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Archives for May 25, 2014

The Garden Walk at Cressman’s opens in Bethlehem

Gather premium plants and inspiration on how to arrange them at Bethlehem’s Garden Walk at Cressman’s.

The nursery, garden center and gift shop at 2349 Linden St. (former Moose Bug Florist) features two greenhouses (one to open next year) and an outdoor space that showcases some of the business’ landscaping and hardscaping work.

“We didn’t want to just put plants in a row and not give people ideas,” said manager Barbara Hare. “We wanted to educate our customers — help them to understand which plants go well together, which plants grow very large, etc.”

The Garden Walk, which opened May 5, is an extension of Cressman’s Lawn Tree Care, a 40-year-old business that was previously based in Hellertown. All of the company’s vehicles, mowers and other equipment are now stored at the Bethlehem facility.

CEO Paul Cressman had been looking to expand his business for several years. He wanted not only to offer inspiration for customers, but also unique plants.

“Paul and I didn’t want to sell exactly what you can get down the street,” Hare said. “Instead, we chose to offer plants like lace leaf Japanese maples, weeping white spruces and dragon’s eye pines. We also offer unique colors of more common plants such as lime green lilacs, peach rhododendrons and orange azaleas.”

The displays of plants around ponds, benches and fire pits will change every few months, Hare said. In addition, the business offers landscaping consultation and a “sold” section where items can be held for future planting.

The greenhouse features a variety of herbs, vegetables, annuals, perennials and tropical plants such as mandevilla, hibiscus and pineapple trees. The facility’s second greenhouse will be overhauled to house additional plants, as well as live and artificial Christmas trees and wreaths around the holidays.

The gift shop sells seeds, books, teas and gourmet foods such as sauces, spreads and stuffed peppers. Inventory will expand to include items such as flags, Yankee candles, garden accents and local art.

The Garden Walk at Cressman’s, which hopes to add florist services starting in the fall, will hold a grand opening with door prizes and children’s crafts 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 14. Info: 610-419-8033.

For Retail Watchers looking for a new set of wheels this Memorial Day, I have some automotive news to report.

First, Rothrock held a grand opening of its new Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram dealership May 17 at 1648 Plaza Lane in South Whitehall Township. A new Nissan store under construction is set to debut in August or September.

The company, with more than 50 years’ experience, offers new and preowned vehicles, as well as maintenance, repairs, detailing, parts and accessories. Info: 866-213-1831 or

Second, Kelly Automotive Group announced Kelly Mitsubishi’s new home at 536-40 State Road in Emmaus, the former Kelly Ford dealership. The move brings more inventory and parking.

Kelly has two other dealerships on State Road, as well as a location on Easton-Nazareth Highway in Lower Nazareth Township. Info:

As freelance writer Kevin Duffy reported Thursday, a Mediterranean restaurant chain is coming to the former site of Mangos Coastal Cuisine at 3750 Hamilton Blvd. in South Whitehall Township.

The township’s Board of Commissioners on Wednesday approved the transfer of a liquor license to Allentown Carmel Cafe Wine Bar.

Owner John Ross of Macungie plans to use 5,700 square feet of the 8,000-square-foot structure while leasing out the rest of the space. He expects to open his 180-seat restaurant in the fall after completing extensive renovations.

According to the company’s website, the chain offers a wide selection of wine, as well as small and large plates, ranging from vegetarian and seafood platters to pastas and signature meat dishes. Info:

South Whitehall isn’t the only area where restaurant spaces are being revived.

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Sounding Off: Richardson-Lake Highlands readers tell us how Richardson …

RAISE YOUR VOICE: Share your own opinion online at Sign up for Sounding Off or submit a guest column (and include your full name and contact information) by visiting

What should be done to redevelop/revitalize the Main Street/Central Expressway Corridor? Are there other areas that should be updated?

