‘THE SAGE’-Klein’s Online Newsletter—APRIL 2018
Klein’s Floral & Greenhouses
THIS MONTH’S HIGHLIGHTS:
OUR NEW GREENHOUSES AND RETAIL & FLORAL DEPARTMENTS ARE NOW OPEN FOR BUSINESS!
Our 2018 Spring Plant List Goes On-line About April 15!
Klein’s Is Voted Among Madison’s Best by Madison Magazine!
Administrative Professionals Week is April 23-28
Order Your Prom Flowers Early
Garden Favorites Are Both Beautiful and Tasty: Edible Flowers
Organic Deer Control for Your Garden
Seed Starting Basics for Maximum Success
Klein’s Favorite Seed, Bulb & Plant Sources
You Asked the Mad Gardener About Diseased Impatiens
Plant of the Month: Senetti® Percallis (Cineraria) Hybrids
Klein’s Shares a Cooking Oil Primer
Product Spotlight: TruDrop® System Self Watering Planters
Notes from Rick’s Garden Journal—From March 2018
—The Importance of Sterilizing Equipment
—Chill Some Seeds for Better Germination
—Jolly Gardener Potting Mix a Hit
April in the Garden: A Planner
Gardening Events Around Town
Related Resources and Websites
Plants Harmful to Kids and Pets
OUR NEW GREENHOUSES AND RETAIL & FLORAL DEPARTMENTS ARE NOW OPEN FOR BUSINESS!
Though we still have a lot of product to unpack and move into place and a lot of work to complete, we are now welcoming customers into our beautiful new and modern facility!
Just arrived is a fresh shipment houseplants in all shapes and sizes and our gorgeous new floral department is up and running. New pottery and garden decor are arriving daily.
Details for our official Grand Opening Celebration will be shared and posted on our website at a later date.
OUR 2018 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 2018 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.
KLEIN’S IS AMONG THE BEST OF MADISON according to Madison Magazine readers. And for the first time ever Klein’s is among the Best of Madison in two categories!
Klein’s Floral & Greenhouses was voted #2 in the Lawn, Garden & Landscape category behind the Bruce Co. and voted #3 from among Madison’s many, many florists in the 2018 Madison Magazine reader poll announced in late February. Congratulations to Darcy and her team for this Klein’s first!
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.
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]. Please include all details, i.e. dates, locations, prices, brief description, etc. Events must be garden related and must take place in the Madison area.
APRIL STORE HOURS:
Monday thru Friday : 8:00-6:00
Extended Spring Hours Begin Saturday, April 28.
Monday thru Friday : 8:00-8:00
Tuesdays: 7:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS:
April 1—Easter Sunday. Open 10:00-4:00.
April 1—April Fool’s Day
April 8—Orthodox Easter
April 14–First Farmers’ Market on the Capitol Square, 6:15-1:45
April 17—Tax Day
April 22–Earth Day
April 23–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 25–Administrative Professionals Day
April 27–Arbor Day
April 28–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. See April Store Hours above for more details.
April 29–Full Moon
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!
–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 12 for prompt and efficient service. Click on Delivery Information
at the top 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 13
‘THE FLOWER SHOPPE’:
Florists know how very important prom flowers are to their young customers and are happy to work with them to make their corsages and boutonnieres special. If you have your heart set on a certain corsage style or type of flower, then there is nothing wrong with letting your date know what you would like. You might even suggest going to the florist shop together to pick out your flowers. Florists are experts at customization. Show your dress (or a swatch of the fabric) to your florist and ask him or her to select an appropriate ribbon. Or you can ask to see what ribbons he or she has on hand and choose one yourself.
Tips for Ordering Prom Flowers
It is important to remember that prom season is also peak wedding season and often falls on Mother’s Day weekend. Therefore, popular flowers such as sweetheart roses, white roses and certain orchids used to create decorative body flowers are in high demand.
Ordering at least two weeks in advance so that we have time to order the necessary quantities should ensure that you get what you really want.
Tell us what your budget is and then ask for ideas. An inexpensive flower used in a lovely corsage style can be just as beautiful as a more expensive bloom. Alstroemeria and lilies are a good choices, as are mini carnations. But we at Klein’s will know what the best value is.
Two popular styles are wrist corsages and small hand-held nosegays (and they look great with strapless dresses!). Flowers for your hair or neck or corsages pinned to an evening bag are also great choices.
To order your prom flowers, please contact Darcy or Sue @ 608/244-5661.
