We’ve been getting a lot of questions from our customers lately about genetically engineered plants. To clarify, a genetically modified organism, or GMO is not the same as a hybrid. Here is a brief overview of what these terms mean and why these methods are used.
What is a Genetically Modified Organism?
Genetic engineering is a process that allows scientists to move genetic material from DNA between organisms to change their characteristics. The genes transferred to another organism are selected to enhance or repress a certain characteristic. The genes of one organism are physically incorporated into another organism, changing its genetic makeup. These traits are now a part of the organisms DNA, and passed on to it’s offspring.
What is a Hybrid?
A hybrid is a variety of plant which has been strategically bred to encourage desirable characteristics possessed by the parents. It begins with people observing certain characteristics that a variety of plant has developed, such as resistance to a certain disease. These characteristics are often natural mutations that plants adapt to give them an advantage in their environment. The plant is then bred, and produces seeds for a plant which hopefully inherited that desirable characteristic from its parents. It is a process of trial and error that eventually results in a plant with improved resistance to a particular disease. These characteristics are not passed on to it’s offspring. Hybridization is done by the grower through the transfer of pollen however has nothing to do with altering the DNA of the plant.
See the diagram below for an esoteric explanation of the steps involved to hybridize peas.
Why modify plants?
People have been breeding plants for desirable characteristics for years. It is done for increased yield, pest resistance, improved aesthetic qualities or even nutritional benefits. The limitation in traditional hybridizing is that the species which are bred must be closely related to one another. Genetically modifying an organism is different in that it allows scientists to take the genes that produce desirable qualities in plants and transfer them to any organism, not just those which are closely related.
What is an Heirloom?
Using tomatoes as a prime example, an heirloom tomato variety must be at least 50 years old. Heirloom tomatoes are often valued for their taste, unusual markings, color, and shape. They can be planted from saved seed and result in the same plant as the parent plant.
How are Hybrids and Heirlooms different?
According to the UC Cooperative Extension program, "hybrid tomatoes are cross bred from two or more different plants and are created for a particular purpose (disease resistance, color, shape, etc.)" as mentioned above. "Their seeds will revert back to one of the parents, so they are not reliable to grow from saved seed. Heirlooms on the other hand are open pollinated and the seeds have been handed down through generations of growers, and they can be grown from saved seed to replicate the original plant.
Green Acres does not carry any genetically modifided plants in our seeds or starters.
With spring’s warmer temperatures we are all spending a little more time outside. To make a huge impact with minimal changes to your yard, how about putting together a fabulous pot or planter catered to the style of your home and garden? This addition will help complete the look of your outdoor room. When we think of summer, the idea of the seasonal planter comes to mind for summertime backyard entertaining-where we can showcase the famous trio of archetype plants: the thriller, the filler and the spiller. Each of these plant archetypes has a special role assigned to it for it’s use within the container and we’ll suggest some great combinations, below.
The “thriller” plant is an upright specimen plant that jumps right out and elongates the overall aesthetic of the space. Usually this plant is located at the center of the pot or container, however, if the pot is against a wall, simply use it towards the back of planter for increased “wow factor”! The “thriller” plant might be: a blooming Canna Lily, an Upright Pink Cordyline (pictured to the left), or a year-round plant like the Contorted Filbert (Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick).
The “filler” plant is a mid-level plant useful for covering space and hiding the interior or leggy portions of the thriller plant rising above it. The “filler” plant might be: Santa Barbara Daisy (a great California native) , Diascia (an easy bedding plant from Africa), Hot Lips Salvia (a Bicolor Sage), or Coleus (an annual, native to the West Indies).
The “spiller” plant is used at the outer edge of the planter and closest to the main viewing area of the planter. The “spiller” plant may be: a silver-grey Licorice Plant (pictured to the left and widely used and adaptable), a String-of-Pearls plant (a succulent with long flowing tendrils of green “pearls”), Black Heart Sweet Potato Vine (dark foliage that contrasts beautifully against greens and whites), or Tapien Verbena (vibrant blooms atop graceful foliage).
