Sunday, January 13, 2013

January 2013

Prune deciduous trees and summer flowering shrubs & vines. Here is the link to Pruning. I think we covered it pretty well in this post but if you have a specific question leave a comment or email us at

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.

Start seeds indoors. If you are planning your spring garden there are many cool season vegetables that can be planted from transplants as early as March 15th so now is a good time to start them indoors from seed. Remember, the quality of the seed you use is important. We carry Lake Valley and Pagano Seed. These seeds are all untreated and contain no genetically modified or engineered organisms. We are not open now for you to purchase them from us but a lot of you stocked up before we closed. If you do need seed before we open I would recommend Johnny's Seeds or Territorial Seed online. Cabbage, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts, Lettuce and Spinach can all be started now and will be ready to transplant outdoors in 8-12 weeks.  Fill a seed tray with good potting soil like Uni-gro that drains well. Firm the soil gently and plant the seed according to package directions. Most cool season vegetables germinate well at a temperature between 50 and 70 degrees so the top of a refrigerator or a warm window sill is fine but don't forget that window sills can get awfully cold at night. After planting water the soil well to ensure that all air pockets have been filled. Keep the soil moist, not wet, using a watering can with a fine rosette or simply misting with a spray bottle. Once the seeds have germinated they will need lots of light. A sunny window, heated greenhouse or fluorescent grow lights work best. When the seedlings develop their second set of leaves it is time to transplant them. Using your fingers or a spoon dig up individual seedlings keeping the rootball intact. Plant them in 3-4'' pots filled with potting soil. Water thoroughly to settle the soil and fertilize regularly with Fox Farm Liquid Grow Big or Big Bloom or granular Fox Farm Tomato and Vegetable. Keep them in bright light and water when needed. You may want to transplant these vegetables again into larger containers as they outgrow their pots. One week before you plan to plant your vegetables outside you will need to "harden them off" or get them used to direct sunlight and changing temperatures. Set them outside for a few hours  every day gradually increasing their exposure to sun and cold. Once they are ready for the real world plant them into your garden. You will want to cover them with floating row cover until freezing temps have passed. Does this sound like too much trouble? We'll have plants ready to go when we open for the season.

Humulus 'Summer Shandy' Hops. A Shandy is beer mixed with a carbonated beverage such as ginger ale or lemon-lime soda and if you plant one of these hops vines you could be making your own shandy this summer. Yes, hops are used for brewing beer, but this deciduous vine was bred for its ornamental appeal as well.  The new leaves emerge yellow-green and mature to a bright golden-yellow. 'Summer Shandy' has a refined habit and less aggressive growth than other varieties.  Growing at a moderate rate to 5-10' tall it is well-suited to home gardens, on a fence, trellis or spilling out of a large pot. It is cold hardy to 20 degrees below zero and would appreciate some afternoon shade.
Humulus 'Summer Shandy' Hops