DIY Fertilizer for Your Garden

Good gardeners do everything for their gardens. You select and position your plants with care, water them, maybe even talk to them, and of course, take plenty of pictures of them. You also feed and nourish them with the right kind of fertilizer, but that can become expensive! Fertilizer can also be a pain to purchase in stores. Check out these DIY fertilizer ideas from Whispering Springs Nursery.

  • Compost tea. Once your compost is fully finished, you can turn it into a tea-like mixture that your plants will love as much as you love real tea. Fill a five-gallon bucket about a third of the way with compost, and the rest of the way with water. After about three or four days of stirring as often as you can, strain it through cheesecloth or another fine strainer. Dilute the mixture until it looks like weak tea (about a 10:1 ratio of water to tea) and then use it on the soil.
  • Grass clippings are rich in nitrogen, oxygen, and phosphorus. Make sure that your grass hasn’t been treated with herbicides before you use it! The process of making grass fertilizer is similar to compost tea, except that you’ll fill the bucket about two-thirds of the way with grass, and you’ll dilute the tea with equal parts water before you use it.
  • Do you have a freshwater fish tank? Fertilizing is as easy as pouring the old water over your plants next time you clean the tank!

Whispering Springs Nursery in Jasper, GA is so much more than a nursery. We’re in the business of education and growth as much as selling plants, and we love to hear from you. Contact us or come down to visit us and let’s talk about your garden!

Ways to Celebrate National Gardening Month & Earth Day

gardeningIt’s fitting that National Gardening Month and Earth Day fall in the most beautiful month of the year: April. Buds are blooming, bees are buzzing, and the transformation of winter to spring is almost complete.

There are several ways you can celebrate this amazing month. Here are a few ideas:

Purchase Plants at Whispering Springs Nursery

What better way to celebrate Earth Day than getting out your gardening tools and planting new additions? At Whispering Springs, we have a nursery that hosts an abundance of trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals, and more that you can choose from. Even better, the plants you purchase are perfect for the mountainous area in which we live. You can rest assured that the additions you buy to beautify your lawn will last a very long time.

Take Part in Your Own Earth Hour

On the last Saturday of March, thousands of cities across the world celebrate Earth Hour. During this hour, non-essential lights are turned off in an effort to raise awareness about what man-made technology is doing to our planet. But, you and your family could do this monthly! Get your kids excited about different ways to create light such as hosting a bonfire or lighting candles.

Get Your Kids Involved

With technology in the forefront of most kids’ minds, it’s good for their soul and body to go outside and play. Fresh air does wonders for a person’s health – children included. You can even use this opportunity to teach them about Earth Day, its importance, and different ways to celebrate it every day of the year. To get them extra interested, tell them fun facts about Earth Day such as:

  • The celebration began in 1970.
  • Roughly 20 million people took part in the first Earth Day.
  • Recycling-related jobs account for over three million jobs in America.

If you’re searching for high-quality, one-of-a-kind plants to transform your lawn this spring, visit Whispering Springs Nursery. Contact us today with your questions.

Our Favorite Things About Spring!

Can you feel it? Spring is definitely in the air! At Whispering Springs Nursery in Jasper, GA, we’re so excited that winter is over, and not just because we missed the longer days. Here are our top three favorite things about the spring:

  1. We can’t wait for birds to return! Spring is a prime season for bird-watching, and since they’re all getting ready for nesting season, there’s no better time of year to enjoy birdsong. Remember to clean out your bird feeders and stock up on food and water if you want to really enjoy the fruits of the season.
  2. Birds aren’t the only thing coming back to us. Bees and butterflies also make their first appearance of the year. If you want to attract more of these beautiful, beneficial insects to your yard, ask us about what local plants you’ll want to include in your outdoor space, and how best to arrange them. We offer landscaping design services to create beautiful, functional, whimsical spaces for you and your woodland guests!
  3. All that being said, our favorite thing about spring is definitely the flowers! We’re a nursery, after all. Now is the time to get your garden ready for the coming warm months, by following these tips and joining us at Whispering Springs for all the tools, supplies, and knowledge that you’ll need.

Even if you’re a little bit nervous about yard work, hot weather, or even seasonal allergies, everyone looks forward to the end of winter. Come down to Whispering Springs and let’s get ready for a great spring!

How to Prune Your Shrubs for Spring!

Now that spring is here, it’s time to look at our shrubs. The late dormant season is the best time for most pruning, and you know what that means: get out those pruning shears and get to work tidying up your shrubs!

Why is pruning so important? It’s good for the plants themselves–removing dead or diseased branches will encourage new growth and stop disease from spreading. It’s safer for us, since damaged or dead elements can fall and injure people, pets, or property. It’s also a good way to create the space you want by controlling the height, look, and direction of shrub growth.

