Please click here to read newsletter if not displayed below:
Edition 8.18
May 2008

Go Green with Grangetto's

Spend It In Escondido!

Advertise with us

3 day forecast
Weather Courtesy of:

Flexrake Ad
View the ad here.

Nature's Big Bud Worm Castings

Read more about what Nature’s Big Bud’s Premium Liquid Worm Castings can do for your Plants and Flowers

Grangetto's Preferred Card
Start Saving Today!

San Diego County Water Authority
Water Management Conservation Program Overview

Be Water Wise
Water Saving Rotary Sprinkler Nozzles
Get Water Saving Tips!

Be Water Wise with the Nifty 50!
50 drought tolerant plants native to Southern California

California Water Crisis

California's Water Crisis:
A Public Education Program

Fresh Produce

Want Fresh Organic Produce?

Online Account Access
Attention Grangetto Account Customers:
View Your Statements On-line!

Sign up to receive the Grangetto's Garden Newsletter and receive a 15% off discount coupon!

Subscribe Now to
Grangetto's News

Click here to subscribe, unsubscribe or change your address.

Grangetto's Gift Cards
Now Available
for Your Convenience.

Great for:
Holiday Gifts - Birthdays - Father's Day - and any other special occasion.

Have a Look
Around our Site:
Ask Mr. G

FREE Coupon

Mr. G's
"Tip of the Month!"
Tips Image


Tips image

Fertilize both cool season (fescue) and warm season (bermuda & St. Augustine) lawns using Best Turf Supreme 16-6-8 or Best Super Iron 9-9-9. Lawns should be fertilized every 4-6 weeks.

Tell a Friend about our Newsletter

Contact Information:

Click to e-mail us.

(760) 944-5777

189 S. Rancho Santa Fe Rd.
Encinitas, CA 92024


Mr. G's Irrigation
Fertilizing Guides

Fertilizers: Best Triple Pro 15 Dr. Earth Rhododendron, Azalea, Camellia 4-5-4 Dr. Earth Fruit Tree Fertilizer Best Ntra Kingproduct image Turf Supreme 16-6-8 Dr. Earth Cottonseed Meal

Fertilizer Spreaders: Scotts Handheld Spreader Scotts Lawn Pro Spreader

Grangettos Grass SeedSeedsSeedsSeeds

Soil Amendments / Mulches: Soil Building Compost Sunshine Pro Premium Potting Soil Gardner and Bloome Planting Mix John and Bob's Soil Optimizer Worm Gold Plus Worm Gold Plus
Landscape/Garden Tools: Corona PrunersAmes Hose Flexrake Flexogen Hose

Pest Control: Amaze Weed Killer Black Hole Green Light Crabgrass Preventer Sluggo Plus Bayer Tree and Shrub Product Image Ortho Buggeta Product Image Product Image Product Image Product Image

Fun and Facts

What Have These Famous Plant People Done?


Garden Trivia
Crossword Puzzle

Please click here
to take our Survey

featured quote


"The greatest gift of the garden is the restoration of the five senses."
- Hanna Rion

DaVinci Water Gardens



Manager's Corner

article imageKeep your lawn looking beautiful and weed-free; Grangetto's and Bayer Advanced can help. First, it's important to be able to identify the types of weeds you have and the conditions in which they thrive.

Weeds are classified as either broadleaf, like dandelion, chickweed, clover, henbit and creeping Charlie, or grassy, like crabgrass, Dallis grass or goose grass. In the past, the type of weeds you had, as well as the type of lawn you were growing, dictated which herbicide you should use to kill the weeds. If you had broadleaf weeds, you applied one product. If you had grassy weeds, you used another. If you had both, which was often the case, you had to make at least two separate applications, an expensive and time-consuming proposition.


Weed identification and Photo Gallery From the University of California, Agriculture & Natural Resources
Click here to view the University of California's Weed Photo Gallery.


Bayer Weed KillerNow Bayer Advanced has simplified lawn weed control, making it easier than ever to kill both broadleaf and grassy weeds. Bayer Advanced™ All-In-One Weed Killer for Lawns Concentrate kills over 200 types of lawn weeds, including broadleaf weeds like dandelions, and grassy weeds, like crabgrass. (not for use on St. Augustine grass, Bahia, bentgrass, carpetgrass, centipede grass or Dichondra). It won't harm the lawn and comes in ready-to-use containers, ideal for spot treatments, and concentrate for larger areas. Ready-to-use formulations contain SmartTrack®, a non-staining red marker that shows which weeds have been sprayed before it slowly fades away.

Tips For Keeping Weeds Out of Your Lawn
Here are other ways to keep weeds from invading your lawn.

