Quotation of the Week:
"It is only when you start to garden - probably after fifty - that you realize something important happens every day."
— Geoffrey B. Charlesworth
The time of the year which has major changes in moisture is rapidly approaching
and will be upon us before we realize it. The season of reference is the season
of liquid sunshine (also known as rainfall or precipitation). Fall, as most of
you know it, brings stormy weather, which in turn deposits rainfall, from small
to massive amounts, in Southern California.
Massive amounts of rainfall create runoff and with runoff topsoil,
the most fertile stratum of the soil profile, is carried.
As the topsoil is relocated to the lower areas (downhill), the nutritional soil
that provides the foundation for all the plants and trees is also relocated.
This topsoil is not created overnight. It takes hundreds and thousands of
years to become enriched and be able to create an environment to sustain life
for all species of plant life. One measurable storm has the potential to remove
and reposition this topsoil to another location. As Mother Nature will have it,
this relocation will follow the path of least resistance and end up downhill
on another owner's property, or eventually into drainage channels, ultimately
finding its way into the ocean. Gone
Grangetto's in Encinitas has solutions for this natural phenomenon.
Items such as Straw Wattles, Straw Mats, Jute Netting and Silt Fencing are
available to deter, direct, redirect and channel the overabundance of rainfall
to other locations. Straw Wattles are 9 inches in diameter and 25 feet
in length. Straw Mats are 7½ feet wide and 120 feet in length.
Jute Netting is 4 feet wide and 225 feet in length. Silt Fencing is 3 feet high
and 100 feet in length with stakes every 10 feet. Wooden Stakes and Jute
Staples are available to assist with stabilizing these various soil erosion
control methods. Drainage pipe in various sizes is also available to assist with
Various varieties of grass seed are also available to help with keeping
the topsoil in its original location. Varieties available are Fescues (Tall,
Dwarf and Creeping Red), Ryegrasses (Perennial and Annual), Bermuda Grasses,
Pasture Mixtures, Erosion Mixtures, and Wildflower Mixtures.
Come into the Encinitas store or give us a phone call and we will assist
you with questions regarding Erosion Control.
Erosion Control and Rain Gear
Pest of the Month: House Mouse
Grangetto's Gift Cards
It's not on Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena, but in your own garden!
Yes, roses in Southern California can produce beautiful blooms right through Christmas. Here's what you need to do now to ensure a bumper crop:
This time of year rust becomes more of an issue than mildew. Strip affected leaves and dispose of them in airtight plastic bags to keep rust and mildew from spreading in your garden.
Trim branches back by one third. Don't let any branches remain more than 4-5 feet. They've been producing all year and anything over 5 feet is just too much for the plant to sustain right now. Apply Bayer All-in-One Rose & Flower Care for 6 weeks of feeding for insect and disease control. Keep up with the watering every week 3 times a week by hand or 6-8 minutes daily with a sprinkler system.
Once Christmas has passed, spend the week after (just before New Year's Day) trimming your roses back for the winter. Remove all leaves and branches that cross over main canes and trim bloom-producing branches to 2-3 feet so your plant resembles a cup-shaped diamond setting. Mulch well around roots and discontinue feeding until new growth appears (usually around Valentine's Day). Continue watering as usual. This will give your plants a much-needed rest and by March they'll be ready to produce another beautiful season of blooms.
How To Grow Holiday Cacti
Holiday cacti are not hard to take care of, if you remember not to overwater them; getting them to bloom on time is a bit more complex. Here are some tips:
In order for these plants to form flower buds for holiday blooms, they need extended darkness for at least four weeks.
Place the plant in a dark room or keep covered (under a box or bag works fine) for at least 12 hours a day.
When buds appear (usually around four weeks), the darkening schedule can stop.
As the buds get larger, move the plant to where it will be for the holiday, avoiding extreme temperature or lighting changes.
Continue to water and feed while the plant is budding and blooming. Water only when the soil is completely dry - these plants do not like soggy roots.
By Tamara Galbraith
The temperatures are getting cooler, and your herbs are slowing down. Time to harvest, enjoy...and prepare for next season where possible.
Pull off and dry all the leaves you can from parsley, French sorrel, coriander/cilantro, and basil.