Now, on to the specifics. Every year you should prune anywhere up to one-third of the oldest, thickest stems or trunks on your shrubs. Go ahead and prune them right to the ground to encourage the growth of new stems from the roots. Once you’ve handled these thick, overgrown parts, you’re ready to switch to standard pruning.

If your shrubs are in really bad shape, such as being badly neglected or overgrown, you can salvage them if you’re willing to endure a little collateral damage. Prune them all, as close to the ground as possible, in early spring. You’ll lose the current season’s flowers, but they will grow back healthier and more beautiful in the future!

Whispering Springs Nursery in Jasper, GA has a huge assortment of shrubs and other plants, perfect for planting in the spring. Come visit our greenhouse and let’s pick the best ones for your needs and your space!  

Fall Maintenance Tips For Your Georgia Lawn

mumsAt Whispering Springs Nursery we love the landscaping options that come with cooler weather. The air is pleasant this time of year, which allows you to get outside and work in your yard for hours without heat and humidity dragging you down. If you’ve thought about adding some new features to your yard, now is the time.

  • Planting evergreens, hedges, and shrubs – November is a perfect time to add some new greenery. We carry many species of evergreens here at Whispering Springs that will add life to your property during the cold months of winter. Plus, planting now will give your new shrubs a chance to establish strong roots before it gets too cold.
  • Make Your Own Mulch – Raking up dead leaves is essential and beneficial to your lawn. Leaving leaf litter unattended can suffocate your grass, leaving you with a lawn full of dirt and dead grass come spring. Placing your leaves in a mulch bin for the winter also gives you organic and decorative weed-suppressing mulch for your spring planting.
  • Lower Your Mower Blade – Cutting your grass a little lower than usual during the cold months allows the soil to get moisture more easily in the spring (when it needs it most). Your grass will grow much slower over the winter months and you may only need one or two more trims between now and spring. That means that prepping the right way now is vital.
  • Add Some Fall Color! – Last but not least, there are a ton of great fall annuals you can plant to add some amazing color to your lawn this fall. At Whispering Springs Nursery, we have a huge selection of fall plants and flowers such as mums, pansies, and ornamental kale!

For more information about what you can do for your yard this fall, give us a call or stop by our nursery in Jasper, GA today!

How to Compost Your Leaves this Fall

compost Leaves

If you have a yard, chances are good that you’ll have to deal with fallen leaves this fall. And love it or hate it, this means it’s time to rake. What do you do with all those leaves once you’ve raked them into piles, though? You can bag them up and put them on the curb, you can let your kids do cannonballs into the piles and start the whole process over again, or you can use them to start a mulch or compost pile for next year’s landscaping!

At Whispering Springs Nursery in Jasper, Georgia, we wanted to give you a few tips if you plan to do the latter. Composting your leaves is easy and can have huge advantages for your yard’s health for years to come.

Mulching Leaves – The easier of the two options, turning this year’s leaves into next year’s mulch only takes a few simple steps that just about anyone can do at home. All you need to do is add your leaves to a container with airflow and protection from rain. Let the leaves sit until spring, stir them up and add them to your flower beds and landscaping for a great weed suppressant.

Composting Leaves – Creating compost out of your leaves takes a little more effort than storing them for mulch, but it’s still pretty manageable and can do wonders for your garden, flowers or yard. Again, you’ll want to either buy or build a compost bin that allows for air to flow through but that also keeps rain out. The goal is to get your old leaves to decompose fully, allowing a nutrient-rich soil to form.

Add water and stir the pile, otherwise known as turning over your compost, every week or two until spring. By then, you should have a mature compost pile that is ready to feed some hungry plants around your yard!

For more information or to purchase composting or mulching bins, stop by Whispering Springs today to talk to one of our expert garden center team members!

Fall-Blooming Perennials are On Sale

With the weather finally cooling down, it’s a great time to enjoy the beauty of fall-blooming perennials! At Whispering Springs Nursery in Jasper, GA our perennials are on sale! For most varieties, if you buy three you’ll get one free. Check out our favorite fall-blooming perennials.fall flowers

    • Goldenrod gets a bad reputation as being a cause of seasonal allergies when ragweed is the real culprit. Goldenrod, on the other hand, is probably not going to bother your allergies. While it’s aggressive, when properly managed it can be a very pretty addition to your garden.
    • Japanese anemone is also called fall-blooming anemone, which makes it perfect for this season. Their brilliant color ranges from white to purple and will brighten up your space for up to eight weeks in the cooler months.
    • Fall mums are synonymous with fall, and for good reason–they are beautiful and hardy! These plants are best described as show-offs. Each plant has multiple flowers that come in every color of the rainbow except blue and will bloom for weeks and weeks in the fall. With proper care and good weather, you could have mums for up to six weeks!
    • Perennial sunflowers are similar to their more popular annual variety, in that they are gloriously yellow. Of course, the benefit of perennials is that they will return next year. They will bloom up until November if given proper care.

