Week 10 (6/1/2006)
‘If a pig loses its voice, does it become disgruntled?’
Last week I was the one who lost her voice. It definitely caused me to become disgruntled. Just like clockwork, the weather went from cool and damp to sunny and hot. And with it came the feeding frenzy I spoke of two weeks ago. Although this is the time we wait all year for, once it arrives we wonder if we will survive. The days are never long enough, or the pace we go fast enough, to get through the mountains of work the frenzy creates. Last week it was the newsletter that suffered. Please accept my apologies.
June is Perennial Gardening Month, as well as Rose month, Graduation month, Wedding month, Father’s Day month, Dairy month, as well as many other monthly things, I’m sure. America’s Best Flowers is ready to help you get through all these June celebrations. Since this is the perfect time for planting, take a little time to come out and choose from our huge selection of perennials and roses. These plants will provide beauty to your gardens for years to come.
Our planters and hanging baskets will bring fresh color to your patios for the parties you’re planning. And we have a great idea for the kids for Father’s Day. On Tuesday and Wednesday, June 13 and 14 at 6 PM, America’s Best is providing an opportunity for elementary school children to plant a Father’s Day Gift. Bring in an old shoe or boot of Dad’s and we’ll help you turn it into a unique gift. For a small fee we will provide everything except the shoe. Call if you have questions - 222-2269.
‘What do you get when you cross a dinosaur with a pig? Jurassic pork!’
Tip of the Week – Watch Your Water
Even though we had twenty-one rainy days in May, now is the time we need to begin monitoring rainfall. Most plants need a minimum of one inch of rain each week to do well. Hanging baskets and containers need more. If you’re not sure if your plants are wet enough, either use the ‘hands on feel the soil’ method, or invest in a soil moisture meter. These meters are an easy way to read the moisture levels in your soils, whether in the ground or in a pot.
Don’t forget to feed your plants. Water soluble fertilizer, such as Miracle Gro, can be applied in different ways. You can feed on a continual basis, as we do here at the greenhouse, by using a one-quarter to one-half strength solution every time you water. Or you can feed bi-weekly, using the full strength amounts suggested on the container. If this mixing is more work than you want to do, mix some Osmocote into the soil around your plants. This is a slow-release fertilizer which will dissolve a little bit every time you water. Whichever method you choose, keep in mind that regular fertilizing will keep your plants beautiful.
“Why should you never tell a pig a secret? Because they love to squeal.”
“I will faithfully deadhead my containers every week!”
Deadheading is the gardening term for the removal of spent blossoms from plants in order to encourage them to produce more blooms. Plants have survival instincts that require they reproduce, most generally by the development of seeds. The beautiful blooms we enjoy are the first step in this process. If we stop this seed development by removing the faded blossom before it has a chance to begin forming seeds, the plant will produce another blossom in its place. This survival instinct is very strong, so gardeners can keep bloom production going all summer by diligently deadheading. Correct deadheading involves removal of the stamen and pistil portion of the bloom. To do this, pinch or cut the stem below the bottom of the bloom. Vegetables, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, and green beans, also benefit from this. The ‘deadheading’ in this case is the picking of the fruit. For maximum production, thorough picking is essential.
“What is a pig’s favorite karate move? The Pork Chop!!”
“Now that May is over, is it getting too late to plant annuals and vegetables?” 25-30 years ago Memorial Day (which was always celebrated May 30 before someone decided that Federal holidays should always be on a Monday) was truly the ‘kick-off’ for planting flowers and warm-loving vegetables. Some gardeners have always squeaked in a few early veggies and annuals, but for the most part, Memorial Day was the “all clear” for planting. But many of today’s gardeners are gamblers, taking a chance and planting early, hoping to dodge the frosts and the cold, wet weather, which we certainly had throughout most of May. Flowers and vegetables planted in June actually get off to a quicker start with warmer soil and air temperatures than those which have struggled through the colder periods. America’s Best Flowers still has an excellent selection of annuals to brighten your yards. Come on out today. This weekend will be a perfect time to plant.
“My azalea and rhododendron are almost finished blooming. What do I do for them at this stage?” If you need to prune, now’s the time. Deadheading the rhododendrons by pinching out the old flower heads is a great way to prune. This will encourage those small buds to start growing. For the azaleas, if pruning is needed, feel free to hand prune back into the plant. They respond quite nicely to a heavy pruning. This is also a great time to feed your azaleas and rhododendrons with Miracid. Feed them according to label instructions now and again in a month; and then once more in the fall at one-half the usual rate.
“Rose slugs are already feeding on my roses. What do I spray with?”
Bayer’s All-in-1 Rose Care, which is a systemic insecticide, fungicide, and fertilizer, should take care of your slugs. After your initial treatment, follow up with foliar sprayings of either insecticidal soaps or horticultural oils, being sure to spray the undersides of the leaves.
If you have gardening questions you would like addressed in this newsletter, please e-mail them to email@example.com
Please put “Question for Newsletter” in the subject line. Otherwise it may not reach my desk.
“What do you call a crafty pig? A cunning ham.”
Here’s a colorful addition to your summer meals!
Grilled Marinated Veggies!!
Mix chunks of potatoes, zucchini, summer squash, bell peppers, onions and mushrooms—whatever is on hand, and marinate for 30 minutes. Grill vegetables until tender. Heat leftover marinade and pour over veggies before serving. Delicious!
2/3 c vinegar
1 T Dijon
4 minced garlic cloves
1 T lemon juice
1T olive oil
¼ t pepper
“A pig and a chicken were walking by a church where a charity event was taking place. Getting caught up in the atmosphere, the pig suggested to the chicken that they each make an offering. “Great idea!” the chicken replied. “Let’s offer them ham and eggs!” “Not so fast,” said the pig. “For you, that’s an offering. For me, it’s a sacrifice.”
Plant of the Week
‘Diablo’ Ninebark is a truly unique shrub. When planted in full to partial sun, the lacy foliage of this plant will darken to a rich burgundy bronze. Extremely winter-hardy, this is an excellent choice for this area. After the leaves fall, the bark will put on its own show with the outside layers exfoliating to reveal lighter shades and creating winter interest. ‘Diablo’ reaches 6 – 8 feet at maturity.
SPECIAL THANK YOU TO OUR LOYALTY CUSTOMERS!!!
Last Friday, America’s Best Flowers presented a check to the United Way of Dane County for $2,210.44. This money represents 1% of the purchases of our customers who selected the United Way as their charity of choice when they signed up for our loyalty program. This coming week we will be presenting checks to St. Vincent de Paul for $997.24, to the Salvation Army for $820.64 and to the Dane County Humane Society for $6,210.57. In addition to these amounts, checks totaling $5,675.74 will be written to area schools and churches. If you have questions regarding America’s Best Flowers’ Loyalty Program, please call 222-2269.