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Edition 20.05 H&H Gardening Newsletter January 30, 2020

3 day forecast

3 day forecast


GBO Blue Ribbon Blend
An exceptional potting soil for indoor and outdoor containers.

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Late January

If you haven't already done so, now is a good time to start carrots, lettuce, spinach, beets, and other cool-season crops.

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GBO Tomato, Vegetable & Herb Fertilizer
Helps produce more abundant, better tasting and more nutritious vegetables.

GBO Palm and Citrus
Especially formulated for the needs of palm, cactus, citrus & succulents.


GBO Rose and Flower Mix
Ideal for a variety of in-ground and container planting.

featured quote


"An addiction to gardening is not all bad when you consider all the other choices in life."
~ Cora Lea Bell

Fruit Tree Seminar Feb 3, 10-12

Fruit Tree Seminar Feb 3, 10-12Tom Spellman from Dave Wilson Nursery will be here to go over backyard orchard culture, planting tips and care for all your fruit trees.

Join us Sunday, 02/02/2020 from 10:00 to noon.

Due to the overwhelming response to our popular event, we are full to capacity.  This is a reminder to those that have signed up. The seminar is this Sunday, 02/02/2020 from 10:00 to noon.  Our parking lot will be very crowded, so carpooling, or Uber or Lyft is recommended.  Thank you for your understanding.  We look forward to seeing you here. 

Deciduous Fruit Trees are Here!
New deciduous fruit trees in 5 gal. size and up are 20% off until 02/29/2020.


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It's that time of year again when all of us who are in a relationship become fixated on palpably parading our affections; Valentine's Day should be a celebration of our love, and whether we’re celebrating our sweethearts, our spouses, our parents, or our friends, the gift of a floral plant is not only long-lasting, it also demonstrates a little creativity on our part. Red hearts of chocolates and bouquets of red roses are a lovely gesture, but what about this year taking a different direction?

A favorite for generations, the hydrangea evokes charm and grace with its large flower clusters and wide-ranging hues, from white to lime green to deep blue. In the Victorians' language of flowers it means "Thank you for understanding," but don't limit its gifting grandeur. A potted hydrangea in a container that you have chosen, especially tailored to the environment in which it will delight, will be a gift not soon forgotten.

One of the most graceful plants this gardener knows of is the calla lily. In the language of flowers it means beauty. Unique and lovely, the calla thrives on 70 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature at which most households are kept. Add a sunny location, evenly moist soil, and a water soluble fertilizer and your grateful recipient will have a notable new addition to their home.

The chromatic comeliness of the primrose truly makes it a statement, again in the language of flowers, of happiness and satisfaction. As it also means "I can't live without you," the surreal multi-colored shades of lipstick pink, deep blue, gold, yellow and purple might prove the most elegant and effective way to let your special someone know just how much they mean to you.

The Florist's cineraria, or Pericallis cruentus, sports brightly colored, daisy-like flowers with medium green, arrow-shaped leaves. While the flowers may be white, pink, or red, this popular gift plant from the Canary Islands is most spectacular in the blues and fuchsias.

However, if Valentine's Day just wouldn't seem right to you without the gift of roses, why not give a miniature tabletop version? A symbol of love, passion and perfection, the rose has earned its place on this holiday as it has been an emblem of love since ancient times.

Whatever you want to say, and however you choose to express it, we hope that you'll consider our suggestions for Valentine's Day alternatives that will truly make this year a memorable one for all of your loved ones.

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Dormancy is necessary for the health and life of fruit trees, which need a period of rest and cold to bring on their growing cycle in the spring; the safest time to transfer these young ones from the nursery to your garden is when they are in a state of dormancy. Whether you are planting bare root or containerized fruit trees, planting them in foreign soil requires a little bit of introduction. If you choose to plant bare root, the lack of soil around the root base means that the roots will grow into the native soil, the same soil they will remain in during their life span. This ensures a healthier, stronger tree.

Fruit trees like loose soil with good drainage, and sunny locations; poor drainage is particularly troublesome to cherries and apricots. If your soil conditions are less than perfect, but the location you've chosen is, why not plant your new additions in a raised bed? This allows you to completely control the soil into which you are placing the trees. Whether in your native soil or in a raised bed, your trees need not be planted too deeply; the root system is what should be underground, not any part of the trunk. If your soil is a heavy clay type, try adding a few shovelfuls of a good amendment, well mixed with the native soil. This will help break up clay soils and improves drainage.

No matter which kind of fruit tree you've chosen, practice patience. Choose smaller specimens, as the larger the tree the more out of balance will be the root to stem ratio. And while it may be momentarily painful, top your first year bare root off at 2 to 3 feet in height, with no side branches remaining. Doing this means that the scaffold, which is the lower side supporting structural branches, will be lower to the ground, making harvesting and pruning less of a chore.

Pests can be a problem, but if you are proactive, and treat during the cool, dormant months, it will prove much more effective than waiting until warmer weather as this is when pests become active. February is the perfect time to prune trees, with the exception of larger limbed apricots, which should be pruned in July or August or prior to winter rains. (Smaller limbed apricots can be pruned in January.) After pruning, apply dormant oil spray, before the buds open. This will provide effective control of over-wintering scale, mealy bugs, whiteflies, and mites. Be sure to take this time to apply dormant sprays to apples, apricots, pears and peaches. Most dormant sprays are copper-based; read instructions carefully and do not spray near bird feeders or ponds. Fixed copper sprays on cherries, peaches and plums will control canker; allow six weeks between applications of copper and any sprays containing sulfur.

