Tomato Troubleshooting

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Jun 30, 2015 6:14:00 PM

stupiche_tomato-resized-600So you've planted your crop and they've grown up big and strong...what could possibly go wrong?

As every experienced farmer knows, growing veggies is not always easy. There are plenty of pests and diseases that can plague your poor plants and minimize your harvest.

Never fear, Green Acres Nursery & Supply is here to walk you through some common problems and give you the tools and the know-how to fix them. 

Not sure what troubles your tomatoes? Just take a picture and/or sample into your nearest Green Acres Garden Solutions department, and we'd be happy to help you.

 




Problem:
 Blossoms falling off and not producing fruit. There are several reasons flowers will drop:

  • Insufficient Pollination: If the flowers are not visited by pollinating insects, they may fail to produce fruit.
    • Solution: Planting flowers around your vegetables can help attract beneficial insects to your garden. You can also hand-pollinate them gently with a small paintbrush.
  • Inconsistent Temperatures: When temperatures reach extremes, it can cause stress to the plant and make pollination difficult.
    • Solution: Mulching can help ease this stress, and will help conserve moisture in the soil. Creating windbreaks around your tomato garden can also help regulate temperatures. 
  • Improper Nutrition: When tomatoes are fertilized with high nitrogen fertilizers, they will push a lot of leafy growth and will not put energy into producing fruit.
    • Solution: Be sure to fertilize your veggie garden with an organic food specifically formulated for them, such as E.B. Stone Tomato & Vegetable Food.
  • Infestations & Fungi: If your tomato is suffering from pests, it will likely be too stressed to produce a good yield.
    • Solution: Bring a sample and/or picture into your nearest Green Acres tomato-hornworm1-406835-editedfor help identifying and eliminating pest problems. 

Problem: Tomato horn worms (pictured) are chewing the leaves of your plant.

Solution: B.T. is a bacteria-derived pesticide which kills the worms, and is safe to use on edibles even up to the day of harvest. 

Problem: Tomatoes crack leaving unattractive scarring on the fruit

Solution: Cracking fruit is usually the result of inconsistent watering. To fix this, mulch around the tomato plant, leaving 4-6" around the base of the plant, open for air circulation, and consider installing a drip system which will regulate water levels.

Problem: Brown, mushy spots on the bottom of tomatoes known as Blossom End Rot. Blossom End Rot can be caused by two main things: calcium deficiency and uneven watering. 

Solution: Mulching around your tomatoes will help keep the soil evenly moist.

Solution: Bonide Rot-Stop® is a great tool for helping combat calcium deficiency of tomatoes, peppers and melons.*

*It is always a good idea to test the soil first before adding amendments.

Want to learn more about growing tomatoes?

Tomato Tips

 

Topics: Edibles, Beneficial Insects, Tomatoes, Sacramento Gardening

Our Plant Pick-of-the-Week: Coneflower 'Double Scoop Cranberry'

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Jun 25, 2015 3:42:23 PM

Our Plant Pick-of-the-Week: Coneflower 'Double Scoop Cranberry'

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Coneflower or Echinacea is a classic garden staple for a multitude of reasons. It's easy to grow, tolerant of a wide variety of soils, blooms profusely summer through fall, and thrives in our hot, dry summers. Because of it's amazing versatility, it has been hybridized into many fantastic colors and cultivars, one of the most dramatic being the 'Double Scoop' series. Tantalizing in their color descriptions: Cranberry, Orangeberry, Bubblegum, and Raspberry, this series has some of the largest flower-size of all the Echinacea family.  

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Reaching about two feet tall and wide with a sturdy, well-branched form, this lovely perennial also makes a great container "thriller". It's deer resistant and drought tolerant when established. Plus, it makes a great addition to the cut-flower garden that will come back reliably every year. 

It is Matthew's pick-of-the-week because:

"The vibrant color that radiates from these blooms attract beneficial insects to the garden."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more tips & tricks on attracting beneficial insects to your garden, check out our blog, Appealing to Pollinators.

Appealing to Pollinators

Topics: Waterwise, What Can I Plant This Season?, Flowers, Flowers for Hot Weather, Low Water Plants, Beneficial Insects, Sacramento Gardening, Summer Flowers, Drought Tolerant

Manage Landscape Water Use with Moisture Manager

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Jun 25, 2015 10:43:07 AM

Looking for ways to stretch water in your landscape? A healthy landscape adds value to your home, improves quality of life, and helps cool the climate. Moisture Manager is one of the best preventative measures you can take to keep your plants hydrated during low water seasons.

