Why Plant

Planting Reaps Big Rewards…That Grow & Grow

When you plant a seed, plant a tree, or start an edible garden, something almost magical happens. Put roots in the soil, and you begin a chain reaction of goodness. It begins with your health, spreads to your quality of life, and unfolds into the world around you. You could call it magic – we just call it planting something. It’s one of the simplest things you can do to have a measurable impact on your world.

Plant for…

…Better Health.

Here in Maine, we’re on a mission to move more, fight common diseases, and incorporate physical activity into our everyday life. Gardening — everything from digging a hole to weeding — is the ideal exercise to get the heart pumping. Gardening helps maintain a healthy weight, and does wonders for mental health. It’s calming, and it has been found to reduce stress, improve mood and support brain health as we age. Those who plant have improved nutrition as well, and tend to eat more fruits and vegetables.

Read this article in the Bangor Daily News: Want to Burn 175 Calories in the Next 30 Minutes? Get Out and Garden

Gardening has been found to help manage weight, reduce heart disease and diabetes risks, reduce stress, and is associated with mental clarity and feelings of reward.

…Economic Value.

Plant something around your home and the increase in your property value is estimated to be as much as 15%. Attractive landscaping can hide an unsightly fence or transform a barren view, and it can create a more beautiful living space for buyers, neighbors, and your family. (And, if you own a business, you’ll attract more customers.) It doesn’t require a big investment or elaborate landscaping – you can improve your curb appeal just by adding a shrub or a few potted plants.

Landscaping improves curb appeal, adds value to your home, and provides a beautiful sanctuary that you can be proud of.

…The Environment.

Planting something involves more than just pretty blooms. Adding vegetation around your home can reduce storm runoff, remove carbon dioxide from the air, decrease pollutants from the air and soil, and preserve the natural environment for wildlife, birds, and valuable insects. Whether you live in the city or on the outskirts, on the coast or inland, when you plant, you help preserve the earth’s health, and you make a permanent contribution to our ecosystem.

One tree can remove 26 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere annually, equaling 11,000 miles of car emissions.

…Your Community.

Every time you buy plants and supplies from your neighborhood garden center or hire a nearby landscaper you are investing in the local economy. You are taking part in providing jobs and supporting local businesses. When you shop at independent retailers, spending money close to home, those dollars go back into your community. And, when you shop locally, you’ll enjoy diverse choices that represent the local character and its values. Sowing the seed of local prosperity? That’s worth every cent.

Maine’s horticulture businesses employ 12,000 people – 40% on a full-time basis.

“I plant because it helps my chronic pain by moving around in the garden each day. It’s a way to be active that I can look forward to. I also enjoy the pollinators that come as a result. I love the idea I’m contributing to a little ecosystem in my own back yard.” #whyIplant
Anita Clearfield
Durham, Maine

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Lemon Queen Sunflowers - Helianthus annuus

Annual

 

Short Description

Beautiful butter yellow flowers blossom mid-summer to frost! Typically grow to more than 5 ft. tall. Expect 70 days to flower.

Growing Guidelines

  1. Around the last frost date, sow seeds directly into the soil.
  2. Plant seeds 1" deep and 6" apart.
  3. Water well after planting.
  4. Apply a 3"-4" layer of mulch to conserve water and keep down weeds.
  5. Thin seedlings to 1 ft. apart to allow 2 to 3 ft. between plants.

Care and Feeding
Plant in full sun. Sunflowers are drought-resistant, but they'll grow better if you water regularly from the time the flowers begin to develop until they're mature. Thriving in most soils, these flowers will become massive if given ample fertility, space and water. Harvest blossoms for continued flowering.

Need more information or gardening supplies? Contact your local independent garden center.

Calendula Mix-Calendula officinalis

 

Short Description

Fruition has hand-selected this variety to have a brilliant diversity of colors with dozens of gorgeous, petals on each blossom.

Growing Guidelines

Direct sow (recommended)

  1. After the last frost, sow directly outside in the garden.
  2. Plant seed 24 to 36 inches apart in all directions.

Transplant method

  1. A cool-season plant, calendula can be started indoors in flats, under grow lights 6-8 weeks before the last frost for early season flowering.
  2. Seeds germinate in 5-15 days.

