Saturday, December 22, 2012

Happy Holidays!

This is Wolf Creek Pass, CO in February of 2011. We were hoping for something like that here this Christmas but no such luck. Yes, I am one of those! One positive note on the warmer winter is our great vegetable garden. Even with a few nights in the teens we are cutting lettuce and bok choy, pulling radishes and it won't be long before the broccoli and cabbage are ready. Amazing what a little floating row cover will do.
Farmer Gus
So from our family to yours, Happy Holidays and the best of everything in the New Year!

Sunday, November 18, 2012


  • Looks like the warm weather is going to continue for a while. Don't forget to check your plants and water accordingly. Here is a link to a previous blog on everything you would ever want to know about watering. June 2011 Watering
  • Saturday, November 24th is Small Business Saturday. There are so many great, locally owned businesses in Grant County. Please get out and support them.
  • A friend sent me a link to this website and I thought I would share it with you. Just Label It!
  • Steve and I want to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving! Wherever you are and whoever you are with, enjoy the day.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

November 2012

In case you haven't noticed the nursery is closed for the season. We will reopen on either March 26th or April 2nd, 2013 depending on weather and delivery schedules. There will be lots of new and exciting products. I'll keep you posted. 
Wrap trees for winter. Below are some photos of tree damage. Many of you may think this looks like borer damage but it is really inflicted by the Red-Naped Sapsucker. He is a winter resident in our yard and drills rows of small shallow holes in tree bark, feeding on the sap and the insects it attracts. We actually lost a small Golden Rain Tree because the birds girdled it. The best protection against this damage is to wrap trees with a tree guard. Tree guards come in a lot of different shapes and sizes just make sure that whatever you use allows your tree trunk to expand since the biggest increase in caliper occurs in winter. A tree wrap will also protect your trees from sunscald or southwest injury. This happens when a deciduous tree sheds it leaves in winter and exposes the trunk to direct sunlight. The sun heats up the bark (which is why to never use black guard or wrap that heats even more), the sap starts flowing and when it freezes at night it ruptures the cells. This usually occurs on the southwest side of the tree. Take the time to wrap your trees and they will be healthier because of it.

Sapsucker damage to apple tree

Sapsucker damage to apple tree

Bradford Pear with tree guard

Parthenocissus quinquefolia 'Red Wall'. As most of you have gathered from previous posts (Seeing Red, Dorothy) I love fall and all of the colors it has to offer. This year we have added a new vine to our landscape that has proven itself as a fast grower with  fire engine red fall color. We planted the 'Red Wall' on our new garden shed, one of last year's winter projects, in May from a 4 1/2" plug. It climbed vigorously the 8' to the roof and then began its run under the eave. This is a Proven Winner cultivar of a native that has large 5 lobed, dark green leaves and produces blue berries in the fall that birds enjoy. It is a salt tolerant, deciduous vine that will quickly reach 20 feet in full sun or shade. Perfect for covering a wall, fence or hillside. This plant is cold hardy to 40 degrees below zero and fairly drought tolerant once established. We grew these last spring and sold out quickly so we are growing more for next year. You will love this vine! 

6 months growth!

Parthenocissus quinquefolia 'Red Wall'

Sunday, October 7, 2012

End of the Season Sale Starts Tuesday!

Beginning Tuesday, October 9th and running through NOON Saturday, October 13th:
    Come early for the best selection.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Two More Weeks

We will be open until October 13th this year. As the saying goes "Fall is for Planting". Not only is it easier to keep up with watering this time of year but plants do 80% of their root growth in late summer, fall and winter so by planting now they will have a good head start in spring. Come in and see what you might want to plant now!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Just One More Reason

Here is yet another good reason to avoid all Scotts Miracle-Gro products. If you can't read the whole thing at least read the fifth paragraph. Yes, I am obsessed!

Here is the link: Scotts Miracle-Gro Will Pay $12.5 Million in Crimainal Fines

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

It's that time again!




Thursday, August 30, 2012

September 2012


Plant cool season veggies and annuals. Last month I talked about planting vegetables that like to mature when it is cool from seed but this month you can plant a lot of these same vegetables by plant. We will have Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Lettuce, Spinach, Brussels Sprouts and more in six-packs soon. It is also time to plant Pansies, Violas, Snapdragons, Stock, Dianthus and Mums. These are plants that like cool weather. Chrysanthemums are perennials that will bloom this fall and next fall if you keep the buds pinched off until July 4th. The Pansies and Violas will flower through the winter and the Snaps and Dianthus will reward you with early spring blooms when planted now. If you still don't believe Pansies and Violas go through the winter, keep an eye on the pots outside Aunt Judy's Attic. You will be amazed! As always, amend your soil with Back to Earth Compost when planting in the ground and use Uni-Gro Potting Soil for your pots. Watch for our sign on Hwy 180 announcing the arrival of our Pansies and Veggies or subscribe to our blog and be the first to know.