Some favorite “thriller-filler-spiller” planter combinations from our very own Green Acres team:
A California Vibrant Combination:
Thriller: Vibrant Canna Lilies (pictured on right) with ‘Sundowner’ or ‘Bronze Baby’ New Zealand Flax
Filler: Mixed Pink and Red Impatients & Variegated Coleus
Spiller: Black Heart Sweet Potato Vine
A Romantic Garden Combination:
Thriller: Purple Fountain Grass or Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick
Filler: Red Cockscomb, Delphinium, Red Chinese Fringe Flower & Brown Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia)
Spiller: Dusty Miller or Licorice Plant & Nasturtium
An Arid Climate Combination:
Thriller: A tall blue-grey Agave or a vibrant yellow and green Striped Yucca
Filler: Globe Thistle (Echinops), Catmint (Nepeta), Agastache, and Flapjacks (succulent pictured to right)
Spiller: String-of-Pearls or Blue Tapien Verbena
A Shade Combination:
Thriller: Variegated Ornamental Ginger, Dark Blue Iris, or Lady Fern
Filler: Sweet Flag Grass and Japanese Painted Fern
Spiller: Coral Bells (dark clumping plant pictured below) with Purple Clover and String-of-Pearls
As always, it’s important to be sure that your planter has drip irrigation or that you’re watering by hand at least every other day on the hot days of summer. You will want your pot to drain properly, so many gardeners place 2-3” of gravel at the bottom. This ensures that the soil doesn’t leach out the bottom. In addition to giving your plants a nice mixture of potting mix or planting mix on top of the 2-3” stone base, you will want to use our E.B. Stone Sure Start Fertilizer to give your plants the best in their transition from nursery pot to home planter. If you have any questions be sure to ask one of our great employees.
Now it’s time to make your own thriller-filler-spiller combination! Feel free to send us photos or post them on our Green Acres Facebook Page. We'd love to see creative combinations YOU have designed.
Houseplants add beauty and interest to our indoor environment. They come in a multitude of varieties, colors, and shapes giving them their own distinct personality. Some have leaves that twist and curl gracefully spilling over the edges of their pots, and others grow upwards reaching towards the light. Leaves may be small and delicate or large and dramatic with colors ranging from lime green to dark green with pink, red, yellow and white colorations mixed in. There are many that have showy flower spikes or bracts.
Our houseplants do so much more for us than just sit there and look pretty. They are hard workers. At some point, we’ve all either heard or said these words, “Wow, you’re such a lifesaver. Thanks for your help.” For those of you that talk to your plants, maybe those are the very words you should be saying to them, because they could be helping to save our lives or greatly improve them by filtering the air that we breathe. All plants have the ability to take in carbon dioxide and expel oxygen that all living beings need. Some plants also have the ability to absorb harmful airborne chemicals, many of which can be found in our homes or workplaces. Many of these chemicals can cause a multitude of health problems.
In the 1980’s NASA conducted studies using houseplants as air purifiers in space stations. NASA was concerned about the effects of air pollution/contaminants in tightly closed environments. For the study common houseplants were placed in tightly sealed chambers in which various chemicals were introduced. After positive results from initial testing, NASA teamed up with the Associated Contractors of America and expanded their study to homes, as they were being built more energy efficient and tightly sealed. After a two-year study, researchers concluded that some houseplant varieties had the ability to reduce or eliminate certain harmful chemicals. In the 1990’s the Plants for Clean Air Council and Wolverton Environmental Services expanded their research to include 50 houseplants. Dr. B.C. Wolverton authored a book on this very topic. Plants absorb harmful chemicals through tiny openings in their leaves, but soil bacteria and roots also help contribute to removing toxins. Some of the chemicals found in home environments are formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and benzene. Formaldehyde is found in many items inside the home. It can be in carpeting, floor coverings, clothing, paper towels and facial tissues, building materials, tobacco smoke and is released by gas stoves. Benzene is in plastics, rubber, inks, paints, and used in the manufacturing of dyes, detergents and some pharmaceuticals. Trichloroethylene is used in adhesives, paints, varnishes, printing inks and is used in the dry cleaning process.
In the winter months, as our climate gets chilly, we close everything up tight trapping many toxins in our homes. We turn up our heaters or run our fireplaces that can create a dry and smoky environment. More of our time is spent doing indoor activities, watching TV, playing electronic games or at the computer next to that toasty fire. Or our exercise routines get moved inside to that smoky, dry environment, we are expelling carbon dioxide and needing more oxygen as we exercise. When the summer months approach and temperatures start to rise, we crank up our air conditioners and seal everything up once again trapping toxins in our work or home environment. Smog alerts tell us to stay indoors, but is that air trapped inside any better? Newer homes are being built with more “green” materials, but as mentioned above, toxins can be found in a multitude of materials. Houseplants also add humidity and release phytochemicals that suppress bacteria and mold spores. Therefore the presence of houseplants can literally keep you and your family healthier! Based on the NASA study, the number of houseplants recommended to help remove these toxins is one good-sized plant, in a 6 to 8 inch container, for every 100 square feet of living space.
Listed below are some of the 50 plants that have been tested and that have the ability to help eliminate chemical toxins. Not necessarily listed in order of effectiveness these include:
- Rhapis (lady palm)-one of the top-rated palms for removing toxins and it is easy to grow. Areca and Bamboo palm are also at the top of the list for eliminating toxins.
- Rubber plants- best is the Ficus family at removing toxins in all categories.
- Dracaena varieties- Janet Craig is the highest-rated in dracaena family. Other varieties are Cornstalk, Marginata, and Warneckii.
