Are You a Friend of the Fig?

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Aug 31, 2016 5:05:59 PM

Fig.jpgFigs are an unusual fruit (technically an inverted flower) with a rich history, earning notoriety in many cultures around the world. Legend has it that citizens of ancient Athens called themselves philosykos which literally translates to 'friend of the fig'.  Who wouldn't want to be a philosykos- figs are an excellent source of dietary fiber, antioxidants and essential vitamins.

Figs require full sun, and will tolerate almost any soil type. They're drought tolerant, but produce a better crop with regular irrigation. If unpruned, they can reach 15 feet high and wide, but they can be kept to six feet with regular pruning*. There are even some dwarf varieties that grow well in a pot. Fig trees are perfectly adapted to our Mediterranean climate and extremely prolific, your family and friends are sure to flock to your home when fig season rolls around late summer through autumn. Figs may mean farewell to summer, but with an abundance of these delicious fruit to snack on, who cares?

Here are some of our favorite fig varieties**, and some tantalizing recipes to try too...

Black Mission - Purplish-black skin with strawberry-colored pulp and luscious flavor, this variety is a farmer's market favorite. Delicious when eaten fresh, dried or preserved.

Brown Turkey - Plump fruit with brown skin and pink flesh. Sweet, rich flavor is best enjoyed fresh.

Kadota - Large fruit with light greenish-yellow skin and amber flesh, sometimes referred to as a "white" fig. Scrumptious when eaten fresh, dried or preserved. 

Panache/Tiger - A fancy fig indeed! This variety boasts stylish yellow stripes on green flesh which contrasts beautifully with the crimson pulp. 

Violette de Bordeaux - This dwarf variety stays small, but the fruit still packs a punch. Small to medium purple fruit with deep red strawberry flesh and tasty fresh or dried. 

*Be sure to wear gloves when harvesting or pruning figs, as the trees produce a sap which can be mildly irritating to the skin. 

**Inventory changes throughout the season, please contact the stores for current availability. 

Visit our Fresh Eats board on Pinterest for some delectable fig recipes to try this fall: Phenomenal Fig Recipes

 Do you love to grow your own? Check out more of   Our Favorite Fruit Trees

Topics: Edibles, Fruit Trees, Drought Tolerant, Fall, Mediterranean

Design Inspiration for Our Mediterranean Climate

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Jul 7, 2016 11:11:34 AM

Rethinking Your Yard? Let's Get Growing for The Changing California Landscape.

Each one of our CA Landscape 2.0 design templates was inspired by popular styles of landscaping with a focus on water-wise plant selectionsstylish accessories and efficient irrigation. Because we are a local, independent, family-owned garden center with established roots in the Sacramento Area, we've got a pretty good idea of what grows well in our area. Our plant options are not limited to what we showcase in the designs–we offer many substitutions to make sure your landscape reflects your style. 

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Inspired by the incredibly diverse plant life native to California, this template incorporates a diverse mix of native and non-native flowering plants, sure to attract beneficial wildlife. The most plant-packed design of the series, this one is for those who enjoy sitting in the garden, watching the birds, bees and other pollinators play.

Finishing touches: Bird baths, hummingbird feeders, pots filled with seasonal flowers, and a comfy chair for wildlife-watching.

 

Contemporary_design-125885-edited.pngContemporary

Sure to appeal to those with simple, elegant style, the contemporary landscape focuses on sculptural plants and clean lines for a modern feel. Bold accents such as slate contrast strikingly with textural plants like Acacia 'Cousin Itt'. The contemporary landscape is the perfect backdrop to an outdoor dinner party on a summer evening. 

Finishing touches: Refined pottery in eye-catching colors, a soothing fountain, and a modern outdoor dining set. 

 

English_design-190508-edited.pngEnglish Style Garden

A play off the formal style of traditional English gardens, this design balances structure and whimsy in true California fashion. With brilliant perennials popping up behind neat hedges, this landscape manages to look both clean and casual. If you love to entertain friends in your outdoor living space, this is the design for you. 

