Category Archives: Container Gardening

Top 10 Ways to Add Curb Appeal to your Home

Top 10 Ways to Add Curb Appeal to your Home

A well-kept home is a joy to behold.

Curb appeal is that undefinable something that draws you to a home at a glance. It is a combination of visual charm, good upkeep, and attention to detail. And often will be the thing that makes you the envy of the neighborhood.

Here are 10 ways you can add great curb appeal to your home:

  1. Surround your property with fencing

Fencing for your yard is needed to keep wildlife from eating the nasturtiums, but it also provides a quiet oasis to enjoy the beauty of your outdoor space. Fencing can be six-foot high cedar that blocks traffic noise, or it can be white wicker that is only tall enough to delineate the perimeter of your property.

  1. Don’t leave your landscape in the dark

Think about accent lighting highlighting your prize plantings. Patio lights can be judiciously used to make your gazebo comfortable for a late evening get together with friends. Insect zapper lights get mixed reviews since they can be noisy as the insects are incinerated. They also tend to have a harsh brightness that is annoying to some. On the positive side, outlining pathways with small lights prevents stumbles in the twilight.

  1. Lawn furniture

Spending a lot of time just relaxing and enjoying the sights, sounds and smells of a flower garden can be done from a gazebo with sturdy and comfortable garden furniture. Tables, chairs, lounges, and footstools are obvious choices for furniture in the garden area. A grill or barbecue unit located nearby means guests can enjoy the space while grilling fresh produce from the garden. Corn on the cob from the vegetable garden can’t get any fresher.

  1. Plan garden beds

Many gardens would be beautifully accessorized by adding carefully chosen raised garden beds. Look at the style of your house and design the garden plots for pansies or potatoes in garden beds that enhance the look of the house. For example, if your house is split level suburban, why not add a couple split level beds.

Few projects add as much charm and color to a house as flowers in window boxes.

Build your own window box or buy one from a garden center. Use a plastic liner to prolong the life of the planter and simplify fall cleanup. Easier yet, arrange container gardens in pots and planters on the front stoop or along the walkway.

  1. Simple changes make the biggest impact – the $10 idea!

If your mailbox is old, replacing it will instantly change your curb appeal for the better. Mailboxes are relatively inexpensive, and there are many ways that you can make yours look better. If you don’t really want to part with your old mailbox, you could just give it a fresh coat of paint.

A fresh coat of paint on garage doors will instantly make your exterior look better. Garage doors tend to get dirty and faded from all the up and down movement and should probably be repainted every few years.

Replacing hardware on your mailbox, house numbers, doorbell, door knocker, entry light and door handle will make a huge improvement to the look and feel of your home.

Get a little daring, and paint the front door red or blue.

  1. Make pathways interesting

A planned landscape that has permanent beds can also have interesting and decorative pathways.  Think about using colored aquarium pebbles with a seashell motif for edging. Try pathways that meander according to your planned beds rather than sticking to straight lines. Maybe you would like to have a yellow brick road as a pathway in your garden.

  1. Choose colorful or whimsical containers

If a large garden is too much to manage in your free time, or if you are working in limited space, think about establishing your garden in unusual containers. Or, such containers can be simply an interesting accessory to the real garden. Colorful ceramic pots in large sizes and shapes can be placed randomly amongst the flower beds to hold herbs or a salad or two. An old claw-footed bathtub or a little red wagon both make great containers for garden plants.

Even add a bit of your own personality with a garden flag that offers a warm welcome to your visitors and can be changed out with the seasons.  

  1. Add Color

You can add color to the plants that you choose or by the containers you pick for spots of color.  Look for ways to make color spots show up even better by putting them against contrasting background of other plants, walls or trellises.

Plant a tulip border in the fall that will bloom in the spring. Dig a flowerbed by the mailbox and plant some pansies. Place a brightly colored bench or Adirondack chair on the front porch. 

