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

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

Grow Your Own Salsa Garden

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on May 23, 2014 2:56:00 PM

Fresh salsa is so tasty on grilled chicken tacos, your favorite grilled fish, or added to grilled steak fajitas. And, whether you’ve got little gardening experience, or are an experienced Green-Thumb, a salsa garden can make a great addition to any backyard. It doesn’t take a lot to get started. With just three easy steps, you’ll be on your way to fresh homemade salsa, truly made from scratch.

3 Steps to Growing a Salsa Garden
to compliment grilled chicken, fish, or steak

creating a salsa garden

Step 1:

Choose Your Salsa Elements.

There are some key elements to salsa that you will want to plant in your garden.

  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Cilantro
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Corn, fresh or grilled
  • And, add a twist with nectarines or peaches

Unfortunately, not all of the above elements ripen in the garden at the same time, but tomatoes and peppers will thrive during Sacramento's hot summer months.  Many of the other ingredients prefer cooler weather, so simply supplement with store bought produce when not available at your local garden center.

If there is a recipe that you enjoy, then model the salsa garden on that based on that. If there isn't a recipe in mind, you can choose tomatoes, peppers, and herbs based on what is popular in your home. Feeling adventurous? Divide garden space between favorites and other varieties that you would like to try.  When the harvest comes in, enjoy classic favorites or invent new salsa recipes that can be enjoyed year after year.

creating a salsa garden

Tomatoes and peppers take between two-to-three months to produce fruit, but this will depend on the variety you choose to plant.

If you're looking for some inspiration, here are some of the most popular varieties:

Tomatoes:
Better Boy, Roma, Early Girl, Cherry, & Beefsteak are very popular for salsa making.  

Peppers: 
Mild: Bermuda, Poblano

Medium: Jalapeno, Fresno

Hot: Serrano, Tabasco, Cayenne

Since the peppers come in different heat levels those are some favorites at each tier.  If you find that your salsa is too hot, remove the seeds.  This will remove some of the capsaicin, the part of the fruit which is most attributed to heat.


Step 2:

Choose Your Location

A big part of any gardening is putting the plant in a place where it will be able to thrive. Salsa veggies need full sun, so it's important to plant them in a place where they get that. Herbs, including the ones you find in salsa, only require around four hours of sun each day. You'll want to find a spot that will provide your herbs with some daily afternoon shade. Fruit trees require full sun and well-drained soil. 

All of the vegetable and herb elements of a salsa garden can grow well in containers, if you remember three key things:

  • Use a large pot, giving plants room to grow
  • Remember to fertilize regularly, to keep plants nourished
  • Plant in well-draining soil to prevent root rot
  • If growing fruit trees, ultra dwarf, or pole fruit varieties do well in large pots


Step 3:

Plant and Maintain

creating a salsa garden

With the ideal spot and the perfect medley of tomatoes, peppers, and herbs you'll have the ability to make fresh salsa whenever you want. Food grown at home tastes much better than what is available in stores, not to mention it’s far more cost-effective. All that's needed is a little maintenance and with the following tips, it will be a piece of cake!

  • Add organic fertilizer to soil. Organic fertilizer will give plants the nutrients they need without burning them in the hot summer heat.
  • Pick and pinch your herbs regularly. The more herbs are picked or pinched, the more they will grow. It's also important to keep it from flowering; because once it flowers the herb will turn bitter.
  • Deep and infrequent waterings preferred. Instead of watering everyday, try a deep and infrequent watering schedule. This means letting a slow trickle of water seep in over a long period of time. This allows the water to permeate the soil and encourages root growth.
  • Convert to Drip. Drip is the easiest way to do deep infrequent waterings.
 


Want more ideas for your edible garden?

