Deep Roots Garden Center            Newsletter                 Midsummer Edition 2011

Fox Farms Products

We have introduced you to Fox Farms' "ultimate potting soil" now find out about Fox Farms other products which include a range of high quality, very effective soils and fertilizers.


The Fox Farms representative will be here to tell you why Fox Farms products are the best for your garden; answer your questions; and tell you everything you ever wanted to know about their range of products....


The rep. from Fox Farms will be at Deep Roots Garden Center at 10.00AM Saturday July 23rd. 



Plant Delivery Alert!


Just arrived at Deep Roots Garden Center for your summer delight... new tomato plants, herbs, summer veggies and flowers.


Supplement your current vegetable garden and extend your growing season with eggplant, celery, beets, cilantro, tomatoes, basil, lovage (see below), sage, Mojito mint (for your summer Mojitoes...what else??? Oh yes, Mint Julips..), chives and more... For those who are late starting their tomatoes we have large tomaoto plants in 10" pots.



What to do in your garden in July and August...


In the warm, midsummer months of July and August, focus on maintenance, watering, and enjoying your garden. With the high heat (we hope) and scorching sun this month (we wish!) avoid most gardening tasks during the warmest hours, drink plenty of water, and use sunscreen. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat is also a good idea. Take a regular walk around the garden and look out for potential signs of pest and disease and take action before these become a problem.

• The hot hours of the day are not a good time to divide or transplant as the heat will cause your plants to suffer from transplant shock. The best time to transplant is in the cool of the late afternoon. Restrict fertilizing and pruning to the cooler hours also. If you are not comfortable working in the heat, chances are your plants will be uncomfortable being worked on too.

• Midsummer is not the ideal time for planting. However sometimes we just cannot resist buying a new plant and putting it into its new home. Pick an overcast day or plant in the evening, add plenty of organic matter to the soil and water in well. Always use a mulch around newly planted plants to help retain moisture.

• Relax in your deckchair, put your feet up and listen to the birds singing and the bees buzzing.

Compost • Check compost bins from time to time. Your compost should be cooking along. Keep adding material to your compost heap, mixing greens (nitrogen) with browns (carbon) at a 50/50 ratio and cover the heap to retain moisture. If the contents appear too dry, add some water and 'wet' waste, such as kitchen peelings and grass clippings. Don’t let it dry out. The worms can’t work efficiently if things are dried up! •  Keep layering – one layer of wet kitchen waste (nitrogen), one layer of dry leaves, shredded newspaper, etc. (carbon) with an occasional shovelful of garden soil. •  Take the opportunity to turn the contents too, this will help to aerate it and activate the bacteria that help to decompose all your waste into lovely rich, dark humus to put back on the garden. If you don't have enough green waste (nitrogen) you can add Blood Meal to heat things up.

Watering and mulching: •  These are by far the most important garden jobs in Midsummer. Keep plants well watered during dry spells to avoid them becoming stressed and susceptible to pests and diseases. • Try to plant your flower beds so that there is no bare soil – make full use of mulches and ground cover plants. This will reduce evaporation, keep the soil cool, and prevent weeds from germinating. Weed-free grass clippings can be piled onto beds, several inches thick. Don't cover young seedlings (apart from weeds) and don't pile up too close to plant stems. • Give your plants a deep soaking, not just a couple of squirts with the hose. •  Container plants will need to be watered often. How often? Depending upon the weather, at least several times a week, and daily during hot spells or Santa Ana wind conditions. Remember the golden rule: if the soil is wet DON"T WATER IT!  • Plants growing by fences and walls invariably suffer dryness at the roots. Keep all wall/fence trained plants well watered - and mulch to retain moisture. Also the soil next to the concrete footing of a wall often is highly alkaline due to the concrete seeping into the soil. Plants may not do well in this kind of location unless you acidify the soil on a regular basis.

Other Water conservation Ideas • Wash your car on the lawn. The soap won’t hurt it. When you boil eggs, or when you are done with ice buckets/ice chests let the water reach room temperature and then water your plants with it.

Cleanup and Maintenance • Work outdoors in the cool of the morning and stay hydrated. • Stay on top of weeds by first pulling any that are blooming, before they set seeds. • Clean the filter in water features, and add extra aeration to fish ponds in high temperatures. • Refresh the water in fountains and birdbaths. • Clean and refill hummingbird feeders every few days. • Golden rule #2: Never fertilize a dry plant. Wet the soil first. • Remove Japanese beetles and other pests when you see them: thrips (distorted flowers and silver coloration), spider mites (look undersides of leaves), tomato fruitworm , tomato horn worm, and cabbage looper caterpillars (holes in leaves).

Lawn Care • Continue mowing as needed, but don't cut your lawn too short, it will survive the hot dry weather much better if it is a little longer. • Make sure lawn mower blades are sharp, so they cut cleanly. • Set the mower at the highest setting for your lawn type (3”- 4” for cool-season grasses, 2”- 3” for warm-season grasses). • Try leaving the box off the mower, and let the clippings fly. They will rot speedily in warm weather, returning valuable nitrogen to the growing grass. You'll save time and effort if you don't have to go back and forth emptying the mower box. • Make sure your lawn gets at least one inch of water per week.

