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March 2019 Newsletter

March Plant of the Month
Teucrium frutans-Bush Germander

Deer resistant evergreen shrub from the Mediterranean. It can get quite large, up to 8×8, with loose grey foliage and light blue flowers over a long period. ‘Azureum’ is more compact growing and has deep blue flowers. There is also a variety called ‘Compactun’ that gets to 3 ft with deep blue flowers. All will look better with a good shear before spring growth. They are tough plants that do fine in poor, rocky soil but good drainage is a must. The large grower can make a good screen plant. They take clipping so you could grow as an informal hedge. We have some planted at the nursery in the back. You have probably seen them. The grey foliage makes a nice contrast to shrubs like Viburnum tinus with their red stems and pink buds in winter or to burgundy foliaged shrubs like the deciduous Red Barberry.

March Specials

  • Plant of the Month-Teucrium frutans- 20% off
  • Green-All Organic 2 cu ft Potting Soil- Buy 3, 4th free
  • Newly Potted Roses-20% off
  • Pink Flowering Dogwood- 20% off
  • 4” pots of Grape Hyacinth- 20% off
  • 2019 Bare-root trees, shrubs, and vines-
    • buy 5 -10% off,
    • buy 10 – 15% off- Mix and Match

Newsletter March 2019

Starting this newsletter there is a slight break in the deluge we are experiencing, but the winds and more rain are expected. (i.e., I just walked outside for a minute and did not get soaked.) One of the reasons the Golden State is a popular place to live is the climate. Interesting given we too often experience such climate extremes. Nothing but rain (flooding) or drought (fires) with not much in between. These rains have eased our drought worries somewhat but since our business depends on good weather other niggling worries set in. Are we going to get our bare root potted in time? Are we going to be short funds? Are we going to get slammed as soon as the weather clears and not be able to provide good service? Should I worry I worry too much?

Stocking up-A lot has happened since the last newsletter. Roses arrived and though we have a nice assortment of bare root we are leaving till last, we have also started to put them in pots as the weather permits. Our summer blooming bulb selection for spring planting finally arrived. The weather was so cold back East shipping was delayed three weeks for fear the bulbs would freeze in transit. Onion bulbs, garlic and asparagus, and a few more flowers are due next week. We have six varieties of bare root strawberries available. Our big ceramic pottery order has arrived along with a dark with lighter swirl pallet of terra-cotta pots in a flared style. Something different. Fresh new statuary from Design Toscano and metal wall hangings from Beyond Borders are gracing the nursery, adding extra spice to our plant selection. The spring Oregon order is here with Pink Dogwood, Coral Bark Japanese Maple, Sester Dwarf Spruce, Miss Kim Lilac, Forsythia, ‘Skip’ English Laurel, Oak Leaf Hydrangea, Goldflame Spirea, and Karley Rose Pennisetum to name some. The 30% Acetic Acid Vinegar weed spray is now on the shelf. (We’ve already had one customer coming in looking for it before it arrived.) Check out the new fairy garden figures. So cute.

To Do This Month-February has been pretty wet so you might not of had the chance to spray your roses and fruit trees yet. I like to mix the horticultural oil with the copper to kill both overwintering insect eggs and fungus. The hose end sprayers we sell make it pretty easy to apply. Ask at the nursery if you are not sure of what or how much or how to apply. We also sell an Orchard Spray that is a combo of sulfur and pyrethrums although copper is more effective for Peach Leaf Curl. Wet weather like we are having usually means more disease issues are looming. Spray your peach and nectarine trees again at 2/3 petal drop of the flowers because foraging insects can re-introduce the curl fungus back onto your trees.

Are you planning on growing tomatoes from seed this year? Time to start them and others like peppers, eggplant, and basil indoors. Peppers and Eggplant can be difficult and need consistent 85 degrees to germinate. You could do lettuce and cilantro too. Plant a spring crop of onions and potatoes now and of course peas. Plant starter plants of cool-season favorites like broccoli and kale right out in the garden. Not sure what to plant for edibles right now? We have a good assortment of starts, and all of them would be okay to plant outside now. Make sure you add plenty of good stuff to your beds. Vegetables need a lot of Calcium, and we have a product called Kelzyme you might want to try. Otherwise, there is always Oyster Shell or Agricultural Lime. Soil still sticks to your shovel? Adding Gypsum can help with that. Week canes on your tomatoes, roses and other ornamentals? Magnesium can help with that. March is a good time to feed your blueberries. An acid food is required, and we also recommend FST, an iron-sulfur supplement to keep those low Ph numbers that blueberries need.

Feed Your Soil-Its always a good idea to add organic matter to your soils every year. What you add will depend on availability and finances. Do you have a source for well-rotted horse or steer manure? Maybe chicken or turkey? Do you have a compost pile going? Worm Castings? Old straw? Rice hulls? Grape pumice? Decomposed leaves? Any or all of these things should be added to your soil. You can always buy bags of E. B. Stone manures, E. B. Stone Worm Castings and compost (GreenAll Soil Booster) at your local nursery. It is said that the focus should be on feeding your soil, not your plants. It just makes sense that if you have good healthy living (micro and macro-organisms) soil that your plants will also be healthy. Did you know that our Organic E. B. Stone line of specialty fertilizers contain microrhyzzi and other beneficial bacterias? All living organisms in your soil need a fresh food source in order to live and thrive, otherwise, your soil is ‘dead.’

Tidbits-I try to read trade magazines when I can find the time, and I get a lot of news in my inbox every day and there just is not time to read it all. I thought I would share a couple of news items. I have mentioned in past years that for reasons that are a little beyond me people in horticulture pay attention to Pantone’s Color of the Year. This year it is ‘Living Coral’. I guess that means I need to keep my eye out for coral flowers and pots so I do not get left behind. No seriously I believe that means that a lot of accessories and fashion itself you will see in stores will have that orange pink look. Okay by me when it comes to flowers because as I have said before I really like orange and coral, apricot and peach are right up my alley.

So with all the smoke and toxins in the air and our houses these days we have been talking about houseplants filtering the air and removing VOCs or just adding oxygen. The VOCs are the bad gasses that carpets, furniture, cleaning supplies, paints, and varnishes and more emit into our air. No one houseplant does it all…until now. Some crazy scientists in Washington state got it into their heads to genetically modify Pothos with a rabbit gene, and they claim its the super detoxifier. (Please don’t ask me how that works or why rabbit. I could not find the article again.) For it to really work, they suggest having a fan to circulate your air past the Pothos (or I guess you could just live in a Pothos themed house). They used Pothos, aka Devil’s Ivy because it is easy and can grow in just about any light or conditions. Just not sure what to think about this. Its been approved for sale in Canada because it could not escape to the outdoors and survive but there are frost-free areas in the US where it could just ‘hop’ out into the wild. What do you think?

And to finish, the National Garden Bureau has declared Snapdragons for a Plant of the Year. Snaps do really well here if you can overlook their propensity to get the rust fungus (the little brown dots on the underside of the foliage). Usually, you can get a few years out of your snaps, and they are priced like an annual so kudos there. The taller varieties make excellent cut flowers, and the low growers give you plenty of flower power. They are hummingbird and butterfly attractors and the deer usually don’t care for them. If you have never planted them maybe this is the year. We should be able to get them in a few weeks time. No fresh ones available now.