Friday, September 27, 2013

Dayton "Dirt" - September 27, 2013

The cool nights and shorter days are a signal to trees that it’s to prepare for a long winter’s nap. The Autumn Blaze Maple has been displaying its customary scarlet red color for about 2 weeks that will be followed by the more crimson red of the Red Sunset Maple. The native Sugar Maples are in my opinion, the most spectacular in fall color as reds, yellows and oranges are frequently mixed on the same tree just like Joseph’s Coat. Sadly, at the nursery, Sugar Maples are not popular with the general public which attests to their slow growth rate compared to other trees. Shrubs with colorful fall foliage include Blueberries (red & yellow), Aronia (red), Clethra (yellow), Itea (dark red) and of course the brilliant red Euonymous alatus or Burning Bush. I’m not thrilled with the burning bush as it can be somewhat invasive as reported by Ken Cochran, the currator of the Secrest Arboreteum in Wooster, Ohio and even the State of New York has banned its importation from other States. A new development has been the “creation” of a new Igloo mum that is a pink-lavender daisy type that will be in peak bloom about October 1st week so that it will extend the bloom time of the Igloo season with the dependability of this species. This new Igloo has a number and no name as of yet so that my hope is it will be a new release for next year as it did well in trials at the nursery. The Owl Barn market is still open but sadly the sweet corn season is over for another year so that now the emphasis is on apples, squash, pumpkins, gourds, peppers and still tomatoes, potatoes and garlic. The fall digging season is starting so that still we are stocking the nursery with gorgeous hemlock and next week with more Spring Grove western red cedar and the nearly uniform and oh-so-blue, Baby Blue Spruce. Tune in to Ready, Set, Grow on Saturday 8 a.m. - 10 a.m. on 1590 WAKR to hear the interviews with the folks behind the mum madness call Mum Fest in Barberton this weekend. Hope for good weather! Tom

Friday, September 20, 2013

Dayton "Dirt" - September 20, 2013

Tomorrow is the Autumnal Equinox and the start of shorter days with longer nights until the winter solstice. The lower light levels are a signal for winter hardy plants to shut down to prepare for the long winter. The below ground roots however will keep expanding until ground temperatures reach 40ºF or below so that fall planting is definitely an advantage because of this root growth which results in an established plant in spring. The Igloo series of mums has been quite the hit this year because of their dependability of returning without fail year after year. The 3 new colors available added to the pallette of colors formerly available making the Igloos even more desirable. Last week’s Fall festival had more activities then ever and seemed to be well attended. I found the petting zoo interesting complete with goats, chickens, rabbits, a pig, turkey and a lama. As we all know, animals tend to bite and nibble but fortunately there were not any incidents. At the nursery, mums still fire in a wide array of colors and the fall sale still goes on with perennials, some grasses, trees and shrubs on a 50% off sale. The trees are just starting to display their fall colors with the peak of color appearing about October 20th. Remember the Mum Fest next weekend! Enjoy the good weather while you can! Tom

Friday, September 13, 2013

Dayton "Dirt" - September 13, 2013

Tomorrow is our annual Fall Festival complete with a petting zoo, food, music and lots to do for children of all ages. The nursery is loaded with gorgeous mums of all sizes and colors that color the grounds similarly (but not equivalent) to the mum planting at Lake Anna in Barberton for the upcoming Mum Fest. Another new item for fall planting that I’ve been waiting to bring out into full view are the Cool Wave pansies that are blooming now in shades of white, violet, blue, and yellow with flowers much bigger than the Icicle pansies from a few years ago. Cool Wave pansies as well as all pansies like cool weather and will eagerly bloom in fall and early spring when planted in the fall. Remember what I wrote earlier that the plants will overwinter after exposure to a temperature as low as -20º F. Another fall crop that will usually last into early winter are the ornamental Cabbage and Kale with the hues of white and purple that will light up any landscape especially when planted in a group of 3 or more. A slew of arborvitae is now in stock along with some Green Giant Western Red Cedar that make an excellent screen or hedge even in moderate shade. Coming soon are pines and spruces for planting this fall. The fall sale is still on with a recently updated listing on our website which is accompanied by our entire listing of inventory (sale and non-sale items). Hope to see you at tomorrow’s festivities! Tom

Friday, September 6, 2013

Dayton "Dirt" - September 6, 2013

The “big” fall sale for the Garden Club members seemed to be success judging by the amount of empty space that is visible where once there were plants. There are still some “good” buys to be found as the 50% off sale will continue on some items through October although as time goes on, more and more of the choice stock will be depleted especially since the sale is now open to non-Garden Club members also. The garden mums are showing good color now except for the later blooming varieties which seem to be somewhat of a “season extender” to quote a phrase used by the former Yoder Brothers (now Aris) of Barberton as it pertains to the later blooming Chrysanthemums. Saturday, September 14th is the day for our annual fall festival. This event with the train ride, petting zoo, bouncy house and happy music makes for a family atmosphere for parents and children and for grandparents and grandchildren. The food choices will be supplemented with fresh produce in the Owl Barn along with plenty of sale items in the nursery department. The festivities start at 10 a.m. and go on all day until 5 p.m. Check out the web site section for the festival for more details. The Barberton Mum Fest then will be Saturday, September 28th and Sunday 29th. This year there were some trials as to growing the mums in the display beds as the heavy rains and especially of July 10th that did noticeable damage to some of the planting. Bill Aulenbach of the Aris company is responsible for the design, selection of varieties and supervision of the growing of chrysanthemum display in the Lake Anna planting. Aris is the horticultural company based in Barberton whose beneficence makes the festival possible with its donation of the thousands of young plants installed in June. Soon the fall color of the trees will be upon us but I do hope the Seiberling sweet corn and other produce from the farm that supplies the Owl Barn remains available for awhile longer especially since it’s a long wait until the next July! I almost forgot that we now have at least 100 parking spaces available so that parking should not be as much of a problem as it was last year during the festival. Hope to see you at the festival! Tom