Dormand Long, Lake Highlands: Almost every time we drive south on Central Expressway to LBJ Freeway, I comment to my wife about the extreme underutilization of the real estate on the west side of this prime area.

I am as consciously incompetent at real estate as I am at art, but I do know what I like and don’t like in both.

The highest and best use of the west side of the 75 Corridor is not in half-century-old, single-story-mom-and-pop stores.

I suggest that if some shuttles to extend mobility from the DART light rail stations to various sites, including Texas Instruments were implemented, this area would be a hotbed of favored living, dining, as well as office siting.

Jack Orr, Far North Dallas: Let’s face it. The “old” part of Richardson is indeed old [and] looks it and feels it. In fact, other than dining at one of the excellent Chinese restaurants nearby, there is zero reason to go there.

The best comparison I can think of is downtown Plano. It has been revitalized with purpose and is full of diverse dining and stores. So, the same could certainly be accomplished in Richardson.

But, I am not a friend to these complicated planning documents. They seem to be a product of current politics and liberal ideas more than actually coming up with workable ideas.

I would suggest that a master-planning firm be hired to come up with plans and drawings. Then, discuss, raise money and proceed.

One thing I would like to see is the uncovering of the old brick road which lies underneath Greenville Avenue. (It once went from Dallas to McKinney)

Downtown is not the only problem area in Richardson. Unfortunately, the whole city has gotten grey hair, but, it is the appropriate place to start revitalization.

Bill Mercer, Richardson: I was amused looking at the future image drawing of Main Street/Central Expressway corridor. That is a nice idea, but what a huge task. I hope the old motel on the west side of Central could be demolished (and may have been already?) The “famous” Como could be landscaped better. Unfortunately large trees probably won’t grow on either side of Central. A lot of landscaping on both sides of Central, up and beyond Main Street, north of there is simply a jumble of small businesses who deserve the right to be there.

The old downtown area really has little to encourage visits. Most people zoom in and out of the Central/Main Street area to their residences near their preferred shopping center. Would upscale restaurants, watering holes, much beautiful landscaping draw after 5 p.m. returning folks from their jobs? Richardson is so conservative even having beer/wine in the grocery stores seems a huge step forward. Maybe as the city becomes younger, “radical” ideas will work. Driving in from the north on Central is fairly attractive — from the south, not so much. Let’s give it a huge try [with] tax breaks to forward looking business folks [to] change the face of the area. Good luck.

Gay Sinz, Richardson: My husband and I attended the meeting and the things that concerned me was talk about tall buildings. Also Chinatown becoming a tourist destination. The city needs to think twice about growth. Issues such as traffic and water usage are very important to all of us.

Mike Lysell, Richardson: I read the consultants’ report on plans for Main Street/Central Expressway Corridor. The plan doesn’t have many details, but offers some broad goals for the area with supporting data. Since the city has done a good job with other development areas, I’m confident they’ll listen to the citizens in the area before they finalize any plans.

I do hope that future plans address the infrastructure needs for the city. Many of the city’s streets are in bad shape. The pot-holes on Custer between Campbell and Renner roads for example seem to out number the sections of the street that are in good repair. I know the city has funds from past bond issues set aside for street improvements, but the deterioration of the roads seem to be progressing faster than the city can keep up with.

Tom Naylor, Crowley Park in Richardson: Clearly, the city of Richardson should redevelop its Main Street/Central Expressway Corridor because today that area is fairly decrepit and unsightly. There is very little reason to visit the old Richardson downtown area because there isn’t much there and the traffic density is high.

One of the biggest improvements that could be made to the area is to provide a DART light rail station to serve the old downtown area and the Chinatown area just north of Main Street. The inclusion of DART light rail station in several of the surrounding cities, specifically in Plano, have encouraged them to improve their downtown areas to provide a more appealing area to visit with more modern shops and restaurants. Richardson should consider the same option. But, even if there is no DART light rail station in downtown, it still needs to be spruced up and modernized. This is a project that the city should encourage rather than developing some of the pristine prairie areas within the city boundaries.

