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A Memorial Garden Can Be A Healing Garden

  
  
  
  

Planting a memorial tree or shrub is a special way to remember a loved one or pet who has passed away.  Planting a tree or shrub in their honor is an easy way to show you care and promote healing.
 

japanese maple

Recently, one of our staff members shared a story about a dog they lost and what they did to remember her.  

"I noticed a brand new variety of Japanese Maple, called Bihou, at Green Acres. As fan of these trees, I was interested yet not sure if it would fit in my landscape. Then I found out it had been bred to retain the golden hued color of its bark. (similar to the Coral bark.) I had been thinking of a memorial tree for our Golden Retriever, Amber, who has been gone for a while but still lives in our hearts. We now have her tree growing a few feet from where she is buried, and we could not be more pleased."

 

Each year a handful of customers come in asking about this topic.  This growing trend is a beautiful way to express your continued love and remembrance for those you have lost, as well as making the garden even more special. It's a wonderful way to remember them in a tangible fashion.  It is a beautiful expression of the circle of life, and the process can be promote healing as well.

With so many lovely trees and shrubs you have lots of choices when planting a memorial garden.  We are going to review a few from both categories.
 

TREES: 

Japanese Maples:


(Acer palmatum) these gorgeous trees that date back over two-thousand years are prized for their unique foliage and shape. There are over a thousand varieties that are cultivated with some being extremely rare. These trees are deciduous, meaning they lose their leaves in winter. They thrive in morning sun and afternoon shade.
Here are a few we love:

  • The Coral Bark Maple, ('Sango kaku') have bright red bark that looks quite stunning even in winter. 
  • The 'Butterfly', has silvery white margined green leaves that cover the densely held branches and become scarlet magenta in fall, while new spring growth is pink tinged. 

Some are more golden hued, purplish, and some have serrated leaves. All are gorgeous!  With so many unique varieties, you will surely find one that will represents the spirit of the person being honored. Japanese Maples.
 

 

dogwood tree

Dogwoods:

(Cornus) Gorgeous springtime flowering trees that are mostly deciduous, but are prized for their showy blooms of red, pink or white. (pictured)

Several species have small heads of inconspicuous flowers surrounded by an involucre of large, typically white petal-like bracts, while others have more open clusters of petal-bearing flowers.

The red seeds they produce are used by over 32 different varieties of game birds to feed upon, including quail. Also used by native Americans for medicinal purposes, these trees are an excellent choice for a memorial.
 
 

Redwoods:

(Sequoia sempervirens), or the coastal redwood is common in our area.  These are the world’s largest trees, and can reach heights of 370 feet in old growth groves. They are goliath  specimens that need plenty of room and plenty of water, and will be around long after we are.

Here are a few of our favorite varieties with slightly different characteristics:

  • Soquel 
  • Santa Cruz 
  • Aptos Blue 
  • Adpressa 

(Sequoiadendron giganteum), or the mountain redwood are the coastal’s cousins.  They do not get quite as tall, but have the largest mass of all living things in earth.

They need less water than the coastal and have been hybridized into many cultivars including dwarf and variegated. They are found at higher elevations (4000-6500 feet) but can be successfully grown in the valley. Either Sequoia make excellent choices, if you have the space!

memorial garden
Other Attractive Trees:

  • Crape Myrtle 
  • Flowering Cherry
  • Mayten 'Green Showers' (pictured)
  • Ginkgo
  • Olive
  • Magnolia
  • Pines
  • Spruce
  • Oaks
  • Eucalyptus

 

SHRUBS & CACTUS:
 

roses for sacramentoRoses:

(Rosa) The most prized flowers in the world, with thousands of varieties, this family of shrubs and climbers are gorgeous. Most have a scent, (as well as thorns), but all are fairly easy to care for and are very attractive.  Choose either a shrub form or a climber like the one pictured to the right.  ('Joseph's Coat)

  • Many are named in honor of famous people so if Grandma was a Babs fan, then a Barbara Streisand rose would be a good choice. 
  • There is a Veterans Honor, Mother's rose, Firefighter & more. 

 

Cactus:

(Cactaceae) is a species of plants that live in habitats subject to at least some drought. Cacti show many adaptations to conserve water. Most species of cacti have lost true leaves, retaining only spines, which are highly modified leaves. This means in laymen terms that they are prickly! Not a great choice for high traffic areas, but with so many sizes and shapes to choose from, they make a nice addition to the garden. If old Uncle Rufus was a kind of a prickly dude, it might be perfect.