YOU ASKED THE MAD GARDENER . . .
Last spring I bought two flower pouches planted with impatiens. Later in the summer the plants lost leaves and died. The same thing happened to our impatiens planted in the ground in our yard. It seemed like a disease. Are there other varieties of plants that could be planted in those planters and will Kleins have them? Florence
Sad to say, your impatiens probably developed impatiens downy mildew, a now common fungal-like problem that appeared in our area about 10 years ago and is now here to stay. Some years are worse than others. Last summer was particularly bad in that it was moister and a little cooler summer than normal. Sometimes impatiens in containers and baskets are spared if the soil is changed each year, the pots are sterilized in a bleach solution and then placed in an area with good airflow. Impatiens in beds are becoming increasingly difficult to grow in our area. Once the mildew attacks your plants, they shut down completely in just a few days. There is no cure. Using a fungicide preventively can help, but requires planning and no guarantees.
That said, we’ve been encouraging customers away from old fashioned impatiens for about five years now (though they are still offered for die-hard fans); steering them toward New Guinea impatiens (which aren’t infected by the downy mildew), begonias of all types and colorful foliage plants (there are many choices!). Some newer New Guinea impatiens varieties are increasingly shade tolerant and bloom well in light shade. They are becoming increasingly cost-effective. Scientists are also trying to develop walleriana-type impatiens with increased resistance to the downy mildew. Some varieties are slowly appearing on the market, but their resistance is only at the testing stage at best.
In short, yes, there are many other options other than impatiens and we’ll be happy to help you find the perfect choices to suit your needs.
Thanks for your question,
Klein’s Mad Gardener
DID YOU KNOW. . .
. . . that many of your flower garden favorites are both beautiful and tasty?
Edible Flowers Are the New Rage in Haute Cuisine
After falling out of favor for many years, cooking and garnishing with flowers is back in vogue once again. Flower cookery has been traced back to Roman times, and to the Chinese, Middle Eastern, and Indian cultures. Edible flowers were especially popular in the Victorian era during Queen Victoria’s reign.
Today, many restaurant chefs and innovative home cooks garnish their entrees with flower blossoms for a touch of elegance. The secret to success when using edible flowers is to keep the dish simple, do not add to many other flavors that will over power the delicate taste of the flower. Today this nearly lost art is enjoying a revival.
Following are some simple guidelines to keep in mind before you eat any type of flower:
-Eat flowers only when you are positive they are edible. If uncertain, consult a good reference book on edible flowers prior to consumption.
-If pesticides are necessary, use only those products labeled for use on edible crops. No flowers is safe to eat unless it was grown organically.
-Wash all flowers thoroughly before you eat them.
-Introduce flowers into your diet in small quantities one species at a time. Too much of a good thing may cause problems for your digestive system.
-Remove pistils and stamens from flowers before eating. Separate the flower petals from the rest of the flower just prior to use to keep wilting to a minimum.
-Eat only the flower petals for most flowers except pansies violas, and Johnny-jump-ups (in which they add flavor).
-If you have allergies, introduce edible flowers gradually, as they may aggravate some allergies.
-Do not eat flowers from florists, nurseries or garden centers. In many cases these flowers have been treated with pesticides not labeled for food crops.
-Do not eat flowers picked from the side of the road. Once again, possible herbicide use eliminates these flowers as a possibility for use.
-Just because flowers are served with food served at a restaurant does not mean they are edible. Know your edible flowers – as some chefs do not. It’s easy and very attractive to use flowers for garnish on plates or for decoration, but avoid using non-edible flowers this way. Many people believe that anything on the plate can be eaten. They may not know if the flower is edible or not and may be afraid to ask.
Alliums (leeks, chives, garlic, garlic chives) – Known as the “Flowering Onions.” There are approximately four hundred species that includes the familiar onion, garlic, chives, ramps, and shallots. All members of this genus are edible. Their flavors range from mild onions and leeks right through to strong onion and garlic. All parts of theplants are edible. The flowers tend to have a stronger flavor than the leaves and the young developing seed-heads are even stronger. We eat the leaves and flowers mainly in salads. The leaves can also be cooked as a flavoring with other vegetables in soups, etc.
Chive Blossoms (Allium schoenoprasum) – Use whenever a light onion flavor and aroma is desired. Separate the florets and enjoy the mild, onion flavor in a variety of dishes.