LaRuth Morrow, The Reservation in Richardson: The Main Street/Central Expressway redevelopment has been on Richardson’s revitalization agenda for a long time. There is now personnel on staff to help with progress. For the city to continue to revisit this area and attempt to finalize a plan means that all the redevelopment components are not in place. One paramount partner is DART. Main Street would benefit from a DART station at Main Street for this area to be a destination spot. Presently, there is a long waiting time for the DART stations funding.

The second concern is the location of Richardson’s main police station and fire station at Main Street and Greenville Avenue. These public servants need access to feeding streets to protect us around the clock. If the current blue prints for Main Street between Central and Greenville remain and are implemented, our emergency vehicles main paths to rescue could be impacted.

sounding off

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Real Estate news for May 25


Sea Pines Real Estate welcomes new agents

Two agents recently joined Sea Pines Real Estate at The Cottage Group in Harbour Town. Paul Bombige joins the company as a sales executive. Bombige previously worked in real estate sales, lending and investing in New York City and in California. He can be reached at 843-295-7476. Jeff Morford has more than 20 years of real estate sales experience and previously worked in international investment banking as managing director with G.E. Capital and as owner/broker for Prudential Real Estate. He can be reached at 843-290-2305.

Weichert welcomes Sharon Bridges to team

Realtor Sharon Bridges recently joined the Weichert, Realtors-Coastal Properties sales team. Bridges is a member of the Hilton Head MLS and the Hilton Head Area Association of Realtors. She will work in the agency’s Sun City Hilton Head office and can be reached at 843-304-7148. Weichert, Realtors-Coastal Properties has offices on Hilton Head Island and in Bluffton, Beaufort and Sun City. Company headquarters located at 1038 William Hilton Parkway, Hilton Head. 843-341-3700.

The Greenery Garden Center, located at 960 William Hilton Parkway, will offer free gardening seminars in June. Reservations are encouraged. To RSVP, contact Jamie Harrison at 843-785-3848 or A special discount will be offered in The Greenery Garden Center to those in attendance who make a same-day purchase.

Landscape ideas for your yard: 10:30 a.m. June 4 and June 7. The Greenery staff will share creative ways to think about landscaping ideas for your yard.

Disease and pest control: 10:30 a.m. June 11 and June 14. Horticulture Professor Bill Leonard will discuss disease and pest control including prevention to maintain your healthy plants and treatments to use when needed.

Ask the expert: 10:30 a.m. June 18 and June 21. Gary Moews, The Greenery’s small garden design consultant, will take questions and share ideas for a successful yard. 

Heat-tolerant summer containers: 10:30 a.m. June 25, June 28. Wendy Porterfield, The Greenery’s landscape and floral designer, will share secrets to creating summer gardening containers for your entrance way or yard that are both visually fabulous and heat tolerant.

• According to a RE/MAX National Housing Report, April home sales rose higher than sales in the previous month for the second month in a row. While April sales were 10.9 percent higher than March, they remained below the same period last year by 7.8 percent. Only two of the 52 metro areas included in the April report experienced lower sales than the previous month. Year-over-year home prices continued to push higher in April, with a 5.8 increase, which is lower than the 10.7 percent increase seen in April 2013. April became the 13th consecutive month with fewer inventory losses than the previous month. At the rate of home sales in April, the Months Supply of inventory fell to 3.9, where a supply of 6.0 indicates a market balanced equally between buyers and sellers.


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Chelsea Flower Show 2014: the blooms that stole the show

They were equally at home nestled in Hooksgreen Herbs’ Peter Rabbit’s veg plot
(‘Sutton’s Apricot’); reaching tall in the Renaissance Gardens (wild
digitalis); and pinpointing an unusual lime hedge (Tilia cordata from
in the Time to Reflect Alzheimer’s Society garden.

A cube of foxgloves greeted us at the Botanic Nursery’s stand in the Marquee.

