October 2017 Newsletter

We are having some nice fall weather now after a long hot summer. Glad that is behind us. Now is the time for fall planting. FALL IS THE BEST TIME OF YEAR FOR PLANTING TREES AND SHRUBS

Fall fertilizing should be done now as well. If you have not done your fall fertilizing yet you should do it as soon as possible. This fertilizing is important because it gives plants a good boost and also gives them stored food for winter. Next spring they will use that stored food for growth as soon as the weather warms. A balanced fertilizer is good for almost everything in the landscape. Citrus trees would like a citrus fertilizer and this should be the last application for them for the season. Don’t feed them in the winter. Rhododendrons and azaleas should not be fertilized now unless it is with a bloom fertilizer. This will help give more blooms next spring. The same could be used on Dogwoods if you have one that does not want to bloom well. It may help.

The weather is now ideal for fall planting of trees and shrubs. Fall planted trees and shrubs develop roots through the cooler fall and even into the winter and then are ready to take off and grow next spring and will be well established by summer to get through the heat of the summer with no problems.
It also is an ideal time to put in fall bulbs for next spring blooms. We have daffodil and iris bulbs now available.

Next month we will be getting in our Blueberries, pomegranates, figs and also bare root berries and asparagus and artichokes. Usually they come in the second week of November. I will notify via email and on our Facebook page when they come in.

Don’t forget to do your dormant spraying of your fruit trees this winter during the dormant season. It is too early now, but the first spraying will need to be done in November. Use copper mixed with horticultural oil or Neem oil and spray the entire tree as well as the trunk. Rake up leaves from this year when they fall to help reduce the spread of the fungus that causes leaf curl. Remember to spray 3 times during the dormant season. We suggest Thanksgiving, Christmas and Valentines day as easy dates to remember.

There is still time to plant your winter vegetable if you have not already done so. We will have them available for another couple of weeks. When you plant, use a vegetable fertilizer in the soil before planting and then re apply about 1/2 way through the season.

Enjoy this beautiful fall weather we are having. And remember that fall is the best time for planting trees and shrubs.


We hope to see you soon.


Water Well to Prepare for the Heat

Be sure to give all your landscape a good watering ahead of the heat and during the heat.
We will have very hot temperatures starting Sunday through Wednesday. Increase the water to your plants during this period.
Increase the water in anticipation of the heat. Well watered, deeply soaked plants will get through without damage.
Don’t wait until the heat is upon us to increase the water or you may have heat damage to your plants.
Just like we are advised to drink more water in the heat, your plants need more too.
We will be watering two to three times a day at the nursery to be sure our inventory comes through fine.
With a little extra water and time, all your plants will make it though just fine. If you have any questions, give us a call.


June 2017 Newsletter

June has gone like the rest of the spring this year as far as the weather goes. It has been very warm and then cool. We have some rain and cool weather for about another week. And looking at the long range forecast on my weather app, it looks like it will be nice.


Watering becomes much more important to make sure it is done well with the warmer weather. When watering trees, be sure to give established trees a deep soak once or twice a week depending on temperatures. Newly planted should be watered daily for the first week oor so then cut back to about three times per week. Do not give short daily waterings. 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.


It’s time for your second fertilizing of the season. Use a balanced fertilizer for most trees and shrubs. We carry 16-16-16 and in organics 4-6-2 all purpose fertilizer. 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 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.


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!


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.


We are open everyday. Monday through Saturday from 9 to 5 and Sunday from 10 to 4. We are always here at 8 except not till 9 on Sunday so if you want to get here early we welcome that.

We’ve had a beautiful wet spring with plenty of water for planting 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.

We have high school and college students who work seasonally during the summer and they are starting now. Therefore we start shifting plants from one size container to the larger. Also lots of cleaning up so there will be 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.

We hope to see you soon.


