Preparing Your Garden for Planting

Gardening Preparation in the Spring

When the days are becoming a little longer and the cold weather is beginning to break it can mean only one thing: spring is approaching. Seasoned gardeners know that they must prepare their soil and plants well before the warm weather takes over, so here is a look at some gardening preparation tips and ideas that will ensure a great harvest no matter what you plan on growing this year.

Begin Plotting Your Land

Plotting the land will help you get an idea of exactly what supplies you will need, when it is time to put seeds in the ground, and an overall timeframe for the coming months. For most, this can be done with nothing more than a pen, paper, and a few minutes out near the garden. The more tech-savvy gardeners can use plotting apps or programs to help them accommodate for row distancing and the distribution of seeds.

Assessing Your Space

Once you have a general idea on how the space will be used it is time to take a thorough look at how your land has held up to the winter months. Even a well-maintained garden could have been dramatically altered by heavy rains or a late freeze, and some of the repairs or changes to the land may take at least a few weeks. One important step in this process is to make a list of absolute essentials such as supplies to repair fences, mulch, replacement tools, and replacement dividers if any have become rotten.

Weeding and Exterminating

You may have grand gardening ideas for the coming year, but you will be setting yourself up for failure if you skimp on the soil prep. If there are only a handful of weeds or rocks in your garden you can often remove them with nothing more than a spade or even your hands. If the plot of land has been taken over by a large amount of debris you may want to invest in a rototiller to turn the top of the soil over and then sift out the unwanted material. It is also a good idea to keep an eye out for any roots growing under the soil or runner grass that could be soaking up nutrients. Any living material that has been removed can be transported to the compost pile.

If you had any problems with diseases from the last growing season don’t put any of this live material into your compost pile. As you clear the land and any new seeds pop up, remove the seedlings and throw them away. Do not risk using any material that has come into contact with old diseases such as blight.

Finalize Your Irrigation System

Having an efficient irrigation system can mean the difference between a successful garden and a time sink. If the watering system you were using from the previous year worked well, all you need to do is take inventory of any hoses, spouts, or barrels that need to be replaced. If the irrigation system was ineffective in recent years, try a new approach or seek out some professional help. Soil that is perfectly watered and aerated will promote the growth of healthy plants while cutting down on water bills.

Pest Control

The final step before planting those seeds or sprouting the seedlings is to consider this year’s strategy on pest control. This is one time in which there is no single answer that will be right for every gardener. Consider some of the local pests that you have dealt with in recent years and then ask a specialist on the best control and prevention methods. Primarily, you want to limit their ability to acquire food, water, and shelter. Just as important as preventing unwanted pests is attracting beneficial insects such as ladybugs and assassin insects with pollen-rich plants such as dill and fennel.

With all of this prep work out of the way your garden should be just about ready for spring. You can once again enjoy the warm weather with a newly organized garden that is sure to produce a bountiful harvest in the coming months.

Exciting New Plant Offerings for 2015

Exciting New Plants

We love anything and everything that has to do with gardening, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that we get really excited when we have the opportunity to offer new plants to our customers at Bedner’s. This year, we’re introducing several new annuals and perennials that we think you’ll love just as much as we do!



DigiplexisThe Digiplexis is a new hybrid of the ever-popular foxglove. It has lots of flower power with stunning stalks covered in coral-colored tubular blooms. The plant is big, long-blooming and the colors are simply striking! The plant is fast growing and sterile, meaning it doesn’t go to seed, leaving more energy for the plant to become large and bushy. It’s full-size height is 36 inches tall and 18 inches wide and it grows in orderly, densely packed rows, making it a great addition for lining walkways or outlining plant beds. Flowering begins as early as April and continues all summer long. This plant does best in full sun or part shade and needs moist well-drained soil to prosper.


Begonia Lucky Strike


Begonia Lucky StrikeThe Begonia Lucky Strike is best recognized for its bright and beautiful single and semi-double apricot blooms surrounded by large serrated deep green foliage. Each bloom boasts petals 3 to 4 inches wide, which is much larger than many other Begonias. The Lucky Strike first blooms in late spring and throughout the summer and is perfectly suited to continue blooming throughout the fall if planted in a container. The plant forms symmetrical, neat mounds of about 10 to 14 inches high and up to 20 inches wide and is perfect for baskets, flower pots and window boxes. In Western Pennsylvania, this plant will thrive in full sun and is quite resistant to drought. 

