Archive for February, 2014
I am ignoring the weather. Maybe if we all ignore the weather it will go away.
Sooooo……let’s talk about some plants. Please forgive the picture quality on a few of these. On days that are really cloudy, it is sometimes hard to get good pictures.
It’s just now the first of March folks. All things considered, I am surprised that we have as much available to sell as we do. However if you are looking for a lot of color we just don’t have that yet. We have some really good color in a few items, some medium color in a few more and light color in a lot more.
In our larger sizes we have some color showing up in our #6 Confetti Gardens. Some of the Confetti Gardens are showing more color than others. In most of the 1 or 2 of the 3 kinds of plants in the mix are blooming but not all of them except for the Bumblebee and Spring. These are add to the color in our geraniums, lobelia and osteospermum that were on last weeks availability. I may add some #6 Wave Petunias to the availability on Monday or Tuesday if they pop some color over the weekend.
We have some Sweet Potato Vine ready now too.
We have more color showing up on our 1204’s and J6 annuals. Begonias, Impatiens, Dianthus, Verbena and Dusty Miller are all new additions to the availability this week. Most of the Salvia will be in Buds by Monday while the Burgundy will be a few days ahead. Same with the dianthus. The red is a few days ahead of the other colors.
The 1801 Ajuga is ready as is our vinca major.
All we have in color in baskets right now are the #10 Wave Petunias and they are looking really good.
It’s really killing me that we have as many vegetables ready now. They are just sitting there looking great and waiting for someone to take them home and plant them.
This is our kohlrabi. It makes a nice #4 pot. I don’t know if there is much of a market for them in pots except to the gardeners who want to grow their own produce.
The first 4 pictures below are our #4 Leeks and #4 Onions. If you haven’t ordered any of these from us in the past, I thought you might want to see that each pot has multiple plants in it. These are a more viable plants and will start growing immediately after being planted when compared to dried up onion bunches. The rest of our vegetables and strawberries are looking really good. We will have some #4 vegetables ready around March 10.
Here are some more pictures of our quart perennials. They are also looking great. The Delosperma (Ice Plant) is new this year and have some really great yellow, orange and red colors. Also new this year are the Ruby’s Tuesday Dianthus and the Passionate Rainbow Petite Guara (the pink one with the unique foliage).
Our Stepables are ready too. This year we moved them down a size into our 181/#4 sq pot which is the same pot as we do all of our 1801/#4 basic annuals in. They are full and ready to go. The Super Star Pratia and the Mazua have some light color showing already.
We have finally had some decent weather this week. Although it looks like it will be cooling off a little again next week, but nothing near as cold as it has been. We are transplanting as fast as we can, but we are about to get behind. To keep up we are working this Saturday. If we don’t get caught up we will start working late next week until we do.
Despite all the terrible weather we have had, we are still more or less on schedule with everything. We are a little behind on some of the plants the like the warmer temperatures like impatiens and begonias. We have a lot of plants that are almost ready, but need some more time. I will be revisiting them on Monday next week to see if they surprise me and get ready over the weekend. It’s happened before. There won’t be much color showing next week unless there are some surprises. Be sure to check the Current Availability on Monday or ask to see if there are any late additions.
We sold our first flats of tomatoes today to Stan Brown, our good friend and owner of Blossomberry Nursery in Clarksville, AR. Stan drove down today and picked up some tomatoes and cole crops. I didn’t get a chance to ask Stan what he was going to do with those tomatoes but I assume that he will be transplanting them up into gallon pots, but he might have a few customers who do their own transplanting and are eager to get a head start so that they can have the first tomatoes on the block. I will have to remember to ask Stan about them.
There are some new items on the list now so be sure to look for the Kohlrabi and Leeks in the #4 Charley’s Vegetables.
Here are some of our cole crops and the first crop of 1204 tomatoes. Not shown are the herbs, strawberries and 1204 vegetables that are also ready. I didn’t have time to round up those pictures.
Like I said above, we don’t have a lot of color ready yet but this is some of it.
We also have some ivy and other accent plants ready.
We have a lot of color showing on our wave petunia baskets but not all of them are big enough. I only added part of the first planting to the availability so that we could pick out the best ones until the rest of them size up. You may have to click on the picture to pull up a bigger version so that you can see the color better. I was taking the pictures from the floor while the baskets are hanging in the top of the greenhouse.
Here are some more pictures of other items that aren’t ready yet and just some general pictures of the greenhouses.
This is our first crop of Qt Proven Winners that are scheduled to be ready the third week of March.
“What?” you ask.
You heard me. Spring has begun. It has stopped snowing and we sold our first flat of plants this week therefore spring has started. All we have ready now are our cole crops which I talked about last week including our new stuff.
