Sunday, January 11, 2015

Nursery News for 2015

Welcome to the first blog of 2015.

As I write this blog the rains, or drizzles are coming down here in San Diego and very much appreciated. Have you noticed your own garden and how much the plants love even the little rain we do get? What a difference natural water makes to how the plants react. If you can capture some of it for your indoor plants as well.

If you only garden in containers be certain to check that the roots have not grown and clogged your drainage holes, or you may end up with ponds in your pots. It is advisable to check when watering your containers that the water does run out the bottom.  Now if it runs out immediately upon you watering you may need to repot them, the roots will have wrapped themselves around the inside of the pots and there is no soil at the bottom. Upgrade one size using fresh potting soil, Edna's Best is balanced for containers for the proper drainage and just the right amount of fertilizer to help in the change.

What is going on in your garden this time of year in San Diego?

Most of it will be resting, roses and stone fruit trees will be in a dormant stage and waiting for you to prune them. Why prune? When you take the time to prune your trees and roses  you are seeing any problems. Diseased or damaged branches can be removed along with wayward branches. When the tree or shrub grows out in the spring there is more air flow and sunlight to get into the middle, thus less disease problems. Not sure how to prune? Come to the nursery Saturday January 17th at 10:00 am for a class, maybe even some hands on. Learn how far to prune, the benefits of pruning and what tools to use.

Our tables are up and being stocked weekly with new bedding plants, pansies are still in demand but following closely are poppies, stock, ranunculus, delphiniums and foxgloves. The perennials showing color are million bells, arctotis, nemesis, and a great filler euphorbia diamond frost.

Kales, cabbages, and lettuces share space with beets while the herb garden is slowing being stocked with basil (protect from the cold), cilantro, dill, fennel (another favorite of swallow tail butterflies), mints, oreganos, and Simon and Garfunkel's favorites Rosemary, Sage and Thyme.

When putting in new plants use the best soil you can get, without good soil your plants will have a harder time adjusting and growing. We strongly believe in E. B. Stone's line. Here is our newest little gardener Lukas sharing his excitement with one of their soils.
 A category in the nursery we have seen great growing interest is succulents. And why not…perfect for the beginning gardener, many can be enjoyed inside as well as outside in containers or in the ground. Less maintenance than some fussy plants. I admit I was not a fan of them for years, but with such a selection we are getting from our growers my interest too has grown.

Update on the status of the nursery…we continue the fight to keep what Kate Sessions begin back in 1910. We have not thrown in the "trowel" and appreciate all of your words of encouragement. If you hear otherwise please do not spread rumors, instead come talk with us we have nothing to hide and will give you updates as things progress.

One of our goals this year is to again find those small growers who grow the unusual, with the economy picking up we hope they will again open and share their passions with us, so we may in turn share our passion of unusual plants with you.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Attention Collectors

For the first time that I can remember in the last 25 years, we will be getting a collector's plant. From the excitement to the unknown has been my thought process for the last 25 hours.

When I did some research on this plant I found it is wanted by many and grown by few.

It will grow 12' - 20', in full sun, partial sun, or full shade depending on your garden's climate zone. It does require regular water as it does not like to go dry.  It is evergreen and when you see the leaves you will be amazed. At least I hope you and I are both amazed, as I am buying it sight unseen.

It is native to the highlands of New Guinea. Some will eat the fruit, but that is not why it is grown.

Okay that is enough teasing, if you want to know more or see this plant, and yes we are only getting one this week, then be sure to stop by the nursery Friday afternoon. I am going out on a limb and buying one with the hope that one of you is a collector and has the perfect spot for this plant in your garden.

I will post photos on Facebook once it has arrived, so if you don't have a Facebook account you will need to stop in.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Ollas what are they ?

Ollas can help you in your garden, raised beds, and containers.

When buried in your garden or planters this terra cotta pot will help get water to the roots of your plants with less effort on your part. You simply fill the pot with water and it soaks into the soil where your plant's roots will find it.

How often do you fill it? This depends on a few factors. What your soil is like, what plants you have growing, and importantly the outside temperatures.  Average refilling is 2x per week for our normal warm seasons.

Can you use fertilizer? Yes as long as you use a liquid fertilizer and mix it before you fill the Ollas it will also seep out without clogging the pores of the Ollas.

How deep do you bury the Ollas? You want the complete Ollas buried with the exception of the neck, this you want above the soil so no soil goes into the Ollas and it keeps the pot from drying by being exposed to the sun and wind. Keep the lid on to keep soil out.

How do I plant with Ollas in the area? You average 12"-18" from center.

We have Ollas in stock and are offering a special now thru the end of September. Regular $39.99 each, buy 3 or more and pay just $32.99 each by bringing in this post.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Driftwood Extravaganza September 6th

We are excited to host a Driftwood Extravaganza on Saturday September 6, 2014

Join us in planting up pieces of driftwood with succulents or tillandsias. You will be amazed at what fun design and centerpiece you put together. There will be a hugh selection of driftwood pieces, some small some big you pick the one that calls out to you.

We will have succulents to tuck into the natural cracks and curves of the driftwood. Or you can choose tillandsias. You are welcome to mix them up also.  Each piece of driftwood is unique, each piece you plant up will become even more Extravagant.  Bring your imagination and join us.

Fees: $10.00 due when you sign up and secure your spot,this covers soil, misc supplies and refreshment.
You pick and choose your driftwood piece or pieces, succulents and or tillandsias. Make one or many, you are only be charged for what you use.
Class is limited to 10 per session and the sessions are 9am  11am  1pm  3pm

Stop by the nursery to sign up or call us with your credit card. There are no refunds once you have registered for the class.