Anemone ‘Pocahontas’


Anemone PocahontasThe Anemone Pocahontas is another new plant to Bedner’s and we think it will make a great addition to our existing Anemones. The Pocahontas features double-flowered bubble-gum blossoms that are vigorous, growing quickly to a full size of 12-18 inches tall and 18 to 24 inches wide. The Pocahontas is great for borders, foundations, containers and small urban gardens. If container planting, a single Pocahontas plant can easily and quickly fill a one or two gallon container. The strong stalks, make it great for cutting. 

Astilbe Chocolate Shogun


Astilbe ShogunThis award-winning native plant of Japan is easy to identify by its dark chocolate/maroon leaves and blush-hued flower spikes. The Chocolate Shogun prefers to be planted in shade and is great for woodland borders or ground cover. Soil conditions should be kept moist or wet and the plant will require supplemental watering during periods of drought. 

Heucherella ‘Leapfrog’


Heucherella LeapfrogThe Heucherella Leapfrog is a fun leafy perennial with bright chartreuse foliage with burgundy centers that mellow to green with purple centers in the summer. The plant also features ivory, bottlebrush-like flowers. The Leapfrog is mostly grown for its attractive foliage and year-long garden interest. With a max height of 10 to 12 inches, this plant is great for areas where a low-lying plant is needed like in the front row of flower beds or as a filler around higher plants. The Leapfrog is an easy to grow mounding plant and typically spreads to about 18 to 24 inches wide. This plant thrives in both sun and shade, making it very versatile. 

Winter Planting

March 5, 2015.  Ever wonder what we do all winter?  Here’s a little behind-the-scenes glimpse of what we’ve been working on since January.

Working at Bedner’s Farm and Greenhouse

Bedners Farm and Greenhouse

Even though it may seem like spring is eons away, we’ve been planning for another busy growing season for some time now at Bedner’s. It takes a lot of work to prepare and maintain our farm and greenhouse every year and we wouldn’t be able to do any of it without the help of our employees.

Working at Bedner’s Farm & Greenhouse is a great opportunity for mothers and teens in school that are looking for a family oriented place of employment that provides flexibility in work hours. We understand that your family and school work are important and are willing to work with you to create a work schedule that meets your needs.

Bedner’s is also a great place to work for those who don’t like being stuck inside for hours on end. Our employees enjoy ample time outdoors as they help us maintain our farm and greenhouse and assist customers with planting needs.

Many of our employees come to us as lovers of nature who want to work outdoors, so even if you’re a novice at gardening, we’ll help teach you the basics of what you need to know. We’re always looking for hard workers who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty and are willing to learn.

Farm WorkWhile most of our positions require just basic or novice knowledge of greenhouses and farming, some of our positions require a little more experience. For example, we’re currently looking for a Landscape Designer with a bachelor’s degree in a related field and knowledge of horticulture. While these types of positions are more the exception than the norm, it’s worth pointing out that we also have a need for highly experienced and skilled farm and greenhouse workers.

With everything we do at Bedner’s, we maintain high standards and pursue quality of our plants, products and customer service. Regardless of position, we’re always looking for potential team members who can support us in this pursuit.

So what do you think? Does Bedner’s sound like a good fit for you?

Right now, as we approach the 2015 growing season, we’re in need of several new team members to help keep Bedner’s Farm & Greenhouse humming. Some of these positions include a nursery assistant, landscape foreman, landscape crew, greenhouse laborer, sales assistant, and a farm laborer.

To apply to any of our positions, all you need is a Letter of Interest, resume, and to fill out our employment application. You can check out the employment page on our website for the latest in employment opportunities and descriptions of what we’re looking for with each position.

We’d love to have you on our team!

10 Gift Ideas for Gardeners

Looking for the perfect gift to give to your favorite gardening guru? Those who love spending time tending to plants and flowers enjoy receiving gifts that represent their gardening passion. Gardeners love gifts that meet their essential needs such as high-quality gardening tools like lopers, pruning saw, pruners, and garden shears, but there are a lot more gift options out there than your typical gardening tools! If you want something unique, consider one of these 10 gift ideas for the green thumb in your life!

