Learn2Grow Newsletter Archive
Learn2Grow Newsletter Archive

Great Gardening Tips Delivered Weekly to Your Inbox

Welcome to the archive of Learn2Grow weekly Newsletters. Browse through the issues below, or follow the link located at the bottom of this page to subscribe.

Annual Planting and Care (May 2017)
You have to replant them every year, so why choose annuals? For starters, they’re easy, inexpensive and offer an awesome colorful bang for your buck! This week we take a look at how to plant, care for and use these instant beauties in the garden. Although our plant of the week isn’t an annual, given the time of year, we felt this one was more appropriate: Mother’s Day azalea. (Thanks, moms, for all that you do!)

Regional Gardening Tips for May (May 2017)
Vines are great additions to most landscapes because they’ll grow on almost any surface, lead the eye upward and take garden beauty to a whole new level. In addition to our May regional To-Dos, this week’s newsletter shares tips on vine growing, from selection and support to keeping ivy from invading your growing space. Our plant of the week is a beautiful bloomer that can show your garden a vine time: purple morning glory.

Arbor Day the Tree-mendous Way! (Apr 2017)
National Arbor Day is celebrated on the last Friday of April. What better way to commemorate than by planting a tree? Because large boxed trees are expensive, most budget-savvy home gardeners turn to small trees in the 1- to 5-gallon range. These little specimens are simple to plant and easy on the wallet, but they do come with challenges. This week we take a look at issues to consider before buying a tree for your yard, as well as tips on how to care for the established mighty ones already growing on your property. Looking for a tree that offers year-round interest? Consider our North American native plant of the week: Allegheny serviceberry.

It’s Blooming Spring! (Apr 2017)
The fragrant, trumpet-shaped, white blooms of Easter lilies will soon adorn homes and churches everywhere. But that’s not the only flower you’ll notice this spring. This week we take a look at various spring bloomers found all over growing spaces, from high in the trees to those growing as weeds. This week’s plant of the week: Perfumed passionflower.

Regional Gardening Tips for April (Apr 2017)
Although all the different types, terms and numbers used to describe fertilizers may seem intimidating, they’re really not that difficult to decipher once you understand what they mean. This week we take a look at a few fertilizer basics before the planting season officially takes off, as well as provide your regional To-Dos for the month. (Can you believe it’s April already?!) This week’s featured plant brings a galaxy of starry flowers to shady, woodland gardens: Golden star.

Prepare for Spring! (Mar 2017)
We’ve all seen gorgeous spring flower beds bursting with color and have thought, “Wow, I wish my garden looked like that.” If you prepare your growing space properly at the start of the season, it can! This week we take a look at simple steps to preparing garden beds for spring, as well as tasks to consider while you wait for your weather to cooperate and/or the ground to finally thaw. Before you know it, you may just have the best flower bed on your block – the kind that makes neighbors think, “Wow, I wish my garden looked like that!” One way to make your garden shine is to add our plant of the week: spring starflower.

Spring Back Into Gardening! (Mar 2017)
It’s official: Spring has arrived, and home gardeners everywhere are eager to hit the dirt! Unfortunately, early frosts can turn spring fever into a terrible cold that can knock newly planted gardens down for the count. While we each wait for our specific region’s last-frost date to pass, now is the perfect time to review (and later apply) a few basic gardening principles that can do our plants – and ourselves – a world of good this growing season! This week we look at how to avoid “garden frostbite,” as well as ways to beautify our growing spaces with accessories and spring-loving plants. One pretty bloomer is even our plant of the week: Spring Symphony foamflower.

Last Call for Fall! (Nov 2016)
As the saying goes, “You snooze, you lose.” Well, winter will be here before we know it, and there’ll be plenty of time to snooze then. So let’s enjoy what’s left of fall and get out in the garden while we still can! This week we take a look at late-fall garden tasks across the nation. But before we completely turn our backs on our beloved planting beds and focus on the fast-approaching holiday season, let’s give a shout-out to a delightful autumn with our plant of the week: ‘Bravo’ decorative chrysanthemum. (Insert clapping and cheers here.)