There are many other shrubs that would be beautiful choices for a memorial plant.  Choose from either fragrant or non-fragrant shrub options.

 

gardeniaFragrant Choices:

  • Gardenia (pictured)
  • Lilac
  • Jasmine
  • Daphne
  • Rosemary
  • Wisteria
  • Lilly of the Valley

Non Fragrant, but prized for blooms:

  • Hydrangea
  • Azalea
  • Rhododendron
  • Camellia 
     

Want to Plant Your Own Memorial Garden?
 

  1. Determine what sun or shade requirements you have for the area you'd like to plant.
  2. Choose the appropriate plant for the sun or shade requirements.  Keep in mind the size of the plant at full maturity. 
  3. Many people like to choose a tree or shrub that reminds them of their loved one or beloved pet.  The possibilities are endless, but the memory will live forever.
Design inspiration...
memorial garden
memorial garden
memorial garden

Plant a memorial tree or shrub....and be happy. 


Personalized Pot Ups- Ideas for Plants and Flowers

  
  
  
  

Spring is here and the backyards, courtyards, patios and entryways of homes become focal points for all the gorgeous colors of the season.

 plants and flowers

Flowerbeds are ready for a freshening of color, and decorative pots and hanging baskets await new plants to give lively accents to yards.  One of the most common questions heard in the nursery this time of year is

“How do I plant up the containers I have at home?”

It can be daunting and overwhelming to begin a pot-up from scratch given the amazing array of annuals and perennials. So here are some simple tips to streamline the selection process:

 

Sun or Shade? 

First, ask if the pot will be in full sun, part sun, or shade. It is important to group plants according to their sunlight requirements, and by asking this question plant choice narrows.

plants and flowers 

Thriller, Filler or Spiller? 

Next, remember there are three different aspects of the pot-up. These are commonly referred to as “thriller”, “filler” and “spiller.”
Terms Defined:

A thriller will give a focal point to the pot and often sets the color scheme of the display. Antique, pastel colors provide a subdued and elegant presentation, while deep, saturated colors give a visual impact of fun and
excitement.

Fillers will complement the thriller by providing contrasting texture and color, and will assist in rounding out the color scheme of your choice.

Spillers are the final addition to the pot up, cascading down over the pot edge to give a lush and full look.  (Great example of a thriller in the photo on the right)

Get The Look

In addition, when selecting plants, know the impact desired: classic, fun, edible, Mediterranean, tropical – the list can go on, but the main point is that it incorporates appropriately with the rest of the house, yard, or patio. Remember to keep the color of the pots in mind for the objective effect as well, whether already established in the landscape or purchasing them new.

plants and flowers 

Play in the Dirt

Finally, time to get gardening gloves on and plant your beautiful new pot-up!

PRACTICAL PLANTING TIP: If the pot is against a house, wall or fence, position the thriller at the back of the pot so the fillers and spillers aren’t hidden in the back. If the pot is a stand-alone feature or a hanging basket, position the thriller in the middle to balance the pot.

 

Choosing the right plants for a pot-up is an adventure, the result of which is a personalized accent or feature of a home. Come visit the nursery for inspiration and assistance creating an exquisite pot-up!

 

Suggestions for Charming Container Combinations
 

Sun
common geranium, grass, calibrachoa, verbena, bacopa, African daisy.
 

Part sun
fancy geranium, fuchsia, rush, sedge, heuchera, coleus, helichrysum, sweet potato vine, creeping jenny, deadnettle.
 

Full shade
fancy begonia, impatiens, fuchsia, fern, coleus, wirevine, ivy. 
 

Edible
oregano, lemon balm, thyme, nasturtium, mint. Nasturtium flowers are edible!
 

Succulent
senecio blue chalks, aloe, echeveria, crassula, sedum.
 

Mediterranean
dwarf pomegranate, dwarf olive, geranium, grass, trailing rosemary, thyme.
 

Tropical
dwarf bird of paradise, hibiscus, sunpatiens, mandevilla, sweet potato vine.


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Kid's Workshop and Grafting Demo this Weekend

  
  
  
  

If you have kiddos with a green thumb be sure to sign up for our Kid's Workshop- Planting a Teacup Garden!  

 

This will be at all Green Acres Locations from 11am-12 noon this Saturday, April 5th, 2014.  RSVP's are required.

