Winter Lessons

Herb's Pick
 of the Month!

Bargain Plants
Soil and Fertilizer



I am happy to report that our new catalog is ready for mailing. It isn't that the catalog is so exciting, although we do try to keep it interesting; it is that it symbolizes the beginning of another year to get it right. You would think after 22 years we would have it down to a science. But, with gardening there is no such thing. Oh, we like to talk about the proper pH or the right amount of nitrogen, but when it comes down to it, each year unfolds differently.

This year, like many of you, we have had first unseasonably warm weather and then extreme cold. We are in Zone 8, which has a minimum winter temperature of 10 degrees, and we were pretty darn close to that for the first time in about nine years. Since we don't usually get much below 20, I tend to try a lot of Zone 9 plants. Under our "normal" winter temperatures, I have come to identify a few that are usually quite content. Well, needless to say, those Zone 9 plants that like to stay around 20 were pretty horrified when we hit 12 degrees. It will be educational to see what will come back and what we have lost.

One surprise for me was that my Cretan Oregano never lost its leaves. As a matter of fact, it didn't mind the cold at all and I have had fresh oregano from it all winter.  My Italian Oregano usually stays evergreen also, but it could not take our one nasty week "something teen" degrees and it has retreated back to the ground.

All this fussing with zones turns out to be pretty important for choosing the right plant. There has been a rumor for several years that due to "global warming" the USDA was going to revise the winter time temperature zone map and raise all the zones up by 10 degrees. So the low for Zone 8 would be 20 and not 10. In the wake of this past winter, I can't see this happening any time soon. It seems like a pretty spot on system the way it is.

Now that we are in the 60's during the day and the 40's at night, it would seem as though we are well on our way to spring. But, Mother Nature is in charge and it is not impossible that the winds could still blow in cold air and cause lower temperatures again. Our last frost date here in Zone 8 is around the end of April. I have even seen a freeze as late as the first week of May. Sure makes the Basil black.

It is wise to note that even though a plant may be winter-hardy in your area, it should not be planted anew until the ground is warm. I can always tell when this is because suddenly the weeds seem to be growing faster than I can pull them. Once your new little plant is started and has some time to grow, it will become established and be able to handle the winter it was destined to go through. So, even though the blush of the sun on your cheeks makes you want to rush out and plant, it is better to heed your area's last frost date warnings.

You can release some of your pent up plant energy by placing your order now. Maybe not quite as much fun as actually being in the garden with a new hole at your feet, but, it may make things go smoother for you in the spring when there is so much else to do. Feel free to go ahead and place your orders, but be patient and allow us to schedule your orders for the proper time.  You can be sure that we will watch the weather for you and when your temperatures sing spring, we will box your new little treasures and send them on their way.


And, about the catalog, be sure to take your time with it. We have added a few veggies to spice things up and we do have strawberry plants again this year. These are fully rooted plants and not bare root crowns, which means you don't have to plant in the cold and then wonder what will make it and what won't.

We have some new gadgets to help, too, like our sonic Cat Stop that is sure to help rid you of pesky critters that are trying their hardest to make a mess of your garden, and our new Topsy Turvy hanging planter that makes growing a tomato plant sheer pleasure.

Request a catalog , make a cup of tea and start making some notes. One thing is for sure, whether you are a new gardener or an experienced one, you are going to learn something new this year!



P.S. Due to the overload of spam and the dysfunction caused by spam filters, we are now sending out only four or five newsletters a year. However, we are adding new products and updating specials on a continual basis.  We hope you check our website often so you don't miss out on something really nifty. Thanks.


Your soil is a complex mix of macro and micro nutrients. The organic matter needs to be high and the pH can be an important factor for successful gardening. If you are having problems in your garden, it is probably some kind of imbalance in the soil. The right fertilizer in the right amount can make all the difference. Now you can take advantage of soil results normally reserved for big agricultural concerns. Use our Laboratory Soil Test Kit and get professional results about your soil.  After you send in your soil sample, a detailed soil analysis report will be mailed back to you and, by using the enclosed guide, you will better understand what it is your soil needs to grow better plants.

