‘THE SAGE’-Klein’s Online Newsletter—APRIL 2016
Klein’s Floral & Greenhouses
3758 E. Washington Ave.
Madison, WI 53704
608/244-5661 or [email protected]
 
 
THIS MONTH’S HIGHLIGHTS:
Our 2016 Spring Plant List Goes On-line About April 15!
Our ‘Mad Gardener’ Is Ready for Your Questions
Tips for Fresh Cut Tulips and Daffodils
FAQ Answers About Klein’s Ever-so-Easy Loyalty Program
Klein’s Favorite Seed, Bulb & Plant Sources
Seed Starting Basics for Maximum Success
You Asked the Mad Gardener About Fruiting Citrus
Plant of the Month: The Lilac
Our Very Favorite Recipes with Chives
Product Spotlight: Fertilizers from Dr. Earth®
Notes from Rick’s Garden Journal—from March 2016
—Spring Awakens
—Ajidamoo
—That Which We Call a Lilac By Any Other Name…
April in the Garden: A Planner
Gardening Events Around Town
Review Klein’s @: Yelp, Google Reviews or Facebook Reviews
Join Us on Twitter
Follow Us on Facebook
Join Klein’s Blooming Plant or Fresh Flower Club
Delivery Information
Related Resources and Websites
Plants Harmful to Kids and Pets
 
 
OUR 2016 SPRING PLANT LIST can be viewed on-line beginning about April 15 by clicking on Spring Plants on the left side of our home page. This comprehensive listing contains every plant that Klein’s will be offering for the 2015 season and is extremely helpful for both the home gardener and landscaper alike. The list contains fun facts, cultural information and pot or pack size for each item and comes in very handy in planning your garden this spring.
 
 
FOR NEIGHBORHOOD EVENTS OR GARDEN TOURS that you would like posted on our web site or in our monthly newsletters, please contact Rick at (608) 244-5661 or [email protected] or Sue at [email protected]. Please include all details, i.e. dates, locations, prices, brief description, etc. Our readership is ever-growing so this is a great opportunity for free advertising. Events must be garden related and must take place in the immediate Madison vicinity.
 
 
THE MAD GARDENER
“Madison’s Firsthand Source for Expert Gardening Advice”
 
Ask any of your gardening questions by e-mailing them to us at [email protected]. Klein’s in-house Mad Gardener will e-mail you with an answer as promptly as we can. We’ve also posted a link to this e-mail address on our home page for your convenience. Your question might then appear in the “You Asked” feature of our monthly newsletter. If your question is the one selected for our monthly newsletter, you’ll receive a small gift from us at Klein’s. The Mad Gardener hopes to hear from you soon!
 
Sorry, we can only answer those questions pertaining to gardening in Southern Wisconsin and we reserve the right to leave correspondence unanswered at our discretion. Please allow 2-3 days for a response.
 
Please note that our Mad Gardener is not only an expert gardener, but can answer all of your indoor plant questions as well.
 
 
WELCOME TO ALL OF YOU…
who newly subscribed to our monthly newsletter at Garden Expo at the Alliant Energy Center this past February. The Garden Expo is Klein’s biggest gardening event of the year. We enjoy talking with all of you and sharing our love of gardening with you.
Thanks again! The Staff at Klein’s
 
 
APRIL STORE HOURS:
Monday thru Friday : 8:00-6:00
Saturday: 9:00-5:00
Sunday: 10:00-4:00
 
Extended Spring Hours Begin Saturday, April 23.
Monday thru Friday : 8:00-8:00
Tuesdays: 7:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.
Saturday: 8:00-6:00
Sunday: 9:00-5:00
 
 
CALENDAR OF EVENTS:
April 1–April Fool’s Day
 
April 16–First Farmers’ Market on the Capitol Square, 6:00-2:00
 
April 22–Earth Day
 
April 22–Full Moon
 
April 23—Passover Begins
 
April 23–First Day of Klein’s Extended Spring Hours. The days are longer and there’s lots to do in the garden. We make shopping easier to fit into your hectic schedule by offering extended retail hours from late April through much of June. Evenings are a great time to shop at Klein’s. The greenhouses are cooler and the lines are short. It makes for a more relaxed shopping experience and our staff is more available to answer all your gardening questions. Look under April Store Hours above for more details.
 
April 24–Beginning of Administrative Professionals Week. In appreciation to those people who make your life so much easier, have one of Klein’s talented designers create for you that perfect ‘Thank You.’ Nothing displays your appreciation better than a lovely bouquet of spring flowers or a cheerful blooming plant. Order early. This is one of Klein’s busiest delivery weeks.
 
April 27–Administrative Professionals Day
 
April 29–Arbor Day
 
May 1—Orthodox Easter
 
May 8–Mother’s Day. Order early and shop early!!! Mother’s Day is second only to Valentine’s Day for deliveries and the Saturday before Mother’s Day is traditionally our busiest day of the entire year. Extra drivers will be on the road Saturday, May 10 for prompt and efficient service. Click on Delivery Information on the left side of our home page for more details about Klein’s delivery. Because this is our busiest day of the year in the greenhouse, will not be delivering on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 8.
 
May 10–This is Madison’s average last frost date, but keep your eye on the weather before planting. Madison has a notorious reputation for late May frosts. Many local old-time gardeners refuse to plant, especially their tomatoes, peppers, morning glories, etc. until Memorial Day weekend when the soil has warmed properly. Novice gardeners have a tendency to plant too early!
 
 
‘THE FLOWER SHOPPE’:
She wore her yellow sun-bonnet,
She wore her greenest gown;
She turned to the south wind and curtsied up and down.
She turned to the sunlight and shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbor:
“Winter is dead”
Daffodowndilly
by A.A.Milne (creator of Winnie the Pooh)
 
Before you know it, our gardens will be bursting with the heralds of spring–first the snowdrops and early crocus and in short order, the daffodils and tulips. Already at Klein’s, fresh cut tulips and daffodils fill our coolers and mixed bulb gardens are in high demand. Our customers long for spring.
 
Tulips and daffodils are some of our most desirable cut flowers in the springtime–whether purchased at a flower shop, from the local supermarket or picked from one’s own garden. Here are a few important tips when using both tulips and daffodils in fresh arrangements.
 
Cut Tulips:
Tulips are best purchased or cut from the garden when the flower bud is showing color but still closed. Harvested earlier, the color won’t fully develop. Purchasing or harvesting later reduces the life in the vase.
 
Once ready for the vase, line up the tops of the tulips and cut off the stems so all tulips are the same length. Bunch the tulips upright and place in a tall vase or bucket of very cold water for at least 30 minutes to rehydrate. It’s important that the stems are kept straight during this step. Tulip stems will assume whatever shape the stems are in during the rehydration process.
 
Once placed in a vase on their own or mixed with other cut flowers, tulips will continue to grow and elongate; creating a dramatic and ever changing display. Unlike most cut flowers, tulips should not be placed in a floral preservative. A tulip arrangement will last much longer if placed in a cold (but not freezing) location during the night.
 
Cut Daffodils:
Fresh cut daffodils exude a sticky sap that is toxic to most other cut flowers. To eliminate this problem, simply place your fresh cut garden daffodils alone in a vase or bucket of cold water in a cool location for at least 24 hours. After this time, the daffodils can be safely arranged with other flowers. Daffodils purchased at flower shops or at the supermarket have already been conditioned so this step can be skipped.
 
Daffodils will continue to open so long as the flower buds are showing good color and are about to crack open. Harvested too early, they may not open fully. Unlike tulips, daffodils will last longer if a floral preservative is used in the vased arrangement. Placing the arrangement in a very cool (but not freezing) location at night can double the lifespan of your bouquet.
 
 
 
YOU ASKED THE MAD GARDENER . . .
I have a lime tree that was purchased two years ago from your greenhouse. It is very healthy with green leaves. I brought it inside for the past two winters. It continues to bloom and start baby limes, but after a few weeks the limes just fall off. What am I doing wrong? Bonnie
 
Hi Bonnie,
Do all of the limes drop off or just most? After most types fruit trees flower and begin forming fruit, they sort of readjust themselves to keep only the amount of fruit they can support to maturity. A good example is our own apple tree here in the north. After it blossoms, it usually sets far more fruit than it can support. The tree usually aborts more small fruits than it keeps. Some years are worse than others for environmental reasons.
 
