Category Archives: Plant Care

Roses

Rose Gardening Iceberg Climbing

Iceberg Climbing Roses at Johnson Brothers Greenhouses

Here at Johnson Brothers we carry a wide variety of roses, over 200 in fact! Each variety is full of color and beauty.  When planting, the hole you dig should be twice the dimeter of the container and it is beneficial to mix bone meal and agricultural lime into the soil. If you have clay-like soil we recommend using Gardener & Bloom® Soil Building Compost which helps break up the clay. All products listed we carry in our retail area.

Fertilizing seems to be the easiest part about growing roses as we recommend our in store products such as Fertilome® Rose Food (14-12-11) or Garden Valley Organics® Rose & Flower Food (4-8-4). Fertilize monthly from March to September and apply into the soil and water well. Roses like a deep watering with the use of a soaker or drip irrigation system.

The best pest prevention for roses is achieved by selecting top-quality plants, proper pruning and fertilizing. Good housekeeping is essential for growing beautiful plants. Cleanup all debris under and around your roses at all times. Leaves and old bloom petals lying on the ground just breed more disease.

Pruning controls the size and shape of rose plants and for modern varieties, keeps them blooming repeatedly all summer long. Generous proper pruning creates bigger plants and eventually more flowers per plant. When cutting blooms or removing spent flowers try to cut a 5 leaflet stem node or further.

If you have any further questions about Rose care give us a call or come on in to J Bros!

Do’s and Dont’s for growing Citrus Trees

I know many customers, like myself, LOVE Oregon for its distinct seasons; we are fortunate enough to truly experience a difference between all four! However, with distinct seasons that means one of which is winter; mostly soggy, sometimes frozen winters–which creates a problem if you like to grow plants that prefer a hot, dryer climate. Despite popular belief, there are quite a few “tropical” plants that you can actually grow here in the valley and enjoy all year round! They may just require a little extra special care during our chilly times, you know like hot cocoa, ear muffs, and a warm blanket…

But, in all seriousness, you CAN grow TROPICALS in Oregon! No, cocoa and a blanket are not the answer, but citrus care is still very manageable. This last Sunday we had the pleasure of hosting John Neeway of WeHoP who gave us the low-down on how to grow citrus! Yes, I said citrus… you know, the pride of warm sunny areas like southern California and Florida… we can do that too!

Four Winds Growers - Meyer Lemon


 

First thing that you need to know, don’t plant citrus trees in the ground here–unfortunately we can’t just plant, water, and walk away.. BUT we can plant in a large pot and enjoy it outside from May-September! You’ll want to use a fairly large pot and probably place it on a rolling, or another easily moveable, plant stand so that transitioning is easy every year. Obviously citrus love the sunshine, so outdoors for as long as possible is the way to go, but during our chilly times a bright window does just fine. Plus, one of the perks of having your citrus as a houseplant is that when it blooms, you get that fresh delicious citrusy scent without the use of candles or cleaners.

Four Winds Growers - Lime in flower

Next thing to make sure of, is that you treat this plant as it would be treated in nature, which means adapt to its year round sunshine schedule as best you can.. Think cactus or succulent care; very well draining soil (NOT POTTING SOIL) and infrequent watering. John recommends using a coarse bark and sand mixture so that little to no moisture is retained around the roots of the tree. If your tree starts to drop it’s leaves rapidly, chances are you’re over watering–definitely err on the side of borderline dehydrating it to death than trying to water on a weekly schedule. *Outdoor planting mediums are preferable to potting soils, and amend with sand, perlite, or coco fiber as needed. Avoid any mix that contains wetting agents or fertilizers!

When fertilizing your citrus, the key is to use a high nitrogen slow release granular formula quarterly, and NOT a water soluble variety; as the soluble kinds tend to burn the roots of your tree. Feel free to supplement with minerals such as iron & manganese as needed. If you start to notice the leaves of your citrus yellowing, this is an indicator of not enough food.

The only other trick to happy healthy Oregon grown citrus is to watch for bug problems. During the times that your citrus is nestled in the house for the winter it becomes especially susceptible to insects. Often times with these pests you don’t notice them until the damage is already being done so don’t hesitate to take preventative action. Horticultural oil or good ‘ol soapy water are the perfect treatment, applied every few weeks or as needed to keep ants, scale, and fungus gnats at bay.

