Archive for the ‘Garden’ Category

The Different Types of Mulch

Tuesday, April 16th, 2024

Types of MulchIf you’re a gardening enthusiast, you are probably well-aware of the importance of mulching. Mulching is an essential practice that helps facilitate plant growth and improve the overall health of your garden. In simple terms, mulch is a protective layer applied over the soil to regulate moisture levels, maintain soil temperature, and suppress weed growth. However, not all mulch is created equal. Understanding the different types of mulch and their benefits is crucial to determine what’s best for your garden which we will help break down for you.

Organic Mulch:

Organic mulch is made up of natural materials that decompose over time. Common types of organic mulch include bark, leaves, straw, and grass clippings. Organic mulch is best suited for gardens as it enriches the soil, enhances drainage, and improves soil structure over time. Additionally, it helps regulate soil temperature and suppress weed growth, ensuring that your plants thrive. However, it’s important to note that organic mulch decomposes and needs to be replenished frequently to remain effective.

Inorganic Mulch:

Inorganic mulch, on the other hand, is made up of non-biodegradable materials such as stones, gravel, and plastic sheeting. These materials do not break down and remain in your garden for a more extended period. Inorganic mulch is beneficial if you’re looking for a low-maintenance option that requires less upkeep. It’s also useful for areas that experience high winds and rains, preventing soil erosion. However, it’s important to note that inorganic mulch doesn’t enrich the soil, and it can increase soil temperatures during the hot summer months.

Compost Mulch:

Compost mulch is a type of organic mulch made up of decomposed organic materials such as food waste, yard trimmings, and manure. It’s often referred to as “black gold” as it’s packed with nutrients, beneficial microbes, and minerals that boost soil fertility. Compost mulch helps improve soil quality, increases water retention, and provides your plants with essential nutrients. This makes it an excellent option for vegetable gardens, flower beds, and fruit-bearing trees.

Pine Needle Mulch:

Pine needle mulch is a popular choice for gardeners as it’s long-lasting, attractive, and low-maintenance. Pine needles are acidic and work well for plants that prefer acidic soil conditions such as blueberry bushes, roses, azaleas, and rhododendrons. Pine needles also help improve drainage, suppress weeds, and prevent soil erosion. However, it’s important to note that pine needles decompose slowly, so you won’t need to replenish them as frequently as other organic mulch.

Rubber Mulch:

Finally, rubber mulch is a type of inorganic mulch made from recycled rubber tires. It’s often used in playgrounds and landscapes as it’s durable, non-toxic, and requires little maintenance. Rubber mulch doesn’t decompose, and it doesn’t attract insects or rodents, making it a safer option for children and pets. However, it’s crucial to check if the rubber mulch you’re buying is safe and toxin-free. Some manufacturers use recycled tires that contain harmful chemicals and metals that can harm your plants and soil.

Mulching is an essential gardening practice that provides a range of benefits to your plants and soil. Understanding the different types of mulch and their advantages can help you choose the best option for your garden. Whether you prefer organic or inorganic mulch, there’s an option that will work for you!

Planning Spring Pasture Management

Tuesday, February 20th, 2024

Spring Pasture ManagementThe arrival of spring presents a prime opportunity for farmers and livestock owners to improve the health of their pastures through proper pasture management. Not only does this help to regenerate growth, but it also ensures that the animals are well-fed and healthy. There are a few steps you can take to improve your pasture management including planning rotations, avoiding overgrazing, and looking out for poisonous plants.

Plan Your Rotation
Rotational grazing is one of the most effective ways to maintain healthy pastures. This practice involves splitting a pasture into smaller paddocks and allowing the animals to graze on each paddock for a set period of time before moving onto the next. Giving the grass time to recover before it’s grazed again is crucial for its health. In addition, rotational grazing provides an opportunity for livestock to graze on nutrient-rich grass as it regenerates. This practice encourages animal movement and even distribution of fertilizer, ultimately resulting in a better-quality pasture.

Avoid Overgrazing
It’s important to resist the temptation to leave all the animals in one area for an extended period. This can lead to overgrazing, a process where livestock consume too much grass, and it is unable to recover. This can harm the overall health of your pasture and reduce its productivity. Overgrazing can increase the presence of weeds, soil compaction, and decreased water infiltration. The best way to prevent overgrazing is to manage your grazing schedule correctly. It’s important not to leave your livestock in any one area for too long.

