Winter Birding: The Importance of Food


In Massachusetts, winter is a difficult time for birds. Days are often windy and cold; nights are long and even colder. Lush vegetation has withered or been consumed, and most insects have died or become dormant. During these extremely cold days, finding food can be especially difficult. They cannot forage as easily for food when snow accumulates or temperatures drop to freezing. Some birds remain in the same location year-round and benefit greatly from the extra food sources offered by backyard feeders. These birds require high calorie and oil rich foods to survive our winter.

During spring and summer, most songbirds eat insects and spiders, which are highly nutritious, abundant, and, for the most part, easily captured. During fall and winter, nonmigratory songbirds shift their diets to fruits and seeds to survive. This is the time of year when bird feeding enthusiasts roll out the welcome mat and set the table. The question is, what to serve to attract a diversity of birds? The answer is to provide a variety of food types.

In Massachusetts, we can expect to see the friendly Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, the spectacularly colored Northern Cardinal, all manner of Finch, Sparrows, Woodpeckers and Jays; for a comprehensive list, check out Mass Audubon’s website!


Which seed types should I provide?

Black-oil sunflower seeds attract the greatest number of species. These seeds have a high meat-to-shell ratio, they are nutritious and high in fat which is especially important in the winter months. Their small size and thin shells make them easy for small birds to handle and crack. Several studies, including the Cornell Lab of Ornithology Seed Preference Test, show that this high-energy food is the favorite of most birds that visit feeders. Striped sunflower seeds are popular with larger-beaked birds. These striped seeds are larger and have a thicker seed coat than black-oil sunflower.

Peanuts, and tree nuts like almonds, cashews, pecans and pistachios are enjoyed by Jays, Woodpeckers, Chickadees, Nuthatches, Carolina Wrens and Titmice. If you don’t want squirrels “going nuts” for these foods, try using a squirrel-resistant feeder.

Millet is a small round seed. It comes in white and red varieties; most birds prefer white proso millet over red. Nyjer®, or thistle seed, is a delicacy for small Finches such as Goldfinches, Siskins, and Redpolls. Offering the small-sized, premium-priced Nyjer seeds in special Nyjer feeders will provide more value for your money. These feeders come in either a sock form with a small mesh fabric, or a tube feeder with tiny ports that prevent the seeds from spilling out. Finches will pull the seeds individually through the mesh or ports to enjoy them.

Birds’ feeding habits vary based on weather patterns and season. The best thing to do is experiment with seed and your backyard feeders. Take notes and photos for a personal sense of well-being and a great activity to do with kids!

lyric-cardinal_detail lyric-supreme

We love Lyric Bird Seed because of their superior ingredients that ensure our New England birds have their essential nutrients to thrive- especially in the winter months. A superior seed means you will attract the widest variety of birds around! All birding products are available in our Winchester, Falmouth, Tewksbury and Concord stores.


Crisp Air, Vibrant Lawns: Fall Seeding in New England Explained

Fall in New England is a wonderful time to seed your lawn for lush green come spring. This time of year provides the ideal combination of cool air and warm soil, creating the perfect conditions for new grass to develop healthy roots before winter. Whether you’re refreshing your existing lawn or starting anew, this comprehensive guide will walk you through the process step by step, for the lushest lawn in New England!

Step 1: Assess Your Seeding Needs

Before you begin, it’s essential to determine whether you’re overseeding to fill in sparse areas or embarking on a new seeding project. This initial decision will dictate the amount of seed you require.

Step 2: Measure Your Lawn Area

Take a leisurely stroll through your lawn, measuring its dimensions (length x width) to calculate the square footage accurately. This vital step will help you determine the quantity of seed and other necessary materials.

Step 3: Understand Your Lawn’s Light

Consider the lighting conditions in your yard, keeping in mind that they might have changed from the sun-soaked summer months. It’s crucial to understand how many hours of sunlight your lawn receives each day during the summertime when your trees are leafy. This knowledge will inform your choice of grass type.