Garlic Blossoms (Allium sativum) – The flowers can be white or pink, and the stems are flat instead of round. The flavor has a garlicky zing that brings out the flavor of your favorite food. Milder than the garlic bulb. Wonderful in salads.
Bee Balm (Monarda didyma) – Also called Wild Bergamot, Wild Oswego Tea, Horsemint, Monarda. Wild bee balm tastes like oregano and mint. The taste of bee balm is reminiscent of citrus with soft mingling of lemon and orange. The red flowers have a minty flavor. Any place you use oregano, you can use bee balm blossoms. The leaves and flower petals can also be used in both fruit and regular salads. The leaves taste like the main ingredient in Earl GrayTea and can be used as a substitute.
Begonia – Tuberous begonias and Waxed begonias –
Tuberous Begonias (Begonia X tuberosa) – The leaves, flowers, and stems are edible. Begonia blossoms have a citrus-sour taste. The petals are used in salads and as a garnish. Stems, also, can be used in place of rhubarb. The flowers and stems contain oxalic acid and should not be consumed by individuals suffering from gout, kidney stones, or rheumatism.
Wax Begonias (Begonia cucullata) – The fleshy leaves and flowers are edible raw or cooked. They can have a slight bitter after taste and if in water most of the time, a hint of swamp in their flavor.
Borage (Borago officinalis) – Has lovely cornflower blue star-shaped flowers. Blossoms and leaves have a cool, faint cucumber taste. Wonderful in punches, lemonade, gin and tonics, sorbets, chilled soups, cheese tortas, and dips.
Calendula (Calendula officinalis) – A wonderful edible flower. Flavors range from spicy to bitter, tangy to peppery. Their sharp taste resembles saffron (also known as Poor Mans Saffron). Has pretty petals in golden-orange hues. Sprinkle them on soups, pasta or rice dishes, herb butters, and salads. Petals add a yellow tint to soups, spreads, and scrambled eggs. Only the petals are edible.
Carnations (Dianthus caryophyllus – aka Dianthus) – Carnations can be steeped in wine, candy, or use as cake decoration. To use the surprisingly sweet petals in desserts, cut them away from the bitter white base of the flower. Dianthus are the miniature member of the carnation family with light clove-like or nutmeg scent. Petals add color to salads or aspics. Carnation petals are one of secret ingredients that has been used to make Chartreuse, a French liqueur, since the 17th century.
Chrysanthemums (Chrysanthemum coronarium) – Tangy, slightly bitter, ranging in colors from red, white, yellow and orange. They range in taste from faint peppery to mild cauliflower. They sould be blanched first and then scatter the petals on a salad. The leaves can also be used to flavor vinegar. Always remove the bitter flower base and use petals only. Young leaves and stems of the Crown Daisy, also known as Chop Suey Greens or Shingiku in Japan, are widely used in oriental stir-fries and as salad seasoning.
Clover (Trifolium species) – Sweet, anise-like, licorice. White and red clover blossoms were used in folk medicine against gout, rheumatism, and leucorrhea. It was also believed that the texture of fingernails and toenails would improve after drinking clover blossom tea. Native Americans used whole clover plants in salads, and made a white clover leaf tea for coughs and colds. Avoid bitter flowers that are turning brown, and choose those with the brightest color, which are tastiest. Raw flower heads can be difficult to digest.
Cornflower (Centaurea cynaus) – Also called Bachelors button. They have a slightly sweet to spicy, clove-like flavor. Bloom is a natural food dye. More commonly used as garnish.
Dame’s Rocket (Hesperis matronalis) – Also called Sweet Rocket or Dame’s Violet. This plant is often mistaken for Phlox. Phlox has five petals, Dame’s Rocket has just four. The flowers, which resemble phlox, are deep lavender, and sometimes pink to white. The plant is part of the mustard family, which also includes radishes, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and, mustard. The plant and flowers are edible, but fairly bitter. The flowers are attractive added to green salads. The young leaves can also be added to your salad greens (for culinary purposes, the leaves should be picked before the plant flowers). The seed can also be sprouted and added to salads. NOTE: It is not the same variety as the herb commonly called Rocket, which is used as a green in salads.
Dandelions (Taraxacum officinalis) – Member of the Daisy family. Flowers are sweetest when picked young. They have a sweet, honey-like flavor. Mature flowers are bitter. Dandelion buds are tastier than the flowers: best to pick these when they are very close to the ground, tightly bunched in the center, and about the size of a small gumball. Good raw or steamed. Also made into wine. Young leaves taste good steamed, or tossed in salads. When serving a rice dish use dandelion petals like confetti over the rice.
