Planting Trees and Shrubs:
It's time to get planting again. The pleasant weather is great for planting perennials, ground covers, herbs, roses, and trees and shrubs. It's also ideal for planting native plants, trees, shrubs, and perennials. And don't forget native wildflowers. They'll germinate beautifully with the winter rains.
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6220 Lakewood Blvd
Lakewood, CA 90712
Mon.-Fri.: 7:30 to 5:00
Sat. 8:00 to 5:00
Sunday: 9:00 to 4:00
FEATURED QUOTE :
"Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed."
Daylight Saving Time begins at 2 am on Sunday, March 9, 2014, so be sure to set your clocks forward one hour! Your clocks should be set from 2:00 a.m. local standard time, to 3:00 a.m. local daylight time.
We remember to change our clocks by the phrase "Spring forward, fall back." As spring begins soon, why not embrace this season of renewal, and replace the batteries in all of your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. This simple act will help assure the safety of your family; properly working detectors save thousands of lives each year.
Starting Sunday, March 9th, we will be changing our hours.
Mon. - Fri.: 7:30 - 5:30
Sat.: 8:00 - 5:30
Sun.: 9:00 - 4:30
- This month roses will begin their first bloom. For those of you who were waiting to select a new rose plant until you could see the actual flower, this will be the month to stop by the garden center and stroll through the roses!
- Azaleas and camellias are best planted while blooming. They began their blooming in February, so March is right in the middle of their blooming season. DON'T feed your camellias until they have completed their blooming! If you do, they will drop all remaining buds and you will be so very unhappy, thinking that you killed your shrub. Fertilize to reward the plant AFTER the blooming ends.
- Spring color plants are arriving! Color up your gardens with perennials and annuals. Look for perennials such as campanula, columbine, coral bells, delphinium, foxglove (digitalis), diascia, penstemon, salvia, yarrow and so much more. Great annuals to pick from include celosia, coleus, dianthus, linaria, lobelia, marigolds, nicotiana, petunias, salvias, and verbena.
- There is still time for planting bulbs!
- Ladies and gentlemen: Start your vegetable gardens! Such veggies as the cabbage family (cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli), squash, lettuce, spinach, peppers, and cool season tomatoes will be in this month. This is also a good time not only to prune back herbs from last year, but also add in new plants such as chives, parsley, rosemary, sage, tarragon, and thyme.
- Fertilize your lawns.
- Fertilize your roses.
- Snails will be coming out to munch on the tender new growth. Time to purchase your favorite snail bait.
- Now is the time to divide perennials such as agapanthus, callas, daylilies, rudbeckia, and daisies. Those with fuchsias can cut them back two-thirds toward the main branches. Remember to leave 2-5 leaf bud/scars for new growth.
- You can begin pruning your ornamental shrubs (pittosporum, boxwood, etc.) for hedges. Wait to prune spring-flowering shrubs and trees until their blooming is over.
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No doubt about it. Blueberries are hot right now! And rightly so--not only are they delicious, they have many, many health benefits as well:
1. They offer the highest amount of antioxidants of any fresh fruit, which means they are excellent disease-fighters and are a prime player in the anti-aging arena.
2. Recent studies suggest that consuming blueberries helps reduce belly fat, body weight and total fat mass; this is very encouraging news for those concerned with cardiovascular health.
3. Blueberries help promote urinary tract health by helping to inhibit the growth of certain bacteria that cause urinary tract infections.
4. Consuming blueberries has been shown to prevent or delay certain age-related eye problems such as macular degeneration, cataract, nearsightedness, farsightedness, dry eye and eye infections.
5. Blueberries contribute to brain health by preventing degeneration and death of neurons; some studies even suggest they are particularly helpful in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.
6. Their high fiber content, as well as the vitamins and other compounds found in blueberries help improve digestion.
7. Blueberries are an excellent dietary source for preventing cancer, because of their high antioxidant content.
8. Blueberries are considered a great, natural antidepressant--and all without the side effects of prescription drugs!
Here's more good news--while blueberry fields were once the domain of those areas with relatively cool summer temperatures, that is no longer the case. Both rabbiteye and southern highbush types of blueberries can be grown in areas that experience high summer temperatures, given the right growing conditions.
