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Edition 20.09 H&H Gardening Newsletter February 27, 2020

3 day forecast

3 day forecast


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Keep up with the harvest of cool-season crops, such as peas, lettuces, and spinach. It will encourage more production. Continue to plant successions of these fast-growers for production over the next several weeks.

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GBO Palm and Citrus
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GBO Rose and Flower Mix
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"Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed."

~Francis Bacon

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Deciduous Fruit Trees
are Here!

New deciduous fruit trees in 5 gal. size and up are 20% off only until 02/29/2020.


Please click here to see our 2020 Rose Selection


Pulp Pot Pricing Good Only until February 29th
Take Advantage of early-season pricing!

For example, 5 gal bush roses are currently from 17.99 to 22.99. The established pricing in the 5 gal will be 25.99. 

Companion veggies
There are many things to consider when starting your vegetable garden. Companion planting is a very important one, and has more benefits than just allowing you to plant more in your garden. Companion planting is the technique of combining two plants for a particular purpose. That purpose is often pest control. Some companion plants work to hide, repel, or even trap pests.

Garlic and onions release odors that deter some insects from visiting their companion vegetables, such as tomatoes or strawberries. Mint keeps cabbage loopers off cabbage; basil discourages tomato hornworms from tomatoes--plus it tastes good on your tomatoes or in the tomato sauce that you will be making later!

Other companion plants have a different role--to attract, feed, and provide shelter to beneficial insects. Beneficial insects will consume the pest insects that we want to eliminate from vegetable or flower gardens. Or they may lure pests away. Nasturtiums lure aphids away from vegetables (and roses for that matter) and they have the added benefit of having an edible, peppery flower.

Some plants are complementary to each other and thereby are great companions; they like being close together in small space. For example, you may plant deep-rooting squash close to shallow-rooting onions. Their roots occupy different soil levels and don't compete.

Some plants need many soil nutrients (cabbage, corn, eggplant, and squash) and these can be combined with light feeders such as garlic and beans. So take the time to plan out and arrange some companion plants for your vegetable garden today, and enjoy the fruits of your labor during the harvest season.

Dieffenbachia, also known as dumb cane, is a fairly hearty houseplant that has beautiful foliage.Dieffenbachia will grow well with a variety of lighting conditions, and can take some serious neglect and keep coming back.

Dieffenbachia is somewhat temperamental when it comes to watering. It likes a good soak, followed by a dry period. If it stays too wet, you will see yellowing of the leaves, browning along the edges, or rotting of the canes. Yellowing and browning can generally be fixed by letting the plant properly dry out before watering again, but rot is irreversible. Conversely, if the plant goes too long without water or if the room it is in is too dry, it can be susceptible to mites and the leaves may dry up.

Dieffenbachia tends to look best in a smaller bushy form. Keeping it in a small-ish pot will keep it this way, around 2' tall. Repotting should be done infrequently, as a larger pot will allow it to grow MUCH larger, up to 10-12' tall. Use a good potting soil in your pot, not garden soil.

Dieffenbachia can bounce back from most forgetfulness, but if your neglect goes a little too far, it has a "nuclear option." You can cut the plant down to just canes, and it will generally grow back just like it was before. Try to learn from your previous mistakes, monitoring moisture before you water to ensure proper hydration and prevent rot.

While trimming the plant back, save some of the canes for replanting. Propagation can be acheived by slicing off sections of the cane (about 2-3" long) and planting them about half-way into the soil. Keep the soil moist and you will see leaves growing in a matter of a couple weeks.

Take into consideration that dieffenbachia is poisonous to ingest. Even getting sap on the skin can cause burning and reddening of the skin. Keep out of reach of pets and children.

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Pruning Deciduous Fruit Trees

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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Garden Primer

Can you grow grass in shade?


That depends on how much shade you actually have. Fescue types of grass will tolerate shade better than most grasses. You can also use a shady blend grass seed, but even shade-tolerant grasses need a certain amount of sunshine to grow. Ultimately, the way you manage your shady lawn is more important than which seed type you select.

Five practices that will help your shade-tolerant grass survive in the shade:

  • First, mow your grass higher. Grass in the shade should be cut approximately 1/2 to 1 inch higher than the grass growing in full sunlight. This will allow more leaf area to intercept the limited amount of sunlight.
  • Second, fertilize less often, at half the normal amount so the grass won't try to grow what it can't support.
  • Third, water more (and deeply) in the hot summer months, so the grass is not stressed by heat.
  • Fourth, selectively prune and thin limbs of heavy shade producing trees to allow more light to reach your lawn. Remove all limbs below ten feet. Rake and remove leaves or needles before they accumulate.
  • Finally, try to minimize traffic and activities in the shaded grass areas during the summer months. This will reduce the wear stress on the turf. If the grass is in a path where traffic cannot be avoided, place stepping-stones or pine bark to create a trail.

If you combine these suggestions, you should notice a much healthier lawn. If none of this works, consider replacing your shaded area with shade-loving flowers, groundcover, or mulch.

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Time Change

Daylight Saving Time begins at 2 am on Sunday, March 8, 2019, 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.

Crock pot corned beef and cabbage
  • 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.