Gardening FAQs

  • Are Pennington plant seeds non-GMO?
    Yes, all of our seeds are non-GMO.
  • What does "GMO" mean?
    GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism. In agriculture, this label refers to crops whose DNA has been modified using genetic engineering methods in a laboratory. This modification is done most often to alter the traits of a plant or to introduce new traits that it would not have naturally.
  • Are hybrid seeds GMO?
    No. Hybrids are the result of cross-pollination between two different plant varieties to produce a hybrid offspring. The result is a hybrid that contains the traits of each of the parents. Cross-pollination is a natural process that occurs within members of the same plant species. As an Animal Kingdom example, when a Labrador breed mates with a Poodle the offspring is a cross-breed Labradoodle.
  • What are organic seeds?
    100% certified Organic seeds are harvested from plants grown without synthetic chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and fungicides. They harbor no residues from these chemicals. Organically grown seed produces hearty, robust plants already adapted to Organic growing conditions.
  • What is an open-pollinated variety?
    An open-pollinated variety relies on natural pollination from wind and insects, and holds on to the parent’s characteristics generation after generation. This is important as it allows saved seed to produce identically if used again. Seed from an open-pollinated plant can be saved to be used again, while seed from a hybrid variety should not be saved.
  • What is an heirloom variety?
    Heirloom varieties are open-pollinated seeds that have been saved from generation to generation. Usually varieties referred to as heirloom have been around for more than 50 years and offer a wonderful history in the names and flavors that continually provide dependable quality season after season. The seed from heirloom plants can be saved at the end of the season to be used again the next year.
  • What is the difference between indeterminant and determinate tomatoes?
    Determinate tomato varieties are most often "bush type" tomatoes. Determinate tomatoes will set all their fruit in a certain period of time and do not need to be pruned. They grow well in a cage and do not require staking. Determinate tomatoes are smaller and produce fruit early in season.
  • What is succession planting?
    Succession gardening is a method of planting a second or third crop where another crop has finished growing. With this method, you can always be using your garden space for more fresh produce. Once early maturing plants have finished, you can plant a second crop in their place (to get ahead, try starting plants in Jiffy peat pots).
  • What is hardening off plants and how do I do it?
    Hardening off is the process of gradually transplanting a plant from a warm, comfortable indoor environment to the cool, windy outdoors. This process generally takes about 7-10 days. Place plants in the sun for an hour the first day, gradually increasing the exposure for about a week until plants can accept a full day of direct sunlight. After a couple of full days outside, the plants should be left out overnight, unless there is a danger of frost. Make sure the transplants are well watered during the process.
  • How long do annual plants last?

    Within the course of a single year, annual plants sprout, grow, flower, seed and fruit, all before dying at the end of the season.

  • How long do perennial plants last?

    Unlike annuals, which live for one season, perennial plants live for more than 2 years.

  • How should I water my plants?

    Water over the top of the soil at the root base, not over top of the foliage.

  • How can I stop bugs from eating my plants?

    Spot check daily for insects on the underside of your foliage by taking a sheet of white paper and holding it close. The contrast between the bright white paper and the color of your foliage will allow you to pick up on any near microscopic insects such as aphids.

  • How can I keep my plants from dying?

    Place the plant in nutrient-rich Pennington Rejuvenate Potting Soil or Garden Mix, check the soil daily, feed with the appropriate Pennington Rejuvenate Plant Food, and prune the plant of any dead pieces so that new growth can form.

  • How do I properly feed my plant?
    Sprinkle the appropriate amount of plant food on top of soil of planting area. Check the label for recommended amounts.
    • Do not let plant roots directly touch the food
    • Keep the plant food off of leaves and wash granules off with water
    • After applying plant food, mix it lightly into the soil - always water plants and soil well
  • How does Pennington Rejuvenate Plant Food work?
    Pennington Rejuvenate Plant Foods contain essential plant nutrients. When this plant food is applied and watered into the soil around the plant, nutrients become available to the plant. The mycorrhizal fungi and microbes increase plant absorption of water and minerals. Humic acids may aid in the uptake of nutrients.
  • Do plants get their food from the soil?
    Plants can obtain essential plant nutrients from the soil. However, soils vary widely across the United States and may be deficient in elements plants need to grow and produce flowers and fruit. Pennington Rejuvenate plant foods are formulated to provide essential plant nutrients and soil amending additives including beneficial microorganisms and humic acids.
  • Is Pennington Rejuvenate Soil organic?
    Our potting mix and garden soil contains natural and organic ingredients, like Canadian Sphagnum peat moss and composted bark with earthworm castings, and biostimulants.
  • Why is good soil essential for plant growth?
    The quality of soil determines whether your plant stays healthy and beautiful or not, which is why it is important to choose soil that includes nutrients, like rich organic matter and microorganisms. These nutrients work together to create a living, sustainable ecosystem for the plant.
  • Can soil help my plants resist pests and diseases?
    Yes. Good quality soil helps plants become more resilient to stress and less susceptible to pests and disease.
  • Which soil is the best for vegetables, herbs, and fruits?
    Pennington Rejuvenate Garden Soil Mix will ensure vegetables, herbs and fruits flourish because the added nutrients improve the native soil health and nutrient uptake.
  • Which soil is the best for flowers?
    Pennington Rejuvenate Potting Soil Mix is the best option for flowers in hanging baskets, raised beds, window boxes, containers, and in-ground planting areas. Pennington Rejuvenate Garden Soil Mix is perfect for flower beds. Both types of soil are good for flowers because they each contain Canadian Sphagnum peat moss. Peat moss helps flowers maintain a healthy acidic pH, which enables them to absorb the nutrients from the soil.
  • Are wildflowers weeds?
    Any plant growing where it is unwanted may be considered a "weed." Once mature, wildflowers may drop seeds which can cause them to grow beyond areas they were initially planted. To prevent wildflowers from spreading to unwanted areas, consider adding a hardscape border to your wildflower garden.
  • How do I plant wildflower seeds?
    Pennington Wildflower mixes are formulated with mulch for easy application. Simply prepare the soil by loosening the top 2-3 inches of soil & removing excess debris, apply the seed by hand or with a handheld spreader & rake lightly, working the mix into the soil and water the seeded areas. It's important to keep the area moist until seeds have germinated. A seed starter fertilizer may also be applied to increase seeding success.
  • When should I plant wildflower seeds?
    Early spring or late fall are the best times to plant wildflowers. For spring planting, plant wildflower seeds after the last frost, when soil temperatures are regularly above 55 degrees. Planting early before excessive heat strikes will help your wildflowers establish strong roots before more stressful conditions arrive. Keep the soil moist until seeds are established, supplementing spring rainfall when necessary. For fall planting, timing is very important. In warmer climates, planting 4-6 weeks before the first frost allows your wildflowers to establish strong root systems before freezing temperatures hit. In northern climates with consistent cold in winter, it is best to wait until soil temperatures are below 55 degrees to maintain the seed dormancy and prevent the seeds from germinating until warmer weather returns.
  • Are wildflowers perennials?
    Pennington Wildflower mixes contain both annuals and perennials.
  • How long does it take for wildflowers to grow?
    Each variety will vary slightly. Since Pennington Wildflower mixes contain multiple seed types, you can expect blooms throughout the growing season. In general, wildflowers will germinate 2-3 weeks after soil temperatures remain above 55 degrees and will bloom 6-8 weeks after germination. Adequate watering will help your wildflowers retain their blooms as temperatures rise.