Know your grass type. Different lawn grasses grow in different parts of the country, and knowing which type you have is important to how you care for it and what problems may occur. For instance, if you live in the Northeast, cool season grasses like tall fescue and Kentucky bluegrass grow well. In the Deep South, warm season grasses such as Bermuda grass, centipede and St. Augustine grass are best adapted. But even within the grass types, there are varieties that resist specific pest problems and may be the best choice if you are planting a new lawn. If you don't know what type of lawn you have, take a sample to a local nurseryman or your local county extension office to find out.

Video Clip

Build up the lawn's overall health. Proper maintenance goes a long way in preventing weeds. Fertilize cool season lawns heavily in the fall and lightly in the spring if it could use a bit of a green-up. Feed warm season lawns from late spring into summer. Water regularly during dry spells and mow at the appropriate height for your lawn type. In spring or fall, aerate cool season lawns to help nutrients and air reach the roots. Dethatch grass that's too thick from excess thatch build-up. When it's fall, rake leaves to help the lawn "breathe."


Manager of Grangetto's Encinitas



Garden Fest Poster


Click here to view a PDF of this poster.


This Month's Specials

May Specials

Rose Care Basics

RosesPlanting roses is one of the first activities of the gardening year. Planting early is important as roses need to have their roots well established. Often the tops will begin to grow before the roots have grown into their new location. Be prepared to water and watch them carefully through their first spring.

Roses Need

  • At least six hours of sunlight a day
  • Soil that drains well
  • Good air circulation
  • To avoid hard freezes

When to Plant

  • Bare-root roses: Late winter is the best time to plant bare-root roses.
  • Container-grown roses: Early spring is the best time to set out plants grown in nursery containers (vs. bare-root, packaged types). Avoid summer planting unless you are willing to water every 1 to 2 days in hot weather.

How to Handle a Rose Before Planting

  • Soak the roots of a bare-root rose in a bucket of water for at least an hour or two. Overnight is okay, but no longer.
  • Make sure the soil and roots of a container-grown rose are moist. If the soil is dry, water and let drain an hour or two before planting. Never plant a dry root ball. It is hard to re-wet.
  • If you can't plant your rose right away because the soil is not workable (too wet or frozen), store the plant in a cool place away from the wind, and keep the roots moist. A basement or garage is ideal. Or you can dig a small trench in a shady spot of your garden, lay the rose down at a thirty-degree angle, cover the roots with moistened soil, and cover the top with a layer of hay.

Rose Care ProductsPreparing the Soil for Roses

Video Clip - How to care for your rosesLook For This Information on the Rose Package

  • Plant Spacing: A five-foot spacing works well for hybrid teas. Larger plants will need more room. Antique roses vary tremendously in size and form.
  • Follow planting directions on the rose label. Avoid planting too deeply. In the South, the crown of grafted plants should be about 2 inches above the soil line, even if the package doesn’t say so. Buried crowns invite disease in the South. The first lateral roots should be just at the soil surface. Set the plant in the hole so that the first roots are just below the surface.
  • When the hole is filled to about an inch from the top, water thoroughly. This will eliminate any air pockets that might be around the roots. Wait for the water to drain. Then, finish filling the hole. With any remaining soil, make a rim around the edge of the hole so that water will funnel towards the roots.

Watering Roses

  • Water new plants regularly at first, applying about 1 inch per week. Drip irrigation is best to water slowly, thoroughly, and deeply without wetting foliage. Water less in winter.

Protecting Roses Against Insects


  • Mulch well with bark, compost, or pine straw.
Lilly Miller


Pest of the Month: Tomato Hornworm

Tomato hornworms are the larvae of a large sphinx moth that is about the size of a hummingbird. In spring the moth lays eggs on the underside of tomato leaves, and the hornworm is quite small when it first emerges. However, they are big eaters (of tomato leaves) and grow up quickly. Usually, you won’t even discover this fellow until it is large--about 2 inches long and fat! They are quite distinctive, actually handsome with their diagonal white stripes and horns on the rear.

Don’t be afraid of the hornworms. They look more frightening than they are. They don’t bite or sting, just try to look big and ferocious. You can easily handpick to remove from your tomato plant and just throw them away. When they are younger, smaller, use Bt (bacillus thuringiensis) as an effective management technique.

Some gardeners have a different approach to the tomato hornworm. While handpicking a hornworm, look to see if you find little white cocoons attached to its back. If you do see this, that cocoon is a pupating braconid wasp, which is a garden friend predator. Capture the hornworm and keep it or all of them in a container, feeding them tomato leaves. You are creating a nursery for the braconid wasps that can be released into your garden! These wasps will also control the hornworm population.