Usually, limes that are fruiting indoors during the winter months will form only a few fruits at best with our short day winters and lack of appropriate sunlight. If your tree started flowering and forming fruit late last summer and into fall, the problem becomes accentuated. Normally (and in their normal environment), citrus flowers and forms fruit during the late fall and winter months. Most homes can’t replicate the perfect conditions for the fruit to fully develop and ripen. The tree simply goes into survival mode. If you get a chance, for example, visit Klein’s and see our all our employees’ overwintering citrus trees. They are loaded with fruit-oranges, lemons and limes. In the greenhouse we are close to being able to replicate their natural growing conditions in both light and temperature. The fact that your tree is healthy and without pests (usually scale) leads me to believe that the problem is entirely environmental.
 
Hopefully, you are putting your tree outdoors in the summer and fertilizing regularly. Leave your tree outdoors in the fall until the nights regularly start dropping to the freezing point–usually the first week of October. You may have to move your tree in and out during cold spells before that time. Once indoors, place your tree very near a south or west window. A large window or four season porch would be the best. East and north will not be bright enough. If possible, place your tree in a room that is kept coolish. Do not fertilize your tree during the winter months. This can also contribute to the fruit drop as the plant wants to put its energy into growing instead of flower and fruit formation. Citrus also require an occasional feeding of a fertilizer higher in iron. We carry a food specifically for citrus trees at Klein’s.
 
I hope this may have been of some help. Even if your tree fails to form mature fruit as the years pass; enjoy the the fantastic fragrance of the lovely white flowers. You can also use the leaves in recipes requiring a subtle lime flavor; much in the way one uses bay leaves in recipes.
 
Thanks for your question,
Klein’s Mad Gardener
[email protected]
 
 
DID YOU KNOW. . .
. . . about Klein’s fantastic and easy-to-use Loyalty Program?
 
Klein’s Floral and Greenhouses appreciates your business! We’ve put together a wonderful rewards program for our loyal customers to provide you more gardening information, invitation only events, preferred pricing promotions as well as monthly e-mail newsletters. And, we make it easy for you to earn your rewards. There is no card to carry, we keep track of everything! And it’s FREE! Earn a point for every dollar you spend at Klein’s (excludes gift cards, services, tax and events outside premises). Points accumulate and do not expire. When you reach 200 points, you will receive $10 off your next purchase.
 
Your Privacy is Our Priority – Klein’s is committed to protecting the privacy of its customers. Therefore, you have our word that the information you give us will remain strictly confidential. We promise that we will not sell any personal identifying information (name, address, phone number, or email address) to any person, company, organization, or agency. Phone numbers are used to look up customers in store; we will not contact customers by phone.
 
Rewards members will automatically be added to our mailing lists. Most correspondence and notices will be sent via e-mail. You can expect e-mails to keep you up to date with happenings at the store, special notification by email of unannounced/unadvertised specials, sales, membership appreciation events and receipt of monthly newsletter “The Sage” packed with information and gardening tips!
 
The loyalty program will automatically deduct your senior discount if you are 62 years old or more on Tuesdays. The loyalty program will also deduct your Master Gardener discount (must be updated annually).
 
It’s our way of saying thank you for your patronage of our business. We know you have other choices and are grateful that you have chosen us. It’s also a great way for us to connect with our best customers, give you tips and advice, and reward you with exclusive offers and savings.
 
To get started, simply click Loyalty Program Sign-Up
 
Please note:
No points are given for prior purchases. Returns will be deducted from Loyalty point balances.
 
Membership is non-transferrable and may only be used by an individual member for personal benefit. Businesses and organizations excluded, sorry!
 
Program benefits may not be combined with other benefits accrued by another member or other group discount programs.
 
Klein’s reserves the right to exclude certain purchases from our loyalty program at our discretion. Klein’s reserves the right to modify or discontinue our loyalty program at any time, with or without notice.
 
Special Birthday Mailers – Receive a birthday gift certificate during the month of your birth.
 
Can’t find you receipt? If you used you rewards account then we can find it for you after your initial sign up information has been entered in our computer system!
 
 
 
NOTES FROM MY GARDEN JOURNAL–Tips and Observations from My Own Garden by Rick Halbach.
 
ENTRY: MARCH 20, 2016 (Spring Awakens)
Spring appears in whispers
and hushed tones,
as the bellowing winter bows away.
Drowsy flowers come to attention,
waking from their sleep—yawning;
with heads turned upward towards
the Maestro called Sun—
I watch with anticipation as…
the concert begins.
 
‘Spring’
by Susan Filson
 
ENTRY: MARCH 21, 2016 (Ajidamoo)
ajidamoo: noun [Ojibwe]: one who descends trees headlong, i.e. chipmunk
 
As I was working at the computer today (in fact working on this April newsletter), I saw my first chipmunk of this spring season run past the the TV room patio door nearby. Chipmunks are a common sight in my garden and their burrows dot the yard. Though they do some damage to the garden (mostly digging up newly planted containers, planting seeds where they shouldn’t or breaking off the occasional tulip because they want to peer inside the cup), I find them irresistible and their antics entertaining. Fallen seed from my many birdfeeders draw them to and keep them in my yard; along with the dense foliage in my garden that offers them protection from predators. Neighbors have scolded me over the years for allowing them to thrive. In fact, I had one neighbor who ‘ridded’ his yard of over 40 in one summer. I, on the other hand, enjoy observing their playfulness, their ever-so-cute demeanor and non-stop and futile attempts to reach my birdfeeders.
 
Lively and speedy critters, chipmunks are small members of the squirrel family. Their pudgy cheeks, large, glossy eyes, stripes, and bushy tails have made them a favorite among animators, and landed them a series of starring roles in Hollywood.
 
Of the 25 species of chipmunks, all but one, Asia’s Tamias sibiricus, is found in North America. Ranging from Canada to Mexico, they are generally seen scampering through the undergrowth of a variety of environments from alpine forests to shrubby deserts. Some dig burrows to live in, complete with tunnels and chambers, while others make their homes in nests, bushes, or logs.
 
Depending on species, chipmunks can be gray to reddish-brown in color with contrasting dark and light stripes on the sides of their face and across their back and tail. They range in size from the least chipmunk, which, at 7.2 to 8.5 inches (18.5 to 21.6 centimeters) and 1.1 to 1.8 ounces (32 to 50 grams), is the smallest chipmunk, to the Eastern chipmunk, which grows up to 11 inches (28 centimeters) and weighs as much as 4.4 ounces (125 grams).
 
Chipmunks generally gather food on the ground in areas with underbrush, rocks, and logs, where they can hide from predators like hawks, foxes, coyotes, weasels, and snakes. They feed on insects, nuts, berries, seeds, fruit, and grain which they stuff into their generous cheek pouches and carry to their burrow or nest to store. Chipmunks hibernate, but instead of storing fat, they periodically dip into their cache of nuts and seeds throughout the winter.
 
Their shrill, repeated, birdlike chirp is usually made upon sensing a threat but is also thought to be used as a mating call by females. Chipmunks are solitary creatures and normally ignore one another except during the spring, when mating takes place. After a 30-day gestation, a litter of two to eight is born. The young stay with their parents for two months before they begin to gather their own provisions for the winter ahead.
 
The average life span of the Eastern Chipmunk is three years in the wild. In captivity they can live up to eight years.
 
Source: animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals
 
 
ENTRY: MARCH 31, 2016 (That Which We Call a Lilac By Any Other Name…)
Since my childhood, lilacs have been without a doubt my absolute favorite flower. Their blossoms signal the onset and promise of warm summer days ahead. Their heady fragrance is almost overwhelming on windless, warm mid- late spring days. The French lilac hybrids are the most fragrant, but the later blooming Asian types should not be overlooked for an extended season.
 
To this day a large, an old-fashioned, ‘farmstead’ lilac graces my parents backyard; a slip I nabbed from my grandparents’ farm in the early 1970’s. When we purchased my own home in 1986, one of its attractions for was an absolutely huge, old farm lilac that was integral to the design and privacy of the backyard. When we later added French patio doors and converted a spare bedroom into our TV room, we mirrored the lilac just outside by adding lilac-patterned wallpaper.
 
As the years passed, my cherished old lilac succumbed to disease and rot. A while back, I removed and replaced that lilac with three new ones that all bloomed beautifully last year for the first time. Loaded with buds, I’m anticipating and even more impressive show this season from my now six foot tall plants.
 
