Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Feature

Please note that I have added a new feature to my blog. On the right you will notice "subscribe via email". Just enter your email address and hit subscribe and you will be notified whenever I post a new blog. You won't be bothered with any other emails, only when I post a new blog. So please sign up now and you will know when things are happening at the nursery!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays everyone! I will remind you once again to water your landscape plants every 3-4 weeks as we are still very, very dry. If you don't water this winter you risk major root damage. Your plants may leaf out normally in the spring but once the weather turns hot they won't have enough root to support growth and they will die back maybe completely. So get out there and water!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Small Business Saturday

Please allow me to get on my soapbox for this blog (those of you who know me well would say I never get off of it). I think it is a great idea that they are pushing shopping at small, locally-owned businesses for the holidays on a national level. It is especially important when you live in a small town and really know the owners of these businesses. We have so many incredible small companies in Silver City there is no reason why everyone can't do at least 50% of their holiday shopping at them. Aunt Judy's Attic is perfect for crafters, there are several locally owned clothing stores including Morning Star and Gila Hike & Bike, cooking supplies can be found at The Curious Kumquat and Pots, Pans & More, the many art galleries and gift stores downtown have unique local goods, Tune Town for cds, gift certificates from a restaurant, coffee house, gelato store or salon, a donation in someone's name to any of our local non-profits like the Volunteer Center, Single Socks, High Desert Humane Society or the Food Pantry and the list goes on and on. So before you head to Walmart or get online please think about what you can do to improve the economy in our little neck of the woods by pledging to spend at least 50% of your holiday dollars at locally owned businesses.

I'm off my soapbox for the time being. Happy Holidays to all!

Monday, November 8, 2010

November (Dorothy)

I guess I jumped the gun on the fall color last month. I was really anticipating our Midwest trip and the friends, family and FALL COLOR we would see. We drove as far east as Bowling Green, KY to see a friend and the Corvette Museum and as far north as Green Bay, WI to bow down at Lambeau Field. The foliage turn in KY, IN and IL was pretty good, WI had peaked, IA was great and the Cottonwoods in southern CO and northern NM were electric. When we got home in late October nothing had really changed here. I was disappointed and we decided to go camping at our favorite spot in the Chiricahua Mountains, Sunny Flat, for a few days. We hiked to Maple Camp and what a sight. The maples were the best we had seen anywhere. Reds, oranges, yellows and the Sycamores were golden. We just returned from that respite and our own back yard is amazing with color. Does anybody know where I'm going with this? The Dwarf Burning Bush, Crabapples, Dwarf Plumbago, Rugosa Roses, Japanese Maple, Peaches, Apples, Spiraea, Bradford Pear is just starting and the Autumn Sage and Pineapple Sage are still in bloom. So you see Dorothy, you can travel to OZ (ok Lambeau Field) in search of something and quite often it is right in your own back yard!

Which brings me to Thanksgiving and plants that don't go dormant in the winter. I hope that all of your fall gardens are going well. Our herb garden supplies us with fresh Sage and Parsley for our Turkey Day stuffing and I can almost always find oregano and chives under the frosted tops. I have lettuce, radishes and spinach up that I planted only 2 weeks ago under floating row cover. So there is still a lot of gardening to be done this year.

As I type this it has been very dry so don't forget to water. Plants naturally do 80% of their root growth in late summer, fall and winter so it is especially important to keep them hydrated during this time. I usually give anything permanently in the ground a good soak every 3 weeks in fall and winter if conditions are dry. Plants in containers will need water much more often. Just stick your finger in and if it is dry 2 inches down it is time to water.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Sunday, October 3, 2010


