Friday, May 28, 2010

Dayton "Dirt" - May 28, 2010

This weekend, Memorial Weekend, is the traditional weekend to decorate the graves of our departed loved ones although for years the date was May 30th and known as Decoration Day. Another tradition is that it’s the weekend to plant the garden and then it’s done. I find this tradition a little strange as planting has gone on or should have gone on in the garden at least since mid-April. The other side of the coin is that planting can go on long after this weekend with succession crops of sweet corn, beans, potatoes, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, lettuce, beets, squash . . . I think you get the picture.

The succession crops can be planted up until about July 4th in most cases although turnips, parsnips, carrots and kale can be planted in mid to late August so that they can be harvested in late fall and even stored in the ground as long as they have their crowns covered with straw to prevent damage from a hard freeze.

By planting succession crops you’ll have more fresh produce to supplement your diet as well as your family and be less dependant on food frequently shipped from sources far away with a taste that might as well be like chewing on cardboard in many instances.

Stop in and see what we have as we are still stocked fairly well although I’m sure there may be some items out of stock until the next year.

Next month is perennial gardening month so be sure to take a look at our perennial house when you stop by. Hopefully all or at least some of you (garden club members) have received our late spring-summer newsletter, if not, you should be getting it shortly.

Get Gardening!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Dayton "Dirt" - May 21, 2010

This week for some is a good planting week for your vegetable garden and annual flowers but still the watch word is just that "watch" as frost still could occur. With the soil much warmer, seeds and plants should do just fine unless we get an extended cold, wet period.

In 1972, Hurricane Agnes came up the east coast and was absorbed by a low pressure cell centered over Pennsylvania. Wiles-Barre and Scranton, Pennsylvania flooded severely and even here in Akron, Ohio it was very cold, wet and rainey June 11th through June 15th. I remember well the weather as I had 600 medium hot pepper plants on a somewhat sandy ground which seemed to drain well. Nevertheless the plants were stunted and never did grow well after things warmed back up to normal!

Our hanging baskets should be in their prime now as we time them to look their best between Mother’s Day and last until Memorial Day. It seems the 12" hanging baskets do well with the large soil volume to keep the roots cool and of course allow room for roots to grow. Our larger hanging baskets still have a charge of Osmocote slow release fertilizer to carry them into summer; however, it’s a good idea to supplement this slow release feed once weekly with a liquid fertilizer like Miracle Gro or 20-20-20.

Back to vegetable plants. Remember to not only depend on heirloom varieties of plants as most are not disease resistant like the hybrids are. Also, check into growing plants in an earthbox as this system of growing vegetables is very productive and does not take up a lot of room.

Happy Planting!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Dayton "Dirt" - May 14, 2010

It’s about time to start putting out more tender plants but most of you know that the weather is unpredictable and you still have to be careful. From experience you may have noticed over the years what kind of micro climate you have. In the city or an allotment, it will generally act like a zone 6 climatic zone which enables you in most years to plant now. I know in my own case that the nursery seems much colder than the surrounding area and is truly a climatic zone 5. My mother only lives two miles from the nursery and a frost after mid May in most years is rare. When I see a prediction for an overnight low of 40ยบ F or lower, I know that in almost every case it will frost at the nursery if the sky is clear and the air is still.

Be sure to come in to take a look at all our new varieties of heirloom vegetable plants, strawberry plants, raspberry plants, horseradish, fruit trees, elderberries and blueberry plants.

We’re in a high mode of production now with our blueberry plants so we think you’ll be able to find about anything you want.

Say hello if you see me as I may not readily acknowledge you because of my limited sleep!


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Dayton "Dirt" - May 7, 2010

May 9th is Mother’s Day and is nearing its 100th year anniversary since it officially began with President Wilson’s blessing in 1917. Almost all moms love flowers and I’m sure you’ll find something she’s sure to like.

When you come in the front gate, you won’t be able to not notice the 2300 red tulips that I planted last November called Ile de France. These are a triumph tulip which is a group that blooms after the late April Darwin types. The brilliant red I thought would contrast nicely with the white post and rail fence. Even Claude Monet was inspired by the tulip fields in Holland as he painted them with one of the classic Dutch windmills in the background.

This week in May is our very peak of inventory and spring bloom so that I’m sure the nursery will be to your liking. Remember, the old fashioned lilac is on sale this week as an unadvertised special along with the Miss Kim lilac. An advertised special for Azalea ‘Mandarin Lights’ I told you about in my last blog is now available as its getting ready to burst forth with its flowers that will cover the plant in shades of brilliant orange before the leaves fully come out.

Be sure to take a peak at the creeping phlox bed below and to the north of the Owl Barn. Creeping Phlox is a perfect choice for sloping (but also level) beds in full sun or part shade. Then between the boulders, sedums have been coming to life that will eventually fill the cracks and crevices of the extensive boulder wall.

Come take a look!