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Edition 10.29 Green Arrow Nurseries July 22, 2010
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time to:

July

Plant Herbs and Warm Season Vegetables: An assortment of herbs can be planted in August and still provide a hearty harvest. Plant basil, oregano, parsley, rosemary, thyme and mint from transplants. The plants will thrive through fall. Beans, beets, carrots, celery, corn, cucumber, spinach and squash can all be planted now, as well as cool season crops such as broccoli and cabbage.

 


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Growing Plants in Containers

Some gardeners shy away from growing plants in containers because of endless "failure" stories buzzing in their heads. Container plantings are not difficult, but you do need to keep a few things in mind--including selection of container, type of planting mix, feeding and watering needs. These are the variables differentiating growing plants in the ground from growing them in containers.

First of all, different types of containers will lead to different types of watering needs. For example, terracotta pots are probably the most porous of the clay pots. This porosity allows the soil to dry out more quickly. Glazed pots are next in line. The glaze on the outside of the pot actually helps to keep moisture in more than a non-glazed clay pot would. Thick cement containers probably fall in line together with the glazed pots. Finally, there are plastic and some of the new composite material containers. These containers will hold the moisture far longer than the other pots.

The soil mix itself should breathe and should be light and airy. We recommend using an all organic potting soil, such as Farmers Organic Potting Soil, for most plants. But be sure to use the right type of potting soil for your plant. Most plants do fine in normal potting soil, but the reason you'll see things like "cactus mix" on the shelves is that some plants have special needs.

Because plants in containers have a limited amount of soil area, they will need to be fed more often than plants in the ground. We recommend feeding most plants every two weeks with a liquid or water-soluble plant food, such as Miracle-Gro, or every two months with a dry fertilizer like Kellogg Organic Gardner & Bloom. Again, some plants have different needs, so adjust as necessary for your own container garden.

Plants in containers can often suffer from dehydration, especially in the summer months of the year. Water those that need moist soil frequently, especially if your container is made of a more porous material. Drought-tolerant plants will like a pot that dries out quickly, but a water-needy plant will want to have consistently moist (but not wet) conditions.

If you let your potting soil dry out too much, the root ball will shrink and the water will run straight down the sides and out of the bottom of your container. If this happens, you will need to leave the water dripping into your container for a long enough time to rehydrate the potting soil. If the container is small enough, dunk it into a big bucket of water and let it sit there for a few minutes until the root ball expands again and properly fills the pot.

Container gardening is a wonderful way to add splashes of plants and color in all areas of your outdoor rooms, and for those with only small patios, container gardening is the only way to go. Just remember not to treat container plants exactly like in-ground plantings, and you'll be fine.

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Garden Primer

What does the term "systemic" mean on a chemical label?

Answer:
"Systemic" is a term that refers to a chemical that can be absorbed by a plant through the foliage or root system.

  • Systemic insecticides not only kill insects and disease on contact but also remain in the plant and kill insects when they feed on the foliage.
  • Systemic fungicides remain in and on the plant longer to not only kill disease on contact put provide a layer of protection to prevent future attacks for some time.
  • With weed control sprays, the chemical is absorbed by the plant all the way down to the roots, completely killing the weed.

Systemic products should not be used on any edible plants or crops.

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When it comes to incredible fragrance in the garden, nothing beats the fantastic aroma of gardenias. With its bright green, super glossy foliage and an extended blooming cycle of luscious white flowers, this is a plant that offers outstanding attributes for the home landscape.

Gardenias are among our most grown plants, but they are also one of the least understood when it comes to culture. They are often put in the wrong spots, such as small, shady patios or excessively warm locations which can cause the buds to drop.

They prefer to be out in the open, not close to house walls where the nighttime temperatures can cool off more.

Gardenias need acid soil, good drainage, adequate moisture, full sun in cooler areas and part shade in warmer areas. They also need regular fertilizing for growth and flowers, with an acid-type product that contains trace elements to prevent chlorosis.

Gardenias come in all types of shapes and sizes, making them versatile for many garden locations. If you are tight on space, consider the miniature 'Radicans' (6"-12" H, 2'-3' W) or 'White Gem' (1'-2' H, 2'-3' W). If you have more space, 'Veitchii' makes a great selection, growing 3'-4' high and wide. For screening, you can use 'August Beauty,' 'First Love' and 'Mystery,' which grow 4'-5' high and 3'-4' wide.

There are also two great cold-hardy selections for more difficult climates. Both 'Klein's Hardy' (2'-3' high and wide) and 'Chuck Hayes' (3'-4' high and wide) can tolerate occasional winter temperatures of 0-10 degrees.

We stock a great selection of gardenias that will make a perfect addition to your garden, and our staff of nursery professionals will be happy to help you. So what are you waiting for? Come in and add some fragrance to your garden today!


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"The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful."
~e.e. cummings


Pasta Primavera

What You'll Need:

  • 1 pound fusilli, cooked and drained
  • 2 cups fresh asparagus, diagonally cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup fresh green peas
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper, cut into julienne strips
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups fresh cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1-1/4 cups chicken broth
  • 2/3 cup whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated fresh parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil

Step by Step:

  • Cook pasta according to package directions, adding asparagus and peas during the last 2 minutes of cooking.
  • Drain and place in a large bowl.
  • Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat.
  • Add bell pepper, onion and garlic; sauté for 5 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes; sauté for 1 minute.
  • Stir in broth, whipping cream, salt and red pepper; cook for 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
  • Add tomato mixture to pasta mixture; toss to coat.
  • Sprinkle with cheese and basil. Serve immediately.

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