Step 4: Prepare the Ground

Prepare your canvas by thoroughly cleaning the designated area. Remove any rocks, leaves, or debris. Also, keep an eye out for low spots that may require additional soil to create a level surface. For small areas, Mahoney’s Top Soil is an excellent choice, while larger areas may benefit from bulk loam. Don’t forget to compact the newly added soil with a roller or by lightly stepping down on it. This will prevent runoff during watering.

Step 5: Choose Your Grass Type

Select the type of grass that suits your lawn’s needs and your personal preferences. You can opt for a mix of varieties or individual grass types, such as Tall Fescue, Rye Grass, or Bluegrass, each with its unique characteristics and growth patterns. Click here to see our grass seed varieties and choose one that’s right for the light and traffic your lawn will be getting.


Step 6: Starter Fertilizer

Unless you’ve applied fall fertilizer within the past four weeks, it’s advisable to use a starter fertilizer. Look for a product with a higher middle number in the nutrient range (Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium). The middle number represents phosphorus, which is important for healthy root development. Jonathan Green’s 12-18-8 is an excellent choice for both new seeding and overseeding. Apply it uniformly across your entire lawn area, avoiding separate applications.

Step 7: Determine Seeding Rates

The amount of seed you need depends on your seeding goals. For overseeding, aim for 1-3 pounds of seed per 1000 square feet, while new seeding typically requires 3-5 pounds per 1000 square feet. To achieve a thicker and more lush lawn, consider reapplying seed 14 days after the initial seeding to fill in any gaps.

Step 8: Tools of the Trade

Ensure an even seed distribution by using a push spreader or hand spreader. Avoid broadcasting seed by hand, which can result in uneven germination and waste.

Step 9: Cozy Cover for Cooler Nights

In cooler temperatures, consider using weed-free straw, compost, or salt marsh hay. These materials will provide insulation and protection to your seeds, promoting ideal germination conditions.


Step 10: Master the Art of Watering

Your freshly seeded lawn needs about 2 inches of water per week. A rain gauge can help you determine the time needed to achieve this, allowing you to schedule watering effectively. For optimal results, water deeply and in the morning, as evening watering can encourage pathogens and fungus.

Remember, patience is your greatest ally, and the reward will be a vibrant, green lawn that you can cherish in the seasons to come.

Happy seeding! May your lawn thrive and impress!






.. Maybe Even the best time for planting…

It happens every year, people from towns near and far make their spring pilgrimage to Mahoney’s. They come filled with anticipation of new perennials, lush lawns, and flowering shrubs. Simply put, it’s spring, and they want to plant something. No question of course, that spring is a great time to plant, but what many people don’t realize is that fall is not only an equally good time to plant, in many ways it’s better.

To understand why, it’s good to remember that plants do not think like people. While we lament the end of summer, plants – especially newly planted plants – find the cooler days far less stressful. We may dig in our closets for a sweater, but for plants the soil feels warm, which boosts root growth. And while fall rains seem gloomy to us, plants much prefer it to the hot dry summer. And this is true for a whole host of plants: trees, shrubs, perennials, roses, ornamental grasses and even your lawn. Practically anything planted now will have extra time to establish, so when it’s time to grow and flower next year, it will give you a great show at your house, not at the garden center.



Fact is, if the ground isn’t frozen and you can still dig the hole, you can still plant. Planting in September and October however allows that much more time for plants to become established, so sooner is better.

There are other reasons fall is a great time for planting. Unlike a lot of garden centers that wind down for the year, Mahoney’s brings in lots of fresh new plants every fall, especially shrubs. Check out our new shipments arriving daily. Planting them now will allow you to enjoy the foliage throughout all seasons, including color changes this fall.