Four WInds Growers - Scale on Citrus


 

So for those of you who may have missed out on our care class, that’s the basics of Citrus care here in the pacific northwest. Feel free to stop by the nursery and chat with our staff about your care questions or come and pick out the newest fruit in your life! We’ve got multiple varieties of lemons, limes and more, to choose from.

Big thanks to Four Winds Growers for supplying us with their wonderfully grown citrus plants time and time again, as well as all the media for John to come and teach us your skills! Check them out for ourself to find even more varieties for your citrus collection at fourwindsgrowers.com

Get your garden off drugs with Gardener & Bloome organics

11178306_10153247983568766_7162902230157459950_nWe want to help you kick that drug habit for good, in your garden that is. This past weekend we showcased our favorite organic line, Gardener & Bloome. We gave away a ton of organic fertilizers and soils in our effort to send your gardens to rehab. Sure conventional fertilizers have their purpose, and we’re definitely not against them by any means, but there’s a place for everything! We want to educate you all on the benefits of keeping your edible gardens organic!

There’s the obvious, that you don’t want to put synthetics or chemicals onto the food that you will be eating, but it is also important to not put chemicals into your soils either. The Gardener & Bloome line offers many different soils and amendments that can safely and naturally enrich your garden beds without the use of harmful synthetics or chemicals. The Harvest Supreme is our favorite for edible garden amending. It can be used as a top dress or mixed in with last years garden soil to give it that boost of nutrients your plants need to thrive this season.

As far as fertilizing goes, we always encourage the use of compost, but if you need something more we recommend Gardener & Bloome organic fertilizers. We have liquid concentrates as well as granular options for just about any area of your yard and garden. For vegetable beds we like the Tomato, Vegetable, and Herb granular fertilizer. It’s very low maintenance and easy to apply, this granular can be mixed into the soil pre-planting and/or broadcast over the top of the soil to be watered in after planting. G&B fertilizers are fortified with calcium, humic acid, and other nutrients to provide just the right balance to make the fertilizer easily accessible to your plants. While organic fertilizers can take a little longer to show results, they also last a lot longer than conventional fertilizers meaning less work for you! G&B organic granular fertilizers only need to be spread every 2 months or so throughout the growing season giving you more time to enjoy what gardening is all about!

We also retail a Gardener & Bloomes organic liquid concentrate in three different varieties for those of you who like to water in your fertilizer, which is great for baskets and planters! Our favorite is the All Purpose liquid fertilizer, because it can be used on everything from containers to garden vegetables and even trees or shrubs. It’s molasses based for added nutrients and sugars that your plants need to thrive, and couldn’t get any easier than mixing directly into your watering can!

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Come by to chat with our experts about any Gardener & Bloome product, or soils and fertilizers in general. We are always happy to help you get exactly what you need to be successful in all your gardening endeavors. Plus, ask us how you can save a dollar on ANY Gardener & Bloome product now through June 1st.

Hanging Basket Care

This weekend we debuted our hanging baskets for the 2015 season. This is the earliest we’ve had baskets available ever, so keep that in mind when thinking about size! By Mother’s day, they’ll be almost full size and in full bloom!

On Saturday, we offered a free basket care class so that you all can learn the tricks of the trade when it comes to basket care! We shared what we do to keep our baskets blooming clear through till fall and how you can be successful when caring for a hanging basket! Incase you missed the class and are wondering what you can do to maintain your hanging basket, I’ve got the most important tips right here!

Feed it!–A lot of people don’t realize how crucial fertilization is, especially for annuals. These plants go through their entire life cycle in one season, which is A LOT of growing in a short amount of time, and they need a lot of nutrients to support all that growth.

We recommend feeding your baskets BOTH a slow-release and a water-soluable fertilizer. Johnson’s MAXX slow release granules are perfect to be used every other month throughout the growing season along side FertiLome Blooming & Rooting water-soluble plant food every other time you water! Proper nutrition is just as important for your plants as it is for you!

Water!–Enough water is key to any plants success, but especially hanging baskets as they’re usually blooming through the hottest days of the year. Depending on the placement of your basket and whether it’s sun or shade tolerant, you may need to water your basket up to twice  a day on hot days.

