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Edition 15.10 Greenhouse Garden Center News March, 2015

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Featured Quote:

"By their standards some may think that a compost bin has to stink;
But if you give it proper care, no one will even know it's there."
F. H. Campbell, Mitchellville, Iowa, Organic Gardening 9-1975


Greenhouse Carden Center Newsletter
 

WINTER HOURS:
MONDAYS THROUGH SATURDAYS: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
SUNDAYS 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

SPRING HOURS BEGIN SATURDAY, MARCH 21ST:
MONDAYS THROUGH SATURDAYS: 9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
SUNDAYS 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM


The long winter's nap is over! With the arrival of this month, it is literally time to begin the process of preparing your soil so you can enjoy a successful gardening season. Healthy soil is a must if you expect to produce healthy plants.

Soil improvement is based upon 2 main ideas. First, improving the structure of the soil improves water retention properties and oxygen content. Second, improving the organic content of the soil allows plants access to the nutrients they need for strong growth.

Let's start with drainage. If you live in Dayton or any points east, you know that the sandy soils there drain too quickly and conversely on the west side of Carson and around the Carson Valley Ranchos clay soils drain too slowly. Sandy soils have very large particles, which means the gaps between particles are much larger than the gaps between clay particles. Because sandy soils have large air pockets in these gaps, water drains very quickly out of them, and so they need more frequent watering than loam or clay soils. Sandy soils have sufficient oxygen levels in them. Clay soils tend to have very small particle sizes which bind together tightly - and we find little oxygen in between the soil particles. Because the particles are closely bound, water tends to drain poorly. The result is that clay soils can easily become waterlogged and lacking in oxygen. Plants roots need oxygen to thrive.

We seek to achieve a balance of sand, silt, and clay coupled with organic matter as a solid basis for good drainage and moisture retention. An easy way to determine what soil texture you have is to fill a jar with 2/3 water and 1/3 soil. Screw the lid on, shake it well and then let it sit on a flat surface where it won't be disturbed for a couple of days. Sand is the heaviest, and will settle to the bottom of the jar. The layer on top of the sand will be silt, and the top layer will be clay. Good loam will be about 45% sand, 35% silt, and 20% clay. Organic matter will float to the top. At the beginning of the season or if you are working on a new plot of soil expect to see very little organic matter, since for the most part we live in an alkali desert in Nevada.

Now that we have this all sorted out, the final question is how do we improve soil structure and incorporate organic matter into the soil. We at Greenhouse Garden Center have 3 soil amendments that we strongly recommend to correct both problems: Black Forest Compost, Bumper Crop Organic Compost, and Paydirt. Black Forest Compost and Bumper Crop work well to break up clay soils, aid in moisture retention and have mycorrhizae to add to the organic content of the soil. Because of the slow rate of decomposition of these products, they are also very beneficial in sandy soils for moisture retention. Paydirt is very well suited in repeat addition of organics into soil that is already more loamy. It also works very well as a top dressing on established lawns.

Utilizing organic fertilizers with beneficial microbes and mycorrhizae, such as DR. EARTH, is the final step in preparing your soil. For those who have a large area to prepare, Greenhouse Garden Center offers bulk options. So we encourage all gardeners to get out there and prepare to jump into spring by preparing your soil first.



March

ATTEND A SEMINAR - RECEIVE A COUPON FORUP TO 5 ITEMS AT A SAVINGS OF 15% - SEMINARS COST $2.00

 
March 7

Seminar, “Let's Get A Jump On Spring”, Speaker-David Ruf, 10 AM


MARCH 8

DAYLIGHT SAVINGS STARTS


March 14
Workshop, "Annual Pruning Clinic", Guest Speakers - David Ruf and Tom Henderson, Seminar begins 10 AM, with a hands on workshop to follow at 11 AM

March 18

Workshop, Make an Easter wreath with Nancy and Tiffany, 6 PM, Reservations $35.