With Klein’s 2016 lilac selection showing up in just a few weeks, here is a listing of our offerings:
 
Syringa x ‘Bloomerang’ Dark Purple and Lilac (Hybrid Lilac)
Enjoy classic lilac fragrance for months instead of weeks. A revolutionary new lilac, Bloomerang blooms in spring and then recurrently throughout summer. It does phase through a rest period in the heat of the summer, then re-flowers. While traditional lilac varieties bloom for a few short weeks in spring, Bloomerang’s fragrant flowers appear recurrently until frost. This compact, mounded variety fits easily into any landscape, and is ideal as a foundation planting or as part of the mixed border. You can even include it into perennial beds. Reaches just 4-5’ tall. Zone 3.
 
Syringa x ‘Tinkerbelle’ (Hybrid Lilac)
From the trademarked ‘Fairytale’ Series. This compact lilac is the result of crosses made between S. meyeri ‘Palabin’ and S. microphylla ‘Superba’. It exhibits excellent growth habit and bloom time similar to Dwarf Korean, but with a pleasing, spicy fragrance and incredible wine-red flower buds that open to pink. Ht.: 5-6’. Spread: 4-5’. Zone 3.
 
Syringa meyeri ‘Palabin’ (Dwarf Korean Lilac)
This dwarf variety has an excellent uniform habit and red-purple buds that open to fragrant, single, pale lilac flowers. It blooms profusely at an early age. Foliage is small, dark green and clean on 4-5’ plants. Zone 3.
 
Syringa pubescens subsp. patula ‘Miss Kim’ (Korean Lilac)
A dwarf, compact lilac with pale purple flower buds that open lavender-blue. Very fragrant. Attractive dark green foliage turns bronze-red in fall. Ht.: 3-5’. The compact size makes it a perfect addition to the mixed perennial bed. Grow in full sun. Zone 3.
 
Syringa vulgaris (Common Lilac)
Although Syringa vulgaris is native to southeastern Europe, it has been naturalized in many other regions of the globe. Common lilac is an introduced, perennial, deciduous shrub that grows between 12 to 16 feet tall. The flowers are mostly white, lilac, or purple, and pleasantly fragrant in long terminal panicles. Common lilacs (also called “hedge” or “old-fashioned”) are often sold in nurseries or are found already growing on homesteads. They have leaves that are somewhat heart-shaped and are much wider than the leaves of cloned lilacs. Lilacs are members of the olive family.
 
Syringa vulgaris alba (Common White Lilac)
Although Syringa vulgaris is native to southeastern Europe, it has been naturalized in many other regions of the globe. Common lilac is an introduced, perennial, deciduous shrub that grows between 12 to 16 feet tall. The flowers are mostly white, lilac, or purple, and pleasantly fragrant in long terminal panicles. Common lilacs (also called “hedge” or “old-fashioned”) are often sold in nurseries or are found already growing on homesteads. They have leaves that are somewhat heart-shaped and are much wider than the leaves of cloned lilacs. Lilacs are members of the olive family.
 
Syringa vulgaris ‘Albert F. Holden’ (Hybrid French Lilac)
The deep violet blooms possess a silvery blush on the reverse of the petals, giving it a bicolor effect. The loosely open flower panicles are large with a nice fragrance. Resistant to powdery mildew. Ht.: 7’. Spread: 8’. Zone 3.
 
Syringa vulgaris ‘Beauty of Moscow’ (Hybrid French Lilac)
This stunning lilac produces abundant panicles of double, delicate pink flowers on vigorous, upright plants. 10-12’. Zone 3.
 
Syringa vulgaris ‘Charles Joly’ (Hybrid French Lilac)
One of the earlier French hybrids, this lilac is still very popular. It bears smaller panicles of purple buds that turn to magenta double flowers as they open for a fabulous show. 10-12’. Zone 3.
 
Syringa vulgaris ‘Declaration’ (Hybrid French Lilac)
This lovely lilac was selected for its large, up to 15”, dark reddish- purple blossoms. The fragrant flowers bloom in early spring. Excellent specimen or background plant, may also be use as an informal hedge or screen. A nice cut flower for a fragrant bouquet. Part of the U.S. Flag series of lilacs from the National Arboretum. 6-8’. Zone 4.
 
Syringa vulgaris ‘(Andenken an) Ludwig Spaeth’ (Hybrid French Lilac)
An old cultivar developed in 1883, this is still one of the best purples available. Its panicle-like thyrses of single, red-purple flowers are produced in early June. Rarely to never fed on by Japanese beetles. Ht.: 10-12’. Spread: 8’. Zone 3.
 
Syringa vulgaris ‘Monge’ (Hybrid French Lilac)
This outstanding French lilac has showy panicles of single, red-purple florets. The flowers are held on long stems that make great cut flowers. 10-12’ tall. Zone 3.
 
Syringa vulgaris ‘Sensation’ (Hybrid French Lilac)
A mutation of ‘Hugo de Vries’ with single, purple florets and a distinctive pure white border. Very unique! 8-10’. Zone 3.
 
Syringa vulgaris ‘Yankee Doodle’ (Hybrid French Lilac)
Among the deepest and darkest of the purples. Profuse bloomer with large clusters of single, large flowers produced on an upright plant of up to 8 feet in height. Rarely to never fed on by Japanese beetles. Zone 3.
 
 
 
KLEIN’S RECIPES OF THE MONTHThese are a selection of relatively simple recipes chosen by our staff. New recipes appear monthly. Enjoy!!
 
Chives are among the earliest edible spring plants that we are able to harvest here in southern Wisconsin. All parts of this onion relative are edible; including the purple blooms, which are a lovely addition to fresh spring salads. This small-bulbed allium is easy to grow, as long as you have a sunny spot with good drainage. This herbaceous perennial can also be used as an ornamental in the landscape, and is particularly attractive when in bloom.
 
Chives, Allium schoenoprasum, is a species in the lily family (Liliaceae) that is native to Europe and Asia (and possibly North America, but there is some dissension on whether it is truly native or naturalized there). It has been cultivated in Europe since the Middle Ages, both for culinary and medicinal purposes, and as long as 4,000 years ago by the Chinese.
 
The plant grows in dense clumps of slender bulbs, each bulb producing hollow tubular leaves 8-20 inches long. The soft-textured, blue-green leaves emerge in spring before the plant blooms and will continue to produce new leaves throughout the growing season so the plant remains fresh-looking.
 
Chives are one of the easiest herbs to grow. They do best when planted in full sun in rich, well-drained soil, although they will tolerate light shade (flowering may be reduced) and most soil types. Chives can be harvested any time during the growing season after the leaves are about 6″ long. The leaves are often chopped into small segments to be used as seasoning or garnish sprinkled on the food just before serving. They are a common addition to baked potatoes, cottage cheese, omelets, salads and cream soups. Chives are one of the fines herbes of French cuisine (along with tarragon, chervil and parsley). They can be used immediately or stored under refrigeration for up to a week. Chives can also be frozen or dried for later use.
 
Source: wimastergardener.org/?q=chives
 
HONEY CORNBREAD WITH CHIVES & BACON—This cornbread is both sweet and savory, combining the sweet richness of honey, butter, and half-n-half with the salty punch of bacon and the oniony zing of fresh chives. Perfect alongside chile, stew, or just a big buttermilk ranch dressed salad, this cornbread is easy to make and quick to disappear.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
1 TBS baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup half-n-half
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/4 cup honey
2 eggs
2 oz. bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 TBS chives, chopped
 
Preheat oven to 400º. Whisk flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a large mixing bowl. In a medium-sized mixing bowl combined half-n-half, unsalted butter, honey, and eggs. Stir wet ingredients into dry. Fold in bacon and chives, leaving a tsp. of each to garnish the top of the loaf. Pour mixture into a 9” x 9” greased, glass baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Slice, slather with butter, and serve.
 
HAM, GARLIC AND CHIVE SPREAD—This easy appetizer uses your leftover ham for a party the next day!
1 cup finely chopped ham
1x 8 oz. package garlic and chive cream cheese
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
3/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 TBS. fresh parsley
1 TBS. chives, chopped
 
Combine ham, cream cheese, mayonnaise, mustard, and cayenne pepper in food processor and pulse until ham is minced. Do not over process. Transfer to a medium bowl and fold in parsley and chives. Spoon into a shallow decorative bowl and refrigerate until firm. Garnish with chives. Serve with your favorite crackers or flatbreads.
 
