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Edition 7.27
July 2007

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Regular consistent care is the key to a strong healthy lawn. Fertilize every 4-6 weeks with BEST TURF SUPREME 16-6-8. Water immediately after application. Use MONTEREY SPURGE POWER to control broadleaf weeds and SEVIN LAWN INSECT GRANULES to kill ants and other insects

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Fertilizers: Best Super Triple Pro 15-15-15 Best Super Turf 25-5-5 Dr Earth Veg

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Soil Amendments: John and Bob's Soil Optimizer Fertilizer Spreaders: Scotts Handheld Spreader Scotts Lawn Pro Spreader
Landscape/Garden Tools: Hula Ho Corona Anvil Corona Bypass Pruner Corona  Lopper Ames Shovel
Mulches: Kellogg Soil Building Compost kellogg gromulch

Pest Control: Black Hole Trap
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Greenlight Spinosad Bayer Complete Granules Greenlight Rose Defense Weed and Crabgrass Control:
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Thanks for taking the time to read the Grangetto's Garden Gazette. If at any time there is a topic that you would like to see in the next newsletter or you have a gardening tip you would like to share, please feel free to email us.

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"If you are not killing plants, you are not really stretching yourself as a gardener."
~ J. C. Raulston

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Now that we are headed for some hot summer weather, any imperfections in our irrigation systems are going to become very evident. To prevent these very evident problems we should inspect our irrigation systems regularly. This will not only help keep the landscape looking great but help with those exorbitant summer water bills as well. You can use the reference chart to troubleshoot your irrigation system.

Ryan Lawrence, Manager of EncinitasHow you water can be as important to water consumption as the irrigation system itself. In general a plant uses water that is then replenished by the root system. Any factor that impedes getting water to the plant's root zone reduces the effectiveness of your irrigation.

Loss to evaporation is the biggest problem, misting and overspray being the two obvious contributors. The less obvious cause is short duration, high frequency watering. Water your lawn everyday for 5 minutes, sound familiar? What happens is this: when you water for just a few minutes a day only the top inch or two gets wet. This is also the first stratum of soil to dry out from evaporation.

According to a University of California study, turf grass roots have the potential to grow to a depth of 8-18 inches for most varieties, deeper for tall fescue and Bermuda. By gradually increasing your watering duration and decreasing your frequency you can "train" your roots to go deeper. This gives your lawn a deeper "reservoir" to draw from and allows you to decrease your overall water usage because you're not having nearly as much evaporation loss. Also, letting the top couple of inches of soil dry out reduces your potential for fungal problems. This same principle is applicable to shrubs and trees as well.

Grangetto’s carries Hunter, Irritrol, Toro, and Rainbird for all your landscape needs.  If you are having a problem with your irrigation system, come in and see us!

View a reference chart to help you troubleshoot your irrigation problem.



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Echo Trimmers


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Landscaping with spectacular floral and foliage garden vessels will put pizzazz into your summertime outdoor living spaces. Get ready, here we go with all the tips necessary to turn each one of you into a patio garden designer!

Designing a container garden or grouping of containers requires exactly the same process as designing an in-ground garden. You are designing a garden space. With the containers and the plants that you select, a small garden will come to life. For those of us with only patio or balcony space for plants, it is our garden!

First, take time to imagine the dream patio garden that you desire. Many questions will flood your mind as you begin to envision your future garden. Or, for those less sure of just what to do, consider what your answers are to these questions. Don't become overwhelmed. We can help you in every step of the process.

What are your desires or needs for this garden space? How should it function — as an entertainment center, serene getaway, or wildlife habitat? Do you want an informal or formal style? Believe it or not, knowing the theme of your patio garden is the number one step in this entire process.

Of course, the size of your space is a defining element. Your patio size helps you define the size and number of containers to consider and of course, the ultimate plant sizes, too. For example, on a small 5 by 5 foot patio, you might not want to have a large-leafed philodendron and a banana tree.

Take into consideration the microclimate of your patio. Is it sun or shade, or both? Is it protected from or exposed to winds? Knowledge of your microclimate in this patio area will be important for you during your plant selection.

What plants are your favorites — tropical, woodland, native plants or cottage style? Do you prefer foliage plants or flowering plants? Are you considering planting trees or shrubs, or creating splashes of color using annuals and perennials? Perhaps you are an eclectic gardener and simply want all of the above.

Selection of the containers is a big part of the process. There are so many different sizes, shapes, materials and colors of containers. Do you want pottery, cement, plastic, wood or metal? Mixing these four main elements can make for a very eye-catching collection of containers.

