Friday, July 27, 2012

Dayton "Dirt" - July 27, 2012

July is coming to a close with the steamy weather continuing but at least for now we received about an inch of much needed rain and relief from the heat! The Blueberry Festival went well with the hayrides, Frankie Spetich on his accordion and the cooking demonstrations, although from observing the fest-goers, I think they favored the free food sampling! We just finished with taking our azalea cuttings and now are potting up ferns and various perennials for next spring’s sales. Another big job is the weed control as it can be a constant battle as most of the nursery is irrigated which makes for a good mix of moisture and heat for extremely good weed growth! Seiberling farms has managed to supply us with delicious sweet corn besides the drought and the other produce seems to be better then ever because of the drip irrigation on the plants. In fact, the farm can run liquid fertilizer though the lines so that they are not dependent upon overhead irrigation or rain to dissolve a granular fertilizer. The Owl Barn Market is full of produce including local peaches and other fruits, pies, baked goods and other cooking supplies. We’ve changed our hours too in that we’ll be open at 9:00 am instead of 10:00 am to better serve our customers who want to get their shopping done earlier. Got to go now but do pray for some more rain! Tom

Friday, July 13, 2012

Dayton "Dirt" - July 13, 2012

Tomorrow is our annual Blueberry Fest that will be centered around the Owl Barn Market including food, hayrides, music and of course luscious and juicy blueberries, blueberry pie, blueberry jams and jellies. The music is one of local flavor featuring Frankie Spetich who is known as the Polka King of Barberton. The hayride will include stops at the newly planted blueberry patch featuring the varieties such as Duke, Patriot, Bluecrop and Elliot all under drip irrigation during the hot and dry summer. The Owl Barn Market is in full swing with Ohio grown sweet corn and tomatoes but we’re chopping at the bit for local Seiberling sweet corn which is on the edge of being ready. We’ve been on a cleaning binge at the nursery preparing for the festival which has included flower planting, mulching, weeding and such. Many of the shrub beds and displays need renovation but that job will have to wait until we get some much needed rain. The last few years has been a building boom at the nursery in the building of the Owl Barn and new greenhouses but this year will be tame by comparison with a major renovation of the parking lot and a new roof of the equipment barn and the addition of a train garden featuring a German made train that will be a permanent feature of the landscape due to the tracks being constructed of solid brass. Another addition to our list this year is a playground with a slide, ladder and swings that was built just in time for the Blueberry Festival! For those of you in our garden club don’t forget to use your Dayton Dollar coupons before the expiration date. See you at the festival!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Dayton "Dirt" - June 29, 2012

Well the Owl Barn is finally open with produce and the first sweet corn of the season from Ohio although not from the Seiberling farms which should have corn in a couple of weeks. I remember my dad telling me that it was like a miracle if any of the local sweet corn was ready before August! The nursery is still rolling along with much of our March potting efforts coming to fruition with the myriad of trees and shrubs now available for sale. The hot, dry weather has made extra irrigation necessary because of the phenomenal evaporation rate due to the relatively low humidity. Soon we will be getting in small plants of Knock Out roses, more perennials and hardy ferns that are for next year’s sales. The amount of potting that we do in summer has increased over the years that necessities the mixing of more potting media that consists of pine bark, peat moss and various fertilizer and lime. The mix holds water for good root growth but has 20-25% pore space for draining away excess water which, fortunately for us, drains away to our irrigation lake to be used over and over again. Be sure to check out the market while you’re at the nursery and I hope to see you at our Blueberry Festival on July 14th! Tom