Finishing touches: Clever container gardens, bird baths, and a bistro set complete with umbrella. 

 

 

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Mediterranean

Perfectly adapted to the many Mediterranean style homes in our area, the Mediterranean design invokes the rolling hills of Tuscany right in your own yard. Think colorful low-maintenance plants with casual chic pottery, cool colors and neutral earth tones to tie it all together. This design is for those who want the appearance of a well-kept yard without all the work. 

Finishing touches: Iron patio furniture, a soothing water feature, the scent of fresh herbs, and large terra cotta pottery with citrus patio trees. 

 

 

 

Ready to get started? Click the button below to learn more!

 

  CA Landscape 2.0

Topics: Native Plants, Waterwise, Outdoor Living, Planning Your Landscape, Drought Tolerant, Low maintenance, pollinators, Decorating

Show us How You Fixed it for Good

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Jun 16, 2016 5:51:06 PM

Green Acres Nursery & Supply is teaming up with Save Our Water to inspire you to rethink your yard with simple upgrades to improve your water efficiency in the landscape. 
 
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Participating is as easy as 1-2-3! 
 
1. Snap a Picture of Your Water-Wise Upgrades
What does a water-wise landscape upgrade look like? It can be anything from using mulch to help slow the evaporation of water from the soil, to converting your irrigation system to drip, to planting drought tolerant plants. There are hundreds of ways you can help reduce your water use, without compromising your beautiful landscape. 
 
  Saving H2O in the Landscape
 
Want some inspiration for low-water landscape designs? Join us for one of our free California Landscape 2.0 Workshops this summer!
 
2. Share Your Water-Efficient Upgrades on Instagram or Twitter
To participate, simply use the hashtag #ifixeditforgood and #idiggreenacres on Instagram or Twitter along with pictures of little improvements you have made in your landscape from June 15 to September 15, 2016.  We'll select some participants to feature on our website and social media as a Water-Saving Partner. 
 
3. Inspire Our Communities
Let's show our friends and neighbors just how effective it is to make simple upgrades to save our water–for today and long term. Every adjustment, no matter how small, contributes to healthy landscapes with less water waste in our communities, and that's good for all Californians. 

#ifixeditforgood Contest

Topics: Smartscape, Waterwise, Sacramento Low Water Plants, Irrigation Tips, Organic, Low Water Plants, Drip Irrigation Supplies, Drought Tolerant, Mulch

Gardening Tips to Beat the Sacramento Heat

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on May 31, 2016 6:48:34 PM

Check out this video for a few quick fun ideas


When temperatures soar, plants can get stressed, and it's often hard to know how to help them. Fortunately, there are many ways you can help mitigate the effects of heat stress now, and for summers to come. 

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Immediate Solutions

Water Properly

Our first impulse when temperatures spike is to water plants more. It seems to make sense; we are thirsty and therefore our plants probably are too. The problem is plants don't really "drink" water like we do. Their roots absorb water vapor. That's why deep, yet infrequent watering is best. Put down enough water to slowly and thoroughly soak the root ball. Provide enough time for the plant to take it up through the roots, and allow oxygen back into the soil, before watering again.

If you're unsure about whether your plants need water, probe the soil several inches down. If it's moist, no need to water. For trees and large shrubs, use a soil probe to a depth of at least six to seven inches. 

Tip: It's best to water early in the morning to hydrate plants so they can withstand the daytime heat. Watering at night can encourage fungal issues, and should be avoided whenever possible. Use a nozzle with a shut-off valve if you do not have a drip system in place.

Watering 101


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Extra Care for Container Plants

Container gardens dry out more quickly, and plant roots can be adversely affected by radiated heat from the pavement. Be sure to use "pot feet" to insulate container plants from radiated heat underneath. For hanging baskets or plants in hard-to-water spots, Soil Moist can help. Soil Moist is a granulated polymer which absorbs water and slowly releases it to help extend the period in between watering. 

 

 

 


Mulch

Mulching helps slow the evaporation of water and insulate the soil temperature to keep the roots cool. It also breaks down to mulch.jpgfeed microorganisms which help improve soil structure, leading to better water penetration. 

