April 2012 Newsletter

Issue No. 11
April 2012

Welcome to Amelia's SmartyPlants
Monthly Newsletter

Inside This Issue
Butterflies AND Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle
SmartyTips for April
April Specials
New at SmartyPlants

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle   

Likely because of the warm winter, butterflies have arrived a little early this year. They are delighting us again at the garden center; they are everywhere! We've seen Monarchs, Giant Swallowtails, Sulphurs, and others. If your intent is to create a butterfly garden, be sure to have nectar as well as host plants. Both types of plants are needed to complete the circle of butterfly life. Also, because of the warm winter, bugs seem more prolific and many plants are showing signs of chewing or sucking by insects. You're probably faced with the dilemma "to spray or not to spray?". Be cognizant of your butterfly plants. Spraying host and nectar plants is counterproductive to the goal of creating a butterfly garden. Try a little trimming instead. If you see some plants at the garden center that are trimmed pretty dramatically, you'll know the reason. We want to keep our butterflies, bees, and other beneficial insects and other beautiful life forms!! 
The 3-word phrase - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle - became popular some time ago. As a community, we seem to be doing well at recycling, which is an excellent practice. But how about the reducing and reusing part? At SmartyPlants we've come up with a couple of ways to practice the first two: 1) After you've planted your new plants, bring back the empty black pots. Why make them part of the recycle stream when they still have life in them? Furthermore, they require resources to make them into something else, not to mention fuel to pick them up and deliver them again as a new item. 2) In the near future, we will be implementing a small-container exchange program for your fertilizer purchases. Bring the small containers that are clean and in good shape and receive a credit towards a full one. 

SmartyTips for April:
Fertilize Now - If you didn't fertilize in March, do it now. As we suggested last month, use a slow-release granular mix that will meet the needs of the plants with the highest nutritional demands in your planter beds, usually palm trees.  

Fruit Trees - Many fruit trees are flowering and even fruiting now. This is a good time to plant a Mulberry, Mango, Avocado, Loquat, Barbados Cherry, and many others that will produce fruit now or next summer. If you'd like to have fruit-bearing trees in your yard, consider planting one now.  

Saturate The Soil When Planting - When digging a hole for one of your new plants from SmartyPlants, be sure to add enough water to saturate the area extending a couple of feet from the hole. When the soil is dry, it actually repels water, making it difficult for your new plant to get enough water during its establishment period. So, slowly add plenty of water in the hole and make sure that the water is being absorbed. Then, place your plant in the hole, only as deep as it is in the pot, and back-fill with our Organic Mechanics Planting Mix. Water the new plant daily for the first two weeks checking the moisture below the top 4 inches.  Don't assume there's plenty of moisture at the root zone if the top layer is moist. It's not uncommon for a new plant to wilt at the end of the day, but it's not good if it is wilted in the morning. 

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