How does it work?

Moisture Manager uses a patented blend of liquid humectant and hygroscopic compounds known as Hydratain which helps improve the water holding capacity of your soil. Hydratain basically captures small amounts of precipitation and keeps it in the soil where it can be accessed by the roots, rather than being lost to evaporation. It also helps keep the soil moisture levels consistent no matter what your soils texture is, which helps the overall health of your plants during the drought and beyond.

moisture_cycle

Applying Moisture Manager to your landscape means instant water savings of up to 50% less water.

One quart covers 3,500 sq/ ft and each application lasts 3 months. For more tips on reducing landscape water use, check out our water-saving resources:

#waterwise

Topics: Waterwise, Irrigation Tips, Sacramento Gardening, Drought Tolerant

Our Plant Pick-of-the-Week: Canna 'Tropicanna® Black'

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Jun 19, 2015 5:37:45 PM

Our Plant Pick-of-the-Week: Canna 'Tropicanna® Black'

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Canna 'Tropicanna® Black' is a part of the 'Tropicanna®' series by Tesselaar, but it is truly in a class all it's own. Unlike its fellow Tropi-Canna's, this variety has dark, brown-colored foliage which contrasts beautifully with it's bright, scarlet-orange blossoms in summer. The large, fleshy leaves resemble stained glass when they catch the sunlight, revealing garnet colored veins surrounded with jade green, then fading to deep chocolate. 

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It is a perennial from rhizome, which means that if planted in the ground, it will spread over the years, becoming an increasingly dramatic statement in the garden. It can ultimately reach 4-6 feet tall, and the rhizomes should be divided every few years or so. Although it looks very tropical, it is surprisingly hardy and will tolerate temperatures as low at 10°F if left to overwinter in the ground.

It does well in poorly draining, boggy soils making it an ideal plant for surrounding your pond, water feature or pool. It thrives with regular water and 4-6 hours of direct sun per day. Cut to the ground in late fall/early winter and prepare to be amazed when it comes back even more lush next year.

It is Philip's pick-of-the-week because:

"This is a great perennial, it's vibrant and exotic and I love how it comes back strong every year."

Canna 'Tropicanna® Black' makes a great addition to the cut flower garden! 


Grow a Cut Flower Garden

Topics: What Can I Plant This Season?, Tropicals, Flowers for Hot Weather, Pond, Summer Flowers

How to Create a Pollinator Paradise

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Jun 19, 2015 5:36:15 PM

Bees_On_Poppy_0925-692619-editedWhat is a pollinator?

Any insect or animal which moves pollen from one flower to the next. This includes bats, bees, butterflies, small mammals, moths, birds, flies, and beetles. Flowers are designed to attract pollinators with their bright colors and enticing fragrance, and in return the pollinators feed on the flowers nectar and pollen. 

Pollinators are essential to the survival of many species of plants and animals, including people. Approximately one-third of the food we eat is delivered by pollinators. Recently, populations of many of our favorite pollinators are in decline, partially due to loss of habitat and food.

In honor of National Pollinator Week, here are a few things you can do to make your garden a welcoming environment for all types of pollinators.

  • Plant many different flowers that bloom all year long
Because there's such a diverse mix of creatures which pollinate flowers, the best way to make your garden a welcoming place is to plant a wide variety of flowers,that bloom all throughout the year. Different species are attracted to different flower types, and having a wide selection of flowers which bloom during each season will ensure that they don't go hungry. 
  • Plant a variety of color
Different types of pollinators are more attracted to different colors. It is easier to draw passing pollinators into your garden if you plant your pollinator-attracting perennials in a patch of 3-5, and plant big groups of similar colors together.
Bees are drawn to yellow, blue and purple. 
Fun fact: bees see in a spectrum of light that's invisible to us- ultraviolet. Many flowers have ultraviolet markings on them called "nectar guides" which draw bees directly to the pollen and nectar of a flower. 
Butterflies prefer flat-topped "cluster" type flowers in red, orange, yellow, pink and blue.
Hummingbirds enjoy tube or funnel shaped flowers in shades of orange, red, violet and pink.
  • Entice with fragrance
Scent is another thing that draws pollinators to flowers, so seek fragrant flowers when planning your pollinator garden. Herbs like lavender, sage, basil and oregano contain many fragrant oils, so their flowers contain nectar which is especially delicious. 
  • Know your natives

When planning your pollinator paradise, consider catering to the local species. There are approximately 1,500 species of bees and 200 species of butterflies that are native to California. Native pollinators are most attracted to the plants with which they co-evolved. Native plants are also well adapted to our climate, making them a sustainable choice, which will be easier to maintain in the long run. 