Beware of Poisonous Plants
It’s essential to be aware of the different poisonous plants that can be present in your pastures. These plants can adversely affect the health of your livestock if ingested, and some can even be fatal. Such plants include poison ivy and poison oak. Be sure to remove these plants from your pastures, and observe closely whether they are growing back. Consider fencing off any areas in which these plants are known to grow, or uprooting and replanting any areas where they may be present.

Spring pasture management is crucial when it comes to keeping pastures healthy and robust. Proper rotational grazing, grazing management, and attention to poisonous plants will ensure your pasture remains healthy, providing sufficient and nutritious feed for your livestock. Whether it’s your private collection of animals, or livestock that provides for your livelihood, it’s important to prioritize their health and well-being by maintaining healthy pastures. Take these three factors into account to ensure the health and longevity of your pasture and in turn your livestock.

Planting Seed Potatoes

Thursday, February 8th, 2024

Planting Seed PotatoesPotatoes are a staple in many households across the world. They are versatile, tasty, and easy to cook. However, not many people know about seed potatoes and how they can significantly affect the quality and quantity of your potato crop. We’ve put together some information about seed potatoes and tips for planting, so you can reap the benefits of seed potatoes too.

What are seed potatoes?
Seed potatoes are potatoes that have been carefully selected, stored, and saved from the previous year’s potato crop. These potatoes are precisely picked based on their size, shape, and quality and are free from any diseases or pests. Seed potatoes ensure that only the best potatoes get planted the following year, resulting in a higher yield and crop quality.

Why are seed potatoes important?
Seed potatoes are critical for any gardener who wants to produce a healthy and fruitful potato crop the following year. Using seed potatoes from a previous crop means that gardeners are not only using potatoes that have been carefully selected and verified but are also avoiding any possible disease or pest infestation.

How to choose the right seed potatoes?
Choosing the right seed potato is essential for producing a healthy potato crop. Gardeners should select potatoes that are firm, free from blemishes, and have a good shape. The chosen potatoes should be stored in a cool, dry place before planting. Before planting, gardeners should also inspect the potatoes to ensure that they are disease-free.

How to plant seed potatoes?
Gardeners should plant their seed potatoes in the spring, 2-4 weeks before the last frost date. The selected potatoes should be cut into small pieces, each containing at least 2-3 eyes. Patios should be planted in the ground with the eyes facing upwards, ensuring that they are covered with soil. As the potatoes grow, gardeners should continue to cover the plants with soil to promote growth.

When to harvest seed potatoes?
Seed potatoes should be harvested in the summer or fall when the plants start to die back. The potatoes will be ready for harvest when the leaves turn brown and start to wilt. Gardeners should carefully dig the potatoes out of the ground to avoid damaging them.

Seed potatoes are a great option for gardeners who want to get a head start on their potato crop. They help produce a healthy, high-yield potato crop. Keep our tips in mind when choosing and planting seed potatoes in your garden for a successful yield. Remember, a healthy and fruitful potato crop results from using healthy seed potatoes!

Guide to Growing Onion Sets

Wednesday, February 7th, 2024

Growing Onion SetsAre you a gardener who wants to add more variety to your vegetable garden? If so, you might want to consider growing onion sets. Onion sets are small onions that are grown from seeds and then transplanted into your garden. They’re a great option for gardeners who want to get a head start on their onion crop without waiting for a full year. In this guide, we’ll talk about the benefits of planting onion sets and how to grow them successfully.

Let’s go over some of the benefits of using onion sets. One of the biggest advantages is time. By planting onion sets in the fall, you’ll be able to harvest your crop in the spring or early summer, rather than waiting an entire year for onions to mature. Onion sets are also easier to plant than onion seeds, as they don’t require a lot of time or effort to get started. Additionally, onion sets are less prone to disease and pests.

So how do you grow onion sets? The first step is to choose a location that gets plenty of sunlight and has well-draining soil. Onions prefer slightly acidic soil with a pH of around 6.0 to 6.8. You can test your soil’s pH using a kit from your local garden center. We have pH kits to choose from in the garden department of our store that are perfect for the job. Once you’ve found the perfect spot, prepare the soil by tilling it and adding compost or other organic matter.

When planting your onion sets, make sure to space them about 4-6 inches apart and plant them at a depth of about 1 inch. Push each set into the soil until the tip is barely visible. Onions don’t need a lot of water, but make sure to keep them well-watered during dry spells. You can also mulch around your onions to help retain moisture and suppress weeds.

As your onions grow, be sure to keep an eye out for pests and diseases. Common onion pests include onion maggots, thrips, and onion flies, while common onion diseases include downy mildew, onion smut, and white rot. If you notice any issues, remove affected plants and treat the surrounding soil with an organic fungicide or insecticide.

