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 http://silvercityfarmersmarket.blogspot.com/2012/02/upcoming-events-march-3-scfm-annual.html. 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.