Our Blogs

Mon, 17 Oct 2016 16:41:00 GMT

 We all have our likes and dislikes on what our favorite flower of the season is.  My favorite for the fall, is the new race of the hardy mum.  The long, hot summer days have taken their toll and retarded the growth of my annuals and many of my beloved perennials.  My hardy mums are starting to burst with flower.  The cool nights and shorter days are the favorite climate for this perennial and if we have an early frost, it will enhance the beauty of this flower when others will wither and die.

     So much has been done by the breeders in hybridizing the new race of mum, which carry both the fine large flowers and strong English colors of the English Early Mum.  With a natural flowering date of mid to late September and available in many varieties through October.  This means a colorful show in my lawn, garden and landscaping during a time when most annuals and other perennials are going down hill.  Through hybridizing, the quality of the mum is greatly improved.  We take so much for granted these days.  Fifty years ago, if we had 20 to 30 nice buds and flowers, it was good.  Today, we have hundreds of buds and flowers.  I started to the count the buds and flowers the other day, on one of my mum and I finally gave up.  You have to see it to believe it.  There are so many new colors to choose from and if you have trouble just picking one color, you can now purchase the beautiful Tri Color mums.
     Mums are very forgiving and an easy plant to raise.  With a little tender loving care you can plant a mum for beautiful color this fall and for many seasons to come.  I ask you to visit our Garden Center this fall,  let us help you with your selection and furnish you with some helpful tips on the caring of your mums.

Mon, 21 Mar 2016 21:53:00 GMT

As an adult, I look back on the many Easters of my childhood.  I truly can’t remember one where my parents didn’t gift my Grandmothers with an Easter Lily as we entered their homes for Easter Dinner.  So, as an adult I still give the gift of an Easter Lily to my mother in-law!  My mom not so much, she’s usually pretty happy to see the last one leave with a customer, since we grow them.  The Easter Lily (Lilium longiforum) is native to the Ryukyu Islands of southern Japan, as well as the islands of Okinawa, Amani and Erabu.  The Easter Lily is the traditional flower of spring and is highly regarded as a joyful symbol of beauty, hope, and life. Each holiday is marked by cherished traditions that bring joy, comfort, and warmth, and provide continuity from one generation to the next. Easter has its share of traditions.  This will be my daughters first year to decorate eggs and to avidly hunt them.  Although she was way too small last year, she was given way too many filled gift baskets and chocolate bunnies.  My small family still rises early to attend sunrise church service. For many, the beautiful trumpet-shaped white flowers symbolize purity, virtue, innocence, hope and life — the spiritual essence of Easter.

Sat, 19 Mar 2016 17:24:00 GMT

The Cole Family…

No, this isn’t the ‘cool’ family everyone wants to be, but it does consist of Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, and Kohlrabi.  Yes, the many vegetables none of us like to eat as children.  Well, that is unless you’re my 1 year old daughter and then you will eat anything put in front of you…and I mean anything.  The plants of the Cole family will adapt to cool weather temperatures into the 20’s.  They all like reasonably fertile and well drained soil with a P.H. range of 6.0 – 6.8, (use a 12-12-12 fertilizer before planting.)
Transplants from a nursery or green house are much easier to grow because they have already been hardened off.  Many Cole transplants are sold in ‘big box stores’ without being hardened off and therefore a gardener believes they will survive a frost and they do not.  Transplants that have been hardened off can be planted 18″ apart and planted as deep as the first leaves up from the roots, (this helps to strengthen the stem.)
Broccoli: probably the most popular of the Cole crops and the least liked by children.  It’s really easy to grow and unless you intend to preserve them, 6 – 12 plants are adequate for most families.  Broccoli is ready to harvest when the center green bud clusters, while the buds are still tight and green.  When harvesting Broccoli heads, cut the stalks at an angle to prevent the remaining stalk from decomposing.  Also, this helps the side shoots and can then produce better Broccoli.  To remove Broccoli worms, swish the head of the plant in a sink full of hot salt water before cooking. Great variety to grow: Green Comet

