June News 2020

June already! I can hardly believe it. Summer is here, along with some hot weather, although by the time you read this, it is supposed to cool off. May was another extremely busy month for us. It has been a challenge keeping stocked up as our suppliers are also selling out. Case in point, there were very little classic summer annuals to be had last week. I am hoping this week will be a little better as far as getting in some 6-packs of petunias and marigolds, although the zinnias were in short supply. We are getting some snaps, though.

The vegetable demand is slowing, so we are no longer selling out the day of the delivery. Melons are in short supply as the cold weather a few weeks ago really affected the baby starts. All of ours damped off in the greenhouse, and I do not think our other suppliers did much better. If you had babies just planted, yours probably did not fare well either. Now that the weather has changed (although it could still change back), the melons and cucumbers should take off. We are still planting, and our greenhouse still has a lot of seedlings planted as we are still expecting people to need to fill in.

As we mentioned before, we have brought in a limited selection of fruit trees, now have more raspberries and blackberries. We have had no luck getting strawberries, and so many of you are asking for them. Still, no ladybugs. The company is between hatches, and I will try to post on Facebook when we get them in again. We have been able to keep soil in stock in the bigger bags, but still, no manure or bark available as I write this. FYI bark is considered non-essential, so I guess it was not being produced and available to our company to bag up. We are also beginning to get shorted on some of our dry goods. Orders are taking extra long to get here too. Usually, L and L is here within the week, but it has been two weeks since we placed one order, and we have already placed a second one before the first one has arrived. They are out of the traditional hanging baskets, among other things. Our popular earwig bait in the smaller container did not come today. I am hoping with the opening up of more business, that supply can catch up with demand but not sure how long that will take.

Some of you are just starting out growing vegetables, and here is some insight. First of all, we are not the coast where you throw a seed or cutting in the ground, and it almost grows by itself. Our summer days are hot, and our nights can be cool. Not ideal for summer vegetables that prefer the temps to stay in the 65 to 85-degree range. Wild temperature changes like we have can lead to blossom end rot. That is where your tomatoes, zucchini, and peppers start turning brown on the end away from the stem. My squash often gets this on the first ones, and they do not develop, but it gets better as the season progresses. Extra calcium available in a spray form and consistent moisture levels can help alleviate the problem. Other sources of calcium include lime, bone meal, Kelzyme, and eggshells, but the foliar spray works the fastest. Although you amended the soil at planting time, you will need to follow up with a fertilizer program. If using dry food, then once a month is sufficient. I actually prefer our EB Stone organic All-Purpose food over the Tomato Veg because it has a higher calcium content. If you are using EB Stone Fish Emulsion, AgriThrive, or other liquid, then you need to feed more often, like every week or two. Check your crops for bugs frequently. Keep an eye out for tomato hornworms that eat your foliage overnight, although it is still early for them yet. Most of the eating damage being done now is by earwigs, who hide in dark, moist places during the day and come out at night to do considerable damage to young seedlings. Traps or bait like Sluggo Plus work best for them. Small little whiteflies that take air when your plant is disturbed? Sticky traps and a month-long program of spraying Take Down every three days is in order. Lots of shiny small black beetles? These are the nymphs of the bordered plant bug. Neem spray and a handheld vacuum cleaner to suck them up are in order. Aphids? We hose them off and release ladybugs.

So how do we help all our plants through the dog days of summer? Mulching heavily and deep watering is the key. We have Firmulch back in stock, but for your vegetables, you might consider a good layer of straw. Economical and available at Rainbow Ag and other feed stores. We have been selling a fair amount of shade cloth so far this year, and this is another option if it looks like all day sun is stressing out your food supply too much. Every year it feels like the sun’s rays are getting stronger, or maybe it is because I am a year older, but I believe both are true. A little shade part of the day does me good, and it will do your plants good too. Continue to feed your citrus monthly, and its time to feed your acid-loving plants like Camellias, Azaleas, and Rhodies again.

Summer brings on lots of great blooming perennials in the garden. Black-eyed Susans, Echinacea, Butterfly Bushes, Salvias, Lavenders, Gauras, Coreopsis, Gaillardias, and Roses are but a few. Plant these great heat-loving and mostly deer resistant varieties for months of color in the garden. Good choices for containers include Calibrachoas, Petunias, Lantana, Verbenas, and Scaveolas. For shade, I love Coleus, although it does take some sun. Other perennial shade bloomers include Chinese Foxglove, Hostas, Liriope, and Astilbe. Shade annuals include Begonias and Impatiens. Good sun annuals are Zinnias, Marigolds, and Cosmos.

We got our first order from Pottery Merchant, and we have already placed the second order as our terra cotta pots are selling fast. I am hoping it comes by the end of the week for next weekend as we are very low on some sizes. Some new shapes are available in the glazed pots with slightly different glazes.

The 3 baby ravens are huge already and branch hoping, so if you feel stuff falling out of our big pine while you are waiting to checkout, you will know who is to blame. We have a few Tohee nests too. The two surviving babies in one hopped out of the nest today. In the other, the babies are just hatching. I can’t help but think the hot weather has to be hard on them.

On a personal note, we were finally able to get my mother approved for Hospice, and she came home from Meadowood after a little over a month there. We were not allowed to visit her due to the Covid-19 lockdown. She was hanging on to get home because she died on the 12th, just one day after getting home. She is missed although she said she was ready. Just grateful we were able to get her home for it.

June Specials

  • GreenAll Firmulch $1.00 off regular price
  • Hostas- $1.00 off 4-inch and $2.00 off gallons
  • Ornamental Sages $1.00 off 4-inch and $2.00 off gallons
  • All Hydrangeas- $2.00 off one gallon and $5.00 off larger sizes
  • Plant of the Month – $1.00 off 4-inch

Plant of the Month
Salvia farinacea UNPLUGGED SO BLUE*

Salvias are such a diverse family, and the June plant of the month is Proven Winners* Unplugged So Blue*. Upright growing from 14 to 24 inches tall to 10 inches wide, this mealycup sage is a winner. Easy to grow, deer resistant, and drought tolerant once established, this plant should bloom all summer into fall for you. Reported to be hardy to 20 degrees and USDA zone 8A, this should come back to repeat its show next year. Plant in part to full sun, in containers or in-ground. For best results, give it some water and fertilize once a month. We have grown them from plugs in 4-inch pots and are $1.00 off the regular price while supply lasts.