Overwintered Geraniums Updated

It’s been about one month since I “woke” my favorite geraniums from their long winters nap, and I’m happy to say they are doing great.  In fact, they are doing so well I thought I would share my success with all of you.  I potted five overwintered geraniums, but unfortunately I lost one.  The one I lost was the weakest going into storage so I half expected to lose it.  That said, the remaining four look great, In fact one of them even has buds already! I wanted to post a few “progress” pictures below just to show how successful overwintering geraniums can be.

Progress

All four overwintered geraniums are doing great, even the little one on the far end.

Believe it or not this little one was a "break off" of one of the larger geraniums.  It had rooted itself in my container so I figured I'd try to overwinter it.  as you can see here it's alive, and doing great!

Yes that's a bud! I was really surprised that after four weeks this geranium is getting ready to flower!  However, I remembered that over the witner I had to pinch off buds and flowers even they hung upside down in the dark.

Well there you have it, my overwintered geraniums and their progress.  I hope I've inspired a few people to try overwintering their favorite geraniums nexts year.  I'd love to hear from you on about your "overwintering" success, and be sure to mention any tips or tricks you might have.

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April Gardening “To-Do’s” & Other Chores

It’s become kind of a “thing” for me to post a list of gardening “to-do’s” & other chores at the beginning of each month.  April is especially important since spring seems to have finally arrive, and as the ground thaws we can really get after our outdoor chores. That said I’ve put together a list of I’m trying to do this month, which is pretty much last April's list with a few things taken out and a few things added.

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Bringing Your Overwintered Geraniums Out of Storage

I'm not sure if I'm just a frugal gardener or whether I just can't stand seeing my hard summer work go to waste, but I always feel that overwintering my geraniums is the right thing to do. It might just be that it gives me a nice little project to do as my spring fever starts to set in really good towards the end of March. Geraniums are extremely resilient, in fact if you look close enough at the image above you'll this geranium has flowered WHILE IN STORAGE!  I had 5 geraniums in storage and they all tried to flower, but I just picked them off hoping to save a little energy for the plants. That said I brought my geraniums out of storage this past weekend and potted them up to get them started for summer.  I wrote and re-share a post on "Overwintering Your Favorite Geraniums" that always gets a great response, so I figured I'd write a quick "how-to" on bringing your geraniums out of storage.  I hope you'll excuse my novice photography, but I took some pics and they'll walk you through some easy steps to bringing those hearty flowers back to life.

What You'll Need

  1. Your Geraniums of course
  2. Your pots: I use my terracotta pots because sometimes I re-pot & sometimes I don't and I love terracotta.
  3. Pruners: You can also use a pair of nice clean scissors.
  4. Potting Soil: I know, I know, I used Miracle Grow here but of course if you can use your own own mix it's better.

Soaking The Roots

This is an important step in bringing your geraniums "back to life".  I like to soak them overnight, and the best soak is in Anne Haven's "Authentic Haven Brand Manure Tea".  Soaking your roots in the vitamin rich tea gives your geraniums a much needed boost coming out of storage.

Cut Your Geraniums Back By About Half

Before:

After:

Not to big of a difference, like I said roughly half.  I also like to get rid of the dead wilted leaves, but if you're lucky enough to have some green leaves cut back to them and call it good.

Potting Them Up

This is the easy part, fill your pots with your potting mix and pot them up.  I throw usually split up all the cuttings and throw them in the bottom of the pots with some stones for better drainage.  I've found that geraniums don't like to be overwatered and they need good drainage to do really well.

You've Woke Your Geraniums

Place your newly potted geraniums in a window that get nice light, but doesn't get to hot.  I like to give them one good initial watering, but don't water them too much, like I said they like to dry out a bit.  Keep the soil nice and loose at the top so the roots can get some air, and just wait for the magic.

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Getting Ready for Spring: March Gardening Tips & “To-Do’s”

We have had one heck of a winter but March has finally arrived.  I know it may not look like March in many parts of the country, but it’s here, and I can’t be more excited.  Best of all, this is the month that our gardens start to wake from their long winter slumber.  So, as I like to do every month, I’ve put together some March gardening tips & “to-do’s”.  I like these posts as they tend to keep me on my toes while hopefully helping you do the same or even learn something new.

