Four Reasons to Grow Veggies this Fall

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Oct 5, 2016 5:40:57 PM


lettuce2.jpgSacramento is blessed with long, hot summers and mild, temperate winters, meaning we can grow our own year 'round. 

However, most home gardeners forget about the delicious, nutritious and hardy vegetables which thrive when the temperatures drop.

Here are four compelling reasons to give cool-season veggies a try this fall!

 

 

Keep The Beds Clean 
Rather than letting your vegetable beds become overrun with weeds throughout the winter, try planting cool-season crops! If you are selective about crop-rotation, the quality of your soil can actually be improved by continuing to grow veggies during the winter months. Click the button below to learn more about how to rotate your crops to maximize your yield. 

Crop Rotation 101

They're Easy Peasy 
Cooler temperatures means fewer pests, making it easier to maintain your garden organically. Slugs and Snails are usually the biggest culprit for crop damage in the winter, and they can be easily controlled by lining your beds or containers with copper tape. You'll find copper tape in the Garden Solutions department of any Green Acres Nursery & Supply. 

Nutritious & Delicious
Leafy greens such as Kale, Swiss Chard and Spinach are high in vitamins and antioxidants, boosting your immunity through the cold & flu season. Cruciferous vegetables such as Broccoli, Cabbage and Brussel Sprouts contain a substance called glucosinolates, which have been found to reduce your risk for certain types of cancer. 

Fewer Food Miles 
Food miles are the distance that your food has traveled to get to you. By buying your veggies plants from your local nursery and growing them in your backyard, you are reducing the environmental impact of fuel consumption caused by transporting food long distances (AKA your "carbon footprint")

Green Acres Nursery & Supply sources all of our vegetables from local growers such as Eisley's Nursery in Auburn, Kawahara Nurseries in Morgan Hill and Fredriks Nursery in Ripon. By sourcing our vegetable starters locally, we are:

  • Helping sustain fellow independent nurseries in our local economy
  • Providing you with plants that are well-acclimated to the area
  • Ensuring that your veggie starters are fresh, giving them a head start in your garden

Ready to start growing your own?

Here's a list of what vegetables you can plant when for the Sacramento Area:

Veggie Calendar

Topics: What Can I Plant This Season?, Winter, Edibles, Veggies and Herbs, Fall Veggies, IPM, Fall

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

Our Favorite Fruit Trees

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Feb 17, 2016 10:45:48 AM

Growing your own fruit at home is so rewarding, and it's not nearly as difficult as it may seem. There are a range of fruiting trees and shrubs ideal for every situation. 

photo_fruittrees_V2-735426-edited-459032-edited-660584-edited.jpg

Unsure of what to plant and where? Check out our list of fruiting trees, shrubs and vines grouped by relative water needs:

High Water

  • Avocados: dense surface-rooting tendencies cause Avocados to thrive in evenly moist soils, but they will not tolerate waterlogged, poor-draining soil. 
  • Blueberries: do best in our climate when planted in afternoon shade, with three-to-four inches of mulch to help slow the evaporation of water from the soil. 
  • Cane Berries (Raspberries, Blackberries, etc): thrive if provided mulch that is three-to-four inches thick, leaving a space of at least three feet from the base of the plant. 

Medium Water

The following varieties can take longer periods between watering, but shouldn't be allowed to completely dry out. 

  • Apples
  • Cherries
  • Pears
  • Peaches/Nectarines

blood_orange_fruit2-resized-600-085701-edited.jpgMedium-Low Water

Medium-low water fruit producing plants can be allowed to dry out between watering, provided they have a three-to-four-inch thick layer of mulch, spread out to at least two feet outside the width of the canopy. 

  • Almonds: good drought tolerance, but extended dry period will reduce crop size.
  • Apricots: once established, adapt well to low-water conditions.
  • Citrus: once established, adapt well to low-water conditions.
  • Persimmons: will thrive with occasional deep watering. 
  • Pineapple Guava: very well adapted to extended dry periods.
  • Plums: the best stone fruit for low-water conditions, sufficient mulch will ensure a decent crop size.
  • Pistachios: very well adapted to low-water conditions. However, reduced water will slow growth rate.

