The Best Plants for Sleep

By Samantha Kent, researcher for SleepHelp.org

Peace Lily Plant

Peace Lily Plant

Adding plants to your bedroom can beautify the space where you end your day. But plants can also help promote a better and healthier night’s sleep.  Plants purify air and replenish oxygen. NASA released a study in 1989 that showed how plants can detox a space and issued a top 10 list of the best plants for your home. The study also showed that plants can remove up to 87% of air toxins within 24 hours.

What does detoxing a space mean for sleep? Airborne toxins can irritate the body and lead to congestion, inflammation, coughing, and the production of excess mucus. Plants are also natural dehumidifiers, as they use moisture from the air to nourish themselves. Some plants also have calming effects and have been studied to show reduced reduce physiological and psychological stress.

Plants are one part of setting the stage for good sleep. Practicing sleep hygiene, choosing the right pillows and mattress for your body, and preparing your mind and body for rest can be proactive steps to take to restorative night’s rest.

From succulents to climbing vines, here is a list of the top five plants that will help you sleep better:

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1. Snake Plant
The snake plant is a succulent and one of the easiest house plants for which to care. A NASA top 10 list finalist,  the snake plant is one few that converts carbon monoxide into oxygen at night. Most houseplants have a reverse process, only creating oxygen by day. Allow the soil to dry between waterings, and water once a month in the winter. 

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2. Bamboo Palm
Bamboo palms are a dramatic, green addition to a bedroom. Beyond their leafy beauty, they are known to purify airborne toxins like benzene and trichloroethylene. Bamboo palms thrive in bright light to support their leaves, so make sure they are near a window or get plenty of sunlight in your bedroom.

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3. Peace Lily
This flowering beauty also made the NASA list, as it’s a powerful detoxifier. A resilient, low-maintenance plant, peace lilies may be heavy-duty on the air detox but can have an opposite effect if ingested. Make sure that peace lilies are out of reach of pets and children, as they are toxic if eaten.

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4. Lavender 
From room sprays to bubble baths, lavender is a common scent associated with relaxation. Being in the presence of a live plant can be just as beneficial. This study found that the smell of lavender supports both deeper sleep and energy the following morning. Lavender has shown to calm the human nervous system and can address a variety of stress-related complications.  Lavender blossoms are a beautiful deep purple and can make a soothing addition to any room.

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5. English Ivy
This creeping vine can provide beautiful wall coverage as it grows over time. Another NASA top 10 finalist, English Ivy, is known for absorbing formaldehyde. Because formaldehyde is a volatile organic compound (VOC), prolonged exposure to it may cause cancer and in-utero developmental issues. English Ivy thrives in low-light conditions and low-temperature environments, making them a viable option for northern climates.

 Samantha Kent is a researcher for SleepHelp.org. Her favorite writing topic is how getting enough sleep can improve your life.

Garden Solutions - August 2019

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Here are a few health benefits of enjoying the great outdoors. Activities like carting mulch around in a wheelbarrow, digging in the soil, plus all that bending and lifting involved in planting really does burn calories. Studies show that depending on the activity, gardening can burn between 250 and 500 calories per hour. For many people gardening is a creative outlet, for others it is the change of scenery from the daily grind that makes a difference. Still others find that the satisfaction of reaping the rewards (those tasty fruits and vegetables, and beautiful flowers) of your efforts is what helps to reduce stress levels.

We have been blessed with great moisture this year, even going into summer. But water is important for Wildlife in your yard, as well as all new and established plantings. So, keep a close eye on these things.

Here are additional tips for August:

  • Keep deadheading spent annual and perennial flowers for continued bloom.

  • Feed garden mums and asters for the last time.

  • Monitor plants for spider mite activity. To check for spider mites, hold a white piece of paper under a suspected branch. Tap on the branch and then run your hand across the paper. If you get red streaks, you have spider mites!

  • Prune to shape hedges for the last time this season.

  • Once bagworms reach full size, insecticides are ineffective. Pruning off and burning or discarding of large bags provides better control.

  • Watch for fall webworm activity.

  • Cultivate Strawberries and apply weed preventer immediately, after fertilizing to help with fall germinating weeds such as henbit or chickweed.

  • Pinch the growing tips of gourds once the adequate fruit set amount is achieved. This directs energy into the ripening fruits, rather than vine production.

  • Broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower transplants should be set out for the fall garden. Also, sow seeds of lettuce, radish, beans, beets, spinach and turnips now. (Spinach may germinate better if the seeds are refrigerated.)