 
Green Acres on Pinterest

Topics: Salsa Garden, Peppers, Edibles, Organic Fertilizers, BBQ, Summer Garden, Planting Ideas, Veggies and Herbs, Tomatoes, Summer, Grilling

Planting Tomatoes Just Got Easier- Part 2

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Apr 25, 2014 1:23:00 PM

planting tomatoes

Hopefully you enjoyed our previous article about tomatoes entitled, Planting Tomatoes Just Got Easier- Part 1.  We will continue with some additional helpful tips for success in growing our favorite warm-season veggie.  

Topics:

  • Fertilizers
  • Pollinators
  • Varieties

THE TRUTH ABOUT FERTILIZERS

Many people believe fertilization is overwhelming and sometimes skip this step altogether. Fertilization is a key component to any successful garden, especially tomatoes. There are two basic types of fertilizers, organic and synthetic. 

Organics vs. Synthetics:

  1. Organics:
    Natural, organic fertilizer is derived from living things, organic matter, and from earth deposits. Feather meal, compost, chicken manure, humic acid, dolomite lime, earthworm castings, and bat guano, just to name a few. 
     
  2. Synthetics:
    Synthetic fertilizers are artificially made from chemical reactions and are more commonly used in large scale agriculture and landscaping. The downside to using synthetics is that after time, salt from the fertilizer starts to build up in the soil resulting in the plant not being able to uptake water and essential nutrients. Another disadvantage is that if you end up using too much then you can run the risk of “burning” which can damage, even kill plant tissue. 

organic fertilizer

Backyard gardeners should stick to organic fertilizers because they are easy to use, won’t burn with over application, and are better for soil composition. Come by one of our locations and pick up E.B. Stone, Tomato and Vegetable food. This product takes out all the guesswork and provides a mixture of the important nutrients including calcium.

 

Did You Know?
Calcium is key for proper tomato development. Lacking calcium in soil can lead to a problem called blossom end rot which destroys your crop! There are many afflictions that can harm your precious tomatoes but using a good fertilizer is a good start to preventing some difficulties.
 
Mason bees
POLLINATION & THE SOLITARY BEE SOLUTION

We can do all the right things when planting our tomatoes, but one aspect slightly out of our control is pollination. Bees are an example of a pollinator we depend upon.  If you have ever had a vegetable plant that produced tons of blossoms but little fruit, the problem was likely a lack of pollination.  

With the decline of honeybees across the U.S. more gardeners and farmers are relying on solitary bees for pollination support. Mason Bees are a solitary bee that don't live in colonies & don't produce honey but are pollinating powerhouses. They are non-aggressive, docile bees. One female mason bee does work of 120 honeybees in a day! 
 

CHOOSING THE RIGHT VARIETIES

When it comes down to choosing the right tomato variety, you need to know what you want make with your harvest. Will you be eating them fresh, canning, sun drying, or making sauces?  This is the most important aspect to keep in mind when shopping for seeds or starters.  

Large Tomatoes: 
Most people like to go for a hearty and large sized tomato, good for burgers, sandwiches, and salads.  'Brandy Boy' is a great large tomato hybrid variety.  It is a cross from two of the most successful tomato varieties, the 'Better Boy' and the 'Brandywine'. This tomato has incredibly high yields of large size tomatoes sometimes up to over a pound each.

Cherry Tomatoes: 
When it comes to cherry tomatoes some of the sweetest and most popular are 'Sun Gold' and 'Sweet 100'.  The 'Sun Gold' is a very prolific plant that has fruits ripen to a vibrant orange color and has a sweet tropical taste, great for kids! Another option is the 'Sweet 100', another very high yielding plant with a lively red hue.

Paste Tomatoes: 
Some paste tomato varieties slightly differ in taste but the most popular would be the determinate, hybrid, 'Roma' or the sweeter Indeterminate, heirloom, 'San Marzano'.

 

Come see our extensive selection of tomatoes this Spring!

Visit Us!

