Maryland Garden Center News: Are Impatiens really going away?!

New Guinea Impatiens

Are Impatiens really going away?!

Say it isn’t so!!! Unfortunately, they are. Our beloved shade tolerant annual, Impatiens Walleriana, is under a worldwide attack from a disease called Downy Mildew. Europe has seen the devastation first hand for over 8 years and this air borne disease now plagues the beds and baskets of Americans in many regions of our country.

To make things worse, there is NO CHEMICAL REMEDY now or anywhere on the horizon available to homeowners to make Impatiens Walleriana a viable bedding plant again.

How do I know if my Impatiens are affected?

The infected Impatiens will typically and initially show some yellowing and stunted growth. The first and futile response of many is to fertilize. Unfortunately, this has no effect. Our beautiful impatiens of pastels, lavenders and bold colors are not long for the garden. In weeks they will lose flowers and leaves. Their withered stalks will remain, an ugly reminder that we must consider other plant options to color our lives in the shade for years to come.

If you still want to buy impatiens, do so knowing that they’ll most likely die before midsummer. Most honest garden centers will have signs at their displays of impatiens warning you of what’s to come.

Are there other Flowers that do well in the Shade?

THE GOOD NEWS is that there ARE many beautiful options for your shade and part shade flower beds and containers. Try to think in terms of form, texture and color to add maximum interest and eye appeal. Here are some great options (annuals) for light to moderate shade…

  1. Wax begonias (deep shade also)
  2. New guinea impatiens (light shade)
  3. Torenia (up to deep shade)
  4. Coleus (so many new and beautiful colors!)
  5. Dragon and Baby Wing begonias
  6. Ferns
  7. Upright Fuchsia (great choice for pastels!) You may consider placing a hanging basket of fuchsia on an upside down clay pot to fill a large space with pastels!

Look for great perennial options.

DON’T GIVE UP… GET CREATIVE WITH FORM, TEXTURE AND COLOR!

Maryland Garden Center

Ace Hardware & Hearth in Glen Burnie and Pasadena, and Ace Home & Leisure in Edgewater feature garden supplies and, of course flowers, fertilizers, soil, mulch and the equipment you need to care for your beloved garden. Our experts will help you determine the right products for your unique needs.

If you have any other questions, our experts are here to help. Please visit AceHardwareAndHearth.com today! You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

More Weed Control Tips: Controlling Weeds in Beds, Edges, and Cracks

Over the last several weeks, we have been discussing Weed Control, from lawn care and weed prevention to controlling annoying weeds in the yard. This week, we are going to continue talking about everyone’s least favorite perennial, weeds. More importantly, we are going to talk about those weeds that pop up in unexpected places, like the cracks in a driveway or sidewalk. Luckily, these weeds are easily controlled using the appropriate prescribed elixir (okay…chemical!)

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Weed Control Tips

Weeds in Pavement Cracks

For KILLING weeds growing in pavement cracks or open areas in beds, a quick and effective treatment is a non-selective Ace_Feb25_KleenUpherbicide named Kleen-Up. The active ingredient, glyphosate, is found in higher concentrations in Bonide’s Kleen-up than other weed control products with similar formulas. Kleen-up’s trigger bottle allows you to deliver a lethal dose in a controlled dose.

Bonide’s Kleep-up can be bought as RTU (Ready To Use) small 32 oz. bottles for small spot treatment or half gallon and larger sizes with a variety of spray options but always used as spot treatments, not area treatments.

Apply a ground sterilizer such as Ground Clear from Ortho or GF Vegetation Killer from Bonide to PREVENT weeds for UP TO A YEAR. These will keep areas such as driveways, patios, fence lines, gravel paths, and curbs clear of weeds. Both products are not typically sprayed, but rather mixed with water and poured on the problem areas.

Weeds in Flower Beds and Vegetable Gardens

In beds, grassy weeds can be eliminated while not harming desirable plants, such as vegetables, flowers and shrubs, by Ace_Feb25_Chickweedusing Grass Beater from Bonide. We also recommend using mulch in vegetable gardens. Mulch helps retain soil moisture while also minimizing weeds.

One weed in particular, Chickweed, is a rascal that needs to be sprayed in early spring prior to it developing small white seed bearing flowers. Chickweed, Oxalis and Clover Killer from Bonide is the preferred brand because it kills to the root and is effective down to 45 degree temperatures while others stop working at 60 degrees.

Have any more weed control questions? Then head to the Ace nearest you!

