Garden Solutions – July 2019


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.


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.


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



            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. 



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


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.


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


Our Bicentennial Kite is Flying!


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!

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


            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.


            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


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’.


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).



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.


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


Bird of the Week - 2/27/19


Purple Martins

 Graceful in flight, musical in its pre-dawn singing, this big swallow is one of our most popular birds. Martin housing has a long history: some Native American tribes reportedly hung up hollow gourds around their villages to attract these birds. Purple Martins migrate to South America for the winter, but before leaving, they may gather to roost in groups of thousands in late summer.

 Characteristics: Purple Martins are large, broad-chested swallows. They have stout, slightly hooked bills, short, forked tails, and long, tapered wings. Adult males are iridescent, dark blue-purple overall with brown-black wings and tail. Females and immature Martins are duller, with variable amounts of gray on the head and chest and a whitish lower belly. Purple Martins fly rapidly with a mix of flapping and gliding. They feed and roost in flocks, often mixed with other species of swallows. They often feed higher in the air than other swallows, which can make them tough to spot.

 Songs and Calls: Liquid gurgling warble. Also a penetrating tee-tee-tee.

 Diet: Insects. Feeds on a wide variety of flying insects, including many wasps and winged ants, and some bees; also many true bugs, mosquitoes, flies, (including house flies and crane flies), beetles, moths, butterflies and dragonflies. They also eat some spiders.

 Nesting: Males return to nesting areas first in spring to establish nesting territories. Natural sites are in cavities, such as old woodpecker holes, in trees. They usually nests in colonies, especially in east, where almost all nest in multiple-roomed nest boxes put up for them. At least 4 housing cavities should be offered and 6 to 12 is a great start to attract a colony. Aluminum, thick plastic, wood, and natural gourds are all suitable materials for martin housing, provided that the exterior of the house is white in color to reflects heat, keeping housing cooler in hot temperatures. Martins prefer housing that is placed in open areas with clear flyways. Choose the center of the largest open spot available, at least 40-60 feet from trees and within 100 yards of human housing. In the southern half of their breeding range, martins may accept housing that is placed within 25 feet of trees, but open areas are always best. Housing should be lowered, sometimes on a daily basis, to remove competitor nests and to monitor the nests. Therefore, it’s helpful if the housing is on a pole that has a telescoping, pulley, or winch system to raise and lower the unit. Recommended height is 12-18’.

 Note: Purple Martin numbers have declined seriously in parts of the west, and currently declining in the east. Reasons are not well known, but competition with other bird species for nest sites may be involved.


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20% OFF
Purple Martin Houses & Accessories


Good through 3/5/19. Not good with any other sale, coupon or discount or
on previous purchases. Print this page or mention offer at the checkout counter.

Code: 004


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Houseplant of the Week - 2/27/19


ZZ Plant

The ZZ plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia) gets its common name from its botanical name. Since Zamioculcas zamiifolia was long and difficult to say, many nursery workers simply shortened it to ZZ. The plant stems grow in a graceful, wand-like shape that starts thick and bulbous at the base and then tapers to a point. Along the stem are fleshy, oval-shaped leaves that make the plant look like stylized feathers. The entire plant has a waxy, shiny coating that makes it appear to resemble those made of plastic. Between the sculptural qualities of the plant and its waxy coating, it is not uncommon for people to insist that it must be an artificial plant. Small, insignificant flowers consisting of a spadix surrounded by a spathe may appear at the base of plants in summer, although ZZ plants rarely flower indoors.

What makes ZZ plant such a good houseplant is that it's wonderfully tolerant to a wide range of conditions, including low light, low humidity, and periods of drought. It's truly one of the toughest houseplants around, making it a perfect choice to add to your home or office. In addition, it has air purifying qualities for the indoor environment.

The ZZ plant will do best in bright to moderate, indirect light. While it can take direct light, you may see some scalding on the leaves if it is left in direct light. Additionally, curling leaves, yellowing and leaning can all be an indication of too much light. If you notice curling taking place, it typically means the plant is trying to move away from the light source. Move the plant to a shadier location or farther away from the light source. You can also try filtering the light with curtains or blinds if moving the plant is not feasible. The ZZ plant will also do fine in extremely low levels of light. This makes it an ideal plant for a window-less office or bathroom where it will only receive small amounts of fluorescent light.

Water the plant once every one to two weeks - as the top inch or two of the potting mix dries. If the soil is wet or damp wait a little longer before watering. The plant has underground rhizomes that can rot if the soil stays too wet. As a survival technique, ZZ plant has evolved to start dropping its leaflets to conserve moisture during periods of severe drought. If you forget to water yours and see the leaflets fall, don't give up hope. Water your plant again and it should resuscitate.

ZZ plants are happy without fertilizer, but if you would like, you can give the plants half strength fertilizer one to two times a year and only in the summer months.

Pruning may be beneficial as the plant grows. Cut away leaflets that are turning yellow near the base of a stem. Once a stem has grown much longer than all other stems you can remove that stem or cut it to size at the tip. It can sometimes look a little odd when a stem is cut off to size, so removing it completely might be another option - depending on individual preference.


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20% OFF
ZZ Plants

Good through 3/5/19. Not good with any other sale, coupon or discount or
on previous purchases. Print this page or mention offer at the checkout counter.

Code: 004 

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