Hello Edward, 
We go about our daily lives and sometimes miss news that makes this community great. For those of you who might have missed it, we just wanted to share some great news!

Ed and Carol Knapton all smiles in the greenhouse.

Many of you already know that America’s Best Flowers has been involved in our local community for decades and has been part of the Cottage Grove Chamber of Commerce before it was even an official chamber of commerce. Recently the local chamber awarded Ed with the Chamber Career Achievement award which was presented to him during the Cottage Grove Chamber Annual Dinner held at Badger Farms. 

Ed, with Carol by his side, has accomplished growing America’s Best Flowers into what it is today. It is because of Ed’s dedication to the industry that he will be inducted into the Wisconsin Green Industry Federation Hall of Fame (WGIF) on March 17 at Western Lakes Golf Club. 

If you wish to send them your congratulatory wishes you can e-mail them at  knapton@charter.net They love hearing from all of you!

What do you call a cat that likes to dress up in fancy clothes?

 

dandelion!

Is your non-profit organization in need of funds?

Click on the image for more information
America’s Best Flowers’ fundraising program is in full swing and runs through April 2, 2018.  We have designed it to be quick, easy, and profitable. In as little as 2-3 weeks or less, you can earn substantial money for your group.

For further details or questions contact Shirley at
abfscimino@yahoo.com 

It’s time to start those seeds 

Now is the perfect time to think about the seeds you would like to start indoors for your flower or vegetable garden. Onions and Leeks should be started now. Things like Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Celery, Lettuce and Eggplant should all be started indoors around March 15th.

There are many different annual and perennial flowers that can be started indoors including Impatiens, Larkspur, Cleome, Rudbeckia, Lobelia and Verbena, just to name a few. Whatever it is you’d like to start indoors, we have all the supplies you need to be successful this year.

We have Jiffy Peat Strips or 36 cell plug trays with a dome for planting your seeds. The type of soil you use is very important and it must be sterile to prevent disease. We recommend Purple Cow Seed Starter Mix. It can be used in Jiffy Peat Strips, plug trays or small pots. The mix includes Purple Cow Activated Compost, sphagnum peat moss, perlite, vermiculite and fertilizer. An added benefit is that it’s organically certified. You can use it for starting your flowers, herbs or vegetables seeds.

Many seedlings benefit from supplemental lighting. We have a 2 foot, full spectrum grow light. It uses a T5 bulb and can help keep seedlings from stretching due to low light conditions.

We have all of our Livingston seed in stock now. We carry an extensive line of vegetable, herb and flower seeds in our standard line, as well as organic and “Sow Easy”. The Sow Easy seeds are encased with an all-natural coating of lime, clay and perlite.  This makes seeds larger and easier to handle.  Additionally, a USDA natural food dye is added to make the seeds more visible while planting. This makes it easier to plant these seeds at the appropriate spacing, so less thinning is required later.  The clay in the coating also holds moisture which aids in germination.  We have vegetables, herbs and flowers available in our Sow Easy Line. 



We have our Starting Seeds class this Saturday, 11:00 AM-12:00 PM. Come out and learn tips about how to start seeds of all types successfully indoors. We can give you advice on what varieties to plant and help you get started on your Spring 2018 gardens!

Dahlias

Dahlias are one of the showiest of all annuals. Their ornate, sometimes flamboyant flowers
provide color in the summer garden when many other annuals have succumbed to the heat. If you are looking for a plant that will provide vivid color and varying textures, in a border
garden or container, Dahlias are sure to delight.

There are 35 species of Dahlias with over 57,000 named varieties. They are classified
according to their flower type: cactus, semi-cactus, formal decorative, informal decorative,
single, semi-double, collarette, anemone, ball, pom pon, orchid, peony, stellar and water
lily. Their flowers range in size from dinner-plate size to small pom pons less than 2″ across.

Dahlias need full sun and well-drained soil to thrive. The large dahlias, which include many of the dinner-plate types, are best planted near the back of the garden. The mid-sized dahlias, those in the 1-2 foot range, can be used in mixed borders with perennials or can be used in containers. The smaller pom pon types can be used for containers or the front of a border. 

When the soil has warmed in spring, in late May or early June, Dahlias can be planted outdoors. Dahlias can be planted as tubers, which are underground storage roots or can be purchased as potted plants. Because they prefer fertile soil, high in organic matter, we recommend adding Purple Cow Activated Compost to the planting hole. If planting tubers, they should be planted 4-6″ deep. Adding Espoma Rose Tone at the time of planting will give the plants a good boost.

Keep the plants well-watered during bloom. They will benefit from fertilizer every other week during flowering using Espoma Flower Tone. Always read and follow the label
directions. For plants that are tall or have heavy blooms, staking or supports may be required. You can use bamboo stakes, peony cages or Luster Leaf grow-through- grids, gathering rings or linkup U supports.
In the late fall, after hard frosts have blackened the foliage, cut the foliage to 2-4 inches
from the ground. Dig the tubers. Trim any roots and lay the tubers out to dry in a dark area.
Once dry, remove any remaining soil and trim the stems to 1-2 inches. Pack the dry tubers in slightly moistened sawdust, vermiculite or peat moss. Store in a dry, well-ventilated, cool
area. Temperatures should be between 45 and 55 degrees. Check the tubers periodically and discard any that are rotting.
If you don’t want to go through the trouble of digging the tubers in the fall, no worries, just
handle them as you do any other annual. Whether you plant the tubers or purchase potted
plants, their beauty will not disappoint you. Dahlias can bring vibrant color, varying height
and interesting flower forms to your garden or containers. We have several varieties of
packaged tubers on hand now and will have a dozen other potted varieties later this spring.
Give us a call or stop out and see what we have to offer!

