Spring is Over, and Now We are Busy with our Fall Plants

Spring is Over, and Now We are Busy with our Fall Plants

Our spring season is over, and we are busy with our fall crop.  But, we are all about looking back and spend our ‘down time’ reviewing the past.  We may be a ‘small business’, but we’ve always thought of ourselves as operating with the same principles as a ‘big business’.  I may grow plants for a living, but my major was Business Administration and everywhere I can, those useful lessons are applied.  Honestly, although our first love is growing big, healthy herb plants to fill your garden (and figuring out how to grow over 170 different types of herbs is a daunting task in itself), we also want to operate The Growers Exchange as an efficient business.  That, folks, is as challenging as those plants!

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Success: The Growers Exchange

Success: The Growers Exchange

“To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence.”

Mark Twain

Couldn’t have said it better myself  However, I’d say it a bit differently:

“If I knew then what I know now, I may not have ever tried”

Briscoe White

Which is just another way of saying that I was didn’t realize how much I didn’t know, but I had the confidence (and stupidity) to just keep going.  

The easy part was the first 20 years;  gave up a promising career in my mid twenties, but at that point, I had nothing to lose and I didn’t really like my job anyway.  No kids, no mortgage and some crazy ideas about making making a living by doing what I loved.  That pretty much worked for 2 decades.  I had a thriving store, great employees, wonderful customers and greenhouses that pumped out plants that people wanted to buy.  I’m not saying it wasn’t hard work, but it was a helluva ride.  Spring and fall, we worked like mad.  Summer and winter, we sat back and occupy ourselves with travel, vegetable gardens, a bit of hunting and raising a bunch of kids. (more…)

Resolve to Garden in 2017

Resolve to Garden in 2017

There is nothing new under the sun ~ 20 years ago, I took Dr. Andrew Weil’s advice and put myself, and my family, on a restricted ‘news diet’ to lessen the anxiety and tension of whatever was considered ‘bad news’ back then.  Listening to what passes for ‘the news’ can easily send one into a downward spiral! How much not so good news can one take before depression sets in? I have found that taking news in small doses once or twice a week is about all I need and all I can stand to hear. And, I’m pretty picky about who I let give me that news ~ the less biased the better.

I’m a critical thinker, and please do me the favor of NOT EDITORIALIZING – ‘just the facts’. I’m old enough to remember when the news came in to our house, for about 30 minutes each weekday evening, and we considered ourselves well informed.  I’m convinced that too much of a bad thing is bad … it can really warp your thinking and distort reality.  Yes, there are a lot of bad things out there, but you know what, there are a lot of good things too.  And, we have weathered a lot of tough times over our history (which goes back a very long time) and we are still here and kicking! (more…)

And The Winner Is …

And The Winner Is …

It’s nearly the end of 2016, and time for us to recount the highs and lows of this past growing season. We all have our areas of interest, but for me, it’s all about you …. Trends in what gardeners wanted this past growing year. Basically, what plant sold THE BEST in 2016.

And, the winner is: Eucalyptus, Silver Drop. Always in the top 5, but never a winner. This year, Eucalyptus pushed out Lemongrass and would have done even better had we not run out near the end of the spring.

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Why Are Native Plants So Important For Your Garden?

Why Are Native Plants So Important For Your Garden?

With over 35 years of growing plants under our belts, we began to focus on herbs in 2008.  We’d always loved growing them, but honestly, the demands for perennials and annuals in our local market meant that herbs only accounted for about 20% of the plants we grew.  Once we hopped onto the world wide web, and were able to really use data to research what people wanted to grow, but couldn’t get locally, herbs became our focus.  For the past 8+ years, we had added more and more herbs to our line up.  Now, we are offering over 160 different types of herbs for you, our customers!

But, since we are growers, and addicted to growing a variety of plants, we’ve been ‘toying’ with the idea of introducing a closely related group of plants.  So, drum roll please… (more…)

Fall Makeover!

The Growers Exchange herb garden is under going it’s fall make over. Most of the annuals have been removed: several frosts left basil looking limp. Fall is the best time to move and divide perennials. Having substituted all the flowering plants with herb plants, we must study their garden characteristics just as with plants grown strictly for flowers.
The border along our office wall needed a new screening plant at the back of the bed. We were looking for a tall green plant to high light the shorter herbs growing in front. We could have easily chosen fennel in green or bronze to block the white wall, but they are already being used are center specimens in island beds. Lovage is another plant with potential for screening.
The lovage in the photo was dug from another place in the garden. Along with the main clump, we divided off four smaller plants. These will be set out to catch up with the parent. If needed, the main clump could have been divided again into  four or five smaller plants. In this case we wanted one large plant. If you have a lovage plant that requires moving or dividing, fall is the best time. The plant will establish roots until the ground freezes; this will produce a larger plant the following spring. To promote root growth an organic fertilizer should be applied.