April Viral Newsletter

As I start this newsletter, the frogs are chirping in my water features, the electricity is on, we are getting some rain lately, and the sun shone today. All is not doom and gloom. We will get through this period of hardship and uncertainty. I believe the nursery is in a good position to weather this storm emotionally, spiritually, and likely financially too. So many of you depend on us for your garden needs and peace of mind. Besides, you cannot go anywhere, so why not use this time to work in your outdoors?

The nursery is allowed to stay open because we are Ag, and garden centers are considered an essential part of the food chain. This could change, and if it does, we believe we will be able to take orders and offer curbside pick-up. We are doing that now for people who are more comfortable with not coming through the gate. We are doing transactions outside of the salesroom as we are keeping traffic indoors to a minimum. Since card transactions go through without a signature, we are postponing the need to sign your slip. It is suggested by the authorities that using your card is safer, but we are still accepting checks and cash. The disease is most likely to be transmitted through the air as opposed to things you touch as long as you are washing or sanitizing your hands frequently. Of course, we are asking that you respect the social distance guideline of 6 ft. from another person.

So far, so good, but we are not into full-blown spring yet. I have a lot of ideas about how to manage busy April and May, assuming we are not all broke and cannot afford to spend money on plants. We will have to limit the number of people in the nursery at one time. We might have to extend our hours. We might have to go to all pre-order and pick-up. These are early days yet, but we are going to do our best to see you get the plants you need or a close substitute. Bear with us as we are gardeners, not techies, and will not be offering online ordering, just a phone call to 987-0998 or an e-mail to stargar@sonic.net

It is still too early to plant your summer vegetable garden. And remember that if you have to wait till June to plant, you will still have a bountiful haul, so do not panic. We have some tomato and pepper starts in now for those of you who want to grow them bigger before you plant. Its never too early to prepare your beds, and we are keeping GreenAll Soil Booster, EB Stone Steer Manure, and Chicken Manure along with their Worm Castings in stock. Our little greenhouse is home to many empty looking pots filled with squashes, beans, and cucumbers waiting to come up. We have lots of plug starts of calibrachoas and other perennials, along with our custom baskets, some of which are hardening off outside to make room for the lantana plugs that came yesterday. I know food is on everyone’s mind, but don’t forget to have flowers available to attract pollinators.

As for supply….. most of our suppliers are remaining open but might be working with reduced staff, as is the shipping side of things. It is going to take longer to get some of our orders. At this time, we have been notified by Renees Garden/Cornucopia that they have suspended our seed shipments, due to the high demand and reduced warehouse staff. They are overwhelmed. We are hoping that we can change in the future.

Meanwhile, I have come up with an alternative and plan to offer some self-packaged seed from another supplier. Our soil company is having trouble getting the raw product for the 3 cf bales of Garden Soil, so we are out of stock on that as well. Our local suppliers of vegetable, annual and perennial plants remain open and are still delivering. We all have faith that the demand for products will be there, especially edible plants and healing herbs.

Bare root season is over. The leftovers are all growing in pots at this time. Lots of cherries, peaches, and nectarines left, but not as many apricots, plums, apples, or pears. The persimmons are all gone. We have not shifted any of the liner pots of figs, berries, or pomegranates, so they are still available at bare root season prices. We pushed to get it done as Jahi’s last day here was the 22nd. We will miss him as I am sure you will too. Nothing lasts forever, and we wish him the best.

Lilacs are beginning to bloom in the landscape, and they are in stock now. We have more of the one-gallon redbuds again. Plenty of gaura, sages/salvias, lavenders, butterfly bushes, and coreopsis filling the tables. Calibrachoas fill a whole rack. Other great perennials available now include geum, nepeta, candytuft, euphorbias, columbine, digiplexis, agastache, and yarrow. Our 2020 roses are growing, but flowers will not come till May/June, but your best selection is now. Spring blooming shrubs like deutzia and forsythia are happening. We are beginning to stock petunias as these can handle a light frost. Amend your soil for trees, shrubs, and perennials with GreenAll Firmulch, and do not forget to add the EBStone Sure Start.

We have not received all of our show orders yet like Rustic Arrow for the metal statues or a fresh batch of chickens and roosters from Regal, but a fresh assortment of the colorful and cold-tolerant Spanish pottery is brightening the nursery again. Plenty of other containers, too, including some different colors and shapes from DeRoma Pottery to choose from.

Plants add so much value to our lives, cooling our environment, habitat for critters, food for beneficials, cleaning our air, and cleansing our soul. In times like these, working the Earth is a respite from all the craziness that surrounds us. Keep up the good work.

April Specials

  • Plant of the Month- 20% Off
  • All Lilacs- 20% Off
  • All 5-gallon Yuccas, Molina and Dasylirion- 20% Off
  • Liner pots of all berries, kiwis, and pomegranates- 20% Off
  • GreenAll 2cf Organic Potting Soil – Buy 3, 4th Free

Plant of the Month
Latin: Paeonia Plain speaking: Peony

There are three basic types of hybrid peonies available. They are herbaceous, tree, and the intersectional cross of the previous two known as ITOH. Peonies are very long-lived and do not like to be moved, so it is essential to pick your spot wisely. Prepare the site with lots of compost, dug deeply. Morning sun is recommended for all types in our hot climate, and tree peonies will tolerate filtered shade. Peonies that are planted too deep do not bloom well. Plant herbaceous types with eyes just an inch below the surface. Plant the ITOHs a little deeper. You can bury a tree peony ‘bulb’ 6 inches below the graft to promote the selection to grow its own roots. Cut the herbaceous and ITOHs back to the ground after they go dormant. Tree peonies lose their leaves, but the woody growth remains. Do not cut that back. They grow slowly to 2 ft or more. Not really a tree but a shrub in size.
Peonies can be grown in containers 18-24” large. The herbaceous types prefer a wide shallow pot and the trees like a deeper one. Peonies make good cut flowers and harvest just as the bud begins to open.