Meet Our Expert Gardeners

This week, we want to introduce the Round Rock Garden Center expert gardeners. Anytime you have an issue with your plants or grass, Round Rock Garden Center’s expert gardeners are the first to respond to your issue. Whether it’s over the phone or a live sample brought in person, our staff is always excited to help. Here’s the team that helps keep Round Rock’s gardens beautiful.

Jeff is the owner of Round Rock Garden Center. He keeps an overseeing eye on all departments and handles finances. Jeff started the company 16 years ago when it was a small shop. He saw potential and grew the store into the beautiful garden center it is today. You can find Jeff around the garden center and many times at our hosted events. Jeff is always ready to help customers with questions and offer great prices on all gardening needs.

Diana is our manager in charge of the gift deck and our office administrator. She has been at the garden center since day one, 16 years ago. She is quick to recognize any issues you’re having with a plant or grass and knows the exact remedies to get them back to good health. She also handles many behind the scene business affairs to keep the garden center growing.

Marisa has been with Round Rock Gardens for 6 months. She’s the manager that oversees social media posts, creates ads, writes our weekly newsletter and blogs. When she’s not in the office focusing on Round Rock Garden Center’s media presence, she can be found at the register or helping customers in the garden.

 

Meet J. He’s one of Round Rock Garden Center’s managers. He’s also the arborist and the man with the plan when it comes to your grass or identifying plant issues. You’ll often catch J early in the morning watering the garden center’s plants. He is an expert in all areas, especially in identifying diseases and pests. Many customers of the garden center have trusted J for years and keep coming back to him for more expert advice.

 

Dan is one of the happiest people you’ll ever meet and we’re so lucky to have him as part of our team at the garden center. Dan is a groundskeeper of the garden, constantly pulling weeds and watering plants to keep them beautiful until our customers take them home. Dan loves helping customers find exactly what they’re looking for.

Our new greenhouse manager is Terra. She came to Round Rock Garden Center in March of 2018 and has done a wonderful job keeping the greenhouse stocked full of lush green color. Terra always orders the trendiest plants and has the best suggestions when it comes to houseplants. She is knowledgeable about the plants she sells and will always send you home with everything you need to know.

 

If you’ve been to our bedding and Veggie section, you’ve probably met Sam, our bedding manager. He’s the perfect expert to answer any questions you may have about annuals or veggies; when to plant, what to plant, and how to water- Sam always has the correct answer for you. You can expect to find the most colorful and seasonal plants in Sam’s section, especially during the fall. He knows what plants to order because he knows what plants our customers love.

We’re sure you’ve noticed all the beautiful colors that exude from this section. Sarah has done a wonderful job keeping the plants watered and beautifully displayed. She’s always eager to help a customer looking for any plant in any section.

Our register lead is Julia. She does an amazing job answering customer calls, leading customers to the plants they’re looking for, keeping descriptive signs in plants, and ensuring the customer leaves happy. Julia has constantly been making improvements to the register since she started at Round Rock Garden Center.

Riley is on the register at the garden center. He’s got a great attitude and loves talking to the customers about their gardening needs. Riley has been featured on Round Rock Garden Center’s Facebook page and he’s quite popular with our customers. He has a great social media presence and truly loves what he does. Riley believes in customer service with a smile.

One of our newest members to the register is Garett. Since Garret has started at the garden center, he has shown incredible customer service. He always offers our customers the chance to become a Garden Rewards Member and never forgets to mention the opportunity to redeem points during a redemption period. We are happy to have Garett’s wonderful customer service skills on our team.

Victor is the man behind the curtain. He is Round Rock Garden Center’s waterer and one of the only few people that are permitted to use the forklift. Victor helps unload all the shipments of beautiful plants we receive throughout the week. He is always making his coworkers laugh and has a great time helping customers find what they need.

Round Rock Garden Center has many different expert employees, but our entire team is always ready to answer questions and help you find exactly what you are looking for. We value our customers and love to help keep the gardens of Round Rock beautiful.

The First Day of Fall

When you think about fall, do you think about wrapping yourself up in a warm blanket, or drinking a warm mug of hot cocoa? Maybe you get excited because fall is the perfect time for planting in your garden! The first day of fall has snuck up on us fast. This Saturday, September 22, we will be in full swing for fall. Grab your blanket, cup of cocoa, and head outside to start planting!

