Deep Roots Garden Center             Newsletter                          April 2012

Deep Roots voted

  Easy Reader's

Best Garden Center in the South Bay 2012

Thank you to everyone who voted for us!

We truly appreciate your support and patronage! 


It's April! It's Spring!

It's National Gardening Month..

What to do in your garden ...

Spring is truly here and it really is the right time to sow, plant, and transplant. The growing season is upon us and it is time to take advantage of it to enhance the beauty of your entryway and back yard. 


Plant flowers in a bright container: For color all season long plant sun-loving flowers such as geraniums, nemesia, bacopa, osteospermum, petunia and million bells. Reliable shade loving plants: fuchsia, impatiens, coleus, dichondra, begonias and vinca. We have recently had a delivery of new a large selection of containers of all different sizes and colors. Try blue flowers in an orange container. Gorgeous! Or red geraniums in a blue container... very Mykonos!  Or for a July 4th celebration plant red geraniums, white bacopa and blue lobelia...




Plant tomatoes:  There is nothing like the taste of a ripe, home grown tomato and we have many different varieties of tomato plants at Deep Roots Garden Center, including delicious heirloom tomatoes of all colors, shapes and sizes. Plant them in full sun in the ground or in a large container. Be sure to add a generous quantity of organic fertilizer and soil amendments to the soil before you plant.


Tomato plants can often show signs of nutrient deficiencies as the season progresses so forwarned being for-armed, here is a diagram of some symptoms:


Tomato plants need a full range of nutrients, preferably from natural sources, so if you suspect your plants are lacking one type of nutrient or another do not be tempted to treat for that specific nutrient. It is better to use a full spectrum fertilizer as overdosing them on one (even if it’s in response to a deficiency) can often reduce the availability of others. For for organic solutions the following are good:


Seaweed Liquid Feed: Quite expensive but full of all the required nutrients, particularly potassium which is great as tomato plants mature. You simply dilute a capful in a watering can, best applied to the leaves (a ‘foliar feed’) once a week, where it is better absorbed than being washed into the soil. Of course, it’s worth mentioning that vegetables shouldn’t be harvested for a few days after a feed has been applied and even if it is organic they should be washed well.


Gro-Power Plus All Purpose fertilizer, a great organic fertilizer and soil penetrant that will feed the soil and provide balanced nutrients to keep your plants healthy.


Plant Bedding plants: Replace fading cool-season annuals with heat lovers such as celosia, dahlias, marigolds, petunias, salvia, verbena, and vinca. Try starting cosmos, sunflower, and zinnia from seed, even if you're a novice gardener. They're all super-easy, make good cut flowers, and attract the beneficial insects you want in the garden.


Rose companions: Planting perennials in your rose beds adds complementary textures, forms, and colors, and provides interest when roses are not in bloom. According to Wen Wang, rosarian at Descanso Gardens in Flintridge, good choices include catmint, cranesbill, feverfew, French lavender, Shasta daisies, snow-in-summer, and veronica. We also like scented geraniums, and salvia.


Vegetables: Coastal gardeners (in Sunset climate zones 21-24) can continue to plant quick-maturing, cool-season crops, including chard, leaf lettuces, radishes, and spinach. Inland (zones 18-21), switch to warm-season crops such as beans, corn, cucumber, eggplant, melons, peppers, summer and winter squash, and tomatoes. 


Start an herb garden: Plant chives, parsley, rosemary, sage, tarragon, thyme, and my all time favorite herb - Winter Savory. Many varieties can also be grown successfully from seed, such as arugula, chervil, cilantro, and, of course, dill. 


Divide cymbidiums: If pots are too packed with bulbs, some brown and leafless, it's time to repot. Knock the root mass out of the pot and separate it into clumps by hand or with pruning shears. Keep at least three healthy bulbs with foliage; re-pot those in fresh potting medium designed for orchids.


Fertilize: If you haven't already done so recently, feed trees, shrubs, ground cover, perennials, and other permanent plants. Using an organic fertilizer like Dr. Earth or Gro-Power will replenish micro-organisms in the soil as well as feed the plants. Try using a fertilizer containing iron on all plants, not just the chlorotic ones. 