May 2017 Newsletter

May 2017 marks 32 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 almost every day. She is supposed to now be moving out of the customer service capacity at the nursery. She still likes to do it but is not as fast at it as she used to be. She is always there to answer questions and water and tend to plants but she is not there for writing up sales. Her vision is not what it once was and she prefers to not be in that capacity any more. So she will be in a capacity of doing some of the maintenance chores around here she enjoys and also enjoys talking to folks. But myself and those who work here will be the ones waiting on customers. I hope all our customers understand and can appreciate mom’s new capacity here at the nursery that she and dad started.

This month it seems like spring finally arrived. A bit late this year but we got water that was sorely needed. My rain total for the season here is 48″. This month has not been hot except for a couple of warm days and a little rain and long range forecasts indicate a little more to come maybe next week and seasonal temperatures. 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.

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 they are recovering and fertilizing will really help them grow vigorously and prepare them for the summer when it gets hot.

With this year being 32 years in business and 25 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.


April 2017 Newsletter


Well, it seems that winter is not wanting to end this year. But really with the moisture and the cooler weather, it is a great time for planting.

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.

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.

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 spraying weekly here. I missed last week due to being out of town. But I will get caught up on it this week. Between the rain.

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 spring, some trees are starting to leaf out late. Don’t give up yet on them. Apples in particular are slower than other trees to break dormancy and with the cooler spring may be late leafing out. They have just barely started here. So depending on where you live, may be still dormant.

Now is 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 which helps with disease prevention. 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.

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 trees are available 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 months. 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 problems so to be fair to all.

We are having a very nice although wet spring this year and lots of rain this season. We have had 44″ for the season here at the nursery and more coming. Take advantage of the moist ground and cool but not cold weather and get some planting done. It’s an excellent year for it.

We hope to see you soon.


Vegetable Starts Are In. Tomatoes, Peppers, Squash, Cucumbers and more

Vegetable starts and all the fertilizers for a successful garden are now in!

All the fertilizers you need for growing vegetables are available here at the nursery. Along with all the advice to grow a successful garden.

4 inch vegetable starts – $2.25 each
6 pack vegetable starts – $3.50 each

We will be getting new shipments every week for the next several weeks.

Organic fertilizers for your vegetable garden

We hope To See You Soon,

March 2017 Newsletter

March has started out a bit cool this year. Winter wants to hang on. Which it can until the 20th which is the first day of spring. Lots of nice rain this year. A little too much at once a few times, but we need the moisture so no complaints. 38 inches since October here at the nursery. Considering the warmer weather coming and the ground is good and moist, be ready to start fertilizing soon. 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. Lots of citrus may be looking a bit yellow after the winter and all the rain. Start fertilizing as soon as the danger of frost is past. I think it is safe now but considering how cool we have been, maybe wait another week or so. Fertilize citrus monthly through the growing season. Speaking of citrus, we now have our citrus and avocados in. Nice selection to choose from.

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.
Be sure to start spraying with a fungicide now. With all the moisture this year, rose diseases could be worse than usual. 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 triple 16 too. I use a combination of the two on my roses and it works very well.
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 wait till overnight lows are consistently 50 degrees or higher and the ground is no longer cold to the touch. You can start prepping the soil now. Add bone meal or calcium to the soil along with the vegetable fertilizer when you are prepping the soil. This 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 for calcium, 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.

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.

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. Two at the longest as long as it is availalble. Lots of new stuff comes in regularly through the spring.

Don’t forget daylight savings time begins March 12th.

A note on our hours. We are open 9 to 5 Monday through Saturday and 10 to 4 Sunday. My personal hours are almost daily, but I do plan to have Tuesday off. Something I have to force. We still have people to take care of you that day. But if you need me, I won’t be there Tuesday. At least that is what I am planning to do. We’ll see how that goes.

We are looking forward to a very nice green spring this year with lots of water from all the rain. And we hope to see you soon.


February 2017 Newsletter

Bare root season continues through February. The selection of bare root fruit trees and roses is still very good. We have had plenty of rain this winter and it is an excellent time to plant bare root fruit trees. If we are holding trees for you that have already been paid for, remember that they must be picked up by the end of February. At the end of the month we pot up what has not been sold bare root and then the price goes up. Take advantage of bare root prices and get your fruit trees in now.
Final Dormant Spraying is Due This Month

Use copper mixed with horticultural oil or Neem oil and spray the entire tree including the trunk.

