Quotation of the Week:
"Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face."
— Victor Hugo
From All of Us to All of You
By Tamara Galbraith
One of the three roses honored as AARS winners for 2007 has a familiar name and look, and just like her parents, she's a real knock-out.
Featuring even more heavy flower production and disease resistance than previous 'Knock Out' rose hybrids, 'Rainbow Knock Out' is a bushy and compact landscape shrub rose with short stems bearing glossy, dark green leaves. The delicate five-petaled flowers are two inches in diameter and are a deep coral-pink color with a yellow center finishing nicely to light coral. The blooms are single-form flowers that start out as pointed buds and appear abundantly throughout the growing season...even year-round in milder climates.
'Rainbow Knock Out' does not boast a strong fragrance, but the petals do emit a delicate sweet scent. Its smaller size makes it suitable for container growing in small spaces in nearly any part of the country. This sturdy, reliable rose is fully resistant to black spot, mildew and rust.
Gardeners looking for a foolproof, compact rose will do a double take over this new beauty, and shouldn't have any reason look elsewhere.
Find out more about different types of roses.
Search for the perfect rose from Star Roses.
A rose is a rose...except when it's eight feet in the air. Then it's a rather special tribute to the wonders of horticulture. This specimen represents all that is delightful and enjoyable in the world of growing things. You never know what you will end up with in a season of producing flowers, fruits or vegetables. Unlike some advertisements that present a picture that looks better than the actual product, nature often presents us with something far beyond our expectations. This beauty was brought into our Fallbrook store by Bob Peterson, one of our regular customers from the De Luz area.
Bob grows many things on his property and though he enjoys his roses, he is not even sure of the name of this particular plant. Most of the time the canes shoot up about 4 feet, but this one took off toward the heavens. Bob applied Triple 15 fertilizer and gypsum to the rose this year, but no special secret formula; at least he's not telling of one. So to all of you avid rose growers who go to great lengths to produce an exceptional bloom - eat your heart out. It looks like Bob just has one of those natural green thumbs.
Bob let us display this rose at the store so many could enjoy it. It was almost fully open when he brought it in, and over the next few days it got even more impressive. We appreciate his willingness to share that with us. If anyone has pictures of a spectacular plant that you have nurtured and cultivated to the point that you can claim bragging rights, we would enjoy seeing them.
Keep the Color Coming: Post-Holiday Amaryllis Care
by Tamara Galbraith
Attention: Anyone who received an amaryllis as a gift over the holidays...don't throw that bulb away just because the flower stalk is now withered and ugly! With a little coddling, you can enjoy the same beautiful blooms next year.
After the blossoms shrivel, cut the flower stem 1 inch above the base with a sharp knife. Continue to water and feed the remaining bulb regularly, and provide plenty of light. Amaryllis can be planted outdoors - pot and all - in partial shade and then into full sunlight during the summer.
For Christmas blooms next year, bring the plants into the garage in late September and place the pots on their sides. Cut off all water. This gives the plants a couple of months to rest before preparing to bloom again during the holidays.
In November, remove any dead leaves and replace the top couple of inches of potting soil. Resist the urge to pot up, as amaryllis like being jammed into a small space; there should only be about 1" between the bulb and the pot. Thoroughly water, place in a sunny window indoors and wait until growth emerges.
Once a flower bud becomes evident, continue watering when soil becomes dry, and make sure the plant is receiving plenty of sunlight. Water well during blooming, but put the plant in a less bright spot to help the flowers last longer. Then, when the flowers begin to fade, it's time to start the whole process over again.
If you're in USDA hardiness zone 7b or warmer, amaryllis can also be grown outdoors like any other flowering bulb, although many of the Dutch hybrid types will not do that well. Just make sure the soil is well-drained and rich in organic matter. Space bulbs about a foot apart and barely cover the bulb tops with soil. Select a sunny spot in the garden that receives some shade during the afternoon hours. Avoid placing the bulb where it will dry out excessively; a light layer of mulch will help retain moisture and keep the bulb from overheating in hot weather.
Manager's Corner - January 2007
Happy New Year greetings to all! May you be blessed this year with plants that grow great and weeds that don't! At least, may we have weather that is cooperative with all our plans! That brings us to the first topic this month. We never know what to expect in January. Sometimes we have hot enough temperatures to get out in the garden in shorts. This year may bring more cold and rain our way for several months. Be careful with your fertilizing during the colder months, especially on plants that are more sensitive. A bit of warm weather may seem like a good time to give a boost of nitrogen, but for some plants the new growth that follows could be damaged if we get another cold snap. Give us a call if you are unsure about using fertilizer in your situation.