Daylilies (Hemerocallis species) – Slightly sweet with a mild vegetable flavor, like sweet lettuce or melon. Their flavor is a combination of asparagus and zucchini. Chewable consistency. Some people think that different colored blossoms have different flavors. To use the surprisingly sweet petals in desserts, cut them away from the bitter white base of the flower. Also great to stuff like squash blossoms. Flowers look beautiful on composed salad platters or crowning a frosted cake. Sprinkle the large petals in a spring salad. In the spring, gather shoots two or three inches tall and use as a substitute for asparagus. NOTE: Many Lilies contain alkaloids and are NOT edible. Day Lilies may act as a diuretic or laxative; eat in moderation.
English Daisy (Bellis perennis) – The flowers have a mildly bitter taste and are most commonly used for their looks than their flavor. The petals are used as a garnish and in salads.
Fuchsia (Fuchsia X hybrida) – Blooms have a slightly acidic flavor. Explosive colors and graceful shape make it ideal as garnish. The berries are also edible.
Garden Sorrel (Rumex acetosa) – Sorrel flowers are tart, lemon tasting. So use like a lemon: on pizza, a salad topping, in sauces, over cucumber salads.
Gladiolus (Gladiolus spp) – Flowers (anthers removed) have a nondescript flavor (taste vaguely like lettuce) but make lovely receptacles for sweet or savory spreads or mousses. Toss individual petals in salads. It can also be cooked like a day lily.
Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) – Cranberry-like flavor with citrus overtones. Use slightly acidic petals sparingly in salads or as garnish. The flower can be dried to make an exotic tea.
Hollyhock (Alcea rosea) – Very bland tasting flavor.
Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) – Sweet honey flavor. Only the flowers are edible. NOTE: Berries are highly poisonous – Do not eat them!
Impatiens (Impatiens walleriana) – The flowers have a sweet flavor. They can be used as a garnish in salads or floated in drinks.
Johnny-Jump-Ups (Viola tricolor) – Lovely yellow, white and purple blooms have a mild wintergreen flavor and can be used in salads, to decorate cakes, or served with soft cheese. They are also a great addition to drinks, soups, desserts or salads.
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) – Sweet, floral flavor, with lemon and citrus notes. Flowers look beautiful and taste good too in a glass of champagne, with chocolate cake, or as a garnish for sorbets or ice creams. Lavender lends itself to savory dishes also, from hearty stews to wine-reduced sauces. Diminutive blooms add a mysterious scent to custards, flans or sorbets. NOTE: Do not consume lavender oil unless you absolutely know that it has not be sprayed and is culinary safe.
Lilac (Syringa vulgaris) – The flavor of lilacs varies from plant to plant. Very fragramt, slightly bitter. Has a distinct lemony taste with floral, pungent overtones. Great in salads and crystallized with egg whites and sugar.
Linden (Tilla spp.) – Small flowers, white to yellow was are delightfully fragrant and have a honey-like flavor. The flowers have been used in a tea as a medicine in the past. NOTE: Frequent consumption of linden flower tea can cause heart damage.
Marigold (Tagetes tenuifolia – aka T. signata) – The marigold can be used as a substitute for saffron. Also great in salads as they have a citrus flavor.
Nasturtiums Tropaeolum majus) – Comes in varieties ranging from trailing to upright and in brilliant sunset colors with peppery flavors. Nasturtiums rank among most common edible flowers. Blossoms have a sweet, spicy flavor similar to watercress. Stuff whole flowers with savory mousse. Leaves add peppery tang to salads. Pickled seed pods are less expensive substitute for capers. Use entire flowers to garnish platters, salads, cheese tortas, open-faced sandwiches, and savory appetizers.
Pansy (Viola X wittrockiana) – Pansies have a slightly sweet green or grassy flavor. If you eat only the petals, the flavor is extremely mild, but if you eat the whole flower, there is a winter, green overtone. Use them as garnishes, in fruit salads, green salad, desserts or in soups.
Peony (Paeonia lactiflora) – In China the fallen petals are parboiled and sweetened as a tea-time delicacy. Peony water was used for drinking in the middle ages. Add peony petals to your summer salad or try floating in punches and lemonades.
Phlox, Perrennial Phlox (Phlox paniculata) – It is the perennial phlox, NOT the annual, that is edible. It is the high-growing (taller) and not the low-growing (creeping) phlox that grows from 3 to 4 feet tall. Slightly spicy taste. Great in fruit salads. The flowers vary from a Reddish purple to pink, some white.