Regional Gardening Tips for November (Nov 2016)
It’s not unusual for green thumbs in cool-temp regions to abandon the gardening ship come November. But before you officially throw in the trowel for the season, remember to make your bed once more: Winterizing planting beds before garden hibernation can help reduce potential problems next spring. And if you’re fortunate to live where you can grow outside year-round, don’t pass up this chance to veg out! There are many vegetables that perform their best in winter. Our November regional to-dos can help keep you on task as well, while our plant of the week – ornamental gourd – can help your home look festively beautiful.

Decorating With Mother Nature (Oct 2016)
Happy (almost) Halloween! Did you know that plants are more historically linked to Halloween than a bag of candy? This week we take a look at some spook-tacular facts about Halloween plants and lore, as well as a cute sweetgum pod craft to do with the kids. But don’t carve all of your pumpkins this year – keep some untouched for natural fall enjoyment leading up to Thanksgiving. We’ve got lots of tips for easy, cost-friendly autumn décor in this issue, too. One popular decoration is even represented as our plant of the week: Indian corn!

What Autumn “Leaves” You With… (Oct 2016)
Have you ever wondered why some autumns are more vibrant than others? How can a tree look absolutely spectacular one fall, then seem slightly less impressive the next? There are lots of factors that weigh into the colorfulness of fall, and they change every year. No matter what shade of scarlet your oak tree may turn this year, one thing remains the same: the usefulness of fallen leaves! This week, in addition to investigating why leaves change color in the first place, we rake in the many ways to use fallen leaves to your garden’s advantage, as well look at a few classic trees sure to make your fall shine. Our plant of the week is a perfect example: Autumn Blaze® red maple.

Hip to be Healthy! (Oct 2016)
Nothing fills us up in fall (and winter) like a bowl of delicious comfort food on a chilly day. And when most of the ingredients come from your garden, you’ll find your meals are even tastier! This week we take a look at a few recipes sure to warm the hearts of everyone in your family. Some are old-fashioned goodies, like chicken soup. Others are more of a surprise, like rose hip jam. Whatever you’ve got cookin’, enjoy the tastes of homegrown goodness. You can start with this week’s yummy and classic plant of the week: garden lettuce.

Regional Gardening Tips for October (Oct 2016)
Even if temperatures in your region have yet to fully cool along with the official change of season, pumpkins instantly bring on the great colors, feelings and flavors of fall. But when it comes to culinary charisma or decorative charm, not all pumpkins are created equal. Heirloom pumpkins, for example, break the “traditional” mold by offering different shapes, textures and unlikely colors, including blue-gray and green. This week, in addition to our October regional to-dos, we look at different ways to enjoy pumpkins of all kinds – starting with our pumpkin of the week, ‘Cotton Candy’.

Plant Bulbs Now, Turn on the Beauty Later (Sep 2016)
Now that fall is officially here, let’s blow off decorating for autumn, skip ahead two seasons and plan for spring! Sure, some summer annuals are still in bloom and countless pumpkins have yet to be picked for their jack-o’-lantern destiny. But if you ever dream of having a magnificent garden after a long and ugly winter, the time to plan (and plant) for greatness is now! Planting spring-blooming bulbs is one of the easiest gardening tasks a home gardener can do in fall. Get started with the tips in this week’s newsletter now, then get set to enjoy an instant show of rewarding color later! If you grow our bulb of the week, Purple Sensation hyacinth, your garden will even smell as amazing as it looks!

“A” is for Apples! (Sep 2016)
Aside from being productive, properly cared-for apple trees can flourish into beautiful landscape accents, enhancing the appearance of your yard and then becoming the apple of your pie! Growing apples at home is a great way to have delicious, nutritious snacks at your fingertips throughout the season. (Bonus: Apples grow on pretty trees.) But if you don’t have the space to grow your own, that’s okay. Even if you pick your apples at an orchard or buy them at the store, this week’s newsletter offers many ways to enjoy this classic fall treat. Our plant of the week: the mighty ‘Empire’ apple!

Garden Work You “Autumn” Be Doing (Sep 2016)
Fall’s just around the corner…and so are the mums, pumpkins and other traditional autumn décor that typically pop up come September. Before we make that official switch to corn husks and scarecrows, let’s take one more look at our August gardens and harvests and see if there’s anything we can do help make our current growing season last a few weeks longer. For a burst of brilliant late summer color that can last to early fall, try our plant of the week: Purple Dome New England aster.