Apply a winterizer fertilizer. (This is a copy of last September's blog) You will want to use Gro-Power 3-12-12. This fertilizer is low in nitrogen but high in phosphorus and potash. Nitrogen promotes green growth which can be damaged by freezing temperatures. Phosphorus increases winter hardiness and stimulates healthy root growth. Since this is the time of year that plants naturally do the majority of their root growth, using this fertilizer will get them off to a good start next spring. Potash or potassium produces strong, hardy stems and trunks, promotes disease resistance and also increases winter hardiness. The Gro-Power 3-12 12 contains 7% humic acid which encourages beneficial microorganisms in your soil. It also includes sulphur to help bring the alkalinity of our soil down and several micronutrients that act as catalysts for the primary chemicals. Use this fertilizer at a rate of 2 pounds per 100 square feet of lawn or bed area and 2 tablespoons per foot of height or width for trees and shrubs. One cup will fertilize an 8 foot tree. Lightly work the fertilizer into the soil around the root area and water thoroughly.

Caryopteris x clandonensis 'White Surprise'. Bluebeard or Blue Mist Spiraea as this woody shrub is sometimes called is fast growing, a low water user and deer resistant. It grows 2-3' tall and wide, has 2" long white edged green leaves and whorls of lavender-blue flowers mid-summer through fall. It is small enough for a large pot but could also be used in a perennial bed, as a border or in mass in front of evergreens to bring out the white surprise.
Caryopteris x clandonensis 'White Surprise'

Can you find the praying mantis?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Another Sale!

Sorry for the extra post but we have put all of our annuals on 50% OFF. This includes some nice Geraniums, Gerber Daisies, Fuschias, 6-packs, gallons, hanging baskets and much more!!! So if you need to fill in a few spots or just need a nice houseplant Silver Heights Nursery is the place for you.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tree Sale and Things To Do!

Tree Sale!!! I know a few of you have have been waiting for this so here it is. Starting July 31st and running through August all of our fruit, shade and evergreen trees are 20% off! We still have a good supply but this sale is always well received so do hurry in for the best selection.

Plant cool season vegetables from seed. I know it is hard to think about "cool season" anything as hot as it seems to be. But believe it or not there are cooler days ahead and there are a lot of vegetables that will enjoy maturing during those days. Plant the seed of beets, carrots, cauliflower, chard, lettuce, radishes, spinach and turnips now and they will germinate quickly in the warm soil. These crops will be ready for harvest in the fall. We have many of these seeds available from Lake Valley and Pagano and we will have cool season vegetables for sale by plants in early September.

Deadhead. I know I write about deadheading often but it is especially important this time of year if you want to encourage your landscape plants to continue to bloom and flourish through fall. Remember that the purpose of a flower is to attract pollinating insects and birds so that the plant can produce seed. Once plants start going to seed they will usually stop flowering or at least flower less. If you interrupt this cycle by removing pollinated or seed bearing blooms from your perennials and annuals they will put their energy back into producing flowers. This also keeps invasive plants from self-sowing and taking over. Prune spent flowers off to where a new bud has formed or if there is no new bud take it down to the next leaf. When the deadheads outnumber the blooms, shear the whole plant back to the foliage and it will soon rebloom. Towards the end of the season you may want to let desirable plants reseed, collect the seed, or leave it for overwintering birds to enjoy.

Cherry. Cherries are beautiful, vase shaped trees that flower light pink to white in spring and produce an abundance of fruit in early summer. Semi-dwarf varieties will reach 12-15' tall where regular size trees can grow to 30'. The leaves are dark green and 3-5" long with a finely toothed edge. They require a high number of chill hours (number of hours below 45 degrees before they will bloom) so reliably set fruit in our area. The biggest enemy of the fruit is birds and netting is a good defense against them. The varieties we have in stock are 'Lapins' which is a dark red sweet cherry best known as the self-fertile 'Bing', 'Stella' is another self-fertile sweet cherry that bears at a young age and is an excellent pollinizer for other sweet cherries and 'Rainier' which is a yellow sweet cherry with a red blush that has excellent bud hardiness and can be pollinated by a 'Stella'. We planted a 5 gallon 'Stella' last summer and it is already 9' tall and gave us 8 cherries this year-ok, we got 7 & the birds got 1.
Our 'Stella' cherry tree, 1 year old

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Pots and Peppers!