  1. Delight the wee folk

Adding whimsical statuary or ornaments to your garden plots can be fun and useful as well.  Garden gnomes, leprechauns and perhaps even a fairy or too can be an adventure to undertake with your child or grandchild. A ceramic frog by a garden pond is a common sight around gardens, but have you ever seen a dragonfly or a small fire-breathing dragon. Choose a copper weather vane or a birdhouse decorated like a fairytale castle.

  1. Five senses

A well-planned landscape with carefully chosen accessories will be a delight to all five senses. You see the beautiful colors in the plants, flowers, and accessories. You feel the texture of the earth as well as the crisp vegetables that are picked for culinary enjoyment. You can smell the perfume of the flowers and trees. Tasting fresh produce from the garden is a bonanza for your taste buds.  Finally, your sense of hearing is able to pick up the sound of the wind in a set of wind chimes.  Wind chimes are decorative and can sound melodic or mournful, tinkling or hearty. 

Plan your garden accessories to appeal to each, and every human sense and your garden will be a place where your spirit is uplifted.

Take a trip to your favorite local award-winning Lexington, SC garden center, Wingard’s Market for everything you need to make your garden have the best curb appeal of the neighborhood!

For more tips and ideas for adding curb appeal to your home watch Wingard’s TV “Curb Appeal” videos here.

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Here at Wingard’s Market, we specialize in providing outstanding customer service, offering 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

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

Simple Guide to Composting

Simple compost only requires three ingredients

Every gardeners biggest challenge is the quality of their soil. Some struggle with clay while others struggle with sand. Some fight wet soil and some wage war against drought. Whatever your challenges are, many can be overcome by adding compost to your existing soil.

Simple Guide to Composting

Compost is nature’s way of adding nutrient-rich additives that fuel your plant growth and restore depleted soil. It’s easy to make, good for the environment and a much-needed soil conditioner.

The organic matter in compost provides food for microorganisms which keep your soil healthy. Nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus will balance out your soil naturally by the feeding of microorganisms.

Simple compost only requires three ingredients:

  • Browns in the form of dead leaves, twigs, and branches.
  • Greens in the form of grass clippings, fruit and vegetable scraps, eggshells, and coffee grounds.
  • Combined with water, the greens and browns will produce healthy compost.
Material Color
fruit & vegetable scraps green
eggshells green
leaves brown
grass clippings green
garden plants green
shrub pruning brown
straw or hay brown
pine needles brown
flowers, cuttings green
seaweed and kelp green
wood ash brown
chicken or cow manure green
coffee grounds green
tea leaves green
newspaper brown
shredded paper brown
cardboard brown
dryer lint brown
sawdust pellets brown
wood chips / pellets brown

How it works:

The browns provide carbon for your compost, the greens provide nitrogen and the water provides moisture to break down the organic matter.

Tips for your compost area:

  1. If you are using the compost pile method keep your collection no smaller than 3’ x 3’.
  2. Aerate your pile every couple of days by turning it over with a pitchfork.
  3. Don’t let it dry out completely, it needs moisture to heat up and keep the composting process active. You don’t want it to be soggy; if it starts to stink it is too wet.
  4. Keep your pile balanced. Feed it equal parts of greens and browns.

Benefits of Composting:

  1. Improves the Soil Structure – A healthy soil should be crumbly to the touch. If your soil is hard and clay-like, young plants will struggle to get the nutrients they need to grow. If your soil is sandy, it won’t hold the nutrients required to survive. Adding compost will allow room for air and water to move more freely through the soil.
  2. Adds Nutrients – A thriving soil that is full of organic matter will produce vital nutrients for healthy plant growth.
  3. Retains Water Better – By adding rich compost to your soil, heavy soils are better equipped to hold water and reduce runoff and erosion. Compost added to sandy soils will increase the chances of the water reaching the roots where it is badly needed.
  4. Wards off Disease – Soils enhanced with compost tend to produce plants with fewer diseases. Composting will help control diseases and insects that might otherwise develop in sterile soils.

Creating healthy plants is simple and the advantages of using compost to improve soil quality by allowing it to retain air, nutrients and moisture will result in more vigorous, thriving plants.