Coming into March, apply a fixed copper spray to stone fruits only to control brown rot; do not use sulfur products on apricots.

Group together trees that have similar spraying needs, and those varieties of fruit trees that require pollinators. Bees and the wind will assist you with this, so how lucky if your neighbors have cultivars that are needed for pollination of your trees! And imagine how sweet that first bite of fruit will taste!

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Ten Things To Do When You Can't Garden

By Tamara Galbraith

So, the weekend comes, you've got a Gardening To-Do List as long as your arm...and the weather is miserable. Fortunately for gardeners, there's always a side project waiting--or an inside chore that needs doing. Here are ten ways to pass the time if you can't spend it outside gardening:

1. Clean your tools:
First, use a stiff brush to remove excess dirt, then scrub off rust with steel wool. Spray or wipe on a lubricating oil before storing in a dry area.

2. Clean your pots:
If you're like me, your garage and patio are littered with empty plant pots of varying sizes. Dump the excess dirt into the compost pile and rinse with water. If you suspect fungal disease was present in the pot, throw away the dirt, use a mild bleach solution to scrub the pot thoroughly with a stiff brush, and allow to air dry. Arrange and stack pots according to size, and store.

3. Tend to your houseplants:
Repot where necessary. Polish large leaved-plants with a soft cloth soaked in a mild solution of water and stale beer. If you want leaves to really shine, use a commercial plant-polishing product. However, waxes and oils tend to block plant pores and attract dust, so watch out for those.

4. Clean out old gardening products:
Determine which pesticides, fungicides, fertilizers, etc., are ready to be thrown out. (Most will last about two years.) Check with your local solid waste management authority, environmental agency, or health department to find out whether your community has a household hazardous waste collection program or a similar program for getting rid of unwanted, leftover pesticides. Whatever you do, please DON'T pour products--even organic ones--down the sink, into the toilet, or down a sewer or street drain. And don't re-use empty containers--just throw them away.

5. Go through your seeds:
Seeds more than two years old should probably be thrown away. If you're not sure, test their viability by folding a few seeds in a wet paper towel and laying the towel someplace warm for a few days, ensuring it remains damp. If the seeds germinate, they're obviously still ok. The best way to store seeds is in screw-lid jars or in zip-top plastic baggies.

6. Start a scrapbook:
Go through old gardening magazines and cut out favorite pictures, articles, growing tips, etc.; then organize them and paste in a scrapbook. This can actually be a winter-long project if you've got stacks and stacks of gardening magazines--as I do.

7. Learn something new:
Interested in trying bonsai but not sure where to start? Want to learn the basics of designing an attractive container arrangement? Get on the Internet and do some searching. There's a world of resources out there.

8. Pamper your orchids:
Got orchids? You should decrease the amount of water given to orchids (and all indoor plants, actually) during the winter months, but before you help them shut down for the season, make sure the sphagnum moss and other rooting medium is still fresh. Roots should be white or green and not brown and soggy. If you're getting root rot, change the moss out and trim off bad roots.

9. Start a garden journal:
Keeping records of what works and what doesn't is invaluable in gardening. Taking pictures of your landscape throughout the seasons is also helpful in determining how to tweak here and there.

10. Visit us:
Hop in the car and come visit us. Treat yourself to new houseplants or some new gardening tools. You've worked hard all summer and fall, so you deserve it!

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Garden Primer
What's the difference between chewing, rasping and sucking insects?


The mouthparts of insects have adapted over time to suit the feeding style of each type of insect. Mouth parts differ from insect to insect, so the damage that they cause is useful in the classification and identification of the pest. Differentiating the type of insect damage will help you determine how to control the pest.

A chewing insect is any insect that has teeth. Most winged chewing insects (such as beetles, caterpillars and grasshoppers) feed only on leaf tissue, working from the leaf edge towards the center and eventually to the leaf stem. Crawling chewing insects, such as cutworms, will also eat roots and even stems of small plants.

Rasping insects (such as mites, snails, slugs and thrips) actually scrape off the surface of the leaves as sandpaper would. They suck up the fluids from the top layer of cells until all the green tissue has been consumed, leaving only the skeleton behind.

Sucking insects (such as aphids and whiteflies) have slender mouth parts with which they pierce leaves and stems to suck out plant fluids. Large populations can cause curling, yellowing and distortion of leaves, as well as stunting of shoots. Most sucking insects also produce large quantities of a sticky substance known as honeydew, which often turns black with the growth of a sooty mold fungus.

If you're not sure what type of insect is attacking your plant, just bring in a sample and one of our nursery experts will recommend a remedy to help your plant.

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Slow Cooker French Dip

What You'll Need:

  • 4 pounds rump roast (make sure it will fit in your crockpot)
  • 1 (10.5 ounce) can beef broth
  • 1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed French onion soup
  • 1 (12 ounce) can or bottle dark beer (stout recommended)
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder (or to taste)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 French or hoagie rolls
  • Approx. 2 tablespoons butter
  • Optional: sliced provolone cheese

Step by Step:

  • Trim any excess fat from the rump roast, and place in a slow cooker.
  • Add the broth, onion soup, garlic powder, salt, pepper and beer (tip: if you don't have stout or want a deeper flavor, add some browning sauce--like Kitchen Bouquet).
  • Cook on low for 8 hours. (Cooking time may vary depending on crockpot.)
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Split the rolls, and spread with butter (and/or cheese).
  • Bake until heated through and cheese is melted.
  • Slice the meat on the diagonal, and place on the rolls.
  • Put sauce in bowls for dipping.
Serves 6