Time to go... See you in the Garden!!
Sandi Hillermann McDonald

           

Garden Solutions – July 2019

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Tip for the month of July—Sit Back and Relax!! For many of us, the 4th of July date marks the beginning of the entertainment season. We plan, we phone, we shop, we decorate, we mow, we clean, we check supplies, we shop again, we cook, we carry lawn chairs and coolers outside, and we fret about the weather. When the guests arrive it, all starts over. Pouring, serving, clearing, fetching, and recycling can fill hours, if we let them. So, part of the planning needs to include ways to have some time for you to sit back and enjoy your party, too. Making your event a potluck will eliminate much of the shopping and cooking. Have everyone bring their own beverages. And finally, don’t mow. Your lawn will do better with foot traffic if it is left a little bit longer. Now that we have talked about having parties and enjoying your yard and garden, let’s get down to other tasks at hand for July.

It’s not too late to plant shrubs, perennials and annual flowers, but you will need to give them a little TLC for the summer. If you have Japanese beetles, you have several options for controlling them, from handpicking (not my favorite) to trapping (the safest) or spraying them. Japanese beetle traps are readily available and do a fantastic job of eradicating the problem naturally.

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Hot, dry weather is ideal for spider mite development. Damage may be present even before the webs are noticed. With spider mite damage, leaves may be speckled above and yellowed below. Evergreen needles appear dull gray green to yellow to brown. Spray with permethrin to control this critter. Sweet corn is ripe when the silks turn brown. Blossom-end rot occurs on tomato and peppers when soil moisture is uneven and the calcium level in the soil is not right. Adding lime to the garden soil will help these issues next year.

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Water conservation is of the utmost importance during our dry summer months. Water where it counts, at the roots, not the leaves. Drip irrigation systems do wonders for water conservation and are easy to install. Trees and shrubs would also benefit from a deep root watering this time of year. You can use a deep root feeder (without the fertilizer). Water them around the drip line of the tree for best success. Water frequently enough to prevent wilting. When you mow your grass, cut it less frequently and at a higher level. Longer grass blades shade the soil and conserve moisture.  Plant drought tolerant, native plants where possible.

Check your plant containers daily for dryness. Put your finger at least one inch down in the soil, if it is dry, water thoroughly. Hanging baskets will need a drink at least once a day, sometimes even twice a day, depending on the weather. Provide water in the garden for birds during dry weather and they will repay you with wonderful antics and bird song. Enjoy nature and your gardens this summer. You won’t regret it.

 

See you in the Garden,

Sandi Hillermann McDonald

Garden Solutions - May 2019

Photo: www.provenwinners.com

Photo: www.provenwinners.com

            Times are changing and everyone is busier than ever; with kids to coach, meetings to attend and work to do. So “coming” home at the end of a day can be even more important to us then ever. Enjoy daylight savings time and extend your living quarters to your yard and garden. Think of your outdoor spaces as an extension of your home. And in doing so, consider the floor, walls, and ceiling per se. Outdoor fire pits, grill and bar centers, rugs, clocks, décor and more are available to add a cozy room effect to outdoor living spaces. Adding resting areas is easy to do…hang a hammock in a tree, set a bistro set in the perennial garden, or put benches in your hosta beds. Then invite friends over and have a cook out. Let the nature in your yard tickle your senses with the sounds of birds, smells of flowers, sound of running water, and splashes of color. Hardscapes can enhance your outdoor rooms by adding a “floor” to your area of enjoyment. 

Photo: www.provenwinners.com

Photo: www.provenwinners.com

Begin planting summer annuals to add color and spice to the landscape, and don’t just stop with the flowerbeds. Container gardening continues to be a trendy thing. The many choices, styles, shapes, and colors of containers make great accent pieces for inside or out. Learn to mix annuals and perennials for great combinations. Try hostas with begonias and impatiens….or hydrangeas with groundcovers. These containers can make great accent pieces on the front porch, the back deck, in a flower bed, around the pool, or at the end of the driveway.  And you can rearrange them as often as you wish. No room for a vegetable garden? Try one in a container. You can enjoy fresh tomatoes easily this way.

There are many safe options to treat pests in the yard and garden. Treat slugs in your garden with organic diatomaceous earth. This is a powder product, 100% safe, and is good for the treatment of slugs, ants, fleas and ticks outside, as well as roaches and ants indoors. Check out the chemical-free options available to you today. Then sit back and watch your kids and pets enjoy the beautiful outdoors.