Ace Hardware & Heath and Ace Home & Leisure: High Quality Lawn Care and Weed Control Products in Maryland

Ace knows that our Maryland homeowners love their lawns…and hate weeds! That’s why we take special care in selecting the lawn products that will perform best on Maryland lawns. Check in with the Ace lawn care specialists at Ace Hardware & Hearth in Glen Burnie and Pasadena, Maryland or Ace Home & Leisure in Edgewater. We are here to answers all of your lawn care and weed control questions.

If you have any other questions about Weed Control, our experts are here to help. Please visit AceHardwareAndHearth.com today! You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

Weed Control Continued: Controlling Annoying Weeds in the Yard

Spring Dandelion Weeds

As a homeowner, you know just how annoying weeds can be. Not only are they an eyesore on your front lawn, but they can also be expensive to get rid of. That is, unless you have the right chemical. Every year, homeowners waste too much money trying to kill weeds with the wrong chemical.

First and foremost, you need to know what type of weeds you are dealing with. There are two classes of weeds: broadleaf and grassy. A lot of weed killers (herbicides) are termed selective, meaning that perennial weeds are at risk but not lawn grasses. These herbicides are available as both a liquid, which is the most effective and the easiest to use, or granular.

What is the Best Weed Killer on the Market?

The best of these “lawn weed killers” available is Weed Beater Ultra produced by Bonide. Why is Weed Beater Ultra so good? Well, while other weed killers do not reach maximum effectiveness until the temperature is above 60 degrees, Weed Beater Ultra works down to 45 degrees. This means that you, as a homeowner, can attack weeds earlier, while it is still cold outside, when they are young and most vulnerable.

Additional benefits of Weed Beater Ultra include:

  1. Rain fastACE_Feb11_WeedBeater
  2. Shows results in hours
  3. Kills weeds down to the root
  4. Kills the broadest range of broadleaf weeds out there
  5. Allows you to plant grass seed after just two weeks

Plus, Weed Beater Ultra is recognized and recommended by more garden radio show hosts than any other brand of weed killer.

Liquid Weed Control Products vs. Granular Weed Control Products

  1. Liquid Weed Control Products: Applications of liquid weed control products range from Ready to Spray (RTS), where you just screw the bottle onto the end of the hose, to Ready to Use (RTU), the hand held trigger spray, to concentrate, which requires the use of a pump-up (compression) sprayer or hose end mixer. Weed Beater Ultra from Bonide is offered in each style.
  2. Granular Weed Control Products: Application of granular weed control products  are best applied by a lawn spreader that you can walk behind or hold in your hand and crank. However, for granular weed and feed products to actually work, you must cut the grass first, wet the grass, spread the weed and feed around the yard, and make sure you apply granular weed killer on a fairly windless day. The weed killer must “stick” to the grass for a minimum of 24 hours to 48 hours in order to imbibe the flesh of the blade. If the granule fails to stick to the weed, it will NOT kill the weed. Weed killer lying on the soil does nothing for weed control, it is just money wasted.

Ace knows that Maryland Homeowners love their Lawns!

At Ace Hardware & Hearth in Glen Burnie and Pasadena, Maryland and Ace Home & Leisure in Edgewater, we take special care in selecting the lawn products that will perform best on Maryland lawns. Our experts will help you determine the right products for your unique needs.

Check back next week as we take a deeper look at controlling tough weeds and weeds in flower beds, around shrubs and in vegetable gardens.

In the meantime, if you have any other questions about Weed Control and Lawn Care, our experts are here to help. Please visit AceHardwareAndHearth.com today to locate the Ace Hardware nearest you! You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

Lawn Care Issue #1: Weed Control

Did you know it only takes someone 17 seconds to form an opinion about a person’s home? This is why first impressions are so important. After all, it is much easier to make a good first impression than it is to change someone’s perception of your home. So what kind of first impression is your home giving? If your lawn is full of weeds, brown patches, bare spots and pale color, chances are that you may not be giving guests and passersby the best impression.

Lawn Care Issue #1: Weed Control

Luckily, there are several ways for homeowners to treat these issues. The easiest of which is to prevent weeds. Weed prevention is much easier and less expensive than ridding your lawn of these pesky competitors for soil nutrients.