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Perhaps you have decided to select the containers first before considering what plants you plan to have for this patio paradise. In doing so, your containers' personalities will lead the way during your plant selection. You won't want to put a collection of pansies and snapdragons into a container that could easily hold a 10- foot tall tree. And of course, that tree, even if you found it as a seedling in a small one-gallon pot, should not be planted into a tiny pot.

Alternatively, you may be the type that marches right into the plant section of our garden center and picks out plants based upon the theme that you want to create. Your next stop will then be the container area. The plants selected will define the size of the containers that you choose, and also should really help you with shape and color selection too. After all, you don't want to take home a silver-blue Eucalyptus pulverulenta (Silver Mountain Gum) and a burgundy Cordyline and plant them into an orange pot! Well, we hope not anyway!

We are excited about your new venture into container gardening! Select a high quality potting mix like Sunshine Pro Potting Mix, and add in a controlled release fertilizer such as Scotts Osmocote. Also, remember that moisture retention is frequently a problem with containers, so mix in a soil polymer like Zeba Quench Superabsorbent Granules that will hold on to the moisture between waterings.

Your patio retreat will become a reality as these ideas are transposed into concrete concepts. Whatever your choice of theme, plants and materials, your patio garden retreat should bear the mark of your personality. Hurry into our garden center and begin looking around at the many plant and container selections. And remember, have fun with this whole process! That's what creating a garden is all about.

Sunshine Pro Potting Mix
Scotts Osmocote
Zeba Quench


The Scent of Spring: Lilacs

Lilacs and spring are as synonymous as summer and watermelon. Every spring, when they start to bloom, I get instant recall of summers when I was a child. The scents of a garden can do this for us, and lilac is hard to miss.

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Lilacs grow best in full sun and well-drained soil, where they take two to three years to establish themselves in a new site. Once established they can live for centuries. Soil pH (alkalinity or acidity of the soil) may affect the plant's growth. Lilacs do well in an alkaline soil with a pH of 6 to 7.

To ensure abundant flowering, cut off all spent blossoms each year and prune the flowering stem back to a set of leaves in order to prevent seeds forming, thereby directing the energy usually spent on seeds to next year's flower production. If this is not done, good flowering years may be followed by bad.

When the plant becomes leggy, renewal pruning is required. Remove about one-third of the oldest stems at ground level each year for three years. This encourages the growth of vigorous new stems from the base. By the end of the three years the plant should be fully rejuvenated with its blossoms once more at nose level.

The plants should be fertilized in early spring and again directly after flowering with an all-purpose fertilizer and watered in well. Note: even as tough as lilacs are, they will still need supplemental water during periods of drought.

Lilacs can fall victim to leaf diseases in late summer and early fall, including powdery mildew fungus (Microsphaera alni) and leafroll necrosis. Powdery mildew produces unsightly whitish patches on the leaves, but the problem tends to be more aesthetic than physiological. Leafroll necrosis seems to be caused by air pollution.

Featured Growers: Ed and Karen Grangetto

Karen and Eddie Grangetto operate a family lemon orchard on the outskirts of Escondido. The family has roots in farming spanning three generations, including crops as diverse as avocados and wine grapes. The connection that farming has to the soil and spirit is certainly a large part of the attraction for the Grangettos, but the life style is also a powerful influence.

Karen and Ed Grangetto

Farming provides the freedom to take chances, and work with people who appreciate results, all within an environment where nature is ultimately in charge. It beats commuting on the freeway for a job in a tiny cubicle.

The lemon orchard consists of approximately 16 acres. The remainder of the ranch, approximately 55 acres, is planted into avocados. Until recently, the avocados were reasonably profitable. Lemons help balance the risk as avocado profit margins decline due to huge increases in water cost and intense competition from Mexico.

Ed Grangetto Sr., who recently passed away at the age of 93, was instrumental in bringing Eddie Jr. into farming. It was only natural for Eddie to move back to the ranch and return to agriculture. He works full time at Grangetto’s Farm and Garden Supply and oversees the care of the lemons and avocados. As Ed Sr. got older, Karen took on more of the day-to-day operation of the grove, including the growing and management duties.

Eddie had the good fortune to learn how to farm from his father. In addition, he believes a modern day grower must utilize the advice of industry experts, i.e; pest control advisers, certified crop advisers, university consultants, and laboratories to create a sound foundation for reducing costs and providing a sustainable means for production. Affiliations with organizations such as the Farm Bureau, Grangetto’s Farm and Garden, and Sunrise Packing are necessary, if farmers want to stay informed about environmental issues, integrated pest management solutions, and niche marketing.