Floral notes
Potted spring bulbs bring a welcome splash of color into your home heralding an end to the dark days of winter. We have a great assortment of potted blooming bulbs to choose from. Come in and pick from our bright and fragrant selection.

You can choose from:

Daffodils – the cheeriest of spring bulbs with their trumpet shaped flowers.

Hyacinth – have a strong fragrance that might overwhelm some, but their majestic flowers are magnificent grown on a windowsill.

Tulips – the true flower of spring, in my opinion . The array of colors emerge from the depth of winter announcing that spring is here to stay.

Crocus – The delicate flowers of the crocus are one of the first blooming flowers of spring with their intense purple flowers dancing above their needle like foliage. 
Dutch Iris – Have a much smaller flower than their cousin the bearded iris, but they can pack a punch of elegance in a bulb dish garden.

To keep them blooming longer put them in a cool room away from heat vents.

Come out and visit us and bring home spring in a pot!

Edgerton 
Cottage Grove

Employment Opportunities

Do you enjoy helping people? How about working with flowers and in the dirt? 
If so, we may have the perfect job for you. 
We are looking for a few good people to join our team.
Customer Service Associates: Cottage Grove and Edgerton Locations

We’re looking for Customer Service Associates with strong customer service skills and a willingness to learn. General plant knowledge of common annuals, vegetables and herbs is needed. Positions include some watering and plant maintenance. These are seasonal, full time or part time positions.

Retail Cashier: Cottage Grove Location

We are in need of a couple of great people to operate our Point-of-Sale system to efficiently and accurately take care of our customers. Minimum requirements are the ability to practice patience at all times and a perpetual smile. These are part time, seasonal positions- April until June.

Office/Administrative Assistant: Cottage Grove Location

Our veteran Administrative Assistant, Bev, ran off and got married last August (we’re all very happy for her, but we miss her!). So, we’re in need of someone with strong office skills: filing, answering phones, mailing and preparing reports. This position will also perform accounting functions, balancing cash drawers, counting receipts and preparing bank deposits. It is a permanent part time position to start, working to permanent full time for the right person. Future duties would include accounts receivable and/or accounts payable. Experience with databases is a plus. Must be proficient in Word and Excel.

Grower/Biological Control Technician: Cottage Grove Location

Do you have a horticulture background? We are searching for the right candidate to take over the responsibility of Grower for our operation. We are approximately 2 acres under cover and grow almost all of our own product. Pest control is done primarily through monitoring and release of biological controls. Minimum requirements are a two year Horticulture degree and ability to pass the State Pesticide Certification exam. This is a full time, permanent position.

Please apply in person Monday-Saturday 9:00 AM- 5:00 PM 
and allow 30-45 minutes to complete the application.

Why can’t you iron a four leaf clover?

Because you shouldn’t press your luck.

Upcoming Events 2018 – Mark your Calendars!!!

2018 will be full of new workshops and informational classes for you to attend. 
Like our Facebook page to keep up to date with the latest!
Starting Seeds Indoors
Instructor: Ed

Saturday, March 3, 11am – 12pm

 

Get ready for spring and start your seeds indoors. 
This free class offers great tips for both beginners and seasoned gardeners.



Small Space Gardening
Instructors: Marty & Betty

Saturday, March 10, 11am – 12pm

 

Do you live in an apartment, condo or just 
have limited space for a garden, then

this free informative workshop is for you. Marty and Betty will guide you in plant selections for small spaces whether you are growing edibles or flowers. 

Did you know you could plant in a pallet? They’ll show you how to prep your pallet and get it ready for planting. Gain knowledge and tips on how to keep your plants healthy and looking their best. Informative handouts will be available to all attendees.
  

Straw Bale Gardening
Instructor: Steven

Saturday, March 17, 11am – 12pm
This free class was a popular one last year! You definitely want to reserve your spot.
Steven has a wealth of information when it comes to straw bale gardening.
Whether you are thinking of starting one or you already have a straw bale garden and are just searching for kindred spirits to discuss tips and tricks, this is where you need to be!
Learn how to grow beautiful veggies, herbs and flowers without using traditional soil!

All classes are only available at our Cottage Grove location.
To reserve your spot please call (608) 222-2269 to register.

Corn Casserole

Ingredients

1 15 oz. can of corn 
1 15 oz. can of cream-style corn 
1 8 ounce package of Jiffy corn muffin mix
1 cup of sour cream
1/2 stick of butter melted
1 cup of shredded cheese
Directions

Preheat oven to 350°
Mix in a large bowl the 2 cans of corn, corn muffin mix, sour cream, and melted butter.  Put the mixture into a 9 by 13 oven safe dish. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and sprinkle cheddar cheese on top. Bake for 5 to 10 more minutes. Serve warm.

SEE YOU SOON!!!