Why Lime On Your Lawn?

outlook_E60a_bannerYour lawn. You fertilize it. You water and mow it to the right height but it still looks pale and thin. It’s frustrating and you just wonder how other people can have success in growing a deep green and thick stand of grass.

What you may be missing might be your soil’s pH. Now we know the mere mention of ‘pH’ brings back often unpleasant memories of high school chemistry class, but it’s not complex at all. Simply put, pH refers to how acidic or alkaline your soil is. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 14, 7 is neutral, lower numbers acidic and higher number alkaline.

Most turf grass prefers to grow in soil with a pH of 6.5 to 7 – very slightly acidic. Outside this range the grass can’t efficiently use the nutrients in fertilizer. Think of it this way, if pH is too low or high you’re wasting much of the fertilizer you apply. Get it right and grass can use all of the fertilizer and reward your efforts with a deep green color and thick dense turf.

In areas of the country where rainfall is abundant like the north-east and mid-Atlantic regions, soils tend to be acidic. While this is good for pine and oak trees it is not ideal for growing a high quality lawn. You might have heard that correcting this is very easy by applying lime. You may have even tried it and been put off by handling hundreds of pounds of dusty material that turned your driveway white. It doesn’t need to be that way.

Now there is a new product called Espoma Organic Lightning Lime. Lightning Lime is no ordinary bag of lime! A single 30 lb. bag can cover up to 5,000 sq. ft. meaning you save the effort of spreading up to 500 lbs. of ordinary lime over your lawn and waiting an entire season for it to work. Lightning Lime is virtually dust free and granulated for easy applications. And it can correct acid soils in as little as six weeks so your lawn can look its best. Lightning Lime is enhanced with natural humic acid that helps the soil and plants convert the lime into an immediately available form. It’s ultra-fast and often a single application in the early spring is often all that is required to get things right.

Apply Lightning Lime any time the ground is not frozen – ideally in the early spring. Use it in conjunction with the Espoma Organic Annual Feeding Program. And remember, all Espoma Organic Lawn Products are part of the Esppoma safepaws program so kids and pets romp and roll on the lawn without concern and you can have the thick green vigorous lawn you’ve always wanted.

Order Now Using Program Number: E60E1

Encap® All-In-One™ Flower Kits

outlook_E43d_bannerAs spring begins to roll around, we’re all eager to get outside and into our gardens. And, while planting flowers is a sure way to usher in spring, not all of us have the time or know-how to cultivate the beautiful blooms we’d like for our homes. Luckily, All-In-One™ flower kits from Encap® make creating a stunning flower display easier than ever.

The Encap® line of flower kits features eight beautiful varieties to suit all your customer’s flower garden needs. Each kit is a blend of perennials and/or annuals, and comes with everything needed to create a flourishing flower garden that lasts all season long.

Varieties include:

  • Pollinator Bird & Butterfly Mix
  • Pollinator Honeybee Mix
  • Wildflower Aromatic Mix
  • Wildflower Bouquet Mix
  • Wildflower Butterfly & Hummingbird Mix
  • Wildflower Shady Mix
  • Daisy Mix
  • Zinnia Mix

Whether they’re looking for a classic favorite, or hoping to draw in nature’s pollinators this season, Encap® has a flower kit for everyone.

Flower Gardens Made Easy
Not only do Encap® flower kits come with an All-In-One™ blend of fertilizer, mulch, and seed, but they also come with Encap®’s patented technologies as well, helping to minimize work, while maximizing results.

Advanced Soil Technology™ (AST®)
Encap®’s Advanced Soil Technology™ is a proprietary product that has revolutionized the way we garden. This patented technology improves the soil environment, enhances seed establishment, reduces nutrient loss, and maximizes water filtration. It works by bonding with the soil upon contact, to get into the root zone where it’s needed most.

Seed Watering Technology™ (SWT®)
Encap®’s Seed Watering Technology™ takes the guesswork out of watering. This patented technology sparkles on the soil surface when wet, and gets dull when dry; gone are the days of over- and under-watering.