Think of it this way…compost is black gold for your garden!

If you are not ready to jump on board to create your own compost pile, stop by Wingard’s and pick up a couple 40# bags of our ready-made compost.

We carry the following products:

  • Stout OllieMushroom Compost – Mushroom compost is a type of slow-release, organic plant fertilizer. The compost is made by mushroom growers using organic materials such as hay, straw, corn cobs and hulls, and poultry or horse manure.
  • Black Kow Compost – Black Kow is organic cow manure and contains nutrients that are released slowly without burning tender roots.
  • Stout Ollie Compost – A local South Carolina Company, Stout Ollie, starts building their compost with an annual plant material like the cotton plant. Stout Ollie adds two materials during the composting process that have proven their worth to mankind over millenniums. They are cow manure and fish. The manure is from their own herd of grass fed cows and the fish are trimmings from wild catfish caught in the Santee Cooper Lakes. They provide a wide range of those hard-to-get minor elements without the harsh chemicals used by so many producers.

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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

Top 5 Herbs to Add to Your Garden

Gardening with Herbs

Adding herbs to your garden is fun! They are easy to grow and good for your health. Many herbs not only add flavor to your favorite dishes, but much-needed antioxidants and nutrients to your diet.

Top 5 Herbs to Add to Your Garden

We have compiled a list of our top five herbs to add to your garden:

  1. Parsley

Parsley is a wonderful compliment to meat and egg dishes, potato and pasta dishes, vegetables, rice, salads, and soups, as well as cottage cheese and herb butters. Add chopped parsley to a dish near the end of the cooking process or sprinkle it on vegetables or salads immediately before serving to keep the fresh flavor.

Parsley is a hardy herb that makes an attractive edging plant. Its curly, fern-like foliage is high in vitamins and the plant is rarely affected by disease.

  1. Thyme

The earthy aroma of thyme is commonly used to season many poultry and beef dishes. Its savory flavor has a long shelf life when dried and can help soothe coughs and sore throats when steeped in hot water.

Thyme is one of the hardiest plants and is perfect to use as edging or as an addition to a container garden.

Thyme is a perennial ground cover, with tiny, gray-green leaves and a cluster of small, violet-blue flowers in spring or summer. 

  1. Rosemary

Chosen by most gardeners for its beautiful blue flowers, Rosemary is commonly used in the kitchen to season poultry and pork dishes. Its robust aroma is pleasing to humans, but doubles as an excellent way to deter many insects in the garden.

This 3-foot plant is hardy in warm climates. Tiny, pale blue flowers bloom in winter or in early spring over aromatic grayish-green, needle-like foliage.

  1. Mint

Any type of Mint is popular and versatile in the garden. Its pleasant aroma, refreshing flavor and cooling sensation make it an all-time favorite. Mint is used mostly in lamb dishes and is the main ingredient in many cocktails.

Dried mint leaves have the ability to soothe stomach aches when steeped in hot water and can also be used as potpourri to freshen up a space.

Mint will grow in most conditions but not too dry. It likes damp, moist soil with shade at the roots and sun on the leaves. We suggest growing mint in a pot. Left to grow outside of a container it will take over a garden space within a couple years.

  1. Basil

Used in almost every Italian dish, basil is a must in any herb garden. From pesto to salads, the flavor is remarkably fresh. Dried Basil is known to have a long shelf life. That makes it a staple in any winter pantry.

Normally bought as an annual, you can harvest basil leaves all season long. Keep pinching off the flower heads so the plant will grow new leaves all summer long.

This annual herb is one of the most ornamental, with broad, clove-scented leaves of green or purple and a spike of white, purple, or pink flowers.

For a complete list of over 30 herbs to add to your garden, click here for a list of basic guidelines for growing herbs.

Want to learn more about herbs? Check out our workshop calendar to see when our next “Gardening with Herbs Workshop” is scheduled.

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Here at Wingard’s Market we specialize in providing outstanding customer service,offeringr 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

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