Edward's Garden Center

Forty Fort, PA

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Gardening 101 From Espoma

In honor of back to school time in NEPA, we are sharing a great article from our friends at Espoma.

Grab your books for a lesson in Gardening 101!

Going back to school is equal parts nervous jitters and genuine excitement for what could be. Remember what it was like to have a new backpack, a fresh outfit that makes just the right statement and your stack of empty notebooks waiting to be filled?

It feels like anything is possible at this time of year!

We’ve tapped into that feeling to help teach you gardening basics. Already an experienced gardener? Now is the time brush up on your lessons.

Espoma’s Gardening School 101

1. Build a Foundation for Success. For a garden to be great, superior soil is a must! Perform a quick soil test (by bringing a sample to Edward’s to have it tested), study the results and your garden will be A+ in no time!

soil test

2. Back to School Shopping. Examine your garden equipment to see what should stay — and what needs to go. Look for cracked handles, rust and missing or loose parts. Then, go shopping for replacements.

Plan your garden

3. Get a Whole New Look. A new school year means it’s time to reveal your new look. Do you want to be refined? Edgy? Colorful and bold? Sweet and simple? Define your garden look and do your homework —then start pinning!

Espoma Pinterest

4. Make a Plan for Success. The only way to improve this year’s performance is to analyze the successes and failures of last year’s garden. Your assignment: create a new garden plan or speak with the experts at Edward’s Garden Center and we can create a “We Plan, You Plant” design for you!

plan your garden

5. Meet the Teacher. Hi! It’s a pleasure to see you! At Espoma, we’ve been teaching organic gardening practices since 1929. Comment with questions below, post them to Facebook or tweet us. We’re here to make you the best gardener you can be.

Espoma Facebook6. Sharpen Pencils. Clean and sharpen your garden tools to get them ready for the new season! You can DIY or take them to your local garden center.

Garden tools

7. Find New Friends. Follow us on Facebook and check out our posts to find gardeners who are just as passionate about organic growing as you are.

Throw your cap (or gardening gloves) up in the air! You passed Espoma’s Back to Gardening School Class! Your garden will thank you for it later!

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Enjoy more beautiful roses thanks to organic food

Who doesn’t love a fully blooming rose bush? Roses are definitely one of the more elegant and beautiful flowers that grows well in our area. Did you know that with a little help, you can enjoy more blooms on your rose bush?

Edward's Garden Center sells organic plant food

Feed your roses monthly with organic plant food and you’ll enjoy the most gorgeous flowers this season!

Our friends at Espoma know how to get the most out of their rose bushes and they decided to share some helpful information.

All you need for a beautiful blooming rose bush is a well fed plant. Roses are one of the hungriest plants so a well-balanced meal will go a long way.

Your roses are waking up now since spring is just beginning. They’ve made it through a long winter  and they are starving! Feed them the most nutritious meal you can.

Espoma’s organic Rose-tone includes more nutrients than any other rose food. Most rose fertilizers contain three nutrients — nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (N-P-K). Rose-tone goes far beyond that. This organic rose food contains 12 more micronutrients roses need, including iron, calcium and magnesium. Don’t forget you, Edward’s has all the plant food and fertilizer you need this spring so stop by.

Rose-tone is not only superior for its nutrients, but also because gradually release those nutrients. Due to its slow-release formula, Rose-tone will never burn or leach plants. Plus, this is the only organic rose food that improves soil structure.

For established roses in beds, spread 6 pounds of Rose-tone per 100 square feet. For individual roses, use 1¼ cups of Rose-tone per plant.

Sprinkle the granular organic rose food around each plant out to the widest branch. This encourages your roses to stretch their feet and grow a little!

Then, scratch the food into the top 1” of soil.

If you’re planting new roses, add a mixture of peat moss and 3 cups Rose-tone to the planting hole.

Either way, feed your roses monthly from early spring to mid-September to keep them producing beautiful blooms.

Information for this post came from Espoma.com.

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How to Plant Colorful Flowering Azaleas and Rhododendrons

Spring is in the air and colorful flowers will soon be everywhere! Looking to add some color to your yard? Try planting some azaleas and rhododendrons.

Edward's Garden Center will soon be filled with beautiful Rhododendrons!

Edward’s Garden Center will soon be filled with beautiful Rhododendrons!

No garden is complete without these easy to care for beauties. You can use them as feature pieces in your garden or use them to fill gaps in between other trees and flowers.

According to our friends at Espoma, Azaleas and rhododendrons are some of the most popular flowering shrubs. Blooming from late spring to early summer, these shrubs thrive in almost any garden. They come in so many colors and as and added bonus, they attract bees and hummingbirds.