The cost is $5 and includes:

  • Teacup and saucer
  • Succulent plants
  • Soil & fertilizer
  • Decorations for the teacup garden
  • Planting instruction


Space is limited to 25 kids per store so please sign up to attend.  

We offer Kid's workshops  the first Saturday of every month in 2014!  Sign ups are required   Visit our website or call our store for information about future events.

 

succulents 

 

If you are a gardener who enjoys learning about edibles then come on by our free Grafting Demo & Workshop.  

 

We are partnering with the California Rare Fruit Growers (CRFG) of Sacramento for this excellent educational workshop.  They will be bringing budwood and scions to show a live demonstration on deciduous fruit trees.  If you've ever wondering how growers get multiple varieties of fruit on one rootstock, you will learn the secrets of how they do it...grafting!

This workshop will take place at all Green Acres Locations this Saturday, April 5th from 9am-10am.  It is free and there is no need to RSVP.

Here are some fun photos from 2013 when the CRFG came to our Sacramento store for a Citrus Grafting Seminar.  It was alot of fun!  

 

grafting workshop

grafting workshop

 

grafting workshop

Find Your Local Nursery



Organic Fertilizers Help Plants Use Less Water

  
  
  
  

organic fertilizer 

With the current drought situation in California, many gardeners are looking for water-wise options. Practices that gardeners previously ignored are now gaining momentum because they help maintain beautiful gardens without using a lot of water.  Organic fertilizer, for example, has long been promoted for its role in creating healthier soils in home gardens, but people are now realizing its water saving attributes.

Although not exhaustive, here is a list of ways organic fertilizers help plants use less water:

1.  Low-soluble-nutrient fertilizers require less water. 

    • Some nutrients have to be in salt form to be soluble and available for plant absorption. Salt tends to attract water and when water is not available, it will extract water from the plant.  This is the reason plants burn after fertilizer application. 
    • Organic fertilizers generally come with a lower percentage of salt. Therefore less water is required to dilute the fertilizer.   
    • In the case of synthetic or inorganic fertilizer, the high percentage of soluble nutrients per unit weight of fertilizer can at times create an unpleasant environment for the plants until water dilutes the nutrients down to agreeable levels.

2.  Organic matter improves water capacity of soil. 

    • Compost, animal manures, blood meal, etc. which are components of organic fertilizers increase earthworm and microorganism activity in the soil – both of which improve soil organic matter content and structure. 
    • Better soil structure also means better infiltration and water-holding capacity.  Under such soil conditions, less water is lost through run-off and percolation.

 3.  Slow-release of nutrients regulates plant growth

    • All nutrients have to be in their inorganic form for the plants to absorb them. 
    • In the case of organic fertilizers, the nutrients are loosely bound and have to be broken down first before they become available to the plants - hence, the term “slow-release”.  
    • Nutrients from synthetic (inorganic) fertilizers are all readily available and soluble. 
    • Once they are in the soil and watered, the plants can simply absorb them.  When all conditions are favorable, plants that are fed with synthetic fertilizer (especially nitrogen-rich fertilizer) can grow at a very fast rate, almost too fast.  If you use the example of trees this easily can result in an over-lapping canopy cover.  This situation then becomes a competion between trees for for essential water and food. Considering that growing plants are constantly transpiring – losing water through the leaves, synthetic fertilizer application indirectly demands excessive water.   Plants fed with organic fertilizer grow at a regulated rate and thrives on less water.
    • If you are looking for a slow release organic lawn fertilizer look no further than EB Stone Nature's Green Lawn Food.  

 organic fertilizer

4.  Mycorrhiza extends root length.

    • Some commercial organic fertilizers contain mycorrhizal inoculant including EB Stone Sure Start. 
    • Mycorrhiza is a fungus that grows symbiotically on plant roots and forms hyphae that extend way beyond the reach of the unaided roots. 
    • Such hyphae technically increase the surface area of plant roots which in turn improves the water and nutrient uptake of the plants. 
    • With successful mycorrhizal growth, plants become more tolerant to water stress. Plants can withstand drought better with mycorrhiza.  

organic fertilizer

 

So, as you can see, organic fertilizers help home gardeners save water.  They are a more efficient choice during low water years.

For more water-saving tips, come visit us at Green Acres or Download our Free Guide.

