Friday, February 26, 2016

Reasons to Refill Your Propane Tank Instead of Exchanging It

There has long been a debate about where it's better to exchange your propane tank or refill it. At Camdenton Farm and Garden, we can fill propane tanks at the Lake of the Ozarks and we have trained staff who can take care of you while you shop for your other Lake of the Ozark gardening supplies. While we may be biased to filling your tank instead of exchanging it, there are some very real and practical reason why you should fill your tanks.

Refill is Cheaper Than Exchange

Many people believe that exchanging your propane tank is cheaper than a refill, but what you may not realize, is the actual cost you're paying per gallon. More times than not, you'll find that the exchange price per gallon is more expensive than the refill cost. Another benefit to consider when refilling instead of exchanging, is that you can stock extra tanks in storage, and never run out in the middle of grilling your steak.

A Refill Tank Has More Propane

Have you ever had that moment when you run out of propane in the middle of your grilling session? No one likes to have this happen, so instead of waiting for it to run out, you just guess when your almost out, and then exchange it. Unfortunatly, it's hard to tell when you're actually going to run out, and you could be returning your tank when there is still a lot of propane left. In addition to that, a 20 lb tank is only filled to 15 lbs when you exchange it, and you will be five lbs less than a refill tank, meaning MORE trips back to the store. So in the end, not only do you have less propane in your tank, but you are also shorting yourself propane on the backend when you return it.

Refilling Can Be Just As Fast as Exchange

While you many think that it's faster to do an exchange than to wait for your tank to be refilled, there many be a few factors that you didn't include into your wait time. When you exchange your tank, you have to go into the store and wait in line to pay. After that you still have to wait for someone to come unlock the box outside that holds the filled tanks. When you get your propane refilled at Camdenton Farm & Garden you will received prompt and curteous customer service, and while you may have to wait for your tank to be filled, you can use that time to shop for other items you needed for your home, farm. and garden.

Refill Your Propane Tank at the Lake of the Ozarks

Support your local businesses, and save money at the same time by visiting Camdenton Farm & Garden. We can help you with more than just your propane tanks, from farming supplies to gardening seeds, we can help you with it all!

Camdenton Farm & Garden

Providing quality lawn and garden products at the Lake of the Ozarks and surrounding counties for over 25 years!

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Friday, February 19, 2016

Easy Ways to Start Your Seedlings

Spring is just around the corner, reminding us that it's time to start seedlings. At Camdenton Farm & Garden we have a large selection of seeds, from heirloom to hybrid, and we can help answer your questions about each of them. Whether you're new to the seedling process or your are a seasoned gardener hoping to learn new tricks of the trade, here are a few things to keep in mind as you start your seeds.

Keep Records

While you may not think about keeping records of what you plant and when it can be a very successful way to garden. You can jot down what went wrong and what went right and then duplicate or eliminate those processes next year. These observations will help your gardening in the future, and can be fun to look back on.

Store Seeds Properly

Storing seed improperly will decrease their viability, and some may not survive. Keep them in a cool dark place with low humidity. Some store their seeds in the refrigerator. You can test the seeds before planting them by soaking them in water for a few hours. The seeds that are still living will sink while the dead ones will float. While this works better on larger seeds, there are no absolutes.

Use the Correct Containers

Wide flat containers help you avoid overcrowding. Plastic pots are generally better than clay pots when you are starting your seeds because they retain moisture more consistently. No matter what container you use, it must be free of pathogens, and you can sanitize them with a solution of 10% bleach for 15 minutes and then air dry.

Tamp the Seeds Down

If you are planting small seeds, they should be scattered over the top of the surface, while larger ones can be down farther. Whether the seeds will be covered with planting medium or not, each seed MUST be in firm contact with the moist surface to begin germinating. You can use a pestle or even the bottom of a glass to gently tamp down the surface.

Prevent Disease

Promote good circulation by placing a small fan near your seedlings, keep it on low and direct it to blow across the containers at the soil level where air may become trapped and stagnant.

Cover Trays

Covering your trays with plastic wrap will help keep the moisture level constant. Seeds can be very sensitive to the extremes of overwatering and underwatering. When the seeds germinate you can remove the plastic wrap.

