May 23, 2018

Sugar Snackers and other Tomatoes

Sugar Snackers are a customer favorite.  Long after a once devoted customer leaves the Lehigh Valley, we get requests "do you ship them to

Where I live NOW??? (no, we don't) .  But understandably, they are incredibly delicious.  Tall vigorous plant boasting thousands of "sweeter

than candy, pop-in-your-mouth goodness"  We have them again this year after missing from our variety list in 2017. 

HOW TO PLANT A TOMATO properly.

Dig a BIG hole or use a large deep pot.  Plant your tomato plant about 2/3 of the way down into the ground.  It seems like a lot under ground,

but the stems send off side roots that will help support the plant- but mostly, the more roots means it gets more nutrients.  FEED them regularly

throughout the growing season.  However, once the fruit starts forming, you wont really need to feed it all that often.  In the event of heavy rain

it will be important to keep fertilizer on them- as rain leaches out nutrients needed in forming fruit. 

Try to maintain a regular watering schedule.  If it stays constantly wet and then drastically dry this can cause Blossom End Rot or black spot

on the bottom of the tomato (fruit)

Have plenty of tomatoes on hand.

Heirloom tomatoes taste wonderful on a big burger, but they won't produce many tomatoes. 

Try planting some determinate tomatoes along side

of Heirlooms.  Cherry tomatoes are great for salads and snacking.

  Our favorite paste tomato is Healthy Kick. 

Once you come in to our store, you'll find the vast amount of varieties can be overwhelming. 

Colored tomatoes (black white, yellow, green

or striped) are fun if you choose to make a lot of colorful salads.  

Mostly, we try NEVER to sell a tomato that we don't like

Don't believe us?  We have a trial garden, and have tasted them ( canned them,

ate them, sliced them, cooked with them, made pasta and salsas... you get the idea.)  

Here is a great Salsa recipe for you to try

If you are new at canning and have a question, please email me at cthomas@danschantz.com

Geraniums

Geraniums have been a garden favorite for... well, ever.  Not just your granny's geraniums anymore, there are so many new varieties on the market.  Seed geraniums (also called HYBRID) were introduced to the market in the 1970's. 

They were intended to be planted in mass quantities- more affordable than the Zonal ( geraniums grown and propagated from cuttings) geraniums. 

Seed geraniums were originally sold in packs- without color showing. 

They don't need to be "dead-headed" as a Zonal geranium does in order for it to bloom. 

Geraniums used to only come in red, pink and white.

  Now there are so many colors available, we can't possibly list them all!

Plant geraniums in a good potting mix, in a mostly sunny spot and fertilize every 2 weeks. 

They need good air circulation to avoid moldy leaves. A special bonus for geranium growers? 

They don't mind chilly weather, and will be one of the last plants you'll have in late fall.

  If you are ambitious, you can bring them indoors for the winter and put in a sunny window until next spring. 

Keep it trimmed indoors (avoid letting it get leggy)

We grow millions of geraniums on our farm every year, every color, variety and size.

Seed Geraniums
Zonal  Geraniums

Wave Petunias - the PERFECT garden plant!

Wave petunias are different than regular petunias!  They grow low, full and last all summer!  Heat resistant, cold (and snow) resistant and low in maintenance.  No more long leggy growth in mid August, these delightful plants will stay full and perfect all summer long, until winter! 

No need to prune- unless you want them to fill out even more.  Plant them at least 12" apart unless you want them crowded. 

Works well in a hanging basket or patio planter too!  Fertilize with a water soluble plant food to keep them healthy!

April 18, 2018

Planning a Healthy Garden

It's a perfect time to get Lettuce into your garden.  They don't mind the light frost or cool temperatures.  To keep your salad garden growing all summer, plant lettuce in 2 week intervals.  This way you won't have it all ready at the same time! This is also a good rule for cucumber plants or seeds, pea seeds and green beans.  There's nothing worse than having too much harvest all at one time (unless you plan it that way).

Take advantage of the other Cole Crops.  The cooler the weather, the better tasting they will be.  Cabbage, broccoli, Kale, Brussels Sprouts, spinach etc. 

Later, when danger of frost is gone - usually by mid-May- you can plant tomatoes and peppers, squash and eggplant... and everything else you desire. 

Fruit trees are ready to plant too!  The ground has softened up enough to dig that big deep hole.  Blossoms from a fruit tree is an instant attraction for honey bees, which is much needed in our area.

Feed your vegetable garden and fruit trees regularly throughout the growing season. 

April 10, 2018

Perennials for Spring

April 1, 2018

The Ground has thawed- time to plant! 

The weather is warming, (forecast for 80 this weekend!)

Perennials are arriving by the truckloads. 

Perennials are plants that grow back every year.  Since most perennials don't bloom all summer, there are things you might want to consider:

1. Select perennials that will bloom during different times throughout the spring through fall. 

2. Decide if you have sun or shade

3. Try creating a perennial garden that attracts butterflies, hummingbirds and honey bees.

4.  Need Deer resistant plants?  Try plants that are fuzzy or have some sharp spines. Some say strong smelling plants dissuade them.   Nothing is foolproof, but this tip helps!

For a successful perennial garden, start by digging a hole twice the size of the root ball.  Add some fresh planting mix, remove air pockets.  Water the plant thoroughly after planting.  Add soil if needed.  Feeding your perennials is important, but no need until the night soil temperatures reach 50 degrees.

Petunias, geraniums, snapdragons, pansies, alyssum, dianthus and dusty miller are great choices for this mid-April weather.  You'll still need to protect from heavy frost when it comes.  FROST COVERINGS:  please read above for correct covering.  Another good choice is a sprinkler on the plants (starting around 4:00 am until sunrise)  It will keep the frost off the leaves, help protect the blooms.

You'll have a lot to do with cleaning up your garden from fallen debris that occurred over the winter.  have tarps handy to drag debris out to your burn pile- or just to make it easier for cleanup in trash bags. 

Tired of winter?  Well, get your garden gloves on, because it's time to PLANT!  Safe plants to set out NOW, first week of April:

Pansies, Snapdragons, Alyssum, Violas, Dusty Miller, Wave Petunias are a great start to your annual garden.

Most perennials are safe to plant now too! 

Summer bulbs (Dahlia, Begonia, lilies & more) will be emerging way after the frosty temperatures are over. 

Shrubs are also ready to go in ground.  At Dan Schantz, we sell only what should be planted at the moment.  We wont have tender shrubs (like blooming rhododendrons or azaleas, rose bushes etc. at this early date.)  We won't sell forced shrubs that aren't blooming naturally in our area!

Cool weather vegetables- cabbage, kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, collards, cauliflower, spinach can safely be set in the ground.  Pea seeds (you should plant these in 1 or two week intervals so you've got a steady supply all spring, not all at once!) 

Hold off on Lettuce until a week or so.  They grow fast enough, and will catch up quickly.

 

Sudden forecast for a heavy frost?  No worries.  Just cover your plants with a SHEET or newspaper.  Never clear plastic.  It's not really the frost that harms these plants, it's the sun rays that hit the ice on the plants in the morning.  Windy night?  No real need to cover then, as the wind will keep the frost off tender new growth.

You'll need to come in often, as our product changes as the season progresses.  Have a question about planting?  Contact the Plant Lady at cthomas@danschantz.com 

March 14, 2018

Got Some Questions?

We've got answers!

For Cut Flower Department or immediate response, please call

610-797-2774

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