Primrose (Primula vulgaris) – Also know as Cowslip. This flower is colorful with a sweet, but bland taste. Add to salads, pickle the flower buds, cook as a vegetable, or ferment into a wine.
Queen Anne’s Lace (Daucus carota) – Also known as Wild Carrot and Bishop’s Lace. It is the original carrot, from which modern cultivars were developed, and it is edible with a light carrot flavor. The flowers are small and white, and bloom in a lacy, flat-topped cluster. Great in salads. NOTE: The problem is, it is closely related to, and looks almost exactly like another wild plant, Wild or Poison Hemlock, which often grows profusely in similar habitats, and is said to be the most poisonous plant native to the United States. The best way to differentiate between the two plants is to remember that Queen Anne’s Lace has a hairy stem, while the stems of Wild Hemlock are smooth and hairless and hollow with purple spots.
Radish Flowers (Raphanus sativus) – Depending on the variety, flowers may be pink, white or yellow, and will have a distinctive, spicy bite (has a radish flavor). Best used in salads. The Radish shoots with their bright red or white tender stalks are very tasty and are great sautéed or in salads.
Roses (Rosa rugosa or R. gallica officinalis) – Flavors depend on type, color, and soil conditions. Flavor reminiscent of strawberries and green apples. Sweet, with subtle undertones ranging from fruit to mint to spice. All roses are edible, with the flavor being more pronounced in the darker varieties. In miniature varieties can garnish ice cream and desserts, or larger petals can be sprinkled on desserts or salads. Freeze them in ice cubes and float them in punches also. Petals used in syrups, jellies, perfumed butters and sweet spreads. NOTE: Be sure to remove the bitter white portion of the petals. Rose Petal Jam Rose Petal Drop Scones Rose Petal Tea
Scarlet Runner Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) – Have brilliant red blooms that are very tasty and can be served as a garnish for soups, in salads.
Bean pods toughen as they age, so makeuse of young pods as well as flowers.
Scented Geraniums (Pelargonium species) – The flower flavor generally corresponds to the variety. For example, a lemon-scented geranium would have lemon-scented flowers. They come in fragrances from citrus and spice to fruits and flowers, and usually in colors of pinks and pastels. Sprinkle them over desserts and in refreshing drinks or freeze in ice cubes. NOTE: Citronelle variety may not be edible.
Snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus) – Delicate garden variety can be bland to bitter. Flavors depend on type, color, and soil conditions. Probably not the best flower to eat.
Squash Blossoms (Curcubita pepo) – Squash and pumpkin blossoms are edible and taste mildly of raw squash. Prepare the blossoms by washing and trimming the stems and remove the stamens. Squash blossoms are usually taken off the male plant, which only provides pollen for the female.
Sunflower (Helianthus annus) – The flower is best eaten in the bud stage when it tastes similar to artichokes. Once the flower opens, the petals may be used like chrysanthemums, the flavor is distinctly bittersweet. The unopened flower buds can also be steamed like artichokes.
Sweet Woodruff (Galium odoratum) – Also known as Wild Baby’s Breath. The flower flavor is sweet and grassy with a hint of nutty, vanilla flavor. NOTE: Can have a blood thinning effect if eaten in large amounts
Tulip Petals (Tulipa) – Flavor varies from tulip to tulip, but generally the petals taste like sweet lettuce, fresh baby peas, or a cucumber-like texture and flavor. NOTE: Some people have had strong allergic reactions to them. If touching them causes a rash, numbness etc. Don’t eat them! Don’t eat the bulbs ever. If you have any doubts, don’t eat the flower.
Violets (Viola species) – Sweet, perfumed flavor. Related flowers, Johnny jump-ups or violas, and pansies now come in colorful purples and yellows to apricot and pastel hues. I like to eat the tender leaves and flowers in salads. I also use the flowers to beautifully embellish desserts and iced drinks. Freeze them in punches to delight children and adults alike. All of these flowers make pretty adornments for frosted cakes, sorbets, or any other desserts, and they may be crystallized as well. Heart-shaped leaves are edible, and tasty when cooked like spinach.
Yucca Petals (Yucca species) – The white Yucca flower is crunchy with a mildly sweet taste (a hint of artichoke). In the spring, they can be used in salads and as a garnish.
PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT—Each 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.
TruDrop® System Self Watering Planters from Crescent Garden
‘The pots you plant!’