It is important to know your basket and what environment it will need to thrive! An easy way to judge wether or not you need to water is by slightly lifting your basket, if it feels lighter than normal-it’s probably dry and if it feel heavy-its probably fairly damp. General rule when watering baskets is to water until the water begins to run through the bottom.

Maintenance–I know this is the dreaded word for a lot of people, but it needs to be done! Some varieties of annuals require much less maintenance than others; think about the level of work you are willing to put in and shop accordingly. For example, Petunias last much longer and look much nicer when regularly dead-headed in comparison to million bells which can simply be shaken to remove any spent blooms.

Wether or not the location for your basket gets full sun or shade is something to think about when purchasing a basket. You won’t want to put Begonias in the full sun or Geraniums in a shady spot, most baskets have a preference for either sun or shade and should be chosen accordingly for maximum success.

Pruning–I know it may seem scary to prune your basket or cut it back, but trust us, it helps! If you have ever wondered how our Petunia baskets have such a rounded full shape to them, when you’re used to Petunia’s being leggy and sparse, the answer is we cut them back…more than once!

Most plants, when pruned properly, get denser and fuller when they grow back. We cut back our baskets pretty hard to get them to come back thick and full, so when you see any runners or gaps in your baskets don’t hesitate to give them a good hair cut.

Insect Prevention–A lot of baskets fall victim to insect or disease damage throughout the season, these pesky problems can really take a toll on the look of your basket and may even kill it completely. Insect and disease prevention can be a crucial step to success with hanging baskets and can be easily dealt with. We recommend an all-purpose ready to use product called Triple Action Plus that is an insecticide, miticide, and fungicide! This will take care of almost any problem you run across and has all natural ingredients!


 

With proper care and maintenance you should be able to enjoy your hanging basket all through the season until fall! We want to set you up with everything you need to be successful, so keep an eye on our website for info on what/when our next free informational class is!

We are also currently offering a HANGING BASKET SUCCESS KIT for only $19.99, a $27. value! This kit includes our Johnson’s Maxx slow-release fertilizer, FertiLome Blooming & Rooting water soluble plant food, and FertiLome Ready to Use Triple Action Plus! This sets you up with all the tools you need to maintain beautiful baskets all summer long. Plus, we’re open 7 days a week and always love to offer any advice we can so don’t hesitate to send us a message, call, or drop in with any questions you may have!

Seedlings Garden Club for Kids-Seed Starting

SGCK Seed Start GroupOn the first saturday of every month we hold our FREE Seedlings Garden Club for Kids from 9-5. This month, we started seeds indoors to later be planted outside. The kids got to choose a few types of flowers to plant in coconut fiber pots to go directly in the ground later in the season.

We had options like Sunflowers, Poppies, Alyssum, a few different wild flower mixes, and even Cat Grass to choose from. The kids always love being able to dig into the dirt and actually plant something so this was a nice break from our indoor winter activities.

This project is incredibly simple and can be done with any seed you like; it’s even a good time to start veggies indoors. Use anything from plantable pots to egg cartons! Plant the seeds a few centimeters deep in well draining soil and leave in a warm well light location until they sprout. Once last frost has hit move seedlings out to the garden or container where they will be growing  and watch your tiny sprout grow & thrive!

Seeds are a great way to delight and teach children all the joys of planting and tending a garden. It is such a rewarding feeling to see or harvest off of a plant you sewed yourself! Come on out to the nursery and get inspired to let your love grow!

SGCK Seed Start PM

“Kleen Up” your garden now

We’re excited to introduce a new product from Bonide that we think you’ll LOVE! It’s called Kleen Up and will get your space ready for whatever you have in mind.

If you have weeds and grasses cropping up in places you don’t want them, such as driveways, gravel, flower beds, garden beds, or in-between pavers this is the perfect product for you!

Kleen Up is tough and fast acting, it contains a systemic and a surfactant. This will kill ALL green plants from the roots up, BUT it has no residual after 7 days! Yes, that means after one week you are free and clear to clean up the dead debris and seed or plant ANYTHING.

It’s safe for use in vegetable gardens (after 7 days) because there is NO residual. This is made for a one stop, all inclusive clean out, not long lasting weed control because anything can be grown once its done doing it’s job.