Low Water 

ww_fruit_tree-019496-edited.jpgThe following varieties thrive when allowed to dry out between watering, without sacrificing the quality of fruit. 

  • Figs: able to tolerate long periods of drought and still bear an acceptable crop.
  • Grapes: thrive in low-water conditions, if grown with minimal irrigation, although the crop size will be smaller and fruit can be sweeter. 
  • Pomegranates: prefer dry conditions, although fruit size may be affected, but not severely. 
  • Olives: requires dry conditions. Severe water constrictions will affect growth rate, but not appearance. 

 

 

 

 

Did you know? You can plant up to four deciduous fruit trees (such as nectarines, apples, plums, etc.) in a single hole using a revolutionary training system pioneered by Dave Wilson Nursery known as Backyard Orchard Culture. 

Backyard Orchard Culture in a nutshell:

  • Choose dwarf trees whenever possible
  • Select varieties which will ripen successively, rather than all at once
  • Plant multiple trees in a single hole
  • Prune your trees year 'round to control their size
Learn more about how to maximize your fruit harvest without sacrificing yield or quality: Backyard Orchard Culture

Topics: Edibles, Backyard Orchard, Fruit Trees, Citrus

Bareroot Basics

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Dec 28, 2015 9:28:59 AM

Bareroot season is here, and it's the best time of year to select and plant the perfect variety of rose, fruit tree or rare edibles for your garden. 

What is bareroot?

Bareroot_Behind_the_Scenes_1-762515-edited.jpgBareroot nursery stock is plants that have been grown on farms in the field, dug up, and then transferred to nurseries to sell. At Green Acres Nursery & Supply, we pot-up our bareroot plants in fiber pulp pots, which helps protect the roots and lengthens the season that they're available to you. 

What is the benefit of buying bareroot?

  • Quality: because they're dormant when dug up, there is minimal damage inflicted on the roots. Planting them in the cool season allows them to get established so they are ready to take off come spring. 
  • Price: bareroot plants require less care to maintain in the nursery, so we receive them at a lower cost and share the savings with you. 
  • Selection: bareroot season also offers the widest selection of roses and fruit trees at the lowest prices of the year. Whether you're a beginner just looking to get started, or a seasoned gardener searching for that special unique variety, now is the time to buy!
  • Seasonality: Certain plants and unusual varieties are only available this time of year. For example, rhubarb and horseradish are sold almost exclusively in bareroot form. 

Roses

With over 50 varieties of Hybrid Tea, Grandiflora, Floribunda and Climbing roses to choose from, now is by far the best time to find that special rose you have your heart set on, or to fall in love with a new one! 

Download Our Bareroot Roses List

Need a few pointers on rose care? Check out our Growing Roses blog.

  Growing Roses

Fruit Trees

Dave Wilson Nursery has been the local expert in growing fruit trees for over 50 years. With their extensive selection of tried-and-true fruit trees with new and exciting varieties available every year, you're sure to find the right tree for your family. 

Want to grow your own, but you're not sure how to start? 

Backyard Orchard Culture

Strawberries

Locally sourced, fantastically flavored strawberries. Plant now for a fruitful spring.

Choose from:

  • Eversweet: everbearing variety produces sweet, conical fruit spring through fall. Ideal choice for warmer climates. 
  • Quinault: everbearing variety produces large, soft and sweet fruit, ideal for preserving and eating fresh. Produces late spring through fall. 

 

Other Tasty Bareroot Treats

  • Asparagus: perennial vegetable which requires partial shade in our climate. Once planted, it cannot be moved so find a permanent home for it. Asparagus requires several years of growth before first harvest, but your patience will be rewarded. 
  • Horseradish: very vigorous and easy to grow plant, requires about a year's worth of growth before first harvest. Horseradish thrives in rich soil. 
  • Rhubarb: delicious, edible, and attractive enough to earn a place in your ornamental garden. Rhubarb requires several years of growth before harvest, and afternoon shade in our climate. Harvest by pulling stalks sideways, never removing all the stalks from a single plant at once. Leaves are poisonous, ingest stalks only. 