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Winter Dog Grooming Tips

Wintertime is a super fun time of year for dogs and dog owners.  Watching a dog run, and play in fresh snow will make anyone laugh out loud. However, dog owners also need to remember it’s very important to keep your dogs clean during this time of year. I’ve outlined a few tips for keeping your best friend healthy and clean through the rest of this winter season.

Protect His Paws

Anyone who lives in cold winter climates must use at least some kind of deicing product like sand or salt, and even if we don’t our friends and neighbors most likely do. Deicers can cause dogs paws to dry out and crack which can be very painful. After winter walks you should make sure to wash your dog’s paws off with warm water to limit exposure to deicers.  You can also have your dog wear “booties” which can be found at most pet stores, and if he/she will not wear them then just put some Vaseline or Aquaphore on the paws to limit exposure.  Also, be sure to trim the hair from around and between his toes to protect against matted snow and ice.  If you’re interested in a great pet safe deicer click here.

Dry Skin

Just like with people, the cold winter air can cause your dog’s skin to dry out and itch. You can prevent this by bathing, using a moisturizing shampoo like this one for dogs.  Be sure to never use your own products as they can do more harm than good. Also, you should be brushing your dog’s coat every day as it will stimulate his/her skin to produce oils that will keep him more comfortable.

Clip his nails more frequently

Your dog is getting a bit less exercise these winter days, so their nails aren’t being worn down as quickly. Be sure to clip the nails more frequently as a result. If you are uncertain on how to trim your dog's nails, ask your veterinarian or have a professional clip them for you.  A dogs nails that are not clipped correctly can be very dangerous.  Use these special nail clippers made just for dogs.

Keep to a regular trimming schedule, even in the winter

If your dog needs regular trimming during the year, be sure to stick to that schedule.  You might think it’s OK to let your dog’s fur to get a bit longer for the winter, but it can actually be worse.  A dog with long hair may experience matting in his coat, which can lead to a plethora of problems.  If you’re afraid that your dog will be cold, a sweater or fleece is a better option than a long matted coat.

Bundle up

Dressing your BFF in a sweater or fleece will protect him from the elements in the cold winter months. This can be even truer for small dogs or dogs with shorter coats. As mentioned above, boots are also a great way to protect his paws from frostbite, and deicers such as salt.

Following these tips as well as the tips in “10 Tips to Keep Your Pets Safe This Winter Season” will keep your dog clean and safe all winter long.  Do you have any other tips for us?  We’d love to hear them if you do!

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February Gardening Tips: “Getting a Jump on Spring”

February is here, and for me that means I need to start getting myself ready for spring gardening.  I know, I know it seems early but getting a jump on the little things gives me more time to the big things I want to do when the weather breaks.  I don’t have a lot of time do to what I like to call all of my inside “honey-do’s”, so I’m simply going to list some activities that I think might give you a jump on spring as well.

February List to Get a Jump on Spring

  1. Take an inventory of your seeds, & take advantage of seed sales to fill any holes.
  2. Sow early season seeds inside, and maybe try some winter sowing.
  3. If you haven’t cleaned, sharpened, & oiled your garden tools, it’s a perfect time to get it done know.
  4. Prune fruit trees, and landscape plants, but don’t prune spring bloomers or you’ll cut off all of the buds.
  5. Keep feeding your birds, they’re almost there don’t quit on them now!
  6. If you have areas heavily hit with slugs do what you can combat them now.
  7. Keep up on your houseplants, treat them for mites, aphids, and other pests, but wait for warmer weather to transplant.
  8. Check in on your geraniums, tubers, and other overwintered plants.
  9. Toward the middle to end of the month get your overwintered geraniums out, cut back, watered and in pots.
  10. Start a new one to two month indoor project to get you through the rest of winter!

That’s my list and I’m sticking to it! Do you have a list of February gardening tips?  If you do please share, I’d love to see what I’m missing.

As always don’t forget to sign up over there to the right for regular TUFF GUARD updates, and all things garden hose related!

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Five Ways to Beat Back the Winter Blues

Are you experiencing, a lack of motivation, low energy, or even a feeling of slight depression?  If you are, you could be suffering from “the winter blues”.  It’s the last week of January, and the cold and snow has been blowing for here for three months for some of us.  Although we can’t control the weather, there are many things we can do to beat the winter blues.

