Sunday, August 8, 2010

Gardening in Skillin's Country! You Give More! You Get More!

The following article was sent out over this past weekend to our awesome Skillin's Email List--we would love to have you on our list where you can receive Garden Tips, Class Notices and other Skillin's News! Please sign up for our list at if you have not done so!

Hello again!

Well now the great summer of 2010 continues! I sure hope you are enjoying this great weather. Woo Hoo!

Before I go on (and in some people's opinion on and on and on!) let me tell you this! If you read nothing else in this piece, read this: Water your plants deeply! This gorgeous summer is a DRY summer; this gorgeous summer has enabled our flower and vegetable plants to grow to heights and expanses we have not seen for ages. These prosperous, productive plants have loads of thirsty roots that need deep waterings OFTEN. So make sure to give your containers, your annuals, your vegetables, your 2010 planted perennials, shrubs and trees, and any other plants in hot vulnerable places a good deep soaking soon. (Details abound in our Moisture Meter section)

It is good to being sending you a gardening email and we believe you will find some helpful information here. ANYTIME you want more frequent and timely gardening advice, just check out our Skillin's Garden Log found at!

Also follow Skillin's at We "tweet" all types of quick Skillin's news and announcements. Chances are when something goes on sale, or we get excited about a particular plant or flower, we "tweet" about it first! Also we send out frequent short and sweet audios and videos right here from Skillin's--and pictures of our colorful flowering plants as well! We send out Twitter "tweets" all the time so check out often!

Also Skillin's has just started a Facebook page! I am new at the Facebook but you can find us at "Skillins" at Become a "Skillins" fan and drop us a line if you are one of the 100 million people registered at Facebook.

Skillin's Moisture Meter

Well since our last Skillin's Moisture Meter we have received some rain but not nearly enough for our new outdoor plantings and plants in outdoor containers.

New outdoor plantings (of vegetables, annuals, perennials, and certainly shrubs and trees) require 1 inch of water per week optimally spread out over at least two deep waterings per week. A "deep watering" is defined as a slow soaking of your plant's roots.

(More detail about "deep waterings": A soaking rain which brings a half inch of rain or more qualifies as a deep watering. In lieu of rain a deep watering can be accomplished by letting water run slowly out of a watering can or the end of your hose into each plant's root system or by having a soaker hose at work for several hours twice a week. In "non soaker hose situations", pause on your watering if the water starts to run off; let the water soak in and then begin to water again. Repeat this process several times and move onto the next plant. For larger trees and shrubs (and if you do not have a soaker hose) merely set a hose against the tree or shrub for 1 to 2 hours and let the water almost trickle into the ground and down into the plant's root system. Again if there is runoff, pause and let the water soak in. )

This Week's Moisture Meter Readings:

Quality rain (0).

Deep waterings required by you: (2).

If you have met the quality watering requirement for this past week, congratulations! If not, pay careful attention this coming week and beyond and make sure that your new plants get those required quality waterings!

Let us know if you have any watering questions!

Garden Talks!!!

The title for this Email is "Gardening: Give More, Get More". For weeks, I proclaimed to any customer or co-worker who would listen (and probably many who did not) that this gardening season would be "the best gardening season--EVER!!!". And I think I was right about this one.

*We have established this has been an intensely good garden season, with "intense" being the operative word here. Our plants have worked hard for us and we still have plenty of time left in the season. Give more, get more! By that I mean, be extra caring about giving your annuals and vegetables (especially in containers) good deep waterings several times per week. Also your 2010 planted perennials, shrubs and trees need frequent deep waterings as well.

*If you have not recently applied a good natural feeding to your shrubs, trees or perennials now is a great time to do just that. As I just wrote our plants have been working hard for us. To Get More from them we need to Give More--a good nutritious may be just what your plants need! We recommend Flower Tone or Plant Tone by Espoma for "deciduous" plants (those plants that drop their leaves in the winter) and Holly Tone by Espoma for acid loving plants (evergreens such as rhodys, azaleas, junipers, pines and more; also blueberries and blue hollies).

Do your container plants need a pick me up--or are your vegetables on the fade a little bit? Do you want more blossoms on your cukes, squashes or tomatoes. We definitely recommend all natural Fish and Seaweed Food by Neptune's Harvest.

Natural fertilizers are very giving; they are non burning and very good at consistently building a great soil. A better soil means better roots, better roots means a stronger plant that will thrive! We are all about "Green Gardens" here at Skillin's!

I fielded many gardening questions this past week and almost all questions involved the fading or wilted plants and the answer "your plant needs some good deep waterings and a good feeding".Give More, Get More.

*From our gardening friend Margaret at " Daylilies can be dug and divided as they complete their bloom cycle, right into fall, if needed. We have a great selection of daylillies--some varieties still in bloom. Now is a great time to add them to your garden!

Peonies are best divided and transplanted in late August through September, if they need it. Remember with these fussy guys that "eyes" must not be buried more than an inch or two beneath the soil surface.

* Crabgrass is starting to show in many lawns. Now is the time to kill off the crabgrass before it "tassles" in September and casts millions of seeds for next year's plants. Come see us and we can show you some thoughtful ways to knock the crabgrass back.

The whole point of good natural lawn care is to make your lawn the aggressor not weeds. Click Skillin's Lawn Care Program for an easy to do, sensible lawn care program by Skillin's! We will show YOU how to maintain a good quality lawn--safe for kids and pets and without a huge investment of time or dollars!

*Lots of tomatoes; what an awesome season! But our plethora of fine fruit is very vulnerable to Tomato Blossom End Rot as the intense heat can prevent the tomato fruit from taking up enough Calcium to come to ripeness in prime condition. Click HERE and we tell how to easily conquer that disappointing and dastardly dilemma so you can have loads of luscious and lovely tomatoes.

*Good gardening friend and Skillin's associate David K posts a terrific garden blog called A Garden in Maine. I highly recommend you check his blog frequently as David is a wonderful local Maine home gardener who explores all the time, grows a great variety of plants in his home garden AND he loves to pass on what he learns!

Got gardening questions??? Call us at any of the phone numbers listed below or email us at!

Thanks for being a friend and a customer!

Mike Skillin

Our store locations and contact information are as follows:

Skillin's Greenhouses, Brunswick, 422 Bath Road, Brunswick ME 04011 442-8111, 800-339-8111

Skillin's Greenhouses, Cumberland, 201 Gray Road, Cumberland ME 04021 829-5619, 800-348-8498

Skillin's Greenhouses, Falmouth, 89 Foreside Road, Falmouth ME 04105 781-3860, 800-244-3860


Mike Skillin
Skillin's Greenhouses
August 8, 2010

1 comment:

Ledgewater Pools said...

I have done it again! this time for ledgewater pools. Check out the new blog... by the way the flowers around the pool (all from skillins) look amazing :) And my herbs are doing wonderful on my deck :)