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Care for your lawn or garden without the guesswork with this helpful gardening advice and guides from Armstrong Garden Centers.

Fruit Tree Pruning & Planting


Saturday, January 14 at 9am

Pruning fruit trees for a more fruitful harvest. Learn pruning techniques, what to look for in a pruner and more.

Note: Class not held at Irvine Outlet. 

Contact your store for more information

Rose Pruning & Planting


Saturday, January 14 at 11am

Demonstration of proper pruning techniques, helpful hints and tips for planting and caring for roses.

Note: Class not held at Irvine Outlet. 

Contact your store for more information

Birding


Saturday, January 21 at 9am

Bird enthusiast or just trying to draw birds to your backyard for the first time? The knowledgeable professionals at Armstrong Garden Centers can help you get started. Bird watching is fun, educational, inexpensive and a rewarding hobby for every age.

Note: Class not held at Irvine Outlet. 

Contact your store for more information

Growing Your Own Berries


Saturday, February 4 at 9am

Blackberries, Strawberries, Blueberries, and Boysenberries can all be grown in California gardens, our experts can show you how. Imagine walking outside and picking fruit from your garden to enjoy anytime.

Note: Class not held at Irvine Outlet. 

Contact your store for more information

Orchids


Saturday, February 11 at 9am

Orchids add beauty and elegance to any home. You may think that they are difficult to care for; let us show you everything you need and see orchids can be rather easy.

Note: Class not held at Irvine Outlet. 

Contact your store for more information

Gardening For Beginners


Saturday, February 18 at 9am

At Armstrong Garden Centers, our mission is to take the guesswork out of gardening. Learn the basics and gain the confidence to grow anything.

Note: Class not held at Irvine Outlet. 

Contact your store for more information

Hydroponics

Harvest Veggies & Herbs from Your Kitchen
Grow your own fresh veggies, herbs and more right in your kitchen! Choose from a hydroponics growing kit or indoor gardening station.

 

Getting Started
Ready to grow indoors? Take time to consider where in your home you’d like to setup the garden, how big is that space, what is the current light and your budget. Also, think about how much or how little time you want to invest in your harvest. Once you’ve given those items some thought stop by Armstrong Garden Centers and our friendly garden experts can help you get started or expand your indoor garden.

 

Passive versus Active Growing Systems
If you’re new to indoor gardening a passive growing system is your best choice. Passive growing uses a wicking material to draw nutrients up to the plants roots. Typically, passive growing systems use hydroponics where the root tips are suspended in the water while the main root ball hangs in the air. This is great for growing small plants.

An active growing system is best for larger plants or indoor gardens. It utilizes a pump and timer to flow the nutrients to the plant roots and the pump also provides needed aeration. An active system is more efficient and once set up needs less care.

 

Hydroponics versus Traditional Indoor Gardens
A hydroponics growing system allows you to grow plants without any dirt or sunshine! The plants receive their complete nutrients from the water and plants’ roots are anchored in a plank. Hydroponics allows you to grow more plants with less space and the plants grow faster. That means a quicker, more abundant harvest for you! Plants growing hydroponically are less susceptible to soil-borne disease or pests and no weeding is needed. Once you invest in a hydroponics system growing is very economical since you’ll just need to purchase new plants and fertilizer as needed.

Grow plants for harvesting or start your own plants to later go in the garden with a traditional indoor growing system. First, choose a tray and growing medium like coco coir peat bricks with a high air to water ratio for great water retention and aeration or clay pebbles that are 100% natural, are clean, pH stable and offer aeration and drainage. You’ll need to place your garden on a heating pad to help seeds germinate and provide a more consistent temperature. The last aspect of the garden is light. Choose a plant light based on current lighting conditions, the light requirements of the plants and the size of your indoor garden. Setting up a traditional indoor garden takes more time initially but very little care is needed since it will run on a timer.

 

Our Experts are Ready to Help You Get Started

 San Anselmo Temecula Torrance (Coming Soon)

 

Easy Indoor Gardening Kits

 

Salad Box Hydroponic Salad Garden Kit

 

Start growing your own salad greens and other plants indoors using soil-free hydroponics. The salad box uses passive hydroponics for clean and easy growing. Mix the powder nutrient included with water and pour into the reservoir, then wrap the root ball of each seedling with the included “root wraps”. Place each wrapped seedling into a net pot, pair with a grow light (sold separately) and you’ll be enjoying your harvest in no time!

 

Kit includes:

1 - Reservoir tray
1 - Top plate lid with eight plant sites
1 - Top-off bottle with cap
8 - Net cups
8 - Root wraps
1 - Packet of general purpose nutrient
6 - Drain plugs
& Instructions booklet

 

OxyClone 20 Site Cloning System

Propagate your favorite plants by taking a cutting from an existing plant and helping it establish into its own plant with this compact, recirculating cloning system. This active hydroponic system is powered by Active Aqua’s premium, BPA-free water and air pumps. The submersible pump continually agitates the water reservoir while the attached Venturi valve naturally draws in air bubbles. The system allows for maximum aeration for propagating success.