CHIVE PESTO—Simply amazing!!—and a great way to use up a lot of chives at one time!!
4 cups (or more) chopped fresh (not “garlic”) chives
2 oz. slivered almonds
1 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
1/4 cup (or more) olive oil
 
Toss the chives, almonds, cheese, and garlic into the work bowl of your food processor. Pulse until all ingredients are finely-chopped. Then, with the machine running, add olive oil to desired consistency. One 1/4 cup oil will give you a spread-able pesto; add more oil to produce a pourable sauce for pasta.
 
Serve on crackers, on slices of toasted baguette, on cod or another white fish, or toss with pasta. Makes 1 1/2 cups sauce.
 
CREAMY CHIVE SOUP—This lovely soup makes a nice appetizer or starter course that can be served warm or cool. French bread or croutons are a must, and plain yogurt provides contrast to the dominant onion flavor.
1 TBS. butter or vegetable oil of choice
1 medium yellow onion, diced small
1 large bunch green onions, diced small
1 1/2 cup chives, cut small
1/2 cup peeled, diced potatoes (about 1/2 medium potato)
2 TBS. Marsala wine or sherry
2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Diced chives, for garnish
 
Warm a heavy soup pot over medium heat. Add butter or oil, yellow onion, green onion, and chives and cook on low heat for 7–10 minutes. Add potatoes, wine, water, and salt. Increase heat to boil, reduce heat, and simmer until vegetables are soft, before chives lose their green color, about 8–10 minutes. Working in batches, blend soup in a blender or food processor until smooth (or better yet, use an emersion blender! Best kitchen tool ever!). Stir in lemon juice and serve, sprinkled with fresh chives. Serves 4.
 
BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND CHIVE SOUP—Oh so nummy!
1 TBS. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2-2 1/2 lb. butternut squash, peeled, chopped
1 lb. potatoes, peeled, chopped
1 qt. chicken broth
1/3 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
 
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until onion has softened. Add pumpkin and potato. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add stock. Season with pepper. Cover. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until potato is tender. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly. Blend, in batches, until smooth (or better yet, use an emersion blender! Best kitchen tool ever!). Return to pan over low heat. Add sour cream and chives. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until heated through. Serve.
 
 
 
NATURAL NEWS–
 
Herb Lore: Natural Remedies
We all know that herbs make great companions in the garden and kitchen. Herbs also have a long history as a natural remedy—and many other more unusual uses, too! Read on. . .
 
Anise–Romans paid taxes with anise, and it was used in cough drops.
 
Basil–Precious to lovers in Italy and considered sacred in India. Many years ago, Italian men wore a sprig of basil to indicate their intended marriage. A cup of basil tea after dinner helps digestion. Ease a headache by drinking tomato juice blended with fresh basil.
 
Borage–The Romans believed the herb to be an antidepressant, and ancient Celtic warriors took it for courage.
 
Caraway–Caraway was used to scent perfumes and soaps. The Greeks used it for upset stomachs.
 
Chervil–Eating a whole plant would cure hiccups; chervil was said to warm old and cold stomachs.
 
 
Chives–Bunches of chives hung in your home were used to drive away diseases and evil.
 
Dill–Romans made wreaths and garlands out of dill. Dill keeps witches away.
 
Fennel–Bunches of fennel were used to drive off witches. It was used in love potions and as an appetite suppressant.
 
Garlic–It was thought to give strength and courage. Aristotle noted garlic’s use as a guard against the fear of water. It’s also been widely used against evil powers.
 
Lovage–Chewing on a piece of the dried root will keep you awake. Lovage warms a cold stomach and help digestion. Added to bathwater, it was believed to relieve skin problems.
 
Marjoram–The Greeks believed it could revive the spirits of anyone who inhaled it. At weddings wreaths and garlands were made of marjoram.
 
Mint–It was believed to cure hiccups and counteract sea-serpent stings. The Romans wore peppermint wreaths on their heads. It was added to bathwater for its fragrance.
 
Oregano–Used for “sour humours” that plagued old farmers. Also used for scorpion and spider bites.
 
Parsley–Used for wreaths and in funeral ceremonies. Believed to repel head lice and attract rabbits.
 
Rosemary–Rosemary in your hair will improve your memory. It will protect you from evil spirits if you put a sprig under your pillow.
 
Sage–Thought to promote strength and longevity and believed to cure warts. American Indians used it as a toothbrush.
 
Summer Savory–It was believed to be an aphrodisiac. Some thought it was a cure for deafness.
 
Tarragon–Put in shoes before long walking trips to give strength. It has been used to relieve toothache and as an antifungal.
 
Thyme–Burning thyme gets rid of insects in your house. A bed of thyme was thought to be a home for fairies.
 
Source: The Farmer’s Almanac
 
 
 
APRIL’S PLANT OF THE MONTH:
 
Lilacs
by Laura G Jull for Wisconsin Gardening @ statebystategardening.com/state.php/articles/lilacs
 
Lilacs (Syringa spp.) come in all different shapes and sizes from dwarf forms only 4 to 5 feet tall, to lilac trees, 25 to 30 feet tall. Lilacs can be mixed in the border with other deciduous shrubs, conifers, herbaceous perennials, bulbs, ground covers and annuals to extend and enhance the season of color.
 
Tree lilacs make terrific, urban-tolerant street trees, which offer shade on hot summer days. Smaller, slower-growing lilacs are perfect for most residential landscapes. They can be used in shrub beds or as foundation plants. They can also be planted in containers and placed on decks and patios. Lilacs tolerate very cold winters, hot summers, humidity and almost any well-drained soil. They do require full sun for good flower bud set.
 
Care of Lilacs
Lilacs require at least six hours of direct sunlight a day during the growing season to properly set flower buds for the following spring. The amount of sunlight determines the plant’s appearance and quantity of flowers. Lilacs planted in too much shade will either flower poorly or not at all. Do not crowd lilacs because they will grow tall and leggy with sparse flowering. The planting site should be large enough to accommodate the full-grown root system and the mature height and spread of the plant.
 
Some lilacs are prone to diseases, especially powdery mildew, which appears as white powder on the leaves. Spores of the fungus are most active when the weather is hot and humid and the air is stagnant. Certain species and cultivars of lilac are more susceptible than others to powdery mildew. It is important when selecting and planting lilacs to choose resistant varieties and plant them in full sun with good air flow to minimize these disease.
 
Lilacs are tolerant of a wide range of pH and soil conditions, but require good drainage. Poorly drained soil will result in little growth, poor flowering and gradual deterioration. This decline occurs over several years. If the soil is poorly drained, consider improving it with the addition of topsoil or organic matter (peat, composted leaf mulch or compost) to the planting hole or plant in raised beds with good soil.
 
Water and Fertilizer
Newly planted lilacs should be watered two to three times a week for the first month. After the first month, they should be watered deeply once a week. During periods of hot, dry weather, watering may need to be done more frequently. Most trees and shrubs benefit from 1 inch of water a week during the growing season, but do not over water lilacs because root diseases may develop.
 
Do not fertilize newly planted lilacs. Plants first need to establish a developed root system to support further growth. After this time, perhaps for two or three years, fertilization may be needed if the plant does not begin to grow more vigorously. A soil test should be performed to determine if phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) are limited. If so, a complete fertilizer such as 5-10-5 or 10-10-10 may be applied at the base of the plant, following labeled application rates. Do not over fertilize or use fertilizers containing high levels of nitrogen (N). This can cause excessive shoot and foliage growth at the expense of flower bud development. Apply any necessary fertilizer after the spring- flowering period.
 
Add a 2-to-3 inch layer of loose mulch around the base of the plant to help retain the soil moisture, keep the roots cool and suppress weed development. Take care to keep the mulch away from the trunk of the tree or basal portions of shrub stems to enable good air circulation. Otherwise, disease infections, pest infestations and damage by rodents may occur where the mulch is piled to closely to the bark.
 
Pruning
Pruning lilacs will depend on bloom period, growth pattern and location. Newly planted lilacs will not need much pruning for the first two to three years. Established lilacs are usually best pruned during the late dormant season, typically March or early April. This time of year allows for ease in pruning because you can see what you are doing, there is less insect and disease activity and pruning wounds close more quickly with the onset of spring growth. However, pruning at this time will sacrifice some display because you are removing flower buds. Pruning can also be done immediately after flowering, if you do not want to sacrifice any blooms. However, if you wait too long into the summer to prune, you will remove next year’s flower buds.
 
