Quick Notes: plant, rain barrel bargains

Annual impatiens and lobelia brighten hosta plantings The weather may not say summer but the calendar does, and once that happens plants begin to go on sale.  Taking advantage of these sales helps cash strapped gardeners fill empty or ailing containers and stock up on any fillers still needed to brighten a dull bed.  One local farm  – Staehly’s – has dropped the price of annuals in 4 to 4.5 inch pots.

Annuals purchased at this time of year have usually been potted for quite some time.  They are often root bound and tired.  But most will perk up when given a new home in which to grow and a little trim of all spent blossoms.  When transplanting these annuals, make sure to loosen roots that have grown into a tightly wound mass.  This will encourage roots to spread out in their new pot or in the ground.  With a little extra TLC these late purchased will likely to reward you fully.

Connecticut gardeners have had enough of the rain – I’ve spent more time this year draining water from the saucers of my potted plants than I have watering.  But dry spells frequently follow wet spells, so in spite of feeling like we are growing gills, or being grossed out by yet another slug sliming along the rim of a potted plant, it’s wise to plan for water conservation.  East Haddamites can take advantage of a perk made available by the Earth Charter Community of the Lower Valley, an organization that promotes sustainable living.  Through a deal with The New England Rain Barrel Company, residents can order rain barrels for about $40 less than regular cost, and $4 of each order is donated to the Earth Charter group.  Order online now and rain barrels will be shipped to Ballek’s Garden Center and can be picked up on Sunday, July 12.

I’ve not tried using rain barrels yet, but continue to consider setting one or two up.  I’d love to hear the experiences any of you have had using a rain barrel to collect water run off from a roof.

2 comments for “Quick Notes: plant, rain barrel bargains

  1. June 22, 2009 at 2:12 pm


    I bought a rain barrel from the NE Rain Barrel company recently when they offered a similiar promotion through the Bartlett Arboretum. I think it has rained every day since then so I know the rain barrel is working but I haven’t actually needed to fill my watering can from it yet!

    If you buy one, I suggest buying the optional gutter extender (not sure of the technical name) so you don’t have to place the rain barrel right next to your house & right under the gutter. We have ours about 3 feet behind the gutter and several feet away from the house.
    We also put the barrel on cinder blocks to elevate it a bit which is supposed to help with the flow of the water out of the attached hose.

    I think this is the ideal way to buy a rain barrel…you don’t have to pay for shipping which can be pricey, you get a discount on the cost of the barrle and the hosting business gets a donation for each rain barrel that is sold. Buy one, you won’t be disappointed!

  2. joenesgarden
    June 23, 2009 at 11:31 pm

    I’m not quite ready to buy one yet. We still have some construction to complete before we make that move. Maybe you can share your season of experience once you go through a whole year with yours?

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