Our favorite fall planters have finally arrived at the garden center. We have snapdragons, pansies, mums, flowering kale, cabbage, and ornamental peppers.

Everyone loves fall gardening, and plants do too, for many of the same reasons as people. Autumn’s cooler air temperatures are easier on plants as well as gardeners, and the soil is still warm enough to let roots grow into the ground. The cozy rainy weather that comes with the fall season, is another reason plants love fall. As you’ve probably noticed, September has been a very reliable month for rain, which is usually the case every year.

Planting up to six weeks before the first freeze is a good rule of thumb. Any closer to the first freeze, your plants will not have enough time to get rooted into the ground and most likely won’t survive the upcoming winter.

In the same way that you love cozy blankets in the fall, so do plants. This fall, pile mulch around the base of your plants to keep them warm. Mulching also encourages strong root growth to help your plants become even more established. If you forgot to plant or transplant at least six weeks before the first freeze, but you still want to try to get your plant to make it through winter, add a lot of mulch to help keep it warm and get it to establish faster. There’s a slim chance that your plant could make it.

The best time to plant is right now, fall is for planting! If you aren’t sure what to plant this fall, come to the Round Rock Garden Center and let one of our trained experts help you pick beautiful plants that will make it through the fall and winter. With all our new fall arrivals, we know you’ll find something to love all season long.

 

 

History of the Pumpkin

The pumpkin is a staple that many American households purchase during the fall season. The pumpkin is loved, but where did it come from and why do we carve into them on Halloween?

The Pumpkin is native to North America, and there’s evidence that the Indians used pumpkins in their diet many years before the pilgrims arrived. Once the pilgrims landed, they saw the Indians using pumpkin, and adopted the large melon into their own food uses. Pilgrims used pumpkin in stews, desserts, and soups.

Have you ever wondered where pumpkin pie came from? It was the pilgrims. Here is the original recipe.

Carved out pumpkin
Milk
Spices
Honey

After they had their pumpkin ready, they would bury it in the ashes of a fire. Out came the pilgrim’s version of a pumpkin pie.

Pumpkin pie isn’t the only reason pumpkins are carved out. For many centuries pumpkins have been used as jack-o-lanterns. However, pumpkins weren’t the original choice for a Jack-o-lantern. It all began as an old Irish myth. Jack invited dark spirits to have a drink with him, but when he didn’t want to pay for his drink, he convinced the dark spirit to turn into a coin. Jack kept the coin and put it in his pocket next to a silver cross. The dark spirit was kept from turning back to its original form. Jack agreed to let him out if the dark spirit didn’t bother him for a year and agreed to keep him out of hell when he died. Jack had a few more encounters with the dark spirit over the decades and eventually passed away. Jack was not allowed into heaven for his interactions with the dark spirit, but the dark spirit told Jack he wouldn’t go to hell. The devil sent Jack to roam around the dark earth with only a dim coal to light his path. Jack carved out a turnip to place his coal in and roamed about the earth.

In Ireland, people would carve scary faces into potatoes and turnips to keep Jack away. When Irish immigrants migrated to America, they found that pumpkins would make the perfect Jack-o-lantern. Other Americans caught wind of the Jack-o-lantern and joined in the creepy myth.

Today, Americans visit pumpkin patches all over the country to buy up pumpkins and carve scary faces into them. Round Rock Garden Center will have pumpkins the week of the 17th. Call ahead to see if our pumpkins are here. Once you’ve carved your pumpkin, don’t forget to share a picture on Round Rock Garden Center’s Facebook page. We can’t wait to see what you do!

Watering Your Grass

Finding a watering pattern for your grass can be hard to do. A lot of the time it consists of guesswork and results in dead grass. Dead grass is usually caused by one of three things; over watering, under watering, and the time of day the grass is being watered.

At the first sign of brown spots, lawn owners assume their lawn is under watered. This isn’t always the reason for brown spots, and many times it’s just the opposite. Homeowners often overwater their lawn. Some common signs of overwatering are brown spots, compacted soil, shallow root system, and root rot. The brown spots in the yard are a fungus, (usually,) caused by overwatering. The fungus causes shallow roots, which in turn causes grass to die during temperature changes, such as hot summer seasons. In Texas, lawn owners should be watering their grass twice a week for 30 minutes. Watering any more than twice a week will damage a lawn.