All wood mulches offer these benefits, but only if they are layered to the proper depth:

  • Layer large chunks of bark at least 3-4" thick, because the large pieces allow for lots of water and air to penetrate the soil.
  • Layer smaller chunks of bark 4" thick. They fit tightly together, but allow air to circulate, while retaining moisture. 
  • Shredded mulch should only be layered 2-3" thick, because the fine-textured pieces knit together to keep the moisture in. A thicker layer can create a lack of air flow, which can lead to unhealthy soil conditions.  


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Bonide Wilt Stop®
For tender plants, new transplants or especially stressed specimens Bonide Wilt Stop® can make all the difference. Wilt Stop is an all-natural, resin-based foliar spray which helps plants survive heat by slowing transpiration (water loss through the leaves). 

 

 


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Future Prevention

Plant Shade Trees

A strategically planted shade tree in your yard is extremely effective at preventing plant stress, and can help cut energy costs. The best time to plant a tree is 10 years ago, but the second best time is today. Check out the top ten Legacy Trees for Sacramento to get an idea of which tree is right for you. 

 

 


Penstemon_Margarita_BOP.jpgPlant for our Mediterranean Climate

The right plant in the right place will always fare better in stressful situations. There are hundreds of water-wise options available, check out our water-wise plant list below to get inspiration:

Drought Tolerant Plants

 

 

 

Rethinking your yard in favor of water-wise options? Check out our California Landscape 2.0 Design Templates for ideas and inspiration. 

Topics: Irrigation Tips, Drought Tolerant, Mulch

Our Plant Pick: Maejima Winter Daphne

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Mar 7, 2016 1:27:03 PM

Our Plant Pick: Maejima Winter Daphne 

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Maejima Winter Daphne (Daphne odora 'Maejima') is an evergreen shrub which forms a mound of glossy green foliage rimmed with gold. It has an upright, somewhat open growth habit, reaching about three to four feet high and wide with little pruning needed. It's an underrated problem-solving plant, which tolerates dry shade, is deer resistant and can withstand temperatures all the way down to 0°F. 

MelinaDaphne-272309-edited.jpgPerhaps the most enchanting attribute of this overachieving evergreen is its bloom. In late winter or early spring, clusters of deep pink buds open to reveal highly fragrant white flowers. The flowers may be small, but the fragrance carries- a sweet-spicy perfume reminiscent of ginger and citrus. Requiring afternoon shade and slightly acidic soil, Daphne make nice informal hedges, or even specimen plants in a container. Nestle one in your garden where you can walk past it occasionally and appreciate it's invigorating fragrance announcing the arrival of spring.

It's Melina's plant pick because:

"It looks great year 'round, and the flowers smell phenomenal."

 

Considering re-doing your yard with low water plants? 

Drought Tolerant Plants

 

Topics: Waterwise, Fragrant Plants, Winter, Shrubs, Deer Resistant, Drought Tolerant, Low maintenance

Our Plant Pick-of-the-Week: Lenten Rose

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Dec 14, 2015 9:46:55 AM

Our Plant Pick-of-the-Week: Lenten Rose

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Lenten Rose (Helleborus spp.) is an evergreen perennial for shade which forms a clump of leathery dark green foliage. Starting in late winter and continuing through early spring; stalks bearing many daisy-like flowers bloom. What appear to be petals are actually bracts, which are long-lasting and sturdy enough to stand up to the freezing cold nights. If that weren't impressive enough, they are also water wise which makes them great for planting near natives such as Oak trees. 

Cathie_Helleborus-046409-edited.jpgMaintaining a compact 1-2 feet high a wide, Lenten Rose are often sold as centerpieces for the holidays, though they are sturdy enough to withstand temperatures as low as 20°F. The most common variety is white, but they can sometimes be found in unusual colors such as purple, yellow, pink and green. 

They're Cathie's pick-of-the-week because:

"They do well in shade, in dry conditions, tolerate hard frost and deer. Not to mention they bloom in the dead of winter, providing your garden with year-round interest. "

 

  

Interested in centerpiece-ready plants for the holidays? 

