Plant bulbs now in Western Washington to enjoy spring blooms

This is a great week to purchase bulbs at the local nursery is as soon as you see them for sale, and add spring flowering bulbs to your landscape.

Western Washington has the perfect climate for growing tulips, daffodils, crocus and other spring bloomers as our mild winters and early springs are similar to what they experience in Holland, considered the bulb growing capital of the world.

The year of 2020 may be remembered for many negative things, but this month may be your chance to change the cycle of loss and lamenting and make 2020 the year you added hundreds of spring flowering bulbs that will perennialize and return for years in defiance of the darkness that was COVID-19.

This fall I will be adding more “Angelique” tulips to my front garden as this double pink variety looks like a peony but with a shorter stem that won’t flop over in the rain. I also will add more of the orb-shaped blue blooms of the flowering onion or alliums. The Allium “Globemaster” has huge blooms on stems up to 3 feet tall, and as members of the onion family this showstopper is naturally pest resistant.

Best bulb planting questions

Q. I have planted bulbs in the past and they have never bloomed. I know that down below the ground mice gnaw on my tulips, then if a few survive and get ready to bloom the deer move in to chomp off the buds! I am done with tulips. Are there any pest resistant bulbs?

A. Daffodils to the rescue! Mice and deer will not destroy daffodil bulbs underground or daffodil blooms above ground, so this is the good-to-go bulb for spring color in areas where deer roam free. You will need to protect daffodils from slugs and snails once the new shoots emerge in the spring. Like all bulbs, they need well-drained soil so they don’t rot in the winter rains.

Q. My soil is rock hard and full of rocks. It is difficult to dig holes for bulbs. Any suggestions for a lazy gardener?

A. I have two ideas for “no dig” bulb planting. The first is to scratch the soil, set the bulbs on top then cover the bulbs with 6-8 inches of topsoil. If you don’t want to have topsoil delivered to your home (deliveries are usually at least 10 yards, a huge amount that can be used on lawns as well as beds) you can purchase garden soil or raised bed soil in bags at home center stores or nurseries. Just open the bag of soil and pour it on top of the bulbs. Cover with a wood chip mulch to keep the mound of soil in place.

Q. How deep should I plant my bulbs? I have crocus, daffodils, tulips and hyacinths to plant.

A. The general rule of green thumb is to plant bulbs two to three times as deep as the height of the bulb. If you have squirrels, plant your bulbs

Read more

Rare cheese plant stolen from New Zealand botanical garden ‘could fetch thousands on black market’

A rare indoor plant has been stolen from the Christchurch Botanic Gardens amid a boom in the houseplant industry.

The variegated monstera is hard to come by in New Zealand due to biosecurity laws, making it prized among Kiwi houseplant lovers.

Christchurch plant enthusiast Bridget Rennie told Stuff that even a cutting of the plant could fetch NZ$3,000 (£1,500).


She added: “The leaves are like fingerprints, no two are the same. It’s a very rare, very slow-growing plant. I only know of two people who own that plant.

“I’m angry, I’m disappointed, I’m really sad, every emotion you can imagine.”

Wolfgang Bopp, director of the Botanic Gardens told Stuff that the thief must have been “quite athletic” as they had to have scaled a high safety glass wall to reach the prized plant.

The gardens had begun installing security cameras at the time of the theft, but they were not operational when the daylight theft took place on September 19.

He said that the plant possessed “particularly nice” vegetation.

Mr Bopp added: “The thing I find sad is due to the selfishness of one or two individuals we can no longer share this plant with the public. It was there to be enjoyed.”

Source Article

Read more

Amalgamated makes sugar from Idaho farmers at Nampa plant

Amalgamated Sugar Co.’s Nampa plant takes sugar beets from Idaho farmers and converts it to packaged sugar for food businesses and consumers, and to other sugar-related products, including molasses.

Amalgamated Sugar Co.’s Nampa plant takes sugar beets from Idaho farmers and converts it to packaged sugar for food businesses and consumers, and to other sugar-related products, including molasses.

Idaho Statesman

This story was first published Oct. 25, 2014, under the headline, “Sugar beets to sugar bag: Everything you never knew about what goes on inside Nampa’s Amalgamated plant, including why it smells.”

Paul Rasgorshek walked over rows of sugar beets, their stalks and thick leaves already lopped and picked up by machinery, leaving white nubs shining like white dollar coins as the beets awaited harvesting.