Pollinator Series
The latest addition to the Encap® line of flower kits is the pollinator series. These kits are specially formulated blends that help to attract and feed pollinators throughout the growing season.

This provides a variety of benefits, both to the pollinators, and to the gardener. First, pollinators provide a constant flurry of activity for garden spectators. Certain plants attract various butterflies, bees, insects, and hummingbirds to the garden, providing a spectacular show of wildlife. Secondly, these pollinators pollinate surrounding plants, helping your existing plants to flourish and reproduce. Lastly, cultivating plants that encourage pollination provides a food source for pollinators, helping to ensure their continuation as a species. This is of particular importance when it comes to honeybees, which have suffered decreased populations as of late, due to a bee pandemic.

Encap® Pollinator flower kits are a sure way to bring pollinators into the garden this season.

How the Flower Kits Work
These All-In-One™ kits make gardening easier than ever. After the last spring frost, simply prepare the soil by raking away any dead grass or debris, sprinkle on the mix, water as needed, and watch the flowers grow. It’s that easy!

Encap®’s flower kits are the perfect choice for flower gardens this season. Whether your customers are looking for a functional flower garden, or one that just looks stunning, these All-In-One™ kits make cultivating a beautiful display easier than ever.

Order Now Using Program Number: E43E1

High Quality Spraying Products For Nearly A Century From Hudson

outlook_h35_bannerThe fact that the H. D. Hudson Manufacturing Company can trace its roots back to 1905 is an impressive achievement by any measure. For over a century the enduring legacy of H.D. Hudson has been a family-owned company with an established worldwide reputation for quality and service.

Creating the broadest range of high quality spraying products for nearly a century.
At the turn of the century American farmers found themselves in need of new types of equipment to feed and house livestock. Hudson® responded with sprayers, dusters, and water systems in their 1917 catalog.

As time passed, the demand for sprayers among the nation’s homeowners increased. New and innovative uses for sprayers emerged in areas that Hudson® is still a leader in today including: rust prevention, degreasing, curing cement, cleaning and disinfecting, and mildew proofing. For home, lawn, and garden, customers rely on Hudson® sprayers to protect against insects, weeds and plant diseases. The company also makes life easier with sprayers for wood deck maintenance, removing wallpaper, mildew control, and many other applications.

Concrete contractors, janitorial and sanitation maintenance workers, as well as pest control operators turn to Hudson® Professional Division sprayers and accessories. Hudson® has long been the choice for professional grade compression sprayers, hand sprayers, hose, guns, drum pump sprayers, and Bak-Pak® sprayers. Today Hudson® is recognized as the “Sign Of The Best Buy” in the sprayer category.

Innovation.
For decades Hudson® has been the global leader in product innovation. Through a disciplined approach to product intelligence, user trends forecasting, and research and development, Hudson® operates a global product development organization that delivers patented innovative features that are unique to Hudson® and preferred by users around the world. Over the years Hudson® has pioneered advances in sprayer features and technology, amassing numerous sprayer patents.

Worldwide reputation for trouble-free performance.
Hudson® sprayers offer best in class craftsmanship. All sprayers are quality tested and assured with rigorous testing and every production run is audited with functionality tests before shipment. The Hudson® team calls this process their 6-Step Quality Assurance Pledge. Everything from design and engineering performance to freight tests that ensure damage-free transport of goods are performed to ensure high quality Hudson® products reach the customer.

How You Spray Does Make a Difference™
Hudson’s advertising team has been an authority in the industry since the early 1900’s and creates some of the most innovative package designs that are crafted to sell. Year after year Hudson® demonstrates its superior level of merchandising skill by consistently winning awards and garnering national acclaim for innovative packaging. Placing emphasis on visuals of key product features to communicate effectively is the hallmark of the Hudson® brand.

Saving Lives For Over 80 Years.
The experience Hudson® has gained producing the best sprayers for agriculture and professional applications simply means the company has more knowledge about how to build better performing sprayers than anyone in the industry.