March 21

Seminar, "What's The Buzz - Mason Bees And Their Habitats", Speaker - David Ruf, 10 AM

 
MARCH 21

SPRING HOURS BEGIN: NEW HOURS MON.-SAT. 9 AM-5:30 PM, SUNDAYS 10 AM-5 PM

 
MARCH 26
CLOSED -EMPLOYEE PROFESSIONAL TRAINING DAY
 
March 28

Seminar, “Start Your Engines, Planting Cool Season Crops", Speaker- David Ruf, 10 AM


recycling sundays
 

RECYCLING SUNDAYS

JOIN OUR RECYCLING CLUB. BRING BACK YOUR USED BLACK POTS ON SUNDAYS AND ENTER TO WIN A MONTHLY DRAWING FOR A $25 GIFT CERTIFICATE.


Mondays are Senior Days: 65 and older 10% discount

newsletter

memorial tree discount

ladies night out - March 18th

emplyoment
 

Landscape Office Assistant

This position requires interface with the Landscape Division. Applicant must be proficient in Work and Excel, have excellent customer and phone skills and be able to lift 50 pounds. Seasonal full time. Wages DOE. No phone calls. Apply Monday through Thursday and ask to speak with Lisa.


tree decline
 

Tree decline is a difficult term to define, because so many factors can cause it to occur. Some of the most common symptoms include stunted growth, premature leaf drop, late spring leaf development, sparse foliage, leaves that are light green or yellow and twig and branch die-back. Once in decline, trees often never recover - this is because the most visible signs of decline only become apparent after two or three years of stress. By this time, the tree has used up much of its reserves trying to survive. Helping trees avoid the perils of decline requires the homeowner to recognize what environmental conditions, both man-made and natural, cause the stress responses that lead to decline.

POOR GROWING CONDITIONS:
Many species of trees have specific site requirements, such as soil texture and pH, nutrient levels and drainage, afternoon protection from sun and wind that must exist for the tree to thrive and overcome other stresses. Urban landscapes create many other problems, such as poor soil quality, proximity of buildings, sidewalks, streets, utility pipelines and other trees.

DISEASES AND INSECTS:
Most trees are able to withstand some leaf loss, but several years of it due to insects and diseases can lead to decline. Many pests cannot survive in a healthy tree. Once a tree becomes weakened from drought, pests invade rapidly.

LOW TEMPERATURE INJURY:
There are three primary ways low temperature can affect trees. Winter desiccation, especially in evergreens, is caused by dry, freezing winter winds as the frozen ground prevents the tree from taking up water. Freeze damage can occur when late or early hard freezes hit before a tree has gone dormant or after a tree has come out of dormancy. Trees that are marginally hardy for colder zones are especially susceptible. Sunscald is common in thin-barked trees. Injury occurs one of two ways - either the living bark tissues suffer dehydration following exposure to winter sun light or tissues in the bark are killed due to rapid temperature changes after sundown in winter.

CHEMICAL INJURY:
Herbicides used in the lawn may have an adverse affect on trees, as can the the improper use of insecticides and fungicides. De-icing salts can also be harmful to trees, especially sensitive species such as crabapples and white pines.

PHYSICAL INJURY:
Adding or removing soil around trees can also cause stress to the root system, as well as the compacting effect of heavy equipment operated on top the root zone. Other equipment that removes bark, such as weed eaters or lawn mowers, may allow for insect and disease infestation and or an inability to transfer nutrients and energy up and down the tree.

GIRDLING ROOTS:
Occasionally, a root will grow around the circumference of a tree at or slightly below the surface of the soil, restricting water flow.

DROUGHT:
Short-term damage caused by one dry spell includes wilting, leaf scorch and some defoliation. Long-term damage happens over a period of years and includes stunted growth, branch die-back and possible death. Many woody plants can take up to three years after a drought to display negative long-term effects.

WHAT TO DO:
1. Start out right. Check with our sales staff to make sure that the tree you want to
purchase and plant is appropriate for the site you will be planting it in.
2. Avoid damage. Mechanical damage can be avoided by mulching a 4-foot diameter circle around the trunk 2 to 4 inches deep. Avoid mulching right up to the tree trunk.
3. Follow our planting guide and use the recommended soil amendments & organics.
4. Water well. Follow our suggested watering guide for newly planted trees. Trees may take up to two years to become established and may require more water than established trees. Winter watering in Northern Nevada is essential. Established trees prefer infrequent but deep watering. Once-a week watering is usually adequate for these trees. When in doubt, a soil probe is a handy tool to check moisture levels.
5. Fertilization. Proper fertilization helps the tree get the nutrients is needs. Our staff is prepared to help you determine what fertilizer is best for your needs. Some information provided by the Department of Horticulture, Iowa State University,
Ames, Iowa.


