Holding On

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In an ideal world, we gardeners could always get plants we want at the perfect size, at the perfect planting time, and have the perfect spot picked out and ready for them. In reality, we often have to settle for a smaller plant than we’d like, or else buy multiple pots when we know that one plant will eventually do the job. Or, we end up with a collection of potted perennials and shrubs sitting around and needing to be watered every day until we figure out where we’re going to put them.

Nurseries can have the same problems. Here at Linden Hill Gardens, we know our customers enjoy having access to a wide variety of lush, garden-ready plants, and we do our best to keep you all supplied with old favorites and exciting new finds. To that end, Jerry has been busy on a new project: installing extensive holding beds back in the area we call “Block 3” (down at the far end of the pond). Most of you probably have never been back there, but you didn’t miss much. For the past few years, it has been a hodgepodge of plants and soil piles.

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Block 3 at Linden Hill – before Jerry got started

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Block 3 now…ready for its new life as our propagation and growing area

In the last few weeks, that area has been cleared, built up, and leveled, and soon, Jerry will be filling it with a series of extensive holding beds. That will give us lots of room to set out and grow on seedlings and small starter plants that we get from specialty suppliers, until they are just the right size to pot up for sale or grace the gardens of our landscape clients.

The inspiration for our new propagation area came from Jerry’s trip out to Minnesota this summer, for the Perennial Plant Association’s annual conference. One of the stops on the nursery tour was Kelley and Kelley Nursery, in Long Lake, MN.

You know Jerry likes to think big, but holding beds don’t have to be huge. In fact, you can make them pretty much any size and enjoy their many benefits in your home landscape. Want to buy a plant but don’t know if you have space for it in your garden? If you have a holding bed ready, you can easily pop it into the ground and let it grow there until you find just the right place. Want to see what exactly color a flower will be before you choose a permanent spot for it but can’t find one in bloom? Buy a plant in leaf or bud and grow it in a holding bed until it flowers and you can see it for yourself.

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Holding beds are especially useful at this time of year, when you’re shopping nursery sales and need a place to overwinter your new finds. (Oh, did we mention our own end-of-season deal? Starting on October 13th, all of our nursery stock is 40% off!)

At its simplest, a holding bed could be an unused spot in your vegetable garden, where the soil is empty after you’ve harvested your summer crops. Or, you could choose a currently unused but convenient spot, fairly close to an outdoor faucet so you can easily water the young plants as needed.

Another view of the nursery beds at Kelley and Kelley Nursery. If you try something like this at home, keep the bed just 3 to 4 feet wide at most, so you can easily reach in for planting without stepping on the soil, but make it as long as you have space for, or build multiple beds.

Make a frame with wood or plastic lumber, or bricks or cement blocks, or whatever you have handy, and fill it with a loose, fertile growing medium, such as Jerry’s special compost mix.

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You’ve seen how Jerry’s blend of aged cow manure, leaf mold, mushroom soil, and other special ingredients–what he calls “The Good Stuff!”–makes our gardens here thrive, and it can do the same for your plants. We sell it by the bucket and by the truckload.

So, have we sold you on trying this simple but invaluable addition to any gardener’s bag of tricks? Set aside a few hours to build a holding bed of your own, then come out to Linden Hill this month and stock up on great plants. We still have a great selection to choose from. There’s no need to feel guilty about those impulse purchases, because you’ll already have the ideal place for them to live until your garden is ready to receive them.


Join us this Saturday, October 8 at 11am for a lecture on

 NATURALIZING BULB PLANTINGS

Hosted by Jerry Fritz. Discover how to choose the best bulbs to plant now in order to enjoy spectacular spring blooms next season. Special discount on bulb purchases for attendees. This is a free event and pre-registration is required.

Click here to register for Naturalizing Bulb Planting Lecture

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