Combat powdery mildew: Warm days and cool nights are ideal conditions for powdery mildew. To treat it, spray foliage with Serenade Fungicide or Neem Oil.


Manage aphids: Keep the aphid population in control by dislodging the pests from plant foliage with a strong blast of water from a hose.  If they keep coming back spray with Bayer's Rose and Flower insecticide, or an organic alternative Dr. Earth's Home & Garden insect spray. If you do not want to use pesticides try a carton of Lady Bugs from our Bug Fridge.


Manage snails: Search for snails on strappy-leafed plants such as agapanthus, liriope and daylilies, then hand-harvest and dispose. Or trap by allowing them to collect on the underside of a slightly elevated board. 

Not your idea of a good time?  Try sprinkling pet-safe Sluggo all around your garden beds instead."


Grow perennials bees love: Lure bees to pollinate your fruits and veggies. The following bee magnets need only moderate water: Agastache, ‘Mönch’ aster, catmint, germander, lavender, rudbeckia, and Salvia chamaedryoides. See for more choices. No need to be afraid of bees. They are only interested in flowers. If they investigate you closely it is because you are wearing a bright color or a sweet perfume. Stand still until the bee realizes her mistake and she will fly away. Wasps and yellow jackets, however, are another matter..... they eat meat!!!


Sow or Grow annuals: Cosmos, sunflowers, and zinnias are quintessential summer flowers ― neither fussy nor thirsty ― and are great if you’re new to growing seeds. They also draw bees and beneficial insects. Other non-thirsty annuals include celosia, marigold, portulaca,  and sweet alyssum.    


CSA vegetable boxes

We are an established drop off point for the South Central Farmers Cooperative Community Supported Agriculture vegetable boxes. The boxes 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 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 or e-mail and order one. Have your credit card handy!


To find out what is in the box visit:

Growing vegetables in containers


Just because you don’t have a plot of land doesn't mean you can’t enjoy home grown vegetables. Ideally, vegetables should be grown outdoors, on a patio or a balcony. Growing vegetables in containers and pots takes a bit of planning, but it is totally possible to have a large array of veggies in your container garden. As long as you have good soil, a sunny place, fresh seed and good drainage in your containers, you can grow vegetables in containers anywhere. Nothing beats enjoying your freshly picked veggies in a salad or sauce. They always taste so much better than store bought.


When growing vegetables in containers you can use any type of container from the simple bucket to purpose made large wooden planters. In the past I have used plastic buckets, old sinks, polystyrene boxes retrieved from the grocery store, plastic laundry baskets, half wine barrels and plastic window box planters. Whatever you use - the deeper and wider the better. If you are using terracotta or wooden containers for container gardening the soil will dry out quicker than if you are using plastic containers. For top heavy plants like tomatoes, peppers and eggplants, make sure that the container is heavy and weighted. For trailing plants like snow peas think about growing vegetables in hanging baskets instead. Hanging baskets are also a novel way of growing herbs. 


Making sure that your containers have good drainage is essential. In wide, shallow containers make sure that the holes are well spaced around the perimeter of the base. Rectangular containers should have at least one drainage hole in each corner. If sufficient drainage is not provided your plants will become water-logged and the soil will turn sour. In the end they will come to nothing.


You don't need to waste space by using broken pottery or stones at the bottom of your containers. However, to prevent the soil being washed away through the drainage holes, place a piece of metal mosquito netting across the holes before adding the soil. 


Use high quality potting soil. Vegetables grown in containers really need to have good soil to thrive. We recommend Fox Farms potting soil. You need all the help you can get when growing vegetables in containers, so it is best to buy high quality, nutrient rich soil. Mix some organic fertilizer such as Dr. Earth or Gro-Power into the soil before planting.  

What to grow? Plants that thrive in containers: tomatoes, strawberries, dwarf citrus trees, herbs, beans, peppers, and lettuce. As long as you containers have depth you can grow carrots and parsnips as well as other root vegetables such as beets, turnips, and radishes, and even garlic. 


Small vegetables like cress, mustard, scallions and most herbs are ideal for growing in containers, as is fast-growing arugula, spinach and a variety of lettuces. Leaves can be picked on an ongoing process, even before they have matured. Look for dwarf and bush varieties of your vegetables which are easier to maintain in containers. 