Gift Ideas for Gardeners

 

Topics: Waterwise, Winter, Deer Resistant, Drought Tolerant

Our Plant Pick-of-the-Week: Wintercreeper

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Dec 4, 2015 5:19:42 PM

Our Plant Pick-of-the-Week: Wintercreeper

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Emerald and Gold Wintercreeper (Euonymus fortunei 'Emerald & Gold') is an evergreen shrub with a mounding, slightly rambling, and sometimes climbing growth habit. The variety pictured bears deep green foliage rimmed with gold, and its sister variety 'Emerald Gaiety' has cool, cream and mint green leaves. Both varieties take on a rosy blush when the weather turns cool, giving them winter interest in addition to their incredible versatility and hardiness. 

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Reaching about two to three feet tall by three feet wide, wintercreeper adapts well to many different garden situations. If placed near a wall or trellis, its tendril-like new growth will wander upwards, attaching itself to whatever vertical objects are nearby. If left to stand alone, it can be sheared into a neat little hedge. In containers, it fills in beautifully around evergreens, and its red-hued foliage makes it a unique candidate for a holiday pot-up . Once established, it is drought tolerant, making it a wise choice for the California-conscious gardener.  

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

"It's easy to grow and the multi-colored foliage is a nice surprise in the winter."

 

 

Interested in dressing up your garden with low-water gems? Download a list of our favorite drought tolerant plants. 

Drought Tolerant Plants

 

Topics: Winter, Container Ideas, Drought Tolerant, Wintercreeper, Emerald Gaiety, Pot-Ups

Our Plant Pick-of-the-Week: Wallflower

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

Our Plant Pick of the Week: Wallflower

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

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

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

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

  CA Landscape 2.0

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

Our Plant Pick-of-the-Week: Lion's Tail

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Sep 26, 2015 8:00:00 AM

Our Plant Pick-of-the-Week: Lion's Tail

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Lion's Tail (Leonotis leonurus) is a perennial shrub native to South Africa. It's bright green foliage and upright growth habit is topped by stalks punctuated with whorls of unusual, fuzzy orange tubular flowers in late summer. Bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and other pollinators are especially fond of these showy flower clusters.

Elvia_Leonotis-430267-editedGenerally reaching 4-6' high and wide, Lion's Tail produces lanky herbaceous growth off of a woody base, and should be pruned back each winter to keep it looking neat. It also responds well to summer pruning, and will flush out beautifully if pinched back on occasion. Despite its African origins, Lion's Tail is surprisingly cold tolerant, and will withstand temperatures down to 20-25°F. It will grow in a wide range of soils, as long as drainage is adequate, and requires little water when established. 

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

"The flower is so bright and beautiful, there's nothing else like it. Plus, it makes the hummingbirds happy."

 

 

 

 

 

Lion's Tail is one of many options for flower arrangements that are sure to be conversation topics.

Grow a Cut Flower Garden

Fall is officially here! For planting inspiration, check out some of our upcoming workshops Workshop Calendar

Topics: Flowers, Shrubs, Drought Tolerant, Hummingbirds

Caring for Trees in a Drought

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Aug 12, 2015 4:39:02 PM

Sacramento is the city of trees, boasting one of the largest urban forests in the nation. With mandatory statewide watering restrictions, many people are wondering how they can keep their trees healthy on a limited watering schedule.

The Sacramento Tree Foundation recently launched a new campaign called Save Our Water & Our Trees to bring awareness to the value of continuing to care for and plant trees even in low water years. California has a Mediterranean climate, and our state will continue to cycle through periods of low water. It is more important now than ever that people plant shade trees and nurture their established trees so they may preserve their countless benefits for generations to come. 