Learn How To Grow Rhubarb, Horseradish and Asparagus 

Topics: Winter, Edibles, Roses, Grandiflora, Floribunda, Rhubarb, Strawberries, Asparagus, Horseradish

Crop Rotation: What, Why & How

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

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

Two primary reasons people rotate crops:

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

Nutrient Retention

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

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

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

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

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

Pest Prevention

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

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

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

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

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

Veggie Calendar

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

Pick Your Perfect Pumpkin

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

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

Edibles

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

Pumpkin_jarrahdale-518439-editedJarrahdale

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

 

 

 

Pumpkin_Cinderella-700746-editedCinderella

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

 

 

Pumpkin_Kamo_Kamo-241841-editedKamo Kamo Squash

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

 

 

 

 

 

Pumpkin_fairytale-845309-editedFairytale

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

 

 

 

Pumpkin_lil_pumpkemon-954735-editedLil' Pump-ke-mon

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

 

 

 

 

 

Pumpkin_spooky_lumina-056051-edited-072483-editedLumina

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

 

 

 

 

 

PumpkInspiration—Pumpkin Craft and Recipe Ideas 

PumpkInspiration

 


 

Ornamentals

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

Pumpkin_Folsom-741144-editedBig Max

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

 

 

 

 

 

Spooky_Pumpkin_5-1-804170-editedCronus

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pumpkin_painted-046852-editedIron Man

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jack-Be-LittlePumpkin_Jack_be_Little-263070-edited

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pumpkin_knucklehead-325687-edited-340305-editedKnucklehead

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mystery_pumpkin-426098-edited

 

One Too Many

This large barrel-shaped variety is swirled with pale pink and cream variegatied. Said to resemble a bloodshot eyeball, its unusual color is sure to turn heads in a spooky Halloween theme. 

 

 

 

 

Pumpkin_Gooseneck_Gourd-607579-editedGooseneck Gourd

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pumpkin_Lunch_lady-706539-editedLunch Lady

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Workshop Calendar

Topics: Edibles, Pumpkins, Fall, Decorating

Tomato Troubleshooting

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

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

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

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

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

 




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

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

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

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

Problem: Tomatoes crack leaving unattractive scarring on the fruit

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

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

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

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

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

 

Want to learn more about growing tomatoes?

Tomato Tips

 

Topics: Edibles, Beneficial Insects, Tomatoes, Sacramento Gardening

Let's Talk Lavender

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Jun 5, 2015 10:59:00 AM

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

Lavender_bush-286207-editedCare & Maintenance

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

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

 

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

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

Per-Lavandula_Anouk_01-521483-edited

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Now, What to Plant with Your Lavender

Salvia and lavender go together like peanut butter and jelly. Try adding penstemon, coreopsis, and poppies with lavender to bring a variety of color and pollinators to your garden. For a tidier look, you can plant compact lavender with some African daisies, euphorbias, and shrubs like barberry, Indian hawthorn, and 'Golf Ball' pittosporum.

Plant your lavender and join the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge.

Million Pollinator Garden Challenge

Want to learn more about plants that thrive in dry heat?

Drought Tolerant Plants

* Check stores for current availability

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

Spuds 101 - How to Grow Seed Potatoes

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Nov 8, 2014 11:04:00 AM

Why use certified seed potatoes?

Unlike certified seed potatoes, the potatoes that you find at the grocery store are often treated with growth inhibitors to keep them from sprouting. Also, they are not guaranteed to be disease free, and they usually produce spuds that are not uniform in shape.

What kind of certified seed potatoes does Green Acres carry?*

Red LaSoda

Days to Maturity: 80-100

Red LaSoda has a good general disease resistance, and red skin and white waxy flesh. Keeps well, and adapts to a range to climates, withstanding cold, heat and drought.