The nursery is closed until March 29th, 2011 and here it is fall. I love fall. The cool nights are perfect for sleeping (so why am I up at 3AM blogging?), the mornings beg you to enjoy a cup of coffee (maybe that's why I'm up at 3AM) outside while watching the birds and there are apple pies, applesauce, apple chutney, dried apples and did I mention apples. But my favorite thing is fall color. In the Gila you will see predominately yellow with Cottonwoods and Aspen (Populus acuminata, alba, tremuloides). There are some reds provided by the Sumacs (Rhus trilobata, typhina), the native Virginia Creeper or Woodbine (Parthenocissus inserta) and the occasional Big-Tooth Maple (Acer saccharum grandidentatum). Around Silver City you will find some exotics that really extend the season. Two of my favorite trees are the Bradford Flowering Pear (Pyrus calleryana) with its white spring blooms and incredible red fall foliage and the 'Prairiefire' Crabapple (Malus) that has magenta flowers in spring and orange, yellow and red fall color. The Ashes you see are the wine red  Raywood Ash (Fraxinus oxycarpa) and the golden yellow Arizona Ash (Fraxinus velutina). The best Arizona Ash for our area is 'Berrinda' since it is the native variety. The non-native Red Oak (Quercus rubra) turns the color its name implies. Some shrubs that go orange to red are the Dwarf Burning Bush (Euonymus alata 'Compacta'), Heavenly Bamboo (Nandina domestica), Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica), Spiraea and Viburnum. Some of the species in the Salvia genus provide color in the form of flowers in the fall. Autumn Sage (S. greggii) blooms spring, summer but most abundantly in fall in a variety of hues. Pineapple Sage (S. elegans) with its red flowers and Mexican Sage (Salvia leucantha) with its velvety purple blooms are both herbaceous perennials that die to the ground in the winter but will regrow in zone 7 in the spring. Neither of these Salvias should be planted on a north side. This is a short list of some things to add to your landscape so that you have color in the fall. Keep them in mind and come and see us in the spring as we will have all of these plants and many more.

If you have any plant questions please feel free to hit the 'Comments' tab and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

Friday, September 24, 2010


Our sale starts today, September 24th at 9:00. Come early for the best selection. All plants, pottery and Pecan & Eucalyptus Mulch are half price!!! We will be open until the 30th. See you in April. Thanks again for the support.
Regina and Steve

Friday, September 10, 2010

Fall Stuff

We have received our last shipment of the year!!! Pansies, Violas, Snapdragons and Mums. They are full of buds and blooms. We also have a good assortment of fall vegetables. Things are already selling fast so hurry in and get some fall color now!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Fertilize Lawns. If you understand the growth cycle of grass you will know when to fertilize it for optimum growth and health. Cool season grasses such as Fescue, Rye and water-guzzling Blue Grass begin to grow in spring by using food stored in the winter. The blades then produce enough food on their own to provide energy for rooting, thickening and spreading. When the heat of the summer sets in the lawn needs more food than it can make on its own. It relies on food stored in the previous fall to survive. If no food was stored in the fall you will see damage to grass blades and roots. This is when your cool season lawn is most susceptible to insects, diseases, weeds and drought. If your lawn was properly fertilized it will go dormant and survive on stored energy. As summer rains come and autumn approaches the lawn comes out of dormancy and begins to rebuild itself. Towards winter blade growth slows but the grass continues to produce food and builds up reserves that will help it through next year's time of stress. Knowing this you will want to have nutrients available for late summer growth as well as for late fall food storage. Fertilize your cool season lawn in mid-spring and early September with Gro-Power Hi-Nitrogen 14-4-9 and again in late October with Gro-Power Flower & Bloom 3-12-12 as a winterizer. The winterizer will encourage root growth and winter hardiness. Do not fertilize in summer when the lawn is dormant or barely growing. Only the weeds benefit from this. Warm season grasses like Bermuda and Buffalo grow more aggressively in summer, slowly during spring and fall and go dormant in the winter. Fertilize these grasses heavily in the mid-spring, lightly again in mid-summer and use a winterizer fertilizer in mid-fall.

