Thursday, October 18, 2012

Dayton "Dirt" - October 19, 2012

This week has been the peak of our fall colors and surprisingly, what a show it has been! Normally, drought years have more subdued tree colors, however some adequate rain beginning in early August may have put things back on track. Another two rows of blueberries we’ve finished planting will give us a total of 600 in the field. Toro, Pink Lemonade and Bluejay are the varieties for the two new rows as they are prolific bearers and unusual in the case of the Pink Lemonade with its pink, delicious fruit. Another new “toy” we’ve received at the nursery today is a contraption called Nursery Jaws that will be attached to our tractor loader. The apparatus is two hydraulically operated 72" forks that can gently pick up heavy balled and burlapped plants and larger container trees and shrubs. So quick and easy is its operation that the jaws will make loading customer’s vehicles much faster and safer as well as speeding up the process of unloading a truck full of heavy balled and burlapped stock. The best part of the tool is that it will save so much strain on the back from heavy lifting in order to place the balled and burlapped plant in the tractor bucket. Next week we will start putting the container stock to bed so that we are ready to cover the winter storage houses by November 1st. Once covered, the stock is treated with a fungicide and the overwintering houses are sprinkled liberally inside with mouse traps baited with a sunflower seed. It’s incredible how much damage mice can cause inside a warm moist environment packed with plants! Get out and enjoy the fall! Tom

Friday, October 12, 2012

Dayton "Dirt" - October 12, 2012

Being the week of Columbus Day, with its typical October weather of cool and moist, it’s now the perfect time for planting most trees, shrubs and flower bulbs. One new tree we have in the fall is the Baby Blue Spruce that is a seed selection that grows very uniformly. In fact, the tree attains a maximum height of 12-14’ and half as wide giving it a nice medium taper just like the perfect yet elusive cut Christmas tree. Another attribute of the Baby Blue Spruce is the intense blue color of the medium length needles which makes it stand out in the landscape. And finally, this spruce needs little or no trimming in order to retain its fullness as it naturally grows thick and full. Mums are still available and most likely will be until October’s end. At the nursery, you’ll still find a wide selection of trees and shrubs; however, in early November, we will be putting the plants “to bed” in our over-wintering storage houses but they will still be available for later fall sales. Another job to complete this fall is the planting of two more 300 foot long rows of blueberries for our upcoming pick-you-own operation. The varieties we will plant are Pink Lemonade, Toro and Blue Jay which are profuse bearers of delicious fruit on a vigorous rugged bush. We’re amending the soil with lots of peat moss and some sweet peet to improve the ground’s tilth and to create an acidic soil in which blueberries just love! I’m anxious to try a new food grade product next year that is applied by a spray to prevent an onslaught of robins, blackbirds and geese that just love blueberries as much as people! The product does not harm the birds but supposedly is distasteful so much that they’ll stay afar. I’ll keep you posted. Tom

Friday, October 5, 2012

Dayton "Dirt" - October 5, 2012

Oct 5th blog The mum Fest in Barberton and the Cider Fest in Norton were quite a success as Sunday’s prediction of rain failed to materialize. At the nursery the later mums are just showing color so that full blooms will not occur until the third week of October with color into early November. The nursery is busy with activity in getting the plants of the rear growing area consolidated so that a final inventory can be taken and finally the rear overwintering houses can be covered. This past week we’ve finished potting geraniums for our stock plants from which we will harvest and root thousands of cuttings starting about Christmas to then transplant in late January in order to sell the plants in May. Right now though, poinsettias are still growing as there is just a touch of color coming on the plants with the advent of short days. All over lawn renovation is still going on but sowing tall fescue lawn type grasses should cease as the late emerging young seedlings will not be able to survive the winter. In a recent publication by Dr .Dave Shetler of OSU extension he again emphasized the 80-90% of damage of the non-recovering lawns was not due to the drought but due to billbug damage. At this time in October reseeding can still go on but not with the tall fescue type grasses. Any seed that does not germinate this year will come up in the spring as long as a pre-emergent crabgrass preventer is not applied or one is applied such as the Greenview Crabgrass preventer and seed starter. October is a great time to plant trees and shrubs as the weather is cool and moisture is adequate for root growth and with many on sale at this time of year, it’s a good time to buy. Come on down to the nursery. Tom

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Dayton "Dirt" - September 28, 2012

Rain was threatening last Saturday morning but finally the sun did come out during our fall festival. How many children seemed to arrive with their grandparents in tow! The animal show, magic man, balloon man and Pat Catan crafts were a big hit with the children while the adults seemed to favor Frankie Spetich’s polkas, the cooking demonstrations and the hayride. The word for the month has been “mums” that still seem to be the favorite fall flower after so many years. We’re still bringing up plants to the sales area from our back production area as well as hauling in plants to restock our depleted sales yard. One of the more interesting new items available now is a new weeping redbud called ‘Rising Sun’! In spring the stems of the tree are littered with thousands of the typical tiny magenta flowers of other redbuds followed by bright yellow leaves with the ends tipped in red to melon hues. This tree along with the new maroon-colored Ruby Falls redbud has been the hit for the year. Later on we’ll be bringing in some nice shade trees balled and burlapped as soon as the leaves begin to fall when they can be dug. This week we’ll be potting up geraniums to use as stock plants for our greenhouse production for flowers next spring along with peonies and other fall transplanted perennials. Don’t forget the Mum Festival in Barberton this weekend and the Ciderfest in Norton. On Saturday, some of the “movers and shakers” of the mum fest will be on our radio program WAKR 1590 starting at 8 a.m. describing the festivities and what all goes in to planning and planting this spectacular event. See you soon! Tom