As the season starts to wind down, the nursery greenhouse work seems to never end. Repairs and maintenance go on to be sure that the equipment and infrastructure are ready to hold up to the mayhem of another not-to-distant spring. Inside the greenhouse, soon shipments of poinsettias will make way for more room for production of hanging baskets and plants for the greenhouse display in early May.
This week is the beginning of taking cuttings of what are called stock geraniums that were planted in early October.
The thousands of plants that will root and be ready for transplanting in about four weeks will be utilized for hanging baskets and one gallon pots. In about a month, the plants will grow out again to be cut again to provide a second stage of hanging baskets and 6½ inch pots of geraniums. Then about 6 weeks after this cutting, two more will commence about March 1st. The tired two gallon stock plants will then be transferred into 14 inch hanging baskets in March in which new root growth will cause an explosion of growth so fast and furious that the huge hanging baskets will be ready for sale by May 5th or a little later.
This week too is the annual liming of small azalea in order to bring the pH of the quite acid peat moss in which they are growing to a respectable 4 or 4.2 so that the plants will continue rapid growth until transplanting begins in June.
Sales of cut trees have slowed down and the remaining trees, while beautiful, are in short supply leaving a somewhat limited selection. Still remaining are up to 9 foot Fraser and Canaan Fir and a few long needled white pine looking for a home.
Beginning this Saturday all remaining cut trees will be discounted by$25 each so that each of them may find a home as after December 24th they have no value other than to be used as protection for birds from predators when staked up near a wide open bird feeder. While we are still taking orders for grave decorations, some styles we will not manufacture as the work would require a very costly and time consuming task of cutting more branches to produce only a few desired items. Remember that any grave decoration for delivery will be delivered up until noon on Christmas Eve as long as the delivery does not require assistance from the cemetery office which most likely will be closed.
The relatively warm temperatures are a welcome reprieve from the cold but as we all know, winter has not yet begun.