 

4 Ways to Save Water

California Native Plants Are Great Low Water Plants

  
  
  
  

Know your Natives
Did you know there are over 5,000 species of plants that are native to California? Of those, over 2,000 are endemic, meaning they are not found anywhere else in the world.

Why grow California natives?

  • They are tough.
    • Plants that are native to California are perfectly adapted to our climate, including our long, hot, and dry summers.
  • They are easy.
    • These plants require very little maintenance and add to the natural beauty of your landscape.
  • They are drought resistant.
    • Once established, they are low water plants, saving you money and conserving water.
  • They attract native pollinators and beneficial insects.
    • Providing food and habitat for native insects is the cornerstone of integrated pest management, and is the best way to build a healthy organic garden.

 

The following is a small sampling of gorgeous, tried and true native perennials which have earned their place in our nursery, and in your garden!*

 

Red Buckwheat

Eriogonum grande var. rubescens

This compact beauty only grows 1 foot tall by 3 feet wide, and is covered in clusters of reddish-pink blooms summer through fall. It provides food for bees and butterflies, but is also deer resistant!

 low water plant

 

Penstemon ‘Margarita B.O.P.’

Penstemon heterophyllus ‘Margarita B.O.P.’

The flowers of this penstemon can be sky blue or  violet purple, or both at the same time! This dreamy perennial grows only 2 feet tall and wide. It is very attractive to hummingbirds and bees, and will bloom continuously spring through summer if trimmed back occassionally.

 low water plant

 

Cleveland Sage

Salvia clevelandii

This evergreen shrub grows 4-5 feet high and wide and it’s greyish green leaves emit a strong herbal aroma. Blooming in late spring and early summer, spikes punctuated with whorls of tubular blue flowers beckon hummingbirds, bees and butterflies to your garden. Deer resistant!

 low water plant 

California Fuchsia

Epilobium canum (Zauschneria californica)

Bearing little resemblance to other varieties of fuchsia, C.A. fuchsia is by far prettier, tougher, and more irresistible to hummingbirds! It forms a soft mound of grey-green foliage, topped with tons of striking red-orange tubular flowers summer through fall. Reaching about 3-4 feet high and 4-5 feet wide, it is a great choice to plant en masse on dry slopes. Deer resistant!

 

low water plant


*Availability of these plants is seasonal, and varies by location.

For more water-wise plants, click below

Water-Wise Landscaping

We Dug into Spring & Focused on Waterwise

  
  
  
  

During the first weekend in March Green Acres Folsom hosted our 2nd annual Dig into Spring Ideas Fair.  Due to current water situation, many of our vendor booths and workshops focused on how to garden during a low water year.  With over 25 vendor booths, free food from food trucks like Krush Burger, Drewski's, Bacon Mania and El Matador, educational talks, and specials...it was a smashing success! (Despite a little rain and wind).  

We had nearly 100 attendees at many of the free workshops.  Homeowners enjoyed learning about waterwise topics like: Designing with Low Water Plants, Growing Fruit Trees with Less Space & Less Water, Surviving the Drought & more.

Here are a few pictures from the fun-filled ideas fair weekend.  We will see you next year in March for our 3rd Annual Dig into Spring Ideas Fair!

spring garden event

Cal Color Nurseries with some goregous baskets, annuals and perennials.

spring garden event

The world famous Olla pot planted up in a raised bed.  The best way to conserve water in your veggie gardesn this year.  50-70% less water used as compared to surface watering.  Along with some friendly Green Acres staff.

spring garden event

Our favorite...Krush Burger.  Customers enjoyed a free burger on us. 

kids events folsom

The Kid's Planting Experience was a hit.  Kids and parents could plant up their own strawberry planter to take home for free. 


dog friendly store

Lots of customers brought their doggies to enjoy the Ideas Fair.  Green Acres is always dog friendly.  :)
 spring garden event

Farmer Fred stopped by on Sunday.  Along with Travis Gill.

spring garden event

Botanical Interests Organic Seed company had a booth.  Non-GMO all Organic seeds for the home gardener.  These are TOP notch seeds, folks.

spring garden event

Tracy Lesperance, Chuck Ingels.  Also Phil and Pricilla Purcell from Dave Wilson Nursery- our fruit tree supplier.

spring garden eventSee you again next year!

Click to learn about upcoming fun events.  Including a Kid's Workshop.

Event Calendar

4 Gardening Tips for Sacramento

  
  
  
  

spring

At Green Acres, Spring is a time of renewal. The increased sunlight and newly emerging flowers give us the feeling of hope and renewal. Spring is also a time of change and most important to fellow gardeners, growth.  