Hudson® has used this knowledge to become the leader in worldwide efforts to improve community health through Disease Vector Control initiatives for over 80 years. As an advocate for public health programs that remove the threat to human life, Hudson® designs sprayers engineered and built to meet precise and standardized application procedures. The Hudson® X-Pert® brand sprayer is used in residual pesticide applications for control of Malaria, Chagas Disease, Dengue Fever, and Yellow Fever – saving lives around the world.

The World Standard of Value.
Hudson® knows and understands the demands and needs of sprayer users in various markets such as lawn and garden, industrial, agriculture, pest control, turf care and public health. Hudson® assimilates this knowledge to bring customers the broadest range of high quality spraying products under assorted price points that meet or exceed the needs of its domestic and international partners. Coupled with integrated technology, supply chain strategies and unparalleled global customer service, Hudson® delivers the best overall product along with value added services and programming.

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Boost Sales with Sun Gro’s Resilience™ Enhanced Mixes!

outlook_s84b_bannerBoost Sales with Sun Gro’s Resilience™ Enhanced Mixes! Sun Gro Horticulture® is proud to introduce Resilience™, mixes enhanced with silicon. Available in select Black Gold®, Fafard®, Sunshine® and Sunshine Advanced® premium potting soils. Resilience is Sun Gro’s brand name for growing mixes enriched with beneficial silicon-a patented technology developed by the company’s own research horticulturists.

These enhanced potting mixes offer IGC retailers, growers, and consumers big benefits! In numerous trials, plants grown in Resilience mixes show increased stem diameter, improved root growth, increased drought tolerance and even earlier flowering – saving retailers and growers time, money and worry while providing consumers with a better product. Plants even recover better from less-than-perfect watering, which gives them a longer shelf life.

“This is a major horticultural breakthrough,” says Chris Bednar, Sun Gro’s COO.

“Growers can now deliver stronger, more vigorous, longer-lasting plants – from the greenhouse to retail to consumer gardens. This will increase sales and reduce plant losses for our growers and garden retailers.”

What are the benefits of Resilience-enhanced mixes?

Time and time again, research at Universities, in commercial grower trials and at the Sun Gro Discovery Center, supports significant and dramatic positive results. Trials have shown that plants grown in silicon-enriched mixes have the following advantages:

  • 40% BETTER ROOT GROWTH for increased nutrient uptake and support
  • 12% INCREASED STEM DIAMETER for stronger plants and reduced breakage
  • 77% LONGER TIME BEFORE WILT for increased shelf life
  • 13% EARLIER FLOWERING for more attractive plants, faster

* Results will vary by plant type and grower practices

The results are impressive! Resilience™ brings dramatic increases in plant growth and vigor in addition to better roots and stems, earlier flowering, and delayed wilt.

Do Resilience-enhanced mixes benefit all crops?
Research included collection of week-by-week growth data of over 40 commercially important annuals, perennials, and vegetables in finished production, from transplant through “post harvest” dry down. Resilience mixes were also trialed in plug production systems. Tests were conducted using Sun Gro’s Sunshine®, Fafard® and Metro Mix® professional lines of peat-based and bark-based growing and propagation mixes, which contain the same ingredients used in its retail brands.

According to Janet Rippy, Ph.D., lead researcher of the Resilience program at the Sun Gro Discovery Center, “results may vary by species, growing conditions and grower practices; but after extensive research and trialing, we are confident that Resilience™ mixes benefit plant growth in numerous commercially important horticultural crops.”

The research is ongoing, but as we learn more, the benefits become increasingly clear. Silicon can and should become an integral part of soilless growing technology to allow plants to grow more naturally and resiliently in any containerized growing environment.

Plants grown in Resilience™ last longer before wilting.

How do Resilience-enhanced mixes work?

Plants absorb the easy-to-access Resilience™ silicon where it becomes part of the roots, shoots and leaves to improve organic strength. It essentially provides reinforcement to make plants tougher and more resilient, which helps them cope better with environmental stresses. Stronger stems mean plants are more durable and wind resistant, and silicon-fortified foliage helps plants resist drought.

See the Resilience difference!

