Winter Garden Prep Checklist

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Nov 25, 2015 11:27:59 AM


Winter Prep Checklist  

Top 5 Tasks for Winter Garden Care


As plants begin to prepare for dormancy, you may be tempted to head inside and hole up until spring. First- take some time to make sure your garden is ready to weather the cold months ahead. 


Frost Protection

  • Citrus, Avocados, Tropicals, Succulents and other tender plants will need to be protected with frost cloth when temperatures dip below 35°F. 
  • Frost cloth must reach all the way to the ground to help capture the radiated heat from the day. Click here to learn more about proper frost cloth application. 
  • Water plants before periods of freezing weather, except succulents which should be allowed to dry out. 
  • Spraying Bonide® Wilt Stop on the foliage can help protect plants from hard freezes. 
  • Stringing C7 or C9 Christmas lights around sensitive trees and shrubs to create heat is a great way to deter frost damage. 


  • Unless you have a smart timer like Hunter® Solar Sync, which automatically adjusts watering depending on climactic needs, you will need to reduce or turn off your controller as soon as temperatures drop.
  • Turn on/open sprinkler control valves.
  • Protect valves and exposed wiring with pipe wrap or valve covers. 


  • Clear drainage systems and gutters of debris, and make sure they drain away from the foundation of your home.
  • Need to make some upgrades? You'll find a large selection of drainage supplies and pipe fittings in our Landscape Supply department. 


  • New plantings will need to be protected from erosion due to heavy rainfall, apply a 2-3" layer of mulch. To prevent crown rot, be sure to keep the mulch 4-5" away from the base of the plant. 
  • Check the stakes on young trees and make sure they're still secure. 
  • Aerate your lawn. This helps with permeability when the rains come and gets much-needed oxygen to the roots. 



Have your Encore® Azaleas finished their second bloom of the year? Follow these steps to get them ready for another round of beautiful blooms in the spring:

  • Test the soil near your Azaleas, it should be slightly acidic (ideal range is between 4.5- 6). If you need to lower your pH, add EB Stone® Naturals Sul Po Mag.
  • A 2-3" layer of mulch is essential for insulating the roots in the cool months, and it adds nutrients as it breaks down. 





Pest Prevention

  • Now is the time to clean up and remove debris from around trees and shrubs. If the plant matter is disease and weed-free, be sure to add it to your compost pile. 
  • Keep an eye out for slugs and snails. Copper tape or Sluggo® are both great deterrents, but Sluggo® will need to be re-applied after rainfall. 
  • Pull weeds now, before heavy rainfall. If weeds are allowed to go to seed, the rain can spread them throughout the garden, causing problems next spring. 
  • When fruit trees go dormant, begin the first of three dormant sprays to kill overwintering insects and prevent diseases such as peach leaf curl, or shothole fungus on Carolina Cherry Laurel. 

Topics: Pest Prevention, Winter, Tips for Winter

Our Plant Pick-of-the-Week: Wallflower

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Nov 23, 2015 12:18:13 PM

Our Plant Pick of the Week: Wallflower


Wallflower (Erysimum 'Bowles Mauve') is an evergreen perennial for sun which forms a compact clump of cool gray-green foliage. The variety pictured bears short stalks topped clusters of petite purple flowers, and blooms most heavily in spring and fall in the central valley. In mild climates, it can bloom profusely nearly year-round, and its dense foliage and short stature make a wonderful informal hedge. 

RayWallflower-588202-edited.jpgReaching only about 18-24 inches high by 12-18 inches wide, Wallflowers are excellent for container culture. They can be found in a variety of colors such as orange, yellow, pink and sometimes combinations of all three. Many cultivars have a sweet-spicy fragrance, reminiscent of Stock or Dianthus. If all of that isn't enough to persuade you to give them a try, Wallflowers are also drought tolerant , making them an outstanding garden performer well-adapted to our climate. 

They're Ray's pick-of-the-week because:
"This perennial is indestructible! I love it because it's almost always blooming, doesn't need much water and looks good all year."

Looking for more California-friendly plant choices? Get inspiration from our California Landscape 2.0 design templates.

