Friday, October 29, 2010

Dayton "Dirt" - October 29, 2010

At the nursery, we’re just about wrapped up for winter and already getting ready for Christmas.

Next week two truckloads of gorgeous Maples, Cleveland flowering Pears and a few Red Oaks will be coming in that can be planted yet this fall or spring; however, fall is the best time as the root system will have a growth spurt in order to get the trees established before the next hopefully not-too-hot summer.

This year, our new structure we call the Owl Barn will be open that will give a better Christmas ambiance for the season instead of our main store that is filled with the smell of fertilizers.

The Owl Barn will be complete with decorated trees, gifts and more as well as our standard fare of Ohio grown cut Christmas trees, wreaths and greens.

Grave blankets will be in our perennial house on display where they used to be more than five years ago so that all of our “Christmas stuff” is altogether.

The Owl Barn is currently closed in order to get it ready for the holiday season but will open in mid-November.

Hope to see you soon.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Dayton "Dirt" - October 22, 2010

With several medium frosts behind us, the plant life is really beginning to "shut down" for winter.

Much of the nursery stock that we bought for next spring as well as the stock we grew this summer has now been "put to bed" in the winter storage houses where even though there is no heat, the full force of the winter cold and winter winds will not kill the root systems of the plants since they are above ground.

Keep in mind that although most of our stock will be put away after the weekend, we will still have the material available should you wish to do some landscaping even through November.

Some nice Maples, flowering and other trees will be arriving in early November as they will dig safely when their leaves have fallen and will be ready to plant in your yard until the ground freezes solid!

Our new production greenhouse for annual flowers for spring is proceeding on schedule so that we'll be able to offer better quality at prices less than last year on 4.5" potted plants, hanging baskets and many combination pots.

Let's hope for some significant rain yet as still the ground is dry deep down.


Friday, October 15, 2010

Dayton "Dirt" - October 15, 2010

Fall’s colors are ramping up for their peak display and it looks like this weekend will be a spectacular show.

The Autumn Blaze Maple that has been planted at the nursery for several years has been blazing red for over a week now.

I still favor Autumn Blaze Maple as it is more tolerant of drought conditions than its relative, Red Sunset. Also, the more rapid growth of Autumn Blaze will result in quicker shade from the hot summer sun.

In early November, we’ll have a spectacular display of large balled and burlapped trees on display and at a good price too. (See our pre-dug fall sale on balled & burlapped trees)

Remember that fall is for planting so that if you are thinking about planting a tree or shrub the cool, moist weather of fall will initiate a flurry of root growth to get the plant’s established to grow well come spring.

The Owl Barn Market is open with its display of apples, cider, gourds, pumpkins and squash along with fresh baked Amish pies and other goodies. Later on, the Owl Barn will be our Christmas shop with decorated trees, wreaths, ornaments and so on.
We’ll be advertising the arrival of Santa Claus (Tim Crawford) in mid-December that will create a photo-taking opportunity for the children with Santa Claus.

Enough about December. Chrysanthemums are still blazing along in all their glory and we still have a good selection starting at $4.99.

Enjoy the great weather.


Friday, October 8, 2010

Dayton "Dirt" Green Blog - October 2010

Today, with all the travel and trade in today’s modern world population of living organisms that were once isolated in specific ranges or more narrow geographic areas are traveling around the world with the aid of man.

Some harmful examples are the proliferation of diseases, animals and insects that have decimated the native populations of our own county.

Some of these invaders are well known such as the Gypsy Moth, Dutch Elm Disease, Viburnum Leaf Beetle, the Asian fungus that destroyed the native birds and bird eggs in Hawaii.

The more recent, quite noticeable problem of today is the Emerald Ash Borer, a native to China, that is wreaking havoc on our native Ash population.

A drive through NW Ohio and Michigan is all that is needed to see the evidence of the deadly bug.

We ourselves are responsible for some of the invasive species problems we have today.

For example, the Kudzu Vine from Asia was a good idea for a ground cover for erosion control until it got to of hand choking just about everything in its path in the South.

A less obvious invasive plant is the winged euonymus, or Burning Bush, which has been planted and sold for residence and commercial properties for the last few decades.

Many eastern states have been placing the Burning Bush on an invasive species list as it seems where it is grown in the nursery fields, it is difficult if not impossible to eradicate after it has been dug.

I have noticed in the nursery growing belt east of Cleveland, Ohio that Burning Bush seems to be disappearing from the fields as some states have restrictions on this plant from out-of-state sources.

My belief is that the winged euonymus is destined for invasive species status sooner or later (probably sooner) in the State of Ohio and that growers of this plant see the writing on the wall.

There are many choices for fall color that are native plants such as Aronia (Chokeberry), Viburnum plicatum (Doublefile Viburnum) and Vaccinium (blueberries)

Many of the above natives (and more) have been overlooked and underused due to the imprint of the Burning Bush name and image on the general public’s mind.

Unfortunately, Burning Bush is still imprinted our customers minds as frequently they are not interested in native plant alternatives for fall color.

In my opinion, the above situation will change as most nursery growers are already growing less of the winged Euonymus which is lessening the supply and driving up the price of the plant.

The final death knell for the winged Euonymus in this state will be when it is branded as an invasive species and out of state shipments to Ohio are no more.

The native plants for fall color are looking better all of the time.

Dayton "Dirt" - October 8, 2010

The weather has certainly been cooperating on breaking the drought of late summer with cool rainy days replenishing the ground moisture. So many of you told me about the toil just to get a shovel into the hard ground before these welcome rains.
No doubt many of you have delayed lawn repairs in September because of the lack of moisture so that if you still want to go ahead, I’ll give you the green light.
Just remember, when seeding that bluegrass seed germinates only after three weeks or more which may result in the seed germinating in spring which will work fine if you don’t apply the regular crabgrass preventer and feed.

Applying a product containing the active ingredient called Siduran will allow the remainder of the ungerminated seed to spout in April.

Fall color is getting underway especially on the maples.

If you’re looking for a tree replacement, a good fast grower in the maple family with brilliant red fall color is the Autumn Blaze Maple.

While we don’t have any in stock right now, digging of the trees will begin in late October when they are dormant.

Watch for the notice on our website for 2 ½” and 3” caliper trees (12-14 foot tall) that will yield some significant shade in just a few years.

I think you’ll love the price too as these gorgeous trees will be significantly discounted too.

Now, we can enjoy the sunshine after the rains.

Happy growing,