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Blue Hills Newsletter
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Blue Hills Nursery News September 20, 2018
Featured Quote

Featured Quote:

"A man should never plant a garden larger than his wife can take care of."
~T. H. Everett


Mosquitos

Are the mosquitos after you this summer?

We can help. Come in and see our selection of natural or chemical repellents.


Buckeye Butterflies

Look at this beautiful butterfly. The Butterfly Lady did a great post on them (with pictures!) - click here to see.

We have a limited supply of Mexican Petunias (which they love) if you'd like to plant some in your yard. We have one-gallon sized plants for $12.99


Slopeside Splendor for Erosion Control

All the crazy weather we have had this summer across the country serves as a great reminder to make sure to address any slope erosion problems before they arise. And fall is a great time of year to plant shrubs and ground covers that can help to prevent a hillside from slipping away.

Consider that the upcoming cool months provide a time when plant roots grow fast and the need for water is less apparent for new plantings. You and your newly planted stock now have an advantage over the hot summer sun or cold winter nights.

To see if you have a potential hillside erosion problem, be alert for these tell-tale signs:

• Bare spots anywhere on your property
• Tree roots exposed above ground
• Small stones or rocks appearing on the ground surface
• Small rills or gullies beginning to form
• Build-up of silt in certain areas
• Soil splashed on windows and outside walls
• Soil washout along driveways

A number of excellent plant and groundcover choices not only thrive with the good drainage conditions of most hillsides but will also go a long way in providing protection from heavy rains. The key is to plant a mixture of plant types and sizes. You want to have layers of vegetation for rainfall to hit, so it will be diffused before it reaches the ground. Generally the larger the plant grows, the deeper its roots, so don't neglect the larger, slower-growing plants.

If your soil is poor from prior erosion, we recommend amending with GBO Soil Building Conditioner.

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Fall Lawn Care Tips

Autumn is a good time to prepare your lawn for the year ahead, and the best time to tackle any long-term improvements. Tasks such as raking out lawn debris, eradicating moss, feeding, and aerating will improve the quality of your lawn greatly if carried out on a yearly basis.

Under some conditions, grass clippings and debris can form a thick "thatch" on the surface of your lawn. This affects growth of the grass and should be removed with a lawn rake. Raking also removes moss.

If grass growth is poor, aerate the lawn. You can do this by pushing the prongs of a fork about 15 cm (6 in) into the ground. Brush a soil improver into the holes made by the fork. Use sand or a mixture of fine soil and sand if the ground is poorly drained. Alternatively, use peat, a peat-substitute or very fine, well-rotted compost if the ground is sandy. Reseed as necessary; fall is an excellent time for reseeding. Cover any reseeded areas with a thin layer of GBO Premium Topsoil.

If your lawn is in poor condition and needs reviving, apply an autumn lawn feed. It is essential that you use one formulated for autumn use, as spring and summer feeds will contain too much nitrogen. If the grass contains a lot of moss, apply a moss killer. Use one recommended for autumn use; the mixture known as lawn sand, sometimes used to kill moss, contains too much nitrogen.

You can (and should) tidy an uneven edge whenever it's necessary, but doing a full job of it in autumn will relieve the pressure at busier times of the year. Hold a half-moon edger against a board held in position with your feet.

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Dealing with Bindweed

Depending on which plant you're talking about, Morning Glory plants are either a beautiful sight, or a scourge to be eliminated. The easily controlled annual plants that are sold in garden centers are lovely, but their native cousin, commonly referred to as bindweed, is hearty, and hard to get rid of. Indgenous members of the Morning Glory family are found almost everywhere on the planet, and they are universally hard to control.

Bindweed typically spreads via rhizomes, which are sections of roots that store energy and are capable of producing an entirely new plant. Spreading over the top of the ground, the plant will drop new roots into the ground wherever it touches.

