Consumer Growing Tips

Help your customers

The MFGA has developed a series of consumer growing tip fact sheets to be used in your retail business to help you provide information to your customers. These tip sheets were created to help our members answer questions on common gardening subjects asked by consumers. These are all in PDF file format so that you can print them out with your own computer printer. You can also have them customized with your logo and other business information. Just contact Geoffrey Njue.

These are great customer service tools that we hope will help you in your business.

Growing tip 1: Asian Longhorned Beetle

An alert citizen discovered the Asian Longhorned (ALB) in Worcester, MA in early August 2008. It is estimated that the population has been in existence there for as long as 15 years. Read more

Growing tip 2: Planting Tomatoes

Plant tomatoes and—presto!—a garden. Whether in a pot, patch, or plot—tomatoes capture the essence of summer. Follow a few simple steps for a bountiful crop. Read more

Growing tip 3: Growing Tomatoes

Tend your plants. Tomatoes require care and feeding. Then, by nature, they run wild! It’s your job to tend and guide them. Read more

Growing tip 4: Hydrangeas—Pruning for Blooms

Six hydrangea types most commonly grace our landscape. In eastern and southeastern Massachusetts, bigleaf hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla), and their many cultivars, are especially popular. Read more

Growing tip 5: Hydrangeas—Color & Fertilizing

Got the bloomin’ blues? To see if you can encourage your hydrangea to produce blue or pink flowers, determine what kind of hydrangea you have! Read more

Growing tip 6: Watering New Plantings

New plantings need water! The roots of newly planted trees and shrubs must be kept steadily moist, but not soggy, as the developing roots establish in new soil. Read more

Growing tip 7: Fall Flowers—Mums & Annuals

Seize a cooler moment in August or early September to plant fresh flowering plants. Chrysanthemums star in the fall color show, but don’t overlook pansies, violas and asters. Read more

Growing tip 8: Fall Planting—Trees & Shrubs

Why plant in fall? From mid‐August to mid‐October air temperatures and warm, damp soil conditions promote vigorous root growth. Read more

Growing tip 9: Fall Planting—Successful Care

Water—new plantings need at least 1” of water every week. If less than 1” of rain has fallen in 5 – 7 days, water the plants, or they may not survive. Read more

Growing tip 10: Holiday Plant Care—Fall & Winter

Holiday plants light up the waning daylight hours of late fall and early winter. They represent an ancient tradition of honoring seasonal cycles and celebrations. Read more

Growing tip 11: Holiday Plant Care—Spring

Colorful spring plants arrive at local garden centers just in time to rescue us from winter doldrums. Time to embrace the new season! Read more

Growing tip 12: Pruning Flowering Shrubs

Why prune? If flowering shrubs are left un‐pruned, the old woody stems will dominate and suppress vigorous, healthy new growth. Read more

Growing tip 13: Growing Herbs

What are herbs? Plants valued for their flavoring, scent or as medicinal remedies are called herbs. Read more

Growing tip 14: Easy Herbs

The top seven herbs that are easiest to maintain! Read more

Growing tip 15: Preserving Herbs

Gardeners can preserve herbs for use all year. We know that fresh herbs peak in flavor during summer, but New England summers don’t last long. Read more

Growing tip 16: Starting Seeds Indoors

Starting seeds indoors gives a head start on the gardening season and opens the door to growing endless varieties. It’s a fun way to kick off the gardening season! Read more

Growing tip 17: Caring for Seedlings

How to Grow Healthy Seedlings Once seeds have sprouted, remove the plastic cover! → See Growing Tips 16 Starting Seeds Indoors. Read more

Growing tip 18: Plan a Vegetable Garden

What vegetables do your family like? What size garden do you want? What will grow well on your site? Make a sketch on paper to show where you will plant each crop. Read more

Growing tip 19: Planting a Vegetable Garden

Cool weather crops, such as broccoli, cabbage, lettuce and Brussels sprouts, can tolerate a little frost so they can be transplanted two weeks or so prior to the average date of the last frost. Read more

Growing tip 20: Deer Resistant Plants

Damage to valuable landscape plants tends to increase along with the growing population of white‐tailed deer in rural and suburban areas of Massachusetts. Read more

Growing tip 21: Perennials—Continuous Color

In bloom from early spring through fall, garden perennials will brighten your landscape year after year. Combine colors that please you. Make the flower garden a focal point. Read more

Growing tip 22: Annuals for Shade

Flowering annual plants bloom from spring to fall. They don’t overwinter, but the reward of low maintenance continuous color is worth the effort of planting out in May. Read more

Growing tip 23: Annuals for Sun

Just like annuals meant for the shade, the plants bloom from spring to fall. They don’t overwinter, but the reward of low maintenance continuous color is worth the effort of planting out in May. Read more

Growing tip 24: Colorful Container Gardens

Container gardens offer endless possibilities for small spaces or as focal points in larger landscapes. Containers range from traditional pots to buckets with holes, or castoff boots! Read more