Park News May 2011

Super Bloom® is here!

Super Bloom®In response to many customer requests, we now stock Super Bloom® by Green Light! This bloom stimulant is a phosphorous-rich formula (12-55-6) enhanced with chelated iron to improve foliage nutrition and jump-start growth.

If your veggie plants are not blooming as they should, or if your flowering plants are all leaves and few buds, Super Bloom® is the solution you've been looking for. Our horticulturists have been recommending this product for some time, and customers report excellent results. Use Super Bloom® as part of a complete plant food program; we recommend AlgoFlash, an environmentally friendly, "low dose" all-purpose fertilizer, as well as Sea Magic, an organic seaweed concentrate sprayed directly onto the foliage to stimulate growth.

The 2011 American Garden Award Process is Underway!

American Garden AwardWe are delighted to announce that Park Seed has once again been selected as one of only 23 public gardens participating in the 2011 American Garden Award program. We will grow all of the "contestants" for this award, and you are welcome to come see them anytime beginning on Flower Day (Saturday, June 25, 2011).

The American Garden Award, administered by the All-America Selections® Display Garden program, is the only national award that enables all gardeners to vote on their favorite ornamental garden plant. Beginning May 13, you can vote for your favorite of this year's 7 entries:

Dahlia 'Dahlinova Hypnotica Lavender'
Ornamental Pepper 'Uchu'
Dianthus 'Kahori'
Petunia 'Easy Wave™ Neon Rose'
Petunia milliflora 'Picobella Rose Star'
Scaevola 'Surdiva® Light Blue'

We are growing all of the "contestants" for this award, so if you get the chance, please stop by our trial gardens anytime and take a look!

Plant Mutations: An Endless Source of Beauty and Novelty!

Although the word mutation can sound ominous, plant mutations are the source of some of our most beautiful varieties today. A mutation — also called a sport, break, or chimera — is simply a natural genetic change of cell composition within a plant. When a plant "reverts," such as returning to solid green from a variegated state, that is a mutation as well.

Mutations seem to occur randomly, though they can also be triggered by environmental factors, including insect damage and temperature changes (particularly cold snaps). Sometimes they are present only in one bloom or branch of the plant; other times they are present at the growing points, altering the entire look of the plant.

Chimeras are a special type of mutation. They are plants that possess both "normal" tissue and genetically distinct tissue. This means that they can be grafted to reproduce the chimerical effect. Chimeras are the source of variegated foliage, as well as random flower color changes in Roses, Chrysanthemums, Dahlias, and more. We owe some of the loveliest plants in our gardens to the effects of chimeras, and should always be on the lookout for mutations in our own plants. You never know when a new look is waiting to be discovered in your own border!

The information in this article was taken from the Royal Horticulture Society's entry for Mutations: Plant in the Gardening Advice section of their website.

Mommy and Me Planting Day!

Mommy and Me Planting Day!What happier way to spend Mother's Day weekend than to share your love of Mother Nature with a child? Here at Park, we're sponsoring our first-ever Mommy and Me Planting Day on Saturday, May 7. Participants will come away with a newly-planted flowerpot and a bag of garden goodies. You're welcome to join us, but even if you can't, consider doing your own quick gardening project with a special child in your life. Digging, planting seeds, pulling up weeds, and watering are all activities children love, so prepare to get messy and have fun!

Gardeners are made, not born, and you never know what simple chore might spark a lifelong love of plants!

It's not too late to send a Park Seed E-Mail Gift Certificate! Simply order by noon on Saturday, May 7th for guaranteed inbox delivery!

Have You Seen the New 'Determinate' Tomatoes Yet?

Lizzano HybridThe English language is always changing, and we gardeners are experiencing a shift in the meaning of an important term right now. Determinate, when applied to tomatoes, used to mean 2 things: 1) that the plant reaches a fixed mature size and then stops growing, and 2) that it sets all of its fruit in a short period of time, usually no more than 2 weeks.

Tomatoes that keep growing throughout the season — getting taller and taller, with new fruiting stems arising continuously over a period of many weeks or even several months — are called indeterminate.

Well, lately the meaning of the word determinate has changed, probably in response to the introduction of a new type of tomato plant. Like the old determinate plants, this type reaches a fixed size and then stops growing, but unlike its ancestors, it does not set all of its fruit at once. Instead, it keeps producing over the entire summer season, just like an indeterminate type!

semi-determinate, this new type of tomato combines the best of both worlds. Sweet 'n' Neat HybridIt has the restrained growth of a bush type, so you can grow it in containers on the patio, yet it also has the long season of an indeterminate type. Like a compact flowering plant, it gives you more of what you want in less space!

Sweet 'n' Neat Hybrid, Mega Bite Hybrid, and Lizzano Hybrid are all "new" determinate or semi-determinate tomatoes. Try one this season, and we predict you'll have a new favorite for patio or garden!

And the Winner Is.... - Plant Name Doodles Contest

The responses came flooding in for last month's contest, and we want to thank everyone who entered! From all of the correct answers we received, we selected one at random. The lucky winner is Diane Pane! Diane receives a $25 Park Seed Gift Certificate and our congratulations!

If you weren't our winner last month, try your hand at our new facebook "contest" below. It's so simple, and you never know... this could be your lucky day!

New Contest - Plant Name Doodles!

This month's contest is easy — just "like" Park Seed on Facebook! From all of our fans, we'll choose one lucky winner to receive a $25 Park Seed Gift Certificate! Check next month's edition of Park News for the announcement of our winner. Good luck!

May Dates to Remember - Mark Your Calendars!

May 1May Day — This day celebrates many things, most commonly Spring, but it's also a day of political protests, a neo-pagan festival, a saint's feast day, and a day for organized labor. Wow, just pick your party theme today!

May 5Cinco de Mayo — A celebration of when 4,000 Mexican soldiers defeated the French and traitor Mexican army of 8,000 at Puebla, Mexico on the morning of May 5, 1862.

May 6National Gardening Day — Celebrate one of America's past times!

May 7Space Day — Celebrate human space flight — past, present, and future!

Happy Mother's Day, Mom!May 8Mother's Day — Make sure you let your mom know just how much you love and appreciate her for all the support and understanding she has provided over the years. Why not send her a Park Seed E-Mail Gift Certificate? Happy Mother's Day, Mom!

May 20National Bike to Work Day — Not only are you getting good exercise and giving yourself a great opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the world around you, but you're helping the environment by decreasing the pollutants put into the atmosphere. Happy biking!

May 21Armed Forces Day — Thank the members of our military for their patriotic service in support of our country!

May 31Memorial Day — Let's all remember those who have died in our nation's service!