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Blue Hills Newsletter
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Blue Hills Nursery News May 31, 2018

Featured Quote:

Flowers are sunshine, food and medicine to the soul.
~ Luther Burbank


Blooming at Bluehills

Lots of color available. We can help you plan out a special place to relax or an edible garden. We also have lots of plants for attracting hummingbirds and butterflies right now.


Handsome Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas are one of the most popular plants in America. They can be grown indoors or outside in the garden, allowing their blooms to be enjoyed at any time of the year. Florist-grown hydrangeas can provide double the enjoyment since their flowers can be enjoyed indoors first, and then be pruned back and transplanted outdoors for a second bloom later in the season.

The two most popular types of hydrangea are mophead and lacecap. Mopheads have large, rounded heads, while lacecaps have a smaller cluster of flowers surrounded by a halo of larger flowers around their edge.

Most hydrangeas grown today come in shades of pink, blue or white. In many varieties, the color can be altered with the addition of lime or aluminum sulfate.

In the garden, hydrangeas do best in a morning sun, afternoon shade location and look great when planted under trees or other larger shrubs. Keep your plants watered regularly so the soil is moist but not wet. Most hydrangeas perform best when fed a couple of times during the growing season with an acid food such as GBO Acid Planting Mix.

We have a great selection of hydrangeas available and invite you to stop by and see them in their full-blooming glory!

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Coneflowers

Coneflowers (Echinacea species) are a native American wildflower that have found their way into our gardens because of their stunning beauty and hardiness. Originally only available in shades of purple and lavender, coneflowers now come in a wide range of colors. Thanks to the efforts of breeders across the country, they can now be found in shades of pink, white, purple, yellow, orange and salmon. They come in a range of sizes as well, from dwarf coneflowers that grow only 18" high and wide to varieties that grow 4-5' high and half as wide.

The 3-5" diameter flowers on these robust deciduous perennials are arranged above sturdy, elongated, upright stems that are perfect for cutting and last in a vase from 5-7 days. The flowers have somewhat weeping petals that surround a coned center (thus, the name) and are produced from summer into fall.

Coneflowers prefer full sun locations and regular watering in well-drained soil that keeps them moist, but not wet. If you have clay soil, we recommend amending with GBO Soil Building Conditioner before planting, They require a couple of feedings per year of a good flower food like Gro-Power Flower 'n' Bloom to keep them healthy and strong.

Coneflowers make an excellent addition to any perennial garden and also look great in border or container plantings. They are a perfect selection for butterfly gardens. We invite you to stop by and bring some home today!

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Growing Perfect Peppers

Homegrown peppers are fun to grow, healthful for you, and packed with flavor. They taste great whether eaten fresh, roasted or sautéed. Many people start with one variety and quickly discover it's even more fun to experiment and grow multiple varieties that produce a medley of flavors.

The biggest mistake gardeners make is planting their pepper plants too early. You can start them from seed indoors early in spring, but it's best not to transplant starter plants until the soil has warmed and night temperatures stay above 55-60 degrees.

Peppers do best in well-amended soil, so make sure to amend your vegetable bed with GBO Harvest Supreme before planting. They prefer a long, moderate growing season. If it is too cool, peppers might not quite ripen fully, and the fruit won't set well when daytime temperatures stay above 90 degrees (shading them some can help during a string of hot days).

It's very important to keep the soil consistently moist; otherwise the peppers can crack or get sun scald. Make sure to apply a rich organic plant food high in calcium at the time of planting and every two months during the growing season. This helps prevent blossom-end rot.