- English Ivy
- Boston fern
- Spathiphyllum (Peace Lily)
- Golden Pothos
- Spider plant
- Chinese evergreen
- Dumb cane
- Sansevieria (snake plant or mother-in-law’s tongue)
Houseplants are most effective when placed within 8 feet of the personal space where you spend a majority of time, such as, bedrooms, TV or computer rooms, bathrooms or kitchen areas. Keep in mind lighting conditions with houseplant placement. Boston fern, spathiphyllum and Chinese evergreen are some plants that can handle lower light conditions. Be aware that some plants that can remove toxins from our environment can also be harmful to children or pets, so it’s important to either keep them out of reach or choose non-toxic plants for your space. Sources such as the ASPCA have information about plant safety for pets. A couple of sites that have listings toxic and non-toxic plant listings for humans are www.calpoison.org and www.lancaster.unl.edu.
It is important that we help take care of those very plants that help take care of us by creating an environment in which plants can thrive. Keeping in mind each plant’s lighting and water requirements will help keep them healthy and happy. Keep leaves dust free by wiping them with a damp cloth occasionally. Dusting will enable your plants to work more efficiently and also help keep pests such as spider mites away. If repotting, use a good quality organic potting soil and fertilize every two weeks to once a month with a liquid fertilizer.
Plants are capable of so much more than adding oxygen and removing toxins in our living spaces. They are quite the multi-tasker. For as long as we’ve known, plants have been used for adding beauty to weddings and remembrance at funerals. They have been given as gifts to add warmth and beauty to a new home, to congratulate success, to lift spirits or calm those suffering from physical or emotional distress.
Plants aren’t just for outside. The addition of plants inside can help you breathe easier, relax more and at the same time lift your spirits and be energized by the beauty of a living piece of art, the houseplant.
A great selection of houseplants and everything you need to care for them can be found at Green Acres Nursery and Supply Roseville and Folsom. Houseplants are seasonally found at our Sacramento location.
*Plants pictured in order from top to bottom include: Rhapis Palm, Golden Pothos, Boston Fern, Peace Lily & Snake Plant.
**Resources and references:
How to Grow Fresh Air- 50 Houseplants that purify Your Home of Office- Dr. BC. Wolverton
We are working on a series of blog posts about how plan your landscape before you plant. If you need a refresher on the first article in the series, click to read Landscape Programming Like a Pro.
In the last article, we touched upon landscape programming which combines the elements of your site with the activities that would be best supported. Now let’s expand that by diversifying space through plantings. First things first, you need to learn an important defintion...transition space.
Transition space divides the passive and active areas in the yard as well as the public and private realms of the property. Take your front door as an example. For privacy sake, most homeowners would prefer that their front door would not be directly open onto the street or sidewalk. There are various practicical reasons for this, but it is also important for design and aesthetics. A front door of a home needs transition space between the public and private realm. So, the front patio, walkway and swinging gate all act as a transition space or slight barriers between the street and your front door. Walkways and gates are great, but to better improve the transition spaces we can use plants, structures and materials to help with that transition. All of these items should support the scale of the home or building. For example, tall, park-like trees or short, bonsai-type plants would be out of scale for a typical one-story residence in the Sacramento area. We need to find plants in between very tall or extremely short to work as transition pieces in the landscape. Here at Green Acres, we meet with homeowners from our area on a daily basis and many of them followup and tell us what worked. Below are some plants that come highly recommended from Green Acres plant experts and our customers who planted them.
Evergreen plants are a nice choice for transition spaces. Try these evergreen plants to help increase transition space in your yard:
- Sky pencil Holly (formal upright shape) available in 1, 5 and 10 gallon
- SkyRocket or Spartan Juniper (formal upright shape) available in 5 and 15 gallon
- Icee Blue Podocarpus (formal upright shape) available in 5 and 15 gallon
- 2-Tier Privet or Boxwood Topiary (formal upright shape) available in 5 and 15 gallon
- ‘Teddy Bear’ Southern Magnolia (informal upright shape) available in 5 gallon
- Compact Cherry Laurel (informal upright shape) available in 5 and 15 gallon
- African Boxwood (informal spreading shape) available in 1 and 5 gallon
- Grevillea (informal spreading shape) available in 1 and 5 gallon
Next, let’s work on diversifying the original 5 landscape elements from the last article:
- The Envelope: To diversity and strengthen the envelope of your property, plant a mixture of evergreen and deciduous plants. If you want privacy, try planting upright shaped plants from the list above. 'Icee Blue' Podocarpus is a wonderful upright choice. If you want to enjoy your view of the horizon plant lower plants from the list above like Grevillea, or African Boxwood.
- Openness to the Sky: To increase the amount of openness to the sky plant trees close to the house for summertime shade and perhaps along the outer corners or a tree cluster for visual impact. Having some openness to the sky means allowing full-sun and native plants to thrive (such as Western Redbud, California Lilac, Ground cover Manzanita, Flannel Bush, and Santa Barbara Daisy). Leaving some openness is valuable. It’s nice to be able to do some stargazing or sit out by a firepit on those mild springtime evenings.
