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Starting Seeds Indoors

If you are anxious to begin gardening, a fun and easy fix is to start some of your plants from seeds. Some good seeds for beginners include tomato, marigold, zinnia, coleus, basil, nasturtium, and cosmos. These seeds germinate quickly and do not have any special care requirements.

The most important aspect of starting seeds is timing. If you start too early your seedlings will get tall and leggy and may not be strong enough to withstand the outdoor environment. Make sure to check your seed packet for instructions. Most seeds can be started a month prior to the last frost date. In our area, zone 5, gardeners generally wait until the last week of May to begin *hardening off their seedlings.


Seeds can be started in almost any type of container as long as it is 2-3 inches deep and has a drainage hole. If you are recycling an old container it is very important that it be cleaned thoroughly. To eliminate any danger of soil-borne bacteria soak it for five minutes in a solution of one part chlorine bleach to nine parts water. Peat pots and peat pellets are great because you can simply plant the seedling and its container directly into the soil.

Growing Medium 

Seeds should always be started in a soilless mix. Soilless mixes promote good root development by providing proper aeration and water retention. The ideal formula for starting seeds consists of 1/3 perlite, 1/3 peat moss, and 1/3 vermiculite. Hoffman and Espoma are excellent suppliers of seed starting blends.

Sowing Your Seeds 

Fill your container with the planting medium to within 1/2” of the top. Next, moisten the planting mix with warm water and let sit for several hours. Make sure to read your […]

Dividing and Transplanting Perennials in the Fall



It is time to divide a perennial plant when the center of the plant begins to look dead with no growth.  The blooms may also decline in the plant, not blooming as vigorously or with smaller flowers.  These are signs that the plant is ready to be revived by division.  Sometimes people divide for other reasons; the plant may need more room to grow or you may want to share some with a friend.  You may not want to divide your plant but simply relocate it to a new spot in the garden for aesthetics or because it needs a different location to thrive.  Whatever the reason, timing is an important consideration for a successful division and transplant.

The general rule of thumb is that spring and early summer blooming perennials should be divided & transplanted in the fall and late summer and fall bloomers in the spring.  In southern NH, October is the ideal time of year for fall division or transplanting.  The weather is cool and moist, but the soil is warm and will encourage root development.  You will want to give the plant a good six weeks to grow before the first hard frost which typically comes after Thanksgiving.  If working in the spring generally you want to divide just as the plants are emerging from their winter dormancy.  There are always exceptions to the rule and some plants just do not like to be transplanted at all, such as Oriental Poppies or Russian Sage which have long taproots.  If you are not familiar with the plant in question do your research first or ask one of the friendly employees in the perennial section at Wentworth […]

Creating a fall masterpiece!

Here is a little science explaining why leaves change color in the fall, presented by our friends at Bower & Branch.  There is also some great info on what colors certain trees will turn; a helpful guide for creating a fall masterpiece in your own backyard!



Patio to Home


Some of those patio plants that cannot survive the winters outside can easily be brought indoors and kept as a houseplant or stored in a cool room until next spring.  This is a great way to save money and start your growing season with a more substantial plant next year.  Different plants have different winter care requirements regarding light and temperature.


Below is a list of some popular plants and their winter preferences.


This group of plants prefers cool temperatures (45 -55˚F) and bright light from an East, West, or South facing window.  The brighter the better for most plants during the winter months when the sun is low and less intense.  Monitor daytime temps, you may need to open a window in order to maintain the cool temperature.  The goal is to create a state of dormancy, if the temperature is too warm the plant will begin to grow.

Abutilon                         Duranta

Agapanthus                    Euphorbia                      Mandevilla

Angelonia                       Fuchsia                          Oregano

Bouvardia                      Gardenia                        Osteospermum

Carex                             Heliotrope                      Oxalis

Citrus                             Hibiscus                         Passion flower

Cordyline                       Ipomoea                         Geranium

Cuphea                           Jasmine                          Rosemary

Datura                            Juncus                            Salvia

Dichondra                      Lavender                        Santolina



This group of plants prefers warm temperatures (60 -70˚F) and bright light from an East, West, or South facing window.  The brighter the better for most plants during the winter months when the sun is low and less intense.


Begonia                          Impatiens                       Strobilanthus(Persian Shield)

Colocasia                        Lantana

Coleus                            Musa (Banana)               Thunbergia

Hibiscus                         Pentas                            Tibochina


It is best to slowly acclimate your plants to their new environment.  Start by bringing them inside evenings.  They will perform better if they have time to adjust to the new light and temperature levels.

Always clean […]