Lilacs that sucker readily, such as common and early lilacs (S. vulgaris and S. xhyacinthiflora) should receive renewal pruning about every two to three years. Older, larger diameter branches tend to have reduced vigor and produce fewer flowers concentrated mainly at the tops of the branches – too tall to enjoy their beauty or fragrance. Larger branches are also more prone to lilac borer infestation at their base. This insect makes its way into the branch cambium and wood. As the insect eats the wood, the branch becomes weaker, leaves yellow and the branch begins to die. Few, if any, flowers are produced the following years. The best way to control this insect pest is to periodically cut the infested, weakened branches out.
 
Renewal pruning involves removal of around one-third of the largest diameter branches down to ground level with a pruning saw or loppers. Removal of these larger branches greater than 1 inch in diameter promotes new shoot development at the base of the plant.
 
Renewal pruning allows the lilac to continue to flower vigorously each year and maintains the size of the plant. Vigorous young growth generally produces larger and more numerous flowers compared to the older, larger diameter branches.
 
Prompt deadheading of faded blooms will improve a plant’s appearance and help the lilac concentrate its energy into flower bud formation and not on seed production. For smaller lilacs that do not sucker, renewal—pruning is unnecessary, only annual shaping of the plant may be needed.
 
Klein’s offers a large selection of lilacs that perform well in southern Wisconsin beginning in mid- late April. For a listing of our 2016 choices see the Notes from My Garden Journal section above
 
 
 
AROUND TOWN:
 
For neighborhood events or garden tours that you would like posted in our monthly newsletter, please contact Rick at (608) 244-5661 or [email protected] or Sue at [email protected]. Please include all details, i.e. dates, locations, prices, brief description, etc. Events must be garden related and must take place in the Madison vicinity and we must receive your information by the first of the month in which the event takes place for it to appear in that month’s newsletter. This is a great opportunity for free advertising.
 
 
Rotary Garden’s Compost Sale
Saturdays in April and May, 8:00-noon (April 29 & 30 until 4:00)
 
Area garden enthusiasts, once again, will have an opportunity to purchase organic compost at Rotary Botanical Gardens in Janesville.
 
The organic blended mushroom compost is sold in 40 lb. (1.5 cu. ft.) bags for $6 per bag. Rotary Botanical Gardens’ Friends Members will receive an additional 10% discount at the sale.
 
If you would like more information or have questions, please call Mark Dwyer at 608-754-1779 or email: mark.dwy[email protected].
 
Rotary Botanical Gardens
1455 Palmer Dr., Janesville, WI
608/752-3885 or www.rotarygardens.org
 
 
Olbrich Garden’s
Spring Pansy Sale
Saturday, April 2
From 10:00-4:00 while supplies last
 
Celebrate spring with a cheery pansy, panola, or viola grown in Olbrich’s own greenhouses. Pots of pansies are $6 each, with three plants per pot. Decorative containers are extra. Proceeds benefit Olbrich Botanical Gardens.
 
Pansies are cool weather plants that do best if planted in the ground. However, they also look great in a container, and make wonderful springtime gifts. Not only decorative, pansies are also edible and add a flash of color to dishes as a garnish. Or, try planting colorful pansies in a container with lettuce – it’s an entire salad in one pot!
 
Olbrich Botanical Gardens
3330 Atwood Ave., Madison
608/246-4550 or www.olbrich.org for details.
 
 
Olbrich Garden’s
Orchid Sale
Saturday, April 2
From 10:00-Supplies Last
 
Celebrate spring with a blooming orchid plant. Orchid Growers Guild members will be available to answer questions. Sponsored by the Orchid Growers Guild. A portion of the proceeds benefits Olbrich Gardens. For information call 608-233-5559.
 
Olbrich Botanical Gardens
3330 Atwood Ave., Madison
608/246-4550 or www.olbrich.org for details.
 
 
Plan Your Garden So You Can Eat Locally All Year
Wednesday, April 6, 6:00-8:00
Willy St. Co-op West Community Room
 
Instructor: Megan Cain
Fee: $30 for Owners; $40 for non-owners
 
Want to rely on the grocery store less and your vegetable garden more for organic produce year round? With a little planning you can eat food from your garden all year long. Strategically plan your garden with easy to grow and store crops, elevate production with simple maps and records, plant crops so you are harvesting from your garden for Christmas dinner, and grow more food with less work.
 
Payment is required at registration; please register by stopping at the Willy West Customer Service desk or by calling (608) 284-7800.
 
Willy Street Co-op West
6825 University Ave.
Middleton, WI 53562
(608) 284-7800
www.willystreet.coop
 
 
2016 Green Thumb Gardening Series
Thursdays, March 3 thru April 14, 6:30-9:30
Dane County UW-Extension Office, 5201 Fen Oak Dr, Suite 138
 
The 2016 Green Thumb Gardening Series will give you the practical knowledge to keep your home garden thriving! University of Wisconsin Extension educators, specialists, and local horticulture experts will provide in depth and accessible information for everyone from the novice to the experienced gardener.
 
—April 7: Annuals & Perennials (Lisa Johnson)
—April 14: Landscape Design (Ben Futa)
 
Sign up for individual classes at $20.00 each OR the complete class series for 125.00 (Includes a set of handout materials to accompany each class).
To register, please visit dane.uwex.edu/horticulture/greenthumbclasses
 
Dane County University of Wisconsin-Extension
5201 Fen Oak Dr, Suite 138
608/224-3700
 
 
Wisconsin Gourd Festival
Saturday, April 9, 9:00-5:00
 
Learn about gourds, gourd art, and gourd growing. Meet gourd artists, take a class, see demonstrations, and get gourd growing advice. Participate in raffles, silent auctions, and a kid’s corner. Visit www.wisconsingourdsociety.org for more info. To register for classes call 608/437-1944 or email [email protected] thegourdgirl.com.
 
Olbrich Botanical Gardens
3330 Atwood Ave., Madison
608/246-4550 or www.olbrich.org for details.
 
 
Plan Your Garden So You Can Eat Locally All Year
Thursday, April 14, 6:00-8:00
Willy St. Co-op East Community Room
 
Instructor: Megan Cain
Fee: $30 for Owners; $40 for non-owners
 
Want to rely on the grocery store less and your vegetable garden more for organic produce year round? With a little planning you can eat food from your garden all year long. Strategically plan your garden with easy to grow and store crops, elevate production with simple maps and records, plant crops so you are harvesting from your garden for Christmas dinner, and grow more food with less work.
 
Payment is required at registration; please register by stopping at the Willy East Customer Service desk or by calling (608) 251-6776.
 
Willy Street Co-op West
1221 Williamson Street
Madison, WI 53703
(608) 251-6776
www.willystreet.coop
 
 
Rotary Garden’s Evening Garden Seminar: Gardening in Containers
Wednesday, April 27, 6:30-8:30 p.m
Rotary Botanical Gardens, 1455 Palmer Drive, Janesville, WI
 
Containers provide another opportunity to enjoy plants in our landscapes and allow us to garden in areas that may not traditionally have soil. With such a wide range of planting combinations as well as container options, discussing proper container preparation will be a focus as well addressing how to keep our plants happy in these situations.
 
Admission: $3 for RBG Friends members and $5 for the general public. No registration required
 
Seminar is conducted by Mark Dwyer, RBG Director of Horticulture
 
Rotary Botanical Gardens
1455 Palmer Drive
Janesville, WI
608/752-3885 or www.rotarygardens.org
 
 
Rotary Garden’s Pansy Sale
Saturday, April 23, 8:00-noon and Friday & Saturday, April 29 & 30, 8:00-4:00
At the Garden’s Horticulture Center
 
4-packs, planters and hanging baskets are available—all while supplies last. Rotary Botanical Gardens’ Friends Members will receive an additional 10% discount at the sale.
 
If you would like more information or have questions, please call Mark Dwyer at 608-754-1779 or email: [email protected].
 
Rotary Botanical Gardens
1455 Palmer Dr., Janesville, WI
608/752-3885 or www.rotarygardens.org
 
 
Woodland Wildflowers
Sunday, April 24, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Walk from the Visitor Center
 
As spring progresses, more flowers emerge. We will look for windflower, troutlily, rue–anemone, and Virginia bluebells along the trails of our restored woodlands.
 