The future of the small family farm is probably more uncertain now than ever before. Foreign intrusion into domestic markets, shortages of water, more new home construction and labor shortages continue to plague our industry. Many family farms are disappearing. Although small farms face greater risk now, Karen and Eddie wouldn’t trade their lifestyle. The grove not only provides income, it allows them to walk out the back door into an environment full of wildlife, native plants, and tranquility. Planting lemons was a good decision, and one that will continue Ed Grangetto Sr.’s legacy.


Annual Garden and Insect Festival


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Daylilies, members of the Liliaceae (lily family), are some of the easiest to grow and most popular of the garden perennials. Because they range in size, color, and design application, there is a daylily for almost everyone and every garden. Like their name Hemerocallis, "beauty for a day," the individual daylily flower lasts only one day. What is so wonderful? They are borne on long arching stems with the flowers in clusters and bloom in succession over a period of two to six months from mid-spring to late, depending upon the variety.

Daylilies are versatile in the garden and landscape. They can be very dramatic in a perennial border or in the foreground of shrubbery plantings. They can be spectacular as foundation plantings, cover an unsightly bank or serve as accents beside a pond. These flowers are more dramatically effective when planted in clusters of three or more to create sweeping drifts or a mass effect. Not only do the flowers sway in the breeze, so does the light, strapping foliage. Motion in the garden!

The flower colors of the species come in vibrant shades of yellow, orange, and red, with a much more varied color selection in the hybrids. Plants have been developed with flowers in cream, gold, scarlet, pink, apricot, purple, violet, and plum. There are also hybrids, which repeatedly bloom throughout the summer; they bloom early, then after a short rest, bloom again, constantly repeating the process.

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Don't miss out on our new daylily hybrids with ruffles, piecrust ruffles, and picotee borders. Ruffles have soft, lightly wavy edges. Piecrust edging has heavy indentations, much like edges to a pie crust. Picotee has petal margins that are either lighter or darker than the main petal color—a contrasting color. All of these new introductions are gorgeous!

Choose a sunny or lightly shaded location for your daylilies. The best flowers will be produced when they are planted in a sunny location, unless you live in a very hot climate; in this case, choose a lightly shaded area. Daylilies also enjoy a regular feeding of every two months during the growing season to maintain their bloom color.

They are tough, adaptable, vigorous-growing plants that will thrive in nearly all kinds of soil; however, the best is soil that is moist, but well drained, fertile and humus-rich. Whether your soil is light and sandy or heavy clay, add planting mix. Mulch the soil with bark or cocoa mulch in the spring and in the fall to minimize weeds and retain soil moisture.

Pest of the Month: Spider Mites

Spider mites are common pest problems on many plants around yards and gardens. Spider mites, like all mites, are not insects. They are related to spiders and therefore fall into the class of arachnids, which have eight legs, not six.

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These tiny creatures cause injury to foliage as they feed, bruising the cells with their small, whip-like mouthparts and ingesting the sap. Damage to the foliage gives a speckled appearance to the damaged tissue sites. They also leave a cottony web material between leaf stems.

Spider mite infestation tends to occur during periods of dry, hot weather and hit plants that have not been well watered. A good lesson to learn from this would be to keep your plants healthy and watered at all times, especially when hot, dry weather strikes your gardens.

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But if you still have spider mites, even after your best precautions, what can you do? Because spider mites are not insects, insecticides will not work on them; and worse, such a spray will just kill the beneficial insects coming to the plant to eat the spider mites.

article pictureFortunately, the spider mite, like other pesky bugs on our plants, has several natural predators. One important one is the ladybug larva. Other less well-known predators of the spider mite are pirate bugs and predatory thrips.

Bayer Advanced Insect, Mite and Another easy physical control is simply to spray them off the foliage with water. Sound familiar? That is also a treatment for aphids, mealybugs and other garden insect pests. If the natural predators haven't come to the rescue, or the improvement of plant health and water control techniques is not solving the spider mite problem, talk to one of us and we will further direct you to a spray oil or miticide product. For example, if you have mites on your tomatoes, sulphur dust will work to kill the spider mites.

But remember, if you decide to use an insecticide or miticide control, first double-check for the beneficial insects coming in to gobble up the mites!


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Poison OakAmong all of the pleasures of gardening are the little "gotchas" that the seasoned gardeners avoid, but the rookies fall prey to.

One of the most unforgiving of these is poison oak. So many people will quickly say, "I know what it looks like," then later report having it, that it might be wise to take a few moments to review.

