Plant Care

PEST CONTROL

No matter how careful you are with plant placement and soil amendments, almost everyone has some problem with garden pests at one point or another. For this reason, Wildwood carries a wide range of both organic and conventional control products and repellents to help protect your garden. Because of the diversity of problems that can occur we encourage you to bring samples of pests and/or damaged plant material to Wildwood so we can help find the right solution for your garden problem. If you require additional information or assistance we recommend that you contact the University of Rhode Island’s Plant Protection Clinic Cooperative Extension Education Center at 401.874.2900 or click here to be directed to their website.

Disease Control

There are typically fewer options for disease control than for insect control, mostly because diseases, once in the plant, can be extremely hard to eradicate.

Since stress is a key contributor to disease, planting in the correct location is the first step in combating disease. At Wildwood we work with you to get the right plant for your needs, so it thrives from day 1. If available, we also seek out disease-resistant cultivars to increase success.

Two maintenance issues that can lead to disease are over-watering and mechanical damage. Daily waterings of in-ground plants are rarely needed and often result in root rot or other disease problems. Nicked bark, broken branches, and poor pruning create wounds by which disease can enter a plant.

For the organic gardener we carry a Bonide® Copper Fungicide which controls a wide range of plant diseases. We also carry an inorganic Bonide® Captan Fruit & Ornamental for use as a foliar spray. Captan can also be used as a soil treatment to prevent soil-borne diseases.

Disease and Insect Control

Because plants are often attacked by diseases and insects at the same time, products which can reduce/prevent both are cost-effective and time-saving products for the garden.

For the organic gardener, we carry two neem oil products. Bonide® Rose Rx 3-in-1 and Bonide® Bon-Neem Insecticidal Soap kill mites and insects as well as prevent diseases. For organic caterpillar control we also carry Bonide® Thuricide.

If you are concerned about your fruit trees, we carry Bonide® Fruit Tree Spray which controls both diseases and insects.

Insect and Mite Control

There are many kinds of insects. Due to their varying means of feeding habits, there are different products for their control.

Organic products provide safe and effective control for many insect problems. The neem oil products listed above also provide an organic solution to many insect problems. Some of these products are also useful because they are less likely to harm beneficial insects such as honeybees and ladybugs.

  • Bonide® All Seasons Horticultural Spray Oil
  • Bonide® Captain Jack’s Deadbug Brew

Conventional insecticides work in several different ways to controls insects. Some kill the pest on contact, others work as stomach poisons, and still others are absorbed by the roots and spread throughout the plant, killing the insect when it feeds on the plant. We stock a variety of insecticides depending on your problem.

  • Bonide® Annual Tree & Shrub  Insect Control
  • Bonide® Caterpillar Killer
  • Bonide® Eight® Insect Control
  • Bonide® Rotenone-Pyrethrins
  • GardenTech™ Sevin

Slug Control

Slugs can be a significant problem on many garden plants, particularly in damp locations or time periods. Bonide® Slug Magic is a biodegradable product that can be safely used to halt slug infestations.

Animal Repellents

Deer are probably the number one mammalian pest in the garden, but moles, squirrels, rabbits and even pets can all cause problems. For the most part, repelling the animal is all the gardener wants to do, so Wildwood carries a selection of effective repellents.  

  • Liquid Fence® Deer & Rabbit Repellent
  • Bonide® Molemax
  • Bonide® No Escape Mouse Magic

FERTILIZERS

A beautiful garden is a real investment, so you want it to continue to look its very best. For most plants this means adding fertilizers to the soil to enhance plant growth, create rich colors, encourage flowering and/or promote fruit or vegetable production. Of course, different plants have different nutrient needs, so you can find a wide array of fertilizers at Wildwood.

Espoma® has created a line of natural  fertilizers which support strong plant growth by developing a biologically and nutrient-rich soil. Espoma® is best known for Holly-tone®, a long-lasting, natural organic fertilizer designed for acid-loving plants and a mainstay of the garden for over 60 years. We also carry a variety of balanced tones including Plant-tone®, Tree-tone®, Garden-Tone®, Bulb-tone® and Rose-tone®, each formulated for a specific garden use.

Wildwood proudly carries Proven Winners® plants and suggests using Proven Winners® fertilizers, either the water-soluble or the continuous release, for vigorous plant growth. At Wildwood, all our hangers, planters and annuals are fertilized using water-soluble Proven Winners® resulting in large, strong plants.

Neptune’s Harvest is a fish-based organic fertilizer produced in such a way that the fist amino acids and oils are intact, resulting in a healthy boost of nutrients and organic compounds.


SOIL AMENDMENTS

We are proud to carry the following line of Coast of Maine™ organic soil amendments: 

Lobster Compost (Quoddy Blend™) - Coast of Maine™ 

If you are looking to add a premium compost ideal for conditioning beds and vegetable gardens we recommend Quoddy Blend™ Lobster Compost from Coast of Maine™. This seafood compost is made with chitin-rich lobster, composted with aged aspen bark. These ingredients improve garden soil by increasing water retention and enhancing foliage and root development and plant yield (fruit, flowers and vegetables).