If you’re experiencing brown spots in your grass, treat the affected areas with a systematic fungicide, rather than contact fungicide. The systematic fungicide is a granular taken up through the root system and lasts far longer than contact.

Signs of under watering the lawn are yellowing of the turf and visible footprints lasting a few minutes after the lawn has been walked on. Determining if your lawn has too much water, or not enough, is easy: check the soil. If it’s moist, the lawn is being watered adequately. However, if the soil is dry and there are yellow patches in the yard, the issue is most likely under watering. The issue can be solved simply by watering properly. If you are watering properly, (two days a week for 30 minutes,) check the sprinkler system in the yard to make sure it’s functioning properly. If you feel confident you are watering properly, stop by Round Rock Garden Center and ask a garden specialist for advice. Your lawn may have a fungus.

“What time of day are you watering?”, is the second question we always ask at Round Rock Garden Center. Even if the lawn is being watered properly, it won’t survive if it’s being watered in the dark. The best time to water a lawn in the Austin area is between 6:00-9:00 AM. Do not water in the heat of the day, and most definitely do not water in the middle of the night. If the grass is being watered in the dead of night, the grass stays wet and creates a fungus.

Fungus-infected grass doesn’t mean it can’t be fixed. There are always steps you can take to get your grass back to normal. At Round Rock Garden Center, we have organic, as well as chemical fixes to the problem. Visit one of our in-store garden experts to figure out the best fix for your grass. We’ll see you in the garden!

Butterfly Gardens

Creating a butterfly garden can be as simple as picking plants to attract butterflies to your yard. However, if you want to take your butterfly garden a step further, you can turn it into a sanctuary. You’ll need to have a diverse plant selection that is popular to butterflies and a location that is conducive to their habitat.

The plants for a butterfly garden should be one of two things; a nectar plant, or a caterpillar food plant. Nectar plants are easy to find and have bright colorful flowers that will attract butterflies to the garden. The nectar plant will allow butterflies to pollinate, but they won’t lay their eggs. The caterpillar food plant does the opposite of the nectar plants. It doesn’t attract butterflies but it feeds caterpillars and encourages butterflies to lay their eggs in the garden.

Some of the best nectar plants for Texas are perennials, (they will come back every year.) Salvia, Rock Rose, Skullcaps, Fall aster, Milkweeds, Mistflowers, and Blackfoot daisy are great options. There are some nectar plant vines that look great if they are hanging along a fence or draping across a pergola; Crossvine and Native honeysuckle.

Passion vine, Flame acanthus, Coral honeysuckle, Milkweed, and Mexican plum are caterpillar food plants in Texas. These plants host the butterfly larva and will keep the butterflies coming back year after year to pollinate.

Knowing which plants to have in the butterfly garden is important, but the location is everything. Where you choose to plant can determine how long the butterflies will hang around. Providing shade, water and sun is the best way to keep butterflies in the garden. Butterflies need water in the form of dew, tiny puddles, and moist soil. Be sure not to oversaturate the garden with water, or the butterflies won’t lay their eggs.

Creating a butterfly garden that will keep butterflies returning year after year is easy to do. The right location, nectar, and caterpillar food plants are key to keep them around. Create a diverse butterfly garden full of trees, vines, shrubs, and perennials and share your butterfly garden with us on Round Rock Garden Center’s Facebook page. We can’t wait to see what you create.

Trending Houseplants

Round Rock Gardeners, you have seen them on Pinterest, women’s apparel, Facebook, and in magazine ads. I’m talking about trending houseplants. The all-green natural look is taking America’s fashion, home decor, and social media over-the-top with houseplants. There is so much more than meets the eye when discussing trending houseplants. Who is doing it, Why did the trend start, and what does it represent?