Identify it:

Poison oak (Toxicodendron diversilobum) is common in California, western Oregon and western Washington. In open or filtered sun it grows as a dense, leafy shrub. Where shaded it becomes a tall-climbing vine. Its leaves are divided into 3 leaflets, edges of which are scalloped, toothed or lobed.

Manage it:

Prevention is the best course of action. Learn to identify and avoid contact with the plant. If it is located on your property or near where children play, use a chemical exfoliant and physically remove the remains.

If you recognize that you may have come in contact with the resin, wash immediately and aggressively with warm water and soap. If the resin is not removed, it may be transmitted from the exposure site to the hands, face, forearms, and other areas. Contrary to popular belief, you cannot get poison ivy/poison oak from another person's rash. However, contamination may occur with contact from the resin.

Completely remove all of your clothing and wash in warm water and detergent. Harsh soaps and vigorous scrubbing won't help. Simply soaking in a cool bath with mild hand soap is sufficient to remove the resin and help prevent the spread of the dermatitis. However, this won't prevent the typical skin reaction in a highly sensitive person.

Anti-itch medication is helpful in relieving the symptoms. Calamine lotion and cool compresses will help relieve the itch. A cool bath with baking soda or oatmeal preparations will help buffer the skin's pH and relieve symptoms. Avoid topical anesthetic agents like antihistamines, benzocaine, and zirconium. Topical steroids are helpful to relieve the itching. Oral antihistamines are helpful in relieving the itch but may cause drowsiness. Do not "pop" the large lesions. These may become infected if not drained aseptically. Infected lesions may lead to secondary cellulitis.

Treat it:

Severe, incapacitating cases of poison oak/poison ivy can be treated with short-term oral corticosteroid use, typically prescribed as a daily or twice daily regimen in a decreasing or tapering dose for one to two weeks.

During the healing process avoid exposure to the sun, as sun exposure may cause scarring in healing tissue.

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Hummingbird gardens must offer not only nectar-filled flowers but also a habitat that supports their lifestyle. These little birds need both sun and shade, shrubs and tree branches for perching, fresh water for not only drinking but for bathing too. Oh yes, and they will need materials for nest-making such as spider webs, dryer lint, or bits of leaves.

These delicate birds spend lots of energy flying, so it comes as no surprise that they feed many times each hour (3-5 times). While our flowers are blooming, there is nectar for them to sip, but once you have offered them a flower food source, you can also place hummingbird feeders in prominent locations to feed them too. Hummingbird feeders supplement the flower nectar, especially when flowers are few. Hang them from tree branches or a carefully placed shepherd's Article Picturehook, high enough to keep the hummingbird safe from the neighborhood cats.

If you decide to have a few hummingbird feeders, use our prepackaged hummingbird nectar or a water (4 parts sugar: 1 part water) mixture for the nectar (no food coloring please!). Clean the feeders every week, as molds can grow in the sugar water. Most feeders are red with some yellow too, just a couple of the hummer's favorite colors!

We mentioned having a water source for the hummingbird. They love quiet moving water, such as a bubbling fountain. Like the songbirds that will frequent this fountain of water, so will the hummer come and perch for a bath or drink. This is an absolutely delightful sight to see!

Hummingbirds love tubular shaped flowers although that shape is not absolutely required. Fragrance is not important to them, but vivid colors of red, purple, pink, orange and yellow will attract them to your garden. We have a large selection of flowering annuals and perennials that will attract hummingbirds into your gardens.

Pick a location in your landscape for the hummingbird garden. Maybe it will be a small garden or perhaps it will encompass all of your garden beds. Amend the soil with Gardner & Bloome Soil Building Compost before planting. Feed your new hummingbird-favorite plants with Dr. Earth All-Purpose Fertilizer to keep those flowers coming!
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Just a hummingbird safety note: Please be careful about your use of pesticides with the plants in your hummingbird garden. Just as care must be taken to save beneficial insects, the same is true of the hummingbirds (and other birds) that you have attracted. If they drink nectar with pesticide or eat an insect that has eaten or been sprayed with a pesticide, you will bring harm also to the hummingbird (and other birds in the garden).


BBQ Season Is Here. Is Your Yard Ready?


Memorial Day marked the official start of barbeque season! Are your yard and garden in shape for your family and guests? It's still not too late to take some steps that will help your garden look not only presentable, but terrific.