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The 100′ Perfect Garden Hose Is Now Available In GREEN

With our second big announcement in as many weeks, JGB Enterprises is pleased to announce that the 100’ length of our Perfect Garden Hose will now be available in green.  Over the past two seasons the 100’ length has only been available in our “trademark” blue color.  However, due to the growing popularity of the green color, along with an abundance of customer requests, we’ve decided to include the green 100’ unit to our offering. 

We’re extremely excited about the expansion of our kink-free, extra flexible, & ultra-lightweight line of garden hoses.  This marks the first expansion of The Perfect Garden Hose, and with the success we’ve seen over the past two seasons it’s a good bet we’ll expand the line further.  Stay connected with us on You Tube, Facebook, Twitter, & Google+ for more news!!

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The Perfect Garden Hose Announces New Fitting Design

Our culture of “continuous improvement” at JGB Enterprises enables us to supply our customers the highest quality in hose, fittings, and hose assemblies.  The Perfect Garden Hose is no stranger to JGB’s process of continuous improvement.  Since its introduction in 2011, The Perfect Garden Hose has experienced many improvements, and our most current improvement has us very excited.  Our engineers have come up with an excellent new ferrule design.  The fitting is still internally expanded to provide full flow, and the ferrule still locks into the fitting upon expansion, but the ferrule is now ribbed.  The ribbed design allows for the ferrule to “grab” onto the outer helix that makes The Perfect Garden Hose kink-proof, extra flexible, and ultra-lightweight.  We feel that the ribbed ferrule design will offer a greater resistance to end pull-offs, as well as leaks.   You can visit our webpage here to view more technical data, and when you’re convinced The Perfect Garden Hose is for you, visit our “where-to-buy” page and be on your way to kink-free, extra flexible, & ultra-lightweight goodness!

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Five 2014 Gardening Resolutions

A new year is upon on which also brings a new season of gardening! Spring will be here before we know it, and I always try to greet the new season with just a few of what I like to call gardening resolutions.  I like to keep the list short, five or less, because like any other New Year resolutions they can be tough to follow through with.  I’m still a bit of a novice when it comes to gardening, so my resolutions may seem a bit simple, but I it never hurts to revisit the basics. So without further adieu, my list of 5 gardening resolutions…

5. Start the Season with Clean, Sharp Tools

I’ve had my gardens now for 2 years (since I’ve moved back from Manhattan) and I never start the spring with clean, sharp tools.  I waste the good part of a spring weekend cleaning, oiling, and sharpening my gardening tools.  Not this year, I didn’t pack my tools away in the back of the shed as usual, this year I kept them in the front and I’m already almost done.

4. Add More Kitchen Scraps to My Compost Pile

You would think that this would be a very easy resolution, but it’s not!  This one was on my list last year, and I think it lasted maybe two months.  The truth is my wife and I always forget.  I put a bin for organic “compostable” material right alongside our recycling bins, and it always came up empty.  Not this year, I’m going to make it my mission to fill that bin every week.

3. Try a New Garden Center

I work very close to the garden center I currently use.  This center has just about anything you can ask for, BUT they are super expensive.  Every time I walk out of there I feel like I’ve over paid.  So this year I’ll be seeking out a new garden center.  I like to stick with one location, and one associate at that location so that when I need help or advice they know exactly what’s going on in my gardens.

2. Harvest & Use My Rainwater

As of right now any storm water I get runs right into my gardens, and out into my lawn.  I’ve notices the waters have started to strip the gardens of good soil, and my lawn is constantly soggy.  Rain barrels are easily obtained online or through your local garden center.  My community has even started a save the rain initiative, and with a brief workshop I can get a FREE rain barrel.  Not only will I save my yard and gardens, but I’ll save my water bill as well. It’s a no brainer, done this year!!

1.  Keep a Garden Journal

I’ve known for a while that I should be keeping a garden journal, but these past two seasons at my new residence I just haven’t wanted to.  When we moved I inherited some gardens that were very overgrown, some that were sparse, and a lot of spots where the previous owner took away trees, and perennials, so I’ve been playing catch up.  I think I am now to the point where I really need to start keeping a journal.  I see so many things I’d like to add, to transplant, and develop, and I think a journal would really help me out.

So there you have it five gardening resolutions for 2014 that I think will be simple enough to follow through with.  Do you have any gardening resolutions for 2014, if so I’d love to know what they are!   

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