- Landscape Style: Hone in on one type of landscape style for your property. You can expand upon it later-but for now, try and emulate one style. If it’s an English Cutting Garden-use lots and lots of spring-autumn perennial blooms: Spirea, Lilac, Lavender, Bachelor’s Buttons, Shasta Daisy, Salvia, Butterfly Bush, Penstemon, Coreopsis...If it’s a coastal or California native garden use: Arbutus marina, Western Redbud, California Lilac, Pride of Madeira,
Coffeeberry, Flannel Bush, California Fuchsia, Santa Barbara Daisy.
- Architectural Footprint: If the architectural theme of your home is lacking a cohesive aesthetic try adding architectural elements such as welded-wire trellis’ (at the Roseville location for $50 and up), welded-wire arches (at the Roseville location for $155 and up), or oversized glazed pottery pieces (at the Roseville location for $40 and up) to flank the left and right sides of the front walkway or back patio. This will rapidly increase overall visual appeal.
- Diversity of the Site: To expand site diversity, look at all the ways your yard is monotone or the same-and now change it. Use evergreens and deciduous plants together; push taller plants up against shorter plants in front of the planting bed. Place bright red Cordyline or Pink Stripe New Zealand Flax against a monotone wall of evergreens.
Look better? We thought so! These are just a few tips when trying to diversify your landscape space. Come see us any day of the week if you have questions about specific plants or would like more inspiration for your landscape. If you are interested in ideas for diversifying space with waterwise plants, then click here to visit our WaterWise Plant Guide. If you feel like you need some professional advice or help then we invite you to visit our store's contractor board. We list contact information from local landscapers and designers that can help.
Did you know that Worldwide, over 1 billion vegetables are grafted annually, primarily for commercial production?
Grafted tomatoes are created by attaching the top part of one plant (the scion, chosen for fruit quality) to a vigorous, disase-and pest resistant solanum rootstock. As tissues heal, the two plants fuse, combining the rootstock’s vigor and disease resistance–for increased water and nutrient uptake for higher yields–with the scion’s exceptional fruit quality and flavor. Mighty ‘Mato makes great gardens plus they are NOT genetically modified. (Non GMO).
At Green Acres you'll find Mighty 'Matos brand grafted tomatoes. Mighty 'Matos bring the benefits that produce growers have used for decades to home gardeners. Mighty 'Mato flavors are grafted onto exclusive SuperNatural rootstock-selected it for its perfect combination of soil-borne disease resistance and its ability to support higher yielding plants.
Benefits of Grafting onto SuperNatural Rootstock
- Stronger, more vigorous plants
- Bigger, better, and longer harvests
- Improved ability to withstand temperature swings and extremes
- Superior defenses against soil-borne diseases and pests, including nematode
The neat part about grafted tomatoes is that they are available in heirloom varieties like 'Cherokee Purple', 'Mortgage Lifter' 'Pineapple' & 'San Marzano'. When planting Mighty 'Matos don't forget that they do get larger than other non grafted tomatoes, so be sure to provide plenty of space.
How to transplant?
Plants should be kept 24-36" apart in rows of 3-4' apart in full sun. Keep graft well above soil level or the scion might root. It is important not to bury the graft. Each Mighty 'Mato is tagged where the graft begins, so as long as you keep that well above the soil level then all is well.
How much does it cost?
This year we will have nice sized 4" plant is being sold for $8.50 each.*
Mighty 'Mato Varieties at Green Acres:
- 'Mato Beefsteak'
- 'Mato Big Beef'
- 'Mato Black Cherry'
- 'Mato Cherokee Purple'
- 'Mato Mortgage Lifter'
- 'Mato Pineapple'
- 'Mato San Marzano'
- 'Mato Stupice'
- 'Mato Sun Sugar'
Interested in planting edibles? Get your hands on our complete list of tomatoes and peppers for the 2013 season. We invite you to download our Tomato Guide and our Pepper Guide by clicking the button below.
*Subject to availability
We are getting into the middle of spring, but did you know that we offer you new and exciting varieties of plants every season? Here are some exciting varieties for 2013...
'Kellogg's Breakfast'-1 lb., pale to deep orange beefsteak tomatoes originally from West Virginia, that are thin-skinned, meaty, have few seeds and a fantastic sweet, tangy flavor. Juice and inside flesh have the same bright orange color as orange juice.
'Stupiche'- Pronounced ìstu-peach-ka,î this heirloom from Czechoslovakia produces very early yields of sweet, red, oval tomatoes on potato-leaf plants. Combines excellent old-time flavor with cold-tolerance and high production in short season areas. 65 days from transplant.