Just got in a load of pottery. These are high-fired frost-proof pots in deep colors and interesting shapes. Some large, round low bowls without drain holes that could be used as birdbaths or fountains.

We have a few peppers and chilies left and they are half price!!!

See you soon.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

July 2012

Plant natives. Native trees, shrubs and perennials perform best when planted in warm soil, during the monsoon rains so now is a great time to plant them. They are genetically programed to grow and thrive during this season. When choosing natives keep in mind that they are not all drought tolerant or even low water plants. Some are native along waterways and need moderate water and some are understory plants that require either more water or some shade or both. Remember that drought tolerant plants are only drought tolerant once established and will need regular watering for at least a year or until they have developed an adequate root system. Plant natives from containers as you would any other container grown landscape plant, digging a hole twice as wide and 1 1/2 times as deep as the container and amending the soil with compost. You need to create a transition area from the good soil in the pot to the reality of our local soil. Do not try to dig up or move plants that are growing in their natural habitat. These are very deep rooted and will usually die when their roots are cut off. Not only will you have wasted your time and effort but you will have depleted a native species.

The natives we have in stock right now are:
Trees; Sycamore (Platanus wrightii) and Berrinda Ash (Fraxinus velutina 'Berrinda')
Shrubs; Three-leaf Sumac (Rhus trilobata), Golden Currant (Ribes aureum),  Bird of Paradise (Caesalpinia gilliesii) the yellow one that is actually cold hardy and has naturalized here, and New Mexico Olive (Forestiera neomexicana)
Perennials; Many varieties of Penstemon, Blue Flax (Linum perenne), California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica), Hyssop (Agastache) and Mexican Hat (Ratibida columnifera)

We also have a wide variety of flowering landscape plants that are not native but are very drought tolerant.

FERTILIZE ANNUAL FLOWERS AND VEGETABLES. Annuals use a lot of nutrients since they only live one season while producing flowers and fruit. Adding compost and manure to your beds and fresh potting soil to your pots is a must if you  want to get your plants off to a good start but they will need fertilizing throughout the growing season to ensure an abundance of flowers and a bountiful harvest of yummy veggies. If you prefer to use organic fertilizers, Yum Yum Mix, Chickity Doo Doo, Fox Farm Happy Frog and Big Bloom are all well balanced. Fox Farm Grow Big and Tiger Bloom contain earthworm castings and bat guano along with a low dose of nitrates and phosphates. The pots we planted outside of Aunt Judy's Attic are planted in Uni-Gro and have been fed Tiger Bloom on a regular basis. Soft Rock Phosphate, Bat Guano and Bone Meal are forms of phosphorus and can be added to improve root production, blooming and fruiting. Blood Meal, Fish Emulsion and Alfalfa Meal supply nitrogen for green leafy growth and Seaweed Extract is full of trace minerals and potassium for overall plant vigor and disease resistance. Be aware that prolonged use of chemical fertilizers such as Miracle Gro kill the beneficial microorganisms in your soil and produce weak growth that insects and disease find very inviting. Here is a link to an article that explains other harmful effects of chemical fertilizers Harmful Effects of Mircale Gro. Whatever you choose to fertilize with, make sure you follow package directions carefully and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Grasses. Ornamental grasses can be used in containers, in a native landscape, as a screen or to add texture to a perennial bed. Some grasses are deciduous and some are evergreen and the leaves can be green, red, blue or variegated. Many produce beautiful flower plumes and seedheads. Bamboo (Phyllostachys aurea) is technically a giant grass that can reach a height of 6-10' with its culms growing to 2'' wide. It runs and can make a good screen by planting it in a trench that has been amended with compost and composted manure. It is cold hardy to 0 degrees and tolerates drought. Maiden Grass (Miscanthus sinensis 'Gracillimus') grows to 5-7' tall and wide with narrow, green, upright leaves producing silvery blooms in August. The leaves then turn from an orange-red-copper fall color to tan in winter. It is a zone 5 plant (hardy to -10 to -20F) that should be cut back in spring just as the new growth starts. Feather Reed Grass (Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster') will grow each year to 3-4' then bloom in summer and sport tan-golden seedheads in late summer. It is also very cold hardy and should be cut back in spring.  Mexican Feather Grass (Nasella tenuissima aka Stipa) is the most drought tolerant grass we have. It will grow to 18-24'' tall and 2' wide and reseeds freely. The green thread-like foliage has red hues in summer and fall and the feathery seedheads are white and sway with any little breeze. Blue Lyme Grass (Elymus arenarius 'Glaucus') is a clumping grass that has gray-blue leaves and will reach a height of 2'. It would do well planted on a bank to help hold soil. It is evergreen, will take sun or shade and is hardy to 30 degrees below zero. Ribbon Grass (Phalaris arundinacea) has variegated white and green leaves with hints of red. It gets 2-3' tall and wide, is hardy to -30 and can be planted in the shade. Blue Fescue (Festuca glauca) forms a small, silvery blue mound 10'' tall. It has buff colored seedheads in summer and should be deadheaded to improve foliage growth. It tolerates our poor, dry soil and looks good planted in mass. Twisted Arrows (Juncus spiralis) is an evergreen clumping grass that prefers a moist somewhat shaded spot. It grows well in a pot or even a pond. It has corkscrew-like green leaves and grows to 2' by 1'. Two grasses that a great in pots are Purple Fountain Grass and Fireworks. Neither of these Pennisetums are cold hardy for our area but make a beautiful show throughout the summer and fall. This is a helpful list of the best grasses for our area; I am sure you can find a one or several that is right for your landscape. Grasses add grace, drama, and beauty to any yard while being easy to live with and are underused in the area so be a person with vision and lead the way in your neighborhood.
Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster'


