Friday, March 26, 2010

Dayton "Dirt" - March 26, 2010

On Saturday, March 27th at noon, I will be giving another educational seminar on Mountain Laurels.

These delightful plants will extend the blooming season of your landscape as they typically bloom May 15th through June 15th with a kaleidoscope of color from their many and varied flower colors of white, shades of pink, and shades of red in various combinations.

Mountain Laurels, until established, can be frustrating to grow so I’ll share all my knowledge with you so you too can be successful.

Mountain Laurels are the perfect companion plant for Rhododendrons and Azaleas and can fill in the missing details to your shade landscape or foundation planting.
On another note, we’ve already received a lot of our stock and have been pulling a lot out of our winter storage houses.

However, we won’t be set up fully on the outside until about mid-April as the weather can still turn nasty.

More specifically, by nasty I don’t mean snow, but bitter cold.

You see, there is new root growth now on the plants in pots and a temperature below 20 degrees F with moderate wind would kill much of that new root growth and set the plant back.

I have a good memory and the cold blast that I fear in April happened April 5-8 in 1982 and again on April 8-10 just recently in 2007.

I’m sure everyone remembers the 2007 blast as that happened Easter weekend and the temperature on that Saturday was a high of about 35 degrees with 35 mile per hour winds, after a low that morning of only 19 degrees!

Let’s hope we don’t have to experience that for a while!


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Dayton "Dirt" - March 19, 2010

This Saturday, March 20th at 12:00 noon, I will brief you on the wherefores of green roofs.

Green roofs are in big time use in Europe, especially Germany, as they are even mandated by local laws such as in the city of Stuttgart.

There are many benefits to employing a green roof during the construction of a structure as not only are they aesthetically pleasing, they absorb runoff water, cool the building in summer and greatly extend the life of the roof membrane.
On our new barn, we installed our green roof in October of 2009 which created a buzz in Norton about what was on the roof!

Onlookers even pulled up into the driveway in front of the structure to take a look with some turning around in the newly seeded yard so they wouldn’t have to back out on the street!

During the seminar, we’ll take a good look at the roof and I’ll explain its construction details (as long as it’s not pouring down rain!)

Spring is here!


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Dayton "Dirt" - March 12, 2010

Remember Saturday March 13th that Joan Gangle will share her knowledge with us on the culture of growing roses. Joan is from Copley and is well known for her garden and by being a member of the Cuyahoga County Master Gardeners.

I almost forgot to mention that the nursery is open Monday through Saturday 8:30 am to 6:00 pm and closed on Sunday.

There is really not much to look at on the grounds but that will change very soon as stock begins arriving and we start pulling plants from our winter storage houses.
We’re still feverishly potting up annual flowers and perennials to get ready when the greenhouses open at the end of April.

On Tuesday, March 16th at 6:30 pm, we’ll learn about organic fertilizers and soils from the Espoma fertilizer company. We’ve carried the Espoma line for quite a few years now and most of our customers seem to enjoy using it as it is low in salts and easy on soil microbes. You’ll be able to get a window into the differences of supplying the nutrients plants need through the organic way vs. the chemical fertilizer method. Bring your note pads as this seminar is bound to have loads of interesting technical information.

Just think, it’s almost spring!


Monday, March 1, 2010

Dayton "Dirt" Green Blog - March, 2010

There has been an upheaval change at the US EPA since President Obama appointed Lisa Jackson as the head of this agency of 18,000 federal employees. She seems to be reversing many of the policies of the former Bush administration that the EPA should go softer on businesses and industry. Ms. Jackson’s stance is just the opposite as the "P" in EPA (protection) seemed to be on the back burner.

Ms. Jackson it seems is a ball of energy and has set the tone of the agency to regulate pollutants as they relate to climate change, the nation’s rivers and streams and the air we breathe.

In addition, Ms. Jackson’s focus is on chemical safety especially as it relates to children and on the subject of environmental justice. More specifically, the poor and minorities are sometimes harmed more by lax enforcement of the law than affluent citizens which one could surmise that the poor and minorities are low on concerns of many politicians because of their lack of comparative wealth to the more well connected layers of society.

Ms. Jackson seems to be keeping an eye on state environmental regulatory agencies as well as she payed a surprise visit to the Texas EPA which she considered to lagging in the federal standards as they apply to the oil refining businesses.
It will be interesting to watch Ms. Jackson as she has only been on the job a year but one thing has changed: EPA has teeth again.