Ponds and Fountains • Keep your pond topped up in hot weather. • Make sure you have oxygenating plants in your pond so creatures can breath. A small fountain or cascade can help keep your pond oxygenated. The sound of trickling water can be very relaxing too. Rake out any blanket weed that has formed, make sure you leave it by the side of the pond for a couple of days, so any creatures caught in it can return to the water. • Keep bird baths clean and filled with fresh water. • Leave shallow bowls of water around your garden for butterflies, bees and other beneficial insects – they need fresh water! Be sure to add rocks to the shallow bowls so insects won’t drown as they are trying to get a drink. It’s very sad to see hard-working bees that have drowned in deep water. Do what you can to avoid this. We need the bees!

Beneficial insects  • Ladybug larvae eat aphids. Don’t kill these bugs thinking that they are bad. This is a busy season for pests, but fortunately the beneficials, such as hover fly larvae, ladybirds and many others, should also be present in large numbers to deal with them.

Fungus Gnats If you have an infestation of fungus gnats (Sciarid flies) in container plants, reduce watering immediately. These pests thrive on moist, organic material in potting soil. Top dress the soil in the pots with coarse grit to maintain a dry surface, and only water from the bottom.

In your vegetable garden July and August are usually the hottest months of the year. By now you should be reaping the rewards of your vegetable plot with freshly picked herbs,  onions, garlic, zucchini, squash, beans, tomatoes and first early potatoes. Summer is all about cooking and eating for the vegetable gardener so enjoy the abundant rewards of your labor. • With regards to watering your vegetables, the golden rule is 'soak not splash', giving plants an occasional thorough soaking rather than a short drink every day. Apply water directly to the soil in the mornings to prevent leaf scorch. • Remove garlic flower heads to encourage bulb growth. • Add compost or organic fertilizer to vegetable gardens. • Harvest veggies. Give away or freeze any produce you can’t use, and remove plants that have finished producing. • Pick veggies while smallthey taste better. In many cases, picking encourages continued flowering, and thus increased production. • Check zucchini plants daily to avoid the “baseball bat” phenomenon; huge zucchini don’t taste that great except in chocolate zucchini loaf, which is really more about chocolate than zucchini! (Although the moistness zucchini brings to a cake, like carrots, is irrefutable). For recipe see below • Search regularly for beans, cucumbers and other green veggies that might be hiding under the leaves. Do not allow these to go to seed or the plants will stop producing. • Continue weeding, watering, and removing insects. • Start seeds for cool-season fall vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, and spinach but keep them out of the sun • Mulch sprawling plants to keep vegetables off the ground.• Harvest berries before birds and squirrels eat them. •Harvest corn when the tassels turn brown and the kernels are full and milky.• Harvest melons when they slip easily from the vine. • Check all vegetable netting for holes and gaps that may allow pests to attack.

Pumpkins If you hurry (within the next 10 days), there is still time to plant Halloween jack-o’-lantern pumpkins from seeds. By planting them now, they will mature in October. Growing pumpkins is a fun gardening project for the whole family. Youngsters love to grow their own jack-o’-lanterns, and parents can grow a few for pumpkins pies. Pumpkins are easy to grow, and although most varieties require a good deal of garden space, there are some new semi-bush types that take much less space. We have several different varieties of pumpkin seeds for sale at Deep Roots.

Fruits • Check berries regularly to harvest before the birds, squirrels, raccoons, opossums or skunks get them .• Harvest raspberries and strawberries, plums, peaches and apricots. Time to get out the jam-making equipment! My favorite jams? I try to combine more than one fruit in each jam: Plum and fig (I use dried figs for this…soaked in Triple Sec or Sherry first). Pear and Fig with Madeira wine, Apricot and Raspberry. Jam is fairly easy to make, just a bit time consuming. It is nice to dedicate a whole morning to making jams while listening to the radio. It makes me feel like Mother Earth. I particularly like to put a spoonful on my plain yogurt. Wonderful stuff.

• When you complete your harvest from your summer fruit trees such as peaches, apricots, plums, etc., be certain that you have cleaned up all fallen fruit from around the tree and any fruit that has mummified on the tree. Such fruit, if not removed, will attract wasps and harbor overwintering pests and disease organisms. • Check fruit trees for water sprouts (branches growing straight up from limbs) and remove them by tearing them off the mother root or branch • Cut and dig unwanted strawberry  runners to increase the mother plant’s fruiting capacity. If you want to keep them for next season, place them in a small pot of soil until they root and then cut the stem that is attached to the mother plant. You can then plant elsewhere, or give to friends.

Some gardeners think it’s best not to keep the same strawberries going for more than two or three years. Others disagree – but it is normal for the berries to start getting smaller. I like to start some of the runners, keeping them fed, to replace older plants gradually.

Grapes • To keep birds and wasps away from grapes, enclose whole clusters in paper bags until the clusters have ripened. Thin grapes by selectively removing grape clusters to allow remaining fruit to get larger. This encourages ripening also. Remove some leaves (but not all) from around the clusters to increase air circulation and avoid bunch rot.

Citrus and other sub tropicals: Plant kumquat, lemon, lime, orange, and other citrus. Feed your citrus trees regularly for green leaves, many flowers and delicious fruit. Inspect for pests regularly.