It was Oct. 16, a few days into the beet harvest at Rasgorshek Farms about 10 miles southwest of Nampa. Rasgorshek, like the rest of the beet farmers in the Treasure Valley, was working against the calendar to get his beets out of the ground and delivered by Thanksgiving.

The day before, his crews had to stop harvesting at 3 p.m. to prevent the beets from warming higher than the 55-degree maximum permitted by the buyer of all Idaho sugar beets, Amalgamated Sugar Co. This day was a little cooler, and Rasgorshek hoped his crews could work a longer day, running machinery that slices off the tops and harvesting the beets. Cloudy skies help.

“Most people don’t like inversions, but we love them,” Rasgorshek said. “It keeps them cold. With the big crops we had this year and last year, we’ll throw beets away if we aren’t careful.”

Sugar beets are big business in Idaho, where about 4,000 workers are directly involved in growing and harvesting beets and 1,500 work in processing. About 450 growers are members of the Snake River Sugar Co., the co-op that owns Amalgamated. The company buys all of the sugar beets harvested in Idaho, Washington and Oregon, and brings in around $1 billion a year in revenue.

The Nampa plant, which can be seen and smelled from Interstate 84, employs 400 Treasure Valley residents year-round, and an additional 100 during the five-month peak starting with the harvest.

1024 local beets 04
Beet harvesting in Paul Rasgorshek’s fields southwest of Nampa. Katherine Jones Idaho Statesman

This is Rasgorshek’s 32nd beet harvest. He farms 175 acres of sugar beets, a small sum considering the rest of his 5,200 acres are devoted to alfalfa seed, mint, wheat, onion and carrot seed.

Rasgorshek, 52, is optimistic his tonnage will beat last year’s yield of 43 tons per acre. He’s also hoping for higher than 17% sugar content, which affects the price he receives from Amalgamated.

Sugar beets are threatened in the Valley and across the U.S. A glut of sugar from Mexico, Brazil and elsewhere flooded the market and drove down prices for domestic growers. Idaho sugar beet cash receipts fell 37 percent during the past two harvests despite strong yields.

The fate of the domestic sugar industry might lie with a lawsuit filed by U.S. sugar processors — including Amalgamated — with the International Trade Commission charging that Mexico producers have strategically sold for

Read more

Desert Botanical Garden 2020 fall plant sale: Reservations required

CLOSE

In the market for a new cactus to spruce up your yard? The fall plant sale at Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix has what you are looking for and then some.  

The 2020 fall plant sale will be a bit different than in the past due to COVID-19 restrictions, but there is still ample opportunity to purchase cactuses, succulents and other plants.

The sale will be open for three weekends in October and garden members get first crack. The sale opens on Oct. 16 for members and Oct. 17 for the general public.  New this year: Reservations are required. Book yours at https://dbg.org/events/fall-plant-sale-2020.

What kinds of plants will be available? 

The plant sale is divided up into sections including cactus, agave, shrubs, butterfly plants and trees. 

Tina Wilson, the garden’s director of horticulture, said in an email that they have “a lot of new aloes this year to check out, along with an assortment of cactus and succulent collectibles.”

She said the sale will have plants that people are looking to replace after a hot, dry summer. The sale will be restocked throughout the week.

As for cost, it ranges. Wilson said potted plants are generally $5 to $150, but some special boxed specimens can go for up to $800. 

How has the plant sale been modified for COVID-19?

Reservations and timed entry is intended to help reduce crowding at the plant sale. The following safety measures have been implemented:

  • Face coverings are required for anyone 6 or older.
  • No cash transactions. All major credit cards are accepted.
  • Sanitized shopping carts are available.
  • Guests must maintain 6 feet of distance. 
  • Curbside pickup and plant delivery are available.

Desert Botanical Garden fall plant sale

Where: 1201 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix.

When: 7 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Members only on Oct. 16, 23 and 30. Open to the public on Oct. 17, 18, 24, 25, 31 and Nov. 1.

Details: Make reservations at dbg.org/events/fall-plant-sale-2020.

Reach the reporter at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @DrShaena.

Support local journalism. Subscribe to azcentral.com today.