Now is the perfect time to get any garden or planting areas cleaned out and prepped for the spring. Like I mentioned it will kill ALL green plants so be careful what you apply it to, but for large areas that need clearing this is perfect for the job

I can’t wait to get this product home and use it in my garden beds and over the gravel in my back yard!

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Rose Care 101

This last week was our annual Rose Week, and we had such a great turn-out! Thank you all for your continued support, we’re pleased to see so many of you out and gardening so early in the year.

On Saturday we hosted Chris from Week’s Roses to give a class on rose care 101! For all of you who may have missed it, i’ve attached our rose care sheet below to fill you in on all the details of rose care!

Rose Care 101

Rose Care 101 p2

Hopefully these are helpful for any rose care questions you may have, and please always feel free to call us anytime for expert advice!

Early Spring Color Starts Now!

If you’re looking to get a head start on bright spring color, the time is now! We have multiple options for semi-hardy annual color that you can get started now and have ready in full bloom by the start of March.

Sweet Pea’s can be seeded indoors now, or we have jumbo packs available for sale here at the nursery. They are fast growing and come in a wide variety of beautiful vibrant colors and are very fragrant! Sweet Pea’s work great as cut flowers and can be turned into beautiful bouquets. They are a wonderful season starter because they are so quick to grow and bloom.

If you plant your Sweet Pea seeds or starts now and then follow them up by planting Morning Glory seeds mid march, you could have continuous color through October! The Sweet Pea’s would be dying back right about when the Morning Glories would be coming into bloom. They both will quickly crawl up a net or trellis to provide a gorgeous backsplash of color to any patio or landscape.

The only thing watch out for with Sweet Pea’s is that, as their name suggests, mimic the garden vegetable pea. The flowers and the seed pods look almost identical to the vegetable peas that can also be grown this time of year to produce tasty peas for your kitchen. The problem is, Sweet Pea’s are NOT EDIBLE, they are in fact slightly poisonous (NOT ENOUGH TO KILL YOU, BUT MAY MAKE YOU SICK). The seed pods of sweet peas look like “pea pods” so make sure to separate Sweet Peas into an area away from the garden so as to avoid confusion. There are varieties of Sweet Pea’s that grow wild and tend be invasive (the bright pink ones all over the sides of the highways), the ornamental Sweet Pea is part of that family (Lathyrus), while the vegetable pea is in a different family altogether (Pistia).


Stop by the nursery today for a wide variety of Sweet Pea seeds and starts! We also have other options for early spring color that are available and blooming now!

If you forgot to plant your bulbs last fall we have tulips, daffodils, and other varieties available in containers that are going into bloom now.

Houseplant Care 101

We held a houseplant care class over the weekend and I wanted to share some of the highlights with y’all because it’s such good info. Especially for those of us who are going a little crazy waiting for spring, this is a great is a great way to keep busy and still manage to stay warm and dry indoors.

Just as for us, winter can be a stressful time for houseplants; low-light and dry air from heating can leave them more susceptible to disease and other issues. It’s a good idea around this time of year to give your houseplants a checkup and ensure they’re staying healthy through the winter.

  • Look for yellowing leaves— Houseplants may need less water than normal over the winter, as a lot of them go semi-dormant. In most instances yellow leaves mean too much water. If you’re noticing yellowing, remove those leaves and hold off on watering until the soil drys out. If the plant stays green at that point you know you just need to cut back on the water, if the yellowing continues despite dryer soil, you may have a lack of iron in your soil. Treat with a few doses of Ironite brand fertilizer to correct the deficiency.
  •  Dust the leaves— Most houseplants not only don’t like dust accumulation on their leaves, but it clogs their pores so to speak, so they are unable to transpire. Just take a soft dust rag or even a clean swiffer duster and dust both the tops and bottoms of smooth leaved houseplants.
  • Moisturize— Just as you need to moisturize extra in the winter due to the dry air from the heater and the dry cold outside, your plants need to also! If you notice any dry or brittle leaves or stems, provide a little extra moisture. Create moist habitats by filling trays with pebbles and water to set your pots on, using a humidifier, or even easier, just take them into the bathroom while you shower once or twice a week!
  • Check for pests— When plants are stressed out, it creates the ideal opportunity for bugs to move in. Check your plants for signs of pests and treat accordingly before any real damage is done. White mold-like fuzz indicates mealybugs, webs and red dots indicate spider mites, green or white piles on the underside of leaves indicate aphids, and small brown or amber colored “turtle shells” along the stems indicate scale. All of these can do real damage to your plants if not dealt with appropriately as soon as possible. We recommend Eight, an indoor insecticidal spray, or for major infestations Triple Action plus, which is an insecticide, miticide, and fungicide–this should knock out even the severest of problems!
  • Up-pot & Refresh the soil— When plants live in containers they only have access to nutrients that are available in that small amount of soil, and when they live in the same soil for years they tend to exhaust the nutrients. As your plants grow and mature, they often need to be up-potted into bigger containers which is a great time to refresh the soil. Even if they don’t need a larger container, it’s still a good idea to change out and refresh the soil every so often. This give the roots a chance to pick up and benefit from all the fresh nutrients rich soil has to offer, resulting in much happier plants!