 

Topics: What Can I Plant This Season?, Edibles, Veggies and Herbs, Tomatoes

Planting Tomatoes Just Got Easier- Part 1

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Apr 22, 2014 1:36:00 PM

planting tomatoes

Cultivating a spring-time garden and reaping the rewards is a popular and satisfying hobby that many homeowners enjoy. 

Many gardeners would agree that one of the most rewarding spring-time vegetables to grow, is the Solanum lycopersicum, also known as the good ole’ garden tomato. Growing tomatoes with even a bit of basic knowledge can help make you a pro in no time.  

In our two-part blog article, we will be touching on everything you need to know about tomatoes including:

  • Tomato types
  • Soil
  • Planting
  • Fertilizing
  • Varieties

DETERMINATE VS. INDETERMINATE

First things first.  Know the difference between the two types of tomato plants, Determinate and Indeterminate.

  • Determinate varieties, also called “bush” tomatoes, such as 'Roma' and 'Celebrity', are going to be shorter, more compact tomato plants, perfect for the patio gardener. These varieties will still require support but not nearly as much as an Indeterminate. 
  • Keep in mind that Determinate tomatoes will ripen relatively around the same time. Within a two week period of each other all tomatoes should be done and ready for harvest. Shortly afterward, the plant's health will decline and it won't bear any more fruit. Some determinate varieties are able to produce another yield but it will not be as productive as the first.  
  • Indeterminate varieties, also referred to as “vining” tomato plants.  Varieties include 'Early Girl', most cherry tomato varieties, and many heirlooms.  Indeterminates grow very tall and require much staking and support. Indeterminate plants are preferred by many gardeners simply because they will continue to produce until the season has ended.

planting tomatoes

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

A key to a successful tomato garden is choosing a proper location. Pick a worthy spot in your yard that has a minimum of six hours of sunlight, preferably a location that receives adequate morning sun. Once you dedicate a portion of your property for tomato cultivation you need to build up your soil with amendments.


GOOD EARTH- AKA GOOD, HEALTHY SOIL 

Feeding and building your soil is a critical step for your garden plot.  There are many different recipes for an adequate garden soil but, E.B. Stone products takes out the guesswork. We offer a wide variety of E.B. Stone garden soils already pre-mixed with all the essential ingredients your tomato plants love.

  1. E.B. Stone's ready-to-use GreenAll Planting Mix is a great start for any gardener. With components such as a wetting agent, mushroom compost, and earthworm castings to name a few, this all-purpose amendment is a great start. 
  2. E.B. Stone makes other soil mixes like Soil Booster, which even has a few extra beneficial elements to increase plant productivity. 

planting tomatoes

Now that you have your amendments added to your new planter box, or garden plot it’s time to till it into the top layer of native or existing soil.

Tips for Tilling:

  • Take a small tiller or garden fork and incorporate the amendment into the ground.
  • Don’t skip this step because it is crucial for proper drainage.
  • Remove all large rocks, sticks, old roots and make sure the only thing remaining is fresh, healthy, living dirt.  


PLANTING TIME 

Planting tomatoes is nothing to stress about.  

When planting follow these steps:

  1. Trim off lower branches and then bury the fresh cuts underneath the ground. Roots will develop along the stems and when they become established it will increase the health and vigor of your plant. Tomatoes are one of the few plants that don't mind being planted deep.
  2. Once you have buried the root zone and lower portion of the plant make sure you give a good thorough watering.
  3. Use an organic starter fertilizer, like E.B. Stone Sure Start. With a higher level of phosphorous that promotes root development, this is a great product all gardeners should use.

planting tomatoes

SOIL TIP:
**Another soil tip is that tomatoes love rich organic soil...and so do earthworms. Get a hold of some creepy crawlers so they can penetrate the soil improving texture and soil composition.** 

Stay tuned for Part 2... 

 

Topics: What Can I Plant This Season?, Edibles, Veggies and Herbs, Tomatoes

Another Round of Cool Season Vegetables, Anyone?

