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Edition 7.31
August 2007

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Sevin Lawn Insect Granules

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Manager's Corner - August 2007

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Summer Lawn Care Tips

'Tis summer and the roar of the lawnmower is heard throughout the land. For the people who feel that the only good lawn is a short one, that's music to their ears. Chances are, it's not so good for the grass. Here, then, are some summer lawn care tips that will have your lawn looking its best during the hot summer months.

Mowing height adjustment is probably the most important practice to prepare lawns for hot weather. Mow at heights around 2-1/2”-3” for cool season grasses like fescue blends. If in doubt, set the mower as high as it will go. Lawns maintained at higher heights usually develop deeper roots and dry out slower than closely mowed turf. Lawn growth will slow as the weather gets drier and hotter.

Questions also arise concerning lawn watering practices for the summer. Most lawns in our area consist of cool-season lawn grasses such as Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, but mostly fescue blends. These grasses naturally slow down and may go dormant in the heat of summer. Decide to water lawns all summer as needed to keep them green. Do not allow lawns to turn brown and then water them back to a green condition, as this depletes energy reserves and stresses the plant.

Water lawns deeply and infrequently, applying about 1 to 1-1/2 inches per application, depending on site variables. Water early in the day if at all possible; this helps reduce disease problems.

Read more about summer lawn care here.

Bayer Weed KillerBayer Fungus ControlBayer Insect Killer

Beautiful Hand-Made Pottery

Hand-Made Pottery
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Lantana is a hardy, sun-loving and drought-tolerant flowering shrub. This evergreen shrub is fabulous and highly valued in any landscape for its very long bloom season. (In warm climates, it blooms all year around.) The highly drought-tolerant lantana is also an excellent addition to a xeriscape garden, providing plenty of flower color.

Best Triple 15The blooms are tiny flowers in tight clusters, resembling a miniature bouquet. In full bloom, the shrub is heavily covered with a profuse showy display that attracts both butterflies and hummingbirds.

Lantana hybrids fall into two major categories: upright and trailing forms. The upright forms range in size from 2-5' tall by 3-6' wide. The trailing varieties range from 1-3' tall by 3-6' wide. Lantana hybrids come in many colors and color combinations including yellow, pink, red, purple, cream, magenta and lemon yellow, orange and pink, and yellow and orange.

Plant the trailing varieties in the front of your hedge, on a hill or on an embankment. The larger upright forms are beautiful as background specimen plants or in a cluster of three with other drought-tolerant perennials surrounding them.

Lantana is a rapid, vigorous grower. Don't be afraid to maintain the size and shape of each shrub with a good spring pruning to keep shrubs lush and full. Without this pruning, lantana can get woody. Lantanas also benefit from a regular feeding Best Triple 15 or Dr. Earth All Purpose Fertilizer every two months spring through fall, which will keep them in top blooming form.

We have many different lantana hybrids from which to choose. So stop by and let us help you to transform your gardens to a water-wise flowering bouquet!

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Many gardeners give up on their roses in the summer, believing they only produce quality flowers in the spring. Rose blossoms do tend to be smaller in the summer and the colors not quite as vivid, because the summer heat forces the blooms to open before blossom size and color pigment have completely developed. But given the proper care, combined with a few simple pruning techniques, roses will re-bloom every six weeks until the first frost.

There are two ways to prune roses during the growing season, and both will encourage new blooms to set. Most roses have leaflets (with three to seven leaves) every couple of inches along the stems. In order to produce blooms you need to prune at least to the second five-leafed leaflet. (Pruning just above will eliminate nasty dead stems called coat hangers).

If you also want to prune for size control, you can go as far down as two leaflets above the previous cut. Pruning beyond the previous cut tells the rose you don't want it to bloom. Remember that hybrid tea and grandiflora rose stems tend to grow at least 18 inches after each pruning before blooming, so if you only prune the minimum amount you will have a very tall (and possibly leggy) rose by the end of summer.

Because roses are constantly growing, they are in constant need of food. It's important to feed roses every 6-8 weeks with a quality rose food. Continue feeding through September, and you will have quality rose blooms into fall. So don't give up on your roses. With a little help, they will provide loads of blooms for you all season long.

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Print a coupon for Bayer All-In-One Rose and Flower Care

Grangetto's and Hunter Industries Team up Again!

Hunter Industries

On  Wednesday, July 11th, Grangetto’s Store Managers and Landscape Customers attended a half day event at Hunter Industries.  Located in San Marcos, California, Hunter Industries is a leading innovator in the irrigation industry.