Fall is also the unofficial “hide your neighbor” season. Why, we’re not sure, but a lot of people plant hedges in the fall. We’ll have fresh arborvitae, boxwood and other hedging evergreens as well as privet, hydrangeas, ninebark, spirea, weigela and many more deciduous shrubs. (Social note: for neighbors that need immediate hiding, we carry large and fast growing hedge shrubs. The ‘Green Giant’ arborvitae is especially popular)

Also very popular in the fall are miniature evergreens for urns, containers and window boxes. They add a festive touch for the holidays, and with a little protective care they will survive in a container through the winter. If you want to be greeted with tulips, daffodils and other flowers next spring, you have to plant the bulbs in fall.

Perennials especially benefit from the extra time in the ground before next spring. We bring in a lot of fresh perennials in the fall – especially the fall blooming varieties. We also have a wide selection of ornamental grasses – great for landscapes or containers.

Speaking of grasses, fall is the very best time to pay attention to your lawn. Not only do most lawns need a serious pick-me-up after the summer heat and dry spells, the warm fall soil encourages quick germination and cool air temperatures reduce stress.




Fall Lawn Care Tips

Time is of the essence when it comes to fall lawn care. Start fall lawn care once summer has ended and before cold, winter weather begins. Assess your lawn for summer damage and tailor your fall lawn care routine to address your lawn’s specific needs.

If possible, we recommend planting grass seed at least 45 days before the first fall frost to allow for proper germination before the winter hits.


Remove Excess Thatch

Thatch is a layer of organic matter consisting of stems, dead grass, and leaves, that builds up above the soil and below the crown of the grass blades. Thatch is a normal part of every lawn, but too much thatch can cause headaches for your yard.

Thatch buildup that is more than ½ an inch thick on your lawn can block access to air, water, and nutrients that grass seedlings need to grow. Excess thatch on your lawn can also harbor disease-causing fungi and insects that weaken and ultimately kill your grass.

Remove excess thatch by using a metal rake, but do not rake so vigorously that healthy green grass is removed from your lawn.


Aerate Compacted Soil

Compacted soil can inhibit healthy root development and limit the flow of oxygen to the soil. Soil must be loose and porous prior to seeding for grass seedlings to germinate and grow.

Core aeration removes soil plugs from your yard, therefore creating space in the soil for air, water, and necessary nutrients to travel to your lawn’s root system. You can manually do this with an aerating tool, or rent a gas-powered aerator.

If you’re looking for an alternative to heavy and unwieldy aerators, Jonathan Green Love Your Soil® naturally loosens compacted soil and increases necessary airflow to your lawn’s root system. Plus, you don’t need extra equipment, it’s easily applied with the same spreader you use for grass seed and fertilizer.


Overseed a Thinning Lawn



If you want a thicker, greener lawn for spring, fall is the perfect time to overseed! The hot, summer sun has probably done a number on your grass, causing thin or dead spots. Take advantage of the fall season’s warm soil temperatures, ample moisture, and cool nights to thicken up a thinning lawn.

To prepare your lawn for overseeding, adjust your mower to the lowest setting and mow the area you want to seed. Be sure to bag clippings afterward. After mowing, rake the area with a metal rake to create grooves in the soil and remove dead grass and debris. This will help grass seeds make seed-to-soil contact and improve the rate of germination.

Next, spread grass seed. For larger areas, spread seed with a rotary spreader. You should wait until your new grass grows to about four inches before mowing.



Feed Your Lawn

Fertilizing your cool-season lawn during fall is important to repair summer damage, supply it with nutrients to withstand the brutal winter months, and green up quicker in spring.

Cool season grasses like to be fertilized twice in the fall – one application in early fall (late August to September) and another in late fall (late October to November). The first application helps strengthen weak or brown spots from summer and the second helps to protect your lawn against winter disease. Make sure your second application occurs before the ground freezes.

Opt for a fertilizer rich in both potassium and nitrogen (the N and in the NPK ratio found on the front of fertilizer bags) such as Winter Survival Fall Lawn Fertilizer. Nitrogen aids in plant growth and greener grass. Potassium builds stronger cell walls and root systems, which helps your lawn endure times of stress and harsh weather conditions.