Besides a thorough clean-up removing weeds, piled-up debris and unwanted stuff... make sure all shrubs get a light pruning. Now, survey your garden and focus on empty spaces between shrubs. Fill in these spots with additional shrubs of the same variety or add lilies such as agapanthus or calla lilies. They are full and blooming now and blend in well with most leafy shrubs. Next, add color if space permits; plant borders of summer annuals such as petunias, marigolds, lobelias and salvia.

If you have limited space, pots of annuals placed strategically in dining areas and around the patio or pool make a huge difference, even more so if you feature a focal plant in the center of the pots, such as ornamental theme roses (always in bloom during the summer), ornamental grasses, flax or palms.

Add a soil covering, or shredded bark, to empty soil spaces. Fertilize monthly and use a good soil amendment in the ground. Use a potting soil for your containers (never use garden soil in containers). Water regularly and protect your new plants from snails and cutworms with . For a finishing touch add a garden accessory such as a shepherd's hook with a blooming hanging basket, a metal trellis, or even a decorative plant stake. Now your garden is ready to welcome the 2007 barbeque season.... Bon Appétit!

Don't Kill All of The Butterflies

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Caterpillars, loopers, and worms, especially green loopers, tomato hornworms, and cabbage worms, are hated by many gardeners. If necessary, control them with BT. However, butterflies, with the possible exception of the white cabbage butterflies, are the floating flowers of the garden. So why kill them all? In fact, why not encourage them? Gardeners who plant meadows filled with wildflowers often provide perfect habitats and never notice the depredations of the attendant caterpillars, a very important stage in the butterfly life cycle.

If you like Swallowtail butterflies, grow parsley and sweet fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), plenty of it, for both you and them. The caterpillars are attractively striped and not overly voracious. They do, however, like willow trees, poplars, and sycamores. If you grow these trees you're likely to have a resident population already.

Monarch butterflies can be attracted by growing butterfly weed (Asclepius tuberosa). Large-flowered passion vine will attract Gulf Fritillary, a red-orange butterfly with black-to-brown markings and silver spots under the wings. The fuzzy black caterpillars will decimate leaves of passion vine, but not touch much else in the garden. The Mourning Cloak butterfly is attracted to newly mown lawns, and is often fearless enough to sit on a gardener's moist outstretched palm. Consider adding a butterfly-attracting specimen or two to enhance your garden and attract these beautiful additions to your landscape.


Summer Heat Stress on Japanese Maples


Many homeowners purchase a beautiful Japanese maple in spring only to bring in burnt and damaged leaves in summer, worried that their investment is about to part ways with their yard. The tree isn't dying - it's just suffering from heat stress. A common misconception is that Japanese maples can't tolerate a full sun location. But this is not true. All Japanese maples can adapt to a full sun location and, in fact, tend to color up better when they are in one. What most people experience is summer heat stress due to infrequent (or lack of) water when the tree needs it, especially during a heat wave.

Most Japanese maples will burn a little on the leaf tips in the first year while acclimating to a sunny location. But after that, they should not experience more stress. The reason maple leaves turn brown on the edges in summer is that the tree is unable to replenish the moisture the foliage loses through natural transpiration. As moisture leaves a plant, the tree draws moisture up from the ground to keep the cells in the leaves healthy and robust. If the tree has no moisture to draw from, the cells burst and die, which leads to the burning one sees on the leaf edges.

This condition can also be caused by salt burn from the use or overuse of strong chemical fertilizers containing high amounts of nitrogen, especially ammoniacal nitrogen. Even if the soil is moist around the trees, the tree can burn because the moist soil actually activates the fertilizer and the tree cannot control the amount of fertilizer it draws up.

What Japanese maples do need is a consistently moist, well-drained environment and, preferably, the use of an organic fertilizer. The term "well-drained" is key because regular watering in a poorly drained area will lead to root-rot and, ultimately, death. So never plant a Japanese maple in a low spot or next to a downspout or gutter. The amount of watering it takes to maintain a consistently moist condition will vary with soil type and location but on average Japanese maples should be checked for watering every 2-3 days.

Grilled Island Chicken

What you need:

  • 1 tsp. grated lime rind
  • 1/4-cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 tbsp. ground allspice
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 to 2 tbsp. finely chopped jalapeño pepper
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 6 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
  • 3 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • Cooking spray

Step by Step:

Combine the first 12 ingredients in a blender; process until well blended.

Pour mixture into a large heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag; add onion and chicken.

Seal bag; marinate in refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours, turning bag occasionally.

Remove chicken from bag; discard marinade.

Place chicken on grill rack coated with cooking spray. Grill chicken, with grill cover on, for 10 minutes on each side or until done.

Yield: 6 servings



July 4th Mr. G

'See you next month!'
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