Herbs: The herb garden should be at its most delicious. Flowers are blooming, leaves growing and seeds are ripening - lots of choices for the table. Some herbs will be nearing the end of their growing season, so it is also a time to start harvesting and storing - and sowing or planting more! • Give herbs a haircut, and use the cuttings in salads, or make herb dipping oil (see recipe at right). • For maximum flavor, harvest herbs just as the flower buds appear. Shear back annual herbs (such as basil) to encourage a second harvest. • Harvest lemon balm, Winter savory, hyssop, tarragon, thyme, lavender, marjoram and most other herbs this month.

Edible flowers from the herb garden: Using flowers in salads and other recipes is an ancient method of adding flavor and color to food. Pick early in the day, taking care not to bruise the delicate blooms. Here is a list of some edible plants and blooms: marigold (calendula officinalis), nasturtium (tropaeolum magus) , dandelion (taraxacum officinale), violet (viola odorata), pinks (dianthus Sp.), borage (borage officinalis), rose (rosa sp.), anise hyssop (agastache foeniculum), chives (allium schoenoprasum), garlic chives (allium tuberosum), zucchini flowers.

Trees and Shrubs • Prune dead, damaged, or diseased branches. • Stop fertilizing trees and shrubs to allow them to reduce growth during the heat of summer. • Summer prune mature full-sized fruit trees once you have harvested the fruit. Winter pruning encourages strong growth, summer pruning limits strong growth. • Remove suckers by yanking downward to remove the growth bud.

• Prune spring-flowering shrubs, then leave them alone to set buds for next year. Summer and fall flowering shrubs should not be pruned unless badly overgrown while non-blooming hedges can be trimmed as needed.• Deadhead roses and other flowering shrubs so they will continue blooming.• Plants suffering from iron deficiency will benefit from an application of chelated iron and soil acidifier.

• Continue planting and transplanting container-grown trees and shrubs, but give them extra water and shade protection, if possible. • Avoid digging or cultivating around shallow-rooted plants or otherwise disturbing the roots. •Take softwood cuttings of shrubs such as hydrangea, buddleia, rose, and hibiscus. • Water trees infrequently, but deeply at the drip line.

• Camellia and azalea plants need reliable irrigation during the summer months. These plants are beginning the budding cycle that will produce next season’s flowers. Water the plants deeply and consistently and fertilize with an acid fertilizer.

In your ornamental garden: The lushness of spring growth may be over and many plants have already passed their peak. • Spend some time having a good tidy up, deadheading and cutting back spent flowering shoots and seed heads. Deadheading many plants followed by the addition of some fertilizer will encourage them to flower again. • Prune and fertilize roses, annuals and perennials to promote more blooms. The deeper into the plant structure you cut, the longer new flowers will take to develop, so don’t go overboard if you want to see another flush of blooms. • Fertilize the plants one week after pruning.

• Hanging baskets need regular watering. Even on cloudy days check them and see if they need water. Don’t let them dry out completely as it will be difficult to re-wet them once completely dry. Moist soil takes in water more readily than dry soil. Larger baskets hold more moisture thus require less frequent watering. Water adds considerable weight, so make sure your basket hangers are secure. • Also don't forget to fertilize and deadhead them regularly.

• Plants in containers will benefit from a top dressing. Worm compost or leaf mold are ideal. • Also give them a little fertilizer if you haven't done so recently. • Peat-based container mixes become hydrophobic (they repel water) when they dry out completely; it’s hard to re-wet them. If a planted container has completely dried out, fill a larger container with water and submerge the dry container in it for half an hour or longer if needed.

Perennials • For fall blooms, shear back chrysanthemums and asters •  Give a light haircut to bushy or leggy perennials to encourage re-blooming. • Support vines and tall plants with trellises or stakes. • Cut flowers in the early morning when the stems are plump. • Divide and transplant Oriental poppies this month.

Annuals and Containers • Water container plants daily (or even twice a day) this month if the weather is hot. • Fertilize every couple of weeks. • Deadhead faded blossoms to increase blooming. • Pinch back leggy stems to encourage branching. • Start seeds for pansies and other fall annuals but keep out of the heat.

Houseplants • Put houseplants outdoors in the shade for the summer. They might enjoy a light spray with a hose once in a while too – never in direct sunlight, best done in the morning. This may deter spider mites and other pests from taking up residence on their leaves. (Don’t spray woolly-leaved plants, such as African violets.) • Water houseplants regularly. • Feed houseplants every couple of weeks with a balanced organic fertilizer. • Examine houseplants for insects and diseases and treat accordingly. • Repot pot-bound houseplants.

Making plans • Gardening is for optimists and requires patience and a faith in the future. Now is the time to look around your garden and decide what is working and what is not. Draw a plan of your garden, label the plants you want to move and make  to yourself as to where you can move them.


The Buzz....


 What's Been

On Your Mind



Your Garden's Most (Un)Wanted: 


Grassy weeds among your flowers beds:


Are your flower beds being invaded by grasses and grassy weeds? Mine are....  A few weeks ago I had grass growing in my irises, under my lilac and among my vinca. I tried pulling it out by hand but as I couldn't get the roots out it just grew back. With great trepidation I sprayed everything with Grass Getter by Monterey: "Kills Grassy Weeds Without Killing Desirable Plants", it says on the label.


