Tips and Tricks for Planting a Tree

BigR-BlogPost-PlantingATree-v1-16“To exist as a nation, to prosper as a state, and to live as a people, we must have trees.” -Theodore Roosevelt

The Arbor Day Foundation strives to conserve our natural resources and educate all of us on the importance of green living. Arbor Day especially focuses on the importance of trees and how they create healthier living in a variety of ways. From cooling and oxygen to cleaning our air and water, trees provide a multitude of benefits! Here are a few tips on how to plant and grow a successful tree:

1. Choose the right tree for your area

The right climate, soil, and atmosphere are all important items to consider before selecting the right tree for your space. Arbor Day has a great online resource to help you determine what kind of tree will grow best in your area.  Also, be cognisant of the kinds of wildlife in your area who may find a home in your tree.

2. Understand the benefits of certain trees

There are many different benefits that trees can offer you! Some trees will provide you with more shade, and other trees will attract more wildlife than others. Regardless of each individual tree’s benefits, know that all trees make great impacts on the environment. Trees actively combat climate change by removing carbon dioxide in the air and releasing oxygen instead.

3. How much time are you willing to put into your tree?

Some trees require more effort than others, especially when the tree has just been planted. Almost all trees go through a period of time called “transplanting stress,” which takes place from the time the tree is planted and then established in its new home. It may take a few vulnerable years for a tree to establish its root system. This is a critical time to evaluate your tree’s growth and to protect it from any potentially damaging environmental factors, such as extreme weather conditions. This can require a good amount of time on your part, but just remember that your tree will be contributing to the environment for many years to come!

4. Prepare your digging site accordingly

A very common error first time tree planters often do is dig a hole that is too big and too deep for the selected tree. Tree pits should be dug no deeper than the depth of the root system. The hole should not be dug deeper than the mass or else the tree can struggle to grow. The soil should also be not too excessively dry or wet, and shouldn’t be blocked by anything that could interrupt water circulation. It’s important that your tree has adequate access to the water that it needs to thrive!

5. Learn to prune your trees

Pruning is the process of removing any damaged branches or structural defects in order to help your tree grow and find sunlight. While this process helps trees, it should only be used sparingly and should be done with the utmost caution. Try to maintain the natural form of the tree as you proceed with the pruning process. By cutting the parts of the tree that are not growing as well, you are able to give the rest of the tree the energy and water that it needs.

6. Plant in early spring or fall

Overall, the best time for you to start planting your trees is in early spring or early fall. Planting in the early spring generally suggests a favorable climate for your tree to truly benefit from both the sunshine and the springtime rains. The tree will be most actively growing at this time. If you’re worried about needing to cut extensive roots, fall is a better time because your tree isn’t as active as it is during the spring. Both spring and fall have different benefits depending on the tree that you are planting.

Big R has a wide variety of trees to choose from to begin building a green backyard for you to enjoy for years to come! Big R’s Garden Center has experts to get you on the right track as well as supplies to keep the tree growing strong. Contact your local Big R for the types of trees available near you! We’d love to help you find the perfect tree for you!

Gardening 101: 5 Gardening Tips To Keep a Healthy Garden

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With spring about to make its grand entrance, what better way to make use of the sunshine and showers than by creating a beautiful garden? Whether or not you’ve tried your thumb at gardening before, we have some great tips for making yours as eye-catching and gorgeous as possible. Of course, there are other things to consider when you’re building a garden – like the amount of maintenance and time you will be able to dedicate to it. Displaying a beautiful garden, however, provides a huge sense of accomplishment! The work you put in will certainly prove to be worth it in the end! Here are a few tips on making a great garden this spring:

Use seed starter kits.

Seed starter kits are the easiest way for beginners to a successful beginning to their lush oasis. Results are usually much quicker with starter kits, and it’ll only encourage you to plant more! Starter kits are great because they often provide samples of other items you may want to add to your garden, including fertilizers and pH samples. This Antler King Mega Food Plot Starter Pack includes 6 sample packs and fertilizer, pH soil test kits, and an instructional DVD – this starter pack is sure to get you well on your way!

Invest in an efficient lawnmower.

You wouldn’t guess that cutting the grass would make such a difference in your garden’s appearance, but it sure does! Lawnmowers help speed up that process by making your garden look exceptionally cleaner and impressively kept. Make sure to invest in a good lawnmower that you’ll be able to use for years to come! This Cub Cadet Lawn Mower offers the perfect amount of stability and control and will be a terrific asset to your home and garden!

Invest in good gardening gloves.