Headlined as “The Great Survivor”, it was described as one of the few native
plants to be well received in gardens, with a knack of springing up
unnoticed until its towering stems dominate the garden. From then on it will

Wild foxgloves are biennial, and purple forms predominate. Perennial
forms (many available from
should be cut down after flowering, allowed to regrow from their bases, then

In Marylyn Abbott’s tiny Topiarist’s Garden, a miniature of her courtyard at
West Green House, near Hook in Hampshire, creamy albiflora foxgloves and
camassias took a co-starring role to potted lupin ‘Noble Maiden’ that
nestled in a framework of clipped box, to be replaced with other plants in
pots, once spent. A charming spot, where the designer imagined the head
gardener indulging in his own flights of fancy, away from the demands of the

The tall yellow lupin ‘Chandelier’ took pride of place in the Best in Show
garden for Laurent Perrier, cushioned with frothy Deschampsia cespitosa and
Orlaya grandiflora, a combination inspired by Fergus Garrett at Great
Dixter. All the plants from this garden can be bought from,
which supplied the award-winning array, including the pale-yellow Digitalis

Crocus also stocks my favourite planting of all, in the Telegraph Garden,
where the skyscraper Stipa gigantea joined shocking pink wild Gladiolus
communis subsp. byzantinus (it grows wild in my garden), with sparkles of
tiny wild pink, Dianthus carthusianorum, that designer Tommaso del Buono
told me grew wild in the countryside near his native Florence. Tall
camassias, lime-green euphorbias, fennel and a stunning royal-blue Anchusa
azurea ‘Loddon Royalist’ completed the picture.

The Telegraph Garden (HEATHCLIFF O’MALLEY)

Because of its connection in all our hearts with the centenary of the First
World War, I’d imagined the poppy, in all its forms, would reign supreme
this year. A few wild ones (Papaver rhoeas) dotted the inspirational series
of grass mounds that made up Charlotte Rowe’s No Man’s Land for the
Soldiers’ Charity (producing the most sumptuous catalogue of the show). The
Gardeners Have All Gone plot from Pennard Plants and Roots and Shoots
celebrated the black troops who fought in the First World War with black
opium poppies in their poignant gone-to-seed vegetable garden. But the most
vibrant poppy came from the Midlothian nursery Kevock Garden Plants.

Its electric-blue Meconopsis ‘Lingholm’ lit up the Marquee. It often tempts
me, but is difficult to grow down south. They need cool, wet summers and dry

In the language of flowers, rosemary, salvia, zinnia and forget-me-not all
signify remembrance. Peonies mean compassion, but they bring out the
green-eyed monster in me: covetable varieties were shown by Binny’s (binny
), and by one of the country’s oldest nurseries, Kelways, that
specialises in peonies, iris and hardy ferns, all favourites of mine. It
sells tree, herbaceous and their crosses – intersectional peonies. I loved
its ‘Claire de Lune’, ‘Krinkled White’ and ‘Late Windflower’, all delicate
with bright golden centres, from its tempting website,

In celebration of Alan Titchmarsh’s half century in gardening, of all things
floral and the biggest community campaign, Britain in Bloom’s garden
demonstrated the wide range of flowers that can be grown in this country,
and highlighted the tallest plant skyscraper of them all, the echium. Echium
pininana (available from
has a stunning flower spike in bright blue, pink or white that can grow to
four metres (13ft) in sheltered spots, dying after flowering, but scattering
its seeds to bloom again.

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Get Outdoors PA events planned at Larnard-Hornbrook Park

Endless Mountains Heritage Region (EMHR) is the local sponsor of a state-wide initiative geared to getting people outdoors to enjoy all that nature has to offer. GO Day PA activities planned at Larnard-Hornbrook Park in Bradford County on Friday and Saturday, June 13 and 14; encompass environmental stewardship, stargazing, bird watching, kayaking, and a historical perspective on survival in the region prior to the arrival of European settlers.