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Fully Loaded

Just received a shipment of glazed birdbaths in 2 sizes and a variety of colors. Also a truckload of blooming shrubs, perennials and annuals. Come in and check it out!

Friday, June 1, 2012

June 2012

Plant a shade tree. With the temperatures climbing, a little shade sounds really good. A well placed deciduous (one that drops its leaves in winter) tree can supply that shade, reduce heating and cooling costs, screen an unwanted view and break the drying winds all while providing spring flowers and fall color. When choosing a tree decide what it is you want to obtain from it. A deciduous tree planted on the south, east or west side of your house will provide shade in the summer but allow the winter sun to warm you. Plant one near a patio to create a cool spot for entertaining. Think about what size you would like the mature tree to be and plant accordingly. Keep in mind that the absorbing roots will extend out to the dripline of the tree. You will want to plant it far enough away from walls, houses, sidewalks and sewer lines that those roots will not cause problems in the future. We have a large selection of shade trees that do well in our area and you will receive a detailed planting guide to get your tree off to a good start.

Plant a shrub for the birds. If you are an avid birder or just want to attract a few feathered friends to your yard we stock several shrubs that will "fit the bill". We have grown a Proven Winners shrub called 'Amethyst' Coral Berry (Symphoricarpos x doorenbosii 'Kordes'). It is deciduous and will grow to a mature size of 3-5' tall and wide. The small white mid-summer flowers will produce vivid deep magenta-pink berries that last into winter and these branches can be used in dries arrangements. This shrub has a neat branching habit which creates a shelter that birds find inviting.  Another shrub that is new to us is 'Viking' Chokeberry (Aronis melanocarpa). It has early white spring flowers, attractive dark green leaves, brilliant red fall color and large black fruit that persists until spring if they don't get consumed by your birds. It will also grow to 3-5 feet tall and wide. Both of these shrubs are very cold hardy to USDA zone 3 and would be attractive planted in mass, as a specimen or foundation plant and they control erosion. Many species of Cotoneasters are also good bird plants. They produce berries, the two species we carry, glaucophyllus and parneyi, are evergreen and cold hardy. All of these bird-loving plants are deer resistant! Birds need  water, shelter and food...plant some of these shrubs and just add water.

Prune spring flowering shrubs. Forsythia, Lilac (Syringa), Spiraea , Pyracantha, Red Twigged Dogwood (Cornus) and other spring flowering shrubs will benefit from pruning now. First remove anything diseased, damaged or dead. Also prune out any crossing or rubbing branches. Forsythia, Lilacs and Red Twigged Dogwood all bloom on new wood. They should be encouraged to sprout new growth from their base by pruning 1/3 of the oldest, woodiest growth all the way to the ground. 'Snowmound' and other spring flowering Spiraea should have the branches that flowered removed and the new growth will then bloom next year. Most other shrubs can be pruned to a desired shape. If you have specific questions about how or when to prune one of your landscape plants, leave a comment here, email us or stop by the nursery and we will be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Spiraea. This group of deciduous shrubs are easy to grow in any kind of soil. One of our favorites is 'Snowmound' (Spiraea nipponica). It will bloom profusely in spring with small, white, slightly fragrant flowers. The leaves are rounded, dark green and it grows into a fountain shape up to 6' tall. This makes a good screen around a patio or as a specimen in a perennial bed. Two smaller versions are 'Anthony Waterer' and 'Neon Flash' both of which are Spiraea japonica. Anthony Waterer forms a mound 3' tall with pink flowers in June. 'Neon Flash' is s also 3' tall and blooms in the summer with rose-red flowers. Both of these smaller Spiraeas do well in the ground or in pots and all are deer resistant. They are cold hardy to 30 degrees below zero and are moderate water users.
Spiraea 'Snowmaound' 

