Thursday, August 28, 2008

Dayton "Dirt' August 29

I hope all Garden Club members will be able to look over the mass of plant material that is 50% off to our members only through Labor Day. The postcards we sent out earlier will enable our Garden Club members to get “first pick” of the sale items.

If you’re not a garden club member, don’t worry you can sign up and receive the garden club benefits the same day!

“Why are we having the sale at all or why don’t we have the sale earlier?”, some customers have asked.

The reason to have this sale in late August is to sell items that we do not want to repot or “shift up” to a larger size, to move items out that are not selling well for one reason or another and to give our customers another benefit of belonging to the garden club!

Some items on sale are those that do not have an automatic appeal to the vast majority of our customers as these plants sometimes take years to develop and gain their stature and beauty in the garden.

After September 1, all of our inventory marked at 50% off will be available to all customers but we thought it would be best to notify our club members first.

Remember September means lawn work to bring your lawn into shape.

To over-seed a lawn, follow the steps below:

  1. Check and treat for grubs if necessary with Dylox
  2. Mow the grass as short as you can to the point that the grass is scalped.
  3. Over-seed with the “proper” grass seed with which will blend into your existing lawn and thrive in the existing conditions; that is sun or shade. Bare spots will need to be “scratched up”
  4. Water and watch the existing grass recover and the new seed sprout.
  5. Apply a starter fertilizer after new growth of the seed begins

The above method will work as long as your lawn does not have a thick, somewhat inpenatrable thatch layer which in that case you’ll want to add thatching to your list of lawn chores.

Don’t wait too long as by late September, you’ll have a “Cadillac” lawn if you act now.

E-mail us with any questions you might have or just stop by the store.


Monday, August 25, 2008

Dayton "Dirt' August 1

August 1, 2008

Its hard to believe its August 1st especially with the lawns so green! Soon the Japanese Beetles will be gone but I am seeing incidents of lacebug damage on Azalea as customers bring samples to the store and I’ve spotted the problem in yards as I drive down the road.

If you have lacebug problems on Azalea, which discolors the foliage to become brown or tan-like to clear instead of a rich green, please spray with a product containing acephate and repeat the treatment again in 10 days.

Seiberling sweet corn has arrived at last! The two week to ten day delay was caused by the cold wet period we had in mid-May which, for a while, turned the corn plants yellow and stunted them.

At the nursery, we’re just about finished taking our cuttings of trees and shrubs and have moved on to potting up small plants of Clematis vines and creeping phlox that will be ready for next April.

Now a word about Knockout roses…I’ve noticed that these roses seem to thrive as if they’re on steroids as long as the soil is rich and fluffy. One way to achieve this “chocolate cake” type of soil is through the use of liberal amounts of compost or a product called Sweet Peet that contains composted bark and cow manure.

Another item to note about shrub roses such as Knockouts is to cut them back right after their big bloom in June and July to free them of any old flower heads that get in the way of new growth that will produce more flowers all summer and into fall.

Remember when you come by the nursery to bring in any plant samples you may have in a plastic bag so we may diagnose the problems to help you to correct it.

Oh, by the way, this week’s Sweet Corn is a bicolor called ‘Temptation’!

Enjoy the summer!


Dayton "Dirt' August 8

August 8

August is a slower time for sales at the nursery but is very busy with the propagation of trees and shrubs as I mentioned in my earlier blog. August is also a great time for transplanting and dividing German Iris, Daylilies, Poppies and Hosta and that’s just what we’re doing and potting up for next spring.

Many of our new Daylily and Hosta varieties for next spring arrive as bareroot plants from Holland, Michigan to be potted, grown and over-wintered in cold storage greenhouses to finally be displayed for sale next spring. It’s a longer process than spring potting but the advantage to you is a fuller plant that is well-rooted.

Another one of my August projects is going on “the hunt’ for new and unusual plants that I think you will all like. I’ll be searching the country for new perennials, roses, trees, shrubs and annuals to populate the nursery next spring and in some cases 3-4 years from now!

The Azaleas and other plants that we’ve propagated and have shifted to larger containers seem to be doing quite well especially with the cooler summer with adequate rainfall.

Stop by and see us soon as the nursery constantly changes not only with the seasons but even week to week!

Bye for now,


Dayton "Dirt' August 15

Aug 15

August seems to be the month for perennial Hibiscus as they just love that sunny weather!