For woody perennial herbs such as thyme, rosemary, lavender, savory, and tarragon, don't cut too much off. A few sprigs is okay, but discontinue heavy pruning of woody herbs 45 days before you expect the first fall frost.
To overwinter non-hardy herbs indoors, dig up the plants about a month before the first fall frost. Put each one into a pot that's slightly bigger than its rootball, and then let them rest in a partly shaded outdoor location for a week or so. Then move them into deeper shade for another week to get them ready to come indoors. (Chives are an exception, however; leave them outside to enjoy a little of winter's brisk temperatures before potting up and bringing in.)
Whiteflies and spider mites can be a problem for indoor herbs. Spray with an insecticide, such as Dr. Earth Fruit & Vegetable Insect Spray, and try to increase the humidity around your plants, either with the use of a pebble tray or spray plants often with a mister to increase humidity.
In warm climates, fall is a great time time to plant cool-season annual herbs like mustard, calendula, and arugula. Some, like Giant Red Mustard, make glorious ornamental winter plants in milder climates too, even if you don't want to eat 'em.
Force Narcissus Bulbs for Fragrant Winter Blooms
A basket of blooming narcissus is the perfect gift for anyone — teachers, coworkers, friends or family.
To make your own narcissus basket you will need premium bulbs of paper-whites, Chinese sacred lilies, Grand Soleil d'Or, Cragford, or germanium narcissus.
- Choose a suitable flat basket (about 6-9 inches in diameter and 3-4 inches high).
- Line the basket with a circle of heavy-gauge (4 millimeter) plastic sheeting and cut to fit. (You may also line the basket with any shallow container with no drainage holes.)
- Fill the plastic (or container) halfway to the top with pebbles or gravel.
- Add 6-8 bulbs, with the pointed side up and with their sides touching.
- Fill in with more pebbles to hold them upright.
- Cover the pebbles with sphagnum moss (optional).
- Add water to the base of the bulbs.
- Continue to water as necessary to keep the water at that level.
- Cover the basket with an upside-down cardboard box.
- Place in a cool spot for one and a half weeks or until sprouts are 3-4 inches tall.
- Uncover the basket and place it in a sunny window until the flowers open.
- Turn it daily for even growth.
Enjoy the narcissus basket in the house during winter or give it as a gift!
Allow six weeks for fully open flowers. Discard the bulbs after flowers fade. Bulbs forced in water cannot be reused.
Tip: For a succession of flowers, plant up new baskets monthly.
Wishing You and Yours a Very
Some Fun Thanksgiving Facts for You:
- The Pilgrims' first Thanksgiving feast, in 1621, lasted three days.
- On October 3, 1863 Abraham Lincoln issued a "Thanksgiving Proclamation" that made the last Thursday in November a national holiday.
- In 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt changed Thanksgiving to the third Thursday in November, in order to make the Christmas shopping season longer and thus stimulate the economy. Two years later, he changed it to the fourth Thursday.
- In 1941, Thanksgiving was finally sanctioned by Congress as a legal holiday, on the fourth Thursday in November.
- There were no mashed potatoes at the first Thanksgiving dinner - potatoes were brought here later, by Irish immigrants.
- Turkeys were one of the first animals in the Americas to be domesticated.
- Benjamin Franklin thought the turkey a noble bird and wanted it to be the national bird of America, rather than the eagle!
- Native Americans used the red juice of the cranberry to dye rugs and blankets.
- Thanksgiving in Canada is celebrated on the second Monday in October.
- The pilgrims didn't use forks, they used spoons, knives and their fingers, so if anyone objects to your picking up that drumstick - tell them you are practicing traditional American table manners!
Read more about the History of Thanksgiving
A Marvelous Night for a Moondance
By Tamara Galbraith
The 2007 All-American Rose Selections were recently announced, and one of the three selections is, shall we say, eerily appropriate for Halloween? We'll be looking at the other two winners in the coming weeks, but first, let's turn our snouts toward the sky and let out a howl for the milky white elegance of "Moondance".
A floribunda characterized by large trusses of creamy, beautifully formed flowers contrasted by very glossy dark green foliage, Moondance is an upright, tall and extremely vigorous plant with stems that are typically 14-18 inches long -- perfect for cutting and arranging. The pointed, oval buds give way to high-centered flowers, which open flat to about 3½ -inches in diameter and consist of approximately 25 petals each.