THANKS! Just want to say thanks once again for your continued patronage and the knowledge that you have shared with us over the past 17 years. We appreciate it more than you will ever know!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Time to Plant

Plant. Now that it looks as though danger of frost has passed, at least for us in Silver City, it is time to plant everything. The 10-day weather forecast is  predicting nighttime temperatures in the upper 40's to low 50's which is perfect tomato weather. We are packed full with weekly deliveries of bedding plants including annuals, perennials, hanging baskets, herbs and vegetables. The nursery also just received a truckload of fruit & shade trees and our beautiful Weeks roses. We have a good variety of trees that do really well in our area and of course we are having our annual ROSE SALE! ALL ROSES ARE 10% OFF THROUGH MOTHER'S DAY! There are several new varieties like the red with yellow reverse 'Ketchup & Mustard', pure white 'Sugar Moon' and 'Julia Child' with, you guessed it, butter yellow blooms.

Keep it simple. With the internet and gardening books come way too much information on building soil. As I have written in the past we believe in keeping all things gardening simple. Whether you are talking about fertilizing, insect control or building your soil the less complicated the better. So if you are planting something in the ground simply mix 1/3 to 1/2 Back to Earth Compost or your homemade compost to your native soil. This goes for a tree, a vegetable garden or a perennial bed. If you are planting in pots use Uni-Gro Potting Soil. It is a complete soil that should be used without the addition of anything. You should never mix potting soil into the native soil as it often contains peat moss which tends to compact our soil not to mention it is about twice the price of compost. So there it is: Ground = Back to Earth Compost, Pots = Uni-Gro Potting Soil. No lasagna, no 5 kinds of compost just 2 simple products.

Thanks. Thanks to everyone who has subscribed to our blog. The winners of our giveaway have been notified and I am sorry if it wasn't you but you will receive some good gardening tips for our area and get the inside scoop on all of our new arrivals and sales.

Erysimum. The Wallflower is a great perennial for the high desert. Not only is it drought tolerant, evergreen and deer resistant but it blooms profusely all summer long. We are growing 'Fragrant Star' this year and it will form an 18" by 24" mound of cream and green variegated foliage. The mauve buds open to fragrant yellow  1 " flowers. It is a zone 7 plant or hardy to 0 degrees. We also carry the very popular 'Bowles Mauve'. This perennial has all the favorable traits of a Wallflower but with gray-green foliage and mauve blooms on a plant that reaches 2' by 2'. It is slightly more cold hardy than the 'Fragrant Star' at a zone 6 or -10.
Erysimum 'Fragrant Star'

Sunday, April 1, 2012

April 2012

Attract Hummingbirds to your yard. Hummingbirds are colorful, fun to watch and help control the insect population.  One of the easiest ways to attract these tiny creatures to your yard is to plant flowering trees, perennials and shrubs as a food source for them. Hummingbirds love long, tubular or bell-shaped flowers. The best trees with this kind of flower are Redbud (Cercis), Mimosa (Albizia julibrissin) and Desert Willow (Chilopsis linearis) which is also very drought tolerant. Shrubs include Abelia, Butterfly Bush (Buddleia), Flowering Quince (Chaenomeles), Cotoneaster, Hibiscus, Lavender (Lavandula), Honeysuckle (Lonicera), Currant (Ribes), Rosemary (Rosmarinus), Elderberry (Sambucus) and Lilac (Syringa). Plant them near a patio or other sitting area for a close up view. Favorite vines are Trumpet Vine (Campsis) and Honeysuckle (Lonicera). Inviting, colorful perennials would be Agastache, Hollyhock (Alcea), Columbine (Aquilegia), Butterfly Weed (Asclepias), Delphinium, Foxglove (Digitalis), Gladiola, Coral Bells (Heuchera), Red Hot Poker (Kniphofia), Lobelia, Lupine (Lupinus), Bee Balm (Monarda), Geranium (Pelargonium), Penstemon, Sage (Salvia) and Veronica. Plant any of these in your landscape, water when needed and sit back and watch the show this summer.