Other May tips include:

·         Plant hardy water lilies now.

·         Begin fertilizing annuals now and continue at regular intervals all season long.

·         Keep bluegrass lawns cut at 3” high, fescue lawns at 3.5” high and zoysia at 2” high.

·         Apply post-emergence broadleaf weed controls to the lawn now if needed.

·         Begin planting sweet corn, tomato plants, peppers and sweet potatoes as the soil warms up.

·         Keep asparagus harvested for continued spear production.

·         Remove rhubarb seed stalks as they appear.

·         Birds eat many insects so attract them to your garden by providing good nesting habitats.

·         Herbs planted in average soils need no extra fertilizer. Too much may reduce flavor and pungency at harvest.

·         Watch for fireflies on warm nights. Both adults and larvae are important predators.

 

Until next month,…Enjoy connecting with nature and….see you in the garden….

 

Sandi Hillermann McDonald

Mother's Day Gift Guide

Mother's Day is coming up fast on May 12, 2019! This is the day all moms want to feel special and appreciated. Plan ahead this year and find a perfect gift that will show Mom just how special she is to you. Here are some great ideas to help you find the perfect gift.


Fresh Flowers

All moms love to receive a bouquet of Fresh Flowers. Have us create an arrangement of her favorite flowers or choose from many great arrangements online at https://www.hillermannflorist.com/.


Houseplants

From easy care succulents, to beautiful bloomers, to foliage of all types, there are many options of indoor plants that will remind mom of your thoughtfulness each time she sees them.


Décor and Giftware

Many types of Giftware and Décor for inside and outside are available to fit the personality of all moms.


Hanging Baskets, Container Gardens, Bedding Plants & Tropical Plants

Moms love to dress up their, porch, patio and flower beds. Pick up her favorite plants and colors and help her create colorful accents in these areas.


Trees, Shrubs & Rose Bushes

Find a perfect tree or shrub for Mom's yard or landscape beds. She will remember your thoughtfulness each time she sees your gift!


Outdoor Furniture, Fire Pits, Statues, Arbors and Much More

There is sure to be something that Mom will love!


Wine, Wine Gift Baskets, Wine Accessories & Décor

Send mom wine and flowers or a wine gift basket to help her enjoy her down time. Visit us and check out our great selection of accessories and décor to find the gift that fits Mom perfectly.


Hillermann Gift Cards

Let Mom pick out her gift with a Hillermann Gift Card. Since they are good in all our departments, Mom can find exactly what she wants! She can even apply the gift amount to Landscape Services or New Landscaping.

Click here to order Hillermann Gift Cards online.


Bird & Wildlife Items

Does your Mom like to watch the birds and wildlife? Browse our large bird and wildlife department for bird houses, feeders, seed, suet, birdbaths and more. Help bring more activity to Mom's yard and give her hours of enjoyment.


Garden Tools and Amendments

If your Mom gardens, she may need some new tools to help her enjoy it even more. A great selection of gardening tools, fertilizers and more are available.


Online Store

Can't make it to the store to shop?

Click here to check out the selection on our online store.

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Have a Happy Mother's Day from the Hillermann Team!

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Our Bicentennial Kite is Flying!

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Have you heard about Franklin County’s Bicentennial Celebration and the Kites Across the County Project? We are joining the celebration and our kite is flying above the heads of those who come through our Garden Center entrance! Come by and see!

Visit these sites to learn more about Franklin County, the Bicentennial Celebration and the Kites Across the County Program. Join in the fun!

www.franklinmo200.com
https://www.facebook.com/FranklinCountyBicentennial/
www.franklinmo200.com/kites
http://franklinmo200.com/events/

Spring Is Unfolding at Hillermann's!

Spring is unfolding more every day! Visit us often and watch the progress in the plants in our nursery and greenhouses. More selections of spring bedding flowers and vegetable plants arrive daily. More great trees, shrubs, and perennial plants fill up the nursery lot each day. What a great time to visit us and slow down to look at all the beauty that unfolds in spring!

Plants and Items for SPRING!

FRESH NEW SPRING PLANTS, ITEMS and DISPLAYS are ready NOW at Hillermann Nursery & Florist!! Check out the photo gallery below for a peek of what is here, then come on down for spring planting, decorating and gifting items. Let’s GET SPRING STARTED!

Garden Solutions - March 2019

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            WOW what a winter we had this year! Spring is almost here!!! What a wonderful feeling to be able to spend more time outside enjoying what Mother Nature is unfolding before our eyes. The lengthening of days is a welcome site, and the warm sun on our faces is also a very great feeling. We “spring forward” with Daylight Savings Time on Sunday, March 10 this year. That is exciting.