  CA Landscape 2.0

Topics: Flowers, Fall Flowers, Container Ideas, Drought Tolerant

Our Plant Pick-of-the-Week: Gerbera Daisy

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Nov 13, 2015 5:46:20 PM

Our Plant Pick-of-the-Week: Gerber Daisy

Gerbera Daisy (Gerbera jamesonii) is a perennial daisy which forms a clump of bright green foliage, topped by stalks bearing large (3-4") daisy flowers. When it comes to daisies, Gerberas are the top choice due to their incredibly long bloom season and bright, showy blossoms. They can be found in a myriad of colors including pink, orange, red, white and yellow.

Maintaining a compact size of one to two feet high and wide, Gerberas are ideal candidates for container gardening. They perform best when situated in full to partial sun, with good air circulation and drip irrigation. Avoid overhead watering, which can shorten the lifespan of the flower and spread disease. Gerbera flowers last for a long time after being cut, making them an ideal candidate for a bouquet garden . 

It's Chevelle's plant pick-of-the-week because:

"Those big, beautiful flowers are like sunshine on a cloudy day and they just keep blooming!"


Want some more colorful container gardening ideas? 

Winter Container Garden

Topics: Flowers, Planting Ideas, Container Ideas, Cut Flower Garden

Our Plant Pick-of-the-Week: Calendula

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Nov 6, 2015 5:35:37 PM

Our Plant Pick-of-the-Week: Calendula


Calendula officinalis, sometimes referred to as Pot Marigold, is a cool-season annual which bears vibrant orange or yellow flowers atop bright green foliage. It's relatively compact at one to two feet high and wide, but is known to free-seed around the garden and pop up unexpectedly. Calendula is a plant with a rich history, having been used as an ingredient in food, medicine and cosmetics for centuries. 

Calendula officinalis, a cool-season annual
Our favorite thing to do with this lovely Marigold-doppelganger is to plant them en masse in a sunny border. Or as a fun container "thriller" paired with Violas and Creeping Wire Vine. Or planted in your cool-season veggie garden to attract beneficial insects. The possibilities are endless for this cheerful, long-blooming, fuss-free, infinitely useful plant!

It's Sarah's pick-of-the-week because:
"Its brilliant orange blossoms never need to be deadheaded and it blooms fall through spring."
Did you know it's not too late to plant delicious winter vegetables such as Kale, Lettuce and Onions? 
Veggie Calendar


Topics: What Can I Plant This Season?, Winter, Flowers, Fall Flowers, Beneficial Insects, Container Ideas

Crop Rotation: What, Why & How

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Nov 3, 2015 9:38:44 AM

Raised_Veggie_bed-152108-edited-274982-editedCrop rotation is a technique almost as old as agriculture. People have been doing it since before we understood the scientific reasons behind its benefits. Essentially, it is the practice of rotating which types of annual fruit & vegetable crops you plant in specific areas of your garden (not to be confused with companion planting, which involves planting certain crops alongside each other in a garden in order to enhance flavor, deter pests or provide shade or structure).

Two primary reasons people rotate crops:

  • To ensure the soil is not depleted of the same nutrients over and over again
  • To reduce the risk of pests/diseases of plants that are susceptible to the same pests/diseases

Nutrient Retention

In the wisdom of crop rotation, plants are lumped into four different categories depending on what they produce: fruit, leafy greens, root, and legume. These categories of plants uptake different levels of major nutrients, and if you plant a crop which is a heavy feeder of a specific nutrient in the same location year after year, your yield will eventually suffer. Fertalizer_NPK-01-542778-editedThe major plant nutrients that every plant needs to survive (the three numbers on the fertilizer box) are nitrogen, phosphorous & potassium, abbreviated by their elemental symbols as N-P-K. The numbers are listed in order of importance, meaning nitrogen is the most heavily utilized. This is why it's a good idea to alternately rotate all your planting areas with leguminous cover crops, which fix nitrogen from the atmosphere and enrich the soil.

Garden Tip: October is the last chance to plant cover crops in this climate. 

  • Leafy and fruiting crops are heavy feeders which use nitrogen rapidly
  • Root vegetables and herbs are light feeders
  • Legumes add nitrogen to the soil, but they deplete it of phosphorous

Knowing this, it would be wise to balance out the heavy feeders by following them with light feeders. It also makes sense to follow nitrogen-fixing legumes with crops which are heavy nitrogen feeders.