Hopefully this provides you with some helpful tips, and gives you something to do to alleviate your cabin fever. You can also use this time of year to clean up any yard debris and do any pruning that needs to be done. Plan ahead now for vegetable and flower gardens that will be starting in the coming months. We also have the first crops of pansies, violas, and primroses out and available for that early spring color!

 

More on Fruit Trees

As a brief follow up to last weeks blog I want to touch on the fact that not only is this the time of year to be treating existing fruit trees, but also the best time of year to be PLANTING fruit trees! We should start to see our stock of bare root items in the coming weeks which include fruit trees, berries, rhubarb and asparagus. Items that are sold as bare root (as opposed to in a pot with dirt) are cheaper in price so they tend to go quickly!

Why buy bare root?

The option to go bare root is an optimal choice because when planted as bare root, rather than transplanted from a pot, the roots become acclimated much more quickly and tend to grow more vigorously. When roots become established in a container and are then transplanted it can put the plant into a temporary shock, or at the least, under stress which slows the growing process. Bypassing that stress period can result is a much stronger and ultimately larger plant (and it’s cheaper!!) so who wouldn’t want to go bare root?

How to plant bare root?                                                                                                                                  

Planting bare root is no more (or less) difficult than any regular planting just add an extra step or two to ensure optimal root growth.

  • First you’ll want to soak your bare root plants in water to stimulate the roots (NEVER let bare roots dry out). We recommend using Root Stimulator in the water to really encourage strong root growth in the early stages.
  • When prepping your hole for planting you’ll want to dig it about 2-3 times wider than the current root base. The more pliable the soil around the roots the easier time they will have in early growth. You’ll also only want to bury the plant only a couple inches beyond the roots once the trunk starts.
  • While you’re filling in your hole, you DO NOT want to be packing the soil too tight, adding in any amendments, or fertilizing at this time. The soil should be snug but not hard packed so that the new root growth can easily maneuver through the soil.
  • Once your plant is secured in the ground you’ll want to give a thorough watering also using a root stimulater, and then apply a layer of mulch to protect and insulate your roots. When applying mulch you want to make sure to not put it too close the the base or trunk of your plant but actually leave a couple inches of breathing room.
  • Keep your mulch and soil damp with regular waterings but NOT soggy; during the wetter months of spring you’ll only need to water every couple weeks depending on the rain. Once the weather gets hotter and dryer you’ll want to water more generously on more of a weekly basis.

Feel free to call and check in on our availability of bare root fruit trees, and other items. As I mentioned they do tend to sell out quickly, so don’t wait too long as this is the optimal time of year for planting fruit trees other woody plants. We will also be showcasing our fruit trees during the last week of February but if you’re really wanting the widest variety in your selection start checking in as early as next week. We currently have asparagus and some berry varieties in stock already, and will be posting updates on Facebook as other bare root items begin to hit the sales floor!

Seedlings Garden Club for Kids-Mason Jar Terrariums

SGCK January Collage PMThis is our first year staying open during the month of January and I have to say, so far it’s been pretty successful! So thank you all for your continued support through this dreary month! We are continuing our FREE monthly Seedlings Garden Club for Kids in 2015 and have quite the line-up planned so don’t miss out! However, as always, if you can’t make it feel free to turn to our blog for that month’s project instructions…

This month we made Mason Jar Terrariums, and it was a huge hit. This project is so simple and can be done easily at home in any kind of glass container, with or without a lid.

