Friday, April 30, 2010

Dayton "Dirt" - April 30, 2010

Its time to plant your favorite tree whether for shade or ornamental value and we’ve got just the trees to get you started from a small Weeping Pea Tree for your patio or a towering giant like the Eastern White Pine in which the tallest one ever recorded was 227 feet in the state of Maine!

Planting a tree now is perfect while the soil and weather is still cool and moist so that the root system can become well established before the warm weather arrives.

Our flowering trees consist of Flowering Plums, “non-messy” Flowering Crabapples, Golden Chain Tree, Japanese Lilac Tree, Flowering Cherry and White Fringe Trees among many others.

Trees give height and a majestic quality to what would be an otherwise boring landscape.

Could you imagine a street or your yard without trees or flowers? Well, try this. The People’s Republic of China during Chairman Mao’s tenure in 1966 actually banned the people from having flowers as they considered them bourgeois!

With Earth Day just passed on April 22nd, how fitting to plant your favorite tree that will grow and develop year after year long after your new car is in the junk pile!

Plant a tree so that one day as your grandchildren picnic under the shade of its branches that they could say “our grandparents planted this tree for us.” It’s a tree that remembers our grandparents names!

Happy Planting,
Tom Dayton

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Dayton "Dirt" - April 23, 2010

April 24th at noon, you’ll be getting an earful on growing ericaceous plants (acid loving) in particular, rhododendron and azaleas. I’ve been fascinated with these plants for over forty years because of their bright flower colors, interesting and varied foliage patterns and just their sheer beauty and majesty. I remember visiting David Leach of Madison, Ohio in May of 1976 so that I could see some of his breeding programs first hand and first and foremost to pick his brain.

I’ve learned a lot since then and will share as much of my knowledge as I can with all of you at the seminar tomorrow. Remember when I told you in my April 9th blog that shade from a tree as compared to that of a building acts differently on turf grass? Well, it works differently too on plants and I’ll be discussing that as well.
At the nursery we have a wide swath of varieties all suited for Northeast Ohio as long as they get a few things they must have.

Soon the nursery will be ablaze with the plants in our sales area and in our natural woodland setting in our Wolf Creek Gardens. I like the deciduous azaleas too as colors of bright yellows and oranges that are not available in evergreen types, are plentiful in the deciduous types. In fact, watch for our ads in the Trading Post, Westside Leader and the Akron Beacon Journal later on as there will be a good sale on the brilliant orange deciduous azalea aptly named, Mandarin Lights.

See you tomorrow,

Friday, April 16, 2010

Dayton "Dirt" - April 16, 2010

Clematis is called the Queen of all flowering vines and for good reason. The colors and patterns of these colors are so wide and varied due to the constant on-going breeding programs from several breeders all around the world..
Recently, the new Evison cultivars have been introduced with beautiful new bicolor and enlarged stamens of the flower that add even more beauty to this marvelous species.

On Saturday, Deborah Hardwick, a customer and Clematis lover, will be telling us all about Clematis as far as the selection and care so that you can learn to get the most enjoyment out of these vines. Two of the new varieties we will be offering this year are Rosemoor with its wine red flowers that appear on old and new wood and Avant-Garde with its reddish petals and large pink contrasting stamens.

In her presentation you’ll learn to take complete advantage of these beautiful vines to add yet another dimension to your garden. See you at the seminar.

P.S. On Saturday, April 24th at 12 noon, I will be hosting a seminar on the selection, cultivars and care on my long time favorite plants - Rhododendrons and Azaleas. Hope to see you there.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Dayton "Dirt" - April 9, 2010

Tomorrow, on Saturday, April 10th, Sam Wagner, who for years, worked for the Greenview lawn fertilizer people will talk during a free seminar on the do’s and dont’s of lawn care.

Sam will share his years of experience with us as he has actually done what he is going to tell you on his own farm in Medina.

To those of you who do your own lawn care or want to do your own lawn care, you’ll be able to pick up a lot of tips from Sam that will eventually enable you to achieve that lush lawn with minimal work and expense.