Click for more...
Pest of the Month: Peach Leaf Curl
Leaf curl, also frequently referred to as peach leaf curl, is a disease caused by the fungus Taphrina deformans. Peach leaf curl affects the blossoms, fruit, leaves, and shoots of peaches, ornamental flowering peaches, and nectarines, and is one of the most common disease problems for backyard gardeners.
The distorted, reddened foliage that it causes is easily seen in spring. When severe, the disease can reduce fruit production substantially.
Click on the links below for more information:
Identification and damage
Aftercare for Gift Plants
|Many of us received colorful, blooming plants during the December holidays. Now we're faced with the problem of caring for them so that they will continue in good health.|
Cyclamen should be kept in cool temperatures. Too much heat can cause the leaves to yellow and the plant to stop blooming.
Provide your cyclamen with as much light as possible to encourage blooming. Sunburn usually isn't a problem in winter.
Keep the plant well watered. With good care, it should continue to bloom for another month or two.
Keep poinsettias away from warm or cold drafts. Keep the soil moist, but not wet. Poinsettias need well-drained soil, so if your plant was wrapped in foil, tear the foil off the bottom so it can drain.
Like cyclamen, poinsettias prefer cooler temperatures, not above 70 degrees. If possible, move your poinsettia to a cooler area at night.
Give it plenty of sun and fertilize it about once a month.
Any active houseplants will also benefit from being fertilized once or twice this winter. But don't feed the ones that are dormant. Let them get some sleep so they'll be rested and ready in the spring!
Protecting Citrus from Freeze
By Tamara Galbraith
It's January and the possibility of coming frost is very real, even in our milder climate, where many gardeners enjoy having citrus trees in their landscape.
Here are some tips for keeping your tangy fruit trees frost-free:
- Make sure plants are well-watered.
- Harvest any fruit that is ripe. Unripened citrus is not like unripened tomatoes; it will not mature after being picked. Just leave unripened fruit on the tree.
- For citrus trees under three years old, wrap a thick insulating material such as Burlap Sheets or Dewitt N-Sulate Blankets around the tree trunk.
- If the citrus plant is in a container, move it to an area that shelters it from the wind. Against a sunny, south- or west-facing brick wall is ideal, as the brick absorbs heat during the day and releases it when the sun goes down.
- Pull aside any existing mulch. The warm soil will send heat back up through the tree.
- Make it a festive citrus: hang a string of the larger-bulbed Christmas lights in the central area of the tree to add a few degrees of warmth.
- Cover plants with burlap, row cover fabric or cloth sheets, but be sure to remove them during the day.
By keeping your prized citrus warm and protected during the winter months, you can ensure they don't go from tart to toast.
Grangetto's teams up with Hunter Industries, one of the leading irrigation companies in the industry
On November 29th, Assistant Managers from each store location attended a Technical Irrigation training class at the Hunter Manufacturing Facility in San Marcos, Ca. "We are lucky to have Hunter Industries as a partner," says Bob Swindell, Sales Manager for Grangetto's Farm & Garden. "They're truly one of the leaders in their field and they do a phenomenal job of educating Grangetto's employees on the latest innovations and trends".
Chris Roesink was the trainer for this particular session, discussing the technicalities of irrigation controllers. Gary Osborn (Valley Center), John Hoffman (Rancho Santa Fe), Ed Warr (Fallbrook), and Lupe Sanchez (Escondido) were all in attendance.
Continue to buy, plant, and transplant camellias now, while they're still in bloom and before they start to grow. Most people choose
camellias simply by picking out something that looks pretty. It's better to select them for your climate zone and ease of growing. Some
are slow growers, others vigorous. Some are good in warmer climates but many varieties need extremes of temperature
in order to open their blooms.
Many people who have just moved from a milder area to an area with more variation (or vice versa) try to grow their favorite camellias from their old home and are disappointed. Your best bet is to buy your camellias at a local nursery that knows the area. As a general rule, singles and semidoubles do best in milder areas, though many formal doubles will open. Anemone-form and peony-form camellias usually won't open in milder climates, because the winters are too warm.
Click here to view camellia varieties.