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Here are some simple ways to care for trees during low-water years:

  • Trees do best with deep watering, which means very slowly irrigating the soil so that the water percolates down through to where the roots are, as opposed to running off or only saturating the first few inches of soil. To facilitate a slow, deep soaking, try using a drip system with a timer. 
  • Mulching around the tree about 2-3" thick will suppress water-thirsty weeds, cools the soil, and reduces evaporation of water from the soil by up to 70%. To prevent crown rot, be sure to keep the mulch 6" away from the trunk. 
  • If you are planting a new tree or have a tree that is on a slope, try creating a "basin" of raised soil a few feet around the circumference of the trunk so the water is sure to seep down into the root zone where it's needed. 
  • Keep a bucket in the shower to "cold-catch" water as your shower is heating up. You can feel good about using water that would have gone to waste to help save your trees.

Things to avoid:

  • Pruning. Unless you are removing branches that are already dead, refrain from doing any heavy pruning on a stressed tree during the summer. Stressed trees send out chemicals which attract insect pests, and pruning wounds make them even more susceptible to infestations.
  • Fertilizing with Synthetics. Unlike organic fertilizers, synthetics cause trees to push a lot of unsustainable water-thirsty growth. 
  • Watering with Sprinklers. Sprinkler systems put out a lot of water very quickly, which is okay for watering shallow-rooted plants such as turf, but less than ideal for trees.
    Unsure of how to begin? come into any Green Acres Nursery & Supply Garden Solutions department and we'll walk you through the steps of retrofitting your sprinkler system to drip. 

How do I know when to water?

The frequency of watering depends on three main factors: your soil's texture, the tree's species and its age. 

1. Soil Texture 

  • If you have dense clay soil, the particles are very small with little space for the water to move through, meaning that you must water very slowly. However, it also dries out very slowly so it's best to water deeply, yet infrequently.
  • If you have sandy soil, the particles are large and therefore water moves through it rapidly. It will also dry out quickly, so you may need to water more frequently. 
  • If you have loamy soil, the particles are medium-sized and tend to allow water to move through at a moderate pace. This is the ideal soil texture, usually people have combinations of all of the soil textures throughout their yard. 

No matter your soil texture, you should always probe your soil at least 6" down to determine how moist it is at that depth before watering. If the soil is crumbly or hard, add water. If it is sticky or moist, do not water. 

More information about how soil's texture affects your watering needs...  Watering 101

2. Tree Species

If you are planting a new tree, consider planting one that will have low or moderate water use once established. All young trees need regular water to develop a healthy, extensive root system. However, a young tree will only need 10-15 gallons per week, which is negligible when you consider all of the benefits that tree will eventually provide. 

Here are some shade trees which are well adapted to the Sacramento region: 

Small-Medium

  • Crape Myrtles
  • Chinese Pistache 'Keith Davey'
  • Arbutus 'Marina'

Medium-Large

  • Chinese Elm
  • Scarlet Oak
  • Tupelo
  • Ginkgo 'Autumn Gold'
  • Raywood Ash

This is just a small sampling, there are many other trees which are low-water when established that may be the right fit for you. For more information, check out Top 10 Legacy Trees for the Sacramento Region, or come into any Green Acres Nursery & Supply location and we'll help you find what you need. 

3. Tree Age

Young Trees (>5 Years old)

  • Roots are located mostly a few feet around the trunk, to a depth of 12-18"
  • Requires 10-15 gallons of water per week
  • Slowly soak the area around the base of the tree 2-3 times per week with 5 gallons each time

Established Trees (5+ Years old)

  • Roots are located mostly outside of the dripline, or the width of the tree's canopy, to a depth of 1-2'
  • Avoid watering near the trunk, or on the foliage 
  • Expand your watering to accommodate the tree's expanding dripline as it grows

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In addition to these three main factors, it's important to account for environmental conditions which affect how much water is used by the tree. Trees planted near heat traps such as driveways and foundations may need more frequent irrigation. 

Best Irrigation Methods

  • A garden hose on a slow trickle
  • A soaker hose, such as Dramm Tree Soaker Ring
  • Irrigation tubing with drip emitters built in (inline tubing)
  • Micro-spray emitters or any other low-flow drip system
  • Deep Drip Tree watering stakes 

More information on irrigation efficiency and other water-saving tips...  #waterwise

Topics: Tree, Irrigation Tips, Drought Tolerant

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