Numerous experts will offer presentations and conduct hands-on activities, including archery, fishing, and a black powder shoot. Families and friends can enjoy live jazz music at nightfall, participate in a midmorning outdoor workout with dancing, and get a lesson on the best native plant species for gardens and landscaping.

Several state agencies, including the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Recreation and Park Society, Land Trust Association, Fish and Boat Commission, Game Commission, and Department of Health have partnered to promote outdoor recreation and bring outdoor experiences closer to where people live.

On the local level, EMHR has collaborated with the Bradford County Conservation District (BCCD) and Bradford County Parks to sponsor the family-friendly event. Get Outdoors PA is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, having started in Pennsylvania’s state parks. This is the first year that event has been staged locally, and EMHR’s Lydia Whipple is excited about the variety of activities and the broad appeal of the scheduled presentations. She hopes that participants will be further motivated to explore the area’s natural surroundings and that youths will learn to embrace outdoor recreation.

Admission to Larnard-Hornbrook Park is free, though some activities require preregistration or nominal fees.

GO Day PA will kick off with a tree planting ceremony at 4 p.m. on June 13, followed by a “stream stomp” conducted by naturalist and educator Nicole Carman. A five mile kayak trip on the Susquehanna River from Ulster to the Park in Sheshequin Township will begin at 4:30 p.m. at a cost of $20 per paddler.

Marty Borko of the Carantouan Greenway will conduct a nature walk at 5 p.m., and Bradford County Conservation District Educator, Dan Rhodes, will speak about camping and wilderness techniques employed by Native Americans and early explorers at 6 p.m.

At 7 p.m., guests are invited to enjoy classic American picnic fare at $7 per plate, after which T2 Jazz Affair will offer an interactive program of live music and storytelling. Joan Cashin will point out constellations and other celestial features, starting at 10 p.m.

Several activities will occur simultaneously on Saturday morning. Borko will take early risers on a bird walk at 9 a.m., while runners and walkers begin to register for a 5K Run that starts at 9:30 a.m. Those who preregister at will receive a free tee shirt. A one-mile fun walk for kids will step off at 9:45 a.m.

From 9 a.m. to noon, representatives from the Fish and Boat Commissioner will share their fishing tips with families who have preregistered at the news page at

The black powder shoot will take place at 10 a.m., as will a presentation by Master Gardner Tina Kellogg about invasive species and native plants. Sarah Adams and Shari Williams will get guests moving with an outdoor workout at 10:30 a.m.

Local 4-H representatives will conduct an archery demonstration from 11 a.m. to noon, when GO Day PA culminates with a chicken barbecue lunch prepared and sold by members of Boy Scout Troop 19.

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Warm Weather Leads To Landscaping Rush


With warm weather seemingly here to stay, plenty of people are rushing to take care of any yard work and landscaping projects they’ve had to put on hold.

The cold weather this spring kept a lot of people out of their yards until now, and businesses like Oak Ridge Nursery in Brandon were prepared for the rush. Weekends like this have the nursery at full staff ready to help a non-stop line of customers hoping to get exactly what they need.

“We had kind of a slow start, but now the weather’s finally turned around. Everybody’s anxious to get out in the yards, get plants and flowers going, get the gardens now that we should be past any frost state,” landscape designer Daemon Coughlin said.

May is typically the busiest month for nurseries like Oak Ridge, but the crowd has grown even bigger this year because of the small transition from cold to warmer temperatures.

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Gardening tips rooted in childhood – Herald

Posted: Friday, May 23, 2014 7:00 am

Gardening tips rooted in childhood


I had my own watering can as a girl.

It was at once miniature and mammoth. It was unusually small for a watering can. But it was plastic and molded in the shape of a frog — a frog much larger than I’d ever seen in real life.

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Friday, May 23, 2014 7:00 am.