A famous Chilean author once said... 

Podrán cortar todas las flores, pero no podrán detener la primavera 

translation...

“You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep Spring from coming.” 
- Pablo Neruda



We are three days from Spring's official beginning, and if you peer outside, you can tell.  As you look toward your gardens, its important to understand what makes a healthy environment for spring growth.

Here are four foolproof ways to foster a healthy Spring garden & lawn.


1) Diverse Soil

Good soil is worth a lot! Ask any farmer what’s most important to his crop and he will say soil & water!  If you are planting in native soil we definitley recommend adding natural amendments to improve the soil.  Let's face it, unless you are gardening in the heart of downtown Sacramento, (which is the site of an old riverbed- AKA the softest and richest soil EVER), you are probably up against less than ideal soil.  
All of the soils you'll find at Green Acres are of the highest quality, mixed locally in Northern California, and contain no bio-solids like lots of the box store soils.  

Try these amendments mixed with native soil or straight to any raised bed:

  • EB Stone Planting Mix is complete with needed nutrients for your plants
  • Our EB Stone Fir Mulch adds to the aeration & composition of the soil with decomposed fir bark, chicken manure, earthworm castings, bat guano & kelp meal
  • Our EB Stone Soil Booster is an excellent mix for flowers and vegetables that reduces watering and improves aeration.  Allowing for easy root establishment of smaller species and edibles
  • EB Stone Top Soil Plus blends mushroom compost, sandy loam and redwood compost for a superb multi-use planting mix

2) Rich, Organic Fertilizer

Our E.B. Stone line of fertilizers offer the home gardener a chance to use organic products year-round!  Did you know that using organics during a low water year is important?  Organic fertilizers are slow release and provide sustained nutrients throughtout the season.  Avoid synthetics when possible (like Miracle Grow), which encourage rapid water-thirsty growth.

EB Stone Organic Fertilizers:

  • Sure Start 4-6-2 helps new plants get off to the right start.  Reduces transplant shock, encouraging root establishment and sturdy growth. This product even has soil microbes which are colonies of minute, beneficial bacteria.
  • Bone Meal is wonderful for root and flower formation growth. Can be used for veggies or flowers!
  • Cottonseed Meal naturally acidifies the surrounding soil-great for blueberries, azaleas & camellias
  • Bulb Food 4-6-4 allows bulbs to send deep, sturdy roots into surrounding earth while promoting blooms


3) Unique Plant Choices for Spring & Early Summer

Great gardens start with healthy plants.  Try something new this season, choose unique varieties or cultivars that expand the diversity of your landscape.  Have some fun!
Bulbs & Tubers such as Dahlias, Bleeding Hearts, and Gladiolas are available at our locations now.  Plant these bulbs and tubers now, and then get gorgeous fresh cut flowers for your home come summer.  If you live in the foothills of Sacramento, Pollock Pines for example, you have until mid-May to plant.  For those of us down the hill, plant now through mid April for summer blooms!

  • Try summer bulbs & tubers such as towering Gladiolas that emerge onto 48”+ stalks and provide month-long color. Shorter options include Dahlias, Lily of the Valley, or Bleeding Hearts. Some require shade.
  • Annuals such as Marigolds, Sweet Alyssum, Zinnias, Coleus, Impatiens and Begonias will add rich color to the yard.  Planting flowers like Sweet Alyssum and Zinnias next to your veggies actually increase the number of good insects in your garden.  Always a plus!
  • Perennials like Lavender, Salvia, Pincushion Flower, Lupine, and Mexican Evening Primrose will attract beneficial insects, hummingbirds, birds and bees.  Remember, perennials are those which will come back year after year for your enjoyment.


4) Smart, Low-Water Use Irrigation

Be a water-wise homeowner.  Retrofitting your current system to be more efficient does not require much work or money-it simply means changing out sprinkler heads or moving to drip systems.  Our Irrigation Specialists can answer your questions, just drop on by.  We can provide information about tuning up or retrofitting.


Be Water-Wise, these are some of our favorites:

  • Thumb-controlled water nozzles like nozzles from Dramm
  • Soaker hoses for perennial and shrub beds
  • Orbit Apollo 8 Manifold which converts any old sprinkler head into a Drip watering system.  Cost is around $10.00. 
  • Water-conserving sprinkler heads like the Hunter MP Rotator.
  • Smarter irrigation clocks like the Hunter Solar Sync ET.  This is an advanced weather sensor that can adjust water times and schedules for your clock based on local real-time weather conditions.  Rebate programs available in some cities.