Other natural predators are birds and the larvae of the green lacewing. Plant your gardens to create an inviting habitat for all of these natural predators, and you’ll control this voracious eater of your tomato leaves. Luckily, they don’t eat the tomato!

Spinosad Safer Caterpillar Killer
Spinosad and Safer Caterpillar Killer


Gardens to Gro


Click here to read the rest of the article.



Gardens to Gro


Things to Do in May

1. Plant irises, canned roses, tropicals and tuberoses.
2. Transplant potted bulbs into the ground.
3. Replace cool-season bedding flowers with summer-season flowers.
4. Plant zinnias and other heat loving flowers.
5. Plant morning glories.
6. Plant warm-season lawns.
7. Continue to plant summer vegetables.
8. Replace parsley if you haven’t already done so.
9. Plant a giant pumpkin for Halloween.
10. Purchase, plant, and transplant succulents, including cacti and euphorbias.
11. Stop pinching fuchsias if you did not do so last month.
12. Thin out fruit on deciduous fruit trees.
13. Pinch dahlias back when the plant has three sets of leaves; tie the plant up as it grows.
14. Continue to pick and deadhead roses.
15. Divide and repot cymbidiums that have outgrown their containers.
16. Cut off bloom spikes from cymbidiums after flowers fade.
17. Prune camellias if you have not already done so.
18. Clean and prune azaleas.
19. Divide and mount staghorn ferns.
20. Prune winter- and spring-flowering vines, shrubs, trees and ground covers after they finish blooming.
21. Continue to tie up and sucker tomatoes.
22. Remove berries (seed pods) from fuchsias after flowers fall.
23. Pinch back petunias when you plant them.
24. Continue to prune and train espaliers.
25. Feed citrus trees, avocado trees.
26. Feed fuchsias, azaleas, tuberous begonias, water lilies.
27. Feed roses, ferns, flower beds, camellias after they bloom.
28. Fertilize lawns.
29. Side-dress vegetable rows with fertilizer.
30. Feed all container-grown succulents with a well-diluted complete liquid fertilizer.
31. Fertilize peppers when flowers first show.
32. As the weather becomes drier, water all garden plants regularly.
33. Taper off watering those California native plants that do not accept summer water.
34. Water roses, cymbidiums, and vegetables.
35. Do not water succulents.
36. Control rose pests and diseases.
37. Spray junipers and Italian cypress for juniper moths.
38. Control mildew.
39. Control pests on vegetables.
40. Control weeds among permanent plants by mulching or cultivating.
41. Control weeds among vegetables and flowers by hand-pulling.
42. Keep bamboo from running into your neighbor’s garden.
43. Harvest vegetables regularly.
44. If you finish this work-list over the weekend, drop by the store and we will give you an expanded version.

We now carry cacti and succulents!

Cacti and succulents can be repotted at any time of the year, though spring or the end of the growing season are convenient times. Many succulents present no special handling problems, but prickly cacti have to be treated with respect.

We now carry cacti and succulentsIf possible, choose a soil mix formulated for cacti, as this will be well drained and have the right sort of structure and nutrient level. A soil-based potting mixture is a practical alternative. Some commercial growers use peat-based potting mixtures, but these are best avoided. Apart from the difficulty in keeping the water balance right, peat-based potting mixtures do not have the weight and structure to support large cacti and succulents.

Large specimens do not need regular repotting. Simply remove about 3 cm (about 1 inch) of soil from the top and replace with fresh cactus soil.

To handle a prickly cactus, fold a strip of newspaper, thick paper or thin card to make a flexible band that you can wrap around the plant. Tap the pot on a hard surface to loosen the root-ball. You can then often lift the plant out with the improvised handle. If it refuses to move, try pushing a pencil through the drainage hole to break the bond.

If the plant has been in the same soil for a long time, crumble away a little of it from the base and around the sides of the root-ball. But be careful to minimize damage to the roots. Just shake off loose compost.

The majority of cacti and succulents are best in pots that are quite small in proportion to the size of the top growth. It is usually best to move the plant into a pot only one size larger. If using a clay pot, cover the drainage hole with pieces of broken pot or other material.

While holding the plant with the improvised handle, trickle compost around the old root-ball. With some cacti, their shape makes this difficult to do without your hand touching the spines, in which case you can use a spoon.

With a little care in handling, you will have a plant ready to go on decorating your garden for some time to come.