University of WI Arboretum
1207 Seminole Hwy.
Madison, WI 53711
608/263-7888 or http://uwarboretum.org/
 
 
Woodland Wildflowers
Sunday, May 1, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Walk from the Visitor Center
 
As spring progresses, more flowers emerge. We will look for windflower, troutlily, rue–anemone, and Virginia bluebells along the trails of our restored woodlands.
 
University of WI Arboretum
1207 Seminole Hwy.
Madison, WI 53711
608/263-7888 or http://uwarboretum.org/
 
 
Dane County Winter Farmer’s Market
Saturdays, January 9 thru April 9, 8:00-noon
Madison Senior Center
330 W. Mifflin
 
For details visit www.dcfm.org
 
 
Dane County Farmer’s Market
Saturdays, April 16 thru November 5, 6:00-2:00
On the Capitol Square
 
Wednesdays, April 22 thru November 4, 8:30-2:00
In the 200 block of Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.
 
For details visit www.dcfm.org
 
 
 
APRIL IN THE GARDENA checklist of things to do this month.
___Continue bringing out your cooled forced bulbs for indoor enjoyment.
___Early in the month, pot up cannas and dahlias for early growth.
___Begin removing, cleaning and storing winter bird feeders.
___Begin your summer bird feeding regimen.
___Keep birdbaths full and clean.
___Repair and put out birdhouses. Put out nesting material like pet hair & fibers.
___Seed starting is in full swing and even winding down by the end of April.
___Sterilize seed starting equipment and pots with a 1:16 bleach solution.
___Shop for summer bulbs like gladiolas, lilies and dahlias.
___Prune late summer and fall blooming shrubs.
___Do not prune spring blooming shrubs like lilacs, forsythia or viburnum.
___Continue bringing in branches for forcing: pussy willow, forsythia, quince, etc.
___Increase fertilizer to full strength by month’s end (houseplants).
___Ready the lawn mower if you haven’t done so already.
___Start weeding your beds. It’s easier while weeds are small & the soil moist.
___Remove all winter mulch from beds.
___Remove the soil mound from around roses and mums.
___Lay soaker hoses in beds. It’s easy now without plants in the way.
___Cut back all remaining perennials and ornamental grasses left from fall.
___Begin sowing seeds of larkspur, poppies and hardy annuals in the garden.
___Plant pansies, violas and calendula into the garden and containers.
___Harden off your seedlings and wintered over potted geraniums.
___Repair lawns by sowing grass seed. Rake the lawn.
___Move cole crop transplants to the garden; broccoli, kohlrabi, cabbage, etc.
___Plant onion sets and early spring crops like lettuce, spinach, carrots, beets
___Begin planting perennials. Plant shrubs and trees.
___Visit Klein’s—the showrooms are filled with spring annuals.
 
 
Some of our very favorite seed and plant sources include:
 
For seeds:
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds @ www.rareseeds.com or 417/924-8887
Burpee @ www.burpee.com or 800/888-1447
Harris Seeds @ www.harrisseeds.com or 800/514-4441
Johnny’s Select Seeds @ www.johnnyseeds.com or 207/861-3901
Jung’s Seeds @ www.jungseed.com or 800/247-5864
Park’s Seeds @ www.parkseed.com or 800/845-3369
Pinetree @ www.superseeds.com or 207/926-3400
Seeds of Change @ www.seedsofchange.com or 888/762-7333
Seed Savers @ www.seedsavers.org or 563/382-5990
Select Seeds @ www.selectseeds.com or 800/684-0395
Territorial Seeds @ www.territorialseed.com or 888/657-3131
Thompson & Morgan @ www.thompson-morgan.com or 800/274-7333
 
For bulbs:
Brent & Becky’s Bulbs @ www.brentandbeckysbulbs.com or 877/661-2852
Colorblends @ www.colorblends.com or 888/847-8637
John Scheeper’s @ www.johnscheepers.com or 860/567-0838
McClure & Zimmerman @ www.mzbulb.com or 800/883-6998
 
For plants:
High Country Gardens @ www.highcountrygardens.com or 800/925-9387
Logee’s Greenhouses @ www.logees.com or 888/330-8038
Plant Delights Nursery @ www.plantdelights.com or 912/772-4794
Roots and Rhizomes @ www.rootsrhizomes.com or 800/374-5035
Wayside Gardens @ www.waysidegardens.com or 800/213-0379
White Flower Farm @ www.whiteflowerfarm.com or 800/503-9624
 
Note: To receive every possible seed, plant or garden supply catalog imaginable, check out Cyndi’s Catalog of Garden Catalogs @ www.gardenlist.com. Most catalogs are free and make for great winter reading!
 
A SEED STARTING PRIMER–
Starting your own plants from seed can be both rewarding and frustrating for the beginning gardener. From experience, it’s best to start out slow. This eliminates some of the frustration. Experience will gain you knowledge and confidence. Before starting your seeds, read the packet and get a little basic information. Some seeds are best sown directly in the garden come spring and not started indoors. It’s best to do a little research by going on-line or purchasing a good gardening book. The packets themselves will usually tell you whether to direct sow in the garden or how many weeks before our last frost date to sow indoors. Our last frost date is about May 10. Using a calendar, count back from May 10 and this will be your sow date.
 
One can start seeds on any sunny windowsill and in almost any container. Warmth and moisture are critical in getting most seeds to germinate. But a few pieces of basic and inexpensive equipment purchased at your garden center and/or hardware store will help you get started and make your seed starting experience a great success. Here is a shopping list:
 
*A heating mat–makes seeds germinate quickly and uniformly
*A few 10×20” trays without holes
*A few clear humidity domes
*A sterile seed starting mix
*A 4’ shop lamp w/ 2 fluorescent bulbs (you don’t need “gro-lights”)
or a seed growing rack if you’d like to make an investment
*A few 10×20” trays with holes
*A few sheets of empty cell packs, e.g. 4-packs or 6-packs
*A water mister
*A timer
*A soilless potting mix
All of the above items, except the timer, are available at Klein’s.
 
Again, following package instructions, sow the seeds, as many as you want, in a very shallow, open container, filled with moistened seed starting mix. This container can be anything from very low or cut off dairy containers to disposable food storage containers. Per package instructions, cover or don’t cover the seed. Some seeds require light for germination. Next place your seeded containers in a tray without holes, mist them till well watered and cover with a humidity dome. Place your covered tray on the plugged in heating mat under the shop light. Set your timer so the shop light is on for 13 hours (off for 11 hours).
 
In a few days, as your seeds begin to sprout, remove them from under the humidity dome and place in a well-lit, warm location. Keep your seeds and seedlings moist. Different seeds sprout at different rates so this can take from a few days to a few weeks. Once all your seeds have germinated, unplug your heating mat. You can now move all of your seedlings to under the shop light still set at 13 hours.
 
Once your seedlings have 2 sets of “real” leaves it’s time to “prick them out” (transplant them). Do this by placing a sheet of empty cell packs in a tray with holes. The holes now become necessary for proper drainage. Fill the cells with soilless potting mix and moisten well with the mister. Using a pen or pencil “dibble” a hole into each of the cells. This is where you’ll now place your seedling. Remove the seed starting mix and seedlings as a clump from their starting containers. Gently break apart this root ball, separating your seedlings. The pen or pencil will come in handy as an added tool to help separate the seedlings. Carefully place one seedling in each of the holes you put in the prepped cells. Gently firm in with your finger tips. Mist well to water thoroughly and place in a warm, well lit area. Using your shop light again makes this easy. The seedlings may seem weak and somewhat abused, but they’re very resilient and will pop back quickly. When watering, fertilize your new plants with a very dilute solution, rather than at full rate. By May 10 your flowers and vegetables should be ready to put in your garden and you can say that you did it yourself–beginning to end.
 
 
 
BEHIND THE SCENES AT KLEIN’SThis is a sneak peek of what is going on each month behind the scenes in our greenhouses. Many people are unaware that our facility operates year round or that we have 10 more greenhouses on the property in addition to the 6 open for retail. At any given moment we already have a jump on the upcoming season–be it poinsettias in July, geraniums in December or fall mums in May.
 