Snails and their shell-less brethren, slugs, are one of the most frustrating and destructive garden pests. Hiding during the day and feeding mostly at night, they can consume almost anything with fruit, flowers or foliage. Often, all you see in their wake, other than damaged plants, is the shiny slime trail they leave behind.
Slugs and snails are most active in cool, moist weather, but they can be a problem almost any time. Although hand-picking (or squashing with your foot) in the early morning or at night can reduce numbers, using poisonous baits has been the most common control measure. The problem is that snail and slug baits can also be toxic to pets and wildlife. Now there is a more critter-friendly solution.
Most common snail and slug products are very effective, but can be harmful to your pet. Sluggo utilizes a unique blend of iron phosphate, originating from soil, and snail and slug bait additives. Any leftover bait will degrade and become part of the soil. It is highly effective against snails and slugs, but also can be used around pets and wildlife. The dual action bait attracts and kills slugs and snails, remains effective after rain and is ideal for use around lawns, vegetables and other garden areas. Sluggo comes in an easy-to-use shaker applicator which covers up to 1500 square feet.
House Plants for Cleaner Air!
Need to freshen up your home or office?
The following list of air-filtering plants was put out as part of the Clean Air Study sponsored by NASA and Associated Landscape Contractors of America (ALCA) . As well as absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen, these plants also filtered other pollutants like benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene.
- English Ivy (Hedera helix)
- Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
- Golden pothos or Devil's ivy (Scindapsus aurea or Epipremnum aureum)
- Peace lily (Spathiphyllum 'Mauna Loa')
- Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema modestum)
- Bamboo or reed plant (Chamaedorea seifrizii)
- Snake plant or mother-in-law's tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata 'Laurentii')
- Heartleaf philodendron (Philodendron oxycardium, syn. Philodendron cordatum)
- Selloum philodendron (Philodendron bipinnatifidum, syn. Philodendron selloum)
- Elephant ear philodendron (Philodendron domesticum)
- Red-edged dracaena (Dracaena marginata)
- Cornstalk dracaena (Dracaena fragans 'Massangeana')
- Janet Craig dracaena (Dracaena deremensis 'Janet Craig')
- Warneck dracaena (Dracaena deremensis 'Warneckii')
- Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina)
- Gerbera daisy or Barberton daisy (Gerbera jamesonii)
- Pot mum or Florist's Chrysanthemum (Chrysantheium morifolium)
- Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica)
The recommendation was to use 15 to 18 good-sized houseplants in 6" to 8" containers for an 1,800 square foot house (about one plant per 100 square feet).
Always use a good potting soil for your houseplants, and remember that container plants need more fertilizer than in-ground plants. We recommend only lightly fertilizing the non-bloomers in winter, but fertilize winter bloomers as normal.
Five Gardening Resolutions for 2007
By Tamara Galbraith
1. Try Something New:
Are you a rose freak? An orchid expert? Or maybe you only grow vegetables. At any rate, diversity is a good thing. Take a journey -- however brief -- down another avenue of gardening. Or just try growing a new, cool plant you've never seen before.
2. Learn to Like Spiders (or, at least tolerate them):
Repeat after me..."Spiders are our friends. Spiders are our friends." Don't automatically reach for the Raid or rolled-up newspaper every time you see eight legs and a bunch of eyes staring back at you. Remember, the earth would be overrun with pests like flies, fleas and much more were it not for our fanged friends. If a spider or other relatively harmless bug gets in the house, try carefully catching it in a small container and releasing it outside before instinctively smashing it to bits. Or, if you're like me, allow a few out-of-the-way spiders to hang around. They'll keep your fungus gnat and earwig problems at bay, for sure. Learn to identify the harmful spiders, however, and use Bayer Advanced Home Pest Control (which is also good for ants, boxelder bugs, cockroaches, earwigs, fleas, flies, mosquitoes, spiders, ticks, and wasps) on them you spot them.
Click here to learn 'All About Spiders'.
3. Don't Beat Yourself Up for Failures:
I guarantee you that even Martha Stewart has accidentally killed plants. Many times, a plant death isn't even the grower's fault - plants, like the rest of us, eventually die. If the plant's demise was your doing, learn from your mistakes and move on.
4. Be Good to Mother Nature:
Wean yourself and your plants off of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. Start a compost pile (Click here for how to make a compost pile.) Plant native and/or waterwise trees, shrubs and perennials. Mulch, and use natural materials when doing so. It's all about building the soil.