Water Conservation Tips making for a Healthier Lawn:

As you walk around your neighborhood you might notice that some of your neighbors like to water the sidewalk more than their lawn.  Basically, they are overwatering their lawn and once the lawn is saturated, the excess water simply runs off.  Cycle & Soak is a method of watering proven to conserve water.  

For example, instead of watering all at once, the Cycle & Soak method would have you set your sprinklers to water lawn:

  • 3 times a day
  • 4 minutes each watering zone
  • 1 hour between each watering cycle

You must take into consideration what type of soil you have before you determine watering times.  Always avoid watering at night- which increases the risk for disease and fungus.  Also avoid watering in the heat of the day, which of course causes increased evaporation and increased water waste.

 

Happy almost Spring.

 

 

See what's on sale now!

Weekly Specials

 

Another Round of Cool Season Vegetables, Anyone?

  
  
  
  

PLANTING LETTUCE NOW?!

cool season vegetables resized 600With the first flush of the fruit tree blossoms and their herald of a later harvest, gardeners and urban farmers are getting excited to plant their warm season vegetables like tomatoes, squash, and peppers. Their fingers itch to get dirty and work the soil for the bountiful payoff in Summer and Fall. However, it is often overlooked that early Spring is an ideal time for planting another round of cool season vegetables, like lettuce, kale, peas, beets, and chard.  These vegetables are perfect for cooking, blending in smoothies, or simply creating your own perfect mix of baby lettuces.

 

BEFORE PLANTING

Before planting your cool season vegetables, be sure you are careful in site selection and fertilizing. When planting root vegetables, group them together and fertilize with a low nitrogen, high phosphorous fertilizer, like E.B. Stone Organics Bulb Food. This helps promote good root development and minimizes overgrowth of the upper foliage. Cool season vegetables are often smaller and more compact than warm season and do not take up as much space in your vegetable garden. They can be planted amongst the warm season starts without offering competition for nutrients or sunlight, and will be ready for harvest long before your tomatoes or peppers. Similarly, try planting starts under a deciduous tree so the tree can offer protection and cooler temperatures when leafed out.  This also minimizes the chance of bolting when temperatures begin to rise.

COOL SEASON HERBS 

Do you like annual herbs like cilantro and parsley? People are often surprised that these herbs are cool season, and perform best when temperature are mild. Plant significant quantities for harvest, using them to make cilantro or parsley pesto that can be preserved in the freezer for use all summer.

YUMMY FLOWERS 

Don’t forget to spice up your garden with edible flowers, too! Plant violas and calendulas for a splash of colors amidst your greens, and toss them into a salad to bring a new and exciting aesthetic to your table.

swiss chard

California’s climate is ideal for growing vegetables year-round, and now is the time to create the most varied vegetable garden possible. There are so many wonderful varieties and types of vegetables to plant, you can create your own backyard farmer’s market to provide you with produce throughout the season. Let’s get growing cool season vegetables!

 

 

 

 

 

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Why these New Perennials & Annuals Will Catch Your Eye in 2014

  
  
  
  

What’s new at Green Acres for 2014?  A serendipitous flower pallet will prevail at the patio and in the greenhouse this year.  Nestled amongst old favorite’s – annual’s and perrenials – will be some new and exciting plant introductions that will dazzle even the most ardent plant enthusiast!  Take a look at these new plants that will be on our tables for sale in 2014.  Prepare to be amazed!

lantana little lucky series

Lantana Little Lucky Series

A Lantana like you never seen before!   The Little Lucky Series is a dwarf, compact form of lantana.  This new variety grows to a height of only10-12 inches tall and spreads only a foot wide. Perfect for hanging baskets, pots (thrillers, fillers and spillers depending on pot size) or just for a beautiful mass planting in your yard.  All lantana attract hummingbirds, butterflies and bees and this new lantana is no exception.  Add some life to your garden.  Four new varieties this coming year:  Little Lucky Peach Glow, Little Lucky Red, Little Lucky Pot of Gold and Little Lucky Orange Flame.  Full Sun, heat and drought tolerant.  Hardy down to 20 degrees F.  Most Lantana is Deer Resistant.

