Learn to build your own fairy/gnome garden:
Following the success of our first Fairy Garden class last month
we are holding another one:
TODAY- March 16th, 2013, from 10:30 am - Noon
to register call 310-379-3634 or arrive by 10.15am
$10.00 per person for the class
(payable in advance. Non refundable if you cancel the class on the day...)
$55 for Fairy/Gnome Garden Kit *
if you want to take one home
* Kit includes Italian clay dish, soil, two 4" indoor plants, sheet moss, reindeer moss, small decorative gravel, two small stones and a fairy or gnome.
We will teach you how to build your own furniture as well. We have just had a delivery of new Fairy Garden furniture and accessories!
Great Mother/Daughter event (5 years plus please)
Growing potatoes in a container ...easy!
There is nothing more delicious than an heirloom variety new potato, grown in your own backyard, and if you haven't tasted a home grown potato then you you are in for a total treat. Like tomatoes the taste and texture of fresh potatoes are very different from those you buy in the supermarket. By growing your own potatoes, you also have the opportunity to plant unusual varieties that are hard to find.
The good news is potatoes are extremely easy to grow in containers and it's also a really fun project to grow potatoes in containers with kids because potato plants grow stunningly fast and most kids love eating potatoes. Even if you consider yourself to be a novice gardener, or if you have not had success in growing any other vegetable, success is guaranteed when you grow potatoes in a large container. It's easy... here's how:
1) Potato starters: You need to buy seed potatoes. The commercial varieties you buy in the supermarkets have been sprayed to prevent them from sprouting and will not grow well. Here at Deep Roots we have three varieties of already sprouted seed potato: Russian Banana Fingerling, French Fingerling, and Red Thumb, all delicious and all sold in 4 ' pots for $2.99.
2) Container: Potatoes grow out from the stem of the potato plant if that stem is covered in soil. Therefore we recommend growing them in an 18" container or preferably bigger. The bigger the container, the more potatoes you will have. The best buy, if you have room, is our half wine barrel. Make sure the container has good drainage. Good drainage is critical for the cultivation of healthy potatoes so you'll want to cut or drill a series of large drainage holes in the bottom and bottom sides of your container. Alternatively, you can cut out the bottom altogether and place it on a well-drained surface like your garden bed
3) Potting soil: Use a high quality, organic potting soil mixed with an organic, slow release fertilizer such as Dr. Earth's All Purpose Fertilizer, or Bone Meal.
4) Sun and Water: Potatoes will not grow without sun and water. You will need at least 6-8 hours of sun a day. Your potatoes also need consistent water to grow. You want to keep the soil moist, not wet. If the soil is too dry the plants will die. If it’s too wet, the potatoes will rot. If the moisture level is inconsistent, your spuds will be misshapen. Check the soil moisture level often and when you do water, make sure to water deeply - until water runs out the bottom of your container.
5) Method: * Place 4-6 inches of potting soil/fertilizer mix in the bottom of your container.... that's right only 4-6 inches, no more.
* Place your pots of sprouted seed potatoes on top of the soil, pressing them in slightly. The plants will grow fairly large so make sure to give them some breathing room. Two or three pots of sprouted seed potatoes in an 18' container will give you a bigger harvest than you would think possible.
* After you have planted your sprouted seed potatoes, cover the stems with potting soil/fertilizer mix up to a few top leaves.
* Water well. One of the keys to growing potatoes is keeping your soil moist, not wet. To check moisture level, stick your finger into the soil at least an inch or up to your second knuckle. If it feels dry, water. Check at least once a day. If it’s very hot, and or windy, you may have to water your potato container gardens even more than once a day. Make sure to water deeply, until water runs out the bottom. It is counter productive to just water the surface of the soil.
* Once your potato plants have grown around six inches more above the soil, you are going to “hill" them by adding a couple of inches of potting soil/fertilizer mix around the stems. Be careful not to break the plants while doing this. Don't worry if you cover some of the bottom leaves. You want at least 2/3 of the plant with its leaves to be sticking out of the soil.
* You’ll want to repeat this process of adding soil/fertilizer a few times more as your plants grow until your soil reaches the top of your container. Potato plants grow breathtakingly fast, so keep an eye on them and don't let them get ahead of you.
* The plants will grow quite big - about 18" across. After about 10 weeks or when the plants have flowered you can begin to harvest the potatoes. Just carefully reach down into the soil of your container and pull out some potatoes. Let the remaining potatoes continue to grow as you harvest the ones nearest the surface.You can also wait until the plants turn yellow and die back and then harvest all of the potatoes at one time. The easiest way to do this is to turn the container over and dump it out onto a tarp or black plastic bag. Then you can freely paw through the soil to find all of the potatoes. You may find some really tiny potatoes - don't chuck them- those can be some of the best and sweetest,
6) Eat them: New potatoes are delicious simply boiled and served with butter and chopped parsley... Nothing simpler or more delightful. We will be growing our own potatoes here at Deep
Roots to show you how simple it is. Just drop by every now and
then to see how well they are doing.
To get you started we are making this special offer:
One 4" pot of sprouted seed potatoes, one bag of potting soil,one box of fertilizer and one 18" container. Retail value $43 plus tax... Our special offer starter kit: $35.99... such a deal...
Time to get serious.....
It's March already.. The Garden Center is freshly stocked with annuals, natives, water-wise plants, succulents, fruit trees, herbs, vegetables and flowering shrubs...
It's Spring... What to do in your garden this month... If February is the crossover month where winter turns to spring, then March means spring is in full swing. The days are getting appreciably longer and deciduous trees and plants that have been dormant during the winter are pushing out bright green leaves and shoots. There is no better time than NOW to plant, transplant or sow seeds, as plants are botanically programmed to grow fast in the spring. There is lots to do in the garden this month so roll up your sleeves and enjoy it!
