Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Pollinating with Pat & John

What a great time we had with Pat and John at our Mason Bees & Pollinating class. They are such a fun and informative couple. I just wanted to publicly say THANK YOU BOTH! once again. It was great seeing you. If you missed the class, they will be at the Fallon Home & Garden Show on April 17th and 18th. Just look for the University Co-op Extension booth. Also, if you don't want to make your own mason bee home, we have some kits ordered. They should be here the week before the Home & Garden show. I am off to play in the dirt, Susan

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Easy Fill

"Be careful what you wish for", my Mom would sometimes tell me. Well, in this case my wishing has brought on an abundance of birds in my side yard, and I love it! Finally, after years and years of making a mess filling these yellow finch socks, I have figured out an easy and efficient way to do it. When I shared my new method with a friend and realized that she had been having the same problems, I decided to pass along my find. Have another easy method? Let me know and I will post it up also. Have a great sunny Spring day! Susan
Start with an old watering plastic watering can, or pick one up at the dollar store. Cut the end off of it so that the pouring spout is larger.
Using a 20lb. bag of nyjer seed, open and carefully pour the bag into the can until it is 3/4 full. (one 20lb. bag will refill the size of yellow socks that we sell 20 times)Gather all your socks together....one watering can full will fill 6 socks all the way full.Place the end of the sock over the spout and pour!! No mess! No funnel ! No spill!Sit back and enjoy.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Early tomatoes

I posted a note on Facebook this morning that the first shipment of 4"heirloom tomatoes had arrived from our grower in Auburn, Eisley's Nursery. Well it didn't take long for one local gardener to get to the nursery for "first pick". Jim Anderson sent over this picture later in the afternoon...his choices, Caspian Pink and Black Krim. Walls-o-water make them comfy warm, and as he noted in his email, he should be harvesting mid-June!

You know where to bring them Jim if you have to many.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Black Roses

Not the kind that you can get from Ecuador……those beautiful dark burgundy roses that look jet black…but the ones that everyone seems to be calling the nursery about this year – the “Black Roses of Fallon”. This winter was an extremely hard one on a lot of our shrubs and rose bushes. While it may appear that they are indeed dead…please do not dig them up... just yet. Take the time to get down at the base of the bush and really look at it. I think what you may find is while the top half of the bush has indeed died off from the sub-zero weather we had this last winter, the bottom is still very much alive, and starting to wake up. Look for small reddish growths coming from the base of the plant. These are new canes that are forming. They will be tremendously productive this coming year, and you need to take care not to accidentally break them off when you are clearing away your mulch and leaves.

Try to contain yourself from doing any heavy pruning just yet. We recommend that you do not begin that until Mid-April in our area. When you do get the pruners out, you will possibly be taking your roses back to 3-5 main canes. If you just need to be doing something to your roses bushes right now, get some good aphid controls going. I made the attempt to spray mine today with Dr. Earth Rose & Flower. It is a 100% organic spray made from cinnamon, clove, garlic and rosemary oil. Not only does it smell wonderful, but it will cover any overwintering eggs and suffocate them so they don’t hatch. Turns out you can't hook it up to a hose that has a bent connection on it though......so it's off to the store for a new hose later today. While you are at it, check under your mulch. Hopefully you will find 100’s of these little guys under there also, as I did.

Today I did what most nursery people do on their days off, spent it in my own garden. The sun shining, the birds singing......all is well in my world. Have a great week, Susan

Upcoming Rose Pruning Classes @ The Flower Tree:
Saturday, April 10th, 11am
Sunday, April 11th, 1pm
Thursday, April 16th, 1pm

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Springs Arrival

Today, at 10:31 PST is the OFFICIAL first day of Spring, and all week we have been treated to its impending arrival. The sun has been shining, the winds relatively mild, and the birds have been singing their symphony every morning. I just came in from filling up the bird feeders and the fountain, and while it is extremely chilly outside at the moment, there is promise of high 60's on the horizon. The sky is a beautiful robins egg blue, and the sun is shining bright. Later this morning at the nursery, Michelle and I will be presenting a class on Edible Gardening, and I am excited to plant some new things in the back River Garden. We have quite a few weddings and events booked for out there already, and we want it to look overflowing with color by the time May rolls around.

