Saucer Magnolia

Two months gone in 2021. I am still finding it difficult to write ’21 as the year. Maybe I just can not believe the way time flies. Here at the nursery, we are trying to gear up for spring which is just around the corner or already here, depending on how you look at it. The birds are definitely showing signs. The house finch males are looking very red, and the Ravens are already protecting their nest from any hawk that gets in the vicinity. One of my almond trees is blooming, and my nectarine has a few blossoms too. Our ornamental peach trees from last year are in full bloom. Of course, I should be happy, but I know full well a freeze will get my crop of fruit down in the lower part of the property after another winter with lots of sunshine and above-average temperatures.

Supply is already an issue. We went to order more seed, and our seed company had to put a hold on accepting orders for a while due to the high demand. Summer bulbs should have been here by now, but they will not ship until it warms up a little back east. Green onion transplants are also delayed due to cold temps in the Northwest. Our second order of organic seed potatoes was supposed to come in February, and I still need to check their status. Two pallets of pottery were due to arrive in February but are not here yet. They still do not have any terra cotta. It is all due to shipping and customs backlogged delays at the ports. Our January and February delivery fall show orders are just beginning to come in. 10 pallets arrived Wednesday. Our rep says it will come fast and furious when it does. If some of you are wondering about the pallets of soil gracing our parking area, that is due to the soil company driver losing his keys to the forklift with our big spring order. Hardesters graciously got it off the truck, but it was too much to ask them to put it away too. They should be here Monday at the latest to get it sorted out.

We have to get the rest of the roses potted up, so this is the last weekend for any sort of selection in bare-root form. After that, it will be time to start on the trees. The Curly Willows are beginning to leaf out, but there are still several bare root shade trees to choose from. That being said, numbers are definitely dwindling on the fruit trees. We are sold out of many available varieties. There are still some apples after a reorder, apriums (no apricots), cherries, nectarines, a few peach varieties, pears but no Bartletts, a few plums, no Fuyu Persimmons (except potted), no fruiting Mulberry trees, just shrubs in liner pots. Pomegranates are gone except for a fresh box of Wonderfuls. There are still a few almonds, walnuts, and the filberts that just arrived. We did not get the second-order of female pistachios, so all we have is males. We have grapes, figs, cane, and blueberries, along with kiwi, goji, and gooseberries. Bare root strawberries are in stock now.

Vegetable starts

Our local suppliers of vegetable and bedding plants have not had much available yet either. After all, it was the month of February, not April. We did manage to get a nice selection of cool-season vegetables in for this weekend and resorted to starting a bunch ourselves, thanks to Chelsea and Giana. Blue Sky has already had tomatoes and some peppers, and we did get some in. I know many folks like to get them early to grow on themselves in their greenhouse or by bringing them inside every night. It is by no means safe yet to plant them out in your garden. That is at least a month away, if not more, depending on where you live.

Looks like we are in for a drought year unless things change drastically in the next month or two. That would put a damper on Spring sales, but it would be worth it if it delays fire season. Get on those weeds while they are still small and manageable. We have the industrial-strength vinegar weed spray. It works best on a warm sunny day. The warmer the winter, the more chance of greater insect pressure due to not as many egg cases perishing in the cold. We are finding plenty of bordered plant bugs surviving winter, mostly in the greenhouse.  One plus to drier weather is that diseases like fireblight on pears, peach leaf curl on peaches and nectaries, and downy mildew on roses will not be as bad.

Flowering Peach

If you plan to grow from seed, it is time to start your tomatoes, basil, peppers, eggplant, and cilantro indoors. Use a light soil mix like our EB Stone Seed Starter or add perlite or vermiculite to our potting soil for better results. Towards the end of March, start squash, cucumbers, and melons. These usually come up quickly and grow fast. Vegetables take a lot of nutrients from the soil, so it will need amending. Add GreenAll Soil Booster, EB Stone Worm Castings, and/or EB Stone Steer to your beds. Calcium from gypsum, oyster shells, or lime is of benefit to add also. Magnesium and Greensand are other minerals you might want to try for disease resistance and strong stems. You want to wait for your soil to warm up before you transplant otherwise, they will just sit there. This is especially true for basil, cucumbers, and melons who hate cold feet. Remember, in Spring, the air warms up faster than the soil, and I advise not putting any warm-season vegetables out till your nighttime lows are consistently not dropping into the ’30s. Don’t forget EB Stone Sure Start at planting time.

Time to feed your blueberries a food for acid-loving plants and your citrus with citrus food. Both of these plants will benefit from applying GreenAll FST iron and sulfur treatment once or twice a year also. Top dress your roses and permanent container plantings with Firmulch. Remember you need to top off your containers of perennials, trees, and shrubs every year, or your plants will end up sinking halfway down in the pot as the organic matter in your soil decomposes. For a final defense against the dreaded peach leaf curl, spray your trees again with copper at 2/3rds petal drop (after the bees are done with the pollen).

Please welcome our new staff member, Justin, and be patient with him as he gets up to speed on his plant knowledge, how to run the register, where everything is, and just how to answer the numerous questions that will be thrown at him.

We are discontinuing our Plant of the Month, at least for the time being. Too many other things going on.

Spring hours start this weekend (2 days early). Open 9-5, 7 days a week. Check for holiday hours.

New roosters

March Specials

  • The wildly popular soil special-GreenAll Potting Soil 2 c.f., Buy 3, 4th Free
  • Newly potted roses $10.00 Off the regular price
  • Anemone coronaria- deer resistant Mediterranean native corm- $3.49 (reg $3.99)
  • Persian Lilacs- $5.00 Off
  • Buy 9 perennials, 10th Free.

Dwarf Forsythia