Our Favorite Natives

  • Provide a place to nest and rest
Many species of bees are solitary, meaning they overwinter and nest in soil, sand or dead wood as opposed to hives. Large screening shrubs make a great shelter for all sorts of pollinators, and some of them, such as wild lilac and toyon are good sources of pollen and nectar too.
  • Set up a bath for birds, bees and other pollinators
Keeping a birdbath is a great way to attract an assortment of beautiful songbirds to your garden, and it's especially appreciated in low-water years. However, you should also find a spot in your pollinator garden for a bee & butterfly bath! Take a shallow tray, line with pebbles, and keep it filled with fresh water. This provides water for smaller pollinators, especially butterflies who get many of their essential minerals from drinking muddy water (an act known as puddling).
  • Learn to control pests naturally

Integrated pest management (IPM) is a way of controlling pests in your garden with less impact on the environment. Many pollinators also feed on insects such as aphids, that's why maintaining the balance of beneficials and pests in the garden is important. 

Intro to IPM

Topics: California Native Plants, Flowers, Beneficial Insects

Last Minute Father's Day Gifts

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Jun 19, 2015 12:45:00 PM

Father's Day is upon us.  A few short days to get your dad a gift he will remember and use.  If you need some quick yet thoughtful ideas, read on...

Tools:

Upgrade his landscaping experience by getting him the right tools.  Nothing is more frustrating than working out in the yard with a broken or rusty old tool that doesn't work.  Make his work a breeze with these high quality tool ideas.

Father's Day gift

  1. Red Rooster Shovel- D-Handle, roundpoint dirt shovels, aluminum scoop shovels, Irrigation shovels.  
  2. Corona Bypass Pruners
  3. Flexrake Rake- 19" aluminum rake that is well made, durable and light.  Made in the USA!
  4. Red Rooster Professional Vine Loppers- strong and lightweight.  Makes sturdy cuts up to 1 1/4" 

Citrus & Fruit Trees:

What dad wouldn't like going to his own back yard and picking a bag full of succulent, sweet oranges that he grew?  We offer a full line of fruit and citrus trees on dwarf and semi-dwarf root stock for any size yard.  Ask us about starting a backyard orchard for dad.

  • Fruit Trees- Apple, Peach, Nectarine, Cherry, Almond, Walnut, Pear, Fig, Pomegranate & more. Fruit cocktail trees also available (multiple varieties on one tree!)*
  • Citrus Trees- Limes, Lemons including 'Meyer', Grapefruit, Kumquat, Tangelo, Orange, Avocado & more. *

fathers day gift idea

Bonsai:

Bonsai is a great old time hobby that is on its way back.  It provides an outlet for relaxation and helps lower stress. If your dad has always wanted to get into the art of Bonsai, now is his chance.

  • Get a stand alone Bonsai plant so you can plant up your own container for dad. 
All you need is: 
  1. A glazed ceramic pot
  2. Your choice of juniper, boxwood or azalea in Bonsai size.  (All are great plants for beginners)
  3. Training wire so you can shape branches and trunk
  4. Bonsai shears
  5. Bonsai soil mix

fathers day gift ideas

Gloves

  • Sturdy work gloves- in materials like leather, bamboo, jersey knit, nylon, canvas, cotton & more.
  • Waterproof gloves also available for working with irrigation or pond maintenance.

 

Veggies & Herbs

  • 1G or 2G vegetables 
  • Plant a container herb garden for the dad who likes to grill.  Fresh herbs help make the most delicious rubs and sauces for the grillin' dad.

 

Grills and Grill Accessories**

If you really want to go big this year, rock his world with a new grill! See our website for current specials.  We offer only the best brands that actually get the job done and last for years...and years...and years.

Weber Grills-

Offering over 25 in stock and assembled Weber grills. Many styles and colors along with all the accessories.  We carry items you can't find at the box stores.

fathers day gift ideas
The Big Green Egg-

An Eggcelent gift for dad.  The Big Green Egg is the best ceramic komodo type cooker on the market and of course has a lifetime warranty!  It is the most versatile barbecue or outdoor cooking device; cook pizzas, ribs, chicken, whole turkeys, veggies, cakes, pies & more!

Grilling Accessories-

A full line of grilling accessories from Weber and the Big Green Egg. You'll find our selection to be extensive and complete.  If it is something we don't have in stock, we can certainly order it for yo.