Irrigation Specials

Pro - C Controller






Roberts Irrigation Ad




Happy Mother's Day

The earliest Mother's Day celebrations we know of were ancient Greek spring celebrations in honor of Rhea, the mother of the gods. But those were in honor of one particular mother. England's "Mothering Sunday," begun in the 1600's, is closer to what we think of as "Mother's Day." Celebrated on the 4th Sunday of Lent, "Mothering Sunday" honored the mothers of England.

In 1907 Anna Jarvis started a drive to establish a national Mother's Day. In 1907 she passed out 500 white carnations at her mother's church in West Virginia -- one for each mother in the congregation. In 1908, her mother's church held the first Mother's Day service, on May 10th (the second Sunday in May). That same day a special service was held at the Wanamaker Auditorium in Philadelphia, where Anna was from, which could seat no more than a third of the 15,000 people who showed up.

By 1909, churches in 46 states, Canada and Mexico were holding Mother's Day services. In the meantime, Ms. Jarvis had quit her job to campaign full time. She managed to get the World's Sunday School Association to help; they were a big factor in convincing legislators to support the idea. In 1912, West Virginia was the first state to designate an official Mother's Day. By 1914, the campaign had convinced Congress, which passed a joint resolution. President Woodrow Wilson signed the resolution, establishing an official national Mother's Day on the second Sunday in May.

Many countries of the world now have their own Mother's Day at different times of the year, but Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Japan, and Turkey join the US in celebrating Mother's Day on the second Sunday of May. Britain still celebrates Mothering Day on the 4th Sunday of Lent — but they now call it Mother's Day. By any name, and at any date, it's a special day to honor a special person.

Mother's DayHave a gardening mother in your family and having trouble thinking of a gift? Bored with the usual chocolate and flowers? Try something different for Mother's Day this year! How about a gift planter?

Get a big flowerpot or a planter and fill it with things she can use in her garden! She'd surely appreciate a new pair of garden gloves, a selection of seeds, new small tools like trowels and clippers, knee pads, some good hand lotion, and other useful items she might not buy for herself.



Grangetto's Gift Card

A Grangetto's Gift Card is the perfect Mother's Day present!



Orchid Ad



Sod Ad




Creating Healthy Soil with Worm Castings

Nature's Big BudNATURE'S BIG BUD WORM CASTINGS, INC. was founded in Campo, California in March of 2003 on a secluded ranch nestled in the gentle rolling hills of the Laguna Mountains of eastern San Diego County. Here were to be found all the necessary ingredients for a successful venture. At an elevation of 3,000 feet, the climate is mild to moderate. The necessary facilities were there and the natural resources available. Once owned by the famous Western movie star, Tim Holt ("Treasure of the Sierra Madre"), and purchased by Lonnie Sole in March of 1998, this historic cattle and horse ranch promotes and celebrates the authentic lifestyle of the American Cowboy and the rugged West. Most recently, it has become the center of a modern large scale worm farming (vermiculture/vermicomposting) business.

article imageVermiculture/vermicomposting combined is the art and science of producing worms and introducing them into an edible material for the sake of gathering their manure (worm castings) for gardening/agricultural use. It maybe done in one's backyard where yard and kitchen waste is used as food, or, as is the case of "Legacy Ranch," on a grander scale for commercial purposes where tons of organic horse manure are recycled as compost food for the estimated millions of worms to eat and digest ultimately producing a highly beneficial, organic natural fertilizer.

Read more.





Just a note here: What most gardeners know as a "geranium" is probably a plant of the genus pelargonium and not the genus geranium (more commonly known as cranesbills). We are using the term 'geranium' here in deference to the common usage.

There are four main types of garden geraniums: zonal geraniums, Martha Washington geraniums, the scented-leaf geraniums, and ivy geraniums.


Zonal geraniums (pelargonium hortorum):
The most popular garden geranium, getting their name from the "zoned" leaf markings. They have clusters of individual flowers held on long stems above the foliage. There are many cultivars, with wide range of brilliant flower color and attractive leaves. Most will grow about 3 ft. tall.


Martha Washington geraniums (pelargonium domesticum):
The group known as the "orchid of geraniums." Flowers are orchid-like blooms; colors may be white, pink, red, purple, or mixed colors. These geraniums require cool (50 to 60F) night temperatures in order to bloom. They may stop flowering in the heat of the summer but will resume once the weather cools in the fall.


Scented-leaf geraniums (pelargonium--various species and hybrids):
Grown for their beautifully scented foliage. They vary in shape, size, flower color and growth habit. Foliage fragrances include rose, chocolate, mint, apple, lemon, lime, ginger and nutmeg.


