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Blue Hills Nursery News September 5, 2019
Featured Quote

Featured Quote:

"Though I do not believe that a plant will spring up where no seed has been, I have great faith in a seed. Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders."
~ Henry David Thoreau


New houseplants and succulents

Arrived just recently. I bet they'd look great at your house too.


Houseplants

Check out our houseplants. Plenty to choose from. Bring the green indoors and improve your indoor air quality.



The Colorful World of Crotons

The popularity of crotons in both indoor and outdoor plantings is increasing at a phenomenal rate. Native to tropical areas of Malaysia and southern Asia, these easy- growing plants have bright-colored foliage, often with many colors in one leaf. The uniqueness of these plants is their colorful glossy foliage in varying shapes and sizes.

Crotons are small shrubs which can reach a height of 2-6 feet. Some crotons can even be used as hedges or specimen plants. They also grow well in containers. The 6"-12" leaves are leathery and start out green, gradually changing color as the plant matures. They come in many shapes and a rainbow of colors including reds, pinks, yellows, rust, orange and even some purples, to name just a few.

Crotons are grown primarily for their brightly colored foliage. For this reason they need a fairly high amount of light to maintain their vibrant colors. Crotons prefer high humidity, full sun and moist, humus-rich but well-drained soil with a generous supply of organic material; we recommend GBO Soil-Building Conditioner.

Crotons require only a moderate amount of watering on a regular basis. Keep them moist but not excessively wet. To maintain good growth, feed crotons regularly throughout the year with a water-soluble fertilizer. We stock a great selection of crotons just waiting to find a place in your home or garden. Stop by today to see what all the fuss is about!

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Indian Summer

When I was a kid, the arrival of Indian summer was the last summer hurrah! It was still light enough to play outside after dinner, and warm enough to wear shorts. Even though school had begun, you still had a couple of weeks of warm summertime fun. Well, now I realize that it was also a couple more weeks of summertime flower color for my parents to enjoy in their gardens! Somehow, I think they must have planned ahead to ensure that the gardens were beautiful.

That's right. Now is the time to tuck into your garden beds and patio paradise containers some of your favorite late summer and fall blooming perennials and shrubs. You may be the type of gardener who has a complete plan of colors, sizes and shapes in mind. Or you might be a gardener that loves just to collect plants of all colors, sizes and forms. You know who you are and what your style is.

There are plenty of late summer and autumn bloomers to choose from. Our plant selection is a veritable treasure chest of Indian Summer colors. Come into the garden center and begin choosing today. Don't forget to pick up a good soil amendment like GBO Harvest-Supreme or GBO Soil-Building Conditioner. Oh yes, and to promote those non-stop blooms, feed them regularly with Gro-Power Flower 'n' Bloom.

Then sit back on a lounge chair or hammock--and enjoy your Indian summer garden in full bloom!

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By Tamara Galbraith

Here's a basic primer on how to divide some of your perennials. Don't neglect this fall duty; it's nature's way of giving you free plants!

Just like pruning, dividing should be done in the season opposite of planting, i.e., spring flowering = fall dividing and vice versa. Try to plan your dividing project for a cloudy, slightly cooler day with a good chance of rain thereafter.

Most perennials should be divided every three to five years. However, some, like columbines, poppies and euphorbias shouldn't ever be divided, even if they start to clump. Don't divide woody plants like lavender, rosemary or the bigger artemesias either.

Before starting your division project, thoroughly water all plants to be divided a day or two before you dig in. Likewise, prepare planting holes for the new divisions so they aren't languishing (and drying out) above ground for too long. You can also pot up divisions to build up size, overwintering pots in a protected environment. Make sure your tools are clean and, more importantly, very sharp.

Use a sharp pointed shovel or spading fork to dig down deep on all four sides of the plant, about 4 to 6 inches away from the plant. Pry underneath and lift the whole clump to be divided. If the plant is very large and heavy, you may need to divide it right in the ground with a sharp shovel before lifting the new sections out.