  • Covers
  • Grill Cleaners
  • Brushes
  • Grilling Spatulas, Forks and Tongs 
  • Aprons
  • Gloves & Mits
  • Grilling Baskets
  • Cedar Planks
  • Flavor Enhancing Wood Chips
  • Thermometers
  • Rubs, sauces & more!
Hopefully you are inspired by some wonderful gift ideas for your dad.  Whether he has a green thumb or not, he will be sure to enjoy and use these items from Green Acres.   

 

Store Locations

*Availability of products subject to change.  See stores for details.

**Outdoor Living products sold at select Green Acres locations.

Topics: Gift Ideas, BBQ, Backyard Orchard, Big Green Egg

Fireblight

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Jun 12, 2015 12:26:00 PM

Fire_Blight_UC_DAVIS-372143-editedFireblight (Erwinia amylovora) is a bacterial infection that affects members of the Rosaceae family which produce a pome-type fruit, such as an apple.

It is favored by humid conditions and particularly prevalent this year because many trees are weakened due to drought stress. 

Fireblight is potentially fatal if the disease is allowed to spread too far, so the best treatment is prevention and early detection. 

 

 

 

Common Host Plants
  • Apple
  • Hawthorn
  • Pear 
  • Pyracantha
  • Quince 
  • Loquat
  • Cotoneaster
SymptomsBonidecopperfungicide

Infection usually becomes visible in the spring when young blossoms, branch tips and leaves wilt turning from brown to black. Sticky bacterial ooze might also be present on the branches from cankers.

Treatment

Remove any infected tissue 9-12 inches below the visible damage. Sterilize pruners with bleach or rubbing alcohol after each cut to avoid spreading the infection.  

Bonide® Copper Fungicide is the most effective chemical treatment to control the spread of the disease, though it cannot repair damage that has already occurred. The best method of application for trees is a tank sprayer, which will allow you to fully coat all of the branches and leaves with the fungicide. 

Tip: Fill the sprayer with half the warm water that is required for the application (based on package direction) and then the Bonide® Copper Fungicide, then the rest of the required water. This ensures that the fungicide becomes properly emulsified. 

 

 

 

To learn about how to control pests naturally in your garden, learn about Integrated Pest Management (IPM).

  Intro to IPM

fb_cycle

Topics: Pest Prevention, Organic

Our Plant Pick-of-the-Week: Dinnerplate Dahlia

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Jun 9, 2015 1:31:00 PM

Plant Pick-of-the-Week: Dinnerplate Dahlia

Dinnerplate_Dahlia-3-438344-edited-887717-edited

Dahlias are native to Mexico, but the varieties available today have been hybridized so much that they barely resemble their wild ancestors. The Dutch were the pioneers of hybridizing Dahlias, having created such unusual flower types as cactus form, ball, fubuki, waterlily, peony type and dinnerplate. 

Emily_Dinnerplate_Dahlias-268133-edited-152241-editedDinnerplate Dahlias are a perennial from tuber which form an upright clump of bright green, slightly serrated foliage reaching about 3-4 feet high by 2-3 wide. Their flowers are very much like the gorgeous geometric dahlia we all know and love, only 3-4 inches across, sometimes larger. They bloom throughout summer and fall, as long as they are fertilized and deadheaded. Dahlias thrive in full morning sun with a little afternoon shade in the hot valley, and moderate water. 

They are Emily's plant pick-of-the-week because:

"Dinnerplate dahlias are so bright and beautiful, they make me happy. Plus they are a perennial so they come back year after year!"

Dahlias are just one of the many great flowers for a cut flower garden.  Grow a Cut Flower Garden   

Topics: What Can I Plant This Season?, Seasonal Items, Summer Flowers

The Many Lovely Uses for Lavender

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Jun 5, 2015 10:59:15 AM

Lavender is one of the most versatile perennials you can grow. It does well in full sun or partial shade, stays green in the winter, blooms spring through fall, is drought tolerant, attracts beneficial insects and thrives in the heat. It also has numerous household uses, from aromatherapy to cocktail infusions. Be careful which varieties you harvest to eat- only Lavandula angustifolia and Lavandula x intermedia are edible. 