Annuals & Perennials:
Wave Petunas- The Wave family is full of easy, spreading color. Creates a ground hugging carpet of color spreading up to 4 feet! They also are excellent in hanging baskets or containers.
Bahama Bay Series Hibiscus
Create a tropical oasis around your pool or garden with these vivid bi- and tri-colored blooms. Exceptional for full sun.
Shrubs and Trees:
'Pink Splash' Carpet Rose by Monrovia- More compact that the original Pink rose, the new Pink Splash has glossy green foliage that doesn't require spraying due to exceptional disease resistance.This easy-care shrub is covered in masses of two-toned blooms from spring through fall, and is self cleaning, eliminating need for pruning or dead heading! An exceptional choice for for borders, mass plantings and patio containers.
New Fruit and Nut Trees- For 2013 we have new fruit trees available as dwarf varieties. Not to mention nut trees!
Tea Tree 'Nanum Niru' by Monrovia- This is a dwarf variety with tightly branched dark green foliage. It is also a water-wise plant and is a good choice for accents, rock gardens or front of borders. **
Variegated 'Jack Frost' Texas Privet by Monrovia- Shiny, leathery green leaves have creamy white edges. A very versatile landscape plant for hedges, foundation plantings, topiary or screens. Hard to beat for adding form, adaptability and color contrast to the landscape. Evergreen. **
Coprosma 'Vista Verde'- A New Zealand native also known as the mirror plant. The small, cream-margined gray-green leaves display attractive, translucent, white berries preceded by inconspicuous flowers when it blooms. Its low-lying branches provide a nice transition between upright shrubs like rosemary or cistus.
Japanese Maples- 'Inaba Shidare', 'Villa Taranto', 'Skeeters Broom', 'Hefner's Red', 'Hobb's Red Willow', 'Pixie', 'Red Pybmy' are all newer varieties for Green Acres. 'Inaba Shidare' is one of the best laceleaf maples for hotter climates like Sacramento. With very dark purple leaves and bright fiery red color in the fall. It's name means "like the cascading leaves of the rice plant" and has been grown in Japan since the 1800's.
Port Orford Cedar 'Treasure Island'- This plant is grown for its beautiful chartreuse and golden foliage. Often used in fairy or miniature gardens and is also suitable for growing indoors.
Hinok Cypress 'Rainbow'- Miniature variegated form of Hinoki False Cypress. Slow growing with bright foliage of golds, yellows, greens. Grows to 4' tall and 3' wide. Sought-after specimen plant for delicate rock gardens. Partial to full sun, good drainage needed.
'Raspberry Shortcake' Dwarf Thornless Raspberry by Monrovia- This exciting new dwarf has an endearing rounded growth habit and is perfectly suited for a large patio container. It will nicely fill out no matter what size the container and requires no staking! Self-fertile yielding full size sweet berries in mid-summer.
Did anything catch your eye? Hopefully you enjoyed these photos and snippets about some of the exciting and unique varieties at Green Acres. All of our plants are from quality growers so we are sure to pass along to you the best quality products available. Starting with a healthy plant increases your chances of success and our goal is to help you be successful with your landscape!
Have more questions? Visit one of our stores and speak to one of our knowledeable staff members to learn more!
**These two plants are currently only at our Folsom store. All plants mentioned are subject to availabiltiy. Inventory may vary by location.
Have you ever wanted to better plan or improve the flow of your property?
Landscape programming is a great way to assess your space and utilize it to its full potential. Here’s how to get started:
Get to know your property by thoroughly evaluating the site during the different seasons of the year. Walk around the area in order to help you gain perspective on the overall “feel” of your environment. If it’s a newly acquired property, try to envision what the landscape looks like during all the seasons of the year.
Once you’ve observed the space from an outsider’s perspective, sit down in the yard and immerse yourself in the environment. Observe the following elements:
1) The envelope: What surrounds the area? Is it water, a tree line, a fence?
2) Sky visibility: Is there anything obstructing the view of the sky?
If so, is it over the whole space or just the perimeter? Is it densely or lightly obstructed?
3) Landscape style: What is the dominant type of planting on the site? Meadow?
Forest? Orchard? Mixed? Does it match what you envision for the future?
4) Architectural influence: What is the overall architectural theme of the house or site? Does that match up with your preferred style?
5) Diversity of the site: How diverse is the site? Is it primarily shady or sunny? Does the site have subtle or drastic transitions in the terrain? Is it colorful or monochromatic?
There is no singular “ideal design” to fit everyone’s yard. The answers to the questions above help us to understand if the present site conditions are functional for the future design. For example, we wouldn’t want to plant an orchard immediately next to a formal Japanese garden because they require different water, sunlight, and growing needs. An orchard needs active year-round maintenance and heavy equipment hauled in occasionally. A Japanese garden, on the other hand, is a sacred space that requires privacy, a diverse assortment of plants, and quiet areas for contemplation.
