Onion Sets and Garlic Are Now In

Onion Sets:

  • Yellow, Red and White onions – $2.60 / pound, Sweet onions – $4.95 / pound.
  • Garlic – $4.50 / pound
  • Elephant Garlic – $6.25 / pound
  • Shallots – $6.25 / pound

All available now for fall planting. Cooler weather ahead. Shorter days, cool mornings. FALL PLANTING SEASON IS HERE.

Winter vegetables are now in as well.


September 2018 Newsletter

The weather has cooled off significantly since July and early August. The end of August felt like fall and next week by the forecast will be very much Fall weather. FALL IS THE BEST TIME FOR PLANTING.

We have an excellent selection for fall planting and if we don’t have it in stock we can get it usually within a week.

Fall fertilizing should be done this month. Use a balanced fertilizer for most of your trees and shrubs. We carry 15-15-15 in 50 pound bags and organic all purpose fertilizer in 6#, 25# and 50# bags. If you have only a few plants, we also have it in 1# boxes. Be sure to fertilize your deciduous plants and perennials before they show signs of dormancy. With the cooler weather coming, trees and perennials will start to go into dormancy probably later in the month or early October. Weather depending. Fertilize citrus now, then let them go through the winter without feeding but do protect them if there is freezing weather in the winter. Use a citrus fertilizer on your citrus trees. Give roses fertilizer now and enjoy some more blooms before the winter. This should be the last feeding for your roses. Use a rose fertilizer or a balanced fertilizer for your roses. Fertilize lawns with a winterizer fertilizer for going through the winter. Wait to fertilize Rhododendrons, Azaleas, and Camellias until after they have bloomed. You don’t want to promote growth now because it will be at the expense of blooms in the early spring. They should be fertilized 3 times after bloom, each 30 days apart.

Winter vegetables are now available at the nursery. We will continue to stock them through October. As soon as the weather is cool enough to plant and not have them bolt, is the time to get them in. Get them in when it is still warm enough to get development of roots and plant. Mid to late September and October are good times to plant.
WE WILL HAVE A WINTER VEGETABLE GARDENING CLASS THIS UPCOMING SATURDAY THE 15TH AT 10 AM. If you are interested in the class just show up. No registration is necessary. There is no charge.

Onion Sets, Garlic bulbs, Shallots, and Elephant Garlic will be in the second week of September. I will send out an email when they arrive.

Continue with deep soaking of your trees and regular watering of your shrubs and plants. You may start to cut back on amounts now though. Nights and days are cooler and days getting shorter so the ground does not dry out as quickly as it did in July and August. Yay!!! Fall is on the way! My favorite time of the year.

September Specials

  • 5 gallon assorted fruit trees. $25.00 each. (Does not include Citrus)
  • 1 gallon assorted perennials $4.95 each
  • 5 gallon Pampas Grass $7.50 each
  • 5 gallon Japanese Black Pine $12.50 each
  • 5 gallon Pennisetum Moudry $7.50 each
  • 15 gallon Walnut Trees $45.00 each
  • 5 gallon Red Alert Bottlebrush $9.50 each
  • 5 gallon Silver Maple $25.00 each
  • 5 gallon Pin Oak $25.00 each
  • 15 gallon Pin Oak $45.00 each
  • 5 gallon Scarlet Oak $25.00 each

All special prices are limited to stock on hand and expire September 30th.

We Hope To See You Soon,
Jeff


August 2018 Newsletter

August is a good time to start planning for the fall planting and if it is not too warm you can get a jump on the fall planting season. Looks like we will be cooler for a couple of weeks starting next week. Well, cooler than the summer has been so far. Remember that fall is the best time for planting trees and shrubs. Especially trees.

I know the ground is hard after the summer but if you start a hole and soak it and then dig a little more and soak it, pretty soon the hole you need for the tree or shrub is done and it is a fairly painless way to dig a hole.

Watering and Mulching

Continue to water established plants deeply for the balance of the summer and into fall. Check the mulch you added at the beginning of the summer, and if it is getting thin, add more to keep the moisture you are applying in the ground.

Fall Planting

We have a very large selection of trees and shrubs for fall planting in stock as always. If you want to get a jump start and plant now, just be sure to keep the plant moist for the rest of the summer and into the fall. Water it once a day after you plant for the first week and then every two to three days for the balance of the season and it will do well.

