Thursday, February 23, 2012

Dayton "Dirt" - February 24, 2012

I’m looking forward to our seminar this Saturday as Carol Zeh, our most entertaining speaker will be giving her talk about Hummingbirds. There is so much to know about these wonderful creatures and Carol will be revealing some of the best ways to coax hummingbirds to your own backyard.

The nursery is about to open next week so that we been in a hurry to finish with our cleaning and stocking of goods in the store but the “real” work is in the greenhouse in transplanting geraniums, trimming, fertilizing, potting roses, potting perennials....

I’m really excited about using our new greenhouse with the movable roof for growing perennial plants as it is an entirely new method of growing higher grade perennial. I’m sure I’ll have to make some adjustments in the heating and ventilation as I’m now accustomed to the former greenhouse.

On the radio program this coming Saturday will be a whole host of guests having to do with the Home Builders Association and landscapers displaying their wares at the John S. Knight Center for the Home and Garden Show. For many years the radio program has been broadcasting from the Knight Center but this year the activity for interviewing the vendor participants will be performed in the studio.

One of my guests will be the Reverend Paul Myer’s talking about his Aquaponics system that is a system of growing plants and fish to create a sustainable method for home food production. Paul then will elaborate more on the Aquaponics system at the nursery seminar on March 3rd at 11 a.m.

I’m anxious to learn more about Aquaponics as I have not spoken to Paul since I met him at the nursery last fall.

See you at the nursery tomorrow for the Carol Zeh Hummingbird Program.


Dayton "Dirt" - February 17, 2012

Continuing our Winter Seminar Series will be Cynthia Druckenbrod of the Cleveland Botanical Garden. The Botanical Garden is well worth the visit and is only a short walking distance from the world class Cleveland Museum of Art.

As part of the garden community outreach and educational function, Cynthia will be speaking about gardening trends-new concepts in gardening incorporating newer and new plants. Cynthia is an excellent speaker in that our seminar last year we booked her talk on attracting butterflies to the garden.

Next week we’ll be potting roses, sticking another 10,000 cuttings of annual flowers and getting ready to pot up thousands of perennial plant plugs, as we call them, to grow on for sale in late April and early May.

This year will be the first time that we are trying out our new movable roof greenhouse that will give us ultimate automatic control of heating and ventilation with its advanced weather station and computerized controls. The result should be plants that are of better quality and not so stretched as some were in our former greenhouse that we are now using for heat loving annual flowers.

Don’t forget to plan next week to attend Carol Zeh’s program about Hummingbirds in the garden on February 25th at 11 a.m. Carol will be my guest tomorrow on the radio on Ready, Set, Grow between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. Have all your questions ready but do save some for the February 25th seminar.


Friday, February 10, 2012

Dayton "Dirt" - February 10, 2012

This weekend being more like February than March or April will bring some welcome relief from the seemingly abnormal warm temperatures. Any gardener knows the consequences of warm weather pushing growth this early in the season.

At the nursery, I’ve noticed how muted the warm temperatures influence is on flower bulbs in the shade of evergreens or a building. Many of the thousands of daffodils at the nursery are growing on a north slope and in some shade from evergreens with the result that they are barely out of the ground. Conversely, the daffodils with no shade and no north slope are well advanced due to the sun and warm temperatures.

For many plants, especially ericaceous ones, that is why they usually thrive with winter shade that will protect the leaves from the dehydration from the sun and slow down effects of a late winter or too early spring push due to elevated temperatures.

I’m anxious to add exponentially to our cache of spring photographs in Wolf Creek Gardens as last year’s rainy days contributed to the trees and shrubs growing as if they were on steroids! The numerous dogwoods, rhododendrons and azaleas are budded so heavily that the show this May should be spectacular; that is, unless Mother Nature pushes things along too early.

In a walk through the garden earlier in the week, I noticed annual weeds such as cress and yellow rocket growing quite nicely until I hit them with a shot of Roundup! When the weather is above freezing and no rain for at least 24 hours, Roundup can be sprayed in winter to get a head start on weeds in the garden as long as green stems of trees and shrubs and above ground crowns of perennials are avoided.

Everyone seemed to enjoy the seminar last week about ornamental trees and Michelle Riley’s instruction on attracting wildlife. Tomorrow at 11 a.m. will be our guest Chuck Gleaves from Kingwood Center in Mansfield, Ohio giving his presentation on rock gardening. Then Michelle will present ‘Mulch, Everything You Wanted to Know’ afterwards. In essence, you’ll end up with a head full of ideas when you leave the nursery. That’s not bad for five dollars including refreshments.

See you tomorrow.


Monday, February 6, 2012

Dayton "Dirt" - January 27, 2012

This past week completed another year of the nursery trade show in Columbus at the Convention center. The show consists of a multitude of vendors displaying their wares that include everything from trees and shrubs, tropical plants, greenhouses, wheelbarrows, lawnmowers .... I think you get the picture.

The seminars that were held are quite informative with subjects such as growing and propagation, marketing, insect and disease research and so on. The convention is an opportunity for me to investigate new products and speak with many business people and professors to find out the latest in the horticulture industry.

Our first seminar on trees and shrubs for the home landscape is just about a week away so that I’ve been brushing up on some of the trees that I don’t know enough about.

Our winter seminars are usually well attended as there’s not much gardeners can do outside in the winter beside shovel snow here in northern Ohio. Then too, where else can you get an hour and a half of an educational seminar with decent refreshments for $5.00!

I well remember our January 27th seminar in 2007 as the wind began howling and the temperature dropped quickly. That winter was uncanny in that up until that January 27th, the weather was more like early spring. The whole night the winds howled at 40 miles per hour as temperatures dropped to 4ยบ F below zero! Hopefully we won’t see that kind of “change of seasons” this year but we’re not out of the woods yet.

See you at the seminar on the 4th of February.