See you on Saturday September 6th

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Monarch Butterflies in your Garden

Asclepia physocarpus

If you are going to want Monarch butterflies in your garden you need asclepias. One variety which will have your neighbors stopping and asking questions is the asclepia physocarpus, aka Hairy Balls or Family Jewels.
The seed pod on this variety are 2" diameter balls covered in soft bristles. Other asclepia varieties have long slender seed pods.
Grow your plant in full sun with regular water, do not use any insecticides or synthetic fertilizers. You may see bright yellow aphids on the young leaves, do not worry, the hungry caterpillars will eat the leaves before the aphids.

March and April you will begin seeing generation one egg and young caterpillar stage. You may find these under the leaves of plants we sell, this is an extra bonus for no extra charge. It averages 4 days for the eggs to hatch. 
The second stage in a butterfly life is the larvae or caterpillar stage
this is when you will see your Asclepia eaten down to the stems.
They are like teenage boys at this stage, eating everything in the house.
They are fully grown in just 2 weeks. 

3rd stage is the pupa or chrysalis
if you get a chance to watch as this happens it is amazing
and a bit creepy at the same time. For 10 days you won't see 
much change but there is a lot going on inside.
Then the beauty comes.

Stage 4 is the butterfly. If you are lucky enough to see it emerge from the chrysalis you feel a sense of joy and pride. The butterfly will stay near it's chrysalis while drying it's wings. Slow flapping as it begins to stretch and dry. Then suddenly away it flies, I felt like a proud mommy the first time I watched.

There are four generations every year, as I mentioned before the first generation you begin seeing eggs in March and April. The second generation follows May and June, third July and August. The first 3 generations have a short life cycle 2-6 weeks. It is the last generation which emerges September and October that stays around 6-8 months. This is the generation which we see the rest of the year hanging in our gardens. In other parts of the country this generation leaves heading south, some coming to California others to Mexico. Then they head back to begin the generation cycle over and over. Amazing how Mother Nature works.

For more information on the Monarchs please click the link, I think you will enjoy the site.

And to get Monarchs in your garden come visit us and pick up a plant or two.

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Water and your garden

An area of conversation is water conservation and our gardens can still look good with the proper watering. Do you have automatic sprinklers? When was the last time you checked them and watched the cycle? We suggest you do just that, as many systems come on early in the morning we don't know there are any problems until we get the water bill or plants begin to die.

If you do have a system and it is running fine and coverage is fine now may be the time to adjust the length of time it runs in each area. Do not let your system run until there is run off, instead set it to water more often for less amount of time. Also set it to come on early in the morning, not in the evenings.

If you do not have a system you may want to consider installing one, the newer choices give great coverage with minimal care. Or if your garden is small and you hand water remember to water early in the day so that water is not sitting on your plants over night, this leads to more diseases. If you garden consists of more containers than ground do you have a drip system? You can purchase ones which are homeowner friendly. Again we suggest you water in the morning, causing less stress on your plants are the days heat up. Yet check your containers again in the evenings as the sun is setting, some plantings will require a second watering after a very hot day. Consider also adding a product to help the soil stay wetter longer, or a Plant Nanny which holds the water and releases it as the soil needs a drink.

Your spring vegetable garden should be giving back to you this month, vine ripe tomatoes, squashes, cucumbers, beans and so much more. When choosing what to plant now remember many of the lettuces and kales will prefer a spot in the shade next to your herbs as the weather warms up.

Color for your garden is a blaze with zinnias, lisianthus, salvias, and portulaca plus others which like the heat. California Natives which are showing their beauty and we bring our selections in from Moosa Creek Nursery.

Looking to spend more fun time in your garden and less "work" time? Give us a call and we will gladly quote you on weekly or bi-weekly maintenance, we are not the blow and go type of service. And if you are wanting a complete new look we can work with you on this also, everything from demolition of your existing to installing plants and hardscape, we work with you to turn your yard into your garden paradise.

Monday, March 31, 2014

April 1, 1989 we took a big step leaving behind a regular paycheck to do what Fausto had been dreaming of for many years. I won't say it wasn't scary and I won't say it hasn't been hard but what I will say is that it has been a ride.

With the help of family, not just at the nursery but at home caring for the kids when hours were long, working side by side watering plants, stocking shelves, helping customers we have grown the business. This business helped put our kids through school, participate in outside athletic teams, and show them some pretty amazing vacations. It has provided for many employees and their families. Some learning from us and going on to start their own companies.

We took a San Diego business which was already 79 years old and have continued growing it to what it is today. There have been really great years when housing market was booming, no talk of water rations, and people were investing in their homes. There also have been very lean years, when housing market died, water rations were not being talked about but were a reality and feeding your family was much more important than planting a new tree.

Yet we open the gates each day believing in what we do. We have always told ourselves do your best, provide more than the basic plants, teach others, and don't be afraid to get dirt under your nails. We have gone home with aching backs, sore feet, bumps and bruises and yet each morning we get up and do it again. It must be in our blood and in the fact that you are customers keep coming back to us.

As we head into another chapter of our company's history we look forward Believing.
Believing Fausto's design magic will continue to go from his thoughts to paper to reality. Tiger will continue taking his crew out into yards and turning them into oasis for homeowner and business owners to enjoy and relax in. Believing that with our continued hard work and honesty we will be serving the gardeners of San Diego for more years to come.