For Established Shrubs:
Spring feeding helps develop new growth and the production of new flower buds. Sprinkle one cup of Holly-tone per foot of branch spread now. Holly-tone is long-lasting so you’ll only need to fertilize twice in a season. Don’t wait too long, or you risk encouraging green vegetative growth at the expense of flower bud development. Once now, and again in the fall will ensure a perfect Rhody!

For New Shrubs:
Spring is the perfect time to plant so pick your favorite color and variety. The Garden Center will soon have many for you to choose from. Before buying, check the plant tag to see if you have enough space for a full-grown shrub. Azaleas and rhododendrons can range from 2 feet to more than 20 feet tall. If planting shrubs in a row, ensure you have enough space to plant 2 feet to 6 feet apart depending on how big your shrubs will get.

Choose a spot for your shrub and envision the great impact these plants will have on your landscape! Both these flowering shrubs like to hang in the shade and do not grow well in full sunlight. So, make sure you’ve selected a perfectly shaded spot

Before you start digging think about how large this shrub will get. If planting shrubs in a row, ensure you have enough space to plant 2-6’ apart depending on how big your shrubs will get.

To ensure healthy, beautiful flowers all season long, test the soil.

These acid loving shrubs need a soil pH of 4.5-5.5. If your soil test reveals a higher pH, your soil is alkaline. Solve the problem by amending with Espoma Organic Soil Acidifier.

Once your soil is ready, it’s time to plant.

Dig a hole as deep as the root ball and twice as wide. Then, remove the shrub from its original container, loosen the roots and dip in a bucket of water.

Next, arrange the shrub in the hole, so the top of the root ball is slightly about the ground’s surface.

Fill half the hole with compost, peat moss or humus, and mix in 1 cup Holly-tone fertilizer for better blooms. This organic plant food is specially crafted for acid loving plants, like azaleas and rhododendrons. Feeding new shrubs with an organic fertilizer now keeps them well-fed for months, spurs deep evergreen color and dynamic blooms.

Fill half the hole with Espoma Organic All Purpose Garden Soil.

Now finish planting your shrub by filling the hole with Espoma Organic All Purpose Garden Soil, and add 2-3” of mulch.

Water now, and tomorrow, too. And don’t forget to enjoy them all season long!

Information for this post came from Espoma.com.

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Get sprucing, spring is on its way!

It seems the weather in NEPA is finally breaking! Temperatures above 40 and into the 50s, who remembers what those feel like? The weather warming up means spring is on its way and you need to start thinking about getting your garden ready to plant.

Dust off those gardening tools! Spring is coming.

Dust off those gardening tools! Spring is coming.

Our friends at Espoma gave us some great spring cleanup tips to pass along to you. We threw in a few of our own too.

  1. Remove dead plants that didn’t make it and any debris that may have waited out the winter in your garden beds.
  2. Remove dead or diseased branches from trees and shrubs by cutting at a 45º angle with pruners.
  3. Armed with your pruners, cut flowering perennials to 4-5” and trim ornamental grasses to 2-3”.  Just like haircuts make hair grow faster and healthier, pruning plants does the same.
  4. Now that the ground has thawed, scoop up a small handful of soil to test. You can bring it to your favorite Garden Center (hint hint) to be tested for deficiencies and overages.
  5. While walking around your yard, visualize how you want it to look this year. Then sketch it out and bring it to the Garden Center. Our experts can help you plan the whole thing and we will even deliver your plants to your home.

We know we don’t need to convince you to get out in the garden and get started. We just want to keep inspiring you so that you can keep inspiring us with the great ideas and smiling faces you bring into the Garden Center!

We’re ready to get started! Now we just need Mother Nature to cooperate 🙂

P.S. Don’t forget to visit our Facebook page and enter our contest! Correctly guess how many animals live at the Garden Center and you could win a $50 gift card.


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Get spring started right now by planting seeds

Spring is definitely taking its time coming to NEPA this year. While the Garden Center has opened as scheduled, we know not many of you are really feeling spring fever.

There is one way to get spring started, without waiting for the weather to turn. You can get your seedlings ready.

Our great friends at Espoma sent us some tips that we wanted to pass along.

Tips for starting your seedlings before spring - Edward's Garden Center

Plant your seedlings now and in just 4 to 6 weeks you’ll be working in your garden!

1. Dream big
Choose your favorite high-quality seeds from a huge selection. Starting hard-to-find or expensive plants from seed will give you the biggest bang for your buck.

2. Stock up
Get plastic trays with holes in the bottom or a seed-starting kit as well as an organic soil starter, such as Espoma’s Organic Seed Starter. An organic soil like this is made specifically to help your seedlings grow strong, sturdy roots in a healthy, safe environment.

3. Get plantin’
Fill seed trays to within ¼” of the top and lightly water. Then, follow seed packet instructions to see how deep and far apart to plant. Cover with soil, press down and label.

4. Water wisely
Water perfectly by placing tray in a larger pan of shallow water for a few seconds or up to a couple of minutes so the water seeps up from the bottom.