Ivy geraniums (pelargonium peltatum):
Named for the ivy-shaped foliage and trailing growth habit; the flower colors are more pastel than zonals. They are ideal for hanging baskets, and may also be used in window boxes, or as ground covers in a protected location. They like moderate temperatures. If the temperatures are between 65 and 80 degrees F, put them in full sun. When the temperature is higher than that, move them to an area with partial sun.

For planting geraniums in flower beds, work in a complete fertilizer like Lilly Miller All Purpose Planting  and Growing Food 10-10-10before planting. In mid-summer fertilize again with a water-soluble fertilizer such as Grow More All Purpose Plant Food 15-30-15. Space plants 10 to 12 inches apart. Water well after planting, but don't overwater.

For planting in containers, use Sunshine Pro Planting Mix Potting Soil, and top-dress with Osmocote® Smart-Release® Vegetable & Bedding Plant Food to provide continuing nutrients. Water thoroughly when the soil is dry to the touch (so water comes through the drainage holes).

Geraniums of all sorts are a great addition to your home and garden. Try a few this year for your window boxes, hanging baskets, and flowerbeds.


Lilly Miller Food Sunshine Planting Mix Osmocote Grow More All Purpose Plant Food 15-30-15


Growing Vegetables Just Got Easier

Earthbox Ad
Learn how to make an EarthBox!


Garden Primer

What Is Humic Acid?
Humic acid is a complex organic acid that is present in soil, peat, and coal, formed from the decomposition of vegetation matter. It is responsible for much of the color of surface water. Because of its vegetative origin, this material is very rich and beneficial to plants and gardens.

Almost anything that grows will benefit from humic acid. It increases nutrient uptake, drought tolerance and seed germination. It increases the microbial activity in the soil, making it an excellent root stimulator. Humic acid increases the availability of nutrients that are already in your soil and will naturally aerate the soil. It also will help to lower the pH of your soil and helps flush high levels of salts out of the root zone.

If you use humic acid, your plants and grass turf will have a healthier green color, and smaller amounts of fertilizer will be needed throughout the year to keep them green. It helps support root development in plants and can also help increase the yield of fruit trees and vegetables. Humic acid is actually somewhat of a "professional secret"--it has been used by landscapers and golf course managers for years.

Click to print this article.

Recycle the easy way! As seen on Oprah!

Composting on Oprah - photo


Compost Bin Ad



By Tamara Galbraith

Wondering what will grow in your veggie garden during summer's most sweltering months? Try the heat-loving beauty that is the eggplant.

Apart from the gorgeous fruit--which comes in many shapes and sizes, from the classic deep purple to pure white, to lavender-and-white marbled, and from the familiar large oblong fruits to the long slender Japanese varieties - the eggplant is in itself an attractive plant that can be grown as part of the ornamental garden. Its upright habit is fairly tidy, and the large, furry leaves provide an attractive contrast to other, more run-of-the-mill, plants in the landscape.

Unfortunately, eggplants tend to baffle a lot of gardeners. Many people don't want to grow them because they don't know what to do with the fruit, and that's a shame. When picked young, firm and still glossy, eggplants are delicious, virtually seedless and not bitter, and they make a wonderful accompaniment to many Italian and Mediterranean dishes.

Watch out for the rest of the plant, however; eggplant is a member of the toxic nightshade family, so don't eat any part but the fruit.

Most varieties should be planted 18 to 24 inches apart; compact and dwarf kinds can be a little closer together. Stake taller plants to keep the fruits off the ground. Plant in full sun--the more sun, the better. Soil should be fertile, well-drained and rich. Eggplant is somewhat drought tolerant, so don't overwater--it is susceptible to root rot. Mulching around the plant will help maintain even moisture. Water a bit more often when blooms appear. Eggplants will also do well in pots; use 3 gallon or better, with a good potting mix. Feed with a fertilizer recommended for tomatoes; like tomatoes, eggplants will put out lots of foliage and little fruit if you use a fertilizer too high in nitrogen.




Eggplant Hummus
  • 1 large eggplant (about 1 1/4 pounds)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup drained canned garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons (generous) tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut eggplant in half lengthwise, then score flesh in crisscross pattern at 1-inch intervals, 1/2 inch deep. Rub cut sides with 1 1/2 tablespoons oil; sprinkle with salt. Place eggplant on rimmed baking sheet, cut side down; bake until tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Cool slightly, then scoop flesh into processor (discard skins). Add garbanzo beans, remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil, lemon juice, tahini, and garlic; purée until mixture is almost smooth. Transfer to bowl; stir in parsley. Season hummus to taste with salt and pepper.





Mr. G

'See you next month!'
print thisclick here for a printer friendly version of this page