Deep Roots Garden Center             Newsletter                          April 2014
Deep Roots voted
  Easy Reader's
Best Garden Center in the South Bay 2014
Thank you to everyone who voted for us!
We truly appreciate your support and patronage! 
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A word on DROUGHT
from owner Jon Bell
 
As the most important and largest agricultural producer in the country, California is already facing major problems, and we are barely a quarter of the way into the year.  Hundreds of thousands of acres are going unplanted this year and will be left fallow, beef and dairy producers are selling off their herds, and many small farms will close their operations and move away as their water is shut off.  Farmers, who for many generations have relied on guaranteed water supplies stemming from long standing agreements, will, for the first time, receive ZERO water this year.
 
Is it not surprising that we are seeing these results?  California on its own has never received enough rainfall and snowpack to support the amount of agriculture that is in operation today.  We rely heavily on imported water to irrigate the millions of acres of farms, as well as to supply our cities, residents, and other industries.  In Southern and much of Central California, our water is delivered to us from the Colorado River via an unbelievably large system of pumps, aqueducts, and reservoirs.  Supplying the millions of people of Southern California and enormous farms of Central California with water makes the pumping system the single largest energy user in the state.  Most of the water we import from the Colorado is sent to farms to irrigate fields of crops, and most of these farms still irrigate using the horribly wasteful flood method, where water is flooded in between rows and flowed from one end of the farm to the other with gravity.  Furthermore, it has become the norm to simply let our sprinklers run at a rate that equates to rainforest levels of water usage.  Seriously, do the math and you will see that the average garden receives well over a hundred inches of water per year, in areas that normally average 10-20 inches of rain.
 
There is a level of desperation in farmers and the water industry that is simply not carrying over to people living in cities.  Many reservoirs are so depleted as to be essentially non-functional.  the water level in Lake Mead (see photo above) is so low that very soon the Hoover Dam could lose much of its hydroelectric power generation.  Groundwater is being pumped at a rate so high that the ground is literally sinking in parts of the Central Valley, and when those aquifers are drained, they are gone for good.  Yet here in LA, you would never even know there is a drought if it weren’t for the news and the signs on the highway that read “Severe Drought”. 
 
We live in a desert, there is no denying it.  We can only fool ourselves for so long into thinking that California is the subtropical paradise so often glamorized in TV and movies.  Los Angeles dipped its straw into Lake Mead, and our city ballooned like no other ever has.  Let us not forget what was here before us though.  Take away the people, take away Hollywood glitz, take away the palms and lawns, take away the urban sprawl, take away the parks, ponds, and practically ALL of the trees and shrubs that you see, take us back a couple hundred years before any real development, and we are left with a desert, plain and simple.  There has NEVER been enough water here to support a population like ours.
 
A lot of doom and gloom right?  If we stick to old ways, yes, the outlook is not good.  Our population continues to grow, yet we are not ready to meet the demand. Throw a severe drought into the mix and we are headed down a dark path.  Our Governor says to save water and urges people to cut back, but it just seems like it has fallen on deaf ears here in SoCal.  We’ve all seen the news; we know there is a drought, but not much is changing.  We can turn on the faucet and water still comes out, so everything is okay, right?  The rates we pay get raised, but not to the point where showers get shorter, we wash our cars less, we water our gardens less… What will it take?  The answer is coming soon.  Wait to see what happens to food prices this year.  Wait to see how many jobs move away.  Wait and see how much water will cost for homeowners.
 
So where do we go from here?  What can we as residents do to help?  It is time to address the elephant in the room; our greedy, thirsty landscapes.  Just look at how much grass has been planted for no other reason than to green up a space.  Look at all the non native flora that needs to be watered on a regular basis or it will die.  So much water is wasted on plants that simply do not belong here.  They grow here, yes, but only because we supply them with a huge amount of water. 
 