 

verbena enduro rose

Verbena Enduro Series

There is much to love about the new Verbena Enduro Series.  The new Enduro Series is the most cold hardiest Verbena.  Even more cold hardy than the old standby Homestead variety!   The Enduro series flowers continuously all summer and fall with no down flowering time.  That feature is unique since other varieties of verbena tend to bloom on and off throughout their blooming period.  Look at these color choices:  Enduro Purple, Enduro Rose and Enduro White!  Plant in Full hot sun, drought tolerant when established.  Attracts Butterflies and hummingbirds.  Great for hanging pots, containers (spillers) and ground cover.  Tolerates temperatures down to the low teens.  Plant in areas with good drainage as Verbena is drought tolerant when established.  Not deer resistant. Limited availability.

gomphrena

Gomphrena ‘Pink Zazzle’ (Pink Zazzle Globe Amarenth). 

This new Gomphrena hybrid boasts eye-catching color with jumbo flowers.  Extremely large 3” plus bright pink flowers change to a soft pink as the flower ages.  The plant grows to a height of 24 inches high and a foot wide.  Blooms last for an extremely long time – 3-4 weeks outdoors.  Dead head old flowers to make way for new flowers.  Plant has an incredible “WOW” factor.  Green Acres carried this plant last year in limited quantities and they sold out almost as soon as they were placed on the sales floor!  Considered an annual when planted outdoors during cold winters.   Plant in containers, cottage gardens or even makes a great indoor plant.  Flowers make excellent cut flowers.  Low water requirement and very heat tolerant.

 

dianthus earlybird web

Dianthus Early Bird Series

This series of Dianthus starts flowering early.  Flowers can appear as early as March in most cases and depending on weather.  Blooms though out the summer and into fall if you deadhead old spent flowers.  The flowers of the Early Bird Series are distinctive and stand out amongst other Dianthus with their distinctive compact growth habit, early season enticingly clove fragrant double blooms that repeat blooming through out the season.

Chose from these enticing colors.

Chill (PPAF) – Bold Electric Pink/Coral with double flowers. 

Fizzy (PP 21,394) – Pale Lavender petals with serrated edges and deep purple center. 

Frosty (PPAF).  Pure white flowers.

Radience (PP 21,824) – Double Crimson flower. 

Sherbert (PP 21, 418) – Large magenta dark flowers on compact plant.

 

Even though these plants were introduced from the United Kingdom, this variety of Dianthus is drought and heat tolerant.  Plant dianthus in window boxes, planters, nestled in a flower- bed amongst other annual and perennials.  Dianthus makes wonderful gifts of the heart and these new Dianthus Early Bird Flowers will dazzle whomever you want to impress.  Makes excellent cut flowers, corsage. USDA Zone 5 (-20 degrees F)

 

Calibrachoa Pomegranate Punch   PW resized 600

Calibrachoa hybrid ‘Pomegrate Punch’

A Proven Winner introduction.  Another stunning Calibrachoa superbell mini-petunia to add to your yard’s collection!  This new Calibrachoa has rich velvet red blooms with a black eye.  Grows to a height of 6-10 inches and can trail up to 24 inches!  Makes a stunning addition to any hanging planter or use as a spiller in a container.  Plant this superbell in full sun.  Pomegranate Punch blooms early spring until late fall.  Calibrachoa’s are fantastic for low maintenance gardens.  The plants have a low-growing, compact growth habit that requires little dead heading!  Looks stunning planted with other colors of Calibrachoa or plants like Bacopa, Dahlia.   Attracts hummingbirds and butterflies! Very heat tolerant. Grows 6-10 inches and trails up to 24 inches.  Plant in full

Sun or partial shade.  Waterwise (drought tolerant) when established.   Keep plants covered during cold frost.  Not deer resistant. 

 

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Winter garden care & Spring planting direction is here...

  
  
  
  

Many gardeners have been asking, am I doing the right things in my garden this time of year?  Read on to find out...

winter veggies

Winter Garden Care: 

If you currently have a winter garden, the plants should be leafy vegetables like lettuce, mustard greens, cabbage, chard, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts.  Also included in a winter garden would be carrots, turnips, celery, onions, potatoes, shallots, garlic and kohlrabi.

  • Go through garden cultivate weeds, remove litter, and check for infestations of snails, slugs and cabbage worms (caterpillars).  Treat for snails and slugs with Sluggo or Sluggo Plus and treat for cabbage worms with BT (bacillus thuringiensis).
  • Fertilize with EB Stone Organics Citrus, Vegetable, or All Purpose formula.  Plants cannot read so they do not care what the label has printed on it.