Fall for Great Plants This Autumn! (Sep 2016)
It’s easy to fall for autumn décor. Colorful leaves, gourds, miniature bales of hay – these simple decorations are as traditional as they are affordable. This year, take decorating beyond the pumpkin on your doorstep and fall for some autumn-loving shrubs, ornamental grasses and native species that offer fantastic fall fruit, foliage and color to the entire landscape! You can start with our plant of the week, Waterlily autumn crocus. (We’ll give you a topic: Waterlily autumn crocus is neither a waterlily nor a crocus. Discuss!)

Regional Gardening Tips for September (Sep 2016)
Do you keep your lawn green and weed-free with a steady diet of synthetic chemical fertilizers and toxic herbicides? If so, consider making the switch to a more natural way of taking care of your yard – one that’s healthier for the environment, as well as for you and your family. When we use fewer chemicals in our gardens and take an organic approach to lawn care, we grow one step closer to making the world a little greener. This week, in addition to our monthly regional to-dos, we take a look at ways to keep our lawns lush and healthy. Not a turf fan? Give our featured plant a try: Variegated orange stonecrop is a great groundcover!

Create a Moving Garden – Plant Ornamental Grasses! (Aug 2016)
Don’t let your garden just sit there – get it moving with ornamental grasses! These beautiful plants bring height, sound and graceful movement to still, lifeless spaces. Even better: You only need a few of these remarkable plants to completely change the look and feel of your growing space. Before you start shopping around for new plants to add to your garden this fall, check out this week’s newsletter and learn about some showstopping ornamental grasses that can add a touch of grass to your great outdoors. You can start with our plant of the week: Calamagrostis brachytricha.

Get the Most From Your Late Summer Garden (Aug 2016)
Fall’s just around the corner…and so are the mums, pumpkins and other traditional autumn décor that typically pop up come September. Before we make that official switch to corn husks and scarecrows, let’s take one more look at our August gardens and harvests and see if there’s anything we can do help make our current growing season last a few weeks longer. For a burst of brilliant late summer color that can last to early fall, try our plant of the week: Purple Dome New England aster.

Plan to Eat Your Fall Garden (Aug 2016)
We still have many weeks (if not months) before we must bid official farewell to our tasty summer harvests. But while you savor the flavor of your current harvest, take action now and start planning a fall food garden! If you’ve ever longed for fresh greens in the middle of a crisp autumn and winter or wished your vegetable-growing season could last nearly year-round, get excited – because now you can have your arugula and eat it, too! Our plant of the week: the fast-growing radish!

Regional Gardening Tips for August (Aug 2016)
Raise your hand if you’re feeling as weary as your summer garden looks. (Our hands are raised, too.) Perhaps your container plants aren’t as full as they were earlier in the season. Maybe you’ve skipped giving your annuals their usual fertilizer boost. You probably lost the will to weed back in July. And that’s okay. You’ve been working hard, and summer gardens can’t last forever. So instead of sighing when you gaze upon your thinning petunias, remember to appreciate the blooms that are still shining this month and enjoy your summer garden…as you check off your regional to-dos for the month. This week’s featured plant: ‘August Beauty’!

Good, Bad & Ugly Garden Issues (Jul 2016)
It’s hot, you’re tired, and it’s time to get away from it all. You stop the mail and you put timers on the lamps. But what do you do for your garden? Remember that even when you’re away, your garden keeps growing…or at least it tries to. You never know what good, bad and ugly garden situations might pop up this time of year. This week we take a look at a few possibilities, to help you prepare. But good luck finding anything bad or ugly about our plant of the week – it’s the good luck tree!

Midsummer Garden Tips (Jul 2016)
You’re not the only one who tends to grow weary this time of year: As summer marches on and the heat of the season seems unforgiving, your garden’s glimmer can fade. Don’t give up on your growing efforts now! With a few midseason growing tips – like the ones in this week’s newsletter – you can keep your garden looking fresh and productive! Start cooling things down outside with a refreshing look at this week’s featured plant: Summer Wave® Blue!

Fresh Ways With Fresh Herbs (Jul 2016)
It’s time to focus on what herbs are all about: the harvest! Knowing when and how to gather these savory plants can make all the difference between an ordinary dinner and a deliciously aromatic meal – or between an herbal arrangement that lasts for weeks vs. many seasons to come. Whatever you do with your homegrown goodness, don’t forget to stop and smell the harvest! Aroma, after all, is one of the major gifts we’re given when it comes to these wonderful plants…unless you’re growing our plant of the week: chives. This beauty is more than just a flavorful herb!

