Sunday, July 28, 2013

August 2013 & Sale

Come to our August Sale! We are having a big sale beginning Tuesday, July 30th and running through August, while supplies last. All of our Weeks & Proven Winners Roses as well as our evergreen, flowering, fruit and shade trees are 20% OFF!!! There is still a good selection so come early and often.

 We also have our Lake Valley & Pagano Seeds on half price through August 10th. Stock up for fall planting this year or spring next year.

Divide Iris. After 3 or 4 years Iris will become overcrowded and their blooms will diminish in size and quantity. This is a good time to breathe new life into them by dividing the bulbs. Dig the clumps and separate them saving the largest rhizomes with healthy leaves and cutting away old leafless portions. Trim the saved bulbs to 6" of leaves above the rhizome and 6 inches of roots below. Let them dry over night before replanting in soil that has been amended with Back to Earth Compost Blend and a source of phosphorus such as  Bone Meal, Bulb Food or Soft Rock Phosphate. Plant 1 to 2 feet apart with the soil coming to the top of the bulb. Water thoroughly and you will be amazed at how much better your iris perform next year.

Control Snails. With all of this rain we have been getting (Yaaaaaay!) the snails are returning in droves. They hide out under garden debris and other shady areas during the heat of the day and come out to dine on your plants when it's cool. They have toothlike jaws that eat holes in your plants' leaves and flowers. To control them start by clearing out their hiding areas. You can fill shallow containers with beer or a little yeast and sugar mixed with water and this will lure the little lushes in to drown. Happy, but dead. There is also an organic product called Sluggo. This product, which we sell, is simply iron phosphate with a bait additive. It is very effective and after eating the bait, slugs and snails will stop feeding, become less mobile and begin to die within three to six days. It is OMRI (Organic Materials Review Institute) registered and can be applied at a rate of 1 lb per 1000 square feet or 1 teaspoon per square yard. It is safe to use around pets, wildlife and homo sapiens.There is also a Sluggo Plus that is iron phosphate with Spinosad added and it controls sow bugs (aka pill bugs or rollie pollies) as well as snails and slugs. It is also organic and eco-friendly.

Caryopteris x clandonensis. Blue Mist or Bluebeard is a deciduous shrub that will grow from 3-4' tall and wide. The variety we carry is 'Dark Knight' and it blooms from July through September with deep blue flowers that attract butterflies and bees. The flowers appear in clusters on the top part of the stems and the leaves are gray-green. It would work well in a perennial bed, along a walkway or as a foundation plant. To keep it full you should cut it back to a foot tall in the spring. This shrub will sometimes reseed but is not invasive. We also grew a dwarf variety of the species this year called 'Petit Bleu'. It is a Proven Winner and has a more compact growth habit, only reaches 2' tall and wide and its foliage is darker green. All of the Bluebeards are drought tolerant once established, will grow in full sun or part shade and are cold hardy to zone 5 or 20 degrees below zero.
Caryopteris x clandonensis 'Petit Bleu'

Friday, July 12, 2013

Free Veggies!

We have a few vegetables left and they are free for the taking Friday, July 12th and tomorrow Saturday, July 13th. While supplies last!

Monday, July 1, 2013

July 2013

Start a Butterfly Garden. Butterflies are beautiful creatures. The adults are good pollinators and the larvae of some called Harvesters eat harmful insects. It is actually quite easy to attract butterflies to your garden. Butterflies like to sun themselves and will only drink from very shallow water. Flat rocks with indentations that collect or can be filled daily with water, or a container full of sand that has been saturated with water are good places for butterflies to get a drink. You will want to plant perennials, annuals, shrubs and trees that serve as a nectar source for adults as well as supplying suitable plants for their caterpillars. When laying their eggs butterflies seek out host plants that the larvae will use as their food. Most of the time the caterpillars will not destroy a plant but only eat for a while, pupate and be gone. Trees that act as host plants include Malus (Flowering Crabapple), Platunus (Sycamore) and Prunus (Plum). Munchable shrubs are Hibiscus, Rosa (Rose), Spiraea, Viburnum (Snowball) and Wisteria. Annuals and Perennials would be Achillea (Yarrow), Alcea (Hollyhock), Brassicas (Broccoli, Cabbage and Mustard), Lobularia (Alyssum), Penstemon and herbs such as Fennel, Dill and Lovage. Nectar producers for adults include the flowers of Apples, Vitex (Chaste Tree), Lavandula (Lavender), Lonicera (Honeysuckle), Syringa (Lilac), of course Buddleia (Butterfly Bush), Rosmarinus (Rosemary), Centranthus (Jupiter's Beard), Echinacea (Coneflowers), Achillea (Yarrow) and Rudbeckia (Black-eyed Susan). These are a few of the plants that butterflies enjoy. For a complete list stop by the nursery. Butterflies are fun and relaxing to watch so start your butterfly garden today.
Plant something. We are hoping that the monsoon is right around the corner for a multitude of reasons and since plants do 80% of their root growth in late summer, fall and winter now through early fall is really the best time to plant. Some rain and humidity will make watering a little less critical. Choose a tree, shrub or perennial and dig the hole twice as wide and 1 1/2 times as deep as the container. Add 1/3 Back to Earth Compost Blend to 2/3 of your native soil (I know it's bad) mix it up and use this mixture to plant. If your soil is clayey add Gypsum. Use B1 as a root stimulator when watering your new plants. The best way to check to see if any plant needs water is to stick your finger in the soil and if it dry 1'' down water thoroughly. Do a rain dance, plant something and be rewarded next spring.


Hibiscus. Many think of Hibiscus only as a tropical plant that will die if kept outside in the winter here but there are 2 great species that will overwinter in our area while providing you with those tropical looking flowers. One is the large deciduous shrub Hibiscus syriacus or Rose of Sharon as it is commonly known. It grows at a moderate rate to 10 feet tall and 6 feet wide and can be trained into a small tree. The leaves are a medium green with 3 lobes and the summer flowers can be either double or single and as big as 3" across. Established plants will take some drought but a low amount of water is recommended. The 2 varieties we have right now are the Proven Winner 'Azuri Satin' which is a single blue flower with a red throat and 'Boule de Feu' that is a double pinkish-red. Both of these Hibiscus are full sun or part shade shrubs and are hardy to 20 degrees below zero. Use them in mass as a colorful hedge, for an accent or as an anchor in a perennial bed. 
Hibiscus syriacus 'Azuri Satin'
Hibiscus syriacus 'Boule de Feu'
The other species of Hibiscus that we carry is Hibiscus moscheutos variety 'Luna Red'. Some common names are Rose Mallow and Dinner Plate Hibiscus and this is an herbaceous perennial meaning it will die to the ground in the winter and reemerge in spring. It grows to 2-3' tall and wide each season, its leaves are dark green with a whitish underside and the flowers that start in late June and continue until frost are no less than spectacular. Dark red, very tropical looking and at least 6" across. Our friend Lou has had one in a whiskey barrel for 3 years and it is a perfect specimen. It gets morning sun, afternoon shade and is protected from the west wind. So an east side would be ideal. She mulches it with straw each winter and it easily made it through the minus 8 we had a few years ago. All of these Hibiscus attract hummingbirds and butterflies.
Lou with her Hibiscus moscheutos 'Luna Red'