Lawn Mower Height

As your grass is still growing throughout fall, it is important to continue to maintain a regular mowing schedule. Once grass growth begins to slow down, lower your mower height to about 2.5 inches. For the last mow of fall, which will usually be between late October to early November, drop your mower to 2 inches to discourage winter disease, such as snow mold.


Watering the Lawn

Fall weather signals the end of sweltering, summer heat and the need to frequently water your lawn. Rainfall in autumn results in less evaporation and more moisture so your lawn can sustain itself. While this means your grass needs less to drink in the fall, this doesn’t mean you should stop watering altogether. Water your lawn as needed, making sure it receives about one inch of water per week, including rainfall. Continue to water your lawn until the ground freezes.


Remove Leaves

While fall leaves may look picturesque on your lawn they can be harmful to your grass. Leaving piled-up leaves on your lawn blocks necessary sunlight for new grass seedlings. If your lawn is damp, wet leaves can encourage lawn fungus and kill the grass underneath.

Remove leaves from your lawn by using a leaf blower or a rake. For newly seeded lawns it is best to use a leaf blower, as a rake may damage or hinder new seedlings from growing.  If you choose to rake, carefully glide the rake over the leaves when the soil is dry to remove them.






Attracting Ruby-throated Hummingbirds to Your Garden 

Seeing a hummingbird is always an exciting event! These tiny beautiful creatures who feast on the nectar of flowers are amazing to behold. Read on to learn more about the ruby-throated hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) that makes its home in Massachusetts.

Fast Facts 

  • Males have unmistakable glossy green feathers on their head and midriff and a stunning, glittering red necklace (hence the namesake).
  • These brightly colored feathers around the throat of a hummingbird are known as a gorget.  
  • Females can be distinguished from the males because they do not have a gorget.
  • Hummingbirds migrate in the spring, arriving in the Bay State in April and May.
  • The ruby-throated hummingbird the smallest breeding bird in the state of Massachusetts.
  • Is the only hummingbird species that breeds and nests in the eastern US.  
  • Hummingbirds use lichen, those crusty plantlike organisms found on tree bark, along with other fibers to form their nests and they cleverly hold it all together with spiderwebs!
  • Their wings beat 53 times per second.
  • Those fast-flapping wings burn a lot of energy so hummingbirds must eat more than their own weight in insects and nectar daily!


Hummingbird feeders.

Early Season Care for our Beautiful and Magical Friends 

  • Put feeders out in late April or early May until flowers in your garden can offer a source of food.
  • To make a nectar, dissolve one part refined white sugar into four parts boiling water and be sure to let it cool before adding it to your feeder. 
  • Red dye isn’t necessary. It is neither helpful nor harmful –  it is the color of the feeding port (usually red) that attracts the hummingbird.
  • Clean the feeder at least once a week to prevent the growth of mold and bacteria. 
  • Hummingbirds eat both nectar and insects so if you see ants on the feeder, chances are the hummingbirds will take care of them.
  • Provide a source of water for bathing – it’s another chance to observe them up close! 


Planting a Garden to Attract Hummingbirds 

Like us, hummingbirds appreciate a variety of flowers, from annuals in containers to tall perennial specimens. They especially like flowers that are tubular in shape and brightly colored. 




Consider adding some of the following to your garden:  

  • Agastache (red and orange varieties) 
  • Calibrachoa (both superbells and million bells) 
  • Cleome (spider flower – a good nectar source for hummingbirds and swallowtails butterflies) 
  • Fuchsia (a hummingbird magnet) 
  • Lantana 
  • Nasturtium 
  • Nicotiana (flowering tobacco) 
  • Petunias 
  • Salvia (especially fire cracker red) 
  • Sunflowers  
  • Zinnias (especially large size flowers)  


  • Agastache (perennial varieties such as Blue Fortune) 
  • Asclepias (milkweed) 
  • Aquilegia (columbine) 
  • Baptisia 
  • Echinacea (coneflower) 
  • Heuchera (coral bells) 
  • Hibiscus moschuetos 
  • Lamprocapnos spectabilis (bleeding heart) 
  • Lobelia cardinalis 
  • Monarda (bee balm) 
  • Nepeta (catmint) 
  • Phlox 
  • Salvia (perennial varieties such as East Friesland and Caradonna) 