Regional Gardening Tips for July (Jul 2016)
Gardening in the summer is a steamy – and sometimes dangerous – chore. As much as we love homegrown beauty, no garden is worth a health risk. As summer’s heat intensifies, remember to play it cool. Drink plenty of water, take breaks away from the sun and become familiar with the signs of heat-related illnesses and treatment. In addition to our July regional tips, this week’s newsletter looks at a few ways for you and your garden to beat the summer heat. While we’re at it, let’s drink in the goodness of ‘Summerwine’ – a great common yarrow and our featured plant of the week!

Pledge Allegiance to Great Summer Blooms! (Jun 2016)
Who doesn’t enjoy spectacular fireworks on July 4th? Thanks to a few dynamite plants with fun celebratory names, you can experience a great bloomin’ show in your garden long after the last sparkler fizzles. From firecracker plant to Fireworks clematis, there are a number of symbolic beauties you can plant to enjoy in your garden for the 4th of July and beyond! Our plant of the week: American beautyberry. (Have a great, safe July 4th weekend, everyone – and God Bless America!)

Get the Garden Butterflies! (Jun 2016)
When you provide the right colors, sunlight and scents to your growing space, your entire garden can take flight! Butterflies add a whole new level of life, beauty and enjoyment to your great outdoors. Once you understand the simple butterfly garden basics, you can create a beautiful, thriving space that flutters with wonderful activity! Our plant of the week: butterflybush. (It’s sure to give you the butterflies!)

Give the Gift of Gardening (Jun 2016)
The calendar may dictate when the country celebrates Father’s Day, but for many dads, the event isn’t limited to only once a year. Simple fond outdoor memories shared with little sprouts can mean more to a dad and grandpa than a new tie in June ever could (and it gets future green thumbs out in the garden). Still looking for a tangible present? Give the gift of gardening! This week we look at a few ideas to help celebrate Dad, including our plant of the week, grandfather’s watch chain. (Like a strong, reliable father figure, this succulent, evergreen perennial has everything well covered!)

Easy-Growing Tasks for Early Summer (Jun 2016)
Summer’s not quite here officially, but early June is a great time to tackle some fun and easy summer garden issues, from planting cutflowers to deadheading roses. We take a look at some growing tips and some refreshing summer delights, as well as the seasonal return of a clumsy, yet relatively harmless, giant beetle, the junebug. But don’t confuse that name with our plant of the week – Siloam June Bug daylily. This pretty perennial keeps mixed beds and borders all abuzz in an entirely different way!

Regional Gardening Tips for June (Jun 2016)
Contain your love for gardening and experience one of the best growing options around! Planting in containers is the simple, cost-friendly way to add beauty, color and curb appeal to small spaces, lifeless entryways and boring patios. This week, in addition to our June regional tips, we take a look at this rewarding (although not care-free) way to grow. For our plant of the week, we address the giant elephant ear in the container: Alocasia lauterbachiana.

Memorial Day Gardening (May 2016)
Memorial Day weekend marks a symbolic start to summer. Brave men and women who died serving our country are honored, flags are hung, grills get grilling and plants get planted. Since Memorial Day is the first of many patriotic holidays celebrated in summer, why not start the season off with rockets’ red glare, liberty bells and blue fireworks? You can grow these – and more – when you pick red, white and blue native summer-blooming perennials. This week’s newsletter also looks at great gardening projects to start over the three-day weekend, as well as entertaining thoughts for any garden celebration. Our plant of the week is a symbolic tea rose for honoring someone special on Memorial Day and beyond: Remember Me®.

Vegging Out in the Garden (May 2016)
If you’re not fully convinced that vegetable growing is for you, try this: Imagine how much money you’ll save as you continually pick fresh, flavorful veggies straight from your garden, as opposed to picking pricey, mediocre produce at the grocery store. Growing contained vegetables is actually easier than you may think, and you don’t need a lot of space to do it. This week we share some tips for growing vegetables in containers, as well as a few popular plants to try in your growing space, starting with our plant of the week: Black Beauty zucchini. (She’s an award-winning classic.)


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