In one bed you might choose to grow tomatoes ---> beets, carrots & radishes ---> beans ---> lettuce, kale & spinach. That would be 2-year rotation where the first year you plant a heavy feeder in the summer, followed by a light feeder in the winter. Then, the following year you plant a nitrogen-fixing legume in the summer, followed by a heavy feeder in the winter. 

Pest Prevention

Plants in the same family tend to be susceptible to the same pests, so it's a good idea to know your plant families and avoid planting them in the same places too often. Here are some common crops grouped by their families:

  • Alliaceae
    Garlic, Onions
  • Apiaceae
    Carrots, Coriander, Dill, Fennel, Parsley, Parsnips
  • Brassicaceae (Cruciferae)
    Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Kale, Kohlrabi, Radishes, Turnips
  • Cucurbitaceae
    Cucumbers, Gourds, Melons, Pumpkins, Squash, Watermelons
  • Fabaceae (Leguminosae)
    Beans, Clover (cover crop), Peas
  • Poaceae 
    Corn, Oats, Wheat
  • Solanaceae
    Eggplant, Peppers, Potatoes, Tomatoes

If you grow both a summer and a winter vegetable garden, think about where you planted members of the same plant family last season, so you can avoid creating a pest paradise.

It is easiest to rotate your crops if you have multiple planting beds, but depending on space, this may not be possible. Four planting beds is ideal, because you will always have a place for one of the four crop categories (fruits, leafy greens, root vegetables and legumes) and you have plenty of room to separate the plant families which may share pesky pests. If you are limited on space, be sure that you are thoroughly amending your soil after each growing season, to improve structure, fertility and feed the micro-organisms which live there. 

Now that you know the basics, you're ready to plan your next veggie garden with crop rotation in mind! Take the time to learn about the vegetables you like to grow at home and be amazed to see your yields increase, diseases decrease and the health of your soil improve. Check out our vegetable planting calendar below to find out what you can grow now:

Veggie Calendar

Topics: Pest Prevention, Edibles, Organic, Veggies and Herbs, IPM

Our Plant Pick-of-the-Week: Silverberry

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Oct 26, 2015 11:48:12 AM

Our Plant Pick of the Week: Silverberry


Silverberry (Elaeagnus 'Olive Martini') is an evergreen shrub which lends a subtle, understated elegance to the landscape. Its deep green foliage is rimmed with gold and covered in a soft silvery blush, which entices visitors to pause and admire its unusual beauty. In the fall, you might be lucky enough to catch a whiff of its inconspicuous flowers in bloom, which smell somewhat like Gardenias. 

Jan_Elaeagnus-060019-editedThough some species of Silverberry produce edible fruit, this cultivar is grown for its unusual foliage color and incredible drought tolerance. Reaching 10-15 feet high and wide, it is an excellent screening shrub to cover up an unsightly fence or provide you with privacy from adjacent houses.

It's Jan's plant pick-of-the-week because:

"The silvery-green foliage with just a hint of gold tends to pick up golden hues in surrounding plants, making them seem brighter."










Silverberry is a great alternative to thirsty screening shrubs and a great choice for the  CA Landscape 2.0

Topics: Privacy Trees & Shrubs, Waterwise, Fragrant Plants, Drought Resistant, Low Water Plants

Our Plant Pick-of-the-Week: Bush Strawflower

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Oct 15, 2015 3:06:53 PM

Our Plant Pick-of-the-Week: Bush Strawflower


Bush Strawflower (Bracteantha bracteata) is a summer annual or short-lived perennial native to eastern Australia. Probably the most ubiquitous Australian native in California nurseries, Bush Strawflower has earned it's place due to its extremely long-lasting and dramatic blossoms. Its common name is derived from its papery bracts which are shiny and stiff, radiating from the true flowers in the center like everlasting sun rays. 