Plant Pansies and Violas. OK, if you don't know it by now I will tell you one last time: Pansies & Violas are cold hardy, cool season annuals that will live and bloom through the fall and winter in our climate. Now is the time to plant them. When you start pulling out your Marigolds, Petunias, Zinnias and other warm season annuals, replace them with Pansies and Violas. Use Uni-Gro Potting Soil to refresh your pots and improve your beds with Back to Earth Compost.

We will be closing for the season on September 30th. Our sale will start on Friday the 24th with 50% off all trees, shrubs, perennials and other selected items. We will reopen in April 2011 so stock up on Uni-Gro Potting Soil, Back to Earth Compost, Manure and Top Soil. 

Thanks for making this a great season for us and we look forward to being bigger and better next year!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

2011 Seed

Our 2011 Lake Valley Seeds have arrived. It is time to plan/plant your Fall garden. If you have questions come in and let us help.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Roses et al

All of you that came to the nursery this year asking about our roses will be happy to know that we just put in an order for over 200 Jackson & Perkins and Weeks roses. If all goes as scheduled they will be delivered just in time for Mother's Day 2011. We have ordered a good selection with some new introductions as well as the very fragrant old standards.

We are also working on a fruit and shade tree order for 2011. This will be a one time blow out sale towards the end of May. We felt there was a need for some of those tried and true varieties that do well in our area. Another thing you have been asking for that we decided to deliver on. So look for that as well.

The 2011 Lake Valley Seed should be here within the next two weeks for those who are planting a fall garden. Lettuce, Spinach, Beets, Carrots and many others can be planted through mid-September for fall harvest. All of Lake Valley Seed is untreated and there are no GMO's. There is also a USDA Organic line.

Don't forget that we will be closing for the season on September 30th. We will have Pansies, Violas, Snapdragons and Fall Veggies some time in September. Check back here and I will let you know when they land.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Things to do in August

Deadheading is one of those really satisfying chores. When you have finished everything looks neater and flowers more abundantly. The purpose of a flower is to attract pollinating insects and birds so the plant can produce seed. Once flowers start going to seed most plants will stop flowering or not flower as prolifically as before. If you interrupt this cycle by keeping pollinated or seed-bearing blooms removed from your perennials and annuals they will put their energy into producing more flowers instead of seed. Deadheading will also keep invasive species from self-sowing and taking over. Plants that only bloom once such as Creeping Phlox (Phlox subulata) and Candytuft (Iberis) should be cut back by half after blooming. Other perennials that bloom continuously over a long period of time like Coreopsis, Scabiosa, Yarrow (Achillea), Coneflowers (Echinacea), Blanket Flower (Gailardia) and many more should be deadheaded by removing spent flowers down to where a new bud has formed or to a spot of active growth. When the deadheads outnumber the flowers shear the whole plant to the foliage and it will soon rebloom. Annuals such as Marigolds, Petunias, and Zinnias should be deadheaded as well. Prune or pinch dead blooms at the base. Towards the end of the season you may want to let desirable plants go to seed and don't forget to leave some seedheads for winter birds to enjoy.

Mulch, Mulch, Mulch. I always talk about the benefits of mulching. A good layer of mulch in your vegetable garden, around your trees and shrubs or in the perennial bed will conserve moisture, keep the sun from beating down directly on those little surface roots, regulate the soil temperature year round, suppress weeds and make the ones that do show up easier to pull. If you use Back to Earth Compost it will slowly break down and add humic acid to the soil.