Alegria Yellow

Days to Maturity: 85-95

Alegria Yellow is prized for its attractive uniform appearance, high yield and low susceptibility to rotting. It produces a stable yield in a variety of different growing climates. It is characterized by golden yellow skin with creamy yellow flesh, and a flavor similar to Yukon Gold.

Accord White

Days to Maturity: 80-90

Accord white is an early producing variety with a high yield. It has creamy skin and creamy white flesh with a uniform oval appearance. Good disease resistance, but relatively short storage potential.

Potatoes thrive in moderate temperatures, not too cold or too warm. Ideal temperatures range from above freezing to below 70° F. Because they are a tuber, they require rich light textured soil with good drainage. If you have poor drainage or heavy clay soil, we recommend planting in raised beds or containers. Heavy clay soil can sometimes deform the shape of potatoes.

In the Sacramento region, potatoes are typically planted between mid-November and March.  

Potatoes

Planting in the ground

Seed potatoes should be planted in rows 12” apart, and the rows should be spaced at least 18-20” apart. First, dig the furrows of your rows at least 4” deep. Cut your seed potatoes into 1 ½ ” pieces with at least two eyes per piece, or leave them whole depending on how large they are.  If you cut them into pieces, let the pieces dry for a day or two before planting, to prevent rot. Lay the seed potatoes in the furrows, eye side up and cover with 2” of soil. Water thoroughly, and then wait. As the potatoes begin to sprout, gently pile more soil on top of them, until your furrow has turned into a mound 4” above soil level. Cover rows with a 2-4” thick layer of mulch to conserve moisture and insulate tubers should the temperatures drop below freezing.

Planting in pots

Fill the bottom of a large container (at least a 15 gallon or larger) with 6” of a rich potting soil or compost. Place seed potatoes, or seed potato pieces on top of the soil, about 12” apart. Top with 2” of soil, water, and wait for them to sprout. After they have begun to shoot up past the soil, continue the process, gently mounding soil around them as the shoots grow, until you reach the top of your container.  Some people apply this method using tires or stackable crates, which allow you more vertical growing space.

Watering

Soil should be kept moist, but beware of overwatering if you choose to plant in the ground. Soggy soil will result in rotten potatoes.

Fertilizing

Use a starter fertilizer upon planting, we recommend E.B. Stone Sure Start.  Then fertilize with tomato and vegetable food according to the package direction.

Harvesting

Harvest “new potatoes”, or the smaller less mature spuds when the plants begin flowering. Reach under the first few inches of soil and pull them off the plant. Harvest the mature potatoes once the plants turn brown. Harvest time is between 80 and 120 days after planting, depending on variety. When harvesting,  dig carefully to avoid damaging the tubers.

*Available while supplies last, check stores for inventory 

  Veggie Planting Calendar

Topics: Edibles, Sacramento Gardening, Fall Veggies

Looking for Lawn Substitutes? We Have Ideas...

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Aug 14, 2014 2:31:00 PM

Now that the drought has done a number on our lawns, what are the choices for long-term water savings?

house with deadlawn 

Mandatory water restrictions put landscapes a little lower on list of priorities. Most of us enjoy a lush landscape, so it’s good to know water restrictions don't make it impossible to create a very functional and enjoyable garden space without lawn. While so many gardeners are faced with replacing dead lawns this fall, it’s probably a prudent time to consider other options.

There are endless possibilities for lawn substitutes, and making the change is easy to do.
Take a look at a few of the options we suggest for long-term water savings:
 
Edibles
The popularity of edible gardens has grown substantially in recent years, often taking the stage in front landscapes. The average gardener waters their tomato plants a little bit every day. Did you know a tomato planted in the ground prefers water just a couple of times a week in the height of the Sacramento summer? Most fruiting plants enjoy a deep soaking occasionally.

 

Vegetable gardens and fruit trees with mulch or traffic-friendly groundcovers make beautiful landscapes with the benefits of some shade, a variety of edibles, and considerable water savings. 