  • Azalea 
  • Buddleia (butterfly bush) 
  • Chaenomeles (flowering quince) 
  • Clethra alnifolia (summersweet) 
  • Lilac 
  • Lonicera (honeysuckle vine) 
  • Rhododendron 
  • Viburnum 
  • Weigela 


The Importance of Water

When we talk about the importance of newly planted trees and shrubs becoming “established” in the garden, we are referring to the development of a healthy root system. This root system is the basis for the plant’s top growth and long term health. And water is the key ingredient in developing that root system.  For the first two years of its life in your garden, the tree and its roots are particularly sensitive to water deficits. As the tree matures, its roots reach deeper into the ground and are able to tap water sources there. 

New shrubs and trees will require supplemental watering throughout the first growing season, right up to the onset of winter, and again in the second growing season. Water needs to be applied in the form of a gentle and deep soaking, down to the bottom and around the entire circumference of the root ball. Importantly, plants will require this watering at least once a week, and oftentimes twice a week in order to prevent any part of the root system from drying out.  

How much water a plant needs depends on its size. A small shrub will need 2-3 gallons of water each time it is watered. A larger shrub, 3-5 gallons. A small tree will need 5-8 gallons.  Mid-sized and larger trees, correspondingly more.


Water can be delivered in several different ways: 

  1. Leave a hose on a slow trickle at the base of the plant sufficient to soak the root mass. 
  2. Slowly pour large buckets of water around the plant, allowing each bucket full to soak into the soil. 
  3. Hook up a dripper hose on a timer which will relieve you of the burden of finding time in your busy schedule. 
  4. Know which of your perennials are more drought tolerant (ex. Sedum, Coneflower, Yarrow) and those which need regular watering to look their best. Using a watering can or a hose on a very gentle trickle applied at the base of the plant is the best way to apply water where it is needed most.  


Sedum are drought tolerant plants.


When and how much we water our plants is of course influenced by how much rain we receive. While it is tempting to skip your watering duties when we get a light afternoon shower, be mindful that a light shower is not likely to be enough to soak the depth of the root ball.  Knowing that established plants require at least an inch of water every week, it is helpful to keep an eye on your weather app or an old-fashioned rain gauge to track weekly totals. 


Two watering strategies that will not serve your plants well: 

  • Watering frequently but lightly does not benefit the tree or shrub as it encourages root development at the surface, making the roots particularly vulnerable to drying out in times of water deficit.  
  • Keeping a plant in soaking wet conditions day after day will deplete the oxygen in the soil, not a good thing for any life form! Hence the need for deep watering followed by a period in which the soil is allowed to dry out.  

Even as night time temperatures cool and the grass is moist with dew in the morning, it is important to keep up your program of supplemental watering until the ground freezes.

And remember, most plants prefer deep infrequent waterings to frequent shallow ones. See our planting guide for more information! 


Choosing the Right Pottery for Your Home, Porch, or Yard

Pottery is an investment that can add interest to your home and show off your personal style no matter what plants you choose to put in them. But with so many styles and colors to choose from, deciding what’s right for you and your plants isn’t totally straightforward. We are here to help demystify the process with a few things to keep in mind when choosing a container for your home, porch, or yard.

Size Matters.

When it comes to pottery, size is a major factor both for your budget and for the health of the plants you place in your pots. You may be tempted to go big so that you never have to re-pot but be careful! When plants are planted into containers significantly larger than their nursery pots the root system is not robust enough to absorb all the water in the soil and that can lead to root rot. A good rule of thumb when transplanting into a new container is that the diameter of the new pot should only be about two inches wider than the plant’s current pot.

If you fall in love with a decorative container that’s too large for your plant but you know that it will eventually grow into it you can slowly acclimate it to the larger pot using inexpensive grow pots that fit inside your decorative container or by using an Ups-A-Daisy, which will reduce the amount of soil you need in the pot until your plant’s root system is ready for more.

