Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Time to spray fruit trees!

Yesterday was Michael and my day off.  We awoke to a beautiful, sunny day and knew that we would spend it outside.  We have about two acres of gardens.......not for the faint of heart!  We began by cleaning out the vegetable garden and tilling in several amendments to our raised beds.  The raspberries needed to be pruned to the ground and raked out.  Michael dug two of our grapes out, opening a pathway a little larger so you could at least walk through that area in August without taking your loppers with you!
We, also, have a small orchard that needs attended to this time of year.  We have apples, cherries, peaches, plums, necterines, and a pear.  The following is what we do to them to assure a good crop..........as long as the weather cooperates and the blooms don't freeze.

This spraying schedule works for all fruit trees with a pit with the exception of apricots.  Spraying apricots can stunt their fruits.

We try to grow our produce organically at home so the copper or lime follow these organic principles.  Once in awhile we have to bring in the big guns and treat something that is not responding to organics but for the most part we will dig out the offender and destroy it.

I hope that this gives you a little information on keeping fruit trees.  If you need any help at all just let us know and we would be happy to walk you through it.

Blessings, Susan

Monday, February 15, 2010

Spring Beauty

Aren't you loving the spring weather? Despite the few days of rain here and there, I have been enjoying this beautiful, rather warm spring. I am able to get out in my garden more and more as the days go by and I am soaking in every minute. Working in the plant world, I am always so surprised by how fast each season goes by. Doesn't it feel like we were just harvesting our pumpkins?

Each season has it's own beauty. Something that makes it uniquely it's own. The stark, awakening beauty of spring makes the abundance of summer and fall all the more attractive, but I can't help but fall in love every time I see a bulb bravely peek it's head out of the cold soil brightening our outlooks. It feels like I begin to awake as my garden does.

I worked in my garden yesterday and saw so many things that excited me! I can't help but share!

My beautiful witch hazel!
(We have several varieties in full bloom down at the store,
you should come by just for a spring color cheer up!)

A fragrant white hyacinth

Did you know heucheras were an evergreen?

Bergenias are evergreen too...

Love my boxwoods!

Red Twig Dogwood is a winter favorite.

and of course...tulips!

One of my indoor beauties...Basil.
(started mid-December from seed)

Go out in your garden with a critical eye...figure out where you would like more spring color! There is no time like the present to make your garden (and life) more beautiful!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Bees, Bees, Bees!

Bees are vital to the success of our gardens. They are what pollinate our plants and make them grow and produce! Have you ever thought about helping your garden out by bringing in more beneficial bees? A way to do it is to put out bee boards, which are used to attract and house leafcutter bees. All of us should encourage beneficial bees to make their home in our gardens. Leafcutter bees are native, essential pollinators of wild plants and home gardens. The bees are always used to pollinate alfalfa seed fields as well. They are not aggressive unless they feel threatened, and if you do get stung it is very mild, much less painful than that of honeybees or yellowjacket wasps.

I have been very interested to learn more about bees, but thought that it might be a subject that a person wouldn't  know where to look to get started. Well, look no further! Come down to the store and talk with us about bees!  (We do have very good quality, redrilled bee boards (they have been used before and have been redrilled). They are the perfect board to attract leafcutter bees. They are easy to mount on a building or you can simply lean them up against a fence or wall and watch them fill up with leafcutter larvae. We do not buy these boards back but we do have information on who does. $5 per board- a great price if you have recently price checked for like item.)

The more I research bees, the more I learn about how many people (even people living in town) are doing what they can to attract bees to their garden! We all want amazingly productive gardens, and this is an easy way to do it!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Potato Gardening for the Space Challenged!

I have a fairly small garden (due to a city sized lot) so I am somewhat limited on planting any kind of space invading vegetable. While a potato plant itself doesn't take up much space, enough potato plants to get a good crop would take up quite a bit! I have always wanted to grow potatoes, but have never had the room to do it, or so I thought, until I came across a great idea in John Seymour's book 'The Self Sufficient Life and How to Live it' (great book, by the way). He instructed the reader on how to grow potatoes in a bin (pot or barrel) on your patio!

This is what he said: 'Growing potatoes in bins is particularly useful if your space if limited - even a patio will do. Take an old garbage can, and fill about a sixth of it with soil. Plant one or more potato sets. When the plants have grown, but before they flower, put another layer of soil on. Continue building up layers of soil as the plants appear, until they reach about 4 ft. When the potatoes are ready for harvesting, simply empty out the bin and you'll find you have a surpisingly heavy crop.'

If you suffer from lack of space, as I do, join me in trying this out!!! I am on the scout for a neat looking barrel, but if all else fails, I am going to grow them in a couple huge pulp pots (nested one on top of  the other, with the bottom of the top pot cut out so it can nest down on the base pot).

I would love to hear more ideas from you gardeners out there on what you do with your space!


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Save the Date!

Just wanted to make sure everyone knew our upcoming schedule!!!
Have a wonderful spring!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


I recently volunteered myself to design a new website for Andrews (a momentary lapse of sanity I think!) January tends to be a bit slower for us, so I thought I would use the time to tackle the project. After getting through the first moments of terror (yes..terror. Computers and I aren't always on the best of terms), when I thought I was going to have to resign myself from the task, I hit a stride and got it done! I had never done anything like it, but I like to learn new things. My skills went about as far as Microsoft Publisher and blogging, but building a website from nothing??? Scary. Well, I finally feel I have graduated-though I still have a TON to learn, and also have things I would still like to change with the site, there is now something to show for it...here it is! Check it out!

We wanted to make available to you our list of bulk seed and seed potato list as well as descriptions of all grass and pasture seeds. We have also heard quite a number of our customers express a desire to look through our Nursery supplier catalogs to see all the plants available for us to order. I have linked all these companies to the corresponding nursery page on the website. There is also a 'Calendar of Events' that contains all of this years seminars with a brief description of each class, as well as a Monthly Gardening To-Do List. I hope to soon add a forum where we can all discuss gardening issues and share tips! We all have things to share, and we all have things to learn!

Let me know what you think! I happily welcome any comments or suggestions you may have!