Keep Seeds Warm

The majority of seeds require temperatures of 65° to 75° to germinate. Placing seed containers near an existing heater can raise the ambient temperature. You can also use a heating pad designed for plant use to  encourage germination.

Turn Your Seedlings

Many seeds will not germinate without sunlight and will perform best with 12-16 hours each day. You can place your seedlings in a sunny, south-facing window, and give the container a quarter turn each day to prevent the seedlings from overreaching toward the light. It will encourage strong stems.

Feed Them

Proper nutrition at a consistent rate will keep your seedlings growing strong. When the embryo inside the seed is developing, it relies on food stored in the endosperm to fuel its growth. Once it emerges from the soil and the true leaves develop, it will need a supplemental nutrients. We can help you select the proper plant fertilization at the Lake of the Ozarks.

Finally, Acclimate Them to the Outdoors

Before you plant your seedlings outdoors, they need to be hardened off or acclimated to direct sunlight and fluctuating temperatures. Do this over a three-day period by placing them in direct sunlight during the morning only of the first day. This will help them be vigorous enough to be transplanted.

Gardening at the Lake of the Ozarks

We have the tools you need to start your very own garden. If you are new to this, please come visit us and we can help you learn and grow right along with your plants. Farming at the Lake of the Ozarks is a wonderful hobby and can be relaxing, even if you only have a small plot of land. We look forward to helping you with your new hobby!

Camdenton Farm & Garden

Providing quality lawn and garden products at the Lake of the Ozarks and surrounding counties for over 25 years!

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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Great Backyard Bird Count

One of the greatest benefits of a bird count is to learn more about the birds in your own backyard. You can also enjoy the great outdoors, and learn some really cool things about nature. This year, the Great Backyard Bird Count is starting on Friday, February 12, and ending on Monday, February 15th. This event is open to people of all ages, and can be done for as little as fifteen minutes or as long as you want. Here are a few tips to make your Lake of the Ozarks bird counting easy.

Bring Binoculars

These will help you get a "bird's eye view" of the species that you are spotting. Sometimes you'll be counting a large flock of birds, but there's always that one sneaky bird that isn't like the others. Binoculars will help you distinguish him, and put him on the right list. You can also use them to spot birds that are too far away to really recognize.

Write Birds Down

It's important to write the birds down as you see them, to keep from forgetting a single one. If you don't feel confident in your bird spotting abilities, you can always take a photo, and write down the description of the bird so you don't forget.

Learn About Common and Uncommon Species

In the next few days leading up to the bird count, you can start researching common birds in your Missouri backyard! This will help you prepare for spotting them. If you don't know what some of the common birds in Missouri are, you can check out our past blog, Caring for Your Feathered Friends In the Winter, to give you a starting point!

Find a Good Spot

If you don't have a spot in mind, you can start in your backyard! You'd be amazed at how many species fly past your porch every single day. If you have a bird feeder, you can station yourself by it and count the species that come in for a meal. You can also wander around looking for a good spot, and counting the birds you find along the way.

Count Flocks In Groups

It may seem intimidating to count the birds in a large flock, but if you just take it a portion at a time you'll be able to do it. Choose a small section of the flock and count them, whether there are 10, 15 or 20. Then count how many sections there are in the group, and you'll have a good idea of how many birds there are. You don't have to have exact numbers when counting the huge flocks, but any number you get is closer than what they would have had to begin with.

Every Bird Counts!

Don't discount that one little chickadee, or the large group of mixed birds with 10 different species included. Every bird matters to the Bird Count.

Great Backyard Bird Count

You can learn more about this fun event on their website, You'll be able to find the rules and instructions about this yearly event, as well as register. You must register in order to submit your results, so follow the directions on their site to get registered.

Stock Up on Birding Supplies at the Lake of the Ozarks

At Camdenton Farm & Garden, we have just what you need to keep your birding hobby running smoothly. From beautiful bird feeders to a large selection of bird seed for many different varieties, we have it all. Come out and visit us this week for any tips and tricks you might want for your bird count, or how to attract more birds to your feeders!