An Ups-A-Daisy can reduce the amount of soil needed to fill your pot!


On the flip side, you do not want to try to cram a plant in a six-inch diameter grow pot into another six-inch diameter decorative pot, particularly if the decorative pot has a tapered bottom. Never go smaller, your plants need room to grow.


Drainage and Airflow are Important.

You may have noticed that when you buy plants, they usually come in plastic containers with several drainage holes along the bottom. Air is every bit as important to a healthy root system as water. Roots cannot breathe when the soil is sopping wet, all the air molecules get crowded out by water molecules. If you are planning to transplant directly into a decorative container, drainage holes are a must. It is even better if you can get air moving under your plant. Pot feet or Ups-A-Daisys are a terrific way to do this.

Pot feet create airflow under your container.


Some decorative indoor containers are manufactured without holes so that indoor surfaces are protected. These are called cache pots and it is best to leave your plants in their grow pots (with all those drainage holes) and pop the whole thing into the container. Check out the video below for how to use a cache pot!



Different Materials Meet Different Goals.

Now that we understand the basics of size, drainage, and airflow, it is time to choose a container made from materials that meet your specific needs.

Terra Cotta

A favorite of plants everywhere and a classic that is making its way back into chic and modern home design, terra cotta is a smart choice for even moisture distribution and healthy roots. Because terra cotta is porous, oxygen exchange is facilitated throughout the root system, not just at the bottom. Additionally, terra cotta absorbs excess moisture to prevent plant roots from staying soggy for too long. These days, terra cotta is available not just in the classic earthy orange but also in attractive “chocolate” and “vanilla” tones to seamlessly integrate into any color scheme.

Terra cotta is the hands down favorite of most plants.

Glazed Pottery

Speaking of color, nothing offers the variety of hues like glazed ceramic pottery. Additionally, you will find a broad selection of shapes and sizes and many of these pots are crafted to be frost resistant. However, keep in mind that frost-resistant does not mean it is freeze-proof. Water expands when it turns to ice so moisture in your planters can push a ceramic pot to the breaking point during a freeze. Raising your outdoor pots off the ground with pot feet can help create airflow that will melt the ice during warmer days. When in doubt, it is best to empty your ceramic pots and bring them into the garage after Christmas to protect your investment. A dolly is helpful for this!

Glazed pottery at Mahoney’s in Winchester.

Lightweight Fiber Clay

Great for indoors or out, lightweight fiber clay offers the gravitas of stone with the easy maneuverability of durable plastic. Fiber clay is freeze-tolerant, making it a good option for year-round use but keep in mind, using ice melt around them will corrode the finish. Keep them looking great by avoiding the base of the pot when using ice melt.

Lightweight fiber clay, also known as fiber cement.


If you know you will be moving your pots around to suit your design choices or crops each season, plastic is another great and affordable choice. It’s ideal for container gardening with herbs, veggies, and annuals and available in several different colors and finishes. Do be sure to bring these inside for the winter. Plastic will easily crack if it gets too cold. Fortunately, this is easy to do since they are so lightweight!

Plastic pots are easy to stack, store, and move throughout the season.

Cedar Boxes

The ultimate choice for New England, cedar boxes are classic, beautiful, and easily withstand freezing temperatures. Cedar will naturally weather to a lovely beachy grey tone, but you can preserve the original wood color by staining with a protective finish or paint to suit your color palette. Be sure to treat inside and out to prolong the life of the wood and if you are using the container for edibles, finish with non-toxic linseed oil.

Cedar boxes are the most durable choice for year round use.

Specialty Pots

Certain plants will benefit from specialized pots to live their best life. These include orchids, which are epiphytes and like their roots to be extremely well-aerated. That’s why orchid pots have holes in the sides to provide sufficient air circulation! On the other hand, African violets and ferns like to stay consistently moist and self-watering pots are great for this purpose.

The terra cotta inner pot wicks moisture up to the plant from the decorative reservoir!