When a professional landscape designer evaluates a site, they take into consideration the property owners’ desired use of the land in conjunction with the physical limitations of the area. They look for complementary programs and match those to an area, and they set aside space for one activity to smoothly transition to another (i.e. an open lawn with a shade tree that can support picnic use, dog play, and a volleyball court during summer months).
Be it a sprawling country estate or a unique urban lot, you must now consider the 4-5 activities the site will be primarily used for. These guide the site program. Here are some examples of activities you may want to facilitate in your backyard:
1) A medium sized area to play with the dogs
2) A quiet courtyard seating area with a diverse plant palette
3) A fenced area for growing fruit and vegetables
4) An open area for mixed use (room for painting, a place for bicycles, and outside storage)
5) A cool patio area for outdoor dining in the summer
Once you have prioritized your desired activities, look for the space in the yard that is best suited to each activity. Consider how the outside envelope factors, such as loud neighbors or a busy street might affect that program. Also examine how the sky visibility, landscape style, architectural influence, and site diversity all play a role in shaping the site program.
Assess which of your desired activities are “passive” and which are “active”; keep the passive activities away from the exterior envelope as they benefit most from a quiet, protected environment. Active activities involve high energy and movement, such as sports whereas passive activities involve relaxing, such as reading a book. Passive and active spaces benefit from a cushion of transition space dividing them. This is where the magic of diverse plants, winding pathways, stone walls, arbors and other yard elements assist in softening transitions. Areas near doorways are typically active; areas deeply buffered through transition space are passive, while areas along property envelopes are transitional spaces between public and private space.
Once you match your site activities to site functionality you can program like a pro! The well designed landscape will smoothly incorporate the physical elements of the site with its projected land use. The idea is create a cohesive program which respects the diversity of site, as well as complimenting its overall architectural style.
With water prices rising each year there has been an increased interest in Water Wise Landscaping. If you would like to use low water plants in your landscape we have a resource for you! Click below to learn more, or visit one of our Green Acres Locations to see the best water wise plants for our area.
Do you want to add a spark to your landscape? Want to grow something pretty as well as edible? Longing for a garden face lift?
We have the answer for you! Sacramento Garden Ideas for Spring
Check out the "bad-rap" plant! Bamboo can be grown in the ground or in a container, bamboo glows with bright green foliage and super texture--create privacy and evoke tranquility all in one superb plant. Taking full sun or half day sun, as well as freezing temperatures- bamboo is extremely hardy. Feed with nitrogen to keep green! 'Budda's belly' or 'Alphonse Karr' , the former grows to 6' in a container and up to 30' in the ground. The latter can be kept hedged at 8-10', if left on its own up to 15-30'. Both are clumping. Have you seen the 'Nigra' variety with the cool black stems?This striking bamboo grows to 4-8' when contained and 15-20' in the ground. It is a running bamboo, so its best to plant this one in a container! Another gorgeous bamboo is the 'Golden Goddess'- a clumper, growing to just 6-10ft wide it makes a perfect screen without pruning! To re-cap: In-the-ground bamboos grow fast and canes will reach their full height in short order...so go on, create that living privacy screen, create "walls" for a meditation space, beautify your spa area or give a lonely corner or entry way a new lease on life! Remember: if you plant one in a container, choose a full size pot- wide at top and bottom, as a wind gust can topple this plant relatively easily.
Bamboo Fact: What is the difference between clumping and running varieties? The latter means it produces new shoots via "runners" underground. You can plant a running variety in a pot, effectively controlling that runner! Conversely, clumping varieties simply send up new shoots from the clump of the plant.
2. BLOOD ORANGES: Juicy, vibrant red fruit you will never tire of, that is a fantastic description of blood oranges. Try placing in a container or in the ground- this citrus can be used for salad dressings, marinade for chicken, fish or shellfish- or squeeze for an incredible cocktail! Remember citrus require full sun and protection from frost, especially the first 3-4 years. Feed with organic citrus fertilizer!
3. WISTERIA TREE: Not just an arbor vine anymore! This tree form is wonderful potted up or planted in the ground and has a graceful fragrant draping of lavender or white flowers. This makes wisteria an absolutely gorgeous standout in the spring garden! Try the "Cookes Purple" , 'Caroline', or 'Amethyst Falls' for lavender blooms. Check out the 'Venusta'- a pure white variety. Also, once the blooms are finished, you will have a gorgeous leafy tree.
Wisteria Fact: Wisteria is drought tolerant once established and pest free, you will love this option in your garden!