Supplies

  • Mason Jar, or any glass container (Lid is OPTIONAL)
  • Small Gravel (fish rocks, or pea gravel would do)
  • Activated Charcoal (OPTIONAL)
  • Fresh Potting Soil
  • Small Plants
  • Items of interest (OPTIONAL)

Instructions

First you want to clean out and sanitize your glass container so that no existing bacteria can contaminate your new plants.

Then, IN THIS ORDER, you want to add enough small gravel to cover the entire bottom of the container to allow for drainage. Cover the gravel completely with charcoal (about 1/4 inch), this will filter the water draining down and keep your terrarium smelling fresh. Then cover the charcoal with potting soil, using anywhere from 1-4 inches of dirt depending on how large your container is.

You’ll then want to add your plants. Terrariums with lids help ferns, mosses and other “leafy” plants thrive by keeping moisture inside. They create their own “atmosphere”, by water evaporating out of the soil, collecting inside the container and on the lid, which then drops down into the soil again. Terrariums without lids are best for cacti and other succulents, which thrive in low humidity.

Lastly, finish off your terrarium with any items of interest, such as decorative rocks, tumbled glass, figurines, etc…

 

If you have a lid on your terrarium you’ll really only need to water it initially, because it will continue to water itself with the humidity trapped in the container.

If you have a terrarium without a lid, you’ll want to water every week or so as needed for the types of plants you chose.


Join us next month, Saturday February 7th, for valentines day planters. We’ll be painting up some decorative pots with lots of hearts and love for your special valentine.

Living Christmas Trees–The obvious choice

Living Xmas Trees3 PM

Old-school Christmas tradition has the tree going up late Christmas eve, new-school tradition has it going up the weekend after thanksgiving.. who knows when the right time to put up the tree really is? Long story short, if you still haven’t got your tree up its not too late! There are still Christmas tree lots all over town and plenty of options for artificial trees at any department store. We want to give you a different option this year, a tree that keeps on giving long after the lights and festivities of Christmas have faded–living Christmas trees!

We offer a wide variety of potted evergreen trees that would make the perfect addition to your living room for the holidays. Once Christmas is over instead of tossing your tree or boxing it up until next year, why not plant it in the yard or keep it in a container on your patio? This is a great way to commemorate a special Christmas, maybe your first Christmas as husband and wife, 10 year anniversary, baby’s first Christmas.. you’ll likely have the tree for years and years to come as a special memory of its Christmas glory.

Living Christmas trees are pretty easy to take care of, maybe not as easy as the artificial trees but still pretty easy. The first this you want to do is make sure you transition your tree slowly into the warm household temperatures. You don’t want to have a living tree inside a warm house for more that 2 weeks or so, so when you’re ready to bring it inside transition it slowly. Put it in an unheated garage or shed for about 2 days and then bring it into the house for Christmas time. **After Christmas you’ll also want to leave it in the garage or shed for a few days before putting it back outside in the elements.

While your tree is living inside with you you’ll want to make it comfortable, make sure it is not directly under a heat vent or right next to the fire place, as it will dry out. Watering your living tree while it is inside may be easier than you think. The best way to go about this is to constantly keep ice cubes in the container, just don’t stack them against the trunk. The ice melts at a slower pace, allowing the roots to soak it up as it melts leaving little to no extra run off. This also keeps the roots nice and cool while its sitting in your cozy warm home. You’ll still want to have a drip tray underneath to protect the floor just incase. **If your container is too large for a standard plant tray try using a water boiler tray from your local hardware store.

Aside from the transition periods and the ice you’re all set! Decorate with lights, ornaments, snow, pop corn, whatever your Christmas spirit calls for! These trees don’t mind being dressed to nines at all. If the container is too large for your normal tree skirt consider using aluminum flashing, also available at your local hardware store! You can find it in silver or gold and its sold by the foot, secure it at the back with some packing or duct tape and you have a shiny festive cover on the bottom of your tree.

After the holidays plant your tree in your yard, leave it in a large container on your patio, or you can even donate it to your local parks department.


Choosing a living tree for your Christmas tree this year can be a meaningful project for your family or a great way to give back to your community. All of our living Christmas trees are currently 50% off now through the 24th, so if you’re still needing to do that holiday decorating think Johnson Brothers for your Christmas tree needs and invest in the years to come!