Lavender_bush-286207-editedCare & Maintenance

  • 4-6 hours of direct sun per day
  • Well-draining soil
  • Low water
  • The essential oils that make lavender so fragrant are mostly concentrated in the leaves. If you want your lavender to have a very strong scent, fertilize sparingly using only organic fertilizers
  • Lavenders will repeat bloom when they are deadheaded, simply shear off the old dried stalks before new ones start to appear
  • Prune to shape in winter to keep them from getting woody in the center

At Green Acres Nursery & Supply, we regularly carry a wide variety of lavandula*. French, Spanish and English are the most common types, with many varieties within those subsections.

 

French Lavender (Lavandula dentataCharacterized by gray-green foliage and serrated leaf margins, french lavender grows about 3' tall by 5' wide and bears tall stalks bearing plump pale purple blossoms. It's fragrance is not as strong as that of the English or Spanish varieties, so it is best used in the landscape. 

'Goodwin Creek'- Most common hybrid of french lavender, dense growth habit and silvery toothed foliage bearing tall stalks topped with elongated violet-blue flower whorls.

Per-Lavandula_Anouk_01-521483-edited

Spanish Lavender (Lavandula stoechas)  One of the more common varieties, it's appearance is distinct from other lavenders, forming a low mound 1-3' tall by 2-3' wide. It's flowers are held close to the foliage, more compressed than most lavender and topped with flag-like petals. Reseeds profusely, deadhead to prevent it from popping up in unexpected places. 

'Otto Quast'- Dwarf variety of the already compact Spanish lavender. Can be kept as small at 1' tall by 2' wide.

'Silver Anouk'- A variety with striking silvery foliage which contrasts nicely with deep purple flowers.

English Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) English lavender is the most strongly scented variety available. It tends to form a neat, symmetrical mound of silver-green foliage with tall, elegant stalks bearing slender purple flowers. This variety performs well in the landscape, but it is also great for cooking and aromatherapy. 

'Hidcote'- A compact variety usually only reaching 2' tall by 2' wide. A mound of green foliage is topped with short stalks bearing deep violet-blue flowers. 

'Munstead'- usually only reaching 1-2' tall by 2' wide, bearing medium stalks of bright purple flowers. 

'Thumbelina Leigh'- The tiniest of the English lavenders, reaching only 6" tall by 1' wide. Short stalks bearing compact deep violet flowers. 

lavender_bee-681876-editedHybrid Lavenders (Lavandula x intermedia) Varieties of lavender bred for hardiness and tolerance of humidity. Usually characterized by their branching stems and interrupted flower spikes.

'Dutch'- Forms a mound of gray foliage reaching 3' tall by 2 1/2' wide. Stems branch to narrow, deep violet-blue flower spikes.

'Fred Boutin'- dense silvery gray foliage forms a mound 3-4' tall and wide topped with short spikes bearing violet flowers.

'Grosso'- Compact growth habit to about 3' tall by wide bearing stalks topped with deep violet-blue flower spikes. Grown commercially for its intense fragrance. Great for drying.

'Provence'- To 2' tall by 3' wide, forms a symmetrical mound of silvery-green foliage topped with stalks of light purple flower spikes. Makes a great informal hedge. 

To learn more about plants which thrive in the dry heat, check out our  Drought Tolerant Plants

* Check stores for current availability

Topics: Fragrant Plants, Edibles, Flowers in the Heat, Beneficial Insects, Drought Tolerant

Our Plant Pick-of-the-Week: Evolvulus

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Jun 2, 2015 11:47:00 AM

Plant Pick-of-the-Week: Evolvulus 'Blue My Mind'

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Evolvulus 'Blue My Mind' is a variety of Dwarf Morning Glory, which shares all of the strengths of the classic Morning Glory vine, but is far more well-behaved. It's genus name Evolvulus means 'to unroll' in latin, which describes it's tendency to drape rather than twine like standard morning glories do. It's bright, clear true blue flowers would make a wonderful addition to a patriotic red, white & blue pot-up! 

Jeremy_Evolvulus-857957-editedEvolvulus is a tender perennial, meaning it's only hardy to around 35° F and may not survive the winter. It makes up for this by performing wonderfully spring through fall with bountiful sky-blue blossoms, graceful silvery-green foliage and incredible heat and sun tolerance. Plant in full sun or light shade with moderate water- it will be drought tolerant once it's established. No dead-heading necessary, but it's a good idea to pinch it back occasionally throughout the season.

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

"I love everything about this plant! It's name, the soft gray color of the foliage, the trailing habit, and the striking blue flower color. It makes a great 'spiller' for containers."

For more beautiful low-water planting options, check out:

Drought Tolerant Plants

Topics: Flowers for Hot Weather, Low Water Plants, Container Ideas, Summer Flowers

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