Fall Fertilizing

Fall fertilizing should be done in September. The weather will be cooler and the days shorter so even when we get some warm days the heat does not last as long. This is the time for fall fertilizing. Trees and shrubs will benefit from a balanced fertilizer. Citrus should be fertilized with a citrus ferilizer.
When fertilizing, water the plant the day before very well. Then fertilize the following day and water in well. Never fertilize a dry plant. It will burn it and can possibly kill it.

Grass Seed

Grass seed for lawns or pasture or overseeding should be done in late August or September. Get it planted while it is still warm but not baking hot. The seed will germinate quickly and it will need to be kept moist while it gets established. Don’t wait too late in the season or it won’t get well enough established before the winter and may have a tough time getting through the winter. I’m ordering new stock of grass seed which should be in next week, so we will have a good supply for all planting needs.

Winter Vegetables

We will start getting winter vegetables and winter annuals in September. Watch the weather. If it’s too warm it will cause them to bolt. But get them in early in the fall so that they get developed and start producing for you before it gets cold.

Special Orders

If you would like us to special order items for you that we may not have in stock, we can do that. We do need payment in advance on all special orders.

The weather will be getting cooler soon. Start getting ready to plant for fall now.

We hope to see you soon.


July 2018 Newsletter

ONE GALLON PERENNIALS ON SALE – $4.95 EA. SEE LIST OF VARIETIES BELOW. ALL IN FULL BLOOM NOW. ADD COLOR TO YOUR LANDSCAPE. PERENNIALS COME BACK YEAR AFTER YEAR AND BLOOM IN THE SPRING AND SUMMER.

20% OFF ALL REMAINING ROSES IN STOCK.

This year has been a very nice spring and early summer. Any hot periods have only lasted a couple of days and then it cools back down. Very nice weather for your landscape whether new plantings or established plantings.

With summer here and longer days, it gives a lot of time for gardening. I do all my new planting in the summer since I have more time, and we do planting here at the nursery then as well. Do your planting early in the day or in the evening if possible so it is easier on you. Plants will handle the transplant just fine but do make sure you give additional water for the first week or two after planting to make sure it is kept well hydrated. Also be sure to mulch to hold the moisture in the ground. Water the new planting well, and then water in with Superthrive mixed in water. This will eliminate any transplant shock that may occur. Then keep the plant moist but not soggy while it is getting it’s root system established. If you are using a timed drip system that runs for very short periods, you will need to supplement with a hose periodically. A slow trickle for an hour or two works well about once or twice a week along with the drip system. Mulch well around your trees and shrubs to keep the moisture in the ground. Use 3″ of mulch.

On the subject of watering whether newly planted or established plantings, when there is a spike in temperatures coming, be sure to give a little extra to newly planted shrubs and trees, and make sure established shrubs and trees are well watered going into the temperature spike rather than waiting till afterwards. Sometimes the stress on the plant will be too much if too dry. Signs of not enough water will include crisp edges of leaves, wilting in the heat and perhaps shedding some foliage soon after extreme heat. If you see any of these symptoms, you probably should increase the amount of water or mulch or perhaps a combination of the two. If you see any stress on your plants, treat them with Superthrive mixed with water. This product eliminates transplant shock and also revives plants under stress. We do all of our transplanting here at the nursery during the summer months and we use Superthrive on all of our transplants and cuttings that we do.

Crape myrtles are now starting to bloom here and in landscapes. They are a little slow this year because it is cooler. They love the heat. Although crape myrtle is a very drought tolerant plant, it will bloom much nicer with at least one good deep soak a week. Also spray for aphids if you see sticky shiny leaves. Use neem oil or an insecticide or insecticidal soap. Any of these are better sprayed in the evening so that there is no damage to the leaves from the heat of the day.

Vegetable gardens will benefit from a fertilizing about now. If you fertilized when you planted, it’s about time to give the garden another fertilizing and then again sometime in August to keep your plants healthy and productive. Use a vegetable fertilizer for this. Avoid high nitrogen fertilizers as they will cause growth at the expense of production. Organic vegetable fertilizers work well because they feed slowly and there is less chance of burning the plants in warm weather. Mulch your garden too, to hold the moisture in and use less water. If you are experiencing blossom end rot on your tomatoes and squash, add calcium to your soil. We carry oyster shell and a liquid calcium called Foli-Cal. The liquid calcium is used as a foliar spray directly on the leaves of the plants.