Plant cool season veggies. Since our average last frost date is May 1st it is a little early yet to plant tomatoes, peppers, squash and other warm season vegetables without protection but it is just the right time to plant broccoli, cabbage, lettuce and all of the cool season vegetables. We have a lot of these vegetables in plants and seeds now. If you haven't already done so improve your vegetable garden with Back to Earth Compost, Composted Manure and Bone Meal before you plant and fertilize regularly with Fox Farm granular or liquid fertilizers.

Mulch, mulch, mulch. I write about mulching quite often because it is so important. Mulching conserves moisture which is very important with our spring winds kicking up. It also helps maintain an even soil temperature. Your plants roots will really appreciate this when it is 80 degrees one day and down to 25 two nights later. Applying a 6-8" layer of mulch around your fruit trees is the only real way to keep the soil temperature cool and slow down (notice I didn't say prevent) premature flowering in spring. So just do it! Mulch everything, all of the time and your plants will thank you for it.

Salvia nemorosa 'May Night'. Salvia is the largest genus of the mint family, is often referred to as sage and contains 700-900 species of shrubs, herbaceous perennials and annuals. All have tubular flowers that attract hummingbirds and butterflies and are resistant to deer and rabbits. 'May  Night' falls into the herbaceous perennial category and has rough, lance-shaped 4" leaves that form a low rosette up to a foot wide. Its long, dense flower spikes bloom violet-purple in early summer and will continue if kept deadheaded. This plant will reach 18" tall and should be spaced 18-24" apart since they do tend to spread. It would do well planted in a container, in a perennial bed or along a walkway and would make a good companion of the yellow flowered Coreopsis and Paprika or Moonshine Yarrow.  This perennial is drought tolerant once established and very cold hardy to minus 30.
Not a very good photo of Salvia nemorosa 'May Night'

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Givewawy, New Space, Fox Farm and Opening!

GIVEAWAY! We are giving away a $25.00 gift certificate and a Fox Farm gift bag to 2 lucky subscribers. All you have to do is subscribe to our blog before May 1st, 2012 and you will automatically be entered to win. Those of you who have already subscribed will also be entered. Just go to the 'subscribe via email' box at the right, enter your email address and hit 'Subscribe'. You will receive an email confirmation from FeedBurner that you have to reply to in order to activate your subscription. So keep an eye out for that email, it may end up in your spam. That's all you have to do and you will not be bothered by any other emails, just when we post something new. This is a great way to find out about new arrivals, any sales we are having and get good basic gardening advice for the high desert. Besides YOU COULD WIN!!! The random drawing will take place May 1st, 2012 and you will be notified by email if you are the lucky winner.

NEW SPACE! In case you haven't heard we have expanded into the warehouse (affectionately referred to as the 'Sow's Ear') behind Aunt Judy's Attic that was once occupied by the Furniture Gallery warehouse. When it became available we jumped at the chance to supply our customers with the products you have been asking for. So here is a short list of some of the new items:
  • Redwood Trellises
  • Rain Barrels
  • More Pottery
  • Garden Benches
  • Oak  Wine Barrels
  • Plastic Pots
  • Professional Grade Weed Barrier and Shade Cloth by the foot
  • Yard & Wall Art from Jan Weisling's Pinos Altos Orchards & Gift Shop 
  • Much, Much More
FOX FARM! We have also increased the number of Fox Farm products we are stocking. In addition to the granular and liquid fertilizers, we sell the Ocean Forest Potting Soil, Bat Guano and a new liquid called Sledgehammer that breaks up hard soil and flushes away excess salts. We are very impressed with all of the Fox Farm soils and fertilizers and are sure you will be, too.

OPENING! We are open for the 2012 season and packed full of plants. We have trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals and vegetables all grown right here in New Mexico. We are located at 1950 Hwy. 180 E., behind Aunt Judy's Attic in Silver City, NM and are open Tuesday- Saturday, 9-5. So come in and take a look at all of our inventory.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

March 2012

Go to the Silver City Farmers' Market Home & Garden Expo. This is the second year for this event and it promises to be bigger and better than last year. Here is the link with all the information It is a great way to gather gardening ideas and support our local Farmers' Market at the same time.