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Do’s and don’ts of poinsettia care

poinsettia collage PMThe holiday season is finally upon us bringing with it the echoes of Christmas music and the daunting task of trying to make your poinsettias last until at least the 26th of Dec. They’re picky, they’re temperamental, but boy are they B-E-A-UTIFUL… and we all want one or two to dress the table or compliment the tree. Good news is we’re here to ease your mind and make poinsettias easy peasy this year with some fun info and the do’s and don’ts of poinsettia care.

DON’T

  • Put poinsettias near cold drafts OR excessive heat. That means not too close to windows, doors, fireplaces, or directly in the path of the heater vent.
  • Expose poinsettias to temperatures below 50ºF. That means DON’T leave them in your car unattended -OR- transport them with the windows down if you can avoid it.
  • Over water your poinsettia, avoid this by ALWAYS removing it from any decorative container or pot cover before you water and allow ALL the excess water to drain before placing it back in the containers.
  • Fertilize your poinsettia when it’s in bloom. This is NOT the time of year poinsettias need to feed, they eat during their growing period.

DO

  • Give your poinsettia access to plenty of light, at least 6 or more hours per day of indirect sunlight.
  • Provide comfortable indoor temperatures between 60ºF and 70ºF, usually if you’re comfortable your poinsettia is comfortable.
  • Water your poinsettia when the soil becomes dry to the touch, but NEVER let it sit in water.
  • Use a plant sleeve or large shopping bag to cover and protect your poinsettia when you transport it AND keep the time your poinsettia spends in your vehicle to a bare MINIMUM.

Given you follow these basic guidelines you should have NO PROBLEMS keeping your poinsettias alive, well, and in full blooming glory throughout this holiday season. Come see us for the largest retail poinsettia display outside of Portland with over 20 different varieties to choose from!


 

FUN FACTS

  • Poinsettias are NOT poisonous! Poinsettias are safe for both humans and pets, though not intended for consumption and actually remove pollutants from the air.
  • A poinsettia’s bloom is not the beautiful colored bracts, but actually the tiny yellow centers. The colored portions are just the leaves of the plant that happen to change color during the blooming process.
  • December 12th is National Poinsettia Day, in honor of Dr. Joel Roberts Poinsett who first brought the poinsettia to the US from its native country of Mexico.
  • Poinsettias are the highest selling potted flowering plant in the country with over 34 million sold every year, distantly followed by Easter Lilies and Orchids.

We’ll be showcasing our poinsettias this Friday, November 14th from 4-8pm at our annual Holiday Garden Party. Swing in for one night only specials with music, wine, food, & fun for the whole family! As always, this is a complimentary event with no invitation needed; HOWEVER if you RSVP ahead of time using the link provided it will put your name in a drawing for a $100. JBGH gift card——–>  http://jbgardenmarket.com/event/holiday-garden-party/

 

Fall Lawn Care

I don’t know about you guys, but I am SO ready to say adíos to the lawn mower for the next few months and hello to sweaters, scarves, and pumpkin spice lattes…with fall temperatures getting closer every day you should be starting to think about getting your lawn prepped and ready for winter. This time of the year is the most important time to fertilize your lawn, as it is getting ready to take in any available nutrients before it goes dormant for the winter. The better you feed and prep it now, the healthier and more lush it will come out in the spring.

We recommend using a combination of lime, winterizer fertilizer and soil activator to give your lawn all the neutralizers and fertilizers it needs to come on lush, full and green in the spring. The Lime will restore the ph levels of your soil to provide an optimal growing environment and also discourage moss growth (which that alone is enough of a reason to love it!). Winterizer Fertilizer enriches the soil with all the nutrients your grass needs to remain healthy. A lot of these nutrients are found naturally in the soil however, have most likely leached out with all the watering that was done during the summer heat. It is important to feed your lawn, just like any plant, if you want top quality performance from your grass. Finally, Soil Activator encourages microbial activity which more quickly breaks down organic matter, including grass clippings, to increase the natural foods your grass will be looking to take up. This also helps to naturally aerate your lawn, promoting water retention and overall healthier grass.