Finally, you can harvest your onion sets. Onions are ready to harvest when the tops dry out and start to fall over. At this point, stop watering your onions and let them cure in the garden for a week or two. Once the outer skin is papery and the tops are dry and brittle, you can harvest your onions. Hang them in a cool, dry place for a few weeks to allow them to fully cure before storing them in a cool, dry spot.

Growing onion sets is a great way to add a quick and easy crop to your vegetable garden. With the right growing conditions and care, you can enjoy fresh, homegrown onions in just a few months. By following these tips, you’ll be on your way to a bumper onion crop in no time!

February Garden Tips

Monday, January 30th, 2023

February Garden Tips

February Garden Tips Keep in mind that the average last freeze for North Texas area is not until mid-March. Even so, many plants normally begin to show Keep in mind that the average last freeze for North Texas area is not until mid-March. Even so, many plants normally begin to show signs of growth in February, which makes it the perfect time, to get outside and work in the yard.

Pruning is both an art and a necessary maintenance function. Most trees and shrubs can be lightly pruned at any time; however mid-winter is generally the best time for major pruning.

Summer flowering trees and shrubs should be pruned before buds begin to swell for Spring. Generally they bloom on new growth; examples are crape myrtle, butterfly bush, spiraea and honeysuckle. If those seed heads on crepe myrtles bother you, remove them this month. Just clip back the ends of the branches, do not destroy the beauty of the gracefully sculptured trunks by severe pruning. Please never top a crape myrtle.

Spring flowering plants such as azalea, Carolina jessamine, wisteria, forsythia, and quince should not be pruned until after the blooms are spent.

February is the best time for pruning most roses. Remove any old and diseased canes then cut the remaining canes back by 50%. Make your cuts above a bud that faces away from the center of the plant.

Early to mid-February marks the time to apply a pre-emergent herbicide for lawns. These products kill germinating seed. A second application may be needed in late May or early June. Remember that the best defense against lawn weeds is a healthy, thick turf resulting from good management.

Trim back perennials and ornamental grasses before the new growth appears in Spring. Clean up around plants and mulch well to protect.

Thinking about a spring garden? Look for onion sets and seed potatoes, they arrive early. By planting early, plants will be off to a better start and can become adjusted before the stresses of summer arrive.

Apply Pre-Emergents for Spring Weed Control

Wednesday, January 25th, 2023

Apply pre emergents for spring weed control. Dandelions weeds.

Regardless of what the groundhog says, spring is right around the corner and it’s time to think about spring weed control.  With the mild winter, we’ve had, it’s time to apply pre-emergent for your yard. You have about a six-week window to apply pre-emergents, from the first of February to the middle of March.  There are three factors that will determine when a seed will germinate: soil temperature, moisture, and sunlight. The pre-emergent must be applied and active BEFORE that magic moment of germination occurs.

At J&N, we’ve got several products we recommend for weed control:

Synthetic Pre-Emergents

Hi-Yield Turf & Ornamental Weed and Grass Stopper – Contain dimension pre-emergent, which provides superior control of crabgrass as well as control or suppression of other listed weeds when applied before they germinate. It also provides post-emergent control of crabgrass only and is effective on crabgrass up to four weeks after it has germinated and emerged. Do not apply this product later than four weeks after crabgrass has germinated. The12# bag covers 3,000 sq ft and the 35# bag that covers 10,000 square feet.

A-Vert Plus Lawn Food 18-0-12 –  Contains Gallery and Team, pre-emergent herbicides for control of annual grasses and broadleaf weeds in established home lawns. Apply only twice per year for effective dandelion and crabgrass control. A 12lb bag covers up to 2,000 square feet.

Weed Free Zone – Controls over 80 of the toughest-to-control broadleaf weeds including Clover, Ground Ivy, Spurge, Chickweed, Dandelion, Henbit, Oxalis, Poison Ivy, Purslane, Shepherds Purse, Thistle, Virginia Buttonweed, Wild Onion and many others listed on the label. Formulated for cooler weather, it’s a great first application of the season pre-emergent.

Organic Pre-Emergent

Corn Gluten Meal – An all-natural option for weed control is corn gluten meal. It is available in both granulated and powder form and it is applied at a rate of 20 pounds per 1,000 square feet.

The key to success with these products is to apply the correct amount to your lawn.  Follow the label directions and know the square footage of your lawn.