IN APRIL:
—Transplanting is in full swing on the transplanting line in our back greenhouses.
Employees work 8-10 hour shifts planting thousands of plugs and tiny seedlings into the cell packs you purchase in the spring. Once planted, the flats move by conveyor and then monorail into the various greenhouses, all kept at different temperatures depending on the plant.
 
—The greenhouses and showrooms are filling fast with thousands of hanging
and potted plants. We’re constantly moving product around, trying to make the best use of our limited space.
 
—Retail items are arriving nonstop for unpacking and pricing, everything from
garden ornaments and pottery to pesticides and fertilizers.
 
—Employees are readying the thousands of lilies, hydrangeas, azaleas, mums and spring bulbs that we deliver to the many area churches each Easter. We look forward to this time when the greenhouses are emptied to make room for our spring crops.
 
—Product is moved from the warmth of the greenhouses to the outdoors for the hardening off process. Plants are pinched back and moved outside so they can be acclimated for spring planting in your garden. Plants that have not been properly acclimated can find the transition to full sun and temperature extremes quite difficult. You’ve probably noticed that many garden centers do not harden off their plants properly. Symptoms include leaf burn and root rot.
 
—We’re readying the showrooms for the spring onslaught. Tables become fully stocked. Spring info and price signs are put into place. The last week of April is an amazing time to visit Klein’s. The showrooms are jam-packed, bursting with color, awaiting the spring rush which usually begins about May 1.
 
 
 
PRODUCT SPOTLIGHTEach month we spotlight some product that we already carry or one that we’ve taken note of and plan to carry in the near future. Likewise, if you would like to see Klein’s to carry a product that we don’t currently, please let us know. Our goal is to be responsive to the marketplace and to our loyal clientele. If a product fits into our profile, we will make every effort to get it into our store. In addition, we may be able to special order an item for you, whether plant or hard good, given enough time.
 
 
Organic Products from Dr. Earth®
“Grow Without Limits”
 
Klein’s is happy to introduce in 2016 a line of organic fertilizers from Dr. Earth®.
 
Dr. Earth® Fertilizers are formulated to feed all plants anytime of the year, both annuals and perennials. Prebiotics (soluble sugars) provide the existing soil microbes with food and energy to multiply more quickly. ProMoisture Hydrate® (Aloe vera) concentrate assists in the hydration of biotics in the soil by coating them with a patent-pending slimy layer to enhance microbial hydration. Dr Earth® fertilizers are great all purpose fertilizers that can be used on vegetables, flowers, trees, shrubs annuals and perennials. All are rich in fish meal, fish bone meal, mined potassium sulfate, kelp meal, seaweed extract and earthworm castings.
 
Klein’s is carrying the following Dr. Earth® products:
Flower Girl 1-9-2 Bud & Bloom Booster
Home Grown 4-6-2 Tomato, Vegetable and Herb Fertilizer
Ocean Rich 0-0-4.5 Seaweed Concentrate
Premium Gold All Purpose 4-4-4 Fertilizer
Total Advantage 3-6-2 Rose & Flower Fertilizer
 
About Dr. Earth:
Organic gardening is now mainstream gardening.
Our mission is to support organic gardeners. We understand and value the organic movement and how quickly it is it evolving. We knew 23 years ago that we were going to take this epic journey that was going to take us to a fantastic place. Here we are!
 
We have a colorful vision for growth
Based on research and brilliantly enhanced with a rainbow of attributes. Dr. Earth® is considered by many to be the most innovative organic gardening company in the United States. After 23 years in business, we know what our customers demand, and we strive for absolute perfection with every innovation we introduce.
 
The Dr. Earth ® Company is still, and always will be, the first!
Dr. Earth® leads the retail lawn and garden industry, creating cutting-edge natural/organic garden-friendly products. With our company’s total commitment to clean and healthy gardening, we will continue to pursue perfection in every Dr. Earth® product. We take immense pride in everything that leaves our facility. And the reason behind all of it is you, our customers.
 
It starts with a great team
We have assembled a team of brilliant people who love what they do. It takes passion, dedication, and an understanding of the value of teamwork to accomplish great things. We nurture a high quality and talented team that shares a mutual vision of perfection.
 
Perfecting Dr. Earth
The pulse of our company comes from our position at the very heart of innovation. Innovations become our guiding lights. We value them and what they stand for. When you love a company, you follow it into new places to fuel progressive growth and positive change that benefits everyone. Innovation is the engine of Dr. Earth®, and we ensure that it is always viable throughout our enterprise.
 
We understand and value the high-energy natural & organic movement. Our hard work and vision has contributed to its incredible growth. As we make great investments in our future and the future of natural & organic, we welcome progressive gardeners to join us. Our products are considered people & pet safe because we do not use ingredients such as biosolids, or composted household waste, or synthetic chemicals which can bring additional health risks to your garden. We will never use any ingredients that might cheapen the integrity of our products.
 
 
 
PERMANENT FEATURES–
KLEIN’S MONTHLY NEWSLETTER
Have our monthly newsletter e-mailed to you automatically by signing up on the right side of our home page. We’ll offer monthly tips, greenhouse news and tidbits, specials and recipes. . .everything you need to know from your favorite Madison greenhouse. And tell your friends. It’s easy to do.
 
THE MAD GARDENER–“Madison’s Firsthand Source for Expert Gardening Advice”
Ask us your gardening questions by e-mailing us at [email protected]. Klein’s in-house Mad Gardener will e-mail you with an answer as promptly as we can. The link is posted on our home page and in all newsletters.
 
We can only answer those questions pertaining to gardening in Southern Wisconsin and we reserve the right to leave correspondence unanswered at our discretion. Please allow 2-3 days for a response.
 
TO WRITE A REVIEW OF KLEIN’S, PLEASE LINK TO
Yelp, Google Reviews or Facebook Reviews
 
FACEBOOK
Follow Klein’s on Facebook where we post updates and photos on a regular basis.
 
TWITTER
Join Klein’s on Twitter where we post company updates and photos on a regular basis.
 
SENIOR CITIZEN DISCOUNT
We offer a 10% Off Senior Citizen Discount every Tuesday to those 62 and above. This discount is not in addition to other discounts or sales. Please mention that you are a senior before we ring up your purchases. Does not apply to wire out orders or services, i.e. delivery, potting, etc.
 
RECYCLING POTS & TRAYS
Plastic flower pots and garden edging can now be recycled as part of the City of Madison’s rigid plastic program. Flowerpots and edging must be free of dirt and can be placed in your green recycling bin. For more information call 267-2626 or visit www.cityofmadison.com/streets/recycling/plastic.cfm
 
KLEIN’S “BLOOMING PLANT OR FRESH FLOWER CLUB”
Send or receive 3 month’s, 6 month’s or a whole year’s worth of seasonal blooming plants or fresh flower arrangements and SAVE!!
 
There’s no easier way to give gorgeous blooming plants or fresh flower arrangements, month after month. Each month a seasonal blooming plant or fresh arrangement will arrive on yours or a loved one’s doorstep. You choose the start date and we’ll make your special delivery the very same day each month.
 
For just $75, $150 or $300, respectively, we’ll send 3 month’s, 6 month’s or a year’s worth of seasonal blooming plants–perhaps a bulb garden or azalea in the spring, one of our famous large geraniums or a tropical hibiscus in the summer, a chrysanthemum or Thanksgiving cactus in the fall or one of our homegrown poinsettias or cyclamen for the holidays and winter months. Selection of the blooming plant will be based on availability.
 
And for just $90, $175 or $350, respectively, receive one of Klein’s lovely fresh floral arrangements. All arrangements will be seasonal and will contain only the freshest flowers. All arrangements are Designer’s Choice, but are sure to satisfy the most discerning lover of fresh flowers.
 
Prices include delivery within our delivery area. Enclosure cards will accompany all gift deliveries if desired. For delivery details visit the “Permanent Features” section of our newsletter below. If your chosen delivery date happens to fall on a Sunday or holiday, we will deliver it on the next available delivery day. All regular delivery conditions apply.
 
Join our Blooming Plant or Fresh Flower Club by calling Klein’s at 608/244-5661 or 888/244-5661 or by stopping in. We request that payment be made in full before the first delivery and prices do not include sales tax.
 