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Mar 10, 2014 5:45:00 PM

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!

 

 

 

Topics: What Can I Plant This Season?, Edibles, Container Ideas, Veggies and Herbs

Winter Garden Care & Spring Planting Direction Is Here...

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Feb 14, 2014 2:21:00 PM

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 Need?

  • 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 64°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.

 

Topics: What Can I Plant This Season?, Edibles, Tips for Winter, Veggies and Herbs

Pencil Onions- November is the Time to Plant

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Nov 4, 2013 5:34:00 PM

Pencil Onions
From the valley to your garden to your table!

Pencil onion sets are a bare root starter onion, a central valley favorite. Onions do best in our climate when planted in the fall. The cooler temperatures help prevent the plants from going to seed, and the bulbs have a longer season to develop.

Planting: Plant in rich, well-draining soil in full sun, mounding the soil slightly to prevent rot. Plantpencil onions each ‘pencil’ in rows 10 inches apart, or plant five inches apart, and harvest every-other-one, during the growing season, to extend the harvest season throughout the winter and spring.

Fertilizing: Upon planting, fertilize with blood and bone meal. Avoid feeding with high-nitrogen fertilizers, which can cause the onions to go to seed at the expense of the bulb.

Harvesting: In the spring, water your onions deeply, but infrequently. When the tops begin to fall over, stop all watering and let them harden off for a few weeks before harvest.  

 

 

Varieties*

Camelot

150 Days. Yellow Spanish-type onion with a large globe-shaped bulb. This variety holds up well to cooking, is delicious in soups, and ideal for caramelizing.

Early Red Burger (Improved Stockton Red)

172 Days.  Early, deep red, flat and sweet.  Productive and less resistant to bolting (going to seed).  This variety has also been labeled ‘Italian Red’.  Perfect for sandwiches, with incredible flavor!

Italian Red Torpedo

180 Days. A large spindle-shaped, pale red onion.  Sweet, mildly pungent flesh.  Grows six to eight inches long, and three inches across.  A tasty variety for fresh salads.

Walla Walla Sweet

184 Days. Prized for its exceptionally mild and delicious flavor.  Yellow skinned with white flesh.  A beefy onion for burgers.

White Castle (Sacramento and Roseville only)

190 Days.  Large globe onion with a thin skin and moderately pungent flesh.  Stores well.

*Onion pencil sets available from late October through mid-November. Quantities are limited.

  Veggie Calendar

Topics: Winter, Planting Ideas, Veggies and Herbs

Smartscaping Plants- Part 2

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Oct 9, 2013 4:22:00 PM

If you joined us for part one  you know that now-a-days there are lots of  of smartscaping plants to choose from. Thanks to new introductions of plants from all around the world, Californians have access to a plethora of new water-wise AND good looking plants. Join us for part 2 to learn about more of these drought tolerant gems.

 

Shark Bay Boronia

Boronia crenulata ‘Shark Bay’

This Australian native is a dense, compact dwarf shrub with small green licorice-scented leaves.  It has dainty pink flowers bloom year round. 

Plant Highlights:

  • Low maintenance, requires little pruning.    
  • Prefers sun or part shade.  Good choice for containers.
  • Needs regular watering weekly or more often in extreme heat until established.  
  • Hardy to 20-25 degrees. 
  • Grows 2-4 feet all by 2-4 feet wide. 

Wooly Blue Curls

Trichostema lanatum

A native to California!  This plant has narrow aromatic leaves that are shiny green above and wooly white underneath with 1 foot long clusters of fuzzy blue flowers that bloom in spikes from May-August.

Plant Highlights:

  • Perfect for using as cut flowers. 
  • Plant attracts hummingbirds and butterflies. 
  • This plant needs full sun and good drainage. 
  • Cold tolerant to 10 degrees.
  • Grows 4 feet by 4 feet.