One question that almost everyone asks is, “How do I grow grass in shade?”
What I have learned from experiments conducted at Ohio State University is that tall fescue blends of grass perform best under trees.

The experiments revealed what I always suspected but did not know why that shade from a structure is different from that of a tree because a tree will absorb the red light which “starves” the grass of red light and only leaves it with more far red light. More specifically, red light and far red light refer to the wave lengths of these two types of light.

Conversely, a building does not absorb red light so that the red light to far red light ratio is much higher which results in grass growing just fine in the shade of a building as compared to under a tree when the amount of shade in both cases is 90%.
We’ll talk about grass in shade and about a lot of other good stuff at the seminar.
Please, we ask that you let us know if you are coming as we are limited in seating and need to have enough refreshments on hand.

The lawn seminar begins on Saturday, April 10th at noon.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Dayton "Dirt" Green Blog - April, 2010

What’s GREEN for 2010 at the nursery??

A lot of “green” is going on at the nursery this year due to the high volume of construction last year.

Construction of our new building which we call the “Owl Barn” just finished up about January 1, 2010.

The barn, while it has the appearance of an old-fashioned style of 150 years ago, has been constructed with modern materials including energy star rated windows, insulation of an R-60 value in the roof and nearly R-30 in the walls. A green roof on the south porch in which sedums grow, will keep the porch very cool in summer and absorb much of the rainfall so that there is no quick run off of water not to mention that it is colorful and aesthetically pleasing.

In the larger area of the roof that does not have a green roof because of its steepness, the entire runoff from rainfall will be captured to help supply our lake for irrigation of our plants. In addition, all the excess irrigation water is recycled and returned to the lake for reuse again.

The purpose for our new gambrel roof barn is to house our produce market in order to market our upcoming blueberry crop and local produce from surrounding farms and orchards.

This past December, Norma, who is Chuck Seiberling’s niece said to me “You are going to market some of our produce aren’t you?”

I replied “You don’t understand – I want to market Seiberling produce!”

The Seiberling name not only is attached to the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company because of its founder F.A. Seiberling but also is well known in Norton because of the Seiberling Farms west of town where Chuck and his parents before him have been growing sweet corn and other produce for at least 60 years.

Other “green” projects that have been developing for a period of years is that of our botanical display gardens called Wolf Creek Gardens in which 2009 was a turning point due to the various plantings and improvements to the roadways for its easier viewing.

The extensive grassy area of the garden has been sowed with a tall fescue type of lawn seed mix. This mix is excellent for erosion control because of its deep root system that can grow to two feet or more. The depth of this root system makes it ideal for home lawns too as tall fescue is a very light feeder. Tall fescue only requires one-third to one-half of the fertilizer of bluegrass lawns and stays green much longer than traditional bluegrass lawns in dry summers.

From water recycling, water runoff capture, the use of mostly insect growth regulators in our greenhouse, blueberry culture, to selling of local fruits and vegetables, and the display of natural beauty in our garden, we’re trying to pull all the different pieces together to make Dayton’s the “green capital” of Norton.


Dayton "Dirt" - April 2, 2010

It’s so good to see April!

On Saturday, April 3, Tom Parry of Hudson, a Proven Winners brand expert, will talk to us about Proven Winners plants. You see, Tom is a salesman for a brokerage company that we and many other growers use as our supplier of Proven Winners plants. Tom visits many greenhouses, especially in Michigan and gets to look at all the production practices and the exciting new introductions.

I’m jealous as I only get to see a fraction of what he views so that he can tell his customers about it.

The other subject that he will be addressing is “Water Wise Easy Irrigation” in order that you have less of a struggle to keep your plants healthy and nice during those hot days of summer.

Later on, we’ll have many new Proven Winners introductions such as the Pretty Much Picasso Petunia and the new vigorous white Alyssum called Lobularia ‘Snow Princess’. Enough for now….you’ll just have to wait and see…