Friday, August 31, 2012

Dayton "Dirt" - August 31, 2012

Today is the last day to redeem your Dayton Dollar coupons as tomorrow they become worthless. The good news is that our 50% off sale starts tomorrow where you’ll almost be sure to find something of interest that is on sale from the tree, shrub, rose, perennial or fruit categories. I do encourage you to arrive early on Saturday morning as our gates open at 7:30 a.m. As the saying goes, “the early bird catches the worm” and does apply at our sale since the choice items will be swept up quickly. The owl barn will be fully stocked and will include a valuable coupon as well for fresh produce. The rain on Monday was a welcome sight that seemed to replenish the lost moisture from the rain we had about 2 weeks before that one. We’re looking over all the new perennial plants for next spring and trying to decide which ones to grow as the palette of plants has expanded greatly again! Annual flowers are another area of newness with the development of more colors of the Calliope geraniums that look great in a hanging basket and will tolerate a moderate amount of shade and still bloom. I like the compact growth of the Calliope types as they don’t have to be endlessly trimmed to form a nice plant. Our chrysanthemums are still light on opening flowers because of the summer’s relentless heat, but we do have “true -to-color” signs of the different varieties of mums that are so heavily budded. Remember too that Monday is Labor Day and the nursery will be open until 5 p.m. See ya soon!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Dayton "Dirt" - August 24, 2012

August 24 blog NOW is the time to start on lawn renovation since the hot, dry summer is beginning to wane. The unwanted weeds and patches of grass should be killed with Roundup now and then new grass can be sown about two weeks later. While a high phosphorus fertilizer such as 10-18-10 is excellent as a starter fertilizer as emerging grass seedlings need this essential element in liberal amounts, high phosphorus is almost never necessary for a general feeding of the lawn and is actually harmful to the environment as it runs off with rainfall creating huge blooms of algae in rivers and lakes. The decomposing algae removes oxygen from water which is a disaster for fish and other aquatic wildlife. At the nursery, our potting of various plants for next spring is largely done so that we’re taking inventory to get an accurate idea of what will be available especially for Labor Day weekend beginning September 1st. On Saturday, September 1st, we will open the gates at 7:30 am for our annual 50% off sale for our garden club members. The sale beginning September 4th will be open to everyone; however anyone can participate in the sale at its start by signing up for our garden club. I think you’ll find quite the selection this year as there are a number of trees, shrubs and roses that we have never put on sale before. The signs will be marked as to what is on sale as well as having a listing on the internet. The internet listing of “on sale” material will be extensive but it is not a perpetual inventory as some stock could sell out quickly so it’s a good idea to call first to see if the items you want are still in stock. The listing will be changed about every 5 days and especially after the Labor Day sale. Many of you are anxious for chrysanthemums but the extreme heat has delayed the early blooming varieties. Starting the weekend of September 1st, we will have many varieties just showing color. Right now we have asters in shades of lavender, pink and blue that are a surefire “come-back-next-year" flower for fall blooms. The sure-to-grow Igloo mums are a little later and will be available in about 2 weeks. One last reminder. Any Dayton Dollar coupons must be used by the end of this month as they expire after August 31st. See you at the “big” sale. Tom

Friday, August 3, 2012

Dayton "Dirt" - August 3, 2012

Last week’s rain did green things up a bit and resulted in about a foot of water in our irrigation lake from which we depend on at least 100,000 gallons of water every day. The new perennials keep rolling in with a shipment from Terra Nova Nurseries in Oregon of a lot of new plants that we ordered in January. By potting them now for next spring sales, the plants will be well rooted and “bulked” up just by going dormant in the winter with a burst of energy starting in late March. Walters Gardens perennials “starts” come in next week with loads more of new additions. Walters is a fantastic, well run perennial nursery in Zeeland, Michigan where we have been buying perennials for 35 years. Time is running out for the Dayton Dollars program so be sure to use them before the expiration date at the end of this month. The clock is ticking too on our annual fall festival next month. Timely “to do” include checking diligently for grubs in the lawn and continuing to look for them through early September as the eggs of Japanese Beetles and European chafers have gotten enough moisture now to hatch! Another new critter we may have to deal with in a few years is the Green June Beetle Grub that can be very destructive to fruit crops and lawns. This insect has been migrating north as a result of mild winters. I think what we need is a good dose of old-fashioned cold winter weather to wipe out these migrants. As they say, Que sera sera! Tom