If you start from seed, don’t sow your seeds immediately into outdoor containers. Sow them indoors in small grow pots so that you can baby them a little, and wait until you have strong and thriving seedlings. Alternatively, buy small plants and replant them into your containers.

When you grow vegetables in pots or boxes move them around to obtain the most direct sunlight. Also remember to water them regularly.


Synthetic Turf 

"Unbelievably lush and realistic"

Synthetic Lawns 

    Tired of trying to maintain a green lawn in this water-wise region? Why not install a synthetic lawn? Synthetic grass looks like the real thing, does not need watering, and will not die.… This is not your sixties AstroTurf !

    We can now organize the installation of artificial turf and have in-store examples of the different types available. Not only does artificial turf look BETTER than the real things it also has other valuable attributes:

Pet and child safe: Perfectly manicured, odor free and indestructible to pets. ASTM certified safe, soft and hypo-allergenic for children and playgrounds.



Eco friendly: Conserves water, eliminates mower emissions and lawn chemical runoff, made of recyclable materials.

Financially smart: It pays for itself by eliminating ongoing costs such as watering, maintenance, chemicals and lawn repair. It lasts 15-20 years and comes with a Manufacturers’ and Installation Warranty.


Why not come in a talk to us and see the examples!


It's Science Fair Time Again....

We have had several parents accompanied by their kids come in and buy plants or seeds for Science Fair Projects so it must be that time of year again. Science fair projects that involve plants or soil chemistry are very popular. It's fun to work with living things and the environment that supports them. These projects are great from an educational standpoint because they integrate concepts from different areas of science. Plant or Botany related projects are easy to set up and very visually pleasing but often require a little more time than other types of science projects as plants do not grow much in three days. Our advice to you is don't leave it till the last minute!



Here are some useful web sites with lots of ideas for plant related science fair projects for kids of all ages:


Here are some science fair project ideas to help you define your project. Some relate botany and chemistry, some have an environmental science slant, and others are soil chemistry.The following plant project ideas provide suggestions for topics that can be explored through experimentation. For best results, as plant growth is slow, many of these projects need to be started at two or three months before the project is due.

  • Do different colors of light affect the direction of plant growth?

  • Do sounds (music, noise, etc.) affect plant growth?

  • Do household detergents or soaps affect plant growth?
  • Can plants conduct electricity?
  • Does soil temperature affect root growth?

  • Does caffeine affect plant growth?

  • Does water salinity affect plant growth?

  • Does freezing affect seed germination?

  • Does fruit size affect the number of seeds in the fruit?
  • Do vitamins or fertilizers promote plant growth better?

  • Does soil pH affect plant growth?

  • How does plant growth and health correlate with the cost and quality of potting soil? (Potting soil comparison)

  • What is the effect of different levels of light on fast growing plants such as tomatoes?

  • How do different fertilizers affect the way plants grow? There are lots of different types of fertilizers, containing varying amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, in addition to other ingredients. You can test different fertilizers and see how they affect the height of a plant, the number or size of its leaves, the number of flowers, time until blooming, branching of stems, root development, or other factors.

  • How do different factors affect seed germination? Factors that you could test include the intensity, duration, or type of light, the temperature, the amount of water, the presence/absence of certain chemicals, or the presence/absence of soil. You can look at the percentage of seeds that germinate or the rate at which seeds germinate.
  • How are plants affected by the distance between them? Look into the concept of allelopathy. Sweet potatoes are plants that release chemicals (allelochemicals) that can inhibit the growth of plants near them. How close can another plant grow to a sweet potato? What effects does an allelochemical have on a plant?
  • Is a seed affected by its size? Do different size seeds have different germination rates or percentages? Does seed size affect the growth rate or final size of a plant?
  • What are the effectiveness of organic pesticides versus chemical pesticides? How close does a plant have to be to a pesticide for it to work? What factors influence the effectiveness of a pesticide (rain? light? wind?)? How much can you dilute a pesticide while retaining its effectiveness? How effective are natural pest deterrents such as lady bugs?
  • What is the effect of a chemical on a plant? You can look at natural pollutants (e.g., motor oil, smoke,) or unusual substances (e.g., orange juice, baking soda). Factors that you can measure include rate of plant growth, leaf size, life/death of the plant, color of plant, and ability to flower/bear fruit.
  • Do magnetic fields affect plant growth?