What conditions do blueberries require?
1. They MUST be grown in an acidic soil.
This requirement cannot be stressed enough--in fact, soil that is too alkaline is the primary reason for blueberry failure.
When planting your blueberries, dig a large hole (the larger, the better) and fill it with pure acid planting mix. As an alternative (many experts consider this the best way to grow blueberries in heavy and/or alkaline soils, as it is easier to control the pH of the soil in a container), plant them in a large container filled with an acid planting mix.
When it is time to fertilize your blueberries, feed them with an acidic fertilizer.
A pH meter will be helpful in making sure the pH level remains between 4.09 and 5.0. Applications of soil sulphur, as needed, will help to keep the soil acidic.
2. They need ample water, but good drainage.
Before planting in an area where soil may not have good drainage, perform the following test:
Dig your hole and fill it with water 2-3 times. If at any point, the water stands in the hole for longer than about 15 minutes, you will need to correct the drainage before planting your blueberry. This can be done by digging a deeper hole or treating the area with gypsum or soil penetrant--ask us for recommendations.
3. Grow your blueberries in full sun, if possible (although they will tolerate part shade, you may not get as good a crop).
Visit us soon for more helpful hints about getting your blueberry patch going and for variety recommendations for our area.
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All deciduous fruit trees need to be pruned at least once a year for good shape and to bear fruit. The rule of thumb with pruning deciduous fruit trees is to prune while the trees are dormant, after the leaves have fallen to the ground but before new buds have swelled.
Each type of fruit tree needs to be pruned differently, so it's important to know which kind of tree you're pruning and how to prune it properly. For example, apples bear their fruit on spurs (short stubby branches growing off main branches) that bear again and again, sometimes for as long as twenty years. If you whack off all the spurs you'll have no fruit. However, peaches and nectarines bear their fruit on one-year-old wood. By pruning them hard, you encourage new growth to replenish fruiting wood.
The best shape also differs among types. Apple and pear trees, for instance, do best with a central trunk, with shorter branches at the top, longer ones on the bottom. Peaches and plums do best with an open-center shape (kind of like a bowl).
No two trees, even of the same type, can be pruned exactly alike; basic guidelines will apply differently according to the placement of their branches, their age, and their overall vigor. If you're not an expert, follow a pruning manual (one that contains charts) that applies to your climate and type of tree.
When you buy a fruit tree, ask us for the best pruning method to use for that tree. Pruning a young tree properly to start with will save you a lot of time and effort later. Trees that branch lower are easier to spray, cover, and pick the fruit from.
If you are dealing with a large old tree that has been neglected for some time, keep in mind that it may require several years of pruning to bring it back to where it should be. Your primary goal is to open the tree so that sunlight can penetrate inside of the foliage during the fruiting season and to shorten the taller limbs to bring the fruit production down to a more manageable height.
It is safest to call a professional to do the high work and any large branch removal for you. They have the experience and equipment needed.
Remember after pruning deciduous fruit trees to clean up the ground under the tree and follow up immediately with dormant spray.
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- 1 (3 to 4 lb.) corned beef brisket
- 1 large head cabbage quartered and rough chopped
- 8 peppercorns
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled
- 4-5 parsnips
- 1-2 turnips
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 pound carrots, peeled
- 6 large potatoes
- 1 stalk celery, chopped thin
- 3 whole cloves, sliced lengthwise
- 1/2 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper, ground
Step by Step:
- Wash brisket. Using a small sharp knife, cut tiny X slits in the meat and insert garlic clove slices.
- Place the meat in a large crock pot and cover with water. Add bay leaves, peppercorns, Old Bay, 2 whole carrots and sliced celery.
- Heat on high for 30 minutes. Check to be sure meat has reached 160° (if not, cook on high a bit longer). Then skim off the foam and set the heat to low.
- Quarter the cabbage, peel potatoes, carrots, turnips and parsnips. Slice uncooked vegetables into 2 inch chunks.
- Add uncooked vegetables and continue to cook on low for 3 hours, or until vegetables are tender. Remove bay leaves.
- Drain and serve with honey Dijon mustard, or a mustard less spicy if desired.