We will always stock Back to Earth Compost as well as Composted Manure, Top Soil and our great Uni-Gro Potting Soil. We have a good supply of Trees, Shrubs and Perennials and the honest advice to help you be successful in your gardening efforts.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Controlling Insects

Because we had such a wet winter insect populations are at an all time high. There have already been reports of Blister Beetle swarms and we had a really nice Swallowtail Butterfly farm on the dill at the nursery. These are 2 good examples of when to break out the big guns and when to just enjoy the show. I realize that no amount of prevention will keep a swarm of Blister Beetles from cleaning out your vegetable garden or landscape but it is the key to keeping destructive bugs in check. Keep plants healthy by watering correctly and using organic fertilizers. Insects love to feed on plants that are drought stressed and enjoy the weak, fleshy growth produced by frequent applications of Miracle-Gro or other chemical fertilizers. Another way to discourage harmful insects is to attract the beneficial insects that feed on them to your yard. Good bugs prefer the nectar of annuals and perennials with small flowers. These would include parsley, thyme, chamomile, hyssop, lovage, lavender, alyssum and marigolds just to name a few. Know your friends. Ladybugs, Praying Mantids, Lacewings, Ground Beetles and many tiny wasps are all helpful in the garden. Check your plants frequently for sign of insects including the undersides of the leaves where insects like to hide and lay their eggs. A few holes in a few leaves is not cause for alarm. If the majority of the plant is healthy and unaffected and you don't see any insects the damage was probably caused by the wind or a bug just passing through. If an insect is not attached to a plant or eating a leaf he is probably a good guy. Once you have identified a real problem use only organic pesticides. Chemical insecticides are non-selective and destroy all insects. Bad bugs recover more quickly than their predators making each consecutive infestation worse and harder to control. Organic insecticides can be very selective leaving good insect populations to help control the problem. The most common garden pests are a variety of sucking insects. They insert their proboscis into the plant tissue and suck out the juices excreting a clear, shiny, sticky substance called honeydew. Seeing this honeydew may be the first sign of a problem. You may also notice misshapen and curled leaves or blossoms that are brown around the edges and fail to open. Thrips are almost microscopic and look like pieces of tan thread. Aphids are tear shaped about 1/8 of an inch long and can be green, black, brown, yellow and with a woolly white coating. Spidermites can be detected by their webbing and are visible when you tap a leaf or branch onto a white piece of paper. They look like little brown specs but they move. All of these soft bodied insects can be controlled by first washing them off with water and then applying Safer's Insecticidal Soap. This insecticide contains potassium salts that will dry out these insects and not harm beneficials. Scale is also a sucking insect but since it forms a protective waxy coating over itself once it attaches to your plant most insectides don't work well against it. Horticultural Oil will coat the scale and smother it. Beetles that feed on foliage such as Flea Beetles, Cucumber Beetles or Blister Beetles can be controlled with a dusting of Diatomaceous Earth or Safer's Yard and Garden which contains pyrethrin. This will kill all hard bodied insects including Squash Bugs but also Ladybugs and other beneficials so use it selectively. Caterpillars that eat the leaves of plants like Cabbage Loopers and Tomato Hornworms can be handpicked or controlled with BT (bacillus thuringiensis). Some caterpillars are the larvae of those colorful butterflies you have been trying to attract to your garden. So if it is something you can afford to share, like the dill at our nursery, you might just let them enjoy it. If you check your plants frequently and try to balance your environment most insect attacks won't get out of hand. If you have questions about a particular insect, put it in a jar and bring it to the nursery and we can most likely help you identify it and offer a solution to it. See you soon.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Seed Sale

All of our 2010 Lake Valley Vegetable, Flower and Herb Seed will be half price July 6th through the 17th. There are several certified organic varieties and all of the Lake Valley seeds are untreated and they contain no GMO's (genetically modified organisms). Take advantage of this sale for any fall crops you may be planting or for things you'll need next year. Most seed stays viable for several years. We will have our 2011 seed in by mid-August. See you soon!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

A New Perennial Bed

So here it is June 12th and I am just writing my June blog. I am sure that most of you can relate to the fact that watering in June is a time sponge. Between the nursery, growing areas, vegetable garden and landscape I can barely keep up. So that's my excuse for being late with this.