Use copper mixed with horticultural oil or Neem oil and spray the entire tree including the trunk.

The third and final dormant spraying of your deciduous fruit trees is due this month. With all the rain we are having it is very important you get this done to avoid leaf curl and other possible diseases. You should have done two sprayings already and the final one should be done before flowers come out. We sprayed the nursery orchard for the final time last week because some of the apricots were ready to bloom. If the buds stay closed, we will probably try for one more as added insurance against leaf curl which will likely be a problem this year due to the amount of rain.
It will be time to start fertilizing towards the end of the month or early next month. When the plants come out of dormancy, it is time to start fertilizing. Evergreen plants can be fertilized as soon as the threat of hard freezes is past. So later this month. Use a balanced fertilizer on most plants. Use citrus fertilizer on your citrus. Use rhododendron azalea camellia fertilizer on azaleas and camellias after they are doen blooming. Fertilize three times after bloom each thirty days apart and then no more for the year. Gardenias benefit from monthly fertilizing during the growing season. Use a rose food on roses or a balanced fertilizer on them and do them monthly during the growing and blooming season for consistent blooms. Also when you are spraying the dormant spray on your fruit trees, do your roses as well and then spray througout the season with a fungicide or neem oil to prevent rose diseases.

Weeds are going to start growing in earnest soon. You can spray with weed killer now to kill what is coming up now and mix pre-emergent with the weed killer to stop the weeds from growing back so quickly, I’m gong to try a propane torch on the weeds here at the nursery this year and see how that works. Less chemicals and hopefully less expensive. We’ll see.

We just got some winter vegetables in if you are wanting to put in some fresh ones for the balance of the winter. We will get spring vegetables in some time in late March or early April. I just ordered lots of different kinds of tomato seeds and we will grow different varieties this year like we did a couple years ago. If you are thinking about starting summer vegetables inside from seed, probably want to get them started in a few weeks so they are ready to put out in spring.

Once the sun comes out and stays for a while we will be getting in lots of spring items. Citrus and avocados will be coming in early March. We already have some citrus in but will be getting a larger selection in March.

We will have the final fruit tree pruning clinic this Saturday the 4th at 10 am. Hopefully the rain stays away long enough for the class.

We’ve got plenty of water and easy digging right now so get out around the rain and enjoy some gardening.

We hope to see you soon,

Hours: 9-5 Monday through Saturday, 10-4 Sunday. 530-743-4856

Remember :
Bare Root Season Goes Till the End Of the Month

Free Fruit Tree Pruning Classes This Saturday And Sunday @ 10am

Free fruit tree pruning classes this Saturday and Sunday January 28th and 29th @ 10 am each day. Attend either one or attend both. we will have one more class on Saturday the 4th of February.

Learn how to prune your fruit trees. We will hold the classes in our orchard here at the nursery.

No registration neccesary. Just show up.

Free coffee, tea, and hot chocolate during the class and bare root season.

We will also cover rose pruning and dormant spraying and answer any questions you may have.

Bare Root season continues through the end of February. Great selection of bare root fruit trees and roses and shade trees. Blueberries, Raspberries, Blackberries, Asparagus, Artichokes, and Strawberries all available now as well and onion starter plants and seed potatoes. And of course our full line of shrubs, trees, and plants.

Hours: 9 to 5 Monday through Saturday, 10-4 Sunday.

Hope to see you soon.

Seed Potatoes and Onion Plants Now In

Onion Plants: Walla Walla, Red Torpedo, Red Candy Apple (Sweet red onion), Candy (Sweet yellow onion). $5.30 per bundle. 50 to 75 plants per bundle.

Seed Potatoes: Yukon Gold, Red Norland, Russet, Kennebec. $2.35/ pound.

Hours: 9 to 5 Monday through Saturday, 10 to 4 Sunday 743-4856

Onion Plant Bundles, Seed Potatoes