Friday, August 18, 2017

Dayton "Dirt" - August 18, 2017

As August rolls on, the nursery chores as always never stop.  Weed pulling, potting and replacing of more overwintering structures goes on as well as getting ready for the Christmas season with bow making for the grave blanket business and porch pots!  The cut trees from our southern Ohio grower have been ordered since last January so that they will arrive on time right at Thanksgiving for the Christmas season! 

When the nursery had a plantation of trees to cut in Pennsylvania years ago, every Thanksgiving would be spent cutting, dragging and then baling the cut trees to be loaded onto a flat bed truck to be hauled to Ohio.

Now with a new inventory just being taken, stock is infinitely more accurately represented on our online inventory list.  With more stock becoming ready in the rear growing areas, the inventory will expand and in addition we will receive a semi truck load of freshly dug stock at the end of this month.  In September when the weather cools, gorgeous 6 foot baby Baby Blue Spruce will arrive that are already tagged in the field.  With the azure-blue color and branches to the ground, these trees are a sight to behold and eerily uniform in shape and size as they are from a seed selection that originated in Canada over many years.

Don’t forget to use up all the Dayton dollars through August 31st as after this date the value will be zero.  There’s plenty of selection now to be had!


Friday, August 11, 2017

Dayton "Dirt" - August 11, 2017

Last Friday in the late morning, the nursery received just over one-half inch of rain that gave some relief from the dry weather. Some of the nursery stock such as the tree hydrangeas must be watered by hand every few days as the dense canopy of foliage prevents adequate watering of the root system by the overhead irrigation system.  Other stock such as the recently potted perennials must be watered only every 3-4 days as too wet an environment will cause roots to rot and especially so since we added the product haydite to our mix to hold more moisture while giving aeration to the roots as the plants utilize the water contained within the expanded shale.

It’s just about time for Chrysanthemums as there seems to be no heat delay in the flowering as it was in the hot summer of 2016. In fact, during a conversation with Bill Aulenbach who is a member of the Mum Fest committee in Barberton, Bill related that some varieties of Chrysanthemums may not “make size” as the flower buds are forming earlier than normal due to the cool weather.  Flower buds retard growth so that even in a greenhouse full of flowering annuals in February and March the growth regulator called Florel is sprayed on many plants in order to abort flowering so that the plants are able to “make size” for later flowering in the month of May.  The Igloo mums, which are really a Dendranthemum, are another matter in that they normally bloom earlier. 
These exceedingly winter hardy plants are durable because of this fool proof hardiness and their sheer beauty.  Igloo mums offered at the Mum Fest in Barberton are frequently on the “down side” of bloom as the festival is always the last weekend of September.  Whatever the weather, the mum display around Lake Anna is enjoyed by all even though every year is a challenge to achieve a perfect display.  As Bill has stated he can see all the imperfections of the display; however, to the general public made up of the tens of thousands of people who come to the Fest, the mum display is always spectacular!

Que sera sera or C’est la vie!


Friday, August 4, 2017

Dayton "Dirt" - August 4, 2017

Now that the dog days of summer have arrived, the typical dryness of August appears.  Some of the heavy rain for many areas earlier in the month of July seemed to miss this area when a one to two inch rainfall would have been helpful.

  With the somewhat warm temperatures (although cooler than last year) the “bugs” are on the march and customers have come in with problems in the landscape concerning azalea lacebug, bagworms, rust disease on serviceberry and bacterial blight on lilacs.  The bagworm and azalea lacebug treatments though are easy with 2 sprays of a product containing the active ingredient acephate with one trade name being Bonide Systemic Insect Spray.  Each of the 2 sprays are applied at a one week interval and will at least temporarily stop the damage.  While the bagworm is difficult to kill in the late stage, the pesticide will stop them from feeding so that to finish them off, an application of BT or Bacillus thuringiensis in early May will spell doom for any new hatchlings.  BT, also known as thuricide is a naturally occurring bacteria that is deadly to the Lepidoptera family and works great for cabbage worms, leaf eating caterpillars and Gypsy moth larva when a strain called Kurstaki is employed.  As far as azalea lacebug, the two acephate containing sprays will kill the adult and nymph stages and the second generation as it hatches from the unaffected eggs.

This Monday will be “exciting” as we will do a physical count to correct our online inventory so that we might more accurately know what is available.  With at least 5 persons starting at 7 a.m., the physical count in the sales area should be finished by 9 a.m. and then entered into the computer by the end of the day.

Truth be told, I would rather pull weeds all day!