Pull weeds and snails: Even though we haven't had much rain this year, weeds still grow and slugs and snails are emerging from their winter hideaways hungry as ever. Water the ground before pulling weeds and then use a pre-emergent such as Preen to prevent weeds from germinating. Hand pick snails off your plants just before dawn. Locate their daytime hiding places ― usually strap-leafed plants like daylilies or agapanthus ― and handpick regularly. Use a snail bait such as Sluggo, which is safe in the vegetable garden and around pets or children.
Sow seeds before it rains:
Now is an excellent time to sow spring veggie seeds. If rain is forecast, (and there is still time for rain to come...) sow vegetable and annual flower seeds before it arrives. Nothing excites seeds as much as rain! The art of getting seeds to germinate is to prepare the ground first and keep the seeds moist while they germinate. Do not flood them but do not let them dry out either.
Buy tomato plants: Tomatoes grow well in the ground or in large pots. Tomatoes need heat to produce flowers and fruit, but during these early months they will develop a large root system that will make for stronger plants in the summer. At Deep Roots we have several varieties that have been adapted to our coastal climate. We will be bringing in different varieties of heirloom tomato plants with each shipment so check back often for exciting varieties.
Attract good bugs: To keep insect pests under control in your vegetable garden, lure in their natural enemies ― hoverflies, lacewings (photo left), ladybugs, and parasitic wasps ― by planting the nectar plants they love, such as aster, chamomile, coreopsis, cosmos, feverfew, marigold, scabiosa, and yarrow.
Grow fruit trees: March is a great time to plant citrus trees. If you have limited space plant dwarf varieties which grow well in large containers. Grow citrus trees in FULL SUN. Citrus trees thrive in sun and heat so growing them in full sun is especially important along the coast.
Prepare the ground or the container well, sprinkle some Dr.Earth Fruit Tree Fertilizer in with the soil before you plant. Citrus trees are heavy feeders and need regular fertilizing to produce flowers and fruit. For more information see the article on the right.
Start an herb garden: Plant chives, parsley, cilantro, arugula, rosemary, sage, savory, tarragon, thyme, and my all time favorite herb - Winter Savory. Arugula, chervil, cilantro, and dill can also be grown successfully from seed.
Acidify hydrangeas: To keep your blue-flowered hydrangeas blue, acidify the soil now and every few weeks until bloom time. If you don't do this the hydrangeas will revert to pink. Apply aluminum sulfate, which is often packaged expressly for hydrangeas, following label directions. At Deep Roots we have Growmore's Hydrangea Blueing formula in stock now.
Feed plants: Almost all plants appreciate added nutrients at this time of year. They are just about to begin a growth surge and, like a runner before a marathon, they can use the extra food. Feed fruit and ornamental trees, shrubs (except camellias ― wait until after bloom), lawns, container plants, houseplants, perennials, ground-covers, and annuals that have been in the ground for six weeks or more. If rain is forecast get out into the garden and fertilize everything with a slow release granular fertilizer and soil conditioner such as Gro Power and let the rain soak it in.
What To Plant: Plant warm-season annual flowers and vegetables (tomatoes, peppers, marigolds, petunias ) and citrus and other sub-tropicals. Once the soil has warmed to 60 degrees F, sow seeds for corn, cucumbers, green beans, squashes, and other heat-lovers. 60 degrees F means the soil is warm enough for you to walk on it comfortably barefoot.
Continue to mow your lawn: Mow fast-growing lawns regularly and at the right height. It's the best thing you can do to control weeds and keep grass thick and healthy. Now, during cool weather, mow cool-season lawns such as bluegrass, rye-grasses, or fescues at 2 inches or so. During periods of hot weather set the mower at 3 inches. Mow warm-season grasses such as Bermuda, St. Augustine, and zoysia at 2 inches throughout the growing season.
Containers: Plant colorful flowers in containers to brighten up your entryway or the view from your family room. Mix in some slow release fertilizer (such as any of the organic formulations by Dr. Earth) with the soil before you plant. Good plants for long term bloom include nemesia, calibrachoa (Million Bells), Osteospermum (African Daisies), and geraniums. Fertilize these regularly, too, with a half-strength fertilizer, or Osmocote.
Harvest Regularly : Keep picking your cool-season crops, such as peas, lettuces, and spinach. It will encourage more production. Continue to plant successions of these fast-growers for production over the next several weeks.
Mulch: Replenish mulch where it has disappeared and add a layer to new areas so that it's 2-3 inches deep. Mulching well helps to prevent weeds from taking root and helps to conserve water in the soil so you don't have to water quite as often. Be careful to avoid mounding the mulch against the stems or trunks of your plants.
Fuchsia: Cut back fuchsias that have become leggy as they bloom on new wood.
Camelias: Prune camellias and subtropical hibiscus after they're done blooming. Feed camellias after blooming with an acid loving fertilizer to keep their leaves dark green
Houseplants: Start feeding houseplants again.Repot if necessary. Move houseplants outdoors or out from protected spots once the weather warms up a little. Wash them off with a gentle shower of water. Keep them outside for the summer in a shady spot. Too much sun will scald the leaves.
The eeeZ-Z-iest houseplant...
Just add water!
One of the most common requests at the nursery is for a houseplant that doesn't need a lot of light, water or care. The ZZ plant (left) fits the bill perfectly.
Requirements: Plant in a soil mixture that drains easily. Avoid moisture-retentive soils. Let the soil dry out between waterings. Will grow happily in low light situations.