Watch for tomato worms. If you see them, use BT or Monterey Garden Insect Spray to get rid of them. Both are organic controls. Or just pull them off and get rid of them.

Hopefully the weather continues nice and cool for the summer as it has up to this point. Get out early and enjoy the cool of the morning and do some gardening. It’s a great way to start the day.

Perennials On Sale

  • Lantana – 6 varieties, Yarrow – 3 varieties, Verbena – 3 varieties, Penstemon – 3 varieties, Rudbeckia – 3 varieties, Gaillardia – 4 varieties, Gaura – white and pink, Coreopsis – 4 varieties, Callibrachoa – 4 varieties,
  • Salvia – 4 varieties.

Nice selection. All blooming. Most drought tolerant and deer resistant.

We will be doing some landscaping here at the nursery this summer to brighten up the nursery as people drive up. We’ll get it designed and started in the next couple of weeks. Hopefully my plans aren’t overly ambitious. Sometimes that happens. It should look very pretty when we are done.

Hope we see you soon.

Jeff


June 2018 Newsletter

June has been very nice so far as well as the rest of this spring. Only a few hot days but mostly cool and nice spring weather. Summer will be here though so it’s good to plan for it with respect to your gardening.

WATERING

Watering becomes much more important to make sure it is done well as the weather warms up as we are going into the summer. When watering trees, be sure to give established trees a deep soak once or twice a week depending on temperatures. Newly planted trees should be watered daily for the first week or so then cut back to about two or three times per week. Do not give short daily watering. Give good deep soaks. A good rule to use is to give 10 gallons of water per week for every inch of trunk diameter and be sure to soak to a depth of at least 12 inches. On larger trees you’ll want to soak to a depth of 2 to 3 feet. Use slow drip and let it run long enough to soak deep. Add 3″ of mulch around your trees and shrubs to hold the moisture in the ground and not allow it to evaporate. Mulching garden beds and vegetable gardens should also be done. Deep soaking and mulching encourages a deep healthy root system so that trees and shrubs and new plantings can go through hot spells with no adverse effects on the plant and you will use less water.

FERTILIZING

It’s time for your second fertilizing of the season if you have not done it already. Use a balanced fertilizer for most trees and shrubs. Be sure to water your plants well the day before you are going to fertilize and then fertilize and water the fertilizer in well. DO NOT fertilize on a very hot day. It is very easy to burn plants with fertilizer if you fertilize on a very hot day. Nitrogen portion of the fertilizer moves with water and plants are moving lots of water in the heat. Fertilize in the evening and look for temperatures in low to mid 90’s as a high or less for fertilizing. Fertilize citrus trees monthly through the growing season. Use a citrus and avocado fertilizer. Rhododendrons azaleas and camellias are about due for their third and final fertilizing. They are fertilized 3 times, each 30 days apart, after they are done blooming.

CITRUS LEAF MINER

Citrus Leaf Miner can be a problem for citrus trees. It looks a bit like snail tracks in the leaf of the citrus tree and affects primarily the new growth. The new growth curls and looks shriveled with lines looking like snail trails in them. Treat this with Monterey Garden Insect Spray. We carry it. The active ingredient is Spinosad. It is OMRI listed for organic gardening. It is absorbed into the leaf and kills the leaf miner. We spray and then wait a few days and prune out the affected area. Treatment can be done weekly. This will take care of the problem.

MULCH MULCH MULCH

Be sure to mulch all new plantings and re mulch older plants. Use 3″ of mulch around your plants. Keep the mulch away from the immediate base of the plant. Mulching keeps the ground and roots of your plants cooler and holds the moisture in the soil. New plantings will do fine no matter what the temperature if they are watered well and mulch is used. You can cut your water use by up to 50% by mulching and your plants will do so much better. You can use shredded bark or chunk bark or compost or even gravel will work as mulch but gravel will reflect heat onto your plants so it will not be as good as bark or compost. If you aren’t mulching, I would strongly advise that you do. Your plants will get through hot spells with no adverse effect. You can plant any time of the year with no adverse effects. IT REALLY HELPS!

