Thursday, August 25, 2011

Dayton "Dirt" - August 26, 2011

I just can’t believe that we’ve come through August without the usual hot, dry weather like last year!

The fresh produce just keeps coming and the nice rains are resulting in sweet corn filling out to the very tip of the ear.

The asters and garden mums are ready now but remember that only the asters and Igloo mums are dependable to return year after year. You may ask “Why use garden mums instead of Igloo mums?” The answer is that right now, the Igloo only come in six different colors while garden mums come in almost an infinite number of shades of colors and many different flower forms too. Garden mums are useful to decorate porches and decks as they will brighten up any home.

The weather is good now for planting trees and shrubs and even dividing perennials such as hostas and daylilies. Just mow or cut the plants back to the ground, dig them up, divide them and then replant!

Again, just a reminder to use your Dayton dollars as the coupon will be good only through August 31st .

Our big annual fall sale will start on Friday, September 2nd as we will open our doors early at 7:30 a.m. Only garden club members can take advantage of the sale price through Labor Day but after Labor Day the sale is open to everyone. Anyone who is not a member of our garden club can sign up and can take advantage of the great sale prices the same day.

Mark your calendar for our fall festival on Saturday, September 17th as it’s fun for the entire family with music, animal shows, hay rides . . . .

I’ve got to go.


Friday, August 19, 2011

Dayton "Dirt" - August 12, 2011

Mid-August is the time to finish ordering our perennial “starts” for planting next spring.

It’s amazing how every year more and more new varieties are available from the grower and breeders of this product. The breeder of plants are sometimes quite an odd bunch as they cross and recross plant varieties to come up with something novel.

I remember some years ago watching a National Geographic documentary on tulips and the story of the boom and then bust of the tulip bulb market in the Netherlands with a continuing story about the long quest for the elusive black tulip.

The breeder accomplished this feat of the black tulip and held a news conference to announce his creation. All the while, I’m thinking why anyone would want a black tulip as the flower would not be very showy and difficult to see from a distance!

Plant “finds” come from all over the world and must be tested before marketing as to whether the new plant will do well when exposed to factors such as local climate and soil conditions. For example, plants that are rated for our climatic zone 5 may very well tolerate our cold winters but may not do well in our hot, humid summers.

I remember talking to a young woman in a garden center in France about the French climate just southwest of Paris. Even though my French was rusty, I was able to communicate that I was jealous since normally that area of the country does not get nearly as cold as Ohio in winter and not nearly as hot in the summer. She just laughed but agreed that most of France is fortunate to have such agreeable weather with much of it due to the Gulf Stream current from North America!

Don’t worry, they’ll be plenty of new stuff for 2012.


Dayton "Dirt" - August 19, 2011

With the blueberry crop done on our patch in Wolf Creek Gardens, we’ll e concentrating soon on developing more plantings of blueberries in the back field so that there will be plenty for a pick-your-own operation.

My favorites are still Bluecrop, Toro and Duke although I am very impressed with the variety Bluejay as it is a compact upright plant and just loaded with medium to large sweet berries about July 15th.

I like planting the blueberries in the early fall as they have time to root in before winter in order to get a head start in spring.

This week and next week is the time to kill out unwanted invaders from your lawn such as tall fescues, bent grasses and any others that must be killed with a non-selective herbicide such as Remuda or Round-up so that these weeds have time to die and deteriorate in order to re-seed the area in early to mid September.

Fall planting of trees and shrubs will soon start with the cooler temperatures and adequate moisture although the summer has been adequately moist for the most part.

Chrysanthemums may be showing color a little later this month as abnormally warm nights will cause a heat delay although we do have reliably hardy Igloo mums that seem to be budding up nicely.

Another problem that I have seen driving down the road are the bronzing of leaves of Azalea due to the sucking of the lacebug nymphs on the Azalea foliage.

Treatment is easy though with a spray of an insecticide containing acephate and then repeated in 10 days or the Bayer Rhododendron, Azalea and Camelia Insect & Disease Control works well too.

Mark your calendar for our annual Fall Festival on September 17th which is mainly a family event for all ages.

Remember to use your Dayton Dollars by August 31st as they expire after that date.

For those of you that are frequent shoppers, the points do add up!


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Dayton "Dirt" - August 5, 2011

Even with the dog days of summer just beginning, the nursery is abuzz with activity getting ready for next spring.

The grading for our new movable roof greenhouse is underway so that we may produce high quality perennials all spring and summer long. The construction of this new greenhouse will allow another of our existing houses that we used for perennials now to be used for annual flowers that will be sold in May. The other addition to this greenhouse will be a rooting station that includes an automatic mist system to root flowers for our hanging baskets and pots.

Right now though, we have just completed the potting of about 1000 small clematis of 40 varieties that will develop roots this summer and fall in order that they can be sold in the spring with a healthy, vigorous root system.

Another project for next week is potting thousands of Daylilies, Hostas and German Iris. These plants, just like the clematis must develop roots in late summer and fall to make healthy, robust saleable plant in spring.

The Owl Barn farm market seems to be in full swing now with some Amish produce but mainly produce from the nearby Seiberling Farms. I want to repeat again that while much of our produce is grown organically, we cannot state that it is organic as the produce and farm would have to be inspected and certified by an organic farm inspector.

Outside the Owl Barn are two picnic tables with umbrellas for shade should you decide to relax at the summit of the hill overlooking the waterfall.

Happy Summer,