Brussel Sprouts: produce as many as a hundred sprouts, that resemble tiny Cabbages clustered around the main stem.  The sprouts mature in sequence from the bottom of the stem up.  Pinch out the growing tip when 15″ to 20″ tall.  This helps to uniform the development and maturity of sprouts.  Brussels Sprouts can be harvested from the bottom of the stalk working up.  Pick when small, because the larger the sprouts, the more stronger and bitter tasting they will be.  Great variety to grow: Jade Cross E

Cauliflower: Cauliflower does not form a head properly in hot weather.  It must be planted in early spring or fall.  For a spring crop plant a week or two before the average date of the last frost.  Around April 20 – 26.  I prefer to grow the Self-Blanching type, because their leaves naturally curl over the head when grown in cool weather, rather than others that have to have their leaves tied up so that they will blanch out.  Great varieties to grow: Self-Blanch White and Snow Crown

Cabbage: plant so that you may harvest a few heads at a time rather than all at once.  Plant as early as possible in the spring that way you can have a second planting in mid summer for a fall crop.  Plants may be planted as close as 12″ apart.  Cabbage loves nitrogen and potassium in addition to the 12-12-12 before planting.  Cabbage responds well to cool, moist soil and a mulch of straw.  Cabbage plants have a shallow root system and can be damaged during cultivation.  Harvest cabbage when the heads are firm and about the size of a soft ball.  Cut them off just beneath the head, leaving some bottom leaves to support new growth.  Great varieties to grow: Early Jersery Wakefield, Late Flat Dutch, Golden Acre, Red Acre and Stonehead.

Kohlrabi: this unusual and little known vegetable that deserves to be grown and appreciated more.  It looks like a Turnip that grows above the ground, and sprouts the leaf stalks like those of Cabbage.  The flower is similar to both the Turnip and Cabbage, but it is much milder and sweeter.  Kohlrabi is more heat tolerant and like cabbage it has a shorter growing season, requiring only 45 to 60 days to mature.  Great varieties to grow: Early Purple Vienna and Early White Vienna.

Sat, 30 Jan 2016 18:45:00 GMT

“I have no plants in my house.  They won’t live for me.  Some of them don’t even wait to die, they commit suicide.” 
–  Jerry Seinfeld

Here are some examples of how to tell if a houseplant is not receiving enough light (believe me, I found these out the hard way):

  • Growth is spindly with long spacing between leaves.
  • New leaves are smaller than existing ones.
  • Lower leaves turn yellow and fall off.
  • Slow or no growth.
  • Fail to bloom properly.
  • Variegated plants are solid green.

Examples of how to tell if a houseplant is receiving too much light:

  • Brown scorched patches on leaves.
  • Leaves look faded.
  • Midday plant wilt.
  • Leaves dry and fall off.
Although, houseplants may be of a tropical nature they would rather sacrifice a few degrees of temperature than to lose moisture in the air. My house tends to be dry in the winter with the use of heat.  I have found that for my houseplants to succeed, I keep the temperature as low as possible, while I still keep my home comfortable, but I never let it get below 50 degrees. I also, add additional humidity by using humidifiers and frequent misting. Also, when keeping air temperature in mind, glass is a poor insulator and temperatures near windows can be considerably colder or hotter.
I think my home screams pick me, pick me to every type of insect imaginable but, preventing insects from entering the home is the answer to indoor insect control. I check my houseplants for insects and disease before bringing them home. I have found that if I isolate the houseplant for a few weeks and then I inspect it for pests each time I water, I can prevent an infestation to my other plants. I also wash the leaves of my houseplants several times a year with an insecticidal soap. This also, helps to clear any dust build up on my the plants. Dust decreases photosynthesis and increases spider mites and other pests.
As you can see there is really no mystery to keeping houseplants healthy, once one puts the houseplants ideal living conditions into consideration.  Although, sometimes I still contemplate on that rock….

I’m not sure about you, but this gardener tends to get a bit stir crazy in the dead of winter.  Although, once my seed and plant catalogs start arriving,  my excitement starts revving up!  I could spend hours studying and mapping out my garden for spring, if my 1 year old would allow it.  The time I do get to spend preparing gets me inspired, organized and just plain more intelligent about gardening.  So this is what I do in the blistering cold months of January and February?

I learn…learn…learn…
As an avid  gardener, I have a good idea about what grows well in my zone, plus I’ve already dealt with the process of elimination on what I’ve had success and failures with.  But, I still read many articles and blogs, because one can never know too much about gardening.