Following the instructions I mixed it with dormant oil and hand sprayed wherever the rogue grass was growing. It felt dangerous spraying my prize irises with weed killer and every morning I went out and checked what progress was being made. After one week... nothing, after two weeks, still nothing but I noticed the grass had stopped growing, whereas the irises, lilac and other flowers were still looking beautiful and growing strong. After about  four weeks the grass is now yellowing and about to croak, whereas the other flowers are just fine! This is a product that really works! Save yourself hours of back-breaking weeding with Grass Getter!   (Just be careful not to spray desirable ornamental grassy plants...)


Here is the blurb from Monterey's web site: 

Monterey Grass Getter, Kills grassy weeds out of flowerbeds. Use for post emergence control. A selective grass killer for weed control over the top of bedding plants, shrubs, ornamentals, vegetables

and groundcover. Controls annual grasses as well as hard to control species such as Bermuda grass, Johnson grass and Quack grass.


Tried and True, plants that work...

Some plants are true performers  and are suitable for those difficult places in the garden where nothing else will grow. One such place is the dry shade found under trees. Because trees take up so much water, the area under the canopy can be permanently dry and is a hostile environment to most plants. Another very difficult environment for plants are slopes especially sandy, steep slopes which suffer from erosion.


There are several really strong plants that will thrive in these environments, have low water requirements once established and look good all year round.  Here is one: 

Liriope. There’s no ground cover known to humankind that’s as successful as liriope at preventing erosion on even the steepest hillsides, at surviving bone dry conditions under trees, or wet ground, and doing all that in full sun or deep shade. You can yank it roughly out of the ground and cram it back into the ground and it won’t complain.

Best of all for budget gardeners who need to cover ground, it’ll spread and fill out quite quickly all by itself in a contained area, like the right-of-way between the street and the sidewalk. Weeds don’t stand a chance in the thick mass of sheer liriope. When planted in deep shade its spread is less aggressive.

There are three varieties of spreading Liriope: the fastest spreading has dark green leaves with light purple flowers. Spreading more slowly is the yellow variegated variety which has deep purple flowers, and the white variegated variegated variety with lavender colored flowers. All three varieties begin flowering in mid-summer and continue sometimes into September and October and beyond depending on the variety. I grow all three kinds and they are the easiest plants I have ever grown!


Liriope muscari is the “clumping” kind that does not spread by runners and basically stays where you put it. It has dark green leaves and dark purple blooms. It shares all the good qualities of the spreading kind — incredible toughness and adaptability — without the invasive behavior.

This one plant epitomizes the dilemma of anyone in need of ground cover for a large area: if a plant fills in quickly, it usually will also spread where you don’t want it to go. And certainly the word “invasive” is a flag for anyone. So here are some good follow-up questions to ask:


In what situation does it spread so aggressively? In the case of spreading liriope, it’s only a problem when it gets direct sunlight. I’ve seen it growing in the shade for years, not spreading at all.


Liriope is not just extremely drought-tolerant but also moisture-tolerant — an amazing feat by a plant. It can take sun or shade, soggy or dry soil. Sheer back in late winter if needed and the leaves will grow right back. The plant is easily divided.


These plants naturalize easily under trees and look wonderful when planted en masse.


The Herb Garden

When it comes to plants, we at Deep Roots like to bring in the unusual, the  uncommon and the unknown. Our selection of herbs is no exception. Here are two of the less known herbs that we have in stock:


Lovage. Lovage (pictured below) is a wonderful, very old herb with properties perfect for today's healthy lifestyles. Its unique flavor, which is a combination of celery and a hint of anise, lends a wonderful flavor to soups, stews, stocks, salads, meat, potato and tomato dishes. You can use it much like you would celery or parsley, but with a lighter hand since it does have a stronger flavor. It is also used as a natural salt substitute, and is said to be an aphrodisiac - hence the name. And every part of the plant - leaves, stems, roots and seed - is edible!


     Fortunately for us, Lovage is not a small, delicate plant. It is a deciduous herb that will grow to about 5' feet tall in 5 years, so you want to have a nice roomy corner of the garden set aside for it. Due to its statuesque size and solid green leaves, it looks great as a backdrop in the perennial flower garden, and is indeed often used for that purpose. It can take partial shade and does better in soil that is fairly fertile and not too dry. It can also be grown in a large pot, or tub on the balcony. And in a couple of years, you never need to buy celery or parsley again - other than for celery sticks with Cheez Whiz.  

Add a teaspoon of fresh minced Lovage to your chicken soup during the last 5 or 10 minutes of cooking. You can also add it to hot or chilled vegetable, meat, potato or tomato soups. Add one to two tablespoons of minced fresh Lovage to your meatloaf recipes.  Lovage is also great when cooking lentils- sweat a few leaves with onions , then let the lentils cook slowly with the lovage. Chop the leaves and add to cream cheese- this can then be used as a stuffing - lovely in a chicken breast. Pesto is traditionally made with basil, but can be made with most herbs. I use sorrel and lovage.Lovage can be used oon a pizza topping, and it is excellent with fish, such as salmon.Chop the leaves in a fresh leaf and herb salad - dress with your favorite dressing.Lovage soup is delicious. I love leek and lovage soup- it sounds good and tastes fantastic- the leeks and lovage really work well together.  A handful of chopped lovage on pasta looks and tastes great.  Chop the lovage leaves and add to a paste of soft butter and use as a topping for vegetable ( it is really good on carrots). Add fresh leaves to your favorite potato salad or coleslaw and to a Bloody Mary.