            The grass will be greening up and mowing time is just around the corner. Mow lawns now to remove old growth and the last of winter’s leaves before new growth begins. Thin spots and bare patches in the lawn can be over seeded now if you don’t intend to use a crabgrass preventer on your lawn. Last summer’s heat and drought may make this a necessity this spring, if you missed the opportunity last fall.

            If you don’t over seed your lawn, now is the time to apply Fertilome Crabgrass Plus Lawn Food. We have long summer seasons here, and actually recommend that you make two applications of this product (4-6 weeks apart) to keep your yards crabgrass free this summer. 

            Begin spring cleanup of perennial beds this month. Cut perennials to 3” above the ground. Remove damaged foliage and old flower stalks. Ornamental grasses and hardy hibiscus can be pruned back to 6” above the ground now.

            Once flowerbeds have been cleaned up, re-mulching can be done. Be sure not to mulch on the crowns of plants. Top dress or dry feed beds with a granular fertilizer, such as Osmocote, and apply a pre-emergent to help keep weed seeds from germinating. Divide summer and fall blooming perennials now, along with ornamental grasses if you so desire.

            Plant/sow peas, lettuce, radish, kohlrabi, collards, turnips, potatoes, spinach, onion sets, beets, carrots, and parsley outside this month. Set out broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, Chinese cabbage, cauliflower and pansy transplants now. This month is also great for setting out strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, grapes and fruit trees.

            Start seeds indoors this month for tomatoes, peppers and eggplants. And houseplants can still be repotted. Continue to check houseplants for over wintering insect populations.

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            Nesting boxes for bluebirds can be set up as well as Purple Martin houses. Bluebird boxes are best at about 5’ off the ground on a fence post in the open with the entry hole facing away from prevailing winds. Purple Martins return to our zone 6 region between St. Pat’s Day and the end of the month. So, now is the time to clean out those houses and be prepared.

            It is time to go, “See you in the garden!!”
Sandi Hillermann McDonald

 

 

Weed Prevention… Now Is The Time

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Understanding exactly what you are applying and how it works will help you decide when to get out there and start your lawn care. First, it’s not a race. The first neighbor to unleash the spreader from the garage is not necessarily the winner, winner, chicken dinner.

When you start looking at bags you will see words like ‘preventer’, ‘crabgrass’, and ‘pre-emergent’.

WHAT DOES ALL THIS MEAN?

The majority of first lawn applications contain a fertilizer (to make the grass grow) and what is called a pre-emergent herbicide. A herbicide is a chemical that kills plants (in contrast to an insecticide). A pre-emergent herbicide is one that stops a plant from growing. Look at the word: pre (before) –emergent (sprouting).

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HOW CAN AN HERBICIDE KILL A PLANT BEFORE IT IS EVEN GROWING?

A pre-emergent kills the emerging seed of a plant either before or right after it sprouts. So, the weed killer in the first bag you put down is actually a weed PREVENTER. Weed preventers create a barrier where they are applied that blocks growth. But wait, you say. I have put this pre-emergent down before and I still had weeds in the summer. What gives? A pre-emergent will only stop weeds if they are sprouting from a seed. If the weed is sprouting from a root that stayed in the ground over the winter, a pre-emergent will not prevent it. This is common with weeds like dandelions, clover, and ground ivy. Weeds returning from established roots need a different weed killer.  The #1 big battle of this category is crabgrass.

BUT HERE’S THE THING:

Crabgrass doesn’t germinate until it’s warm. And I don’t mean the AIR temperature. Crabgrass germinates when the SOIL temperatures hit the mid 50s. And soil takes a lot longer to warm up in the spring than the air. Think of how long it takes a lake to warm up in the spring and summer. It may be a gorgeous day on the boat but if you jump in that water, you are in for a shock. Soil temperature is similar. It warms up very slowly in the spring. Crabgrass may germinate in late March in our area. Crabgrass preventers can last up to 4 months. We recommend another addition of prevention in late May to get us covered through our hot dry summers.

There are several factors that influence the germination time of warm-season weeds like crabgrass. Every year is different, and every lawn is different. Did you know that we also offer pre-emergent service in our Hillermann lawn program??  So therefore, WE CAN DO IT FOR YOU. 

Stop in or call to let us help you with your specific needs. 

Sandi Hilllermann McDonald

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