Tips & Tools for the Garden

by on May 3, 2012

These Shoes Are Made for Gardening

Okay, let’s just admit it: Sweaty feet are not one of the best things about gardening. Sure, we all need to wear work boots sometimes for protection. But there are lots of light-duty gardening tasks for which you can safely wear something less-structured and breathable.

Native Shoes makes super-comfortable shoes that are perfect for gardeners. They’re waterproof, odor-resistant, and washable, and they’re available in a wide variety of colors and styles for both kids and adults.

Made from durable ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) with a rubber outsole, they’re constructed with wearability in mind. The shoes are perforated to allow good air circulation, and they have an anti-microbial lining that keeps odors at bay between washings.

It’s easy to imagine slip-on styles like Verona and Howard earning a permanent place by your back door!

This Hydrangea Might Surprise You

HydrangeaWhen it comes to identifying hydrangeas, you might think you’ve got that shrub nailed down: Big leaves, large flowers, top-heavy, right?

Yes, but there’s more.

Meet climbing hydrangea (Hydrangea petiolaris), a member of the same genus, but with a completely different look. This one will attach itself with aerial rootlets to your shady north wall and zoom skyward, creating a bushy curtain of heart-shaped leaves. Lateral branches grow somewhat perpendicular to the ground, creating a bit of a ladder effect. Fragrant white lacecap flowers appear in spring or summer, and the shaggy cinnamon-colored bark becomes an ornament in winter, along with the brown, dried flowers.

Common name: Climbing hydrangea
Botanical name: Hydrangea petiolaris (also H. anomala subsp. petiolaris)
Plant type: Perennial vine
Zones: 4 to 9
Height: To 50 feet
Family: Hydrangeaceae

Less Planting, More Butterhead Lettuce!

ButterheadButterhead lettuce is the darling of early summer salads. Tossed with a light dressing and topped with fresh herbs and veggies, it’s an irresistible treat. But the treat ends when the temp rises because most butterhead varieties can’t withstand hot weather.

That’s why Burpee’s All Season Butterhead Mix is so appealing. It contains equal parts Green Bibb, Red Bibb, Winter Marvel, and Buttercrunch lettuces, so you get a continuous harvest from spring until fall with less succession planting.

Direct sow in the garden in a spot that gets full sun, and keep soil evenly moist. Lettuces in this mix mature in about 60 to 75 days, but you can pinch off outer leaves for salads anytime. Store in the refrigerator, and use within 5 days of picking for best flavor and texture.

Plant today for a season of tasty salads!

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