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I love GARDENING from my head TOMATOES!

Memorial Day is right around the corner - the unofficial kick off of summer. The time to collectively cross our fingers that frosty evenings are over so we can get outside and begin planting. Thankfully, the weather forecast seems to confirm that it’s time to put in our gardens as well! In fear of a late frost, I have been holding back planting my first crop of summer vegetables.  I am so happy the weather is warming because this gardener has been held back long enough!  I will begin with my first wave of vegetables and herbs (While still keeping an eye on the weather - it is Michigan, after all!) and will continue with a steady influx of more plants over the coming weeks.

Tomatoes are the number one vegetable grown by home gardeners, and are really so easy to grow. Just a few plants will produce plenty of fruits for home canning, homemade chili, spaghetti sauce, or just plain eating. Home grown tomatoes taste so much better that you'll never want to settle for supermarket tomatoes again. Whether you are a first-time tomato gardener or have had some problems in the past, here are a couple of tips I have learned along the way for successful tomato harvests. Use these tips to get more fruits per vine as well as the tastiest tomatoes on the block.  Yum!

  • Tomatoes are one of the few plants that will root from the hairs on their vines, so always plant a tomato as deeply as possible. Prune off the side shoots and leaves from the bottom of the plant, 2-6 inches above the root ball. Then plant the vine as deeply as possible, but don’t bury any of the attached leaves. Roots will begin to grow quickly from up and down the buried stem. This will develop a larger, deeper root structure.

  • Tomatoes enjoy a rich garden soil that drains well. Be careful not to add too much manure, which has a high content of nitrogen, as tomato plants in nitrogen-rich soil result in huge vines with few fruits. You want to starve tomatoes of nitrogen and give them plenty of phosphorus, the element indicated by the middle of the three numbers shown on a fertilizer bag. Phosphorus helps plants produce more roots and fruits, which is exactly what you want for superior, productive tomato plants. I strongly recommend using Espoma Tomato-tone -  an organic plant food formulated specifically for growing plump and juicy tomatoes.

We have some very informative FREE classes coming up. Join us tonight for Growing Herbs for teas, tea sampling, medicinal etc. at 6pm. Larry can't wait to share his wealth of rose knowledge at his upcoming class The ABC's of Roses on May 21st at 6pm. You can check out the full line up at wenkegreenhouses.com. Be sure to join us and bring a friend!

Clematis is still our featured perennial and will be 25% off through May 20th. If you’ve ever seen a clematis in full bloom, you know this perennial can be a real showstopper! Hurry in for best selection!

We are so happy you are not letting a little construction at 1-94/Sprinkle keep you away! For those of you who haven't ventured in this year, it's still a breeze to get here - check out alternate routes here! 

Looking forward to seeing you in the store. Open 8am-8pm Monday - Saturday and 10am-4pm on Sunday. We will also be open Memorial Day 10-4!

And don't forget to stop in any time to get free fertilizer.  Bring your own container.  Fertilizer is the secret to beautiful flowers all summer long. 

Laura Valence

Wenke Greenhouses

Where the Earth Laughs in Flowers


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New Tomato Varieties for 2015

Tomatoes are consistently the most popular vegetable in American gardens. From bite-size to sandwich-size, either red, yellow, or "black," modern or old-fashioned, there is a tomato for every taste. We have added some wonderful varieties we encourage you to try this year.

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What is an heirloom tomato?

We hate to be the ones to tell you this, but if you've never had an heirloom tomato then you've never tasted a real tomato. 

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Determinate vs Indeterminate

When selecting tomato varieties, you must choose between plants with different types of growth habits called determinate or indeterminate. All tomatoes are either one or the other. Duration and form of growth are the main ways to tell the difference between determinate and indeterminate tomatoes.

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All about Roses with Larry"The Rose Guy"

“Some people grumble that roses have thorns; I am grateful that thorns have roses.” 

~ Alphonse Karr

Learn All About Roses from Larry Hill. Larry loves talking about roses and sharing his knowledge and love of roses with others.

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