BLOSSOM END ROT

If you experience blossom end rot on tomatoes and squash, you want to add calcium to the soil. The bottom of the tomato and the ends of the squash will shrivel and become brown or black. If you add calcium at the first sign of this, the problem will be corrected fairly quickly. We carry bone meal, and oyster shell lime, and calcium nitrate which will all correct the problem. The bone meal and oyster shell are organic products. The calcium nitrate is not but may correct the problem faster. If you use calcium nitrate, be careful not to over do it. It is high nitrogen formula and can easily burn the plants if applied to strong. We also have a product called Foli Cal which is a foliar spray calcium which will also correct blossom end rot.

APHIDS AND FUNGUS PROBLEMS

Aphids will be bad as the weather warms. Some problems have already started. For control of aphids, Neem Oil works well and is an organic pesticide. It also works as a fungicide so it does double duty. Use it every two weeks on roses and control aphids and fungus such as powdery mildew, rust and blackspot. It will also control aphids and powdery mildew on Crape Myrtles. We also have a product called Monterey Take Down Garden Spray. It is not organic but it works very well for controlling aphids and other insects. It is pyrethrin and canola oil. With all insecticides, be careful not to spray when bees are present. Better to spray late evening or very early morning when bees are not active, to avoid injuring bees.

HOURS ARE 9 TO 5 MONDAY – SATURDAY, 10-4 SUNDAY.

We are open everyday. Monday through Saturday from 9 to 5 and Sunday from 10 to 4..

We’ve had a beautiful spring and all the plants are looking really nice and inventory is full. All our plants are fully acclimated to our climate. We don’t protect them under shade cloth so they can go into your landscape and not miss a beat because they are used to the weather. If for some reason we don’t have what you are looking for, we can order it and usually have it here in a week or two.

This time of year here at the nursery we start doing lots of cleaning and maintenance in our growing ground. We shift plants from smaller pots to larger pots to grow. we will be cleaning mats and we will have many one of a kind or overstock items going into the parking lot reduced price area over the next few weeks. Be sure to check it out when you come in. You may find a great price on a plant you could use.

Enjoy this beautiful spring weather we are having.

We hope to see you soon.

Jeff


May 2018 Newsletter

May 2018 marks 33 years in business for us here at Bald Mountain Nursery. My parents, Richard and Cecilia Rice started the business in 1985. Richard Rice (Dad) passed away in 2005. I joined the business in 1992 and have been fortunate enough to raise my son here and have him grow up around the business. He used to be here all the time as a kid and worked here too. Truly a family business. He’s now off on his own and living in Wisconsin. Mrs. Rice (Mom) is still here regularly but starting to take time away more. She enjoys watering and tending to plants but she is not there for writing up sales. She also enjoys and talking to folks. It’s nice that she still enjoys the business that she and my dad started in 1985.

This month has not been hot except for a couple of warm days and a little rain and long range forecasts indicate seasonal temperatures for the rest of the month. We have had a beautiful spring this year. It’s a great time to do some gardening and planting.

Check your watering systems and make sure all drippers and sprinklers are working. Don’t want to find out a dripper is not working when you see a dead or dying plant. Remember to mulch around your trees and shrubs. This will reduce your water usage by as much as 50% and your plants will withstand the warm days much better because the moisture you apply stays in the ground and does not evaporate. Two to three inches of mulch is what you want around your trees and in your planting beds. Also mulch your vegetable gardens. Saves water and gives you healthier plants and cuts down on the weeds.

Clean up blooms under camellias this month if you have not done so already. Fertilize bulbs that are done blooming with bulb food or bone meal to regenerate the bulb for the next season.

Watch roses and other plants for aphids. Lots of customers are having lots of aphids this year. Plum trees and crape myrtles are also subject to aphids among other plants. If you see curling leaves on your plum trees, check them for aphids. Spray with insecticidal soap or neem oil to help get rid of them.

If you did not fertilize in April, do it now. Many plants were under stress the last few years due to the dry seasons we have had. With the rain this year and last they are doing well and fertilizing will really help them grow vigorously and prepare them for the summer when it gets hot.

With this year being 33 years in business and 26 years in this business for me, we want to thank all our customers for your support and patronage. We will continue to strive to offer quality fully acclimated plants appropriate for our climate area at a good value. We’ve gotten through recession and drought and we are still here thanks to the support of our customers. We plan to be here for many years to come. Maybe we’ll get to 64 years. That’s a way’s out. I’d be pretty old to be working still but you never know. Mom is still at it. She is an inspiration.

Thank you and we hope to see you soon.