 

 

 

Jump Start 24-Cell Grow Plug Mini Germination Station with Heat Mat

Start growing your own seedlings indoors year-round with this compact starter kit. The germination station has a heated mat and vented domes to give plants just the right amount of heat and humidity for successful germination and healthier plants.

 

 

Kit includes:

1 - Vented dome 2 Inches
1 - 24-Cell seedling inserts
1 - UL Listed heat mat 6 x 13 Inches
1 - Waterproof tray
24 - Grow plugs
1 - Rooting additive

Contact your store for more information

Begonia Big

Begonia Big is about as easy, and as Big as it gets. The name really says it all: BIG color, BIG performance, and an even BIGger show in the landscape.  It performs so well, and has so much color throughout the summer, that they have quickly becom a favorite “go to plant." They are available in three colors -  Bronze Leaf Red, Bronze Leaf Rose, and Green Leaf Red. The lush foliage and bright flowers are perfect for hanging baskets, mixed containers and window boxes. They also make stunning garden bed displays.

Below are several more great reasons to try them.

EASY.  Begonias are easy. You can truly plant it, and sit back and enjoy it.  

BEAUTIFUL: You get masses of colorful, huge blooms that go all summer long. 

VERSATILE: Begonia Big thrives in sun or shade, and a wide range of soil types and requires little water. 

CARE FREE: They are “self-cleaning,” so there’s no pinching off spent flowers. You get beautiful plants with regular watering and occasional fertilizing.

 

 

 

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Contact your store for more information

Homegrown Superfoods for Heart Health

Do you know that some of the best foods for healthy hearts are easily grown right in your own backyard? That’s right, to prevent heart problems, plant and enjoy fruits and vegetables that are rich in nutrients, fiber, antioxidants and healthy fat. 

Here are the top 10 homegrown fruit and veggie superfoods for heart health.

Avocado – The creamy texture of avocados comes from “good” fats, which lower your “bad” cholesterol. Like olive oil, the “good” fats from avocados have an anti-inflammatory effect, so you don’t get hardening of arteries. They’re also high in antioxidants and potassium. 

Avocado trees are wonderful additions to home landscapes, but some are rather large for typical urban gardens.       However, there are smaller (and even dwarf) trees. Consider ‘Holiday’ (extra-large fruit with green skin), ‘Whitsell’   (medium-sized, high-quality fruit), Gwen’ (green-skinned fruit), ‘Littlecado’ (good for pots; green fruit), or ‘Reed’ (rough green skin, good flavor). If you’ve got a larger garden, any avocado will be ideal. 

Avocado trees don’t like frequent, shallow watering, so avoid planting in lawns. Give them full sun, allowing them to dry before watering. Feed quarterly with E.B. Stone Citrus and Avocado Food.

Beans and Peas – Both of these legumes lower blood sugar levels which is important in helping people avoid complications related to diabetes such as heart disease. They also are a great source of protein without “bad” fats. 

Research has shown that people who ate beans, peas and lentils four times a week lowered their risk of heart disease by 22% compared to those eating only one serving of legumes. 

In California, beans are warm-season veggies (planted in spring for summer harvests), while peas are planted during our cool season (October – March). Both need full sun and well-amended soil. Add Sure Start fertilizer when amending. 

Give beans and peas something to climb on unless you’re planting bush beans which need no support. They’re all easily grown from seed. 

 

Blueberries – Anthocyanins give blueberries their blue coloring and antioxidants. They also contain flavonoids, another antioxidant. Together, these compounds help decrease blood pressure and dilate blood vessels. Research has found that people who ate three servings of blueberries a week had a 32% lower risk of heart attack. 

Grow blueberries in pots or in the ground in a sunny area. In hot inland areas, place where they will get some shade during the hottest hours of afternoon sun. Plant with an acidic planting mix (E.B. Stone Camellia and Azalea Mix) and feed with a food for acid-loving plants. Plant more than one blueberry variety for larger crops. 

 

 

 

Broccoli, Spinach and Kale – These three cool-season veggies are particularly high in carotenoids, antioxidants that can rid your body of harmful compounds. Of course, they’re great providers of vitamins, minerals and fiber. All kinds of kale have omega-3 fatty acids. 

Plant broccoli, spinach and kale October through March in temperate California areas. As with all veggies, amend the soil well, adding a starter fertilizer. These three are all “short-season” or quick crops, meaning that you can plant multiple times during the growing season. 

 

 

 

 

Citrus Fruits – Citruses of all kinds are high in vitamin C, which research links to a lower risk of heart disease. They also contain flavonoid compounds, lowering the risk of strokes caused by blood clots. Be aware, however, that grapefruits can disrupt cholesterol-lowering drugs. 

In temperate-climate California gardens, citruses of all kinds are both ornamental and productive home landscape trees. Dwarf citrus trees are excellent choices for pots. Choose your variety with the help of an Armstrong expert, as some varieties are better for cooler coastal gardens. 

Plant citrus trees with organic E.B. Stone Citrus & Palm Planting Mix in a full-sun area. Water regularly, but soil should never remain soggy. Feed with E.B. Stone Citrus & Avocado Food which is also organic.

