Friday, December 25, 2015

Dayton "Dirt" - December 25, 2015

Today as we celebrate the birth of Jesus along with the miracle of his ministry some 2,000 years ago, miracles are all around us today of which a few include...

▸    Water expands as it freezes so that it does not sink to the bottom of bodies of water killing fish and other wildlife.
▸    The process of photosynthesis in which green plants are able to make food from sunshine enables us to be fed.
▸    Persistent hanging fruits and nuts on trees and shrubs during winter feed the fowl of the air and other wildlife.
▸    Spiders that prey on harmful insects helps greatly guard our food supply.
▸    The by-product of photosynthesis is oxygen that we all must have to live.
▸    Some six inches of topsoil and the fact that it rains once in awhile is essential for all annual species to survive.
▸    The planting of small trees still goes on in which future generations will benefit long after the planter is gone.
▸    Pollinators such as birds, various bees, bats and even flies that through their actions place food on our tables.
▸    The miracle of flowers of every kind which even “King Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”
▸    Family, true friends and good health are enough along with a few other essentials for a happy, long life.

Merry Christmas and God bless everyone!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Dayton "Dirt" - December 18, 2015

As the Christmas season continues, the absence of cold and snow seems quite strange and is due to the El Niño effect of a surge or warm water in the Pacific Ocean causing a marked change in the jet stream as compared to last year and the year before.

With Oregon hit with heavy snow this past weekend, will California be next for rain and snow to begin ending the multi-year drought?

The nursery is geared up for a finish for the year with cut trees at a minimum and a small supply of beautiful poinsettias.

Growing well too is the weed known as hairy bittercress as it did in the mild winter of 2012. Glyphosphate, or Round-up, is being sprayed in full force to kill this nuisance before it can flower and disseminate its seeds.

Another weed, commonly called bedstraw, that looks similar to sweet woodruff, is active too as it vines its way along the ground and consumes shrubs as it crawls over them.

With the winter solstice, the still shorter days will be done with the ever increasing day lengths afterwards.

We will slightly reduce our business hours beginning December 22 and will reopen briefly after Christmas day through year’s end before closing until the first of March.

Strangely, a lot of work still needs completed before spring, especially with the greenhouse growing operation and the never ending office work and the not-so-fun-but-necessary work of closing out the year for tax paying.

Right now though it’s time to enjoy the Christmas season.


Friday, December 11, 2015

Dayton "Dirt" - December 11, 2015

The almost everlasting warm weather of this fall has made it possible to do more gardening then ever. Transplanting, trimming and even some lawn mowing has been the norm for some gardeners the past couple of weeks.

At the nursery, an attempted restock of white pine roping and some live wreaths failed as the main supplier of these goods is already nearly sold out! Likewise on cut tree sales as an uptick in sales has resulted in fewer Fraser fir and other pines at this time of year. Production of grave decorations still goes on along with a new window swags and some porch pots.

Shortly after the Christmas season, the nursery will close until March 1st although every Saturday beginning January 30th will begin our annual educational series of winter seminars. No doubt, as always, the seminar finishing up the series on “What’s New’ will have to be cut short as more than 2 hours would need to be devoted to the program to the extent that an all day affair might suffice to discuss all the new plants for 2016! See you at the seminars!


Friday, December 4, 2015

Dayton "Dirt" - December 4, 2015

As the relatively warm weather continues, hydrangeas that we had trimmed and “put to bed” into the winter storage houses were trying to grow as the growth buds were definitely swelling until Monday morning’s 27º F temperature sort of “ nipped them in the bud”. In fact, the huts have only been closed once when a 21º F temperature was recorded about 10 days ago. The warmth has made it necessary to irrigate the stored nursery stock by hand and by overhead irrigation. Even now, water is pumping from the lower pond to the upper irrigation pond on the water supply for irrigation is too low with the scant rainfall of the past 2 weeks.

Construction of grave blankets is still in full tilt after the wave of orders for pickup or delivery  before Thanksgiving. More branches of Colorado spruce, white pine and scotch pine have been cut and will have to be cut again to keep the construction going. Fraser Fir sales have been going well with the 10 foot and up size already gone with only very few Canaan Fir left of between 10 feet and 13 feet. There is at least one mammoth 13 footer left with a width of no less than 7 feet that hopefully will find a home. The poinsettias have finally started expanding so that they will not have to be spaced out for a third time and the fact that many are selling. How strange is that many of the plants in the 4½” size look almost the size of a 6" plant!

With the excellent weather, more cleanup and planting on the grounds is still continuing and will continue as long as the weather holds. When the winter weather does arrive as it definitely will, plenty of greenhouse projects will be waiting to keep us busy.

Enjoy the weather!