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what is new

Seasons, Greenhouse Garden Centers premier gift shop, has done it again. We are now featuring Pre de Provence French quad milled soaps and hand creams - with all natural ingredients, shea butter and delicious aromatic blends. We even have a soap made from honey, harvested in the lavender fields of Provence.

The trake garden tool may make your gardening tool bucket a little lighter once you start using it. You 'll realize it is the perfect all-in-one gardening tool useful as a planter, trowel, cultivator and weed remover.

Our Xtreme Gardening line has expanded this year. Especially for the hydroponic growers, we have added the Xtreme Tea. Besides using it in hydroponic applications it can also be used for cuttings and as a root drench on established plants. It's great for vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers.


Top 10 things to do in March
 
  1. Dig organic materials into your vegetable and flower gardens for bigger crops and more efficient water use. Paydirt, Bumper Crop and Black Forest Compost are three blended organic mixes that are perfect for flower and vegetable beds. All of these organic mixes now contain mycorrhizae, a beneficial fungus which will make your plants more drought-tolerant. One bag of any of these organic mixes will be enough for 50 square feet.

  2. This winter was very dry - and all plant material will be more stressed starting into this growing season, making trees and shrubs more susceptible to damage caused by insects. Apply Bonide Tree and Shrub and Insect Control on deciduous trees as well as evergreens to prevent borers, aphids and elm leaf beetles. This is a once-a-year soil drench application that eliminates the use of repeat sprayings with insecticides throughout the growing season. Apply Bayer Fruit, Citrus & Vegetable insect Control to fruit trees and vegetable gardens for annual insect control. Greenhouse Garden Center has received better pricing this year and is happy to pass that savings on to our valued customers. New this year is the Ferti-Lome Tree and Shrub Systemic Soil Drench available in a 2.5 Gallon container.

  3. Reserve Mason Bees now. They are early pollinators, which start pollinating long before honeybees come out of hibernation. A limited supply will be arriving mid-March.

  4. It is time to fertilize your lawn. Dr. Earth Lawn Food is 100% organic and contains beneficial mycorrhizae and microbes.

  5. There is still time to spray dormant oil and lime sulfur fungicide on fruit trees and roses to suffocate over-wintering insects and control disease.

  6. Apply Casoron early in the month, if you haven't done so yet. Casoron does not control weeds that are already up.

  7. Start planting cool-season crops in the garden. Carrots, peas, onions, cabbage and lettuce are some early-season favorites. For a complete list of cool-season crops, come into Greenhouse Garden Center and we will be happy to give you that hand-out.

  8. Spray Florel once a week for 3 weeks on the greenish flowers on elms and cottonwood and the red flowers on silver maples. NO SEEDS, NO COTTON AND NO BOXELDER BUGS!

  9. New garden stock is arriving every week. It's time to start to think about landscaping!

  10. Remove 80% of the salt water from the pond for healthy fish and plants. Add fresh water slowly over a 2 week period.
 
Featured Recipe: Mashed Potatoes with Cream Cheese

One of the easiest and most economical dishes you can make is mashed potatoes, but many people are afraid of having lumps in them or that they may not come out perfect! Here is a foolproof way to make super- smooth, creamy and delicious mashed potatoes and have them come out perfect every single time!

What You'll Need:

  • 4 large potatoes sliced lengthwise, then sliced lengthwise again (do not peel potatoes - the vitamins are in the skin!) Chop each slice with a rough dice (large chunks).
  • 1 8 oz. package of cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1 stick of butter or margarine at room temperature
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Step by Step:

  • Place rough-diced potatoes into a large pot, cover with cold water, place on a stove and bring to a boil uncovered. (If you cover, the starch in the water will make the water boil over.)
  • After the potatoes have boiled for 15 minutes, remove from heat and cover for 15 more minutes.
  • Drain potatoes and either place in a food processor or a mixing bowl (or if you are like myself, place in a regular bowl and use a hand mixer).
  • Add the cream cheese and butter. Mix on low at first, then gradually increase the speed to high.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste at the end of the mixing process, and mix again for approximately 2 minutes on high.

You will have the most incredible velvety smooth mashed potatoes ever. Make enough - seconds are always wanted!

Serves 4

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