Control insects on houseplants. If you have houseplants that you move indoors in the winter and outside to a shady spot in the summer I am sure you have noticed how insects seem to flourish indoors. Most insects love the warm, dry, still environment of a house. Be it a greenhouse or your house. Houseplants can be affected by a wide range of insects. Keeping them healthy by not overfertilizing or overwatering is one of the keys to preventing problems. Check them frequently for pests and you will be able to stop a problem before it gets out of hand. Be sure to check the undersides of the leaves and the leaf crotches since this is where trouble usually starts. Aphids are small tear-drop shaped sucking insects that can be green, black, reddish, yellow, wooly and cluster on the new growth. The leaves will look distorted. Wash aphids off with water or use Safer's Insecticidal Soap which will dry them up and kill them. Scale are also sucking insects. They gather on the leaves and branches and can be recognized by their hard, brown covering. This covering is waxy in nature and protects the insect inside which makes them hard to control with contact-kill insecticides. Your best form of attack is Horticultural Oil which will coat and smother them.  Spider mites are another nasty sucker. They are microscopic and the first signs are dull, stippled leaves, webbing and the plants may be stunted. Misting your plants or spaying them with water in a kitchen sink or shower will help deter them since they prefer warm, dry conditions. Safer's Insecticidal Soap or Horticultural Oil are the best sprays for control. Mealybugs are of recognizable size but hard to detect because they cluster on leaf stems, branch crotches and roots. They have round, white, fuzzy looking bodies and can eventually kill a plant. For small infestations rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab will take care of it. For larger problems use Horticultural Oil. Whiteflies look just like their name implies. They are tiny, winged white insects that flutter above the plant when disturbed. They attach themselves to the undersides of the leaves and are one of the most difficult insects to eradicate. Be persistent. Alternating Horticultural Oil and Safer's Insecticidal Soap every other week is effective. Increase air circulation and wash leaves off with water. A homemade spray of 1 teaspoon liquid dish soap, 1 cup cooking oil, 1 cup rubbing alcohol and 1 quart of water can be used every 10 days. Don't forget the undersides of the leaves. All of these sucking insects excrete a shiny substance called honeydew. It is often the first sign of a problem and left unchecked can encourage the growth of Sooty Mold. This looks like soot covering the leaves and is more unattractive than it is dangerous. First control the insects that are creating the honeydew and then wash the sooty mold off with a damp cloth. Fungus Gnats are very active when conditions are moist and/or humid. They look like tiny flies and lay their eggs on top of the wet soil. They are more annoying than damaging. Most importantly let the surface of the soil dry out between waterings. Yellow Sticky Traps will catch the adults and Diatomaceous Earth will kill the eggs.
One more word of advice (I make mistakes so you don't have to); although a feather duster is a good way to clean your plants it is also a good vehicle for your pests to hitch a ride on. Always follow label directions when using any of these insecticides as some plants may be sensitive to certain oils and soaps. If it is possible when all danger of frost has passed, move your plants to a bright shady or part shade location away from of strong winds. This will allow natural predators to intervene.

Juniperus species (the dreaded Juniper). I was in the grocery store the other day talking to a long time customer and she was suffering terribly from allergies, specifically Juniper. There are many people here who have a sensitivity to this pollen. I have several friends who even plan their vacations around this season. Anyway this customer said that she couldn't understand why her fruit trees and flowers almost always succumb to frost but the Junipers never do. She thought that someone should hybridize the juniper so it would freeze. So anyone out there that can come up with an apricot-juniper cross, we'll be the first to buy stock!
Juniper plants range from ground covers to large trees and are either male or female or both. The males are the messy ones (huh) that produce all that pollen. The females are the ones you see with berries and no pollen. So if you are in the market for a juniper look for ones with berries since they will either be female and pollen free or male & female and therefore produce very little pollen. Unfortunately the juniper trees that cause most of the problems in our area are the native varieties One-Seed Juniper (Juniperus monosperma) and Rocky Mountain Juniper (Juniperus scpulorum) which is the source of many female cultivars. Two of these female varieties are 'Blue Haven' which will reach 20' tall and 10' wide and 'Skyrocket' that is columnar at 15' by 4'. Both are silvery blue, cold hardy and drought tolerant. We are growing two other Junipers this year. One is 'Sea Green' (Juniperus x pfitzeriana). It is fountain shaped, dark green and will reach 4' tall by 6' wide. The other is 'Blue Rug' (Juniperus horizontalis 'Wiltonii'). A very low grower, only 1-3" tall and 6-10' wide with steely blue foliage that turns purple in the winter. This Juniper is useful to stabilize embankments or in a rock garden. So there are ways to plant these diverse evergreens in your landscape without adding to the pollen count. Choose the right varieties or start studying plant genetics.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

February 2012

Prune or Cut-Back Perennials. I have written previously about pruning trees, shrubs, vines and roses but February is the month to think about your perennials. Leaving them until now provides you with winter interest and provides overwintering birds with seed. Once you see some new growth coming from the base you know it is time to get started. Herbaceous perennials, those that die back in the winter, should be taken all the way to the ground and any dead or damaged leaves removed from the crown. The mulch that has been protecting them can be left until they start to grow more vigorously. If any of these perennials are overgrown and did not bloom well during their previous flowering season they may need to be divided. See "Divide Perennials" from March 2011. If you live in a colder area you will want to wait until the end of the month to do this.