Jeff


Organic Vegetable Gardening Class

Organic Vegetable Gardening Class
April 14th and 15th. 10 AM.

We will have organic vegetable gardening classes this Saturday and Sunday at 10 AM.
We will show you how to prepare your garden beds to grow your vegetables organically, discuss planting techniques, watering, mulching, insect control, and answer any questions you have about vegetable gardening.

Classes start at 10 AM and last about 30 minutes.

No charge and no need to register for the classes. Just show up.

We also have and excellent selection of vegetable starts for planting your vegetable garden.

We hope you can make one of them,
Jeff


April 2018 Newsletter

After a dry February, March was pretty wet and as I write, we are getting rain that the predictions say will be 2 to 3 inches here. I just checked the rain gauge and it is at 2″ and it’s supposed to rain most of the night and into tomorrow so I guess the predictions are right. The late season moisture is keeping things green and the ground soft and making for excellent gardening weather as soon as the rain stops. My long range forecast for the next 15 days shows one day at 75 degrees and everything else is upper 60’s and low 70’s. Perfect weather for planting and enjoying. Dogwoods are blooming now here at the nursery and lots of color on so much stuff and the flush of new growth on the Japanese Maples makes it so beautiful here.

Many things are needing to be done in the landscape during April.

Rhododendrons should have the flower trusses that are spent snapped off at the base as soon as they fade. Don’t wait until all the flowers have finished blooming to remove them because the plant will expend energy making seeds that would be better used to add new foliage when it has completed the bloom cycle. Fertilize them right after flowering with a rhododendron azalea camellia fertilizer now and then again in 30 days and a final time 30 days after that. The same treatment applies to azaleas when they are done blooming.

All those daffodils that were so beautiful earlier are no longer beautiful. Don’t cut off the leaves while they are still green. While the leaves are green, fertilize them with a high phosphorous fertilizer or one labeled “bulb food”. They bloomed early this year but here at the nursery the leaves are still green and the fertilizing can still be done. Hopefully it is the same with yours. The old leaves can be pulled up when they have turned yellow or brown.

If you haven’t fertilized yet, it is time to do it. With the moist ground and the cool temperatures it is an excellent time to fertilize your landscape. An all purpose fertilizer will work for trees and shrubs. Citrus fertilizer for citrus trees. And an acid fertilzer for rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias as well as blueberries.

Keep on top of the aphid problems and the fungus problems which might be worse than usual following a wet March. Spray with Neem oil or an insecticidal soap if you have aphids. Neem oil works as a fungicide too.

I would recommend you start spraying your roses for fungus problems now before they appear. With the wet spring we are having fungus will be a problem. Use Neem oil or a fungicide on them on a regular basis to prevent the fungus from getting started. Neem oil will also act as an insecticide and prevent the aphid problem. We are starting to spray weekly here.

If you planted any bare root fruit trees this year or last year, the trunks of the trees should be painted with white tree trunk paint so that the young, thin bark does not become sunburned and cracked allowing insects to damage the cambium layer which carries nutrients to all parts of the tree. Do not use an oil based paint. If you can’t find tree trunk paint, a light colored, water based latex paint diluted by 50% works well. Also, due to the cool March, some trees are starting to leaf out late. Don’t give up yet on them. Apples and Cherries in particular are slower than other trees to break dormancy and with the cooler spring may be late leafing out. They have not started here yet but should in a week or so. So depending on where you live, may be still dormant.

It will soon be the optimal time to plant your vegetable garden because the soil will be warming up more quickly as the night time temperatures are not so cold. We have a large selection of vegetable starts and seeds now in for planting and get restocked every week on Wednesdays and will continue to stay well stocked on vegetables through the spring season . Seedling plants as well as seeds should do well in the warmer soil, so plan your gardens. The root vegetables such as radishes, carrots (we suggest the short stubbier carrots in the areas with heavy clay), turnips, and beets should do well, too. When planting corn in your veggie garden, keep in mind that the pollen transfer is by the wind, so corn should be planted in blocks of parallel rows – not in a single row. The rows should run north and south for maximum sunlight exposure as the sun makes its daily overhead pass from east to west. In preparing your garden use a vegetable fertilizer and be sure to add calcium to prevent blossom end rot on tomatoes and squash. I also add kelp meal and bone meal which helps with disease prevention (the kelp meal) and helps with faster root development (the bone meal). Mulch your vegetable garden with compost or straw and reduce the water you use. With a good layer of mulch, you can give a good soak to your garden about once a week during the cooler spring and maybe twice a week during the hot part of the summer. I used straw from cleaning the barn on my garden and it works very well. One customer said she used alfalfa as mulch and you get the benefit of the calcium and nitrogen as the hay breaks down. Something to consider.
And a reminder, we will be holding free organic vegetable gardening clinics this Sunday the 8th and next weekend as well the 14th and 15th. All start at 10 AM. No registration is necessary.