Deep Roots

Garden Center &

Floral Design Studio



9AM - 6PM daily

201-207 N. Sepulveda Blvd.

Manhattan Beach,

CA 90266


Garden Center: 310-376-0567

Flower Shop: 310-379-3634

Proms and Grads


Look no further for all your Prom boutonnieres and corsages; Mother's Day or Grad bouquets and arrangements!


Our unique, custom, one of a kind floral arrangements are created to your specifications by our talented team of designers whether you are looking for traditional or contemporary boutonnieres and corsages, romantic or cutting edge Mothers' Day arrangements

To see examples of our designs go to our floral design galleries page:  


Each photo links to an individually themed galley of arrangements. New  photos are being added regularly.


You can also order flowers online through our Teleflora website  


Weddings and Events

Are you getting married soon? For all your floral arrangements, bouquets, boutonnieres and floral decorations contact Deep Roots Floral Design Studio 310-379-3634 and set up an appointment with one of our floral designers. For more information visit the Weddings and Events Gallery page on the Deep Roots Floral Design Studio web site.

 Flowers for Fragrance


Summer is almost here...The days are getting longer and life will be moving outdoors.


Now is the time to plant scented shrubs and vines or even a complete scented garden in your outdoor room.


The supply of scented plants is excellent this time of year and if planted now, you will have a good chance of plentiful fragrant blooms all summer.


Almost all scented plants can also be grown in containers so they make a great addition to patios and balconies.


Most of them require good drainage and slightly acidic soil.


Here is a list of the best summer scents:



Lilac (large shrub) 


Butterfly Bush


Honeysuckle (vine)

Night Blooming Jasmine (vine)


Stephanotis (vine)

Citrus Trees

Old-fashioned Roses



Star Jasmine (vine)

Viola Odorato




Scented geraniums


Petal Attraction


Talking of animals, here is a list of plants that attract butterlfies:

Achillea, (Yarrow)

Alcea rosea, (Hollyhock)

Amorpha canescens, (Leadplant)

Anethum graveolens , (Dill)

Antirrhinum majus, (Snapdragon)

Aquilegia, (Columbine)

Asclepias incarnata, (Swamp Milkweed)

Asclepias syriaca , (Common Milkweed)

Asclepias tuberosa, (Butterfly Milkweed)

Asclepias (tuberosa)

Aster, (Aster)

Astilbe, (False Spiraea)

Borago officinalis, (Borage)

Calendula officinalis , (Calendula)

Chelone glabra, (Turtlehead)

Chrysanthemum maximum, (Shasta Daisy)

Coreopsis, (Coreopsis)

Cosmos, (Cosmos)

Delphinium, (Delphinium)

Dianthus, (Dianthus)

Echinacea purpurea, (Purple Coneflower)

Echinops, (Globe Thistle)

Erigeron, (Fleabane)

Eupatorium, (Joe Pye Weed)

Echinacea purpurea

Gaillardia grandiflora, (Blanket Flower)

Helianthus, (Sunflower)

Heliotropium arborenscens, (Heliotrope)

Iberis, (Candytuft)

Lathyrus odoratus, (Sweet Pea)

Liatris, (Gayfeather or Blazingstar)

Lobelia, (Lobelia)

Lobularia maritima, (Sweet Alyssum)

Lupinus, (Lupine)

Monarda, (Bee Balm or Bergamot)

Origanum vulgare, (Oregano)

Penstemon, (Beard Tongue)

Phlox, (Phlox)

Primula vialii, (Primula vialii)

Rudbeckia hirta, (Black-eyed Susan or Gloriosa Daisy)

Salvia, (Sage)

Solidago, (Goldenrod)

Tagetes, (Marigold)

Tithonia rotundifolia , (Mexican sunflower)

Verbena bonariensis, (Verbena)

Zauschneria, (California Fuchsia)

Zinnis elegans, (Zinnia)

Free Gardening Class


Saturday April 21, 2012 at 10 a.m.