Harvest Lovage seeds to use whole or ground in cakes, meats, biscuits, breads, sauces, cheeses, salad dressings, or pickles.  




Winter Savory. It is an herbal mystery why Winter Savory is relatively unknown when for hundreds of years it has been grown and used extensively in cooking (and for good reason.) If  I had to choose only one herb to take with me to a desert island it would be Winter Savory.  It has a strong spicy flavor - a mixture of thyme and basil - and it at its best when sprinkled fresh on a tomato salad.


Winter savory is a 12", dark green, semi-woody,

perennial that is easy to grow.  It makes an attractive border plant for any culinary herb garden.  Plant where it can get about six hours of sun a day in soil  that drains well.


Winter savory’s growth cycle starts in early spring with soft, lush, flavorful, rapidly-growing stems. The longer these stems grow and the older the plant gets, the woodier the plant gets. If left on the plant, the stems reach about 12 inches long and produce clouds of small white flowers. Supple sprigs that push up from the ground and new side shoots off the older woody stems are perfect for fresh use. Older leaves along the arching woody branches are best used in cooked dishes as they hold up well. Removing old branches back to the ground a couple of times a year keeps the plant clean and open to the sun and air, and produces more lush growth.


Use Winter savory in any recipe that calls for thyme or basil. Winter savory is a great mixing herb. It blends well with different culinary oreganos, thymes and basils and can be added to meat, poultry, fish and eggs. Its small leaves are the perfect complement to herb cheeses or as last-minute additions to sautés. Winter savory is famous for making its mark on beans. For a simple and delicious side dish, sauté chopped onions and a little garlic, throw in some Winter savory and a can of northern beans and heat (this is great with roast lamb). Winter savory also perks up stuffings, and I mix it with sage, thyme, and bay leaves to stuff my Christmas goose. Add to ground turkey or pork, with fennel seed, cayenne pepper, and thyme. Or, add a pinch to chicken salad or hearty soup. Winter savory is also perfect sprinkled on a plain omelet. There are very few dishes that a little Winter savory won't make better.



Lemon Balm


Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), a member of the mint family, is considered a "calming" herb. It was used as far back as the Middle Ages to reduce stress and anxiety, promote sleep, improve appetite, and ease pain and discomfort from indigestion (including gas and bloating as well as colic). Even before the Middle Ages, lemon balm was steeped in wine to lift the spirits, help heal wounds, and treat venomous insect bites and stings. Today, lemon balm is often combined with other calming, soothing herbs, such as valerian, chamomile, and hops, to help promote relaxation. It is also used in creams to treat cold sores (oral herpes).


When crushed the young leaves have a fresh, lingering, lemon scent and a mild lemon-mint flavor. The aroma is subtle and pleasant, and not as penetrating as that of lemon verbena or lemongrass. Lemon Balm combines well with apples, apricots, melons, peaches, figs and summer berries, and is lovely in white Sangria.


For cooking, lemon balm is a pleasant accent for fish or chicken, fruits and vegetables, or salads and beverages.  Use it to flavor oils or with other herbs in compound butters. Lemon balm compliments basil, chives, parsley, mint and dill. It is best used fresh rather than dried and the flavor will be brighter if added near the end the cooking process. Make a pesto for pasta with lemon balm instead of basil. Float some Lemon Balm leaves in a jug of lemonade.



From Deep Roots'

Summer in the Garden Cook Book:


Snow Peas with Almonds and Lemon Balm

2 Tablespoons sliced toasted almonds

4 ounces fresh snow peas

1 Tablespoon chopped fresh lemon balm leaves

1/8 teaspoon cracked black pepper

1/8 teaspoon large sea salt salt

1 Tablespoon olive oil 

Toast the almonds by placing them in a small dry skillet over medium-high heat. Shake or stir, watching carefully, until they are golden brown. Remove from heat; transfer to a small bowl.

String the snow peas, if desired, and slice crosswise into 1/2-inch lengths.  After the almonds have cooled, mix in the lemon balm, black pepper and salt, crushing the almonds slightly as you mix. 


Heat the olive oil in the same small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the snow pea pieces; stir fry for 4-5 minutes.  Reserve 1 Tablespoon of the almond-balm mixture and stir the rest of it into the snow peas. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with the reserved mixture.  

Makes 2 side dish servings.  



Deep Roots

Garden Center &

Floral Design Studio 


9AM - 6PM daily


Find us on Facebook

201-207 N. Sepulveda Blvd.

Manhattan Beach,

CA 90266


Garden Center: 310-376-0567

Flower Shop: 310-379-3634



Easy Reader's 

Best Garden Center

  in the South Bay   





Eco-Friendly Moment

Deep Roots Floral Design Studio is eco-friendly...we use washable rags; recycle cardboard, paper and plastic; and compost old flowers. 


Call us at 310-379-3634 to order your unique custom designed arrangement or bouquet.

You can also order flowers online through our Teleflora website 


Holes in Leaves

Customers often want to know what is causing the holes in the leaves of their plants. It could be any number of insects or diseases: earwigs, snails, caterpillars, weevils, slugs, grasshoppers, certain beetles, etc. Most of these pests can be controlled by spraying with an organic pesticide. Bring in a sample of your holes and we will suggest a remedy.