It may come as a surprise, but millennials aren’t the first generation obsessed with houseplants. This trend first started in 1970, when men and women across America were hanging plants in macrame hammocks around their homes. Now the millennials have caught on…(Yes, we are finally taking a break from technology, and we LOVE houseplants!) Some of the top trending houseplants right now; Fiddle Leaf Fig, Peperomia, Cactus, Succulents, Rattlesnake Calathea, Monstera, Burgundy Rubber Tree, Aloe Vera, Sansevieria, and Pothos Ivy.

If you’re asking, “Why do millennials all of a sudden have an interest in houseplants?”. It has to do with the living situation; the majority of millennials can’t afford a house. The housing market isn’t in anyone’s favor right now, and many are deferring to apartment life.

With that being said, millennials don’t have yards, but the hopes and dreams of beautiful plants are still there. Millennials buy colorful pots, watering cans, ornamental garden decor, and then, they buy their houseplants. The problem of having no yard is solved, and the plants are brought indoors. Crazy plant lady is the new cat lady.

The houseplant trend represents the same idea that gardening represents, the love for nature and its beauty. Gardening should be appreciated by all generations. Round Rock Garden Center loves our avid houseplant gardener and our outdoor gardeners too. We love that you love the beauty of a garden, whether you find it outdoors, or in your apartment.

Stop by Round Rock Garden Center today and bring the outdoors, indoors. We have all of the top trending houseplants located in our greenhouse with beautifully designed planters to match your style. We can’t wait to see you around the garden.

Cheers to 16 Years

Round Rock Garden Center is celebrating 16 years of business this Saturday, Aug 11. Over the past 16 years, we’ve made a lot of physical changes to our store, and we’ve proudly developed into a full-service garden for the Round Rock/Austin area.

Our first big fix to the garden center was the parking lot, and every customer and employee that has visited the garden center in the past 16 years has benefited from it. When we first bought the store, the parking lot was about 20 parking spaces located to the far right side of the store. Since then we’ve doubled our spaces and moved the entrance to a more spacious area.

 

After moving the entrance, we had a little more space back by the barn. We added a fence that secures the area where much of our pottery is located.

One of our most recent changes to the garden center is the greenhouse located at the far left side of the store. Since this addition one year ago, we’ve been able to easily maintain our desert and tropical plants so they are in their best condition when they go home with you. 

The greenhouse is just one of the departments we’ve added to our store. We’ve also brought in supplies; herbicides, pesticides, organic sprays, and gift items; pottery, birdbaths, glass orbs, etc. We look at these improvements as an accomplishment, because we know they help serve our community better. Becoming Round Rock’s first full-service garden center 16 years ago drives us to improve our customer’s experience every single day.

We are proud to serve you and we thank you for supporting Round Rock Garden Center by shopping locally. Join us this Saturday, Aug 11, at 10am-2pm to participate in the 16th Anniversary Party. We will have a raffle for a Pink Flamingo summer arrangement, (Purple Orchid and Croton,) and an anniversary sale on Bougainvilleas for $16.00, while supplies last.

We hope to see you there, cheers to all the years,

Round Rock Garden Center

Welcome to August

August is here and we have so many opportunities to look forward to. The heat is going to let up (fingers crossed,) and that means it’s time to train your climbers, plant fall veggies, and add compost/mulch to your garden. We’re officially preparing for the fall.

The highest temperature in August 2017, was 100 degrees. Hard to believe, but the Round Rock area is finally starting to cool down. The ideal time to maintain your garden in August is in the morning or evening. Even though the temperature is cooling down, 100 degrees can affect the body; heat stroke or heat exhaustion.

If you have climbers that are looking a little wild, August is the perfect time to train them. The stems of your climbers should be hot enough to manipulate in the direction you want them to go. By the time fall comes around, the stems will harden up again, and you’ll have perfectly trained climbers in your garden. While you are training your climbers, don’t forget to deadhead the old blooms.

Out with the old blooms and in with the new veggies. When the weather starts cooling down, the opportunity to prepare for the fall is prime. Plant all of your early fall veggies; beans, broccoli, brussels sprouts, turnips, and green onions. Browse our large selection of seeds in the barn and ask us how to get started. Veggies planted in late summer/early fall will need plenty of water to survive the 100-degree weather, so don’t forget to water them accordingly.