Pick Up Spring Onions & Seed Potatoes at J&N

Sunday, January 1st, 2023

Pick up spring onions & seed potatoes at J&N Feed and Seed. A variety of spring onions and seed potatoes arrive mid-January. We’ll have a good selection of Cole Crops arriving mid-February so keep an eye on Facebook and we’ll let you know when they’ve arrived.

Onions & seed potatoes at J&N Feed and Seed in Graham, TexasJ&N Onion Varieties

  • 1015-Sweet Onion  – A giant yellow onion with a super sweet taste. Onions can grow as large as softballs—and store well for 2-3 months.
  •  Georgia Sweet (Yellow Granex) – Sweet as an apple” is the expression used to describe its mild flavor.
  • White Granex – It is a white version of the popular Yellow Granex hybrid
  • Burgundy Red – Produces colorful, 4 in. wide onions that have red skins with a white & pink interior. It has a mild, sweet flavor.

February is the time to get your onions sets in the ground. Read more about planting onion sets here.

J&N Potato Varieties

Onions & Seed Potatoes at J&N Feed and Seed in Graham, Texas

  • Kennebec Seed Potatoes – Thin, smooth skin and flesh make these oval potatoes an all-purpose pantry staple.
  • La Soda Seed Potatoes –  A distinctive rosy skin and waxy white flesh. Widely adapted and reliable withstands cold, heat and drought.

Tips For Planting Potatoes

When purchasing seed potatoes, look for certified seed potatoes. These are seeding potatoes which have not been treated with growth retardants to prevent sprouting.

After you have planned and prepared a garden spot with well-drained, loose soil, the seed potatoes can be prepped for planting:

Cut each seed potato into quarters (sulfur dust can be applied to the fresh cut ends) and let the potato quarters set out overnight or longer until cut sides callus over. Seed potato quarters are then ready to plant— for a good rule of thumb, potato quarters should be planted 3” to 4” deep and spaced 12” to 15” apart. To provide plants plenty of growing room, make sure rows are spaced 24” to 36” apart.

Tips For Planting Seed Potatoes

Thursday, December 29th, 2022

Tips for planting seed potatoes from J&N Feed and Seed in Graham, Texas.Onion sets and seed potatoes arrive mid-January at J&N Feed and Seed. Planting seed potatoes and onions are at the top of everyone’s gardening list this time of year. As everyone in North Texas knows, our late January and February weather can be a gamble— temps can be spring-like one day and fall below freezing the next.  But, the weather extremes should not deter gardeners from planting during these months.  Potatoes are top of the list for planting this time of year.

Other good go-to cold weather vegetables are root produce such as turnips, beets, and carrots as well as hardy leafy greens like spinach, cabbage, kale, and chard. Bulb veggies (onions and garlic), as well as asparagus crowns, can also be planted at this time.

Preparing and Planting Potatoes 

When purchasing seed potatoes, look for certified seed potatoes. These are seeding potatoes that have not been treated with growth retardants to prevent sprouting. Conventional potatoes in grocery markets are typically treated with retardants.

After you have planned and prepared a garden spot with well-drained, loose soil, the seed potatoes can be prepped for planting:

Cut each seed potato into quarters (sulfur dust can be applied to the fresh cut ends) and let the potato quarters set out overnight or longer until cut sides callus over.  Seed potato quarters are then ready to plant— for a good rule of thumb, potato quarters should be planted 3” to 4” deep and spaced 12” to 15” apart. To provide plants plenty of growing room, make sure rows are spaced 24” to 36” apart.

Caring for Potato Plants

Potatoes need consistent moisture, so water regularly when tubers start to form.  Before the potato plants bloom, hilling should be done when the plant is about 6 inches tall. Hoe the dirt up around the base of the plant in order to cover the root as well as to support the plant. Bury the plant base in loose soil. Hilling will keep the potato plants from getting sunburned, in which case they turn green and will taste bitter.  You will need to hill potatoes every couple of weeks to protect your crop.

When the potato plants have bloomed, new potatoes are ready for harvest.  For larger potatoes, harvest only after plant tops has fallen over. For more information on planting seed potatoes, visit the Texas A&M website.

Other Cool Weather Vegetable Plantings

Lettuce, spinach, and cabbage can be planted at this time either by seeds or plant starts. For reference, these vegetables can be planted in February with seed or starter plants.

Stop by J&N for your seed potatoes, onion sets, and other cool-weather vegetables.

Spartan Mosquito Pro Tech

Friday, April 1st, 2022

Deploy Spartan Mosquito Pro Tech for season-long mosquito control!