Last summer we put McGeary Organics Fertilizer to the test and we were delighted with the results. It is very similar to the fertilizer we make here for our own use. We offer it in three sizes. If you have a small patio garden, you may only need the 3lb bag. If you are fertilizing your lawn, you may want the 50lb bag. Either way you will be amazed at the results. McGeary Organics is OMRI approved for organic production.

As an introductory offer we have put together the Soil Test Kit and the 7lb All Purpose McGeary Organics Fertilizer. A 7lb jar covers approximately 70 square feet depending on the soil and the crop you are growing. More information on specific crops are listed on the jar.  $39.95. Order here.

Bargain Plants and Soil and Fertilizer
Plants on sale now! Garlic Chives, Roman Chamomile, Green Carpet, Sweet Lavender, Sea Lavender,African Blue Basil, Curled Parsley, Wild Watermelon Salvia, Rosemary, Nutmeg Scented Geranium, Doone Valley Thyme, Chocolate Mint, Italian Oregano Thyme

Bargain Plants are our way of saying thank you to our customers. These are first quality plants that we have chosen to offer to you as a special. Like all of our plants, they come in 2 3/4 inch nursery pots and are ready to be transplanted to the ground or larger containers (like our mint bowl with Kentucky Colonel  Mint above).

To take advantage of Bargain Plants (those that are a 1.59 each), we ask that you please choose at least six plants (or a 6 Pack Specialty Herb Garden or a 36 Pack Assortment) at the regular price (3.95 or greater) from the links listed below. If your order does not contain six plants at their regular price, we will email you with your options.  We appreciate your cooperation!

Plants A-F
Plants G-M
Plants N-R
Plants S-Z
6 Pack Herb Gardens
36 Pack Assortments

Please note that these specials change at irregular intervals, and that the plants on sale now, may not be here when you come back.

Click here to proceed to the Bargain Plants Order Form.

A lot of you are starting seeds now and will be moving them into containers as the season moves toward spring. Starting those seeds in the right soil and then fertilizing them correctly goes a long way toward your season's success.  We have three specials to help you get off to the right start.
For more information or to order these specials, please click here.

Special 1: One Germination Station plus two Rapid Rooter refills.
Suggested Retail Price $64.00. Our Special Price $54.95.

Special 2:A  One Cocotek Coir Brick, one 4 quart bag of Perlite
and one 3lb bag of McGeary's All Purpose Organic Fertilizer. $12.95

Special 2:B Three Cocotek Coir Bricks, three 4 quart bags of Perlite
 and one 3lb bag of McGeary's All Purpose Organic Fertilizer.

Special 2:C Five Cocotek Coir Bricks, Five 4 quart bags of Perlite
and one 7lb bag of McGeary's All Purpose Organic Fertilizer. $39.95
    Order here.

Years ago we realized that choosing from hundreds of plants could be a daunting task. So we created our 13 Specialty Herb Garden and Six Packs to help get you started.

And, then we realized that once you had your Tea Herb Garden, it would be nice to have a book on how to make tea. So we created our Specialty Herb Garden and Book Kits.

When we decided to add planters for our herbs, we realized that they needed to come with soil. So we created our Windowsill Planter and Soil Kits.

Last year we added Bloom Master Planters and realized that they would complement our strawberry plants perfectly, but that they needed to come with not only the soil but the right fertilizer for berries, and our Bloom Master Planter Kits were born.


This year we have added Topsy Turvy Planters to grow veggies and herbs in and, of course we had to make a kit that included everything you need to get started and keep your plants growing throughout the season.

And, then there is our Fertilizer Injection Kit, our Organic Seed Kits, and on and on. As gardeners, we know what you are looking for. If we haven't put together a combo you would like, drop us a line.

Oh, and did we mention, that all of our kits are less expensive than if you bought the items separately? Well, they are.

Click here to see all of our Gardening Kits. Or, here for Six Pack Herb Garden Kits.

Fun Topsy Turvy Planters!

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