourself to what you can find at the garden center. Look in your garage, in your mother’s attic or a second-hand store and choose containers that reflect your personality.
  • When choosing a container keep in mind that plants will grow better in large containers rather than small ones. Their roots need room to expand and will thrive if they have plenty of room to grow all season long. Larger containers also hold more soil and moisture and will not dry out as fast as smaller containers.
  • Whatever container you choose, drainage holes are essential. Without drainage, soil will become waterlogged and plants may die. A container without holes is better used as a catch pot to hide a plain pot. To keep the soil from washing out of the drainage holes, try placing a piece of newspaper over the holes before you add the soil mix.

Deciding on a location:

  • If keeping containers watered during the day is a problem, look for sites that receive morning sun and are shaded during the hottest part of the day, even if you are growing plants for full sun. Afternoon shade will reduce the amount of moisture plants need, and they won’t succumb to the stress of the hot sun and low moisture.

Filling your container:

  • Potting MixYour pots will get very heavy once filled, so try to fill them as close to their final destination as possible.
  • Plain garden soil is too dense for container gardening so choose a planting mix for the best results. Most potting soil has no added nutrients, so you need to add them to bi-weekly feedings.
  • Before filling your pot, premoisten your soil. The soil needs to be uniformly moist before planting.

Choosing plants:

  • Almost any vegetable, flower, or herb can grow successfully in a container garden and produce or bloom all season long. To keep your container attractive all summer long, look for warm-weather annuals that bloom all summer.
  • Use your imagination and plant a themed container. Plant a salad garden with colorful lettuces, dwarf tomatoes, chives and parsley. Or try an Italian garden with plum tomatoes, basil and peppers. Or try your hand at an edible flower garden with marigolds, pansies, and mint. The possibilities are endless!
  • If you are having trouble deciding how many plants to buy, take a picture of your pot or carry it to the garden center. We will help you figure it out.
  • When choosing plants, make sure they will play well together. This means that all the plants in one pot should require the same amount of light and moisture to live together happily.   Plant sun plants with sun plants and shade plants with shade plants.

Upkeep and maintenance:

  • Keeping your plants healthy depends on a few factors...water, fertilizer and sunlight.
  • To keep your pots from drying out, spread a layer of mulch around your plants in the pot, keeping the mulch away from the plant stem. Don’t let the soil completely dry out.
  • Water your container when the top of the soil is dry to the touch. Water until some liquid comes out of the drainage hole in the bottom of the pot.
  • The easiest way to provide fertilizer to your plants is to incorporate a slow release fertilizer into the soil when you plant your container. They will need regular feedings every two weeks.
  • Most mini-gardens serve as focal points in small areas so keep them looking their best by deadheading and pruning back leggy plants. When maintaining their flowers and leaves, keep an eye out for pests like aphids and mites.

Growing your plants in containers is the perfect way to liven up any living space …no matter where you live. Fresh flowers and vegetables are only a small green thumb away!

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Here at Wingard’s Market we specialize in providing outstanding customer service, offer professional gardening advice, and answers to your everyday gardening questions.  Stop by and visit our beautiful Gift Shoppe and Fresh Produce Market while you stroll under century-old pecan trees.  It’s truly a Garden Wonderland!

Located at 1403 North Lake Drive in Lexington, SC. Call us at (803) 359-9091