 
DELIVERY INFO
Klein’s Floral and Greenhouses delivers daily, except Sundays, throughout all of Madison and much of Dane County including: Cottage Grove, DeForest, Fitchburg, Maple Bluff, Marshall, McFarland, Middleton, Monona, Oregon, Shorewood Hills, Sun Prairie, Verona, Waunakee and Windsor. We do not deliver to Cambridge, Columbus, Deerfield or Stoughton.
Current delivery rate on 1-4 items is $7.95 for Madison, Maple Bluff, Monona and Shorewood Hills; $8.95 for Cottage Grove, DeForest, Fitchburg, McFarland, Sun Prairie, Waunakee and Windsor; and $9.95 for Marshall, Middleton, Oregon and Verona. An additional $3.00 will be added for deliveries of 4-10 items and $5.00 added for deliveries of more than 10 items. For deliveries requiring more than one trip, a separate delivery charge will be added for each trip.
 
A minimum order of $25.00 is required for delivery.
We not only deliver our fabulous fresh flowers, but also houseplants, bedding plants and hardgoods. There may be an extra charge for very large or bulky items.
Delivery to the Madison hospitals is $5.95. Deliveries to the four Madison hospitals are made during the early afternoon. Items are delivered to the hospital’s volunteer rooms and not directly to the patients’ rooms per hospital rules.
There is no delivery charge for funerals in the city of Madison or Monona, although normal rates apply for morning funeral deliveries to Madison’s west side (west of Park St.). Our normal rates also apply for funeral deliveries in the surrounding communities at all times. Although we don’t deliver on Sundays, we will deliver funeral items on Sundays at the regular delivery rate.
 
Morning delivery is guaranteed to the following Madison zip codes, but only if requested: 53703, 53704, 53714, 53716, 53718 and Cottage Grove, DeForest, Maple Bluff, Marshall, McFarland, Monona, Sun Prairie, Waunakee and Windsor.
We begin our delivery day at 8:00 a.m. and end at approximately 3:00 p.m. We do not usually deliver after 4:00 unless specific exceptions are made with our drivers.
Except for holidays, the following west-side zip codes and communities are delivered only during the afternoon: 53705, 53706, 53711, 53713, 53717, 53719, 53726, Fitchburg, Middleton, Oregon, Shorewood Hills and Verona.
During holidays (Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, etc.) we are able to make morning deliveries to all of the above areas. We are not able to take closely timed deliveries on any holiday due to the sheer volume of such requests.
It’s best to give us a range of time and we’ll try our absolute hardest. Orders for same day delivery must be placed by 12:30 p.m. or by 2:30 p.m. for Madison zip codes 53704 and 53714.
 
 
DEPARTMENT HEADS: Please refer all questions, concerns or feedback in the following departments to their appropriate supervisor.
Phone: 608/244-5661 or 888/244-5661
 
Horticulturalist & General Manager–Jamie VandenWymelenberg [email protected]
Accounts, Billing and Purchasing—Kathryn Derauf [email protected]
Delivery Supervisor & Newsletter Coordinator—Rick Halbach [email protected]
Owner, Floral Designer & Purchasing—Sue Klein [email protected]
 
 
RELATED RESOURCES AND WEB SITES
University of Wisconsin Extension
1 Fen Oak Ct. #138
Madison, WI 53718
608/224-3700
http://hort.uwex.edu
 
Plant Disease Diagnostics Clinic
Dept. of Plant Pathology
1630 Linden Dr.
Madison, WI 53706
http://www.plantpath.wisc.edu/index.php
 
Insect Diagnostic Lab
240 Russell Labs
1630 Linden Dr.
Madison, WI 53706
http://www.entomology.wisc.edu/
 
U.W. Soil and Plant Analysis Lab
8452 Mineral Point Rd.
Verona, WI 53593
608/262-4364
http://uwlab.soils.wisc.edu/
 
American Horticultural Society
http://www.ahs.org/
 
Garden Catalogs (an extensive list with links)
http://www.gardenlist.com/
also http://www.mailordergardening.com/
 
Invasive Species
http://www.invasiveplants.net/
http://www.ipaw.org/
 
Community Groundworks
3601 Memorial Dr., Ste. 4
Madison, WI 53704
608/240-0409
http://www.communitygroundworks.org
 
Madison Area Master Gardeners (MAMGA)
http://mamgawi.org/
 
Wisconsin Master Gardeners Program
Department of Horticulture
1575 Linden Drive
University of Wisconsin – Madison
Madison, WI 53706
608/265-4504
http://wimastergardener.org
 
The Wisconsin Gardener
http://www.wpt.org/garden/
 
Allen Centennial Gardens
620 Babcock Dr.
Madison, WI 53706
608/262-8406
http://www.allencentennialgardens.org/
 
Olbrich Botanical Gardens
3330 Atwood Ave.
Madison, WI 53704
608/246-4550
http://www.olbrich.org/
 
Rotary Gardens
1455 Palmer Dr.
Janesville, WI 53545
608/752-3885
http://www.rotarygardens.org/
 
University of WI Arboretum
1207 Seminole Hwy.
Madison, WI 53711
608/263-7888
http://uwarboretum.org/
 
University of Wisconsin-West Madison
Agricultural Research Center
8502 Mineral Point Rd.
Verona, WI 53593
608/262-2257
http://www.cals.wisc.edu/westmad/
 
 
PLANTS POISONOUS TO CHILDREN:
Children may find the bright colors and different textures of plants irresistible, but some plants can be poisonous if touched or eaten. If you’re in doubt about whether or not a plant is poisonous, don’t keep it in your home. The risk is not worth it. The following list is not comprehensive, so be sure to seek out safety information on the plants in your home to be safe.

  • Bird of paradise
  • Bull nettle
  • Castor bean
  • Chinaberry tree
  • Crocus
  • Daffodil
  • Deadly nightshade
  • Dieffenbachia (dumb cane)
  • Foxglove
  • Glory lily
  • Hemlock
  • Holly berry
  • Indian tobacco
  • Iris
  • Jimsonweed
  • Lantana
  • Larkspur
  • Lily of the valley
  • Marijuana
  • Mescal bean
  • Mexicantes
  • Mistletoe
  • Morning glory
  • Mountain laurel
  • Night-blooming jasmine
  • Nutmeg
  • Oleander
  • Philodendron
  • Poison ivy
  • Poison sumac
  • Pokeweed
  • Poppy
  • Potato
  • Privet
  • Rhododendron
  • Rhubarb
  • Water hemlock
  • Wisteria

 
PLANTS POISONOUS TO PETS:
Below is a list of some of the common plants which may produce a toxic reaction in animals. This list is intended only as a guide to plants which are generally identified as having the capability for producing a toxic reaction. Source: The National Humane Society website @ http://www.humanesociety.org/

  • Aconite
  • Apple
  • Arrowgrasses
  • Autumn Crocus
  • Azaleas
  • Baneberry
  • Bird-of-Paradise
  • Black locust
  • Bloodroot
  • Box
  • Buckeye
  • Buttercup
  • Caladium
  • Carolina jessamine
  • Castor bean
  • Chinaberry tree
  • Chockcherries
  • Christmas berry
  • Christmas Rose
  • Common privet
  • Corn cockle
  • Cowbane
  • Cow cockle
  • Cowsliprb
  • Daffodil
  • Daphne
  • Day lily
  • Delphinium (Larkspur)
  • Dumbcane
  • Dutchman’s breeches
  • Easter lily
  • Elderberry
  • Elephant’s ear
  • English Ivy
  • European Bittersweet
  • Field peppergrass
  • Foxglove
  • Holly
  • Horsechestnut
  • Horse nettle
  • Hyacinth
  • Iris
  • Jack-in-the-pulpit
  • Jerusalem Cherry
  • Jimsonweed
  • Lantana
  • Larkspur
  • Laurels
  • Lily of the valley
  • Lupines
  • Mayapple
  • Milk vetch
  • Mistletoe
  • Monkshood
  • Morning glory
  • Mustards
  • Narcissus
  • Nicotiana
  • Nightshade
  • Oaks
  • Oleander
  • Philodendrons
  • Pokeweed
  • Poinsettia
  • Poison hemlock
  • Potato
  • Rhododendron
  • Rhubarb
  • Rosary pea
  • Sago palm
  • Skunk cabbage
  • Smartweeds
  • Snow-on-the-mountain
  • Sorghum
  • Star of Bethlehem
  • Wild black cherry
  • Wild radish
  • Wisteria
  • Yellow jessamine
  • Yew