These three components should be mixed together at an even ratio and distributed now, and then again following the last mow of the season. As I mentioned, grass is looking to stock pile on food and nutrients now before it goes into it’s winter hibernation. The more prepared it is for the cold winter temperatures the better and stronger it will be in early spring when we all want our lawns looking fresh and green for the start of a new season.


 

You can hear more about this topic from our expert himself Caleb Johnson, tomorrow evening, 9/18/14, on KEZI 9 and Johnson Brothers’ “In the Garden” segment.  Also, this saturday 9/20/14 out here at the nursery you can come chat one on one with the experts on lawn renovation from 9am to 12:30pm. Make sure to bring soil samples from different areas in your yard and we’ll test them for FREE from 11am to 3pm, giving you a breakdown on soil composition, nutrient content, and ph levels.

We carry everything you need to create a lush green carpet next spring, so come on by this weekend for complementary snacks and info. Can’t wait to see you all here!

 

Fall Veggies for Winter Harvest

Fall Veggies 2PM

Although we still have some time left to enjoy these hot sunny days, fall is on the way and now is the time to think about your fall crops! If you’re planning on a winter harvest, which you totally should because fall gardening is super easy, you want to be sowing seeds now or thinking about which starts you’ll be wanting so you can map out your area.

Lettuce, Cabbage, Kale, Spinach, Chard, Collards, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Brussel Sprouts, Carrots, Radishes, Kohlrabi, Onions, Perennial Herbs, and more are all perfect to be planted coming into the end of August and beginning of September. These veggies will utilize the heat now during their growing period and love the fall temperatures during their production period.

Once planted, mulch your garden areas using a coarse mulch to help with water retention during the hot times and insulation once it cools down. Vegetables like Carrots, Brussel Sprouts, and Kohlrabi actually get better when harvested after a frost or two due to increased sugar content, so don’t be concerned that early frost will destroy all your efforts before you can enjoy them. These veggies prefer the cooler temperatures and can totally take on the frosty mornings and damp days of fall in the Willamette Valley.

Even though the weather gets dreary pretty fast here in the valley don’t let it discourage you from continuing with your vegetable gardens. So many things can be grown through the fall, with little to no maintenance even. Think about it, with all the rain we get here Mother Nature is pretty much taking care of your veggies for you, until they’re ready to picked that is. Don’t let this part of the year go to waste, utilize it for fresh and natural (and Free!), produce from your own yard.


We are currently stocking fall and cool weather veggie starts now, come by and chat with our experts for more details.

Happy Gardening!

Got Yellow ?

Ironite Greens Your Yellow Plants

Summer time and the livin’s easy… but maybe not quite as easy for your yard. This time of year the sun is out and the heat is on and your plants need a lot of water! With frequent watering it’s easy for fertilizers and nutrients to leach out of the soil leaving your plants starved for what they need most to take the heat. It is typical during the summer months to see faded yellow  where there was lush green only months ago; whether it be your lawn, garden vegetables, or ornamental shrubs and trees it is easy for plants to get exhausted.

Luckily there are ways to maintain your lush greenery even through the hottest months, and aside from the time it takes to do it—it’s pretty effortless. Of course there’s the obvious—keep your plants hydrated! (And yourself too!) On those scorching 90 degree days you may need to double and even triple up on your watering. Drooping leaves and dry soil are easy to spot indicators of plant thirst. During the hottest parts of the summer you also want to give your plants an extra dose of fertilizer to counter act that leaching out I mentioned. We recommend using a slow release fertilizer—our personal fave, Johnson’s Maxx throughout the growing season. Typically a slow release should be applied every three months or so—an easy to remember schedule is: April Fools Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day. However, during the extra hot times it doesn’t hurt to throw in an extra application between July and September. If after consistent watering and an extra dose of food, some of your plants are still looking a little weathered you can give them a “shot in the arm” with some liquid iron. This is applied as a foliar spray and only takes about a week or so to see the results, as compared to fertilizer fed through the roots can take time to kick in.

before ironite1PMafter ironite2PM

Recently we noticed some Hydrangeas and Rose of Sharron that were looking a little yellow and not their best. We hosed them down with our favorite liquid iron concentrate, Ironite, and took some before and after pics to really assess the results. Here’s what a little iron applied right onto the foliage, in the middle of the day even, can do for your plants!