Read or Share this story: https://www.azcentral.com/story/entertainment/events/2020/09/25/desert-botanical-garden-fall-plant-sale-2020-reservations-required/3517175001/

Source Article

Read more

Why plant a pollinator garden? | Home & Garden

The Tucson Audubon Society also encourages people to have pollinator gardens, even small ones. Their Habitat at Home program, run by Kim Matsushino, helps homeowners design and even plant pollinator-friendly gardens. Matsushino describes it as “A self guided step-by-step program that’s designed to help homeowners, neighborhoods and HOAs…to create outdoor spaces that are productive for birds, pollinators and other wildlife.” There are four levels of the program, from a small balcony garden for apartment dwellers to full-size, multi-acre habitats. “No matter how big or small your plot of land is, you can still provide beneficial habitat,” Matsushino says, and the program encourages people with all levels of experience in gardening.

Campbell says that pollinator plants tend to do very well in pots, another plus for people with small spaces. Hummingbirds are fairly easy to plant for, but gardeners will want to make sure there’s always something blooming, so that a year-round food source is present (more on this in Part 2). Campbell also encourages gardeners to consider how much food and resources there are for hummingbirds in their area. “You might want to think about supplementing with a hummingbird feeder that you keep very clean and refill to help get the hummingbirds through the nesting season so that their babies don’t die.”

Audubon is helping insects for a number of reasons. “Insects are a huge source of food for birds. So having them still be around is very important to our bird populations,” says Matsushino. The pollinator crisis has also got Audubon’s attention. “We realized that we have to do something for them. And creating bird habitat is very similar to creating pollinator habitat. It’s just a few extra little components that need to be done in order to suit pollinators.”

Source Article

Read more

Why plant a pollinator garden? | Home + Life + Health

The Tucson Audubon Society also encourages people to have pollinator gardens, even small ones. Their Habitat at Home program, run by Kim Matsushino, helps homeowners design and even plant pollinator-friendly gardens. Matsushino describes it as “A self guided step-by-step program that’s designed to help homeowners, neighborhoods and HOAs…to create outdoor spaces that are productive for birds, pollinators and other wildlife.” There are four levels of the program, from a small balcony garden for apartment dwellers to full-size, multi-acre habitats. “No matter how big or small your plot of land is, you can still provide beneficial habitat,” Matsushino says, and the program encourages people with all levels of experience in gardening.

Campbell says that pollinator plants tend to do very well in pots, another plus for people with small spaces. Hummingbirds are fairly easy to plant for, but gardeners will want to make sure there’s always something blooming, so that a year-round food source is present (more on this in Part 2). Campbell also encourages gardeners to consider how much food and resources there are for hummingbirds in their area. “You might want to think about supplementing with a hummingbird feeder that you keep very clean and refill to help get the hummingbirds through the nesting season so that their babies don’t die.”

Audubon is helping insects for a number of reasons. “Insects are a huge source of food for birds. So having them still be around is very important to our bird populations,” says Matsushino. The pollinator crisis has also got Audubon’s attention. “We realized that we have to do something for them. And creating bird habitat is very similar to creating pollinator habitat. It’s just a few extra little components that need to be done in order to suit pollinators.”

Source Article

Read more

Plant, weed and water: Garden Club beautifies the gateways to Old Greenwich


Old Greenwich

The Garden Club of Old Greenwich, which is now in its 96th year, has been busy at work throughout 2020.

The club spent the spring and summer working on projects, including planting brightly colored flower beds along both sides of Sound Beach Avenue and putting in flower pots and containers along Sound Beach Avenue and Arcadia Road down to the Post Office and along the fire house.


This team effort involved all 65 active club members who have “made beautifying the village a priority,” the Garden Club said in a statement. The work also includes weekly trips for watering, weeding and deadheading plants in the village gardens and at Greenwich Point.

Garden Club members also contributed their own plants from their gardens to help with the beautification efforts.



“They worked to beautify the ports of entry into Old Greenwich by planting beautiful flower pots at the train station and by completely refurbishing the Gateway Garden at the corner of the Post Road and Sound Beach Avenue,” the club said. “Members also weeded, watered and maintained the butterfly garden at Greenwich Point, an important Monarch butterfly waystation.”


Efforts went beyond just beautification. Club members sewed and distributed hundreds of face masks for front-line workers during coronavirus pandemic. The club has also worked closely with Girl Scouts to plan and maintain a “secret garden” at Old Greenwich School.