Deploy Spartan Mosquito Pro Tech for season-long mosquito control! These non-toxic mosquito baits are safe for pets and humans.Take back your outdoor space with the Spartan Mosquito Pro Tech. This organic solution is an attractive toxic sugar bait slow-release device that kills mosquitoes using our active ingredient, boric acid. It also doesn’t require batteries or electricity! Simply add water to the tube and hang 90 feet from where you play and live.

You should plan to deploy the Spartan Mosquito tube(s) as soon as the weather begins to warm up. This product creates a barrier to “catch”  mosquitoes by emitting an attractant. Once mosquitoes feed on the water solution, they will perish before they can breed again.

The Spartan Mosquito system is a uniquely effective, long-lasting, continuous mosquito control system. They last for up to 90 days. No need for batteries or electricity, just add water! The mosquito population will suffer dramatically in the first 15 days and will be up to 95% controlled for up to 90 days.

Help protect yourself and your pets from mosquito bites. Grab the Spartan Mosquito product a J&N Feed and Seed in Graham, Texas.

Learn how to use Pro Tech with this illustrated guide.


Take back your outdoor space with the Spartan Mosquito Pro Tech. These non-toxic mosquito baits are safe for pets and humans.

Spring Garden Hazards

Friday, April 1st, 2022

As spring arrives and the first buds appear, but it can also pose some potential risks to our pet friends. Read about potential spring garden hazardsAs spring arrives and the first buds appear, gardening can be a relaxing and healthy way to pass the time.  But it can also pose some potential risks to our cat and dog friends. With care and some knowledge, these risks can be avoided.  Here is a list of potential spring garden hazards.


Fertilizers containing blood meal, bone meal, feather meal, or iron can be tasty for dogs and particularly dangerous. Ingestion of large amounts of meal-containing products can form concretions in the stomach resulting in obstruction and severe pancreatitis.  Likewise, those containing iron can lead to iron poisoning causing vomiting, bloody diarrhea, lethargy, abdominal pain, shock, tremors, and potential cardiac and liver effects.  Consider using natural fertilizers available in many garden supply stores or local farms.  Ingestion of pesticides or insecticides containing organophosphates can be life-threatening even in small amounts.


Cocoa mulch is made from the discarded shells and hulls of the cocoa bean.  Its chocolate-like smell can be particularly attractive to dogs. Similarly, like chocolate, this mulch contains theobromine and caffeine.  The amount of toxin present can vary from product to product.  Symptoms of toxicity include vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, seizures, and in extreme cases, death.  Keep pets safe by closely supervising them or using safer alternatives to cocoa mulch.  They include rubber mulch, cedar mulch, leaves, pine needles, or untreated wood chips.  While these are safer alternatives, please remember that these can still be ingested and cause an obstruction.


Gardeners love compost for its nutrient value and many have their own pile.  Compost can be toxic to pets and wildlife and should always be fenced off.  As organic matter decomposes in the compost pile, molds can grow.  Consequently, these molds can produce tremorgenic mycotoxins.  As a result, when ingested symptoms can occur within 30 minutes and include agitation, panting, drooling, vomiting, tremors, and seizures.  However, with supportive care the prognosis is good.


These are available in pellets, granules, powder, or liquid.  Most contain metaldehyde which is very dangerous to dogs and cats.  As a result, symptoms can occur within 1-2 hours of ingestion and include salivation, restlessness, vomiting, tremors, seizures, and increase body temperature.  Without veterinary care, the symptoms can last for days and be fatal, for instance.  Gopher, mole, and other vermin bates contain strychnine and are highly toxic.


Many plants can be toxic to pets.  Some can have only mild symptoms of gastrointestinal upset to severe liver or kidney failure and death.  For example, the following is an incomplete list of common plants.

  • Severe toxicity:  Sego palm, Azalea/Rhododendron, Caster bean, Cyclamen, Oleander, and Yew.
  • Moderate Toxicity:  Aloe Vera, Amaryllis, Begonia, Chrysanthemum, Daffodil, Hosta, Morning glory, and Poinsettia.
  • Mild toxicity:  Baby’s breath, Carnation, Gladiola, and Tomato plant.


Ingestion of citronella candles, used to deter mosquitos, can cause gastrointestinal inflammation including vomiting and diarrhea.

Above all, if you think your pet has ingested a toxic substance, contact your veterinarian for advice and treatment.  Additionally, you can contact the ASPCA Hotline at 1-888-426-4435 or the Pet Poison Hotline at 1-800-213-6680.  Both charge a fee for their service.  Several pet poison apps are available, as well.

Article provided by Nutrena.