Take some time today to enjoy this beautiful first day of Spring, I know I will.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Think Green #3 / Compost 101

What started as an extremely chilly morning, turned out ok as the sun rose in the sky and the wind died down. We set up out in the very back of the nursery - this was to be a "hands on" class with Master Composter Paul Pflimlin taking the lead. Paul has an extremely beautiful yard here in Fallon, and has been on our garden tour in the past. The entire back area of his acre is devoted to composting, vermiculture (worms) and perfecting his humic acid. The first hour of the demonstration we discussed the benefits of compost/ compost vs. mulch / how to get started / variety of methods /and a questions and answer session.

Then it was on to building some compost bins. Paul uses a variety of systems in his own yard, and one very effective one for him is the rolled bin. He discussed the benefits, including the low cost, and set about putting a few together. (We purchased a roll of this wiring at our local Ace Hardware -Louie's for 33.00 including tax. It made 6 cages)
Michelle then took over with her bin process - using old pallets, another low cost method considering you can find old ones for free at a lot of locations - including The Flower Tree!!! During the construction came the hands-on part of the class for many volunteers as we put together the bins and then raked and pruned around the nursery to gather material to start filling them. At the bottom of the page I have included some great links about compost and project lists. (Thank you to Paul Pflimlin and Jim Anderson for the compilation of these sites)
Hope to see you at the next class this coming Saturday the 20th, when Michelle and I will be presenting #4 in our Think Green Garden Series "Edible Gardening" otherwise known as Eating up the Landscape.
And of course Harriet was there to oversee the project!
Great Sites on Composting
Vermiculture: This is Darren Murphey's site, Sierra Worm Solutions. He does classes at The Flower Tree on worm composting, as well as furnishes worms for us to sell.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Harriet's Version

Mom said I had to stay out of the way today because there would be a great big truck in the parking lot and lots of equipment moving around. She was just waiting around when another small truck pulled in and this guy jumped out and ran up with some boxes. He brings them just for me sometimes.It's my favorite size too.....

No way, I'm not staying in any box that had rhubarb in it. Those red things make my skin crawl. I'm getting outta here.

Guess this is the truck she was waiting for. About time we had some new trees for me to climb in.
Guess I'll just hang around in this new pot. Mom says there is some kinda osha rule that I can't play around the forklift.It's good to be the Queen of my Green Kingdom.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

As promised....

Here is the link to the PowerPoint presentation that Jay Davison did for our pruning workshop.


Now get out there and play in the dirt! Susan

Monday, March 1, 2010

Pruning with Jay 2010

Well our luck held out once again, as predictions of rain/snow and cold temperatures took a back seat for our annual pruning class. The green room filled to overflowing, we settled in with the fireplace going, just in case. This was #2 in this years "Think Green Garden Series".

Jay Davison, who is our area soil & plant expert with the University of Nevada Co-op Extension, has been teaching this seminar for the last 9 years now, and I still learn something new to take back out to the garden with me each time. This year it was a "fruit tree" moment when I realized I (read "Robert" here) was probably cutting off the majority of my fruit producing branches every spring on our plumcot tree.

We downloaded his PowerPoint presentation to MyPassport backup, and I hope to have it uploaded to our website later today. But for now here a quick few highlights to keep you going if you just HAVE to get out in the garden today. It is a beautiful sunny day isn't it....and don't forget to gaze up at the moon tonight, should be a full one.

Why to prune:
Physically control (manage & enhance) plant growth and development
Change shape of a plant
Improve plant health
Remove hazards
Increase fruit production
Etc. etc. etc. (Have a reason to prune)

Four Rules for Successful Pruning Cuts:
1) Never leave a stub
2) When “heading back always cut to an outside facing bud or branch
3) When “thinning” cut just outside the branch collar
4) Do not paint or seal pruning cut

Useful Web Sites for Pruning
Fruit Trees
Shade Trees
Thanks again Jay! As always, your class was a fun learning experience.

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