Care and Feeding
Plant in full sun to partial shade. Easy to grow and remarkably drought tolerant, calendula also thrives in containers and will readily naturalize when let go to seed.

Transplanting Tips

  1. Purchase a good seed starting soil like Espoma Organic seed starting mix or Coast of Maine.
  2. Use a small greenhouse tray(tray with a clear plastic dome) to germinate your seeds.
  3. When it's time to transplant into the garden, use a fertilizer like Espoma Flower-tone or Espoma Plant-tone.

Need more information or gardening supplies? Contact your local independent garden center.

Purple Queen Anne's Lace

"Dara" Daucus carota

 

Short Description

Gorgeously laced 3-5" umbels in shades of burgundy, lilac, mauve & white on long, strong stems perfect for cutting, adored by pollinators. Related to our native carrot, Queen Anne's Lace.

Growing Guidelines

Direct sow (recommended)

  1. In early spring, after late frost, sow seeds directly in soil.
  2. Plant 1 seed 1/8" deep and 2" apart.
  3. Expect 2 weeks for germination.
  4. When seedlings are 2-3" tall, thin to 1 plant every 9-12".
  5. Support may be needed if fertility is high or if your garden is windy.

Transplant method

  1. Chill seed at 40 F 1-2 weeks prior to sowing 1/8" deep, 2 seeds per cell 4-5 weeks before planting out.
  2. Expect germination in 1-2 weeks.
  3. When first leaves appear, transplant into larger containers.
  4. Harden off & transplant with 9-12" between plants after last frost.

Care and Feeding
Plant in full sun. Expect 65-75 days to maturity. Dara has an exceptionally long vase life; harvest when 80% of an umbel's flowers are open & no pollen has shed. Enjoy 7-15 heads per plant on swaying 35-50" stalks.

Transplanting Tips

  1. Purchase a good seed starting soil like Espoma Organic seed starting mix or Coast of Maine.
  2. Use a small greenhouse tray(tray with a clear plastic dome) to germinate your seeds.
  3. When it's time to transplant into the garden, use a fertilizer like Espoma Flower-tone or Espoma Plant-tone.
Need more information or gardening supplies? Contact your local independent garden center.

Marigolds

Annual

Care and Feeding

Transplant Only: Sow 4 weeks before last frost shallowly, 2 seeds per cell and thin to 1, keeping soil surface moist until emergence. Transplant to larger containers when true leaves appear. Harden off and transplant outside when the danger of frost has passed with 12" between plants. Deadhead for blossoms all season.

  • Sowing Date: Indoors before last frost
  • Seed Depth: 1/4 inch
  • Days to Germination: 4-7 days at 75-80°F
  • Days to Maturity: 60
  • Plant spacing after thinning: 12 inches
  • Height: 12 inches

Need more information or gardening supplies? Contact your local independent garden center.

Organic Mexican Sunflower (Torch Tithonia)

Annual

Care and Feeding
Direct Seed (recommended): After final frost, sow every 8" and thin to one every ~2'. Light required to germ, so barely cover seed. Full sun is best. Any (even poor) soil is suitable. Harvest flowers when 90% open for bouquets.

Transplant: Sow indoors 2-3 weeks before last frost, transplanting after frost with spacing below.
 
  • Sowing Date: After frost; Late May- early June
  • Seed Depth: 1/2 inch
  • Days to Germination: 7-14 days
  • Days to Maturity: 85
  • Plant spacing after thinning: 2 feet
  • Height: 5-7 feet

Need more information or gardening supplies? Contact your local independent garden center.

Cosmos

Annual

Care and Feeding

Direct Seed (recommended): After last frost, shallowly sow 4 seeds/foot & thin to 1/foot when first true leaves appear. Wider spacing = thicker stronger stems.

Bouquets: harvest when petals first open. Deadhead for blooms all season.

Transplant: Shallowly sow 4 weeks before transplanting after last frost at below spacing. Transplant your cosmos for earlier blooms and more full-size plants per pack; direct sow for blooms throughout the season and simplicity of sowing.

  • Sowing Date: After frost, late May to early June 
  • Seed Depth: 1/4 inch
  • Days to Germination: 7-10
  • Days to Maturity: 65-70
  • Plant spacing after thinning: 18-24 inches
  • Height: 3-4 feet

Need more information or gardening supplies? Contact your local independent garden center.