Friday, July 25, 2014

Dayton "Dirt" - July 25, 2014

The rain has stopped for a “normally” drier July and maybe August so that we are using more water than ever for irrigation. With the rain water stored in the irrigation pond getting low some water may have to be used as a supplement from Van Hyning Run that flows behind the nursery. The water in this ever-flowing creek is of a less than desirable quality because of the pollution sources upstream but the effects on the nursery stock from this water is minimal as it is mixed with the stored rain water.

The hydrangeas just continue to bloom and bloom as summer rolls along. The varieties of Vanilla Strawberry, Limelight and Pink Diamond are blooming their heads off in a tree form which make for quite a display near a patio or in the landscape bed with other shrubs or perennials.

Despite rainy weather, the Blueberry Fest was well attended as Cleveland-Massillon Road was not closed as last year because of the bridge construction over Van Hyning Run.

In the market, the sweet corn supply will soon change to that of Seiberling sweet corn and sell at the same price of $4.75 per dozen just like that on the farm. The earlier Marietta sweet corn has been delicious but sweet corn is all about local. How much better is Ohio sweet corn than that from Florida!

Sticking of cuttings is continuing at a feverish pace so that we can continue the potting of clematis and other perennials that will be next spring’s stock. Orders for next spring’s perennials for potting are nearly complete with nursery stock soon to follow. I’m especially excited about some of the offerings from the Chicagoland Grows group for new perennials.

Well do I remember the cold February of 1979 when my boredom turned into a intensive study session of no less than 110 common perennials as far as scientific names, bloom times, growth habits, uses, etc. Since then varieties of perennials to learn about has expanded exponentially. How things have changed!


Friday, July 18, 2014

Dayton "Dirt" - July 18, 2014

Tomorrow is the Blueberry Fest with music, hayrides and other activities to celebrate the summer season with its bountiful harvest. Getting ready is quite the chore as the grounds are groomed, weeds pulled, flowers planted, tables set up and so on. Then, more balled and burlapped stock  has been received, bare root plants have to be quickly potted, more nursery stock has to be brought out. . . . . all amongst the potting, getting ready for the fest and regular chores is getting the site ready for the new greenhouse construction that somehow has to be “sandwiched” in all the other activities.

Monday in Columbus was the trade show for new perennials, annuals, equipment, pots, planting mixes and so on. New dahlias caught my eye that were bred with strong stems that don’t allow the plants to fall over. So strong were the stems that the plants almost approached a plastic-like structure. Six colors will be available next year but will not include a bright pink, yellow, orange or red but instead only a white and shades of purple and lavender. Another item of interest was a  square 10" pot with a snap-on tower that would be perfect to grow dinner-plate dahlias that are of the weaker stem type but are available in a rainbow of colors. New perennials, roses and annuals were everywhere so that the question is what to eliminate from the new list as it is impossible to grow everything!

Beginning next week it will be propagation time with cuttings of all kinds of shrubs that will be available for sale in two to four years depending on the type of plant and the size for market. Then, clematis plants arrive afterwards that will then be ready for sale next April and again with some new varieties. Right now is the Blueberry Fest prep time so that we’ll see you on Saturday!


Friday, July 11, 2014

Dayton "Dirt" - July 11, 2014

Even now so soon after the summer solstice, the days are getting noticeably shorter although the day length is more than sufficiently long through at least August to push growth on in the garden and landscape. The new Proven Winner shrubs that we potted in April have now become available. One of the most interesting is the Cephalanthus ‘Sugar Shack’ which is a named variety of the Buttonbush. Buttonbush is native to northeast Ohio and can be seen blooming along the banks of the Cuyahoga River and other streams in June with its white blossoms. Standing water does not bother this wetland plant and neither does ordinary well drained soil. 

The “word” at the nursery is still “hydrangea” with the paniculata type such as Limelight and Little Lime coming into bloom along with the blues and mauves of the Endless Summer. 

With the now more drier weather of July, the botanical garden section full of rhododendrons, mountain laurels and azaleas will need irrigation next week as the plants are situated on a sandy gravely soil which they love except when it begins to get on the dry side. Especially doing well is a Wolf Eyes Dogwood planted in 2012 with its spectacular variegated leaves in full display. The fall color is even better when the white and green parti-colored leaves are tinged with a cool pink of the fall. 

Next week is the arrival of thousands of daylilies, grasses with shade and other sun perennials from our supplier in Zeeland, Michigan. Many of the plants are new with some that will be available late this summer but most next spring. While the daylilies and most hosta arrive bare root, the grasses and other perennial plants come in small trays of 36 to 72 plants that will be potted into a trade gallon or two gallon pot. Everyone at the nursery will have to be on board to process the thousands of plants as they cannot “sit” too long without being potted. Then there is the preparation for the Blueberry Festival next week on Saturday, July 19th! 

After the spring rush I guess summer is the time to get ready for fall and next spring! So little time, so much to do! 


Friday, July 4, 2014

Dayton "Dirt" - July 4, 2014

Another July 4th has come again only to remind us of the day our democracy was born in 1776 as the split from our Mother country was manifest in the Declaration of Independence.  July 4th has meaning in the gardening world as to about the last day that heat loving vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, beans, cucumbers and sweet corn can be planted and then later harvested successfully.  

July 4th is also a good time to feed the lawn with a slow release granular fertilizer to keep it green and vibrant in summer as long is there is water to go along with it in the form of irrigation or rainfall.

The summer blooming perennial flower gardens are in full glory about July 4th with even  more to come later.  Shasta, daylilies, coneflowers, coreopsis, delphiniums, along with many others are in bloom to create a riot of color.

The holiday picnic might includes some squash, carrots, lettuce, and maybe some radishes and cucumbers for a healthy salad but still tomato season is still a way off for most of us.

Our blueberries are beginning to turn color with the birds at bay with the grape smelling bird repellent that was not successful last year because of the continuous rain that began June 8th.  It is hard to believe that this June is the second rainiest only to the June of 1924.

Enjoy the holiday, the picnics and the fireworks and take comfort in the fact that so many bright minds came together in Philadelphia in the former colony of Pennsylvania.