 

Red and Black Grapes – You’ve heard of the heart-healthy advantages of moderate amounts of red wine? Well, it’s not the alcohol. It’s the juicy red or black grapes that provide the benefits of resveratrol, which helps keep platelets in your blood from sticking together. 

Table grapes are wonderful additions to gardens—especially if you have an unattractive fence to hide. But any sunny fence will support grapes. Simply train the rampant vines on the side (using wire) or along the top. 

At planting time, amend your soil and add a starter fertilizer. Once you have the plant structure you want, prune each year’s growth back, leaving only two- to three-inches on top of the previous year’s woody stems. 

 

 

Pomegranate – Pomegranate juice has shown to improve blood flow to the heart. Pomegranates contain various antioxidants, including heart-healthy polyphenols and anthocyanins which may help delay hardening of the arteries. 

They’re very easily grown in mild California gardens—and almost nowhere else in the United States. Pomegranates form lovely, large, arching shrubs with small leaves that turn beautiful yellow, orange and red in fall. The large fruits stay on for a long time—looking a bit out of place once the leaves fall.

Plant pomegranates in full sun in well-draining soil. Add amendments and starter fertilizer. Once established, pomegranates can be surprisingly drought-tolerant. 

 

 

Raspberries and Blackberries – These succulent berries are loaded with polyphenols -- antioxidants that wipe out damage-causing free radicals in your body. Additionally, they’re rich in fiber and vitamin C, which are both linked to a lower risk of stroke. 

Be sure to plant “low-chill” raspberries in mild California gardens. The varieties ‘Bababerry’ and ‘Heritage’ are best. Most blackberry varieties grow anywhere in California. Amend the soil well, as these will be permanent plants. Give them plenty of sunshine. 

Give these berries lots of room and sturdy support; arching canes can grow six feet or more. Each winter remove only the canes that fruited the previous year. This will encourage new canes to grow, which will produce fruit the following year. This way you’ll have berries each year.

 

Potatoes – Potatoes have lots of health benefits even though they’re sometimes frowned upon as unwelcome starch. There’s no question that they’re good for your heart because of their high amounts of potassium, which can lower blood pressure. The fiber found in potatoes lowers the risk of heart disease, too. 

Potatoes can be grown in any well-draining soil in full sun. Amend the soil well with E.B. Stone Planting Mix, adding a starter fertilizer at the same time. As potatoes grow, the tubers may become exposed, causing discoloration. To avoid this, gradually pile up soil around the plants as they grow, always leaving 3- to 4-inches of leaves showing. 

Potatoes are fully mature once the tops begin to brown at the end of the growing season. If you can’t wait, test to see if tubers have reached “baby potato” size. If so, harvest as you use them.

 

Tomatoes – Tomatoes are well-known as a source of lycopene, an antioxidant and carotenoid that helps keep blood vessels open, lowering the risk of heart attacks. They also help get rid of “bad” cholesterol. Tomatoes are related to potatoes and like them, are also high in heart-healthy potassium. 

Nothing’s easier to grown than fresh, juicy, health-promoting tomatoes. Find a sunny site and amend the soil well with E.B. Stone Flower and Vegetable Planting Mix and Sure Start fertilizer. 

Place the plants about three feet apart and provide sturdy supports. Feed once or twice during the summer, but not more. Overfeeding can cause lots of leaf growth, but not fruiting. Water regularly, allowing the soil surface to dry between watering times.

 

 

 Top 5 Homegrown Fruits and Veggies to Prevent Diabetes >

 

 

 

Contact your store for more information

Tell Mosquitoes to Buzz Off!

With warm weather comes the return of mosquitoes! Here are some ways to keep these pesky bugs from invading your garden and backyard BBQs this summer. 

The best way to reduce mosquitoes is to make sure you don’t have any stagnant water. Turn over empty pots, lids, etc. so they don’t collect water. Clean and refill your bird baths regularly.

Drop Mosquito Beater Water Soluble Pouches into your ponds or other spots of standing water to control mosquito larvae (it stops their lifecycle). And, it’s not harmful to fish or other aquatic organisms. 

 

 

Citrosa (Citronella) Scented Geranium

This Geranium is often called the Mosquito plant. It produces the citronella scent. When leaves are touched or crushed the fragrance from the citronella oil is released. Citronella oil is the main ingredient for lots of repellents.

Plant these in full to partial sun spots around your patio or in pots to help repel mosquitoes. 

 

Lemon Grass 

Lemon Grass also contains citronella oil. This pretty, nearly lime colored grass is a great addition to the garden. Use it to repel mosquitoes but also try in your tea, lemonade, or recipes.

Plant in full sun




 

 

Lavender

Lavender oil can repel mosquitoes as well. Also a pretty addition to the garden. Can use as cut flower, to add fragrance to your home, and in recipes.

Plant in full sun






 

 

 

Thermacell


Thermacell is portable, odorless and creates a 15 foot mosquito-free zone. Take it with you while gardening, grilling, camping, tailgating and more. Starts working in just 15 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contact your store for more information
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