HeatherBracteantha-642605-editedGenerally reaching 10-14 inches high and wide, Strawflower is the perfect little "filler" for containers or nestled into sunny flower borders. There are a wide range of colors in cultivation, but the most common varieties are bright, warm colors such as red, yellow and orange. Its extreme heat tolerance and low water use makes it a brilliant choice for a summer pot-up, but its flowers will keep blooming all the way up until frost. 

It's Heather's pick-of-the-week because:

"I absolutely love this plant! The flowers are so bright and unusual and they last forever in the full hot sun."

 Want more plants that won't wimp out in the heat? 

Low-Water Plants



Topics: Waterwise, Flowers, Flowers in the Heat, Summer

Pick Your Perfect Pumpkin

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Oct 9, 2015 6:45:00 PM

October is here and that means it's pumpkin time! Green Acres Nursery & Supply offers a wide variety of pumpkins great for decorating, carving and even eating. Here is a breakdown of some of our more popular pumpkins, squash & gourds:


The following varieties are both beautiful and delicious. They have very thick skin so be careful when attempting to cut them. 


Donning hues in unearthly blues, Jarrahdale is a rare heirloom pumpkin from Australia. It's golden colored flesh is mildly sweet, string-free and great for baking. Although most people buy it for it's cool color, squatty shape and deep ribs, this is also our most highly recommended pumpkin for pies. 





The true name of this heirloom variety from France is Rouge vif D'Etampes which is a description of its vivid red coloring. Its nickname is derived from it's squat shape, which resembles the pumpkin that Cinderella's fairy godmother turned into a carriage for her to ride in the night of the ball. No matter what you call it, this pumpkin is sure to impress either as a decoration or baked into a pie. 



Pumpkin_Kamo_Kamo-241841-editedKamo Kamo Squash

Originally from New Zealand, Kamo Kamo is a medium-small rounded squash with deep ribs and green and orange stripes. Its unusual color variation makes it a festive fall decoration, with a sweet, slightly nutty flavor.







Originally known as Musque de Provence, this is an old time favorite from France. It's a deep green when immature, and ages to a fine antique-looking sepia tone. The orange, fine-grained flesh is ideal for baking. 




Pumpkin_lil_pumpkemon-954735-editedLil' Pump-ke-mon

Perfectly portioned white-and-orange striped pumpkins, aren't they cute? Try stuffing and baking them, or using them as decorative bowls for autumn-spiced soup. 







A great medium-sized ghostly white pumpkin which delivers a bright orange surprise on the inside. Spooky and delicious, Lumina is great for baking and will hold its color for longer if kept out of direct sunlight. 









The following varieties are great for painting carving, decorating or even just using as a festive fall centerpiece. 

Pumpkin_Folsom-741144-editedBig Max

Watch out for this behemoth! Big Max is a hefty pumpkin which makes a great statement in your fall-themed decorations. It has cheerful bright orange skin and tends to have one flat side from lazing about on the ground. It makes a great pumpkin, or chair as you can see here. 







What sets this caving pumpkin apart is its thick stem; it's sturdy, long-lasting and adds great character to any jack-o-lantern. 












Pumpkin_painted-046852-editedIron Man

This indestructible pumpkin comes in a deceivingly small package. Iron Mans are orange, round, and tough as nails. We like to cut off the stems and use them as bowling balls during our annual Fall Festival.










The perfect size for little toddler hands, this mini pumpkin is sure to inspire 'awww' in your festive fall display.








Warty and lovable, this medium-sized carving pumpkin is just begging to be transformed into a grinning witch. Will it be a good witch or a bad witch? Take one home and see for yourself...










Can you dig it? This psychedelic variety is swirled with pale pink, cream and green variation. Carve it into a trippy jack-o-lantern or simply sit back and admire the natural beauty. 





Pumpkin_Gooseneck_Gourd-607579-editedGooseneck Gourd

This bright green-and-white striped serpentine gourd is somewhat bulbous at both ends, giving it a sort of avian appearance. Its hard skin makes it extremely long-lasting, it's a great gourd to paint or carve when it's dried.   








Pumpkin_Lunch_lady-706539-editedLunch Lady

When a couple of little warts just aren't going to cut it, you need the bumpiest pumpkin we sell: Lunch Lady. Their unusual texture and extraordinary color variation makes Lunch Lady a great addition to a Halloween or Thanksgiving display. 