Lawn Care & Weed Control ProductsAce_Feb4_espoma organic weed preventer

  1. To prevent weeds ORGANICALLY, Corn Gluten can be applied throughout spring and fall. This will prevent most weeds from germinating and becoming a bigger problem, which is a much more costly problem. Espoma, a manufacturer of such well known fertilizers as Holly Tone makes a corn gluten lawn care product named Espoma Organic: Weed Preventer plus Lawn Food. This product not only prevents dandelions, crabgrass and other common weeds, but this all natural, organic weed control is safe to use around pets and children.
  2. Crabgrass prevention is best accomplished by applying Dimension in early spring when the forsythias are in bloom and when the soil temperature is right for crabgrass seeds to germinate and begin their troublesome life cycle.
  3. While chickweed is a big problem in the spring, it is best prevented by applying Dimension in fall, before October in the Mid-Atlantic region. This is when the seeds produced by spring blooming chickweed plants germinate. Chickweed should be sprayed with Bonide Chickweed killer of Weed Beater Ultra. These are selective and only kill weeds leaving lawn grass to grow on.

What is the Secret to a Lush, Healthy Lawn?

You can have the lawn of your dreams with the help of a knowledgeable hardware store or garden center. Unlike the home centers and other box stores, these establishments employ associates that are thoroughly trained to help a home owner have the most beautiful lawn possible with the lowest expense probable. Additionally, these garden centers and hardware stores carry a much wider array of effective lawn care products than box stores.

Ace Hardware & Heath and Ace Home & Leisure: Your Source of the Highest Quality Lawn Care Products in Maryland

Ace knows that our Maryland homeowners love their lawns! That’s why we take special care in selecting the lawn products that will perform best on Maryland lawns. Check in with our Ace lawn care specialists for answers to all of your lawn care questions.

Check back Next Week for More Helpful Organic Lawn Care Tips!

If you have any other questions about Lawn Care, our experts are here to help. Please visit AceHardwareAndHearth.com today to locate the Ace Hardware nearest you! You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

Organic Soil Amendments: Coast of Maine Bumper Crop & Radio Host Alan Summers

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If you recall from our blog last week, What is Organic Gardening? Advice from Maryland Garden Center, your garden grows better organically. The soil is able to retain more moisture without added synthetic substances, making plants more drought tolerant and disease resistant. So instead of using harsh chemicals and fertilizers, consider using organic soil amendments, which contain both microbes that break down food sources and turn them into nutrients for your plants and neutral pH levels that can encourage root systems to extract additional nutrients.

So which is the best type of organic soil amendment? Garden Club radio personality Alan Summers highly recommends Coast of Maine brand Bumper Crop and Lobster Compost for planting and transplanting trees and shrubs.

“Coast of Maine Bumper Crop is the most complete high quality soil amendment I’ve found,” said Summers. “It builds both clay and sandy soils and gives new plants the highest probability of successfully establishing and growing on to produce at peak levels. Lobster Compost stops blossom end rot in tomatoes and also yields much sweeter tomatoes, peppers and other vegetables.”

coastofmaineBefore hosting a call in radio show on gardening, Alan spent most of his life owning and operating his own gardening center. Today, Alan can be heard on the radio on 680 AM WCBM in Baltimore on Saturday mornings from 7:00-8:00am or on the web at WCBM.com at the same times.

Ace Home & Leisure: Your Source for all of your Gardening Needs

Ace Home & Leisure in Edgewater is one of the few retailers in the Baltimore area that carries the “Coast of Maine” Bumper Crop, an exclusive organic soil builder that contains Endo and Ecto Mycorrhizae and all natural ingredients.

If you have any other questions about Organic Soil Amendments or gardening in general, our experts are here to help. Please visit AceHardwareAndHearth.com today! You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

What is Organic Gardening? Advice from Maryland Garden Center

“Organic” has been a buzzword sprouting up on food labels and in farmer’s markets for the past several years, but what, exactly, is organic gardening? How are edible fruits and vegetables that are planted organically different from the other foods we consume that grow from the ground? Read on to find out –

Organic Gardening: An Overview

When a garden is grown and planted organically, it is treated with less fertilizer and less water: the soil’s biology produces enough nutrients on its own, and the
coastofmaine soil is able to retain more moisture without added synthetic substances. Making plants more drought tolerant and disease resistant, organic soil has the ability to limit weed invasion while increasing the chance of survival and the overall health of transplants and seedlings. So why go organic? In short, it yields a more bountiful crop with less effort in the long run.

Organic Soil Amendments

So how does your garden grow better organically? With microbes that break down food sources and turn them into nutrients for plants and neutral pH levels that can encourage root systems to extract additional nutrients.

For larger crops that produce more vegetables, try these organic amendments:

bumpercrop– Mycorrhizae- endo and ecto: Naturally occurring, these fungi expand the root-like ability of plants, making them more readily able to absorb nutrients and water.

– Earth worm castings: Though it mightn’t sound appetizing, worm feces are an incredible source of biologically activated minerals.

– Kelp meal: Like a nutritious meal for the soil, this stimulates bacteria, helping to increase soil fertility.