Keeping your plants cool and hydrated determines how well they’ll produce in the fall. Hydrating your plants doesn’t mean, “just water.” They are going to need compost or mulch to stay cool. If you’re a Garden Rewards Member, all bagged mulch is $2.00 off for the entire month of August. If you’re looking for some guidelines on composting, check out our educational resources tab. Read all about the do’s and dont’s of compost, curriculum produced by Round Rock Garden Center’s very own J Thomas.

As we get closer to the fall, keep your eyes open for Round Rock Garden Center’s tips and tricks. We are here to help, and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.

We’ll see you in the garden!

Add Some Roses

The middle of summer can have your garden looking tired. Adding an easy to maintain eye-catching rose bush, is the best way to pick it up and regenerate a little life. There are different routes to go when discussing the rose design for your garden; climbing or bush, but either will add a new design to your garden.

One of our favorite rose bushes at Round Rock Garden Center is The Knock Out Family of Roses. They are easy to maintain and you’ll never have to deadhead this bush. This perennial doesn’t require special care and will grace you with blooms from fall to the first frost.

When winter comes, The Knock Out will lose its leaves. It comes back in the fall and does exactly what you bought it to do; liven up your garden for years to come. You can use The Knock Out as a border to create a hedge or plant them as individual bushes.

If you’re having trouble growing plants in a certain spot, you should try The Knock Out. They don’t need rich soil, or much water to survive. You could even say The Knock Out is a drought tolerant plant.

If you are trying to get a rose that climbs, I would recommend the Zephirine Drouhin rose. I must admit, I’m a little bias when it comes to these roses. My grandma had the most beautiful white lattice lined up against the fence in her backyard, and it was covered in Zephirine Drouhin pink roses. They’re a great option to have in your backyard, considering they’re nearly thorn-less and won’t hurt kids or animals.

If you’re looking to add shade over a pergola , but you also want color, try some climbing roses. They’ll add beautiful fragrance to the air and create the perfect shady cover.

Whichever option you choose, climbing or bush, Round Rock Garden Center will be here to help you find the best fit. See you this weekend.

Summer Perennials

This summer, Round Rock Garden Center believes it’s important to have some beautiful summer perennials that will flourish in your garden. The hardiest, most sun-loving, and longest blooming plants in zone 8b are the only plants we’ll recommend for you.

The Coreopsis flower thrives in hot and dry weather, it’s a very reliable Texas perennial that that comes in many different colors to spruce up your summertime garden. Although they have small wiry stems, they’re hardy when it comes to disease, and they bloom all summer long.

Another summertime perennial that blooms all summer long and into the fall is John Fanick Phlox. This plant isn’t bothered by heat, humidity, or even drought, (and in Texas, that’s something we experience every once in a while.) They produce a faded pink color, they’re dense, and they get up to three feet tall. John Fanick Phlox is great for butterfly gardens and produce a lovely smell all summer long. It’s a full sun plant and requires well-drained soil to survive.

If you love roses, the perfect summer perennial rosebush for you is the Knock Out. These pink roses are made for the Texas heat and promise a beautiful bloom from spring to winter. They are the most disease resistant rose on the market, making them incredibly hardy. The best part about the Knock Out, they are self-cleaning. You will never have to deadhead this sweet pink rosebush.

If you like the idea of a bush, but you’d like something a little less showy, the Texas Sage plant might be perfect for you. Dark green foliage with sprouting purple flowers is an eloquent touch to any garden. Texas Sage is an evergreen shrub that comes back every year. If you have an area with poor soil or a spot where other plants have had trouble growing, try planting the Texas Sage there instead. It’s a drought tolerant plant, native to Texas and Mexico. The only disease common to this plant is root rot, so if you do try out the Texas Sage, don’t over water.

If you’re looking for a popular summer perennial, I’m sure you’ve heard of Lantana. A bright pink and yellow flower that acts like vines, but is classified as a shrub. Lantana is an evergreen perennial, native to Florida, but does extremely well in Texas. They are fragrant, drought tolerant plants that require full sun. Lantana attracts butterflies and hummingbirds to the garden and bloom all summer long. They are toxic to children and pets, so we don’t recommend placing them in the backyard.

Although we are talking highly of these beautiful hardy plants, Round Rock Garden Center has many more. Come to see all of our summer perennials and find the best match for you.