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Gardening Journal
Gardening Journal – A sometimes overlooked part to a gardeners arsenal is a gardening journal. A great garden journal can add to and enhance the enjoyment of gardening while leading to more successful gardens. A journal is a great tool because it can be used as much or as little as desired. Gardening journals can be used to record every single detail and activity performed in the garden. This includes all the watering, fertilizing, pruning, and rainfall. On the other hand, the journal can be used to record just techniques, tips, and tricks that have helped the garden grow. There are various pre-made journals available for purchase on sites like Amazon, or if you would like to add a little more DIY love, some of the journals on Pinterest may inspire you.


Gardening Journal
Seed Kit – Seed kits are great gifts because most gardeners are used to getting grown plants as gifts, but they’ll enjoy tending and growing seeds in different varieties. There are many different variations of seed kits available for purchase. Some come with many different types of seeds, while others may follow a specific theme like herbs, wild flowers or fall vegetables. Seed kits are very affordable and can be purchased as small starter-kits for around $10 to $15, while more complex kits can cost $75 to $100.


Plant Nanny
Plant Nanny – Even the most experienced gardeners may sometimes forget to water a potted plant and there’s nothing worse than finding your favorite plants withered from drought. That’s where a Plant Nanny comes in handy. A Plant Nanny is a bottle shaped accessory that sticks in to the soil and slowly waters potted plants. This is a great gift that can make a garden more low maintenance and allow for more free time to be used for other hobbies or a bigger garden! The Plant Nanny is a “#1 Best Seller” on Amazon. Plant Nanny retails for between $8 and $20 depending on which model is needed.


Rain Gauge
Rain Gauge – Giving plants the right amount of water is essential to a great garden. Keeping track of all the rain a garden receives can be difficult to estimate without the proper tools. Displaying a quality rain gauge in the garden will show how much rain has fallen and if additional watering is needed. A typical rain gauge will retail for under $20, while more advanced wireless digital models can be $50 to $70.


Terrarium – Once the final fall harvest is complete, many gardeners don’t know what to do with their newfound free time! That’s where terrariums come in. Your favorite gardener will have an amazing time picking little shrubbery and moss to create their terrarium. Terrariums are usually made of glass and come in many different sizes perfect for any area of the home. Terrariums let gardeners keep their skills sharp during the offseason and range in price from $10 to $100.


Garden Accessories
Personalized Garden Accessories – Gardening is all about personal touch, that’s why having a personalized accessory for the garden is a great idea. The size, color, and personal touch with these accessories is near limitless. Flags and stakes can let everyone know who the garden belongs to, while stones come in handy for adding a subtle personal note to a garden. Having a few garden stakes, flags, or stones designed with your gardener’s initials or monogram can add a big impact to a garden.


Sundial – Sundials are decorative garden pieces and serve a purpose! Because it is sometimes difficult and distracting for a gardener to have their phone or watch in the garden, a sundial will help your beloved gardener to tell the time in the garden without carrying or wearing any gadgets. It can also be helpful in determining sun exposure for different plants. The gift adds a fun little perk to gardens. Decorative sundials start out around $25, while more complex sundials can be upwards of $80 to $100.


Frost Protectors
Frost Protectors – Frost protectors are great tools in the winter months for keeping plants and gardens frost free. They come in particularly handy for transitional seasons like fall and spring when the weather may be slightly unpredictable. Frost protectors are usually pop-up plastic boxes, or plastic bags, that sit neatly over plants or flowers. The type of frost protector chosen depends on the size of the garden and what plants the gardener may need to cover. They can be priced as low as $10 for bags and as high as $30 for small pop-up protectors.


Pruning Book
Good Book on Pruning – Pruning is the trimming of trees, bushes, and other plants to rid them of dead or overgrown branches and stems. Every gardener must know how to properly prune in order to keep a garden fruitful and beautiful. Pruning is a skill that can take a great deal of time to perfect, that’s why a book can help provide the knowledge to speed up the learning curve. The winter is a great time to freshen up on all gardening skills and a book on pruning or other gardening subjects can make for a great gift. There are many books available, so be sure to read the reviews before you buy. These books make a great gift, usually for under $20.


Fine Gardening Magazine
Subscription to a Gardening Magazine – A gardening magazine is an affordable gift that just keeps giving. It can provide gardeners with fresh ideas, tip, techniques, and stories every month. These magazines help gardeners build and grow successful gardens more quickly than just experience alone. Although there are many magazines on the subject of gardening, Linda, our Nursery and Landscape Manager, recommends Fine Gardening Magazine for all the best information a gardener can handle.
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