Posts In: Garden
June 14, 2020

Purslane & Portulaca


Ornamental portulaca:

often called moss rose, has more needle-like leaves than purslane foliage.

The flowers also are showier, often looking either like a cactus bloom or a tiny carnation or rose.

Flowers do not open on cloudy or rainy days.

Learn more here:


  • is a fast-growing herbaceous annual with succulent leaves and stems. 
  • was grown in India originally and provided nutrition and reported health benefits. Those who eat purslane have described its taste as lemony or similar to spinach. (read more about their nutrition value)
  • They typically open only on hot, sunny days from midmorning to early afternoon.

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Russian Sage

With more than 7 million people participating across the country and 2.5 million acres of Certified Wildlife Habitat, the National Wildlife Federation’s Garden for Wildlife movement is the nation’s longest-running and largest effort dedicated to helping wildlife locally.

The initiative reconnects our neighborhoods, towns, and cities to our nation’s amazing wild spaces by encouraging Americans to plant native plants. From wildflowers to trees, there are small things we can do to provide natural sources of food, water, cover, and spaces to raise young in our backyards and communities.

Anyone can support and protect the future of birds, bees, butterflies, and other amazing animals. 

The National Wildlife Federation is inviting individuals, families, and communities to design a garden space that will enhance the natural landscape and attract wildlife to their great outdoors. 

Here are several easy and impactful ways to participate and start helping your local wildlife: 

Create a Habitat for Your Local Wildlife. Think first of the birds, butterflies, and bees that you can support in your garden habitat. Then select plants that provide the kinds of food they need, such as nectar, berries, or seeds. Plant according to your region, local environment, and conditions, from sunny deserts to shady woodlands.

Think Small. No yard, no problem! For those with small outdoors spaces, select pots and planters that will allow you to plant a selection of blooming pollinator-friendly native plants. 

Plant for year-round diversity and beauty. Wildlife needs food, water, cover and places to raise young all year. Choose a variety of plants that bloom at different times of the year, from native wildflowers to shrubs that produce berries. Evergreens provide year-round cover. Think vertically, too. Incorporate existing large trees and then underplant with smaller trees and shrubs for cover and nesting places.

Plant in Groups. This will result in more color, textural impact, and eye-catching patterns throughout the garden bed or landscape. This technique also draws the eye into the garden and the close plantings will prevent weeds and minimize the need for excess mulching. Clusters of blooming plants are more likely to attract butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds.

Water sources. Adding bird baths or container water gardens help attract a variety of wildlife, from birds to tree frogs.

Certify Your Garden. Celebrate by certifying your garden with the National Wildlife Federation and proudly display a sign! Show why you have designed your yard intentionally to help wildlife and encourage others to do the same. Certifying also spreads the wildlife gardening message to your entire neighborhood.

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Portulaca / Purslane

Summer is just around the corner, and we have the perfect plants to brighten up your garden! With the weather heating up, make sure to check out our tips for gardening this month.

Vegetables & Herbs – Mornings are still a great time to be out in the garden…..late afternoons shortly before dark are also a tolerable time to be out. Check the mulch throughout the garden and replenish any areas where it is getting too thin. Mulch reduces evaporative loss of water from the soil, moderates soil temperatures, and deters weed seeds. Continue to fertilize tomatoes and peppers to promote higher yields and stronger plants. Bird netting is an option to help protect the fruits of your labor! Spider mites can be controlled with water or soap spray and caterpillars can be controlled with Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt).

Perennials & Annuals –  Some dependable color options for summer include a variety of salvias, zinnias, purslane, vinca, portulaca, lantana, esperanzas, plumbagos and cupheas. If you are watering your plants with an overhead sprinkler, you may be seeing an increase in diseases of the foliage. Drip irrigation is a better way to go and can help minimize leaf wetness. There are disease-control products on the market. We can provide help in identifying pests and diseases, and in deciding on an appropriate, effective control option.

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May 30, 2020

MicroLife Fertilizer

MicroLife at Tom's Thumb Nursery

Tom’s Thumb Nursery is proud to now carry MicroLife products! MicroLife products are one of the best organic garden care products available.

In 1986 they started their journey of learning true plant nutrition and that naturally led them to Organics. In 1988, they started manufacturing MicroLife with the intent then and the intent now … to make the best
plant and soil food in the world!

About MicroLife

We believe that healthy soils, healthy plants, healthy planet, and healthy people are all connected. As such we take great care in how we manufacture all of the MicroLife products. We make sure that all of our products have the highest nutritional value possible so that all soils, plants, and people benefit.”

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May 22, 2020

Jungle Jack Plumeria


Jungle Jack Plumeria is in at Tom’s Thumb Nursery!

The fragrance of brightly colored Plumeria blooms evokes memories of tropical vacations and warm summer days in the garden. The colors of Plumeria (or Frangipani, as they are also known) range from vibrant rainbows to brilliant white, and each bloom emits a lovely fragrance.

Why is Jungle Jack Plumeria so special?

They come directly from Jungle Jack’s 100 acre Thailand gardens. Every year they offer new varieties that cannot be found anywhere else.