I do a supply roll call…

I find if I inventory and organize all of my gardening supplies now, I won’t be running to my favorite Garden Center every time I need something in the Spring.   This also helps my pocket book too…because well…I HAVE to spend money at the Garden Center, you see there are always new plants I can’t live without.   I also make sure my tools are clean and my tractor, tiller, mower and weed eater are all serviced.   I check my inventory on seed starting soil, seed trays, pots, and anything else I think I need for when I start my seeds indoors. 
I design my garden… 
Believe me I am no Frank Lloyd Wright, but having some sort of drawing gives me a general idea about the garden space I am planning to plant in.  I always remember to determine the scope of light, water, soil, and space, it helps in choosing the right plants suited for my area.  I add structures or trees that may cause shade throughout the day.  I also consider my soil type and if I need to amend it. 
I order my seeds…
I pick out and order my seeds as early as possible to insure that what I want is not sold out or back-ordered.   I organize the seeds when I receive them and then I separate them by what I need to start in the greenhouse to be later transplanted, and what can be directly sown in the garden.

I’m sure like me, the last thing you are asking yourself in the middle of a winter deep freeze is, “Hmmm…I wonder if there is fresh water in my backyard birdbath.?”  But, if you are a bird feeding enthusiast, open water is critical for birds when puddles and ponds freeze over.  Yes, birds are able to metabolically extract water from seed, but they should be using that energy to help keep themselves warm.
It’s quite easy to keep a birdbath from freezing with a submersible electric warmer. Birds usually only bathe when temperatures are above 32°, this way they do not risk getting their feathers wet in the freezing weather.  Be sure to avoid larger heaters, that way you can keep the water unfrozen and not tempt a bird to bathe in the frigid temperatures.
Winter birdbaths can attract an array of birds such as, Cardinals, Cedar Waxwings Goldfinches, Evening Grosbeaks, Mourning Doves, Pine Siskins and Woodpeckers.  Whatever the season or the locale, birdbaths require routine maintenance by flushing out dirty water and scrubbing the basin.  So whatever the season, adding a birdbath to your feeding station is a great way to attract a multitude of birds to your yard.

Thu, 07 Jan 2016 16:11:00 GMT

Brrr…Winter is definitely here and unfortunately it has brought it’s harsh cold weather, making me feel blessed with the warm home I live in and the fact that I do not have to go outside and hunt for my next meal.  As I look out my window from my perfectly comfy couch I am aware of the harsh elements that mother nature has to offer our fine feathered friends this time of year.  I know I’m not an Ornithologist and I won’t lie, I did do a little Google searching.  In researching, I find that birds have an extremely high metabolism and some have to consume up to 80% of their body weight, which is mostly burned up just keeping warm.  Now I am not a genius and I’m a lady so I’m not giving my weight, but let’s just calculate that a human, at the weight of 150 lbs, would have to eat about 120 lbs a day just to keep warm.  Now, if there is snow on the ground, I’m sure finding sufficient food without extensive foraging is exhausting to them.  This is where we can help.  Pull those feeders out of your sheds or garages clean them up and the next time you are at your favorite Garden Center or Feed Store pick up a couple pounds of Bird Seed.  Birds are our friends folks.  Without them we could be infected with insects, our crops could not be pollinated properly and come on, they are just fun to watch.  Now, some of our feathered friends have become, “snow birds,” and have gone south for the winter, but just stop and watch the snow covered hedges and icy tree branches for the glimpses of Cardinals, Chickadees, Finch, Juncos, Sparrows, Nuthatches and Woodpeckers and tell me they don’t bring a little warmth to the Brrr…outside.

Wed, 30 Dec 2015 16:02:00 GMT

Welcome to Musall’s Lawn Garden & Landscape Center Blog!

Check us out for all of your House Plant Soils and Fertilizer.  We carry FROMM Pet Food.  America’s Favorite, Pacific Bird Supply, and Heath Bird Food/Supplies.  Power Thaw, Ice No More, and ProSlicer Ice Melt.  We also have Straw Bales and Bagged Straw for Pet Bedding, Also, Timothy Hay, Prince Outstanding Rabbit Food, Chicken Feed, Pot Belly Pig Feed and Goat Feed.

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