I really want to discuss perennial beds. It can be a very simple, satisfying undertaking that you will enjoy for years if you do some planning before you plant. And don't be surprised when it evolves over the years with new plants added as less appealing ones are removed. A perennial bed is a great way to reduce water vs grass. By preparing the soil properly, mulching well and watering effectively a perennial bed will use 25-50% less water than a lawn, depending on the plants used. First choose a location for your new bed. It can be a small, intimate area where you sit most often, a border along a walkway or a wall or an island in the center. Outline the area using a garden hose. Curving lines are more appealing than straight ones. When you have the shape and size the way you want, and if it is a lawn area, dig out the grass. Rototilling and raking will work for shallow rooted grasses but more tenacious species will require an herbicide. Prepare your new area for planting by working in Back to Earth Compost at a rate of 1 bag per 25 square feet. The addition of a source of phosphorus (Bone Meal or Soft Rock Phosphate) and Potash (Greensand) is also recommended. Till or turn the soil to a depth of at least a foot. This will help in the root development of your new plantings and make them more drought tolerant. Choose a theme for the area. Native, low water, butterfly and hummingbird gardens can have color or interest all year long and use very little water. You will want to pick an anchor shrub or two for your bed. Butterfly bush (Buddleia), Spiraea, Photinia, Bamboo (Phyllostachys), New Mexico Privet (Forestiera) or an Ornamental Grass would all make a good starting point. Plant your anchor towards the back of the bed, anywhere but in the center. Taking into consideration the exposure (full sun, part shade, full shade) choose your perennials and work out from your anchor using plants that descend in height down to ground covers in the front. Groups of plants in odd numbers such as 3, 5 or 7 create the best impact when in bloom. Plant these groups in a natural formation, not straight lines. Be sure to include plants that flower in spring, flower in summer, color in the fall or have some winter interest such as berries, attractive seedheads or evergreen foliage. Late flowers or foliage plants should conceal gaps left by earlier flowering varieties. Be sure to mulch your new area to minimize weeds, conserve moisture and give it a finished look. A new perennial bed will take some work and planning but reward you with less watering and lots of visual interest.

We have lots of great perennials, compost, pecan shell mulch, eucalyptus mulch and as always honest advice!

Sunday, May 2, 2010


I must first admit that I have told a lie in a previous blog. It wasn't a lie when I told it but it is now. We now have a greenhouse so that we can get tomatoes and other vegetables early for those of you who want to plant in Wall-o-Waters, have a greenhouse to keep them in until the weather is right to plant or just want to push the season. So our new (slightly used) greenhouse is stocked with all kinds of vegetables for your buying pleasure.

But the real subject of this blog is fertilizing. Since plants have begun to actively grow, it is time to encourage and feed that growth with an application of fertilizer. Nourishing all of your landscape plants can be a very simple process. Even though the big fertilizer companies like Scott's and Miracle-Gro would have you believe that you need a different fertilizer for Tomatoes, Perennials, Annuals, Lawns and Fruit Trees; the truth is you really only need one or two different blends on all of your plants. Look at the numbers or chemical analysis on the fertilizer bag. Nitrogen, the first number is for green leafy growth. Phosphorus, the second number encourages healthy blooms, roots and fruits. Potash or Potassium is the third number and it is for overall hardiness, strong stems and branches, and disease resistance. We carry Fox Farm's Peace of Mind organic fertilizers. There is a Fruit and Flower which is higher in Phosphorus and a Tomato and Vegetable which is a little higher in Nitrogen. We also have Yum Yum Mix which is a very balanced, organic, all purpose, vegetarian (no animal products) blend. The other fertilizer that we have always sold is Gro-Power which is formulated with our southwest alkaline soil in mind. There are two different blends which contain 6-7% humic acid derived from compost. This helps break up compacted soil, encourages biological activity and promotes water conservation. Sulphur is also added to control the Ph and unlock available iron. We recommend using Gro-Power Hi-Nitro for lawns at a rate of 7 lbs. per 1000 square feet. It can also be used to fertilize any evergreen trees or shrubs by applying 1/2 cup for every 5 feet of height. The analysis of the Hi-Nitro is 14-4-9. This means it is highest in Nitrogen which in addition to producing dark green vegetative growth, increases protein content in food crops and helps plants use moisture more efficiently. For all of your flowering trees and shrubs, fruit trees, perennials, annuals and vegetable gardens Gro-Power Flower & Bloom 3-12-12. It is low in Nitrogen but high in the primary elements Phosphorus and Potash. Use Flower & Bloom at the rate of 2 lbs. per 100 square feet of bed area or for individual plants apply 1 cup per 8 feet of height or width whichever is greater. Now you know that a couple of different fertilizers are all you need to feed your entire landscape and vegetable garden. This will keeps costs down and minimize labor.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Mutilation of Trees in Grant County