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Citrus and fruit trees are notable accents to an edible garden. A not-so-well-known fact is both are quite drought tolerant once established. Whether you enjoy oranges, apples, Australian finger limes or Jujube’s, the options and combinations are endless.  

Groundcovers and Sub-Shrubs 
Groundcovers are some of the more obvious choices for lawn replacements. They are best
suited for areas where there is light foot-traffic. Mix with a permeable surface, such as decomposed granite, gravel for paths. Sub-shrubs are placed where there is no traffic. They make the perfect filler for large areas.

California natives are high on the list of recommendations, although there are a number of non-native options. The benefit to natives is their built-in tolerance to the soils and water conditions in our area. Local wildlife thrives amongst native habitats. 


California Natives Make Drought Gardening Easy and Beautiful 

  • California Wild Lilac (Ceanothus) ‘Carmel Creeper’ and ‘Centennial’ are two evergreen varieties that spread and stay fairly low. Blue flowers come in spring and bees love it!
  • Manzanita (Arctostaphylos) ‘Emerald Carpet’ and ‘Massachusetts’ have pinkish white blooms that develop in spring. The dark green foliage contrasts well with dark red stems. 
  • California Fuchsia (Zauschneria californica) comes in a few varieties that
    fit the bill for sun/part-shade, summer to fall bloom, and, the hummingbirds love them.
  • Ornamental Strawberry (Fragaria) is a tight, very low perennial groundcover for rock gardens and slopes. 
  • Dwarf Coyote Bush (Baccharis pililaris ‘Pidgeon Point’) is an evergreen sub-shrub that grows to about a foot tall, but spreads wide. Ideal for slopes!
     
Zauschneria californica 'Olbrich Silver' 3Baccharis pilularisArctostaphylos x coloradoensis Panchito 2 D. Winger

Non-Native Groundcovers Well-Suited for the Sacramento Area
  • Thyme is an aromatic groundcover with varieties that are perfect for
    areas with foot traffic. Try 'Elfin' for a very tight cover, or a number varieties of Creeping Thyme between pavers. 
  • Sedum ‘Angelina’, ‘Dragons Blood’, and ‘Ogon’ offer color interest and require low water. 
  • Senecio ‘Dwarf Blue Chalks’ can add fun contrast and texture. Mature size is 1'x2'. Minimal water is required for this succulent, shrubby perennial.
thyme on paversSedum rupestre %27Angelina%27dwarf blue chalks
 
  
                                    
 
Red maple
Trees are a Critical Part of a Water-Wise Landscape
Plant trees for reduced temperatures and cooler soil. Once established, many trees require less frequent watering. The cooler soil temperatures will benefit everything planted in the soil below. 
  • ‘October Glory’ Maple  
    One of the most desired maples, with dark green leaves in spring, turning radiant red in late fall. A fast-grower with a mature size of 45'x30'. It provides a beautiful shade canopy for larger landscapes.
  • ‘Pacific Sunset’ Maple 
    A maple hybrid, its smaller size and tolerance for urban conditions makes this tree perfect for patios or small yards. Mature size is 25'x25'. Initially, it requires moderate to regular water but is drought tolerant once established.
  • ‘Emerald Sunshine’ Elm  
    This Elm variety is highly resistant to disease. Its vase shape is well-suited for a street or landscape accent tree. Mature size is 35' x 25'. Deep green leaves turn to yellow in the fall. 
  • Arbutus 'Marina' (Strawberry Tree)
    A one-of-a-kind evergreen tree. The mahogany bark peels back to reveal a cinnamon bark in the summer. Clusters of urn-shaped flowers draw hummingbirds, followed by bright orange-red fruit. Its mature size is 25'x25' and requires very little water once established. An eye-catching tree for smaller areas.
Strawberry Tree


California Natives

Low Water Plants

Topics: Native Plants, California Native Plants, Smartscape, Waterwise, Sacramento Low Water Plants, Edibles, Drought Resistant, Reduce Water Costs, Water Rebates

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