Friday, July 28, 2017

Dayton "Dirt" - July 28, 2017

The weather has been pleasant with lower humidity and temperatures making it easier to perform chores in the nursery like weeding. How many times a “weeding emergency” has occurred but only to be ”orrected” in hot, humid 90º F weather.  Years ago in early July of 1980 as we constructed a new quonset type greenhouse for raising azaleas, temperatures rose to about 100º F as we worked in the hot sun and even burn up a small drill as it became too hot! Fast forward now to today, three over-wintering structures erected in 1994 must be replaced because of corrosion which has progressed enough to be in danger of collapse during heavy winds or snow loads.

Customers have been using their Dayton Dollars before they expire at the end of August and for the most part have been finding adequate inventory especially as more and more stock becomes available from the rear growing areas.  Curious rabbits have been chewing some grasses that were recently potted in the movable roof structure so that now all perimeter walls and doors must be closed to prevent the grasses from becoming a “rabbit salad.”

About 1200 creeping phlox “plugs” are to arrive in two weeks to be planted and they too are attractive to rabbits and must be corralled to prevent them from disappearing!

This week though is “sticking cuttings week” of evergreen azaleas and various shrubs in order to take advantage of the summer heat to aid in their forming roots by September.  So much to do, so little time!


Friday, July 21, 2017

Dayton "Dirt" - July 21, 2017

Last Saturday, the Blueberry Fest seemed quite the hit as evidenced by the full parking lot that remained full for hours as well as finding parking spots for the additional 25-30 vehicles that could not fit into the already full lined spots.  Now the question is how to properly manage the fall festival that is set for the third weekend in September!

The hot, humid weather of July has returned although rainfall has been adequate unlike the dryness of last year.  The potting of plants goes on beginning with the receipt of clematis varieties that will be available next spring.  For some reason, the Queen of Vines sold better than ever this year probably having to do with the popularity of vertical gardening and the fact that clematis are available in a multitude of colors with an ever expanding pallet of new varieties from various breeders.

Next week, local sweet corn from the Seiberling Farms will flood the Owl Barn with the first sugar enhanced, synergistic variety called “Espresso” comes into ripeness.  With refrigeration, these new varieties that are much different from those of yesteryear will remain sweet in the refrigerator for at least 3 days according to Chuck Seiberling although Chuck has stated that some of the customers had told him that they have held the sweet corn for a week after picking!

The nursery has been seasonally slow in these dog days of summer although folks in our garden club have enjoyed spending their Dayton Dollars coupons which spend like cash except on produce items.

At the Columbus trade show called Cultivate, many vendors showed off their new exciting wares for the spring 2018 season and beyond.  The problem is that some of the older varieties must be eliminated to make room for the new but as always the question is which ones!


Saturday, July 15, 2017

Dayton "Dirt" - July 15, 2017

What a jackpot this week with the receipt of at least one inch of rain after previous heavy rains continued to go north and south of the nursery making it 16 days since the last “good rain”. Chuck at Seiberling Farms was a little anxious as the 60 acres of sweet corn were becoming thirsty so that the aluminum irrigation pipe filled with water from the always running Hudson Run would have to be put in place and then moved from field to field as it was last year in the hot and drought--filled summer of 2016.

Tomorrow is our 7th annual Blueberry Fest that is a treat for little kids and “big kids” alike with activities for small children including crafts, a bouncy house, petting zoo and so much more. For the “big kids”, hayrides, lots of blueberries with foods comprised of a blueberry component and a polka band from Cleveland are just some of the events. Admission and parking are free as well as all the events and to top things off, the weatherman is promising 80º f, sun and lower humidity making it perfect weather for mid-July! See below for details...
The long and sunny days of July get the solar panels at the nursery cranking their excess power to the grid. Most likely by 2020, no net power will be used from the grid creating an even “greener” environment at the nursery.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Dayton "Dirt" - July 7, 2017

This past week the heavy rains have been about one mile north and one mile south of the nursery with about no rain at the nursery! The nursery stock has been growing nicely as well as the weeds which makes for constant weed control in the outside sales yard as it is good fodder for weeds because of the everyday irrigation.

Constant repotting is the norm as some shrubs are “shifted up” which means they are transferred to a large pot to grow larger. Mostly all trees that were potted in late March and early April are now available and will be sold this summer, fall and next spring.  Trimming is another matter.  Most varieties of the newly potted hydrangeas have already been trimmed twice and will need at least 2 more trimmings.

Then there is always a “project”.  Three overwintering structures constructed in 1994 must be razed and new ones constructed because of corrosion making the houses weak and in danger of collapsing under the weight of heavy snow.

With next week’s Blueberry Fest there’s even more work to do!  Who said summer is slow compared to spring!