The results have been so impressive, we believe Resilience™ silicon-enriched growing mixes will become the new standard for growers and gardeners. Why? Because consumers will see the results. When they use Black Gold®, Fafard®, Sunshine® and /or Sunshine Advanced® quality potting mixes enriched with Resilience™, their plants will be stronger, last longer, and recover more quickly from infrequent or inconsistent watering. Try Resilience™ and see the difference!

Where can I find Resilience?

Resilience™ patented technology is offered exclusively by Sun Gro Horticulture. For technical and horticultural information about this product, please talk with your Arett representative.

© 2015 Sun Gro Horticulture Canada Ltd. All Rights Reserved
® Fafard, Sunshine Advanced, Sunshine and Sun Gro are registered ™marks of Sun Gro Horticulture Canada Ltd.
® Black Gold is a registered ™mark of ODIN Enterprises II, LLC. Used under license.
TM Resilience and Organic Strength are being used as ™marks of Sun Gro Horticulture Canada Ltd.

Order Now Using Program Number: S84S1

How To Help Your Customers Get A Weedy Lawn Back Under Control

outlook_g81d_bannerIn the most recent National Gardening Association “What Gardeners Think” Study, the number one problem/challenge cited among all generations, is weeds. Weeds frustrate all ages from the Older Boomers to the Millennials. This has been a consistent theme now, for years. So, helping guide your customers on how to fight the battle against lawn weeds, can pay big dividends. Be sure to have good information and great product on hand to make the job easy – so they can get on with enjoying their yards and their lives.

Turn your back for a second, and it’s astonishing how fast weeds can gain a foothold in the lawn. From those early-spring patches of speedwell to May’s golden fields of dandelions to the fat leaves of summer plantain, Mother Nature has a varied lineup to fill any bare soil.

Different weeds germinate at different times throughout a growing season – including winter in much of America. Some of them come and go with each season (annuals), while others are perennial weeds that come back from their roots year to year.

Almost all of them hit peak growth in spring when the soil warms.

If you let them grow – between the annuals reseeding themselves and the perennials spreading, weeds outcompete the grass. When that happens, the solution is to level the playing field by first eliminating the invaders.

Spring is prime time to do that because that’s not only when weeds are actively growing, it’s when they’re most vulnerable to weed-killers. A well timed spring application of a granular weed-killer such as GreenView with GreenSmart Broadleaf Weed Control plus Lawn Food can clean up the bulk of a weed infestation in one treatment. That timing kills annual weeds such as henbit, hairy bittercress and speedwell that germinated in winter and hit the ground running in spring. It also kills newly germinated annual weeds, such as mustards, mallow, prickly lettuce and pigweed. And it kills existing perennials, such as plantain, bindweed, ground ivy, and dandelions. In all, the three herbicides in GreenView with GreenSmart Broadleaf Weed Control kill more than 250 kinds of broadleaf weeds. The long-acting, zero-phosphorus fertilizer in the product also feeds turfgrass for up to 8 weeks. Granular broadleaf weed-killers work best when applied right after a rain or early in the morning when the granules stick best to damp leaves. They also can be reapplied in early fall to clean up any survivor weeds or to kill off new weeds that germinated over the summer.

If grassy weeds such as crabgrass, goosegrass and foxtail are also a problem, these are best controlled by preventing them in the first place with a granular product such as GreenView with GreenSmart Crabgrass Control plus Lawn Food.

It’s important to let customers know, most weed and feeds on the market – do NOT control crabgrass. This requires a special formulation, so that the weed is prevented from emerging. Informed customers know crabgrass is an annual weed – so just because you didn’t have it last year, doesn’t mean that it won’t sneak up again this year! It can be a constant battle.

Crabgrass preventers should be applied early in the season, just before annual grassy weeds germinate. Timing is everything! That timing ranges from as early as mid-January to late May, depending on climate. There are also some fertilizer formulations, like the GreenView Crabgrass Control, that also provide post-emergent control of crabgrass – killing it while still in the seedling stage up to 4-weeks after it emerges. This allows your customers a little extra time to get it on the lawn to beat the crabgrass.