Lawns should be fertilized with a lawn food, which will be high in nitrogen. You may want to over seed your lawn area to thicken it up a bit, and that can be done as long as your fertilizer does not have a weed control incorporated in the formula which would keep seed from sprouting. It is also a good time for starting a new lawn – before the weather heats up making it difficult to keep the area adequately dampened without having to sprinkle it every couple of hours or so. The same would apply to planting ground covers from flats – now is the time.

Lawns will do better if the mower blades are raised so that they are at least two inches high. Closely cut lawns don’t create much shade to the ground allowing it to dry much more quickly. That, in turn, requires more frequent and longer irrigating cycles for the lawn to stay nice and green. This will help to conserve water.

Citrus and Avocado trees are available at the nursery now, and it is a good time to plant them. It gives them time to become established and to acclimate to our area as we go into our fall and winter. They are sub-tropical, so you must be prepared to protect them from very cold weather. If it drops below 28 degrees, protect your citrus trees.

All of the pretty summer annuals that provide reliable color through the summer are becoming more available now. Marigolds, alyssum, pansies, annual vinca, petunias, portulaca, snapdragons, lobelia, dianthus etc. are starting to come in. As the season progresses, they will be more plentiful

We will have fruit trees that were potted in January available in about 3 weeks or so. I will send out an email letting everyone know when they are available. These will be sold on a first come first serve basis. We cannot hold fruit trees for customers. We have tried this approach in the past and have had problems, so to be fair to all we will sell first come first serve when they are rooted and ready for transplanting.

We are having a very nice and somewhat wet spring this year. Our seasonal rainfall total here at the nursery is at 26.75″ not counting this storm. Last year at this time we were at 44″. Take advantage of the moist ground and cool but not cold weather and get some planting done. Enjoy the spring in your landscape and garden.

We hope to see you soon.

Jeff


Organic Vegetable Gardening Class Schedule Change

Due to the rain, the Saturday Organic Vegetable Gardening Class is rescheduled for next Saturday the 14th. Class for Sunday the 8th is still on at 10 AM.

With the weather forecast for 3″ of rain Friday into Saturday this week we are rescheduling the Organic Vegetable Gardening Classes. Saturday the 7th is cancelled. Sunday the 8th is still on at 10 AM. Saturday the 14th we will have another class at 10 AM and also Sunday the 15th at 10 AM.

There is no charge for the class and no need to register or sign up. Just attend the class that fits your schedule.

Hope to see you there,

Jeff


March 2018 Newsletter

Seed potatoes

WE ARE EXTENDING BARE ROOT SEASON FOR TWO MORE WEEKS. WE STILL HAVE A REASONABLE SELECTION OF FRUIT TREES AVAILABLE BARE ROOT. DON’T WAIT TILL TOO LATE TO BUY BARE ROOT FRUIT TREES. THE COOLER WEATHER IS KEEPING THEM DORMANT SO WE CAN EXTEND THE SEASON A LITTLE LONGER. ONCE WE POT THEM UP, THE PRICE GOES UP. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE EXTENDED SEASON AND GET BARE ROOT FRUIT TREES NOW.

March has started out a bit cool this year. Winter decided to come a bit late. It actually is still winter by the calendar until the 20th which is the first day of spring. Lots of nice rain to start off the month. My rain total for the winter up through the end of February is 15.25″ so far since October here at the nursery. As I write this, we had another 1.5″ overnight last night and more rain coming through Friday at least. Last year at this point we were at 38 inches for the same period.

It is now time to get ready to start fertilizing.The rain is going to get the ground good and moist, and with the above average temperatures we had in February, many trees are leafing out. As soon as deciduous trees and shrubs have their full set of leaves, you should give them their first fertilizing of the year. A balanced fertilizer works well for most things. Use a rhododendron, camellia, azalea fertilizer for your acid loving plants. Fertilize azaleas and rhododendrons after they are done blooming. Same thing for camellias. Citrus should use a citrus fertilizer.