CSA Organic Veggie Boxes

We are an established drop off point for the South Central Farmers Cooperative Community Supported Agriculture vegetable boxes.


The large boxes of seasonal, organic vegetables and fruit are delivered to Deep Roots Garden Center every Wednesday at approximately 2.00 pm and we store them in our large flower cooler until closing time the following day.


Customers may order a box every week, every two weeks, once a month or simply when you feel like one. The boxes contain enough seasonal organic vegetables to feed a family of four for a week or a single/couple for two weeks.


Payment is in advance – please place your order before noon on Mondays. Why not come in and order a box? Or you can phone 310-376-0567.


At $21 a box it is great value.

To find out what is in the box visit:



Field Trip!!!

The South Central Farmers Cooperative and SCF Health and Education Fund are teaming up to host a visit to the SCF farm in Bakersfield. There will be a trip next Friday, July 22nd and another on Saturday, August 20th. If you have ever been interested in checking out where your food is grown or just getting away from the city to spend some time in the fields, these are the days to do it...

South Central Farmers

"Sweat is Beautiful!" Farm Tour

When: Friday, July 22 and Saturday, August 20

Time:  Sunrise to Sundown (LA departure meet @ 7:30 am)

Leaving from:  SCF Community Centro 1702 E. 41st St. Los Angeles, CA 90058

Contact: Elizabeth Chavez

Tel. 800-249-5240 


Experience the sweat and beauty of the South Central Farmers in Bakersfield, CA! Their monthly "Sweat is Beautiful!" farm tour includes a lively tour of the farm, communal farming and harvesting food for a healthy cookout. (Children welcome but must have supervision at all times).



Kale Wail:

So what's with all the Kale? The boxes have contained lots of kale since last winter - Russian kale, curly kale, black Tuscan kale, along with Swiss chard and collard greens. The farmers plant other crops... honest they do, but sometimes the crops fail or the critters beat the farmers to the harvest,and so they have to substitute a successful crop ... usually kale...for the failed crop. All types of kale are extremely nutritious and contain lots of vitamins and minerals. We think of kale as a cold weather crop but the South Central Farmers Coop seem to be able to grow it year round.

Science alert! Kale is considered by some to be the most nutritious vegetable in the world with powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Kale is very high in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, lutein, zeaxanthin and reasonably rich in calcium. Kale, along with broccoli and other brassicas, provides sulforaphane (particularly when chopped or minced), a chemical believed to have potent anti-cancer properties. Boiling decreases the level of sulforaphane; however, steaming, microwaving, or stir frying do not result in significant loss. Along with other brassicas, kale is also a source of indole-3-carbinol, a chemical which boosts DNA repair in cells and appears to block the growth of cancer cells. Kale is also a good source of carotenoids. So eat your kale! All of it!


How do you cook kale? Here are some of my favorite ways (time for some serious kale cooking):


Sautéed Kale:

 - Chop it, steam it for five minutes, drain and then sauté it in a little olive oil with LOTS of chopped garlic. Sprinkle with a little good quality balsamic vinegar.



 Kale and White Bean Soup:



1 lb dried white beans such as Great Northern, cannellini, or navy (or use canned beans)

2 onions, coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

5 cups chicken broth

2 qt water

1 (3- by 2-inch) piece Parmigiana-Reggiano cheese rind

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary

1 lb smoked sausage such as kielbasa (optional), sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick

8 carrots, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces

1 lb kale, stems and center ribs discarded and leaves coarsely chopped



Cover beans with water by 2 inches in a pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let stand, uncovered, 1 hour. Drain beans in a colander and rinse. OR open the cans of beans.

Cook onions in oil in an 8-quart pot over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add beans, broth, 1 quart water, cheese rind, salt, pepper, bay leaf, and rosemary and simmer, uncovered, until beans are just tender, about 50 minutes.  

While soup is simmering, brown sausage (if using) in batches in a heavy skillet over moderate heat, turning, then transfer to paper towels to drain.

Stir carrots into soup and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in kale, sausage, and remaining quart water and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until kale is tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Season soup with salt and pepper.

This soup is best if made 1 or 2 days ahead.



Kale chips



These are a low calorie nutritious snack. Like potato chips, you cannot stop at just eating one.


1 bunch kale

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon seasoned salt, large sea salt or soy sauce.


- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

- Line a non insulated cookie sheet with parchment paper.

 - With a knife or kitchen shears carefully remove the leaves from the thick stems and tear into bite size pieces.

 - Wash and thoroughly dry kale with a salad spinner.

 - Drizzle kale with olive oil and sprinkle with the salt or soy sauce.

 - Bake until the edges brown but are not burnt, 10 to 15 minutes.


 Do you have any favorite kale recipes? E-mail me at and I will share them  with our readers.


More more recipes visit:




From Deep Roots'

Summer in the Garden Cook Book

Herb Dipping Oil

 - Pick two handfuls of your favorite herbs  such as thyme, Winter savory, chives, basil, oregano (not mint, it doesn't lend itself very well to this recipe).

- Peel several cloves of garlic.

- Chop them all together very finely or grind them in a coffee grinder kept specially for herbs and garlic.

 - Mix with extra virgin olive oil and dip in your favorite rustic bread.





More tomato plants, different varieties.  For those late planting their tomatoes we also have three-foot high tomato plants in 10" containers.