Moondance has a delightful raspberry/spicy fragrance that is unusual for a white floribunda. However, like most AARS winners, Moondance is highly resistant to black spot, mildew and rust. It is being introduced to the rose-buying public by Jackson & Perkins.
In short -- and borrowing from Van Morrison and his song "Moondance" -- this lively, spicy new rose is indeed fantabulous".
November Is the Time To...
- Transplant landscape trees and shrubs.
- Plant a basket of narcissus for holiday bloom.
- Protect built-in sprinkler systems: drain the system, insulate the valve mechanisms.
- Tie limbs of upright evergreens to prevent breakage by snow or ice.
- Open up spaces in dense trees to allow wind to pass through.
- Rake and destroy leaves from fruit trees that were diseased this year. Remove mummified fruit.
- Prune acacias.
- Prune cane berries other than low-chill raspberries.
- Cut back chrysanthemums after bloom; clean up the ground.
- Plant window garden of lettuce, chives, parsley.
- Plant shrubs and trees that supply winter food and shelter to birds.
- Water bulbs, especially potted ones.
- Bait flower beds for cutworms, slugs and snails.
- Stake young trees loosely so they can develop strong trunks.
- Wrap the trunks of young trees with an insulating material to protect them from cold.
- Mulch, mulch, and mulch some more.
Hyacinths: Unparalleled Fragrance
by Tamara Galbraith
When there are hyacinths around, you'll know it. In fact, everyone within a 20-foot radius will probably know it.
These compact, spring flowering bulbs are the queens of fragrance and, because of their dense, cylindrical shape, natural disease resistance and range of bright colors, they are perfect for the front of the spring border.
Hyacinth bulbs are best planted in the fall, if possible, about 8" deep and 2-3" apart, in a location where they will get full sun, and plenty of moisture for good root development. Work a good bulb fertilizer, such as Lilly Miller Bulb & Bloom Food, into the soil when you first plant, and make sure the soil drains well. Hyacinths are hardy to Zone 3, so nearly everyone in the U.S. can enjoy them.
As is the case with most spring bulbs, clip off the dead flowers once your hyacinths are done blooming, but leave the foliage until it's yellow, flopped over and spent. During this period, the bulb in the ground is already storing energy for the next flowering season.
If you missed the fall planting season, don't despair. Forcing a hyacinth bulb indoors is fun and easy too. Simply plant the bulb in a shallow pot in some good potting soil, water well and place it in a dark location until new growth appears. Then, move it to a bright, warm spot to watch - and smell - the spectacular show.
This place called Encinitas sits on the coastline of the Pacific Ocean and is embraced by the Batiquitos Lagoon to the north and the San Elijo Lagoon to the south. The first inhabitants were the Indians called the San Dieguitos, the La Jollans, and the Dieguenos. It was the Diegueno's group who were mission converts and helped to build the Spanish Missions.
In 1669, the Governor of Baja California, Gaspar de Portola, led an expedition throughout the San Diego and Monterey areas. His mission was to build several "presidios," establishing a teaching base for schools and religion. When the expedition made its way through Encinitas on the El Camino Real, he named the area for the small oak trees on the surrounding hills.
Read more about Encinitas history by clicking here.
Visit the San Dieguito History Museum for more interesting facts about the Encinitas area:
Recipe of the Month: Butternut Squash Bisque
What You'll Need:
- 3 tbsp. butter or margarine
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 2 cups diced butternut squash
- 1 Granny Smith or pippin apple, peeled and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tbsp. flour
- 1 or 2 tsp. curry powder
- Pinch of nutmeg
- 3 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
- 1-1/4 cups milk
- Grated rind and juice of 1 orange
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Chopped parsley
Step by Step:
In a large frying pan, melt butter and saute onions over medium heat until soft.
Add squash, apple and garlic. Saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add flour, curry powder and nutmeg, stirring constantly to blend.
Slowly add chicken broth, milk, orange rind and juice, stirring constantly to combine.
Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes until the vegetables are very soft.
Puree in batches in a blender or food processor. Season with salt and pepper.
Garnish with parsley.
Yield: 6 servings.
THANKS FOR TAKING THE TIME TO READ OUR NEWSLETTER
'See you next month!'