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Gardening Tips from Eliza Fournier

General Garden Care 

-Plant warm-season flowering annuals, vines, herbs, and vegetables after the Chicago area’s average last frost date of May 15.
-Be sure newly purchased annuals have been hardened off properly before planting them outside.
-Avoid fertilizing newly planted annuals for two weeks.

Annual and Perennial Care

-Stake tall perennials before they reach 6 inches.
-Begin to regularly pinch back fall-blooming perennials (pinch once a week until the middle of July).
-Continue to direct the growth of perennial vines on their supports. Climbing roses should be encouraged to develop lateral, flower-bearing canes.

Tree and Shrub Care

-Plant trees and shrubs, including balled and burlapped evergreens on a cloudy day, early in the morning, to prevent heat and transplant shock.
-Water thoroughly and gently at planting time and continue for the first year with 1 inch of water a week, spread throughout the root zone. 
-Mulch root zones to conserve moisture.

Rose Care

-Fertilize roses with a liquid 20-20-20 solution when flower buds are set.
-Do not handle rosebushes if foliage is wet and infected. 
-Monitor roses for rose slugs (small white caterpillars with black heads) and their damage (tissuelike patches on the leaves).

Lawn Care

-Mow lawn at 2 to 2½ inches, removing one-third or less of the leaf blade.
-Leave grass clippings on the lawn to return nutrients to the soil, or add them to compost heap.
-Fertilize lawn in mid-May if necessary.

Fruit, Vegetable, and Herb Care

-Plant corn, snap beans, summer squash, and New Zealand spinach in mid-May.
-Thin carrots, beets, and late lettuce.
-Spread several inches of aged compost on vegetable and herb beds, if not done yet.

Read more of Chicago Botanic Garden’s tips.

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A perfect match

Rosa ‘Jayne Austin’ (Ausbreak) and purple clematis, which work well together. PA Photo/Image courtesy of David Austin Roses.

Roses and clematis make a perfect partnership in borders or patio pots. Hannah Stephenson chooses some of her favourite combinations

There are some combinations that make life feel better – strawberries and cream, roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, gin and tonic…. but for me, one of the classic combinations which will always bring a heavenly note to summer is the pairing of clematis and roses.

They not only complement each other colour-wise, the rich blues and purples of the clematis contrasting beautifully with the colour palette of the rose, but they also enjoy similar growing conditions as both need a rich, fertile soil, regular feeding with fertilisers high in potash and nitrogen and plenty of watering during the growing season.

Early season clematis, such as C. alpina and C. macropetala, with their bushy habits, are naturally suited to training up and masking the bare stems of climbing and rambler roses.

Among the favourite combinations in my garden is the David Austin English rose, Rosa ‘Gertrude Jekyll’, which produces beautiful, blousy deep pink fragrant blooms in summer and the Clematis ‘Nelly Moser’, a soft pink-and-white candy striped hybrid which twines itself around the rose during the summer months.

Clematis can cling gently to other plants by twining their leaf stalks around other stems or supports and will not strangle a rose they are growing through.

When choosing a combination, the easiest option is to go for clematis that flower on the current season’s growth as these bloom in late summer and autumn and are pruned in late winter to early spring, at the same time as roses.

Some large-flowering clematis bloom in late spring and early summer on wood produced the previous year. These can be grown through roses but you need to prune them when their first flowers have faded, which you can do while you’re dead-heading the rose.

Early to midsummer-flowering types, including C. ‘Lasurstern’ and C. ‘Marie Boisselot’, benefit from being thinned to five or six shoots before they are tied into a rose. Fewer flowers may result but these will be larger and more evenly spaced, resulting in a more balanced display.

Effective contrasts include the mauve Clematis ‘Prince Charles’ with the soft yellow rose ‘The Pilgrim’. The clematis has fairly small blooms and suits the shorter habit of the rose. Clematis ‘Arctic Queen’, with its bold white flowers, sets off the delicate pink of Rosa ‘Cornelia’.