4. FRUITING OLIVES: We have a whole grove of choices! From Arbequina to Sevilanno, we have a super selection of fruiting olives. What can one do with an olive, you say? How about drying, canning, eating fresh, or making your own olive oil! It is not difficult to grow olives. Simply provide good drainage, full sun and you are good to go. Check out our handout next to the olive display and discover which olive types will best meet your needs. Also, did you know olives make a fantastic container plant?! ''Frantoio, 'Leccino' and 'Manzanillo' are ideal for your favorite pot. Harvest a crop and add a Mediterranean flare to your patio or landscape! Rather not grow a fruiting olive? Check out a non-fruiting olive, such as "Little Ollie" or "Swan Hill"! Great patio olive or perfect for creating a living fence!
Olive Fact: Did you know if you plant 3 different varieties you will increase your yield through better pollination?
5. KIWI FRUIT: Amaze your friends with this versatile fruit! Wonderful for use in fruit salads, or freeze your harvest if you have more than you can eat! Garnish a cocktail with fresh kiwi and not only will you have a great edible, but also provide shade for your patio! Grow over an arbor, trellis, or arch way- with lovely green leaves, even post harvest the vines will remain full and lush. Be sure to provide excellent drainage and keep soil moist and also try to plant in a low wind area as well. Feed in spring with a fruit and vine fertilizer. Do not feed in August as new growth will then be susceptible to frost damage in coming months.
Kiwi Fact: With kiwis, a male and female are needed for pollination. At Green Acres, these are available with both in one pot- 2 plants in one.
6. ESPALIER FRUIT TREES: We have apples and pears, oh my! These lovelies take up little room and provide a ton of fruit as a reward. We have espalier with all Fuji's and some with other varieties of apples. Check out the pears, too. Easy to keep small, try one and you will have a nice harvest within a small space.
Espalier Tip: Simply give your espalier full sun and soon you will enjoy the 'fruits' of your labor!
7. TABLE GRAPES: Now about a new table grape for your space?Train these as an edible "fence" or create a very cool trellis that doubles as a privacy wall. We have 'Ruby', 'Thompson' and 'Flame' seedless, just to name a few. You will need excellent drainage, full sun and a good two feet of composted soil. Once that is in place then watch the magic! If you are unable to create this much depth, consider providing a raised bed.
Grape Tip: Did you know we have wine grapes too? Choose from Merlot, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet, and Reisling for starters. If you have full sun, you can count on having grapes to press come fall.
8. VERTICAL GARDEN PLANTER: Here's a perfect Sacramento Garden idea- no matter if you live in a Mid-town loft or a Placer county home with a spacious yard. Planting up your very own vertical garden is quick and easy and can be done in a single afternoon but will provide lasting beauty. The vertical gardens are actually upright wood planters- measuring only 4' high, this work horse only takes up 2 square feet of space and comes with a lifetime guarantee. The best part is that this garden will fit anywhere! Have a shady location? Try bromeliads, ferns and begonias. Have morning sun? How about lime green potato vine with some impatiens? Create an herb and veggie garden, a succulent work of art or neon shades of annuals. The options are endless! This upright planter can also become a small privacy screen or artwork for your patio. Now that is a great idea!
Vertical Gardening Fact: Vertical gardening began as an experiment in 1988 by Patrick Blanc, a French botanist whose intent was to create a garden without dirt.
9. GREENHOUSE: Want to kick off your tomatoes and flowers early this year? Green Acres has a useful walk-in Greenhouse. Measuring 78x72x72, it is large enough to place a chair to relax in! Ideal for starting your heirloom tomatoes, basil and tarragon- or anything you dream of growing this year. We also have a 4 shelf unit mini- greenhouse. This unit holds tons of plants or your flats of seedlings. This mini-greenhouse measures 63x27x19- fitting perfectly into any space. So grab some herbs, veggies and flowers and get a jump on your summer bounty!
The number of inspirational choices at Green Acres is mind boggling! Come see all the fun and beauty at one of our family owned Green Acres locations: Folsom, Sacramento and Roseville. Check out our Website or our Facebook page see all our educational tips and upcoming events. We strive to help you meet all of your gardening goals this Spring. Happy FIRST DAY of Spring from all of us at Green Acres!
*All Items subject to availability.
With the weather warming up and the earliest bulbs blooming, many gardeners are eagerly anticipating the arrival of Spring. To prepare you for the 2013 gardening season, Green Acres is proud to announce it's First Annual Dig Into Spring Ideas Fair! Hosted at our Folsom location March 1-3
, this is a can't-miss gardening affair, featuring:Hot Buys on popular items such as:
Our Folsom store will be set up like a true plant-lovers expo, with booths from some of the best garden suppliers and nurseries in the area, including:
- 4" Veggies for $1.50
- 2G Azaleas for $10
- 25% off Lake Valley seeds
- 1G Zonal Geraniums 3 for $10
Come attend our free educational Seminars presented by leading experts in the field, including:
- E.B. Stone
- The Scotts company
- Danner manufacturing
- Pacific Home & Garden
- Monrovia Nursery
- Kawahara Nursery
- Mahaney Tools
- And many more!