We have been having very good reports from customers who are growing cool season tomato varieties such as Stupice, Glacier, Legend,    Manitoba, Early Girl, and most especially Siberian and San Francisco Fog (photo above). These varieties will produce flowers and fruit even in cool temperatures and when there is no sun. Sounds like our weather! • The first tomato season is now well under way but we can sow tomato seeds now and get another crop in before the weather gets too cold. • The term "Cool Weather" tomato plants do not mean that the plants are necessarily hardy in cold temperatures. It means that the time it takes for the fruit to develop and mature on the plant is shorter than other varieties so that you can fit in another whole batch of plants before it gets too cold.

Tomato care in July • Give large tomato plants extra water, and perhaps a little shade, if temperatures should get over 90° F. Tomatoes do not like to get too dry; they don’t like their leaves to be wet either, finicky creatures – but they taste so good we put up with their demands. Some varieties will be ripening now – and they taste really good with fresh ricotta, fresh basil leaves, and a drizzling of fruity olive oil!



We offer 10% discounts to members of:

Hermosa Gardening Club, the Manhattan Beach Botanical Gardens, The South Coast Botanic Gardens, The Surfrider Foundation, Heal the Bay, and all senior citizens on Senior Day (Tuesdays). 

We have added members of the Military, Coastguards, Police, and Firefighters to this list. Bring along your badge or wear your uniform to get a 10% discount on everything! We thank you for your service.


From: Deep Roots'

Summer in the Garden Cook Book:

Chocolate & Zuccinni Cake

This is a rich, dense, delicious chocolate cake – the infamous zucchini deserves a little respect for this one.

Ingredients: 1/2 C (one stick) unsalted butter at room temp. 2 C all-purpose flour. 1/2 C unsweetened cocoa powder.  1 t baking soda. 1/2 t baking powder.  1/2 t fine sea salt. 1 C (packed) light brown sugar.  1 t pure vanilla extract.  1 t instant coffee granules.  3 large eggs.  2 C unpeeled grated zucchini.  1 C semi- or bittersweet chocolate chips or high quality chocolate bits. 

Method: Preheat oven to 350º/ Grease a 10-inch springform pan with butter or vegetable oil/ Or use a bundt or bread pans (call it chocolate & zucchini bread) and adjust baking times.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together dry ingredients (excluding the coffee) and reserve 1 cup of mixture. Mix sugar and butter until creamy. Add eggs, vanilla and coffee granules, mixing well after each addition. Add half the dry ingredients and mix. Stir together the reserved 1 C dry ingredients, the grated zucchini, chocolate chips and stir to coat. Add this zucchini mixture and fold into batter just until mixed. Batter is thick. Pour into prepared pan – I think bread pans would be fine too – spread with a spatula until even. Ovens vary. Bake at 350º for 35 – 50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. I think I cooked mine a few minutes too long – 35 minutes would have been enough in my convection oven.

Melt 1 C of chocolate chips, 1/4 C cream or whole milk in the microwave or on the stove top – either way, do it slowly. Stir to mix, add more liquid if needed, allow to cool a bit, and drizzle over the top of mostly cooled cake. Next time: I’ll try bread pans.


Going On Vacation?

It’s summertime and you are going on vacation. What to do with your houseplants and containers? Some people are lucky enough to have a neighbor or friend who will water the plants along with feeding the family pets. However, for those of us who are not so lucky what strategies can we employ to keep our plants alive while we are away?

In assessing the needs of the container you will need to figure out the best way to keep them alive by:

First considering how large your container is. Obviously smaller hanging baskets take more water than very large patio containers.

The second consideration is where the container is and how much direct sun the container gets

Finally consider the plants themselves. Some plants are more drought tolerant than others.

With these considerations in mind you can gage whether the plants will survive alone without your care for the time you are away. If they can, water them well before you go and remember to water again when you return.

For the rest, there are several options.

If you are going away for a short time:

Move them Inside: This is ideal for smaller containers such as hanging baskets. Water the containers and let them drain well before bringing them inside. Place them in bright light but away from direct sunlight. When you return, take the plants back outside and water them well.

Move them to a shady spot: If the plants cannot be brought inside, then consider relocating them to a shady position such as under the deck where they will not require as much water.

A reservoir of water with a wick: The wick really should be in place before you plant, let alone go on vacation, but if you didn’t think that far ahead you can still improvise. Assuming you cannot lift and move the container you will need a decent sized bucket, preferably covered to reduce evaporation. Take a few strips of an old towel and soak them in the water. With one end still in the water, bury the other end into the container, trying to get the wick close enough to all the plants so that they will receive water. The end that is in the bucket should ideally reach the base of the water bucket so that it still works when the water level goes down. Place the reservoir on the shady side of the container. The wick should absorb water from the bucket and transfer the water to dry soil in the container.

Plant Wicks

Plant wicks are great devices for watering indoor plants, and plant wicks are relatively inexpensive. The larger the container of water used with the wick, the longer the plant will receive the water it needs while you're on vacation.

To use plant wicks to water your indoor plants while on vacation, simply place the ends of the plant wicks in a container of water, and place the other ends of the plant wicks into the soil of your potted plants. As your indoor plants require water, the water will be absorbed through the wicks and into the soil.