Gardening gloves are a worthy investment. They’ll keep your hands clean and free from any injuries as well as protect your plants from any damage. Gardening gloves make it much easier to maneuver through tricky spots in order to reach your flowers! One of our favorites for the ladies are these Wells Lamont garden gloves because we love the soft, supple goldenrod deerskin palm with the flexible and adjustable spandex back!

Research your flower choices.

Some flowers respond better to sunnier climates while others tend to suffer. If you think you’re not going to have enough time in the day to remember to water your plants multiple times a day or even a week, you should take that into consideration. It’s better to start with smaller, easier plants to see which ones work well with your situation and schedule. Make sure you also invest in specific fertilizers and plant foods for certain flowers. One of our favorite seed starters is wildflower because they are strong and make a great filler for the outside of your garden!

Buy rich potting soil.

The kind of soil that you use for your plants truly makes a long-term effect on the life of your plants! Top quality soil will provide a great opportunity for your plants to thrive. There’s a large variety of different potting soils and brands to choose from so be sure to have an idea of what type of plants you will use the soil on before purchasing. One of our favorites is Miracle-Gro Potting Soil, which is a well-rounded soil that will benefit most of your plants!

Big R has an enormous quantity of supplies to get you started on your gardening journey! There’s no better way to greet spring than with a beautiful, colorful bunch of flowers and enjoying the fruits of your labor. Come by our lawn and garden center to get expert advice from one of our gardening associates to be on your way to a beautiful, spring garden.

7 Spring Gardening Tips and Tricks You Need to Know

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Gardening for the first time can seem a little daunting, but it’s both exciting and rewarding to grow something on your own! The satisfaction stemming from helping something grow is worth the time and effort needed to start your plants. When you’re a new gardener, though, it’s important to consider factors other than temperature and pest control. A lot of different factors go into whether or not your plant fully grows and produces what you want from it! Here are a few tips and tricks to get you started with your garden:

1. Know what to plant and when.

Planting dates can vary by location. Make sure you know that before you start planting seeds for a vegetable that grows better somewhere else – or even worse, won’t grow at all in your area! Check out resources, such as the Farmers’ Almanac, that will help you list out what will grow best in your area. To be even more certain of planting dates, view the US Department of Agriculture’s plant hardiness map that shows specific info for each location. Be cognisant of the season in which you are planting, and don’t get frustrated if you don’t get enough produce this season – there is always next season!

2. Be careful with soil depth.

Having an appropriate soil depth is crucial to the health of your plants, their longevity, and success. Soil that is too shallow will not provide roots room to grow. On the other hand, very deep soil is not always necessary if other favorable factors are at play. Pay attention to other factors and the context of your garden. Soil depth determines nutrient availability and moisture storage, so if you’re not sure how much soil you need for a certain plant, consult one of our garden professionals at your local Big R Store!

3. Pesticides aren’t always needed.

In nature, there will always be a few garden pests making themselves welcome on your plants and their habitat! One pest does not make a huge problem. Even the healthiest plants can and will attract some kinds of pests, but still create a beautiful and bountiful harvest. Before deciding to go through with pesticides and insecticides, consider which pests are in your garden, and exactly how many of them are present.

4. Clean your pots and tools.

Clay pots are useful for growing smaller plants. An easy and effective way to clean them is to mix equal parts water, rubbing alcohol, and white vinegar, spraying it on to get rid of salt deposits. Make sure you don’t plant anything until the pot dries completely. As for your tools, wash them whenever you can to get rid of grime. It will help them last longer! Next, apply oils to prevent rusting, and then sharpen the tool to keep it in shape.

5. Understand soil acidity.

Many common plants enjoy acid-enriched soil, and actually thrive best in it! Make sure you check which plants do well in these environments before deciding to enhance the soil. By simply adding some coffee grounds or leftover tea leaves to the soil once a month, your acid-thriving plants will experience a great boost! Another great thing to add to the soil? The water that results from boiling or steaming vegetables in your kitchen!

6. Seeds or starter plants?

A very important difference in choosing between seeds and starter plants is the cost. A packet of seeds is most likely going to cost much less than getting a starter plant, regardless of whichever kind of plant you are attempting to work with. There is also more variety with buying seeds, as they are more readily available in larger quantities than starter plants. There is, however, a risk that the seeds may not germinate, despite your best efforts. Consider the pros and cons and be honest about how much effort you are willing to put in! If you decide to plant seeds, try the NK Lawn & Garden® 7 Pot Seed Starter and garden labels from Big R Stores.

7. Be smart when watering.

When you are watering your plants, make sure to avoid directly watering the leaves! Wet leaves are very vulnerable to rotting and attracting mold. Yellow leaves are also indicators that the plant already has enough water! When you are watering, focus on getting the moisture on the roots of the plant. A rule of thumb that is applicable to most plants is to water about an inch every week.