Coming up, the club will sell bulbs for resident to plant and enjoy. To place an order, visit www.gardenclubofoldgreenwich.org.


Old Greenwich

A public meeting has been scheduled to discuss replacing the Wesskum Wood Road bridge that goes over Binney Park Brook.

According to the Department of Public Works, the preliminary design of the bridge

Read more

6 Phoenix-area plant shops that offer pick-up or delivery

CLOSE

Inside Dig It Gardens, customers can find house plants. The store switched to appointment-only shopping to stop the spread of coronavirus. (Photo: Courtesy: Agnes Art & Photo)

If you’ve ever thought about starting an indoor garden, there’s no time like the pandemic — er, present.

For those of us spending more time at home than usual lately, plants offer more benefits than just beautifying your space.

Studies have found that indoor plants can reduce stress and improve your mood and productivity — a nice perk if you’re still working from home. Some houseplants like pothos and snake plants can even remove toxins and purify the air in your home, according to a NASA study. 

The best part of starting an indoor garden is that you can do it — and support local businesses — almost entirely from home. Here are six metro-Phoenix plant shops that offer pick-up and/or delivery.

Pueblo 

Pueblo, located in the Historic Garfield District, has been “Downtown Phoenix’s plant shop” since 2015. They sell a variety of plants, candles, pottery and more.

If you see a plant you like on their Instagram page, you can call to purchase it and schedule a pick-up. Their Instagram also features pots and planters for sale, store updates and the occasional picture of Ben, the shop’s cutest (and furriest) employee. 

Pueblo recently opened a second location in Venice, California, with plans to expand the Phoenix shop too, according to a recent Instagram post.

Location: 1102 E. Pierce St., Phoenix, AZ 85006.

Hours: Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Dig It Gardens 

Just outside downtown Phoenix, Dig It Gardens offers “diverse plant material, unique pottery and a positive vibe,” according to their website.

The shop’s website lists plants by height and price, so you can find one that perfectly fits your space and place a pick-up order online. 

Bonus: Dig It Gardens frequently updates their Instagram with discounts, new plants and other quirky items for sale.

Location: 3015 N. 16th St., Phoenix, AZ 85016.

Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

READ MORE:A moment of zen: You can book a private shopping appointment at this Phoenix plant store

Summer Winds Nursery 

With locations in Glendale, Mesa and Phoenix, Summer Winds Nursery has houseplants available for pick-up and limited delivery options.

You can order by phone or email now, but an online store is expected to open by the end of September,the shop confirmed in an email. 

If you’re new to the plant world, Summer Winds Nursery may be a good place to start. Their website offers everything from plant information to a quiz for “which houseplant matches your personality.” 

Bonus: Summer Winds Nursery’s Plant Guarantee allows customers to return or exchange a plant that doesn’t “grow and thrive” when using their staff’s recommended procedures.

Locations:

  • Phoenix: 17826 N. Tatum Blvd., Phoenix, AZ 85032.
  • Glendale: 6426 W. Bell Road, Glendale, AZ 85308.
  • Mesa: 3160 S. Country Club Drive, Mesa, AZ 85210.
Read more

This is the best time to plant a vegetable garden in Florida

Carol Cloud Bailey, Special to TCPalm
Published 10:01 a.m. ET Sept. 16, 2020

CLOSE

Make sure you follow these 3 tips for a healthy vegetable garden.

USA TODAY

We are all spending more time at home these days. I hope you have not given up on gardening; it is a challenging endeavor during the heat and humidity of summer. However, gardening season is upon us; the temperatures really will go down and the garden will flourish. It is time to plant the garden! Fresh veggies will soon grace our tables.

Granny Cloud always had a fall garden; she grew beans, squash, tomatoes, and onions – her favorites. The point is that if you are from somewhere else, it just doesn’t seem right to plant veggies in the fall. But this is the perfect time for growing most folks’ favorite vegetables, put a few in the ground or in a container, both work for many veggies. Vegetable gardening is a life-affirming activity.  Working with family is both an exercise in cooperation and exercise for the body. Fresh veggies bring a smile and a promise of good things to come.