Once your peppers change to their mature color, it's time for harvesting. Then sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

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June Garden Tips

1. Continue to plant melons.
2. Plant tropical and subtropical plants.
3. Plant bougainvilleas.
4. Plant perennial morning glories.
5. Purchase fuchsias.
6. Continue to purchase epiphyllums.
7. Plant seeds of heat-loving annuals.
8. Use bedding plants for quick color.
9. Continue to plant summer vegetables.
10. Plant zoysia grass.
11. Plant exotic vegetables.
12. Purchase, plant and transplant succulents--including cacti and euphorbias.
13. Purchase alstroemerias throughout summer while they are in bloom.
14. Plant papayas and bananas.
15. Plant and transplant palms.
16. Continue to pick and deadhead roses.
17. Pinch back chrysanthemums to make them bushy.
18. Divide and repot cymbidiums that have outgrown their containers.
19. Remove berries (seed pods) from fuchsias after flowers fall.
20. Prune epiphyllums.
21. Thin out deciduous fruit trees after June drop.
22. Give marguerites a "butch" haircut.
23. Cut back gamolepis and euryops.
24. Deadhead and pick summer flowers to keep them going.
25. Mow cool-season lawns longer.
26. Mow warm-season grasses shorter.
27. Clip runners off strawberries.
28. Prune climbing roses that bloom once a year in spring, but wait until flowers fade.
29. Divide English primroses after bloom or wait until September.
30. Continue to prune and train espaliers.
31. Continue to remove spent bloom stems from daylilies and to propagate the types that make proliferates.
32. Deadhead alstroemerias often by pulling off the stalks with a sharp tug.
33. Look for yellow leaves and green veins indicating chlorosis in citrus, gardenias, azaleas, and others; treat it with chelated iron.
34. Feed citrus and avocado trees.
35. Feed bamboo with a slow-release fertilizer.
36. Feed water lilies.
37. Fertilize cymbidiums with high nitrogen for growth.
38. Give camellias their second feeding for the year.
39. Feed container-grown annuals and perennials with a complete fertilizer.
40. Side-dress vegetable rows if you didn't do it last month.
41. Give strawberries a shot of 0-10-10 to prolong the harvest.
42. If peppers look yellow despite adequate nitrogen, spray them with Epsom salts.

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Garden Primer

How can I keep cats from using my vegetable garden for a litter box?

Answer:
First of all, remove any existing calling cards from your vegetable garden. If you can identify which one of your delightfully inconsiderate neighbors allows their cat to do his business in your garden, place the calling cards in a plastic bag on their front doorstep, ring the doorbell, and run. This gives the game "doorbell ditch" a whole new perspective--especially if you weren't able to play the game as a child.

If you don't have the time or the legs to play this game, a better solution is to sneak into your neighbor's yard at night and over-seed their garden with catnip. Their cat will be in pure heaven and never want to leave.

Kidding aside, there are a number of naturally safe repellents that should make Fifi think twice about using your garden as her personal toilet. If an electric fence or chicken wire isn't your cup of tea, consider applying a commercial cat repellent. The key to using a repellent is to consistently re-apply the product until Fifi associates the desired area with the bad smell.

Home remedies like moth balls (inside coffee cans with small holes in lids) or cayenne pepper shaken around the exterior of the bed have also been known to be somewhat effective. Mulching may help, and keeping the garden soil moist. Cats like loose, dry soil to bury their doings in. You may want to try to catch Fifi in the act and spray her with water. This will make you feel better but, unfortunately, rarely deters a persistent cat.

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Fresh Herb and Fruit Salad

What You'll Need:

  • 2 cups fresh pineapple, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup honeydew melon, peeled and diced (remove seeds)
  • 1 cup mango, peeled, diced and pitted
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tbsp. fresh cilantro or mint, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp. crystallized ginger, minced
  • 1 tbsp. red bell pepper, minced
  • 1 tbsp. sesame seeds (optional*)

Step by Step:

  • Put everything except the sesame seeds in a large bowl.
  • Mix thoroughly.
  • Let stand 10 minutes so that flavors can blend.
  • Divide the fruit mixture among wineglasses and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
*Sesame seeds can be left off. (Some have trouble digesting them.)

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If you haven't already, plant heat-loving vegetables such as corn, cucumbers, green beans, lima beans, okra, peppers, pumpkin, New Zealand spinach, zucchini, summer squash, melons, and eggplant.



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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