Come visit us at Whispering Springs to check out all our beautiful fall-blooming perennials and find the ones that are best for your garden!

Halloween Decorations for the Garden

With Halloween just around the corner and Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up after that, everyone is thinking about home decor. While it’s fun to shop for new and interesting things to decorate for the holidays, don’t overlook one of your primary sources of inspiration: your garden! garden decorations for fall

Here are some ways to decorate your garden for Halloween:

  • Garden Graveyard! A collection of headstones will look creepy, but also mysterious and pretty. You can easily buy fake headstones anywhere Halloween decorations are sold, but you can also carve them out of styrofoam if or make them out of sturdy cardboard (of course, remember that cardboard isn’t waterproof, so rain or dew will damage it).
  • Add Some Monsters! If you want to make your garden graveyard scarier, add some zombies or ghosts. You can make ghosts out of chicken wire and cheesecloth (make sure you wear gloves, as chicken wire can cut your hands). Zombies are a little trickier, but they can also be purchased at many Halloween stores. Even just mannequin hands or stuffed gloves sticking out from a “grave” can look really spooky.

Don’t forget to bring in items from your garden to decorate your home! Aside from the assortment of fall flowers available at Whispering Springs Nursery in Jasper, GA, you can make beautiful seasonal bouquets out of fall herbs, fallen leaves, and dead branches. Spray paint branches black, orange, and purple to add a little bit of Halloween color!

Here at Whispering Springs we love decorating for all holidays! Come down to our nursery and let’s talk about how to put together beautiful decorations for your landscape.

Three Gallon Shrubs Have Arrived for Fall!

Three-gallon shrubs have arrived at Whispering Springs in Jasper, GA!

Three-gallon shrubs are a great size–they’re more developed than smaller sizes, giving you beautiful color and coverage without having to wait. They are also easier to transport than larger sizes, which is great for DIY landscaping projects. gh1

Fall is a great time to plant shrubs. The summer heat is over but the winter cold hasn’t started, which gives plants plenty of time to establish their roots. In the fall many plants are essentially dormant, but their roots will continue to grow anytime the soil is over about 40 degrees. With the lingering summer weather, that’s not a high bar to clear in Georgia! Plants with well-established root systems will be nicely positioned to take advantage of the spring growing season.

When you’re planting shrubs, remember to consider their sunlight and space needs. Avoid placing them too close to power lines, the house, or other plants, or you may find they don’t grow as tall and wide as they could. Dig your planting holes with two to three feet of extra space so the roots have room to spread out. Give your shrub a look to make sure everything is in order, and don’t forget to water your shrubs as soon as you plant them! This helps ease the shock of transition. Mulching is also an important step to help protect the new roots. Fortunately, a three-gallon shrub will have less maintenance than a smaller plant.

Come down to the Whispering Springs showroom and let’s select the best types of shrubs for you!

Donate for Flood Victims of Hurricane Harvey

disaster relief

Sometimes it takes a natural disaster to bring out the best in people. And after Hurricane Harvey flooded out the Gulf coast of Texas last week, we are seeing Americans come together as one to help good people who have lost everything.

At Whispering Springs Nursery, we wanted to step away from our usual blog postings to let our customers know how they can be most effective when donating to hurricane victims in Texas. Donating what you can for those affected by the floods in Houston and the surrounding areas can make a huge impact. Even if you can only give a small donation, every bit helps. Mothers will be able to feed their babies, families will be able to stay together in a safe, dry space with warm food, and even the hardest-hit communities can start to rebuild.

If you’re curious about which organizations you can donate to for the greatest impact, have a look at the list below.

  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Houston: Donations can be made directly through their Facebook page or by clicking here. The Boys & Girls Club of Houston has opened its doors to people left homeless after the storm. Your donation goes directly to supplying the shelter with food and water.
  • Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund: Houston Mayor, Sylvester Turner, established this fund to make sure your monetary donations are used to directly benefit those who were hit hardest by the storm and flooding in Houston.
  • United Way Relief Fund: The United Way of Greater Houston provides immediate necessities like water, food and dry shelter. They also work to make the long-term recovery manageable.

If you are interested in finding out how else you can help from afar, give the Whispering Springs team a call in Jasper, Georgia at 770-893-1254 today.