It’s almost the new year and the beginning of winter but even now we are planting trees. Some of our trees are still outside and dug into a fine gravel where they will overwinter so that it’s irrelevant whether they overwinter in the gravel or more naturally dug into the ground. Other trees are in what we call a pot-n-pot system in which a pot is dug into the ground to act as a socket and another one of the same size with a tree growing in it is inserted in this socket so that the root system is able to pick up ground heat and not experience the full depth of the winter cold which would spell death. Surprisingly root growth is still ongoing on the potted trees overwintering in the socket pot so that temperatures have not yet reached 40º F a foot below the surface and more.

While the Christmas rush is over, more is in the works at the nursery as the newly drilled well will be online soon. While the choice could have been a connection to the sixteen inch waterline installed in 2009, an assessment of more than 20,000 would have to be paid in addition to a hefty tap in and the installation and yearly inspection of a back flow valve that would prevent any contaminates from the water used in the nursery from flowing into the city waterline from a sudden loss of pressure. The assessment fee is “put on hold” so to speak as the nursery is in an agricultural district under Ohio law and really does not need the city water and the set up costs and the fees charged for the water used. Once a tap into the water line would occur or the use of the property would be changed the assessment would come into play.

Newer fertilizers of an analysis of less potassium and phosphorus will help to keep the “stretch” out of the greenhouse flowers so that they do not overgrow their containers and look unkempt. With expanded greenhouse product we will start growing earlier in the greenhouse connected to the store building as space will be at a premium in the production greenhouse in the rear of the nursery. This year we’ve made more of an effort to search out new flowers that are good performance in shade and/or sun. An older variety though that does well in both conditions is the Dragon Wing begonia. Sun and heat or even days in shade does not seem to bother these blooming machines. More selections of these old favorites will be available this year in a variety of sizes in hanging baskets or planting in the ground. Another avenue to search for new plants begins in Baltimore beginning January 8th which will feature growers and new product from all over the country. The only limit in introducing new product for next spring will be the limit of space.

C’est la vie.