Presentations were made by Hunter’s Product Management and Sales Team which also included a tour of the manufacturing and testing facility.  Attendees were able to learn and visually see the features and benefits of Hunter products, as well as the benefits of the Hunter’s Preferred Customer Program.

Grangetto’s offers a complete assortment of Hunter Irrigation products at all four of its North County locations.

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Let's face it, working in your garden or watering your lawn is not easy while yellowjackets are buzzing around you. The yellowjacket could be searching for food or trying to protect the nest it carefully constructed during the past season.

Yellow Jacket TrapsAlthough wasps are helpful in pollination, and some varieties actually feed on insects such as caterpillars and other crop-destroying bugs, their venom can be harmful to those who are allergic to stings.

There are several ways to protect your garden visitors from the yellowjacket. The most natural way is by prevention. Wasps are attracted to food sources by smell, so eliminating any type of food such as soda or protein will keep these critters away. Do not squish a wasp, as the bug releases a pheromone that attracts others of its kind. Even worse, if you swat at the yellowjacket and miss, it will only defend itself by trying to sting you.

The easiest way to remove yellowjackets from your garden is by using a trap. The yellowjackets will enter the trap and get stuck. When using a trap, be sure to empty it weekly. We recommend the Rescue Yellow Jacket Traps or Victor Yellow Jacket traps trap and suggest placing a few strategically in different parts of the garden (away from entertaining areas) for best results. You can also spray the nest, if it is not near any vegetables or herbs. Note that spraying does put you in danger of being stung.

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No doubt you're seeing these riotous shrubs and small trees in bloom right now! These beauties like it hot, and are at their best in the warm months.

Some plants grow tired and stressed when high temperatures persist day after day. Crape myrtles, on the other hand, thrive under these conditions, making them valuable flowering shrubs or small trees in the summer landscape. Whether trained as standard or multi-trunk trees, crape myrtles make beautiful specimen or accent plants. Showy crinkled flowers are abundant throughout summer, with colors ranging from the reds to pinks, purples, and white.

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Plant these lovely shrubs in any sunny spot where summer color is needed. Planting is best done in late spring or summer, when they are actively growing. For desired size and shape, prune in early spring. Don't worry too much about your pruning skills, as they bloom on new wood. However, it is important to deadhead as blossoms fade in order to encourage continuous bloom. Crape myrtles are long-lived, drought tolerant (once established) and relatively pest free, although sometimes aphids and powdery mildew can be a problem. Watering in the morning, to give the foliage plenty of time to dry, will help keep mildew away.

As if that weren't enough, the handsome bark and fall leaf color add to an already stunning plant. Add one or more to your landscape, then just sit back and enjoy the show!

Heat-Loving Annuals

In the summertime, when the weather is hot, heat-loving annuals will dazzle your gardens with vibrant colors. They are the sun-bathing beauties of any garden. With so many different flower forms, colors, sizes and foliage shapes, every gardener will have a dozen or two favorite annuals blooming in the garden to brag about.

Versatility is their name; garden pizzazz is your gain. Annuals make themselves at home in your garden beds, intermingled with your trees and shrubs, patio containers, window boxes and/or hanging baskets Some annuals are groundcovers, some are perfect for the "middle and marvelous" group, and of course some will stand "tall and sassy" in the rear of the garden bed.

For a huge colorful impact, plant in swaths or waves. For example, many people planted their gardens in red, white and blue for July 4th. Perhaps they used 6 packs of blue lobelia in the front row, zinnias (red of course) in the next row, and in the back, lots and lots of white cosmos. The same concept applies to other color schemes.

Plant your annuals using planting mix. Most of these annuals need regular water. Fertilize to encourage continuous blooms. Also, to keep your annuals blooming all summer long, deadhead (which means pluck off the spent flowers). This will keep the plant from thinking that it is time to spend all of its energy developing seeds for the next season. Remember that annuals are plants that grow and bloom within one season.

Whatever your garden style or colors, we have annuals for you! Hurry in and pick your favorites. Get them in your gardens for a spectacular summer flower color show!

Click here to view sample pictures of annuals.

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With summer here, garden herbs are kicking into high gear, producing lots of pleasing, aromatic, foliage that is great for cooking and potpourris. Freshly harvested leaves are wonderful for cooking, but you might want to preserve some to use later in the year or to create sachets that will fill your home with wonderful scents.