If you have a larger area to cover such as an archway or pergola, climbers are ideal for providing a living curtain of colour. The white blooms of the Rosa ‘Climbing Iceberg’ combine beautifully with the deep mauve blooms of Clematis ‘Lasurstern’, which will train over an arch to create both a visual showstopper and a fragrance sensation. Alternatively, Clematis ‘Romantika’ drips with amazing inky-purple flowers and makes a perfect companion for a pale climbing rose.

Some combinations work fantastically well in pots, especially on obelisks, which give their growth plenty of support, but you’ll need a really large pot because a climbing rose can make a lot of growth. Try matching Rosa ‘Snow Goose’, a small repeat-flowering rambler with fragrant pompom white petals, with C. ‘The President’, which bares deep purple flowers from late spring to early autumn.

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Garden experts offer tips on growing great veggies, especially tomatoes

While April showers bring May flowers, the month of May is the official start of the season for warm-weather crops like tomatoes and peppers.

Why May? By the time Memorial Day rolls around, May’s soil is toasty warm, a condition that tomatoes and peppers need in order to establish good root growth before flowering and fruiting time.

Tomatoes and peppers, which can be planted in large pots or in the ground, are popular among all types of gardeners, including people who have little yard space, according to local garden centers. Succession planting, or staggering your plantings for extended harvests, means you can have tomatoes and other veggies into late fall. Tomatoes, which need full sun and regular water, are easily planted into mid-July.

“There are more than 700 types of tomatoes, and we offer 110 tomato and 43 pepper varieties,” says Tish Llaneza of Countryside Gardens in Hampton.

“Many have been recommended by customers over the years. All have pictures and stories on our Pinterest page, And, our herbs, come from A Thyme to Plant, the largest organic herb farm in Virginia.”

The vegetable garden is a great way to spend quality time and harvest quality food for the table, according to retired Virginia Cooperative Extension agent Jim Orband of Yorktown.

“There are minimum requirements when growing vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers, the salad vegetables – eight-plus hours of sun, access to water and routine monitoring of the plants,” Orband said.

You can call in tomato and other gardening questions to him monthly, including noon-1 p.m. Thursday, June 19, during his live program on the “HearSay” public radio program on WHRV-FM 89.5. Email questions to or call 440-2665 on the show day.

“Watering needs to be done early in the day and the water needs to be applied around the base of the plant and not on the plants foliage. Use a porous mulch around your plants, such as pine needles that will help conserve water, reduce water evaporation, and reduce the spread of early blight disease.”

Here, meet local gardeners with some of their tips on growing great vegetables in any season:

Larry Nisley in Hampton

“Our spring season remained cooler longer than expected, so cool crops held on longer,” says Larry Nisley a Hampton master gardener and employee at McDonald Garden Center in Hampton.

“I recently removed old spring crops to prevent insects carrying over to my new crop and any diseases that might survive on the surface of the soil,” he said.

“My raised bed had an outstanding selection of leaf lettuces, radishes, onions and spinach. Successive planting was one of my efforts this year for a constant crop of cool-season crops. Now, I’m in transition to summer crops.”

Nisley suggests adding a thin layer of compost to recharge your soil for summer crops. This can be done before or after your plants have been placed, and are growing.

Garden lime is important especially for tomatoes, peppers, squash and watermelon plants, he adds. Lime helps prevent blossom end rot that occurs later into the summer growing season.

“I use and recommend Bio-Tone by Espoma when you plant tomatoes,” he said. “I also recommend planting tomato’s in a slanted angle into the ground but also use Bio-tone to encourage greater root development.”

During the growing season, Nisley uses a top dressing of Tomato-tone around the plant stem every two weeks. Tomato-tone has lime in the fertilizer which helps prevent blossom-end rot.

“I use a palm size or three tablespoons sprinkled around each plant,” he said.

To deter diseases and pests in the veggie garden, Nisley recommends proper spacing for good air circulation and light penetration.

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