Mexican Marigolds

Tagestes lemmonii

Shrub grows 4-6 feet high by 6-10 feet wide. Leaves become aromatic when brushed against or windblown.  Foliage scent is a cross between lemon and mint. Beautiful yellow orange flowers resemble marigold blooms. 

Plant Highlights:

  • This plant will grow in very hot and dry locations.  
  • The Mexican Marigold is deer resistant.  
  • It is great for rock gardens and container gardening.

Topics: Smartscape, Waterwise, Drought Resistant, Veggies and Herbs

What Fall Veggies to Plant in Sacramento?

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Oct 3, 2013 10:43:00 AM

fall vegetables

Plant a Bountiful Fall Veggie Garden – Add Some Zest to Your Yard and Your Plate

Fall Vegetables have rolled into our nurseries. The seed racks are restocked for the fall vegetable planting season. Rows upon rows of vegetables are now in the nursery nestled in their flats waiting for customers to come in and choose what they want to grow …what they want to eat.

Plant your fall veggie garden now! Reap the rewards of healthy vegetables directly from your garden! Fresh and delicious! But how do you choose?  

A Plethora of Goodness Awaits You! 

Arugula, Beets, Bok Choy, Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Garlic, Leeks, Lettuce, Kale, Kohlrabi, Mesclun (Zesty Salad Mixture), Mizuna (Japanese Mustard), Mustards, Onions, Potatoes, Rutabaga, Sorrel, Spinach, Swiss Chard just to name a few!

Try a Few of These to Spice Up Your Taste Buds!

Arugula ‘Rocket Salad’ – Adds texture to salads. Arugula has a peppery and nutty flavor that adds zest to your salad. Try it as a topping for your pizza. Plant by seeds or plants when available.

Befall veggiesets! – Detroit Dark Red or Bulls Blood? Beets are high in Iron. Very nutritious!  Add color and tang to any salad. Detroit Dark Red has a tender, buttery-sweet taste. Great for canning, pickling and eating fresh. Bull’s Blood is primarily grown for its tender, sweet red foliage. Plant by seed or plants when available.

Bok Choy (Pak Choy) – Use in stir-fries. Great for steaming, or adding to soups! Very nutritious, high in Calcium and Vitamin C. Try Tatsoi (Baby Bok Choy) or White Stem. Plant by seed or plants if available.

Broccoli  Packed with nutrition! High in Vitamin C, calcium, potassium and iron!  Tasty raw or steamed. Diplomat, De Cicco, Packman, Romanesco and Waltham 29 are varieties that do well here in Northern California. Plant by seed or plants when available.

Garlic – Besides benefiting the immune system, Garlic is the perfect complement to many foods. It provides wonderful aroma and flavor to most dishes. Roasted Garlic is delicious! Elephant Garlic, Chesnoke Red, Spanish Roja and California are a few of the wonderful varieties of Garlic that we carry. Plant from cloves.

Rutabaga Delicious, firm, sweet roots are a must for hearty soups and casseroles. Mash just like potatoes, add chunks to soups and stews. The tops are edible too. They make tasty sautéed greens. Grow from seed.

Sorrel – A hardy perennial. The leaves have a lemony, spinach flavor that add a punch to salads. Grow from seed.

Crimson and Clover…Over and Over!

fava beans cover crop resized 600Not feeling like planting a fall garden to replace your Summer Garden? Try planting a cover crop like Crimson and Clover or Fava Beans! 

Planting a cover crop brings many benefits. These plants cover the ground in the winter, smothering weeds, fixing nitrogen from the air and turned into the soil into late winter helps improve soil structure. Other benefits include: preventing erosion, enhancing drainage, inhibiting weeds and attracting beneficial insects. You can plant a winter cover crop now or until late October. Cover crops are called "Green Manure".

  

  Veggie Calendar

Topics: What Can I Plant This Season?, Planting Ideas, Veggies and Herbs, Fall Veggies

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