What does every plant care about?

  • N – Nitrogen – the first number listed on a fertilizer label is for green leafy growth and is utilize in high amounts by growing plants.
  • P – Phosphorus – the second number listed on a fertilizer label is for root development, flower development and fruit development.
  • K – Potassium – the third number listed on a fertilizer label is for general plant health, water uptake and cell turgidity.  Very important for root crops and flowering bulbs.
  • Do not apply fertilizers to dry soils and always apply a large amount of water to the soil at the time of fertilizing.
  • Depending on the spring weather, your winter gardens could continue to produce through mid-April.  When the daytime temperatures are consistently in the mid eighties, leafy vegetables will begin to get bitter.

spring vegetables

Spring Garden Prep:

Planting temps should be consistently in the seventies.  Soil temps should be at or above sixty-four degrees F.

  • Choose a location that will get six to eight hours of sunlight.
  • Choose a location that will get good air flow through the garden.
  • Choose a location that has good soil drainage.  This is most likely the biggest problem for gardeners in the Lincoln area.
  • For poor draining soil locations…make raised planter beds and break-up the soil surface in the interior of the raised bed.  Fill the raised planter beds with Green All Soil Booster.  Plants can be grown in this mix without blending with native soil or any other soil mixes.
  • Add EB Stone Organics Sure Start fertilizer into the soil mix either at the time of planting or ten to fourteen days later.
  • Plant your seedling starts or your purchased starter plants and water the garden immediately.
  • Please see attached listing for spring plantings.

Planting types: 

Starting seeds vs. starters

  • There is plenty of time to start seeds from packets indoors at this time.
  • Advantage with seeds, greater choices on the varieties, can control the care the plants have received from the start.
  • Use starter trays or peat plugs to start seeds.
  • Do not plant seeds too deep, they will not germinate.
  • Water seed starts and cover, place in a warm area i.e. on top of the refrigerator.
  • After the seeds have germinated, move the trays into a brightly lit location.
  • Continue to check for adequate watering.
  • Rotate seedling trays every couple of days to ensure even growth.
  • Thin out weak seedlings.
  • The seedlings are ready for planting in the garden when their roots have started to appear at the bottom of the starter media.
  • A tip you might not know...if you are a smoker, always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before handling anything in your garden.

compost

Soil Basics: 

Add quality soil amendments and bioactive fertilizers to your planting areas to help to ensure your success with your gardens.  It is paramount that the soil has an adequate supply of quality organic matter along with an introduction of beneficial soil microorganisms that will break down the organic matter into quality sources of nutrients that can be utilized by the plants, improve the quality of the soil, and increase the nutrient capacity of the soil.

  • Quality soil amendments are going to have a large amount of diverse organic matter in their mix.
  • Quality soil amendments will not rob your plants of nitrogen in order to break down.
  • Introducing beneficial soil microorganisms will ensure that your garden will have the correct populations of bennies that can do the work of feeding your garden.
  • As organic matter is breaking down, it improves the quality of the soil and will allow for roots to be successful, thus improving the quality of your plants.
  • Organic matter and clay have the ability to hold onto and release nutrients to the microorganisms and to the roots of the plants.
  • In order to make all of this work successfully, correct and adequate watering practices must be kept.

deciduous tree

Deciduous Tree Care: 

Once Spring has arrive it is time to fertilize your trees that were dormant in winter.

  • Decide on the fertilizer formula that best suites the needs of the trees that are to be fertilized.  Remember N-P-K and that trees cannot read.
  • Quality organic fertilizers will feed the trees at a slower rate and will improve the health of the trees’ roots.
  • Apply the fertilizer on the soil at the dripline of the canopy.  This is the area around the tree at the branch tips.  This is the location of the hairline roots that take water and nutrients into the tree.
  • Apply a large amount of water to the area with a garden hose to wash the fertilizer into the root zone of the tree.

 

Helpful Tricks:

  • Amend soils with quality organic matter.
  • Inoculate soils with beneficial microorganisms.
  • Allow enough space for each plant that you are planting.
  • Try to apply heavier amounts of water less often to improve the roots of plants.
  • Use Actinovate to improve disease resistance in plants.
  • Enjoy your garden and walk through it frequently to notice problems early.

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