Green Thumb and Lowe’s back with extended hours

Ashton Gerard/MDN Hanging baskets are perfect for apartment dwellers who are tight on space. Flowers, such as the wave petunia, have been popular in hanging baskets or deck planters because they spill over the pot.

Warmer and longer days have people itching to get outside. Local garden centers are mimicking the longer days by extending their hours in the months of May and June to maximize time with their customers to help them craft the best gardens, flower beds and planter pots.

Lowe’s Floral and Garden Center, located at 1640 4th Ave. NE, has extended its hours to 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and are open noon to 6 p.m. on Sundays. James Lowe, AIFD, CFD, manager of the floral division, said they start to taper their hours around State Fair time.

Green Thumb Greenhouse, located at 4605 Co. Rd. 15 W, has extended its hours to 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and are open Sundays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Owner Calvin Berry said they normally start cutting back their hours into July.

“We’re in peak shopping season right now for people looking to get started on their gardens,” Lowe said.

Lowe said the calendar safe frost date is May 25.

Ashton Gerard/MDN Green Thumb Greenhouse just west of Minot has plenty of planters perfect for sprucing up the patio or for adding some color by your front door.

“As long as you can get a shovel in the ground, you’re probably safe to start some things right now,” he added.

In a garden plot, now would be a great time to start working up the soil. Tilling and working the soil while adding in some composted manure or peat moss will add some organic matter back into the soil. This can also be achieved by adding a general garden fertilizer that’s balanced.

“There’s always a three-digit code on the front of every fertilizer to tell you how much nitrogen, how much phosphorus and how much potash it’s going to release to your plants,” Lowe said. If the three numbers are the same, the fertilizer is balanced.

Now is the time for sweet potatoes or row crops like corn, peas and beans. Cool weather crops like lettuce and radishes are good to go ahead and start planting now as well.

“Probably the most popular plants that we see in this area for all gardeners are salsa garden things,” Lowe said. “Things like tomatoes, peppers, onions as well as cilantro and some other herbs.”

Ashton Gerard/MDN Many varieties of petunias are available at Lowe’s Floral and Garden Center to spruce up those flower beds.

Lowe said these are popular because they can either be grown in the ground, in raised beds or even in pots on the deck or patio.

Tomatoes and cucumbers are plants that are very easy and the cool weather crops would be good as well because they are easy to grow and they are yield almost instant results, according to Lowe.

Wave Petunias have become popular as people move to deck and patio planters because they spill over the sides of the pot. Lowe said there are new varieties in the calibrachoa, which are the miniature petunias or also called miniature bells, that have been catching some eyes as well.

In traditional planters, normally there is a green spike in the center to tie together the different blooming flowers. Lowe has noticed that people are moving away from the traditional and playing around with their centerpieces with plants like sansevieria or mother-in-law’s tongue. It provides the same green center but is more durable to the North Dakota winds.

Something to put on your patio to keep mosquitos and insects away is the citronella geranium or the mosquito plant. Lowe said he has seen many different recipes for the mosquito planter pot, but the key is the citronella geranium.

Ashton Gerard/MDN According to Calvin Berry of Green Thumb Greenhouse, succulents have maintained to be a popular household plant for years. The greenhouse has plenty of planters and individual succulents to offer.

“That is a geranium that doesn’t really put on a show as far as the flowers, but puts on a big green leafy display of foliage,” Lowe said. “Those leaves have the citronella oil in them. … That is a natural mosquito repellant.”

Berry said he’s noticed people with houses are getting away from flower beds and moving towards the more containerized or hanging basket gardens. People like the convenience of pots already made up for them.

“Succulents have been popular now for a while and are still showing a lot of popularity there,” Berry said.

Both Green Thumb Greenhouse and Lowe’s Floral and Garden Center offer already made up containers and floral gifts for the upcoming Mother’s Day holiday to help mom get a kickstart on her own garden or help her freshen up the patio.

Whatever it may be, the folks at the local garden centers are available to help adventurous gardeners find what they need to make their flower beds, gardens or patio planters pop this year.

Remember to be wary of the frost!