Friday, April 19, 2013

Dayton "Dirt" Blog - April 19, 2013

April in the temperature department is fluctuating wildly with highs in the seventies and then back down for the weekend frost! Next week the annual flower house opens and the perennial house that makes for a hectic pace to get everything ready for the “big” day next Friday. The opening date of April 25th is early for the annual house and yet customers are anxious to plant even items sensitive to cold. Planting cold hardy vegetables and flowers is one thing but tomatoes, peppers, impatiens and the like would definitely be foolish. The nursery is golden now with waves of daffodils and forsythia blooming everywhere. Especially bright is the north end of the parking area that features a 200 foot hedge of forsythia showing off in a bright yellow cloak. Next will be the thousands of tulips in early May. Be sure to stop by and see the show! Tom

Friday, April 12, 2013

Dayton "Dirt" - April 12, 2013

It was a wild ride this past Wednesday as at least 80 mile per hour winds whipped through the nursery taking plastic off some of the overwintering structures, toppling plants and blowing trash everywhere! I have not seen a wind like that since July 11, 1992 when many of the trees in the woods lost their tops and the big Maple next to the house lost a huge branch that cracked through the roof of the old house creating a foot square hole.

After almost a whole day of clean up, our “regular” chores started again to set up the nursery and greenhouses for spring sales. Unseen to our customer’s eyes are the thousands of hours that are spent to display plants, place signs, tag, clean, trim, fertilize and in general create an atmosphere of beauty.

The perennial and annual flower houses are always the site of some controversy as some customers are anxious to enter before we are set up. To “set up” the houses for sales, the plants must be “ready”, pricing must be finished as well as signage, a few insecticide and fungicide sprays must be performed and the greenhouses have to be cleaned of debris so that they are safe for the public to enter.

It’s turning out to be a “quirky” spring for us as it’s in the 30º’s and 40º’s for weeks with very cold nights and suddenly sun and 70º’s and 80º’s. We’re all glad that at least it rained and let us all hope for the spring rains with some sun.


Friday, April 5, 2013

Dayton "Dirt" - April 5, 2013

Has spring finally sprung? I hoped for a slow warm up so that the repeat of last year would not happen of too warm weather and all of it’s ensuing problems but this has been too slow!. The perennial house may open later this year as the cold cloudy days makes for a slow rooting of the plants so that they cannot be sold until later. The few days of sun lately though have jump started the annual flowers in the greenhouse as they’re growing like weeds. More transplanting is still going on with the potting of even more roses, trees and shrubs that will be available later this summer. Remember to do your transplanting of perennials, trees and shrubs this week or next while the plants are still dormant! Finally I’m seeing some growth on the flower bulbs I planted last November. Last year in Holland, Michigan, the tulips were nothing but stems the first week of May because of the warm weather. This year, the question is will they be in bloom the first week of May? We’ll see. Tom

Monday, April 1, 2013

Dayton "Dirt" - March 29, 2013

It seems so strange to experience the flip side of a cold spring as compared to the hot dry March last year! Finally, some taste of spring has sprung and just in time for Easter. Normally crocus flowers are popping out of the ground but I haven’t seen one yet although a bright side to the cold weather is that the aggressive non-native weed, garlic mustard is not proliferating as it was last year as we fought to keep it in check. The Easter flowers in the greenhouse are a hint of what’s in store for us later in April and May with the spectacular spring show about to begin. The cold March reminded me of the photographs of the old house at the nursery of May 10, 1923 which shows children standing just north of the house in their coats and boots with about 4 inches of snow on the ground. Another photo that my neighbor Mrs. Aura Diehm had shown me 20 years ago was that of her inlaws house across the street from the nursery farmhouse in May of 1924 with at least 6 inches of snow on the roof! I’m not looking to have a snowy May but you never know. Surprisingly, the flowers in the greenhouse keep marching along even with the long stretches of cloudy cool weather. In less then a month the greenhouses will open with all the colors of the rainbow blazing!