March 2019 Newsletter

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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.

February has been a bit wet this year and March is starting off a bit wet as well. Winter is hanging on, but since the first day of spring is not till the 20th, I guess it’s not unreasonable. Lots of rain to start off the month. My rain total for the winter up through the end of February is 32.5″ so far since October here at the nursery. Last year at this point we were at 25 inches for the same period, and the prior year was 38″.

It is now time to get 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.

Some citrus may have suffered some damage from the freezes we’ve had. 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.

Seed potatoes are now available. 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 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 wet winter and you don’t want to let the fungus problems get going. 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 a few weeks depending on weather. 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 or more 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 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 30th and 31st. I will send out email reminders for that. We will be having a class about growing Blueberries in containers on March 16th. Classes will be at 10 am at the nursery. I will send out reminders ahead of time. The 23rd and 24th are the Yuba City Home and Garden Show. We will be there.

Don’t forget daylight savings time begins March 10th.

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