The Lost Art of Canning- Brendan McGuigan from L&L Nursery Supply will be with us to discuss the best ways to preserve and store your home grown fruits and vegetables. Saturday 3/2 at 9am and Sunday 3/3 at 11am.
Fruit Trees- Phil Pursel from Dave Wilson Nursery, the largest local provider of bareroot fruit trees in California, will be with us to talk about the best tasting varieties, tree planting and care. Friday 3/1 at 3pm.
Building Your Soils & Fertilizers- Chris Totten from E.B. Stone, a family owned supplier of organic fertilizers and soil amendments, will be here to inform you on the best ways to create a healthy, thriving garden from the ground up. Saturday 3/2 at 3pm.
Vegetable Gardening- Bill Maynard, community garden coordinator for the city of Sacramento, will be here to discuss the benefits of local vegetable gardening and how to maximize your harvest. Sunday 3/3 at 9am.
Additional seminar topics:
Recycling Your Landscape Friday 3/1 at 5:30pm
Container Gardening Saturday 3/2 at 11am
Roses Saturday 3/2 at 1pm
Vertical Gardening Sunday 3/3 at 1pm
Special discounts exclusive to Folsom, such as:
- 10% off Outdoor Living Furniture
- Free accessory with purchase of a Big Green Egg grill
Other attractions include:
Food provided by Krush Burger! Krush Burger food truck will be at Dig into Spring on Saturday and Sunday from 11am-4pm. Each attendee will be given a $3 voucher which gets you a free Krush burger! Any extras like delicious sweet potato fries or drinks are extra.
You could win anything from a raised garden bed, a useful hose end sprayer, or even free plants! Stop by the E.B. Stone booth to enter.
From 11am-4pm on both Saturday and Sunday we will have grill masters from the Big Green Egg, Twin Eagles, Louisiana Smoker, and Weber showing off their awesome grills. We will also have pizza ovens in action. Come see how these beautiful machines do their magic and taste little treats throughout the weekend.
In Store Sales!
We love providing our customers value. We will have extra value and savings at our Folsom store for the event. The thirty plus vendors are giving us some great pricing, so we in turn are passing the savings on to you.
Interested in coming? We sure hope so. See you there at Dig Into Spring Ideas Fair on March 1-3 at Green Acres Folsom. Need to know how to get to our Folsom store? Click here for locations, or visit our homepage by clicking below.
The Big Green Egg Grill is one of the best cookers on the market. The “Egg” as it is known, derived from the Japanese Kamodo Cooker. Pilots coming back from the Korean War brought them home upon their return and there has been a following in the U.S ever since. The Big Green Egg company was started over 25 years and its headquarter office is located in Atlanta, Georgia- the home of “low & slow” cooking.
The Egg is in a ceramic cooker that not only cooks “low & slow”, but can bake a pizza, sear stakes, and grill burgers, tuna, roast, turkey, and ribs like no other. Since the Egg is ceramic, is it much easier to maintain the temperature you want. A bowl of the Big Green Egg lump charcoal will last from 7-9 hours at 250°F without refilling charcoal. The biggest difference you will find between The Egg and other cookers or grills is the incredible flavor you get when using The Egg. You'll see for yourself that no matter what food it is, everything tastes better cooked on an Egg!
One of the most popular ways of cooking food is by using a “plate setter” to cook indirectly. This way of cooking is the best for cooking “low & slow,” while not burning the outside of the food you’re cooking. This method is also great for keeping the food moist and not dried out. It's the outdoor cooker you've always dreamed about. That's why grilling fans and chefs and chefs around the world are calling the Big Green Egg the Ultimate Cooking EGGsperience!
If you haven't seen the Egg in action, now is your chance. We will be demoing the product at our Folsom store starting on March 1, 2, 3rd at our Dig Into Spring Ideas Fair.* We will have tasty treats from the Big Green Egg to try, and you can see how it works and ask your Egg questions to the experts. During the spring and summer we will carry on with our demos on various weekends. Go to our website at www.iDigGreenAcres.com to check our Event Calendar for additional times and dates.
If you have already experienced the magic of The Egg and are ready to get one for yourself, Green Acres Folsom carries all sizes of Eggs: XL, L, M, S and Mini. We even offer XL, L and M Eggs in a special value package that consists of the Egg, Egg-Nest, woodside tables, starters, a 20lb bag of charcoal, and ash tool to get you grill-ready! We can design custom islands to incorporate any size egg and offer custom Big Green Egg wooden carts that fit XL and L Eggs. If you are already an Egg lover and just need the extras, we also have a wide assortment of Big Green Egg accessories ranging from covers, platesetters, and beer can chicken holders to Big Green Egg corn holders, pizza stones and pizza pellars/cutters. You will also find a dynamic selection of sauces and rubs to add a little spice and zest to your new dishes. Happy grilling!
*The Big Green Egg and other grills and outdoor furniture are exclusively sold at our Folsom location.