There are two ways to air-dry your crop. The first is to hang it up. With large-leafed herbs such as basil, rosemary, and sage, snip off the leafy stems, then tie the cut ends together with string and hang the bundle upside down in a warm, dry place (out of direct sunlight) with good air circulation. The herbs should be dry and crisp in two to three weeks. You can then strip the leaves off the stems and store them in airtight container for later use. This method is also a great way to dry lavender.

The second way to dry herbs is to spread them out to dry. With fine-leafed herbs such as oregano and thyme, simply remove the foliage from stems and spread the leaves on a cookie sheet or piece of clean window screen and set in a warm, dry, airy place away from direct sun. Stir them up every few days to turn them over. Once the leaves feel crisp, you can store them in an airtight container for later use.

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Want to add a splash of tropical pizzazz to your garden? Think hibiscus!

Hibiscus is the one of the flashiest tropical shrubs around! The large vibrant colored funnel-shaped flowers are simply spectacular. The most familiar hibiscus to all of us is Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, originally from the tropical areas of Asia and cultivated for centuries.

Hibiscus can be used as specimen plants and are also beautiful when used as a tropical flowering hedge. They bloom in spring and summer with flowers ranging in size from 4-8 inches wide, single or double. Flower colors can vary from white to pink to red, from yellow and apricot to orange, depending on variety. A new variety, the Hot-Biscus, has a profusion of giant 8 inch flamboyant flowers that combine many different shades all on one flower.

Dr. EarthHibiscus prefer a well-drained soil, rich with compost, full sun to partial shade, and regular water during the growing season. During the blooming period, fertilize the plants every two months with a balanced plant food Dr. Earth Palm, Tropical & Hibiscus Fertilizer. To keep mature plants growing vigorously and to maintain an attractive shape, prune out about 1/3 of the old wood every spring. Pinching out tips of stems in spring and summer will increase your flower production.

View varieties by clicking here.

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Summer is here and many blooming vines are bursting with color. Strolling through your neighborhood or on your drive to work, you can’t help but notice them. Many are evergreen, some are deciduous, and all love the summer sun to produce spectacular flowers.

The virtue of a vine is unmistakable. The beauty of foliage and flower alone makes a vine worthy of space in any garden. Yet it can also offer coverage of an ugly fence or wall, provide architectural structural beauty, act as a screen separating garden spaces or frame a garden entrance.

Flowering vines attract wildlife such as birds, bees, and butterflies. Many have fragrant flowers and wonderful, bold colors as well as interesting shapes ranging from trumpet, tubular, and star-shaped flowers to colorful bracts with many smaller flowers.

Most vines either twine, cling or arch. The structure that you choose to train your vine onto will depend upon its growth habit and the ultimate size it can grow to. Some vines have more delicate branching while others, such as wisteria, develop strong, large woody vines from which the foliage and flowers emerge. That type of vine needs an extremely sturdy structure. Most other vines are easily trained onto a trellis or arbor. And of course the ‘clingers’ need a fence or wall to attach to.

We’re excited about the summer blooming vines we have in stock and invite you to look at our list below. They are blooming in the garden center and will continue to bloom for you at home, providing years of enjoyment.

Click here to view pics of summer vines

August Is The Time To:

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This article has one or more fillins!


1. Plant tropicals in coastal zones
2. Purchase and plant succulents, cacti, and euphorbias
3. Choose crape myrtles
4. Pick out and purchase cassias and flame eucalyptus
5. Plant papayas, bananas, and palms
6. Transplant palms
7. Stop pinching chrysanthemums
8. Cut back your petunias in mid-August to keep them flowering
9. Cut off the suckers from deciduous fruit trees
10. Prune and train your espaliers through the growing season
11. Be sure to trim trees and vines growing near swimming pools
12. Give fuchsias a light pruning
13. Remove suckers from roses
14. Clean off the stems from agapanthus and daylilies that have already bloomed
15. Prune and train wisteria
16. Remove only dead and dying foliage from date palms
17. Pull out dead crabgrass if you have previously treated it with weed killer
18. Feed fuchsias, tuberous begonias, water lilies, cymbidiums, ferns and tropicals
19. Feed warm-season lawns
20. Feed cool-season lawns only if they show signs of yellowing
21. Fertilize biennials started from seed in July with fish emulsion at weekly intervals
22. Do not fertilize deciduous fruit trees
23. Fertilize roses with _A631_
24. Feed fortnight lilies lightly
25. Water, water water! Be sure to keep container plants and garden beds watered well
26. Study your irrigation system, check for malfunctioning heads
27. On drip irrigation systems, flush filters and headers
28. Water warm-season lawns deeply at least once a week in most zones
29. Water cool-season lawns more shallowly and frequently
30. Make sure to control weeds by mulching, cultivating, and hand pulling
31. Control rose pests and diseases
32. Control pests on fuchsias
33. Control fireblight by removing disfigured branches and twigs
34. Control pests and diseases that cause dead brown patches on cool-season lawns
35. Control white grubs on cool-season lawns