Compost & Peat (Penobscot Blend™) - Coast of Maine™  

Wildwood recommends using Penobscot Blend™  Complete Planting Mix from Coast of Maine™ for all newly planted trees and shrubs, especially for those in clay and sandy soils. This all-in-one planting mix contains a blend of salmon and blueberry compost, mussel shell fragments and sphagnum peat. This mixture will not only give plants a healthy start by preventing the soil from compacting around the root system, it will also enhance the plants overall growth, fruit and flower production.

Black Earth (Monhegan Blend™) - Coast of Maine™  

If you’re looking to top dress, repair or re-seed a lawn area, we recommend using Monhegan Blend™ Black Earth Premium Top Soil from Coast of Maine™. Black Earth is a blend of aged aspen bark composted with hen manure and a little peat.

Premium Potting Soil (Bar Harbor Blend™) - Coast of Maine™

We carry a Bar Harbor™ Blend Premium Potting Soil from Coast of Maine™ that is made with sphagnum peat moss and perlite and is enriched with shellfish compost and seaweed. It is designed for potting hanging baskets, window boxes, and outdoor containers. 

 

Earthworm Castings (Wiscasset Blend™) - Coast of Maine™

We also carry Wiscasset Blend™ Earthworm Castings from Coast of Maine™ which will enrich any existing “spent” soil by supplying it with an active biological boost of plant ready minerals. All you have to do is top dress or blend it into the existing soil. 

 

Composted Manure (Schoodic Blend™) - Coast of Maine™

We carry Schoodic Blend™ Comoposted Manure from Coast of Maine™ as an all-purpose soil conditioner.  It's a blend of compost hen and other farm manures mixed with aged aspen bark. 

Want to learn more about Coast of Maine? Visit coastofmaine.com to learn how.

If you are looking for a professional general purpose growing medium we recommend Premier® PRO-MIX® BX/Mycorise® PRO. PRO-MIX® BX is Canadian sphagnum peat moss based, containing endomycorrhize, perlite, vermiculite and various macronutrients and micronutrients. Mycorise® PRO ensures healthier stronger plants through enhanced fertilizer uptake and root development. 

Sometimes the easiest way to get more of your favorite plant is through root cuttings. Bonide® Bontone® Rooting Powder is a growth hormone that increases root growth from plant cuttings. Rooting powder dramatically increases your success in propagating your own garden plants.

Soil Moist™ is another product designed to enhance potting and transplanting success. Soil Moist™ granules swell up when wet and slowly release their water as the soil dries, creating a more-even flow of water to plant roots. Soil Moist™ is particularly useful in preventing drying out in hanging baskets and window-boxes and in other locations where either the soil dries out quickly or it is hard to water.

Changing pH can improve growing conditions for plants. In Rhode Island, soils are typically too acid, so adding lime to the soil can increase the health of the plant. Some plants actually need the pH to be lowered and we carry aluminum sulfate for that purpose.  For people who are looking to change the color of their hydrangeas, we carry Endless Summer® Color Me Blue and Endless Summer® Color Me Pink, which lower and raise the pH of the soil respectively, resulting in the desired color of the hydrangea bloom.

Sometimes soils are lacking in nutrients other than the big three: nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus. One of the more common problems is iron. Fertilizers with micronutrients, such as Proven Winners® have iron in them, but there are times when a higher level of iron is needed.  Iron sulfate will solve the problem.


MULCH

We carry a line of Coast of Maine™ Organic Mulches (Dark Bark, Hemlock, Natural Cedar, and Pine & Spruce) are ideal for use around trees and shrubs. These bark mulches help insulate the soil, suppress weeds and help roots retain moisture during temperature extremes. Dark Bark is a blend that has been allowed to age longer, thus darkening to a rich chocolate brown. When mulching around roses, perennials or annuals consider using the Enriching Mulch with Seaweed.

  • Dark Bark – Coast of Maine™
  • Enriching Mulch with Seaweed (Fundy Blend™) – Coast of Maine™

  • Hemlock – Coast of Maine™
  • Natural Cedar – Coast of Maine™
  • Pine & Spruce – Coast of Maine™

 PLANT PROTECTORS

Plants are wonderfully adapted to rooting in after planting, but several products we carry help insure the very best start for your plantings and will help protect them from harsh conditions as they grow.

Wilt Pruf® guards against moisture loss and is a key part of a year-round plant protection program. Broadleaf evergreens in particular can suffer severe winter damage due to frozen ground and desiccating winds. Wilt Pruf® creates a thin waxy coat on the leaves, reducing water loss and preventing winter browning or leaf dieback. New plantings in exposed locations are particularly susceptible, so we recommend Wilt Pruf® on andromeda, azaleas, hollies, rhododendrons, boxwoods, mountain laurels and other broadleaf evergreens.

Liquid Fence® Freeze Pruf extends your garden’s season by protecting plants from frost. Acting like a natural anti-freeze, Liquid Fence® Freeze Pruf prevents the liquids within the plant cell from freezing, thereby eliminating frost damage.  It can be used prior to a particular frost forecast or will last up to six weeks as a preventative spray. NOTE: Vegetables and fruits can be sprayed but should be well washed before consumption.