The bean variety ‘Trionfo Violetto’ is an heirloom vegetable. It is a red/purple Italian pole bean with great flavor. Harvest the pods young, about 60 – 75 days from seed sowing. Other good green bean varieties for Florida gardens include bush type beans Bush Blue Lake, Contender, and Bush Baby, and pole type beans Dade, McCaslan, and Blue Lake. Plant beans in full sun from September through April in South Florida. (Photo: CONTRIBUTED BY CAROL CLOUD BAILEY)

If this is the first garden planted or one that has been in the ground five years or more, a soil test is a good thing. Soil testing provides a look at the condition and contents of the soil, including pH and some nutrient levels. Many garden centers and nurseries offer soil tests to their customers. There are also private labs and university labs that will test for a fee. Check with the local Extension office for forms, costs, and directions.

A soil test is only as good as the sample. Good soil samples consist of many smaller samples. Grab a clean bucket, a trowel, a spade, or even a large spoon, take a sample of the soil from the surface to about 10-12 inches deep, repeat at least 10 -15 times, mixing all the samples together. Spread the soil out and let it air dry. If the area being tested is less than 40 acres and the soil looks about the same all over, one composite sample is enough. About a pint of soil for each test.

Successful vegetable gardens start with varieties adapted to the area. Look for vegetable varieties, flowers too, that have been tested for local condition. Check out this University of Florida publication, Seed Sources for Florida Homegrown Vegetables that includes both good varieties and sources for the seed at https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep486 and the Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/vh021.

This

Read more

Plant Nation Rides the Ghost-Kitchen Wave

While dine-in options might permanently suffer from the coronavirus pandemic, the ghost-kitchen trend has sprung to life. This is hardly news for food platform C3, which had already championed off-premises concepts before the pandemic. Virtual brand Plant Nation is only the latest addition to the company’s ghost-kitchen artillery, this time targeting regular consumers of the plant-based segment.

C3 conceptualized the idea for Plant Nation last year, but chief culinary officer Martin Heierling says it wasn’t supposed to launch until later in 2020. When the pandemic highlighted such strong demand for healthy delivery options, the brand went online two months earlier than scheduled.

“As soon as [the country] shut down, we really went to work instead of not knowing what to do,” Heierling says. “People right now want healthy options. We must make this available to them.”

The brand started operating out of ghost kitchens on the West Coast, where a high demand for plant-based products already existed. And while early sales confirmed the popularity of vegan and strictly plant-based choices, Heierling didn’t want to label Plant Nation under umbrella terms like “vegan” or “vegetarian,” which carry a stigma for some.

“When you call a vegan out, you just lost the interest of a lot of people that would’ve actually entertained [getting the food],” Heierling says. “When I eat this, it doesn’t matter whether it is vegan or not.”

He is instead interested in forming Plant Nation around tenets of wellness and sustainability, down to its eco-friendly packaging.

The brand’s holistic identity starts from its plant-based menu. It sells tried-and-true bowls and salads to satisfy the quintessential green eater, but it’s less-orthodox options are also grabbing attention. Customers can order plant-based sandwiches and pizza, with pasta offerings on the horizon.

Pizza is perhaps the biggest stronghold for Plant Nation; Heierling calls it the “anchor.” One of its top sellers is the Toscana, a plant-based pizza topped with mozzarella, shiitake mushrooms, and heavy helpings of Impossible Meat. Heierling considers the Toscana’s positive reception a feat, as it demonstrates that consumers can enjoy meat pizzas without the meat.

“From the menu perspective, the pizza segment was a big one, because it’s the easiest introduction to show the brand and then go like, ‘Hey, we’ve got more,’” Heierling says.

But where Plant Nation diverges from other like-minded companies is its flexibility. The brand offers additions like cheese, fish, and chicken if customers choose. These “flexitarian” options cast a wider net, appealing to family-sized groups with the opportunity to eat plant-based in a flexible manner.

Plant Nation prepares its food out of 18 ghost kitchens, mostly concentrated around Los Angeles and San Francisco; C3 has 67 ghost kitchens in total. But Heierling is aware of the different expansion considerations ghost kitchens have compared to your typical brick-and-mortar.


Plant Nation

FOUNDER: Sam Nazarian

HEADQUARTERS: Los Angeles

YEAR STARTED: 2020

TOTAL UNITS: 18

FRANCHISED UNITS: 0

plantnation.com


“With this model, you can’t just do one-offs because it doesn’t lend itself for oversight and quality assurance,” Heierling says.

Read more