Camdenton Farm & Garden

Providing quality lawn and garden products at the Lake of the Ozarks and surrounding counties for over 25 years! 

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Friday, February 5, 2016

Easy Tips for Growing Your Own Potatoes!

Growing your own potatoes can be a rewarding and interesting process. If you don't know where to start, though, it could seem a bit intimidating. If you would like to grow potatoes at the Lake of the Ozarks, we have the equipment, seed potatoes, and a wealth of information to help you get started. Our very own Michael Ledbetter has a few tips to share with you that can make this hobby fun and easy!

First Steps

Potatoes may be planted as soon as the ground can be worked in and the soil temperature has reached 45 degrees F. They will tolerate a light frost, but you should provide some frost protection when they are young, such as a temporary plastic tent, straw, or frost cloth. You can plant a second crop as late as June 15th. Use only certified seed potatoes from Camdenton Farm and Garden.

A week or two before your planned potato planting, set your seed potatoes somewhere where they will be exposed to some warmth and lots of light. This will induce them to begin sprouting. A day or two before planting, use a sharp, clean knife to slice the larger seed potatoes into “seeds”. Each seed should be approximately 1 ½ to 2 inches square and must contain at least 1 or 2 eyes or buds. Smaller potatoes may be planted whole. In the next day or so, your seed will form a callous over the cuts, which will help to prevent it from rotting once planted.

Planting Your Potatoes

Potatoes can be planted in rows, mounds, or even in tires. Whichever way you decide to plant them, they should be planted 2 or 3 feet apart. First turn the soil and add compost, well-composted manure and other organic matter to the soil, however, too much organic material can increase the chances of potato scab. To lessen this chance, mix the organic matter into the soil below the potato seed, where it will contact the roots only. Dig a hole or trench 4 inches wide and 6-8 inches deep. The spacing should depend on when you plan on harvesting. If you want a quick crop of baby potatoes, you can plant them as little as 4 inches apart. Place the potato seeds into the trench (cut side down) and then cover them with 3-4 inches of soil. Do not fill in the hole of trench completely. The sprouts will begin to emerge in about 2 weeks. At this time add another 3-4 inches of soil. Your crop of potatoes will form between the seed piece and the surface of the soil. For this reason, when the stems are bout 8 inches high, you once again add enough soil to bring the level half way up the stem of the plant. Another hilling will be required 2-3 weeks later, at which time you again add soil half way up the stem of the plant. After these initial hillings, it is only necessary to add an inch or two of soil to the shill each week or so, to ensure there is enough soil above the forming potatoes that they don’t push out of the hill and get exposed to light. The hilling process is necessary to create sufficient space for the potatoes to develop large tubers and an abundant crop.

Keep your potato vines well watered throughout the summer, but especially during the period when they are in flower, and immediately thereafter. This is the time when the plant is creating the new tubers, and water is critical. Water early in the day so that the foliage has time to dry completely before evening to prevent fungal diseases. Once the vines have passed the critical watering stage, they will tolerate a certain amount of drought.

Potato Harvesting and Wintering

You may begin to harvest your potatoes 2-3 weeks after the plants have finished flowering. At this time, you will only find small “baby” potatoes if you were to dig them up. Potatoes can be harvested any time after this by gently loosening the soil, reach under the plant, and removing the largest tubers, leaving the smaller ones to continue to grow. If by the end of September, the plants have not begun to die back, all of the foliage should be cut off to ensure your crop has ample time to mature before winter. Store your undamaged potatoes in a well-ventilated, dark, cool (about 40 degrees F.) location. Properly dried and stored potatoes should keep for three to six months.

Don’t grow potatoes in the same soil more than once in three years! Remember your seed potato source, Camdenton Farm And Garden!

At Camdenton Farm and Garden, we have three variety of seed potatoes. The Red Pontiac, Yukon Gold, and Kennebec. These potatoes are ready to be prepared for planting and will help to yield a great harvest. Come visit us today and let our team help you learn how to grown your very own tubers!

Camdenton Farm & Garden

Providing quality lawn and garden products at the Lake of the Ozarks and surrounding counties for over 25 years! 

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