Plan your vegetable garden. This is a good time to plan your spring/summer vegetable garden. If you will be planting cool season vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage you will want to start them indoors from seed now so that you can plant them out in mid to late March. Seed any warm season vegetables by the 1st of March for a May 1st planting. If you don't have the space, time, energy or inclination to start seeds indoors we will have vegetable plants when we open on March 27th as well as our 2012 Lake Valley and Pagano seeds. Think about mixing your vegetables with some herbs and flowers that will attract beneficial insects. We have a list of when to plant what and all of the amendments you need to get your garden off to a good start.

Buddleia davidii. Almost everyone loves the Butterfly Bush. A fast growing, low water, deciduous shrub with  spike-like clusters of flowers summer through frost that attract hummingbirds and butterflies. What's not to like? It makes a quick screen or informal hedge and can be used as an anchor in a perennial bed or as an accent. The varieties include 'Black Knight' that has dark purple flowers and can reach 8' tall, 'Pink Delight' with light pink blooms and a shorter 6' height, 'Royal Red' also topping out at 6' with purple-red flowers and 'White Profusion' with, you guessed it, white blooms. There are also two relatively new varieties that we are growing. One is a Proven Winners cultivar called Lo & Behold 'Blue Chip'. It has the same fragrance and floriferous quality of its brothers but only reaches 2-2 1/2' tall and 2' wide and bears purple-blue flowers. The other is 'White Ball' which is also a dwarf growing to 3' by 3'. It has small white flowers and a compact rounded form. The petite size of these shrubs makes them perfect for containers, as a ground cover or in a small patio where a larger variety would be too overpowering. All of the Buddleia davidii  Butterfly Bushes are cold hardy to USDA zone 5 or 20 degrees below zero. Since they bloom on new wood they should be pruned in the same way as Lilac and Forsythia in that you will remove 1/3 of the oldest woodiest growth to the ground each winter.
Proven Winners, Buddleia Lo & Behold 'Blue Chip'

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy 2012!

The main job for January is pruning. Here is the link that covers it pretty well from February 2011 "Pruning". Remember that you do not necessarily prune every tree or shrub every year. Look at them objectively and decide which ones need corrective pruning and which ones don't.

Apply dormant spray. If you have had problems in the past with insects and diseases on your fruit and shade trees, shrubs or perennials now is the time to manage them with dormant spray. An application of horticultural oil will smother overwintering aphids of all kinds, scale, mealy bugs, whiteflies and spider mites as well as their eggs. It is also effective against the larvae of coddling moths which is the common apple worm. Lime sulphur spray will control powdery mildew, peach leaf curl, apple scab and twig borers. A copper fungicide can be used to keep leaf spot, peach leaf curl and shot hole fungus in check. Be sure to spray the entire plant including branch crotches where insects like to lay their eggs. Clean up any debris out to the drip line and spray the soil as well. Always follow label directions carefully on all of these products and choose a warm, calm day for best results.

Think about a community garden in your neighborhood. A friend of mine recently gave me a subscription to Organic Gardening. I hadn't read one in a while and had forgotten what a wonderfully informative magazine it is. To my surprise there is an article in this month's issue about our own Grant County and the great work that is being done here by The Volunteer Center of Grant County. The article is called "The Tale of Two Food Deserts".  It is worth a look and should inspire everyone to do what they can to fill the hunger gap in our community. Whether it is starting a community garden where people donate time for produce, growing your own backyard garden and giving the surplus to the Food Pantry, supplying transportation for people in outlying areas to come and shop at their Farmers' Market or any other way you can think of to make healthy, nutritious food accessible to everyone in Grant County.

Callicarpa bodinieri 'Profusion'. We chose this variety of Beautyberry for its abundant violet fruit that lasts into winter making it a wild bird favorite. It is a graceful, moderate growing, deciduous shrub that will mature at 6 feet tall and wide. The arching branches are covered with small, tight clusters of lilac flowers in spring and the willow-like leaves are bronze-purple when new, mature to dark green and turn orange to purple in fall. It is cold hardy to USDA 5 or 20 degrees below zero and uses a moderate amount of water. Plant it as a foundation shrub or informal hedge.
Callicarpa bodinieri 'Profusion'