Order Now Using Program Number: G81E4

Why Use Soilless Mixes?

outlook_c13_bannerWhile the soil in your garden may look great and may even produce some healthy plants, it’s most likely not your best option for starting plants or growing things in containers. Ideally you want to use a soilless media, such as Organic Seed Starting Jiffy-Mix. Soilless mixes provide several advantages over soil and will give a developing plant the boost it needs.

Jiffy seed starting mixes are distinguished by a balanced water/air ratio. Planted seedlings have fine roots that can easily penetrate through the starter mix without difficulty. This allows faster and stronger growth resulting in higher yields. Jiffy provides a superior consistent mix with finely tuned fiber lengths, water holding capacity, physical structure, and nutrient charge. The uniform, consistent blends assure potting and planting success year after year.
 
So what makes up the mix? Most mixes are made up predominantly of sphagnum peat moss. Sphagnum peat is lightweight and, in certain areas, renewable. Additionally, it drains well, yet is water retentive, like a sponge. It also will not crust and is weed free.
 
A further attribute of peat is its acidic side. Most seed starting mixes have a soil pH around 5.8, which is fine for starting most seeds. Jiffy mixes are designed for the special pH and nutrient needs of today’s new seed and plant varieties.
There are several other components traditionally added to mixes including:

  • Bark: Bark is added to improve drainage and air space within the mix. This means it will also decrease the water retention slightly. Bark mixes are better for use with mature plants that need to dry between waterings than for starting seeds.
  • Coir: Coir is a coconut fiber by-product and works similar to peat in providing good drainage while also retaining water. It’s often used as a substitute in areas where peat is hard to come by. Soils for containers need to be well aerated and well drained while still being able to retain enough moisture for plant growth.
  • Perlite: Perlite is that stuff that looks like “pebbly” Styrofoam. It’s a volcanic mineral, although it does not affect the nutrient quality or the pH of the mix. It does aid in drainage and in air and water retention. In fact, perlite is sometimes used in outdoor gardens to prevent sandy soil from leaching nutrients.
  • Vermiculite: Vermiculite particles are those silvery-gray flecks you see in potting soil. It’s a mica-type material that is heated up and expanded. This process increases the vermiculite’s water holding capacity so it can perform a very important function within the mix. Essentially, what happens within the mix is that the vermiculite particles will soak up water and nutrients, holding them, until the plants are ready to access them. It is important to note that Jiffy uses strict guidelines and quality control in the mining of vermiculite and all mixes are asbestos-free.
Through many years of experience and development, Jiffy has developed the right blend of all natural ingredients for mixes aiding in the growth of today’s common garden plants. Jiffy mixes contain only the highest quality of natural and organic ingredients.
 
With a better understanding of Jiffy’s top grade mixes, let’s discuss the potential pitfalls of using plain soil. There are two major drawbacks.
 
The first drawback is that you don’t know what other materials are contained within the soil. You may be exposing your seeds to disease spores, bacteria, plant eating insects, weed seeds and other undesirables. While your soil may be very effective outdoors it may perform poorly when in a self-contained environment. Several factors may contribute to the success of your soil in the garden, including natural predators and even weather events. These variables help to keep everything in balance and altering or eliminating them may help to cause poor results.
 
The second drawback is the lack of drainage for young seedlings. Garden soil tends to become very dense without consistent tilling, either by you, earthworms or other insects. The soil will start to compact after several waterings. This compaction is especially hard on the tender roots of young seedlings that are just starting to get established.
 
One of the greatest pleasures for vegetable gardeners is seeing something flourish that you have had complete control over, especially when it concerns ones food source. Growing vegetables from seeds requires a lot of patience, but it also requires a lot of nurturing and getting back to Mother Earth. Unlike buying produce from a store, in which consumers are completely blind to the location or manner of the food source, gardeners who grow the product themselves are involved in the process from start to finish. Picking the right growing media and knowing what is in that media allows for peace of mind that and gives you the best chance for success.
 
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