Now, with the drought staring us in the face, finally the native species of California and other drought tolerant plants from Australia and South Africa are getting the spotlight that they deserve.  The gardening community has been on board with this for years, but the general public is having a hard time letting go of old habits, especially when they are forced down our throats by the propaganda machine that is Home Depot, Lowes, and Walmart.  That idiotic Scotts guy needs a good slap in the face.  “Feed your lawn, FEED IT! ” This is advertising at its best and worst.  How about “Kill your lawn and replace it”?  But doing that would cut into sales of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and you can be sure that a corporation the size of Home Depot will not have that.  They will continue to make big bucks selling their unneeded products to mass consumers who simply don’t know what they are doing and what effect they have on the environment, right up to the very end.
 
I founded Deep Roots Garden Center on the principles of sustainability.  Our goal is create gorgeous gardens that look great year round, but that are also functional and respectful to our environment.  We specialize in low water plants that not only survive in arid conditions, they thrive in it.  We at Deep Roots treat our jobs seriously, as we are the ones who help to improve the look of our community, and we need to be respectful and helpful to Mother Earth in doing so.  We are here to change the old stigma of low water gardens looking like tumbleweeds.  Come in to Deep Roots and we will show you that less water does not equate to less beauty.  In fact, the general reaction we get from new comers is one of amazement.  They never knew there were so many options for beautiful plants that are not thirsty. We are a here as a resource to help you save water and money, and improve the look and functionality of your garden.  At the end of the day, we are educators as much as we are gardeners, and we want nothing less than for you to be successful at growing your own oasis.
 
So, as I step down off my soapbox, please remember, the changes that we make as a community today will resonate for generations to come.
 
Jon Bell, Owner, Deep Roots Garden Center & Florist
 

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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 forewarned 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.
 
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. 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. Because of our recent warm temperatures it is also OK to switch to warm-season crops such as beans, corn, cucumber, eggplant, melons, peppers, summer 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. 
There is 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!!!
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Growing vegetables in containers
 
Just because you don’t have a plot of land doesn't mean you can’t enjoy home grown vegetables.  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.
 
Ideally, vegetables grown in containers should be grown outdoors, on a patio or a balcony. 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 killing the plant.
 
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. 
 
 Vegetables grown in containers really need to have high quality, nutrient rich potting soil to thrive, and you need all the help you can get when growing vegetables this way. We recommend Fox Farms potting soil. Mix some organic fertilizer such as Dr. Earth or Gro-Power into the soil before planting as your plants will need a constant supply of nutrients in such a restricted environment.
 
What to grow? Plants that thrive in containers: tomatoes, strawberries, dwarf citrus trees, herbs, beans, peppers, and lettuce. As long as your 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.
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Deep Roots
Garden Center &
Floral Design Studio
 Open
9AM - 6PM daily
201-207 N. Sepulveda Blvd.
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
 
Garden Center: 310-376-0567
Flower Shop: 310-379-3634
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Easter, Mother's Day, Proms and Grads
 
Look no further for all your Prom boutonnieres and corsages; Easter, 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 Easter or Mothers' Day arrangements
 
To see some examples of our work go to our Prom and Graduation web page.
 
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 web site.To see examples of our designs go to our Weddings and Events web page.
 
 
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 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:
 
Tuberose 
Freesias
Butterfly Bush
Plumeria
Honeysuckle (vine)
Night Blooming Jasmine (vine)
Lavender
Stephanotis (vine)
Citrus Trees
Gardenia
Heliotrope
Star Jasmine (vine)
Viola Odorato
Ginger
Brugmansia
Carnations
Scented geraniums
Michelia
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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)
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CSA vegetable boxes
 
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. At $20 for a box it is a bargain!
 
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 and order one. Have your credit card handy!
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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. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kO7MlHgJLA
 
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...!!!
 
Recipes:  
Bhut Jolokia Fire Salsa
 
Remember, a little goes a long way. Mix it into rice and beans or gloss over a crunchy taco.
 
Ingredients
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 -
 
Ingredients
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
 
Ingredients
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.
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Deep Roots Garden Center • 207 N. Sepulveda Blvd. • Manhattan Beach • CA • 90266
http://www.deep-roots.net
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