Gardening with California Natives -

What are Natives?

Why Garden with Natives? The Benefits of Native Plants, Planning Your Garden ...


Do you want a garden teeming with life, one that changes with the seasons, one that looks stunning, one that saves water, energy, effort, and money? If so consider incorporating California native plants in your garden to attract butterflies, birds, and other wildlife.


California has the richest flora of any state in the nation, and one of the most interesting and diverse in the world. Of the 6300 plants that are native to California, over one-third are endemic -- they grow naturally nowhere else.


Deep Roots' owner Jon Bell will explain the dos and don'ts of creating a garden with native plants in this our first free garden class of 2012. He will also introduce you to the large stock of native plants and shrubs we have here at Deep Roots. These beautiful plants will bring seasonal color to your landscape and they will give your California garden a unique sense of place.

Other classes coming soon (dates TBA):

* Raised Beds, Spring Veggies

* Citrus and Fruit

* Vertical Gardens

* Making a succulent arrangement

World's Hottest Chilli

Are you brave enough

to eat a Ghost chili?

(Bhut Jolokia Pepper)


The hottest chili in the world...

It as been known to 

put people in hospital! 

 Over three times the heat of a Habanero!


Plants now in stock at Deep Roots!


If you're not familiar with the name, this bad boy is the world's hottest chili pepper with a Guinness World Record to prove it. Also known as the ghost chili, this pepper from India rates one million units on the Scoville scale, compared to 400,000 for the hottest type of habanero.


Grow some, grind them up with lots of water, spray the juice on your lawns and flower beds and fruit trees.. that should discourage raccoons, squirrels, dogs and cats from invading your garden! (Desperate times require desperate measures)...            


Or eat them... but be careful!


We think bhut jolokia is best when it's used to spike a chunky tomato salsa, or as a chili oil to drizzle on stews or made into a spice-filled mayonnaise. If you think you're a match for the smoldering power of the bhut jolokia, we urge you to try them in the recipes below and not to swallow them whole.


Save that madness by watching others including Adam from the Food Network's Man vs Food do it on YouTube.


Use gloves and proceed with extreme caution when working with these fiery peppers--just the scent is enough to knock you off your feet. Tie a bandanna around your nose and mouth so as to not breathe in the fumes once you start blending the salsa in the food processor. Have a glass of milk or some ice cream on hand to cool your mouth down...


Disclaimer: Deep Roots accepts no responsibility for any injuries or deaths that may result from eating this pepper...!!!



Bhut Jolokia Fire Salsa


Remember, a little goes a long way. Mix it into rice and beans or gloss over a crunchy taco.



1/2 ounce stemmed, bhut jolokia chili 

2 cloves garlic

1 tablespoon white vinegar

¾ lb tomatoes diced very small

Salt to taste


In a blender, combine chilies and 1/3 cup water, and then add garlic and vinegar; puree. In a bowl, add chili puree to tomatoes, and combine.


Ghost Chile Oil  makes 3 cups -



3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 1/4 cups canola oil

1 dried bhut jolokia chili, cut in half lengthwise


Preheat the oven to 225ºF. In an oven-safe dish, add oils and chili. Cover with

 aluminum foil, and bake for 3 hours. Remove from oven, transfer to airtight container, and place in refrigerator to cool. For added heat, leave pepper in the oil. Store in refrigerator for up to 1 month. 


Devils Kidney Beans



1 lb. dried red kidney beans (or beans of choice). 

1 bhut jolokia hot pepper. Use whole, If you slice it, it gets hotter! 

1 onion, sliced 

4 sliced sticks of celery 

2 cloves of garlic 

1 tablespoon garlic salt.

1 quarter lb.of ground turkey (or beef if you prefer).

2 tomatoes, chopped.


Rinse beans, check for rocks, add 6-8 cups of water for 2 cups(1lb.) of beans. Soak overnight.


Bring to a boil and boil for 3 minutes. Reduce heat to simmer, add other ingredients, stir for about 1 1/2  to 2 hours or until the beans are soft. Try not to break the pepper and get it out before serving. No Joke, it will be hot if you break or eat it.


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