Friday, September 26, 2014

Dayton "Dirt" - September 26, 2014

The fall festival last Saturday definitely was a big hit as all the different centers of activity were busy all day long. Especially entertaining was the Outback Ray Show with all his animals and his own  antics keeping the crowd mesmerized during each showing. 

The weatherman’s “promise” of good weather on Saturday came true but the prediction of rain and thunderstorms did not unless one-tenth of an inch of rain counts. A good rainfall of one to two inches is sorely needed but the forecast through the weekend is sunny and dry. At least the sunny forecast is a good thing for the Mum Fest coming up this weekend. The festival will be packed with out-of-town visitors from other states along with the locals. 

At the nursery, we’re just about out of the mum business for this year as for some reason the flower has been in high demand. It’s getting close to finish up renovating the lawn as September draws to a close with its almost perfect weather of doing lawn and garden chores.

Without a hard frost, balled and burlapped trees will be delayed in digging as the lack of a such frost results in the trees remaining in the growing mode and transpiring water through the leaves.

The water loss through the leaves is not a problem as long as the roots are not disturbed such as is the case when being balled and burlapped.

The last of the perennials for next spring will be potted next week with the arrival of peonies of the 3 to 5 eye size that do best when fall transplanted so that they are able to root in the pot during the  remainder of the fall and early spring. The creeping phlox is doing very well with a new hybrid of a low growing habit and even blooming heavy with lavender-pink flowers displayed on a background of dark green oval shaped leaves. Soon a hard frost will send all the summer potted perennials into their dormant sleep for winter and will start the process called vernalization that many perennials require in order to grow and develop robustly in the spring.

Work is still continuing on the new greenhouse addition and will continue well into winter as it must be finished by the last week of February.

Happy Fall!


Friday, September 19, 2014

Dayton "Dirt" - September 19, 2014

Tomorrow is the Fall Festival at the nursery which is centered on the Owl Barn with music, food, hayrides, pumpkin painting, mums, Outback Ray’s animal shows and much more.
The festival is from 10am to 4pm and is open to everyone although there will be more activities for children than adults.
Hopefully the weather is cooperative but if not, the show must go on!
The mums are quite the show but are beginning to dwindle in supply as the last batch will be in flower right about the week of September 26th to coincide with the Barberton Mum Fest.

We’re beginning to get ready for winter by moving plants into the over-wintering quarters such as perennials and grasses that were potted up this summer.
Then too are the 1000 plus Clematis that are growing and even blooming but cannot be sold until going through their first winter slumber that will then result in an explosion of growth in April.
The small Azalea are just gorgeous and budded for a mass of blooms next spring but alas cannot be sold until they are “hardened off” with a winter behind them.
Plenty of evergreens are available in the Green Giant Western Red Cedars, Hemlock and Spruce along with a variety of other trees and shrubs.
See you at the festival!


Friday, September 12, 2014

Dayton "Dirt' - September 12, 2014

The unusually cool temperatures have ushered in hints of the fall season somewhat early although plenty of good weather lies ahead for whatever activity comes to mind; that is, canoeing, hiking, bird watching, and of course planting. 

At the nursery, the last planting of the season of trees, shrubs and perennials will go on until September’s end finishing up with peonies of the garden variety and the new Itoh types. Fall planting is ideal for a variety of plants as temperature conditions are ideal for root growth. The third wave of chrysanthemums are coming into bloom although some will not be in peak bloom until the first week of October. In its breeding program, the Aris company, formerly Yoder Brothers, bred mums that they termed “season extenders” that would give a splash of color in early November to coincide with All Saints Day. While these “season extenders” come into bloom to provide splashes of color after the leaf drop of fall, they are not popular in the northern part of the country although they are more accepted in the southern states with the warmer fall temperatures.

Also with the cooler temperatures, tree digging will begin in order to have trees for sale for the remainder of the fall season and for next spring. The trees are “healed in” or planted in a fine gravel that retains moisture and yet drains well while other trees grown in containers remain outdoors all winter in a socket that consists of a pot dug into the ground in which the potted tree is set. The socket system known in the nursery trade as a pot in pot system creates a secure environment for the tree roots in which ground heat is enough to prevent the tree’s root system from winter cold and winter winds that would kill the root system if the trees were to remain above ground all winter.

Wednesday’s rain replenished part of the nursery water supply after heavy watering last week to keep up with the hot sunny weather’s drying of stock. The warm weather of the past few weeks did serve to finish up our cuttings of various shrubs so that now the propagation department is finished until it begins again right after Thanksgiving with cuttings of various annuals arriving from Central America.

There’s never a shortage of things to do!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Dayton "Dirt" - September 5, 2014

Our 50% off sale was a success in that many overstocked items were cleared out but as always more stock is still available and the sale since last Tuesday has been open to everyone and not just garden club members. Even though some of the “shelves” look bare, new shipments have arrived and stock is still flowing out of the rear growing areas. A good selection of western red cedar in the Green Giant variety, weeping Alaskan cedars, pyramidal boxwoods and more has arrived this past week  for fall planting.

With cooler days and generally the availability of more moisture, plant roots respond to this weather with accelerated growth that will establish them before winter sets in. As mentioned in previous blogs, September is lawn renovation month due to almost perfect conditions related to cooler weather and moisture just as is the case with trees, shrubs and perennial planting in the fall.

Transplanting of shrubs is still going on too in fact at the nursery as again roots grow like crazy in September. While top growth of the transplanted stock will be minimal the well established plants will explode in top growth beginning next spring so that they will be available by early June and sometimes in mid-May.

Construction of the new greenhouse of the frame itself is almost complete but still will include wiring , plumbing and self watering benches to be completed over a much longer period that will last into  January as the final assembly has to be sandwiched between other essential chores that must be completed!

Mark your calendar for the Fall Festival coming up Saturday, September 20!