Friday, September 25, 2015

Dayton "Dirt" - September 25, 2015

Even with impending rain and thunderstorms last Saturday, the Fall Fest was the busiest ever until some light rain showers thinned the crowds about 3 p.m. It was quite strange to see so many children at once at the nursery as they piled on the wagons for the hayride or crowded into the annual house to see Outback Ray and his animal show. With the fest, it was somewhat difficult to perform the usual nursery work although some it always gets sandwiched in between.

Good weather is in store for the Mum Fest in Barberton this weekend and with so many sights and attractions, the swarms of folks from “in town” and from “out-of-town” will be quite amazing. The nursery too has gorgeous mums for sale from plants in almost full color to those just “cracking” with color as we term it in the industry. Another thing at the nursery is that the super hardy Chicagoland Green boxwood is back in stock. Chicagoland Green appears identical to the more popular Green  Velvet until below zero cold, sweeping winds and no snow cover come against the plants in winter. In the above contest, Chicagoland Green comes out of the winter the winner!

Beginning this week, spring flowering flower bulbs can be planted so that their promise of a beautiful spring may be fulfilled. Through at least December all the flower bulbs can be planted with success although good weather is definitely a plus when digging in flower bulbs.

Trees and shrubs root in during the cooler weather of fall as roots will continue to grow until ground temperatures fall below 40ยบ F which is normally after Thanksgiving so that in planning a landscape or in just planting one tree, fall planting enables stock to get established to explode into vigorous growth next spring.

Be sure to tune into Ready, Set, Grow tomorrow from 8-10 a.m. on WAKR 1590 to hear all about the Mum Fest.


Friday, September 18, 2015

Dayton "Dirt" - September 18, 2015

Tomorrow, September 19th is the annual Fall Festival at the nursery with  all the festivities beginning  at 10 a.m. Hopefully the weather will cooperate and will not pour down rain as it did last Saturday that indeed was quite a blessing to finally soak into the still dry ground. I remember September 19th every year as my grandmother was born on this day in 1890. Lot’s of prep work has gone on this past week to prepare the grounds and facilities for the big day. This year a new powerful tractor will pull the hay wagons loaded with passengers as the RTV used  in the past would struggle as it chugged uphill.

Finally, the last perennials have been potted and some new clematis that will be available next spring. The new varieties are ‘Sprinkles’, ‘Tye Dye’, ‘Regency’, ‘Festival’ and ‘Silver Moon’ that will add a total of 12 new clematis to the mix. A new bed of creeping phlox in the botanical garden will be ready to plant next week from plants that last March were un-rooted cuttings and so small that handling them to stick in the rooting plugs was very difficult. The azalea cuttings stuck last July are almost finished rooting and will be transplanted to 4½” pots filled with Canadian sphagnum peat about October 10th which is about the time the small geranium plants will arrive to be planted into a 2 gallon nursery container from which the plants will be “butchered” for cuttings to make new stock just before Christmas.

Fall is sweeping in fast with the official start in just a few days with the arrival of the autumnal equinox so that soon the trees will begin to wear coats of yellow, orange and red just like the coat of many colors.


Friday, September 11, 2015

Dayton "Dirt" - September 11, 2015

As I write today’s blog, I remember sadly in 2001 of the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, DC along with the downed airliner in the field in Pennsylvania.  At the time I was visiting nurseries just south of Portland, Oregon watching the television in disbelief as the World Trade Center burned and then collapsed changing the world forever.

On a more pleasant note, more needed rain is in the forecast to supplement the two inches of rain that fell a week ago. Chrysanthemums are budded and blooming in quite an array of colors along with the still blooming hydrangeas that just are not ready to give up.  In fact, the Bloomstruck and Endless summer Hydrangeas will continue to bloom right up until a hard frost that will subdue them sometime in October to go into their long winter nap.

This past week’s 50% sale went well as much of the overstocked plants have been sold although there is still quite a selection of herbaceous perennials that includes some nice grasses that have been brought up from the back stock area.  A few large white pine and Red Sunset Maples still remain with some nice rhododendrons and deciduous azaleas.  While the sale will continue until the end of the season around November, more and more of the selection will be depleted as time goes on.

Next week on Saturday, September 19th, will be the Fall Festival with music, hayrides, crafts and food!  Then on the 26th and 27th is the 25th Mum Festival in Barberton that features water ski shows, crafts, lots of food and of course thousands of blooming mums at the northeast corner of Lake Anna Park.  Mega amounts of planning, planting and much other work goes on behind the scenes to put on such an extravaganza.  As for the nursery, some of the mum madness spills over as always some out of town visitors stop by.

On Ready, Set, Grow on Saturday, September 26th beginning shortly after 8 a.m. be sure to tune your radio dial to 1590 WAKR as I will grill several key players on the Mum Fest including Mayor Judge with his views and aspirations for this important event for the City of Barberton.


Friday, September 4, 2015

Dayton "Dirt" - September 4, 2015

Today is the start of our Labor Day clearance sale with a wide variety of trees, shrubs and perennials at 50% off the regular price for Garden Club Members only through Monday.  The perennial selection this year is extensive including beautiful coral bells, grasses and hostas along with numerous other varieties for sun or shade.  In the shrub line, about 100 Endless Summer Hydrangeas will be on the list but as I have stated many times, once stock is gone, it is gone so that it is best to arrive early.  The sales list is not a perpetual inventory so that once the stock is depleted, it might still be on the list that is updated only every few days.

A new supply of Igloo mums has filled our front sales area this past week but again stock might be depleted as soon as this weekend as these super winter hardy Dendranthemums have been quite popular.  At some grocery stores and home improvement outlets, the word "hardy" mums are describing the tender Chrysanthemum morifolium which is a misnomer.  Here at the nursery we offer the Chrysanthemum morifolium as a "garden mum" that can be enjoyed in it's pot or planted in the ground to maybe come again in the spring.

The hot weather is somewhat unusual for the first week of September but a cool down and more rain is in the forecast soon.  With the runoff from the rainfall on Saturday overnight, the water supply at the nursery for irrigation has been partly restored; however, at least 2 inches would have to fall in order to replenish the rainwater in the irrigation pond. 

As a reminder, after Labor Day, the sale items are open to everyone.  An e-mail address, while not required to sign-up, is beneficial to receive periodic e-mail blasts of events and special buys as printing costs and postage is becoming extremely expensive when notifying our customers via "snail mail"

Hope to see you at the sale.