Shake or hose off loose soil and remove dead leaves and stems. This will help loosen tangled root balls and make it easier to see what you are doing. Depending on the root system, divide your plants as follows:

• Spreading root systems that have just a mess of disorganized roots include such plants as asters, bee balm, lamb’s ear, purple cornflowers and many other common perennials. Some can get out of control unless you divide them frequently. Luckily, they can usually can be pulled apart by hand, or cut apart with shears or knife. Divide the plants into clumps of three to five vigorous shoots each. Toss the center of the clump into the compost pile if it looks like it's run its course and is weaker than the outside edges.

• As the name suggests, clumping root systems originate from a central clump with multiple growing points and usually have thick fleshy roots. This group includes astilbes, hostas, daylilies and many ornamental grasses. A sharp knife is handy with these guys, as it is often necessary to cut through the thick crowns to separate the divisions. You can also pry apart these roots with two digging forks held back to back. Make sure at least one developing eye or bud exists on each division.

• Rhizomes are stems that grow horizontally at or above the soil level. Irises are the most common perennial with this type of root system. Divide irises any time between a month after flowering until early fall. Cut and discard rhizome sections that are one year or older and/or showing signs of disease and insect damage. Iris divisions should retain a few inches of rhizome and one fan of leaves, trimmed back halfway. Replant with the "shoulders" of the rhizome showing above soil level.

• Tuberous roots, like dahlias, should be cut apart with a sharp knife. Every division must have a piece of the original stem and a growth bud attached. After division they can either be replanted or stored for spring planting.

Silly as it sounds, dividing is probably my favorite fall gardening chore. When you dig up one daylily and all of a sudden it becomes four...well, for an avid gardener, that's like a magic show and a birthday gift all rolled into one!

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Garden Primer

My orchid's roots are bulging out of the holes in my container. Do I need to re-pot it?

Answer:
Probably. Although orchids like to be somewhat crowded in their container homes, most orchids need to be repotted once every 1 to 2 years. The bark or moss that the orchids are grown in gradually deteriorates. If repotting is not done, the bark or moss becomes decomposed and packed down. When this happens, the roots don't get properly aerated and drainage can become blocked, leading to root rot.

Ideally, orchids should be repotted immediately after flowering. For best results, orchids should be grown either in sphagnum moss or a fine-medium orchid bark mix. You can also combine the two. Orchids do not grow well in soil, because that is not how they grow normally. Most are found in the tree canopy high above the jungle floor. Make sure your new orchid pots have good drainage.

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Steamed Mussels

What you need:

  • Mussels (one dozen per person)
  • Angel Hair pasta (you can use fettuccini, linguini - any pasta you prefer)
  • 4 sticks unsalted butter
  • 4 large garlic cloves (not the bulbs, but the large pieces from the bulbs)
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • Fresh dill

Step by Step:

  • On the stove, bring a large pot of water (8 cups) to a boil; add the dill when water boils, along with the mussels. (Note: mussels need to be washed thoroughly before cooking, ensure they are scraped and rinsed well.)
  • Turn the heat to medium and allow to cook till all mussels have opened up.
  • Immediately remove from the stove and drain. IMPORTANT: REMOVE any and all mussels that will not open. Those should be thrown away.
  • In a large pot, bring to boil water for pasta. Cook according to directions.

Sauce:

  • In a small pot, add four sticks of unsalted butter, 1/2 cup white wine and four halved garlic cloves.
  • Allow to come to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and remove garlic if desired.
  • In a large bowl, add drained pasta and toss with the sauce. Serve on individual plates topped with a dozen mussels per serving!
Enjoy! Easy, delicious and fun to make!

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This Month

Lawn Care:
Lawns are still growing in September and October. Mow weekly. For cool season grasses such as Kentucky bluegrass and fescues, now is the time to fertilize as they grow rapidly in fall.



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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