Some citrus may have suffered some damage from the freeze we had last week. If you have that problem, I would suggest treating them with Superthrive. It will help them to get past the damage. Start fertilizing as soon as the danger of frost is past. I think it will be safe in another week or two. Most likely we are past hard freezes. Fertilize citrus monthly through the growing season. Speaking of citrus, we now have some of our citrus in and avocados are on order and will be in soon along with more citrus. With the late freeze we just had, I pushed the shipment back a week to be sure we are past freezes. I expect next week or the following they will be in. Call ahead to check. I will send out an email as soon as they arrive. We will have a nice selection to choose from.

It’s a good time to plant seed potatoes now too. We have Red, Russet, Yukon Gold and Kenebec. They sell for $2.50 a pound. If you’ve never grown seed potatoes, they are very easy to do. And the potatoes you get when you grow your own are much better than the ones you buy at the store. To plant them, cut them into pieces with two eyes per piece. Let the pieces you cut dry enough to scab over the cut. Plant the pieces in the soil about 8 to 12 inches deep and add the dirt back over as they grow and even mound up as the plants grow. The roots under ground produce the potatoes.

Roses in plantable paper pots. $21.00 each. Grade #1.

Roses should be leafing out now. If you have not pruned back roses, it is still a good time to do it. If you have any that are really large cause of neglected pruning during prior seasons, prune them down now. Prune roses down to 12 to 24 inches tall with several strong canes left and an open center.

Be sure to start spraying roses with a fungicide now. We have had a dry winter but we are getting rain now so don’t neglect to spray or rose diseases could get started. We use Neem Oil every two weeks here at the nursery on the roses to prevent aphids and fungus problems.

It’s time to start fertilizing roses as well. Roses are heavy feeders. They should be fertilized about every 6 weeks. Use a rose food or you can use a balanced all purpose fertilizer as well. I use a combination of the two on my roses and it works very well.

SPRING VEGETABLE PLANTING

We will have vegetable starts in two to three weeks. As soon as we get a few warm days, we will have requests for summer vegetable starts. It really is too early to put them in now. We will wait a couple of weeks before we will be carrying them. Maybe longer depending on weather. The rule of thumb is to waittill overnight lows are consistently 50 degrees or higher and the ground is no longer cold to the touch. You can start seeds indoors now and you can start prepping the soil now. Add bone meal or oyster shell to the soil along with the vegetable fertilizer when you are prepping the soil. Bone meal adds phosphorous for root development and supplements calcium. Oyster shell adds calcium. Calcium will help to prevent blossom end rot. We also have calcium nitrate which can be added to help prevent it. I use organic fertilizer on my vegetable garden. I use bone meal and oyster for calcium and phosphorous, and tomato and vegetable fertilizer and kelp meal. Kelp meal helps to prevent diseases. About half way through the season I re apply fertilizer and bone meal.

We will be having an organic vegetable gardening class on March 7th and April 8th. I will send out email reminders for that. We may also do one on the 17th and 18th if people are interested that early in the season. Please send me some feedback on when you would like to see those classes, or any other classes, and I will try to accommodate schedules as much as possible. The 24th and 25th are not available for classes since I will be at the Yuba City Home and Garden Show.

If you were not able to get the dormant spraying done on your fruit trees because of all the rain, we do have a fungicide that works after the fact if you end up with leaf curl. It is made by Dr. Earth and it works well at curing the problem. One other thing to consider with fruit trees is the damage that occurs on nectarines and peaches. The fruit can be damaged by a bug when it is very small and then as it matures the damage grows. To prevent this, spray with neem oil or horticultural oil after the petals have dropped and you are sure the bees have finished pollinatiing. This should help to minimize the problem by keeping the bug that causes the damage off the small fruit that is forming. Be sure to fertilize your fruit trees when they have their full set of leaves. Use a balanced fertilizer of a fruit tree fertilizer. We carry both.

This time of year, we start getting lots of merchandise in. Usually weekly or every other week we get things in. If there is something that you are looking for that we do not have, we can usually have it within a week or two as long as it is available. Lots of new stuff comes in regularly through the spring.

Don’t forget daylight savings time begins March 11th.

A note on our hours. We are open 9 to 5 Monday through Saturday and 10 to 4 Sunday.

We hope to see you soon.

Jeff