Seeds To Plant In August

Seed Packets

Gardeners who want to grow their own transplants of winter flowers, particularly tall rather than dwarf varieties or single colors rather than mixed, should plant seeds of cool-season flowers now. Plant in flats, small pots, or peat pots. If you can't find the seeds you want locally, use seed catalogues. A few varieties may be sold out, but most are available and delivery service is quite fast.

Sunshine Potting MixSeeds of such flowers as pansies, cineraria, dianthus, delphiniums, violas, nemesia, Iceland poppies, primroses, snapdragons, stock, and calendulas, planted in August, can give a great number or transplants with which to fill beds in October. Tall varieties of stock are particularly worthwhile growing from seeds, since you can be assured of disease-free transplants. (Stock is susceptible to stem and root rots so don't plant them in the same place two years in a row.)

To grow stock be sure to disinfect flats and fill them with sterilized potting soil. Place the seeds on top of the soil, carefully spacing them where you want them; press them down gently. (Stock needs light to germinate.) Keep them moist and in semishade. Cover the flats with plastic until the seeds germinate. Then take off the plastic, be careful to protect the sprouts with netting, and move the flats in stages - over a period of two or three weeks - into increasing light, eventually into full sun. Start to feed the plants lightly when each has two real leaves. (Read seed catalogues closely; some varieties have more doubles and fewer singles than others. Weaker-looking seedlings with greener foliage are usually singles; healthier-looking, more grayish ones are doubles.) The sooner you get stock in the ground the better, because early planting enables the plants to build big, strong root systems and hefty stalks. You'll have a long-lasting and dramatic display.

Vegetable Gardening In August

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The main jobs in the vegetable garden this month are harvesting, watering, and pest control. All summer vegetables can be planted now, especially the heat lovers, but most gardeners prefer to wait this month out and start planting winter crops in mid-September. Most vegetable gardens in interior zones get pretty well burned up by the end of August.

Start seeds for cool-season crops. By midmonth seeds can be started in flats or peat pots for bedding plants to put in the ground in fall. Keep them in semishade. Good candidates are celery and all members of the cabbage family, including broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts. Home-grown transplants will be ready to put out in the garden in late September or October. If you need only a few it's much less trouble to buy transplants at the nursery.

Unfortunately, the plants bought at the nursery are usually labeled generically rather than by variety. Learn about good varieties for your zone, and ask your local nursery to carry them as transplants. Shop with companies that grow "gourmet varieties." They're more expensive, but there's a good reason: the seeds cost more. If enough gardeners become informed buyers, bedding plant growers and nurseries will gladly give them what they want.

Control corn earworm. If your corn is badly attacked by corn earworm now and you're not an organic gardener, try dusting the silks with Sevin. (Treat when the silks first emerge and continue to treat every three to five days until the silks turn brown.) Mineral oil on the silk has been tried with varying success by organic gardeners. If your corn is being rendered inedible by these pests, it could be that you are waiting too long to harvest the corn.

Corn needs lots of water while it's forming ears. Once you've picked them, cook the fresh corn no more than three minutes after the second boil.

Continue to harvest, and take stock for next year. This is the time of year when people who love to can and freeze are happily stashing away jars and bags of produce for winter use, and those of us who don't are giving away armloads of vegetables and perhaps vowing to plant less next year. By now first-time gardeners have learned that you don't need a whole row of zucchini to feed a family of four - three plants are plenty, but you never can plant enough corn - it goes fast.

Recipe of the Month: Peach Cobbler

Chef Mr. Grecipe image

What You'll Need:

Active time: 20 min. Start to finish: 45 min.
  • 6 large peaches, cut into thin wedges
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch

For biscuit topping

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup boiling water

Step by Step:

Cook peaches:
Preheat oven to 425°F.

Toss peaches with sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch in a 2-qt. nonreactive baking dish and bake in middle of oven 10 minutes.

Make topping while peaches bake:
Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Blend in butter with your fingertips or a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in water until just combined.

Remove peaches from oven and drop spoonfuls of topping over them. Bake in middle of oven until topping is golden, about 25 minutes. (Topping will spread as it bakes.)



Mr. G

'See you next month!'
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