Obviously none of these methods are ideal, but they do give you a few ideas that enable you to take a trip for a few days without losing your beautiful containers and hanging baskets to the hot, dry conditions that occur during summer.

If you are going away for an extended period of time:

Polymers, such as “Soil Moist” are small white granules that can cut watering frequency in half. Pre-moisten a few of the granules and wait for them to increase to their full size. Using a pencil, poke several 2-inch deep holes in the soil (make sure the holes are deep enough to reach the roots but not too close to the center stems of the plant). Fill the holes with moistened polymers, cover with soil, and water the plant thoroughly. One 8oz bag can water 15 x 3 gal plants.

Terracotta  "Plant Nanny"  cones can help plants get plenty of water. These nifty devices are cylinders made of terra cotta with a cork ring on top. Push the top of the cone into the mouth of a plastic soda bottle filled with water. Invert the cone and the bottle and place the cone into the already moist soil of your plant. The terra cotta will absorb the water from the bottle and release it slowly into the soil. In a similar vein the Direct Root Gel Spike will keep plants watered for 2-3 weeks. We have all three of these products at Deep Roots.

Commercial plant watering wicks can keep plants moist. They look like shoelaces with a plastic knob at one end. Soak the wick in water until saturated. Water the plant thoroughly, place the plastic end of the wick into the soil of the plant and place the other end in a 16 to 32 ounce container filled with clean water, making sure to keep the container at a lower level than the water. The water will slowly diffuse into the soil and keep the plant moist for a week or two.

If you have several houseplants that require watering, find a large galvanized tub and line it with heavy plastic. A large TubTrug would be even better. Fill the tub about half way with soil. Water all your houseplants thoroughly and place them, pots and all, into the tub. Cluster the plants together placing the smaller pots, which will dry out faster, in the middle. Fill the remainder of the tub with soil. Cover the top of the soil with a generous layer of peat moss, water the container well and place the tub in a bright light (but not direct sunlight). Your plants should be fine without additional watering for about two weeks. You can also try this idea in your kitchen sink or bathtub provided the area gets adequate light.

Outdoor Plants

For outdoor containers that need regular watering, dig a trench in a shady area of your garden. It need only be as deep as the pots are high. Place the plants in the trench, again keeping the smaller plants near the center, and fill the trench in with soil. Cover the soil with mulch and water thoroughly.

If you plan to be away from home for more than two weeks, it's still a good idea to ask a friend or neighbor come by to water your plants for you.

If you have indoor plants, going on vacation is a concern, especially if you have no one to water your indoor plants while you're on vacation. You can buy devices that water indoor plants, but plant watering devices

Plastic Bag Method

Another way to ensure that the plants stay healthy is to create a greenhouse environment to house the plants in. This can be done by covering the plants with a clear plastic bag. Sealing indoor plants in clear plastic bags holds in valuable moisture and humidity, and indoor plants thrive in this type of environment.

Simply place your plants, pots and all, into individual clear plastic bags. Put a saucer under the pot then fill the saucer with water. Make sure the bags are large enough so the plastic doesn't come in contact with the foliage. If necessary, place sticks in the pots to keep the plastic from touching the plants. Water the plants thoroughly, and tie the top of the bag with a twist tie, or simply tie a knot. Humidity will form on the sides of the bags, and your plants will stay moist and healthy while you're on vacation.

If your plants are very large, wrap only the pots in clear plastic bags, and secure the plastic around the base of the stems with twine. This plant watering method isn't as effective as the whole bag method, but this will keep your indoor plants from drying out for at least a week.

Watering With Bricks

If you don't mind bricks in your bathtub or utility sink, bricks can water indoor plants while you're on vacation. Simply fold a bath towel in half lengthwise, and place enough bricks on the towel to support your indoor plants. Add lukewarm water to the bathtub until it barely covers the bricks. Remove any saucers from beneath your indoor plants, and set your indoor plants on the bricks. Your indoor plants will absorb the water they need while you're on vacation.



Gardening 101

Planting your plants....


Once you get your plant home wait until the cool of the late afternoon to plant it in the ground. Planting in full sun and heat will stress the plant and cause transplant shock.


Before planting, water the plant still in its pot to make sure the rootball is wet. Prepare the ground by loosening the soil. Mix in some compost or planting mix and a good handful of organic fertilizer such as Dr. Earth.  Dig a hole 2 to 3 times the width and a few inches deeper than the root ball. If you did not till or turn in a soil ammendment, mix compost at a 50/50 ratio with soil dug from the hole. Fill the hole with water and let it drain away. Take the plant out of the container making sure to keep the rootball intact. Set the plant in the hole and backfill around the root ball, making sure that the top edge of the rootball is at ground level or slightly above to allow for settling. Make sure to tamp lightly as you back fill to remove any air pockets and level out the soil.


Water each plant thorougly after planting, and on an as-needed basis until established. Do not overwater. Many perennials, as with many other plants, do not like saturated soil - unless, of course, they are bog garden perennials!


The Collection....

"The Collection"




extraordinary, rare and unique plants


You may have seen this label on some of our plants and asked yourself "what does this mean?"


We place this label on plants that we consider to be rare, difficult to obtain or unique. They may also be finicky and difficult to grow, although this is not always the case.


These plants are for the plant collectors among us...


Deep Roots Garden Center • 207 N. Sepulveda Blvd. • Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
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