From their website:

  • Quality: We believe our offerings represent the finest plumeria available anywhere, grown in specially designed soil media and delivered with the utmost care.
  • Authenticity: All of our cuttings are individually tagged/labeled at the time of being cut to ensure that what you order is true to the tag.
  • Ease: If you have purchased directly from overseas before, you know the hassles involved with import permits, USDA inspection, and the like. Jungle Jack’s Palms, Plumeria & More manages all aspects of plant importation so you don’t have to.
  • Trust: We are an established company with a long list of reputable clients who attest to our ability to deliver what we promise.
  • ​The Story: When you purchase from us, you’re not only buying a plumeria, you’re buying a small piece of an amazing story.

3 Gallon – $39.99

  • Angel’s Touch
  • Buttercup
  • California Sunset
  • Chablis
  • Enigma
  • Exotica
  • Flamingo
  • Jenny
  • Ken’s White
  • Lorien
  • Mini-Me
  • Pinwheel
  • Premium Pink-White
  • Premium Yellow-White
  • Singapore
  • Super Round
  • Synchronicity
  • Wizard
  • Xanadu
  • Zona Rosa

7 Gallon – $79.99

  • Afrique
  • Elsie
  • Grace
  • Heart’s Desire
  • Inco Gold
  • Laredo Princess
  • Milan
  • Mystery
  • Premium Pink-White
  • Premium Rainbow
  • Southern Cross
  • Synchronicity
  • Thai Jade
  • Xanadu
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May 20, 2020

Native Plants

White Salt Marsh Mallow

Native plants provide multiple benefits to people and wildlife, while contributing greatly to healthy soil and water in urban and rural areas.

You can find Native Plants on the National Wildlife Federation Website here.

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Passion Vine

The temperatures are starting to warm up, and so are our crops! Now’s the perfect time to start planting some summer crops for the next season.

Vegetables & Herbs – Warm-season crops are in their prime this month. One mistake new gardeners make is to not harvest vegetables at their peak quality. Left on the plant too long, many will decline in quality.

  • Eggplant can become tough and bitter; green beans stringy and less tasty;
  • Squash and cucumbers become too mature with tough skin and large tough seeds.
  • If you have mockingbirds, squirrels, and other raiders, it may be wise to pick your tomatoes early and allow them to ripen on the kitchen counter.

Fertilize growing crops with a natural, organic fertilizer that not only promotes healthy plant growth but is also good for your soil.

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May 9, 2020

Beneficial Insects

Praying Mantis

Not all insects are pests. In fact, there are many good bugs in the garden. Here are a few beneficial insects we carry at Tom’s Thumb Nursery! These are a great alternative to chemicals.

Beneficial Insects at Tom's Thumb Nursery

Learn more about them here.

Lady Bugs – $7.99

Ladybugs, or lady beetles, are considered a beneficial bug which helps rid an area of crop-damaging aphids, mealybugs and other destructive insect pests. The adult ladybugs feed on these insects. They also lay their eggs among the aphids or other prey so the emerging larvae can feed on the insects, too

Praying Mantis – $9.99

The Praying mantis is a most interesting and enjoyable beneficial insect to have around the garden and farm. It is the only known insect that can turn its head and look over its shoulder.

Later they will eat larger insects, beetles, grasshoppers, crickets, and other pest insects.

Decollate Snails – $12.99

Decollate snails, Rumina decollata, prey and feed upon the eggs and flesh of small to medium sized brown garden snails, Helix aspersa.

Slugs are usually not attacked by the decollate snails. Decollate snails will grow to be about one inch long, with conical shells, making them easily distinguishable from the round brown garden snail.

Triple Blend Soil Pest Exterminator – Live Beneficial Nematodes – $19.99

Nematodes actively hunt for insect larvae, entering through natural body openings. Once inside the larvae, the nematode excretes bacteria from its digestive tract before it starts to feed and multiply.

Within a few days, the pest will change color and die. The nematodes multiply and develop within the dying insect, before leaving the old host to hunt for more pests. As the number of pests decreases, so will the nematode population. For this reason, seasonal releases are recommended.

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May 2, 2020


Peggy Martin CLimbing Rose

Roses are a superb addition to the garden. Find how to care for them here.

Most roses are $29.99 unless indicated. Prices may change.

Rose, At Last
Rose, Belinda’s Dream
Rose, Chihuly (Tree) – $69.99
Rose, Cinco de Mayo
Rose, Drift, Apricot
Rose, Drift, Coral
Rose, Drift, Peach
Rose, Drift, Pink
Rose, Drift, Popcorn
Rose, Drift, White
Rose, Grande Dame (Tree) – $69.99
Rose, Julia’s Child
Rose, Knockout, Double Pink
Rose, Love at First Sight (Tree) – $69.99
Rose, Plum Perfect
Rose, Shock Wave (Tree) – $69.99

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Peggy Martin Climbing Rose in Galveston, Texas
Peggy Martin Climbing Rose in Galveston, Texas
$39.99/3 gallon — Available at #TomsThumbNursery

$39.99/3 gallon — Available at #TomsThumbNursery

“The “Peggy Martin Rose” was one of only two plants surviving 20 feet of salt water over the garden of Mrs. Peggy Martin, Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, after the destruction of Hurricane Katrina in late August, 2005

Since then, it has been introduced into commerce in the United States and has become a symbol among gardeners and rose lovers of a tenacious plant associated with a spirit of renewal and regrowth in the aftermath of a devastating blow of Nature against those living and gardening in the Gulf Coast area.”

Source: The “Peggy Martin” Rose by Dr. William C. Welch, Professor & Landscape Horticulturist, Texas A&M University

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