Whatever your tastes, Green Acres Nursery & Supply is the destination for pumpkins this fall. Come to any of our four locations and pick up your perfect pumpkin today!

Workshop Calendar

Topics: Edibles, Pumpkins, Fall, Decorating

Our Plant Pick-of-the-Week: Mexican Bush Sage

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Oct 6, 2015 12:00:00 PM

Our Plant Pick-of-the-Week: Mexican Bush Sage


Mexican Bush Sage (Salvia leucantha) is an evergreen shrub for sun with fuzzy, elongated, grey-green leaves. In fact, everything about it is sort of fuzzy, especially it's stunning violet flower bracts which are borne most heavily in the fall. The actual flower is small and white, far less eye-catching than the velvety bracts which envelop them. Because it's the bract as opposed to the the flower which attracts the most attention, they hold their color very well over the course of their spring-through-fall bloom season. 

JennieSalvialeucantha-500224-editedEventually reaching 6' high and wide, Mexican Bush Sage is best suited to the back of the flower bed, where it will dutifully provide forage for hummingbirds and bees without using a lot of water. Like most woody perennials, this sage benefits from being pruned to shape it in late winter-early spring. Other than that, it is about as low maintenance as you could hope for in a plant.

In addition to the standard version pictured here, there is a dwarf variety known as 'Santa Barbara' which reaches a far more manageable 4' high and wide. There is also a pink and white flowered variety, and a variety called 'Midnight' where the both the flower and the bract are a deep, beautiful purple.

It's Jennie's pick-of-the-week because:

"Those bright purple flowers turn heads, and it's so easy to grow. I love this plant!"


Looking for less thirsty perennials?   Drought Tolerant Plants

Topics: Fall Shrubs, Waterwise, Fall Flowers, pollinators

Pest Alert- The Bagrada Bug

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Oct 5, 2015 9:10:52 AM

Bagrada bugs (Bagrada hilaris) are a type of stink bug and rapidly spreading invasive pests. They are native to Africa, and were most likely introduced to the U.S. via the Port of Long Beach in 2008. Since then, they've migrated eastward and have been found in Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico.


Bagrada_Bug-903670-edited-458765-editedDescription: Bearing a strong resemblance to Harlequin Bugs, The Bagrada bug is only 1/3 to 1/4 of the size, with adults reaching 5-7mm. Nymphs start out small, round and red-colored, then black with red marking. Adults are shield-shaped and black, with symmetrical orange markings. 

Host Plants: Members of the mustard family Brassicaceae, including crops such as arugula, Asian greens, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, radish, cabbage and turnip. It has also been known to feed on grasses such as corn, and Bermuda grass as well as ornamental plants such as candytuft and sweet alyssum. It prefers to feed on brassicauceous weeds, and usually seeks out the plants listed above when the mustard weeds die back in late summer.

Damage: They have sucking mouth parts, which they use to pierce plant tissue. The resulting damage presents as discolored, irregular blotches on leaves and stems. They can also cause wilting, stunting, tip dieback and can kill seedlings. 

Control: Bagrada bugs, like other stink bugs, can be difficult to control by chemical methods alone. Insecticidal soaps can help suppress nymphs, while pyrethrin-based insecticides are somewhat effective at controlling adults. They are easier to eradicate if caught early, so monitoring is important. To prevent a possible infestation, clear your garden of weeds, especially those in the mustard family. They are heat-loving, so when monitoring for them be sure to inspect plants when temperatures are above 75°F. If found, hand-pick and destroy. 

Bagrada bugs have no natural enemies in this country, so they are spreading rampantly. The best way to control them is to practice IPM and keep a close eye on your garden for unfamiliar insects before the populations get out of hand. If you think you've identified this pest in a county where it was previously unreported, contact your local UC Cooperative Extension office. 

Intro to IPM

For more pest control tips, check out our 3 Part Pest SOS series.

For more information on the Bagrada bug, check out the UC Davis IPM Pest Notes



Topics: Pest Prevention

Get Digging with Green Acres

Have questions? Drop us a line.

We are here to help you with all of your landscape and gardening needs.

Subscribe to Email Updates

Posts by Topic

see all