Village Garden Center

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1 Village Garden Center Florists would be lost without Chrysanthemums, and fall in the flower garden would be so dull without them. Many people who receive potted mums as gifts and then plant them out in the garden are disappointed when they don't do well. But there are hundreds of Chrysanthemum varieties that will do well in the garden and reward you with wonderful fall color. Fall means mums in many areas of the country. Potted mums in blazing or soothing colors are outside the doors of every store. Gardeners buy them to pop into beds where annuals have fizzled or have been killed by frost. They are very affordable and create a vibrant look in the late-fall garden. There is nothing wrong with using mums as annuals and not worrying if they will survive the winter. Even if the tag says hardy mum, many of the mums you buy in full bloom in the fall will not survive winter and bloom next year. But there are hardy garden mums that will give you years of color. The leaves on a mum plant vary by variety from a long oval to leaves with several lobes. The leaves and stems have a distinctive smell when crushed. Plant size varies from a one-foot mound to tall varieties three feet tall or more. Chrysanthemum flowers come in every color except true blue. Mums begin blooming in late summer and may bloom until a hard freeze.

2 The production of flowering cabbage and kale has been increasing modestly in recent years. This is primarily due to a growing popularity with consumers, as well as to interest by the landscaping industry for products that can be used in late fall plantings. Retail garden centers, responding to this consumer demand, have added flowering cabbage and kale to their product mix to complement the traditional fall garden mum. Flowering cabbage and kale offer the consumer a plant which is both colorful and longlasting in the landscape. While many of our flowering plants, including garden mums, lose their flowers and/or color after several frosts, flowering cabbage and kale will intensify in color and last up until the first December snowfall in our region. The successful sale of these plants is very dependent on the production of high quality plants. A crop of optimum quality should be short and compact with good head diameter size and the plants must have strong coloration. Usually this crop is produced in 6 to 8" azalea pots, but it may also be grown in 4" pots, hanging baskets, and multiple plant "tubs". It takes about 2.5 to 3 months to produce the crop from sowing to the coloring period when marketing begins.

3 Common folklore has it the severity of the coming winter can be predicted by the amount of black on the banded woolly bear, the Isabella tiger moth's caterpillar. However, the relative width of the black band varies with age, and has nothing whatsoever to do with weather. Isabella tiger moth caterpillars overwinter, surviving freezing weather by producing their own antifreeze, with which their cells are infused. The orange-colored oblongs visible between the tufts of setae (bristly hairs) are the lateral spiracles the external openings to the caterpillar's respiratory system. They can serve as reliable landmarks. All caterpillars have 9 pairs. There is 1 pair on the first thoracic segment; the remaining pairs are located on the first 8 abdominal segments. The thoracic and last abdominal spiracles are often twice the size of those in between. Many adults and larvae of the tiger moth family are diurnal, that is, they are active during the daytime. The woolly bear caterpillars are familiar to many because of this habit; they can often be seen traveling along the ground or crawling amidst low vegetation. These encounters are often the first many children have with the moths, and the "woolly" aspect of these creatures should be used to illustrate a key difference with caterpillars of many common butterflies (which are more properly called larvae).

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