Have you seen the butchered trees at Taco Bell? These were beautiful, 15 year-old Arizona Ash trees and they have been hacked to within an inch of their lives. Why not just cut them down? It would be less visually offensive and achieve the same result. Unfortunately, topping or otherwise mutilating trees is a common practice in Grant
Here are two of the trees, one year after topping.
There are several reasons why you SHOULD NEVER TOP TREES!!!!
1. Topping stresses trees. Topping removes a good portion of the leaf-bearing crown and therefore the tree can no longer produce food. In starvation mode the tree produces weak, rapid growth which is dangerous. Trees that do not have stored energy may be in such a weakened state that they die. Large, open wounds expose the tree's heartwood to insect attacks and a stressed tree is much more vulnerable to these attacks and disease.

2. Topping causes decay. Proper pruning cuts are made just beyond the branch collar. A tree is biologically equipped to close a wound (pruning cut) at this point. When you cut a tree indiscriminately it can not close the wound and will begin to decay.

3. Topping can lead to sunscald. Now that the crown and leaves have been removed from the tree it can no longer shade its trunk from our intense sun. This causes sunscald and the rupturing of the bark.

4. Topping creates hazards. New shoots grow quickly and are not anchored to the tree by a normal branch collar and socket. Because this growth is weak these shoots are prone to breaking IN THE WIND and we know wind. If the overall goal of topping a tree was to reduce its height or make it safer the exact opposite will be achieved.

5. It is really, really ugly. Trees should have a natural, branching form. A topped tree can never fully recover that natural form.

6. It is expensive. Aside from the original cost that the perpetrator is paid, there is storm damage clean-up and tree removal once it has died or becomes too dangerous.

There are ways to reduce the height of a tree without topping. Any GOOD arborist should know how to "drop crotch" a tree. If you are thinking of getting your trees pruned and the contractor suggests topping, send him out the door. Please tell anyone you know not to top trees and express your disapproval to those who practice this mutilation. We can make Grant County a more beautiful place to live if we can stop the butchery of our trees.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

April 2010

The nursery is open now and it has been great to see so many familiar faces and hear your words of encouragement. This week plants will begin to arrive. Cool season annuals, a variety of perennials, shrubs, trees and some cool season vegetables. This brings me to one of this month's subjects. The 2 seasons of annuals and vegetables.

There are cool season annuals, those that do best in cool weather and bolt or go to flower and then seed in hot weather. These annuals are pansies, violas, snapdragons and dianthus to name a few. They can be planted in the fall and will root and flower some throughout the winter, or they can be planted now. Either way they will give you a good show until the heat of summer sets in. Then you will need to replace them with something more heat tolerant. The warm season annuals, those that won't take frost, include marigolds, vinca, zinnias, portulaca and impatiens. I will have a wide variety of all of these annuals when the time is right to plant them.

