Thursday, June 21, 2012

Dayton "Dirt" - June 22, 2012

Last Sunday morning the rains fell heavy at the nursery and again on Monday night that gave thirsty plants some relief from the heat and drought. By opening a valve at the end of a pipe that is in the creek that flows through the nursery, we were able to capture much needed rain water for our irrigation pond. Besides annuals, the colors lighting up the nursery are multi-colored hydrangeas, especially the electric blue Endless Summer variety. It seems like only yesterday that we unloaded the plants bare root from a Minnesota nursery in order to pot up for sale beginning in June. Other potting is going on including our azalea production and “shift ups” of otherwise pot bound plants to larger sizes. The tomatoes in Southern Ohio look like they are on the edge of being ready. We plan to open the Owl Barn Market later this coming week and will be featuring sweet corn, tomatoes, peppers, and a few other beginning fruits and vegetables. We still have not planted all the flowers at the nursery yet because of the horrific heat but flower planting is scheduled for early next week. Please watch the watering of your newly planted trees and shrubs as it is still too dry even with the recent rains. It will take at least another 2 inches of rain to play catch up with the dry spell. No doubt the rain will fall. It’s just a matter of when. Summer began on Wednesday, June 20th this week with the summer solstice so that the long warm days will really make things grow – including the weeds! Tom

Friday, June 15, 2012

Dayton "Dirt" - June 15, 2012

At the nursery, the sales department is starting to slow down from its hectic pace in May but the production department is going strong. Our Igloo mums just arrived from the Aris company to be potted into 9.5” pots for fall sales and then oodles of hosta, astilbe and grasses are ready to be transplanted for fall and next spring’s sales. One of my favorite shrubs in the nursery is Mountain laurel with its multi-colored clusters of small blossoms. This rhododendron-azalea native grows in groves in the Allegheny National Forest under the shade of gigantic oaks, white pines and sometimes Canadian hemlocks although I think they don’t like the invasive roots of the hemlock tree. On a recent visit to the forest, the laurels were in massive bloom only to be dwarfed by their companions of rosebay rhododendron that will bloom at the end of June and July. The annual flower greenhouse has some good buys as almost all the flowers, veggie plants, herbs and hanging baskets are 50% off the regular price in time for planting the flower or veggie garden if you can utilize what we have left. A good buy for sure are some beautiful 6.5” potted geraniums that we’ll be bringing in for Saturday. The plants are normally $8.00 each but will sell at $4.00 each with the discount. With another week gone by, the Owl Barn market gets ever closer to its opening date sometime late next week. Sweet corn and tomatoes from southern Ohio will be the first produce offered with other items joining in as the season progresses. Hope to see you in the market! Tom

Friday, June 8, 2012

Dayton "Dirt' _ June 9, 2012

The cool early June is now giving way to more “normal” temperatures and as long as water is available, the vegetable garden should provide quite a bounty as long as you weed it! Our newsletter for summer is out so make sure you take advantage of all of the specials. For those of you planting your veggies late, we have beautiful 1 gallon tomatoes for only $3.00! The plants are robust and full with many having green tomatoes. We just finished a planting of new Igloo mum varieties as a test for Aris of Barberton that will hopefully pan out in order to be introduced as four new Igloo colors and forms. The blueberries in the field already look like they’re going to turn color so that the birds are probably getting all excited. Stop by the nursery this weekend as we’re well stocked and the hanging baskets are simply beautiful. Happy Gardening Tom p.s. Place July 14h on your calendar for our 2nd annual Blueberry Fest with food, music, hayrides and more. See you then!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Dayton "Dirt" - June 1, 2012

The record heat during Memorial Day weekend gave way to cool and rainy for the first day of June. With some more rain and temperatures in the mid seventies to low eighties in the day, it’ll be perfect weather for early June. Perennial flowers are still coming on stream out of our production area. We’re on the tail end of our annual flowers and hanging baskets although I must say that the vegetables plant selection and herbs are still adequate for most customers. Trimming, weeding and fertilizing is all going on “out back” that will result in new crops for later this summer and for next spring too. We’ve started growing a lot more dwarf conifers such as the Jean’s Dilly Alberta Spruce, Little Gem Nest Spruce and Donna’s Mini Mugho Pine just to name a few. The greenhouses have already received their second coat of white wash on the roof and sides in order to block out more of the hot sun and to reflect the sun’s radiance thus keeping the houses much cooler for plants and people alike. We finally placed the flowers in our pot-n-pot system along the road, which are Spellbound Impatiens and Sunproof Coleus of different colors. The impatiens are deceptive as this new variety does not have to have shade as it will happily grow in the sun or shade. The large geraniums around the Owl Barn are the Americana brand that served as our stock plants from which we took 3 batches of cuttings to make more geraniums of a smaller size. You’ll find the shrubs well stocked too as we’ve brought a lot more out from our growing area. I like the nursery but after all those long spring hours, its almost time for a vacation. Tom