5. Find the right spot
Place seeds in a warm, safe place. To warm up a spot, place a space heater nearby or place trays on top of the refrigerator.

6. Take cover and wait
Loosely cover the tray with plastic wrap, or use the cover in your seed-starting kit. Check seeds daily for moisture.

7. Spot a sprout
Once you see sprouts, remove the cover and move seeds to a sunny, south-facing window that is 65-75°F. Then, turn the container a little each day to prevent leaning seeds.

8. Boost plants
When leaves grow, add a bit of fertilizer such as Espoma’s Plant-tone. Plant-tone is an organic fertilizer, so it’s safe to use on edibles and helps plants grow bigger than ever before.

9. Strengthen seeds
Check seed packets to see when to plant after the last frost. Before planting you’ll want to harden off seedlings. Hardening off is a process that gets seeds used to the outdoors. Simply place your tray outside for a few hours a day for 7-10 days. Each day, increase their time outdoors and reduce watering.

10. Plant permanently
Once the last frost date has passed, you’re ready to plant! Gently remove plants from containers without damaging the roots. Plant in a prepared bed and mix in organic starter plant food to keep them strong, such as Bio-tone Starter Plus.

You did it! Spring is just a step away – and so are your crisp, garden-fresh veggies and fruits!

Stop in to the Garden Center for more tips and to help spring fever come over you 🙂

Colorful annuals can bring any landscape to life!

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Because perennials come back year after year, they are great to have in your garden. They are low maintenance and low cost, but you might miss out on some of the beauty of the spring and summer season if you stick to just perennials. Add some unique colors to your garden, patio or walkway with annual flowers.

Edward's Garden Center in Forty Fort has Pansies

Beautiful tricolor Pansies at the Garden Center!

An easy way to plant and care for annual flowers is to create smaller gardens in flower pots, window boxes and hanging baskets. Growing annuals in your flower beds in the yard is a great idea but there a several benefits of growing them in containers instead.

5 Reasons to Grow Annuals in Containers:

  • Experiment with different types of plant combinations
  • Get creative with what you plant them in
  • Can move containers around to the ideal location
  • It’s easy to do—even for beginners & kids!
  • Perfect for those with limited gardening time or space

There are a few things to think about when starting to plant annuals in containers. First, consider the sun, wind and shade requirements of the plants you are choosing. Also consider flower color, texture & height—how they look alone and in combination.  Ask yourself, is the plant compatible with other plants together in the same pot? It’s better for the flowers if you combine the ones with similar needs, but sun-loving plants that grow above shade-loving will sometimes work out.

There are hundreds of plants and flowers that thrive in container gardens but we’ve picked out a few to get you started.

Edward's Garden Center Blog - Verbena

Verbena – These plants reach a size of six to ten inches. But don’t over-pamper them with excesses of anything. Full to partial sun. Verbena blooms in clusters of small flowers in shades of blue, mauve, white, pink or purple.

Edward's Garden Center Blog - Portulaca

Portulaca – Can you say “hot and dry”? Those are the perfect full-sun conditions for these small, but fast growing annuals with 1″ flowers in white, red, orange, pink and yellow.

Edward's Garden Center Blog - Gazania

Gazania – Or African daisy. Daisy-shaped flowers come in a vivid color range featuring red, orange, yellow, white and pink and close at night. This annual wants full sun.

Edward's Garden Center Blog - Fuschia

Fuschia – The name is also the color. This plant with lovely little bell-shaped flowers likes partial shade.










You can get pretty creative with the type of container that you use. There are just a few things to keep in mind.

  • Containers should complement the plant, not overwhelm or outshine it
  • Containers should be sturdy but not too heavy
  • They must have drainage holes.
  • In most cases, containers should be at least 6 inches deep.  Taller flowers need deeper containers.
  • Cascading plants and vines work well in hanging baskets
  • Get creative—use old boots, wheelbarrows or something else that adds character to your garden

Before you dig in, take a quick look at these tips:

  • Make a clean start. Always use a clean container. And use a superior potting mix that drains well and isn’t clumpy like Espoma’s All-Purpose Potting Mix.
  • A different kind of deadhead. Keep annuals blooming throughout the season by “deadheading” them.  When flowers begin to die, just pop off the seed head with your fingers to encourage new blooms.
  • Get closer with your plants. Just a sidenote—remember, you can plant annual combinations closer together in containers (4″), because their roots won’t compete
  • Feed ’em right. Feed plants regularly with high quality organic plant food, like Espoma’s Plant-tone or Flower-tone. Follow the application rates on the package
  • Hold your water. Watering needs vary by plant. In general, don’t flood, but thoroughly soak the soil. Excess water should exit through drainage holes in the pot. You shouldn’t see any puddles at top.

Information for this post came from Espoma.

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