There are also 2 seasons for vegetables as well. Cool season vegetables, those that need to mature before it gets too hot, are the cole crops, like broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower, the leafy greens and all of the root vegetables including beets, carrots and radishes. Plant the root vegetables and greens from seed between March 15th and April 15th for best results. Plant the cole crops from transplants April 1st through the 30th. Always improve your beds with Back to Earth Compost and any necessary fertilizers before planting. Warm season vegetables are tomatoes, peppers, beans, eggplant, squash, cucumbers etc. These are vegetables that thrive in the heat and will not tolerate cold temperatures and usually don't flourish until nighttime temperatures are above 50 degrees. Plant cucumbers, squash, pumpkins, beans and corn from seed once the soil has warmed after May 1st. Plant tomatoes, eggplant and peppers from transplants after May 1st and you still may need to watch the weather and protect them from frost. Our average last frost date is May 1st which means our last frost usually falls somewhere between April 15th and May 15th.

Any of our shrubs and trees can also be planted now. They come from local growers and are adapted to our cool nights. The fact that we don't have a greenhouse at our new location keeps us pretty honest! We can't have it in stock if it is going to die without protection in our climate.

We have a lot of beautiful pottery. Classic Italian clay, brightly colored Mexican, glazed Chinese and Vietnamese in deep colors and those colorful birdbaths for only $72 for the large ones and $48 for the small ones.

We always stock Back to Earth Compost, both regular and acidified, Uni-Gro Potting Soil, Composted Manure and Top Soil.

Stop by soon to see the new place. You will find the same quality plants, reasonable prices and honest advice as always!!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

March 2010

March is a great time to start preparing your garden beds for spring planting. I recommend adding Back to Earth Compost at a rate of 1-2 cf bag per 50 sq. ft. of area and 1-1 cf bag of manure. Bone Meal and Soft Rock Phosphate are good sources of organic phosphorus which is necessary for root growth, blooming and fruiting. These do not move well through the soil so it is a good idea to mix them into the soil before you plant. Kelp and Greensand are full of potash (potassium) and micronutrients. Plants need potash for overall hardiness and disease resistance and require micronutrients for many biochemical plant processes.

Pruning your roses is also a March chore. The reasons for pruning are to direct growth, increase light and air penetration, improve flower production and maintain health and vigor. In our mountain desert you want to wait until the first few leaf buds begin to break before you prune. If you prune them too early you will encourage them to grow and that new growth will be damaged by freezing temperatures. Hybrid Teas, Floribundas, and Grandifloras should be pruned as follows. Begin pruning by removing any dead, damaged or diseased wood back to where the cane has a healthy, white middle. Prune out weak, thin or spindly growth that crowds the center back to its source, leaving no stubs. Dig down to remove suckers that originate below the soil line. Pull them off in a quick downward motion. This removes the growth buds that would produce more suckers. Then thin your roses to 4-7 strong, healthy canes and remove 1/3 to 1/2 of last year's growth. Climbers and Ramblers often bloom on 1 or 2 year old wood and only once a year. They should be pruned after blooming by cutting the main shoots back by 1/3 and removing small, woody growth. Lateral branches may be taken back to 3-6" if they have gotten out of control. Repeat flowering Climbers should be pruned in early spring and spent flowers should be removed to hasten reblooming. Shrub, Hedge and Rugosa roses need only be cleaned up occasionally by taking out any dead wood and crossing branches. Miniatures and Ground Covers should be cut back by at least1/2 of their height in early spring while removing any weak or twiggy growth. Always use sharp, quality pruning tools and make cuts at a 45 degree angle sloping away from the bud. When removing spent flowers, prune back to an outward facing leaf with 5 leaflets. This is where a new flower will come from.

Silver Heights Nursery will be open beginning March 30th, 2010, Tuesday- Saturday, 9:00-5:30 at 1950 Hwy. 180 East in Silver City, New Mexico. I will be carrying the usual and unusual perennials and annuals, trees, shrubs, Back to Earth Compost, Uni-Gro Potting Soil, Manure, Top Soil, Organic Fertilizers, Pest Controls, Glazed and Clay Pottery and much more. Hope to see you soon.