Happy Valentine’s Day! If you just now remembered you are in so much trouble…but fear not, George says that you should get her a fern and by happenstance we have some ferns ready now. Unfortunately, we aren’t making deliveries yet so we’re back to how much trouble you are in.
When in doubt, go for the bacon.
Speaking of new stuff, we have added more vegetables to our production this year. To pick out which ones to add we started looking at what kinds of vegetables the grocery stores were carrying. Our reasoning was if they were selling it in the stores then there were probably be people who might want to grow their own.
Ethnic cuisines also weighed on what we decided to add in. As you can see from below, we have picked what might be considered unusual varieties to grow this spring. Marketing these new vegetables in your garden center will be key in how well we all sell these this year.
With such a wide selection to choose from, it will be easy for these new items to get lost in the mix. Maybe an end cap of new vegetables or some other sort of display might be considered when you are getting your benches ready for your first shipment of veggies. Or talk about which ones are good with bacon. When in doubt, go with bacon.
Here are the new vegetables we are growing:
- Cucumber Bush Crop – a good choice for patio pots or small gardens
- Cucumber Lemon – a yellow heirloom cucumber
- Cucumber Suyo Long – an Asian burpless heirloom that can grow 15″ long and tends to curl up on one end
- Eggplant Ping Tung Long – a glossy, purple, Asian heirloom with slender 12-18″ long and 1-2″ wide eggplants
- Eggplant Snowy – a white eggplant with a sweet flavor
- Kohlrabi Quickstar – an early slow bolting variety that is very uniform
- Leeks American Flag – does well in out southern climate and has a delicate onion flavor
- Okra Hill Country Red – a unique red okra from the Lone Star State
- Pak Choi – or Bac Choy or Pak Choy or Pac Choi, anyway you spell it, delicious greens that are great in stir fry and soups
- Squash Butternut Waltham – a 1970 AAS Winner for its uniform squash, disease resistance and yields
- Squash Spagetti – a popular squash for its easily cooked squash which has a flesh that separates when cooked and resembles pasta. Also tasty and popular with kids
- Tomatillo Toma Verde – widely used in salsa verde sauces
#4 Charley’s Peppers
- Pepper Chile Chilaca – dried form is called Chile Pasilla
- Pepper Chile de Arbol
- Pepper Chile Maridol – dried form is called Chile Guajillo
- Pepper Chinese 5 Color
- Pepper Thai Dragon
#1G Charley’s Tomatoes
- Tomato Micro Tom – a dwarf tomato for patio pot gardens
- We added 4 new grafted tomatoes to our Burpee Bumper Crop Tomato program for 2014
- Big Zac
- Indigo Sun
- Mrs. Maxwell’s Big Italian
I finally got a chance to get out into the greenhouses yesterday afternoon. It snowed all morning and was still snowing a little when I went out. But we are not going to let a little snow stop us. It’s week 6 and we getting as much done as we can. They are forecasting more snow for this afternoon.
(This first picture is a door that I found open when I drove through the farm about 10 o’clock Tuesday night. Not a good thing to find.)
It’s hard to move plants around to the houses they need to be planted in when it’s 18 F out but we have a box on the back of a pickup with a heater we use so that worked out ok. The cold, cloudy weather we have had has some of our plugs running behind schedule. What we have planted is looking good though. We might be a little behind on a few items in early March if it stays cold and cloudy this month.
We have a lot planted and the crew was planting Wave Petunia baskets when I happened by. The color they were planting was surprising but I will get to that in a minute.
I took some pictures while I was out too.
We have some cole crops that are pretty much ready. We are moving them to a colder house to harden them off. A couple of the new items we added this spring are Pak Choi and Chinese Napa Cabbage in the 1204’s to go with our other cole crops. These additions are for those who want to grow their own greens for cooking more ethnic cuisines.
Quickstar Kohlrabi is another addition to our ethnic vegetables. We are growing them in our #4 Charley’s Veggies line. Kohlrabi is supposed to grow fast. They may be ready to eat by the time you get them on their benches.
Some of the early J6 are filling in nicely like these J6 snapdragons.
Here are some newly planted 1801’s and J6’s. Some of these have been planted longer than the others so they are bigger of course.
Our first round of baskets and deco pots are looking good and some are blooming. They are not big enough yet but still very colorful like the these Caliente Geraniums.
We also have some of our Confetti Gardens, other combination baskets and deco pots that have popped some color.
I like this red petunia. It is Sweetunia Hot Rod Red which is also the same petunia used in the Confetti Garden above. The Papaya and Yellow Petunias go with the Hot Rod Red as additions in our #2 Basket line. The other baskets are our second planting of the every popular fuchsia baskets and New Guinea Impatiens.
Take a look at the names of these two new Wave Petunias we are trialing this spring. I wonder what they will look like?
These are our tropical hibiscus and mandevilla and the first crop of #6 Marigolds.