At the nursery, Lord Baltimore (red), Blue River II (white) and some others are dressed in their huge 7-8” blooms. The perennial Hibiscus is very hardy and forms a great background for the perennial garden or it can stand on its own to flaunt it’s beauty.

Although we’re sold out of many of the varieties, we still have a good selection of Yoder’s Carafe series of perennial Hibiscus in Pinot Grigio and Pinot Noir which are white and red respectively. The Carafe series is more compact than many of the older varieties in that it only grows to about 36-42” compared to others which can attain 6 feet.

August is the month for Black-Eyed Susans that seem to be taking the place of the daylilies which now seem to be winding down. Black-Eyed Susans (Rudbeckia ‘Goldsturm’) are easy to grow and spread quite nicely by self-seeding and by the clump size increasing every year.

Think about a combination of Rudbeckia with the different varieties of Coneflower to put on a spectacular mid-summer show!

I’m still on the road investigating new and unusual perennials, annuals and dwarf conifers and I’ll have to admit my ignorance of some of these beautiful plants that have been in the nursery trade for years but are not well-known.

Extra long needled dwarf pines, zebra-striped conifers and “extra” dwarf Chamaecyparis with lustrous green or yellow foliage would add interest to any boring landscape as well as giving your home a customized, detailed look instead of the ordinary suburban look so many of us are accustomed to as gardening sometimes takes a back seat to media rooms, bathrooms with hot tubs and 3-car garages.

Added interest in many homes is the fact the patio-backyard area becomes an extension of the inside house living area especially in spring, summer and fall although many trees and shrubs do add much winter interest too if the planning is done right.

The results of my “plant safaris” will become evident when I tell you about the new items we’ll have at the nursery next spring.

Look for information on all these new items on our website and on our radio show “Ready-Set-Grow” every Saturday morning from 8:00 to 10:00 am on 1590 AM WAKR.

Well, I’m off again.


Dayton "Dirt' August 22

Aug 22

Fall is fast approaching with Labor Day only 10 days away! Fall is a good time to plant many trees, shrubs and perennials as the days are shorter and more soil moisture is available for root growth.

No, you won’t see much if any “top” growth of plants but the action underground is substantial.

Trees and shrubs planted in the fall will almost gain a year over spring-planted plants as root growth will continue until soil temperatures fall below 40 degrees F. Additionally, plant roots will begin to grow in March when soil temperatures begin to rise above 40 degrees F especially with a good blanket of insulating snow on the ground!

The early spring “push” of roots works well to establish plants before the hot and usually dry summer as the time when it occurs is normally when soils are too wet to work or plants are simply not available for planting.

Please do keep in mind the following rules to avoid planting in fall and that is the following should not be fall planted unless the plants have been previously spring dug or are in a container.

  1. Birch Trees
  2. Most Magnolias
  3. Dogwoods
  4. Fragrant Viburnums
  5. Redbuds
  6. Japanese Maples

If you’re one of our garden club members, remember to use your Dayton Dollars by August 28th as after this date they will not be valid!

If you would like to join our garden club, you may sign up online or step in the store to do so. The advantages for your are the special sales and discounts, Dayton Dollar rewards and informative newsletters on gardening topics mailed to you three times a year.

The advantage for us is to have your name in our file to directly market to you which lowers our advertising cost! Don’t worry, we don’t need your social security number or your credit card info on file as these are your own personal, private business!

Another item to keep in mind is that we will never sell or share your name with other mailing lists or bombard you with numerous mailings as we’re sure you have quite enough flooding your mailbox now!

Fall (September) is the best time to repair your lawn or sow a new lawn for which I’ll give you more info in my next blog.

One more thing before I go. Please check your lawn at least once a week for evidence of grub damage between now and September 15th. Check for discolored patches of lawn, digging by animals, especially skunks and for patches of sod that will lift off the ground as grubs have eaten all the roots.

Healthy grass will tolerate a few grubs (3 or less per square foot) but if you find more than the tolerable amount, treat the lawn with Dylox by applying it with a spreader and watering it in well.

The grubs will be killed within one to two weeks and save you from lots of back-breaking work and/or hundreds of dollars to repair unchecked feeding damage by grubs or Japanese beetles and European chafer.

So long for now.