Unfortunately, it is very hard to dig out these new, unwanted, plants, without making the problem worse. Have you ever seen the segment in the movie Fantasia where Mickey is trying to get rid of the broom sticks? It's very much like that. Because each rhizome is capable of becoming a new plant, attempts at digging or tilling them out can just make the problem worse.

If you have a smallish patch, the best bet is to block the sunlight from the plant, whether by using carpet, black plastic, or even sod, and then cutting out any shoots that appear from underneath before they can restock the rhizomes with more energy. You'll need to go out every week, or at least every two weeks, to pull any shoots that make it to the light. This can take up to a year, but you must remain vigilant. If you let them get sunlight, the plant will replenish the rhizomes and you will be starting over again.

There are also chemical solutions that will help control bindweed. The best time to use them is in the fall. Repeated applications will probably be necessary, as the roots can be over 10' deep into the ground. Again, checking regularly will help you stay ahead of the game.

Another thing to consider is that even though your eradication campaign is successful, your neighbors could be making the problem worse by ignoring it. Discussing your project with your neighbors and working together will save you a lot of time and frustration in the long run.

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Ornamental Grasses

One of the challenges many gardeners face is how to add texture and interest to the landscape. One of the best ways to do this is by adding ornamental grasses to your garden. They have a natural fountainous growing habit and many produce beautiful flower blooms that will light up any garden.

Ornamental grasses are incredibly low maintenance, grow quickly, and are naturally disease and insect resistant. Add to that, their natural swaying movement in even the slightest of breezes and you have plants that add unparalleled beauty to any garden setting.

Another great feature of ornamental grasses is the fact that they come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and color. There are many grasses that are perfect for creating borders and others that provide a nice backdrop to other plants or look perfect as individual featured specimens. The colors range from gold, green, silver and blue to shades of purple, burgundy, red and orange.

While most ornamental grasses prefer moist soil conditions and most become quite drought tolerant once established. They require very little fertilization and can get by with a single feeding of plant food per year. Most shorter varieties require no pruning at all (short of removing any spent flowers) and the only maintenance taller varieties require is a crew cut in late winter (down to 4-6" inches above ground level) to encourage new growth in spring.

We have a great selection of ornamental grasses just waiting for an opportunity to add interest and beauty to your garden.

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Garden Primer
What does the term deciduous mean?

Answer:

Any plant or tree that loses all of its leaves and goes into a state of dormancy (sleep) periodically is considered deciduous.

Most shade trees and many fruit trees fall into this classification, along with plants like forsythia, hydrangeas, potentilla, roses, spirea, weigela and many others.

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Coconut Curry Tofu

What You'll Need:

  • 2 bunches green onions
  • 1 (14 ounce) can light coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons chili paste
  • 1 pound firm tofu, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
  • 4 roma (plum) tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces fresh mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 4 cups chopped bok choy
  • salt to taste

Step by Step:

  • Remove white parts of green onions, and finely chop.
  • Chop green parts of green onions into 2" pieces.
  • In a large heavy skillet over medium heat, mix coconut milk, 3 tablespoons soy sauce, brown sugar, curry powder, ginger, and chili paste.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Stir tofu, tomatoes, yellow pepper, mushrooms, and the white parts of the green onions into the skillet. (Don't use the green parts of the onions yet.)
  • Cover, and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Mix in basil and bok choy.
  • Season with salt and remaining soy sauce.
  • Continue cooking 5 minutes, or until vegetables are tender but crisp.
  • Garnish with the 2" pieces of green onion.

Yield: 6 servings

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Add to Your Vegetable Garden:
Some vegetables can still be planted in fall for a winter or early spring harvest. These vegetables include peas, fava beans, kale, leeks, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, radishes, carrots, celery and winter zucchini.



Contact Information:

Telephone:
(562) 947-2013

Address:
16440 E. Whittier Blvd.
Whittier, CA 90603

Hours:
Open 7 days a week, 8:30 am-5:00 pm

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