– Lobster and crab shells: These delicious shellfish are rich in chitin, which adds natural calcium to the soil. This, in turn, eliminates blossom end rot in tomatoes and makes plants more disease resistant and stronger.

– Dolomitic lime: Quite simply, this perfects soil PH.

– Dehydrated hen manure: An unexpectedly great way to grow greener and more vigorous plants.

– Peat humus:  The highly organic humidified remains of sphagnum peat, this serves double duty, effectively loosening clay soil and giving body to sandy soil.

– Sphagnum peat moss:  A triple threat, this provides a stable environment for root growth, helps hold water, and maintains pore space in the soil.

– Composted cow manure: With active biology and rich organic matter from cattle’s two stomachs, this enhances soil for optimal plant growth.

– Aged northern bark: Bark from cold climate trees, like pines, requires less nitrogen from the soil to decompose. This leaves more beneficial nitrogen for plants to absorb (nitrogen is the first number in fertilizers eg. 5-10-5).

At Ace Home and Leisure, a Maryland Garden Center, we carry the highly regarded, organic, “Coast of Maine” products, which are specially formulated for east coast growing conditions and sold to select garden centers and nurseries in the region. We are one of the few retailers in the area that carries the “Coast of Maine” Bumper Crop, an exclusive organic soil builder that contains Endo and Ecto Mycorrhizae and all natural ingredients.

If you have any further questions about Organic Gardening, please visit AceHardwareAndHearth.com today! You can also follow us on FacebookTwitter,Google+Pinterest, and LinkedIn

Birding in Central Maryland: The Right Bird Seed can make a Big Difference

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“Cheap” bird seed is anything but cheap. In fact, it is actually one of the more expensive ways to stock your bird feeder. Why? Well, these cheaper seed mixes tend to have a lot of filler, such as cracked corn, milo, and wheat. These are low on the desirability list of most birds. So, these birds simply “kick out” the undesirable filler to reach the more flavorful seeds, like black oil sunflower.

In the long run, you will end up spending more money on “cheap” bird seed. The more cost-effective way to stock your bird feeder is to purchase a seed mix that only includes desirable seeds. This way, birds that visit your feeder will not “kick out” any seed. There will be no waste and the bird will more than likely eat the seed right there or in a nearby tree.

Cost Comparison: A single bag of Birds Gone Wild, which retails for $24.99 at Ace Hardware and Hearth, will last as long as four economy mixes at $8.99 per bag ($35.96 total).

Ace Hardware and Hearth: The only place in Maryland to get these Edible Seed Blends specially formulated to attract Desirable Birds.

At Ace, we have Bird Food for Maryland birds! Whether it’s cake or plug suet to attract wood peckers and clinging birds, nuts and seed feed to attract titmouse, chickadees and nuthatches or thistle to attract finches, we have it all at Ace. Our most popular seed blends are Birds Gone Wild, Woodpecker Wowie, Cardinal Candy, Clingers Charms, Nut & Berry Buddies and Patio Low Millet. These blends are designed to attract and keep birds in view longer.

More birds…less waste… less money

Ace’s unique and extensive birder sections in our Pasadena and Edgewater stores have the bird food to fit any bird feeder.

One more Birding Tip: A heated bird bath allows birds to wash oils from their feathers so they can better fluff them, providing more insulation for their bodies. Heated bard baths also attract a wide variety of birds, such as Eastern Bluebirds, catbirds, mockingbirds and robins, throughout the winter months.

If you have any further questions about Birding and Bird Food, please visit AceHardwareAndHearth.com today! You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

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About Us: Ace Hardware & Hearth, Ace Home & Leisure is a Premier Caldera and Bullfrog Spas Dealer Serving Washington DC, Greater Baltimore with Stores in Glen Burnie, Edgewater, Pasadena, MD.
We Sell and Service New, Used Hot Tubs, Portable Spas, Gas, Electric, Pellet, Wood Stoves, Fireplaces, Inserts, Gas BBQ Grills, Bird Watching, Paint, Gardening, Patio Furniture, Hardware and so Much More!
Our Brand Names Include: Caldera Spas, Bullfrog Hot Tubs, Dimplex, Enerzone, Hampton, Hearthstone, Heat & Glo, Heat Surge, Heatilator, Jotul, Kozy Heat, Quadra-Fire, Regency, Big Green Egg, Weber Grills, Primo Grills and Many More!
Service Area: We sell and Service Washington DC, Baltimore, Glen Burnie, Lake Shore, Severna Park, Annapolis, Edgewater, Pasadena, Severn, Parole, Crofton, Catonsville, MD