When you think lawn seeding, spring may be the first thing that comes to mind. But the warm soil temperatures and cool nights of late summer and early fall actually mean now’s the best time to seed your lawn! Planting now without the stress of summer heat means your lawn seed has enough time to establish before the winter’s first frost. Here’s a checklist of our favorite products to help you renovate the lawn with seed



Now’s the best time to prep your soil. Loosen your soil on the top inch or so and get the grade you want. It’s also a great time to add more top-soil or compost if needed. The better your soil is, the healthier your lawn will be.


So, how much soil do you need? Well that depends on your conditions. Keep in mind here that your turf success is really just a result of your soil quality. The stronger your root system is in deep, healthy soil- the better your new seed will perform. I put down up to 10 inches of compost and loam when I redid my back yard and it shows in times of summer drought. This summer, my lawn stayed green while others dried out. It is deeply rooted and healthy enough to withstand stressful conditions. Use a quality top soil or compost to amend your existing conditions. If your soil is of good quality, just till and loosen the top couple inches and rake out a good grade.

One other great product that I always recommend is Jonathan Green’s, Love Your Soil. It’s a cool organic product that stimulates microbes in the soil and helps to loosen heavy, hard packed soils, to release trapped nutrients. It’s a good preparation amendment so your soil can better stimulate root growth for your new seeding.


If there’s ever a time to test your soil- it’s now. Even if you are only testing the pH. You can get an extensive test through our own lawn-care service, Safe Lawns, or the UMass Extension (for a fee). Or you can do a basic, at-home test yourself.

The soil test will tell you your lawns pH, nutrients and soil structure. I find the most important right now is to test pH levels. You see, if your soil has a low pH– your fertilizers won’t work as well. The best way to explain this is if your soil is too acidic you can’t derive the iron and magnesium naturally occurring in your soil so your lawn will never get to that dark green color everyone wants. To adjust your pH into the desired neutral area, add Jonathan Green’s MAGI-I-CAL or lime.


Now you want to add the seed. Make sure you pick a seed that’s good for your sun requirements and make sure you have a good quality seed.

Your grass seed is more important than most people think. Cheap grass seed is just that, cheap and we can’t in good faith carry it. You see, varieties of grass seed get old and are replaced as better seeds become available. This makes the older seed cheaper than the newer, better performing ones. Another way to get cheap seed is to add annual blue grass to the mix. Annual blue grass is an inexpensive filler, but it doesn’t come back the next year making it a turf that comes up well initially, but then your lawn comes in very thin next spring. Cheap grass seed is like a cheap beer only that headache you get is going to last for years.

It’s also important to pick the right seed for your sun requirements. You don’t want to take a full sun blend and put it in the heavy shade areas. Use the right seed for the right sun. Jonathan Greens dense shade will do great under those trees down to about 3 hours of sun. Don’t forget grass seed does need about 3 hrs of sun to grow or it will just slowly fade away. Sometimes shrubs and perennials do better for those heavy shade areas.


Yes fertilizer. It makes a huge difference and it seems like everyone wants to either skip this step or add it later. Whether organic or synthetic, add fertilizer when you seed.

Fertilizers are meant to release phosphorus into the soil at time of germination and then add nitrogen in a slow release fashion thereafter to continue feeding. Don’t mix seed and fertilizer. It doesn’t matter which one goes first or second but add one and then put the other down and water.




The rest is up to you! Be sure to keep your new seed evenly moist in the beginning because if you let grass seed dry out too much, it may prolong the germination or even worse– kill the seed during germination. This first week is very important, after that you can back down to a deep water every 2- 4 days depending on the weather forecast.






Arranging your Winter Planter

Brought to you by our friends at Proven Winners, here’s a great tutorial on how to arrange your winter planters! Please visit us to find all the fresh (and life-like!) greens, decorative berries, twigs, and sprays to make your outdoor presentation festive this holiday season! While our assortment of greens may vary from the video, you can easily find cedar, firs, white pine and more!