5. Give Something Back:
Participate in or start up a community garden in your area. Share your love of gardening with kids and seniors. Got too many zukes? Take them to your local food bank. Gardening is at least twice as much fun when someone else benefits from your labor of love. (View local Garden Clubs here.)
All deciduous fruit trees need to be pruned for good shape from "childhood" up, and to bear well they need to be pruned at least once a year. The time to do the major pruning is January (unless you already did the job in December).
A good rule of thumb is: deciduous fruit trees should be pruned during winter while the trees are dormant and after the leaves have fallen to the ground but before new buds have swelled. Each type of fruit tree needs to be pruned differently, so it's important to know which kind of tree you're pruning and how to prune it properly.
For example, apples bear their fruit on spurs that bear again and again, sometimes for as long as twenty years. If you whack off all the spurs you'll have no fruit. In general, apple trees need very little pruning once a main framework of branches has been established.
Plums also bear on spurs. The pruning of mature European plums is minimal, as for apples, but Japanese plums grow so vigorously that they need heavy pruning of new growth. Apricots bear partly on one-year-old wood and partly on spurs that continue to bear well for four or five years. They must be pruned so as to replace one-fifth of the bearing wood by heading back older branches.
Peaches and nectarines need the heaviest pruning of all: their fruit is borne on one-year-old wood. By pruning them hard, you encourage new growth to replenish fruiting wood. Figs need very little pruning at all except to control tree size and foliage density.
To read more about bare root fruit trees click here: Dave Wilson's Nursery.
- Purchase and plant bare-root roses, trees, vines, berries and vegetables.
- Choose and plant camellias and azaleas.
- Purchase cymbidiums.
- Purchase and plant cool-season flowers to fill in bare spots.
- Plant seeds of warm-season flowers for transplants to put out in spring.
- Continue to plant winter vegetables from transplants and seeds.
- Many succulents, including cacti, bloom in winter and spring; purchase new types now.
- Prune deciduous fruit trees.
- Prune roses.
- Deadhead azaleas.
- Mow cool-season lawns. Most warm-season lawns are dormant now and don't need mowing.
- Begin to feed citrus trees in coastal zones.
View Citrus Feeding Guide:
- Treat citrus trees for chlorosis with Grow More Citrus Grower Blend Multi-Purpose Micronutrient for Soil & Foliage.
- Start feeding epiphyllums for bloom with 0-10-10 or 2-10-10.
- Continue to fertilize cymbidiums that have not yet bloomed with a high-bloom formula.
- Feed cool-season flowers.
- Feed cineraria.
- Fertilize cool-season lawns.
- Water plants according to need (when the rains are not adequate).
- Irrigate citrus trees.
View Citrus Irrigation Rates
- Remember to water plants under eaves where the rains cannot reach.
- Dormant-spray roses and deciduous fruit trees.
- Check citrus trees for pests.
- Pick up dead camellia blossoms to prevent petal blight.
- Protect cymbidiums from slugs and snails.
- Control rust on cool-season lawns.
- Check trees, shrubs, and ice plant in coastal zones for overwintering whiteflies. Control by spraying.
- Pull weeds.
- Spray peach and apricot for peach leaf curl.
- Protect tender plants from frost.
- Stake cymbidium bloom spikes.
- Near the end of the month, check bamboo in coastal zones to see if it is time to propagate.
Recipe of the Month: Cream of Chicken Soup
What you need:
- 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
- 1-3/4 cups finely sliced leeks or 10 green onions with tops, finely sliced
- 4 cups lower-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup half and half
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. white pepper
- 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
- 4 cups low-fat milk
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 cups finely chopped cooked chicken (or turkey)
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted (optional)
Step by Step:
In a large saucepan, melt the butter over moderate heat. Add leek (or onions) and cook until tender.
Stir in the broth, half and half, salt, pepper and nutmeg.
In a small bowl, whisk together the milk and flour.
Stir into the mixture in the saucepan.
Cook, stirring constantly, for 20 minutes or until slightly thickened and bubbly.
Stir in the chicken.
Cook uncovered for 15 minutes or until heated through.
Top with toasted sliced almonds if desired.
Yield: 8 servings
THANKS FOR TAKING THE TIME TO READ OUR NEWSLETTER
'See you next month!'