No Fear Container Gardening
Whether you are a novice or a seasoned gardener, container gardening provides an easy option to bring color, edibles, and greenery to any environment. In a container garden you can control the soil content, the feeding, the watering and the sun exposure in a way you cannot out in the garden. But as the saying somewhat goes, with great control comes great responsibility, and remembering all the “how to’s” of being responsible for container gardening care can sometimes be a little daunting. We wanted to take a lot of the fear of failure out of container gardening care by adding helpful function to our product…
We began by joining forces with Four Star Greenhouse, the #1 supplier of Proven Winners plants (and a major supplier of Klein’s summer annuals) and products worldwide, who provided us with the experience and knowledge of how plants grow best. With their input on both understanding plant needs and how to communicate those needs easily to plant care providers, we created a system that is simple to use. We were able to incorporate this system with our trusted double-walled rotational molded decorative planters to create a functional self-watering system completely contained within an attractive, sturdy, lightweight planter. With the introduction of the TruDrop system in the Dot planter comes a new era of container gardening. The Dot planter comes all one piece, it has a water gauge that can be easily read to indicate levels of water in the reservoir and which lays flush on the rim so there are no parts that can be easily broken off, it has a system that works outdoors as well as indoors by including an overflow valve for outdoor planter placement and a quick-coupler to connect to a hose when indoor planters need to be drained. Most importantly, the unique design of our capillary action watering allows you to save on water, fertilizer, and produces healthier plants by watering and feeding where the life-supporting roots are growing. By reading the water gauge on the planter, even the novice gardener can grow without fearfully thinking, “How will I know when to water?!” With our TruDrop system Dot planter, beauty meets function and makes container growing a whole lot easier.
NOTES FROM MY GARDEN JOURNAL–Tips and Observations from My Own Garden by Rick Halbach
ENTRY: MARCH 4, 2015 (The Importance of Sterilizing Equipment)
I spent the entire day today cleaning my seed starting room and sterilizing all seed starting equipment. My seed starting room is the old workshop in my home’s basement. Because it was a workshop, I’m lucky to have a sizable workbench, lots of cabinet and shelf space and a ton of electrical outlets for my heating mats and banks of florescent fixtures. The seed starting room also doubles as my office with a desk, file cabinet, my computer and a stereo. The room acts as a sanctuary on cold winter days. Sometimes I’ll spend the entire day in my private jungle.
Before I start this year’s batch of seeds I first ready the room by thoroughly sweeping and washing everything down with warm soapy water. Next, I wipe down my seed starting racks and and work surfaces with a 1:16 solution of bleach and water, allowing the surfaces to remain wet for some minutes. This allows the bleach to do its job in killing all pathogens (viruses, bacteria, fungi, etc.) from the previous season. I also soak all trays, inserts, humidity domes and tools in the same bleach mixture in the laundry sink.
I’ve learned from past experience that skipping the sterilizing step can mean trouble. A few years back I was short on time and decided to go ahead and plant my pepper seeds without sterilizing the trays first. I usually plant about a dozen varieties of both edible and ornamental peppers. The seeds germinated as usual and for the first few days everything seemed fine. Then suddenly, after about a week, my seemingly healthy seedlings toppled over. It started in one area of the tray and spread through the seedlings like wildfire and within 2 days my entire flat of seedlings was no more. My seedlings experienced ‘damping off’–a fungal disease usually found in contaminated soil and spread in unfavorable growing conditions. I started over after first sterilizing the trays and seed racks.
My next batch of pepper seedlings turned out perfectly, proving to me the problem was not the seed, the soil or the growing conditions (I’ve always started my seeds in that room). The fact is that I had skipped that one vital step with disastrous results. Now I set aside enough time to go through my preparation checklist thoroughly and I haven’t had a problem since!
* * * * *
ENTRY: MARCH 17, 2018 (Chill Some Seeds for Better Germination)
“Stratification is the process of pretreating seeds to simulate the natural winter conditions that a seed must endure before germination.”
This morning was one of my first big seed starting days for the upcoming season. Along with my ghost peppers, piquins and rudbeckias, I sowed and began chilling my Verbena bonariensis (stick or Brazilian vervain) and kiss-me-over-the-garden gate seeds. After sowing the seeds in a container of moistened seed starting mix, I slip the containers into a zip lock bag and place them in the refrigerator for a number of weeks. The kiss-me-over-the-garden-gate requires this cold treatment for about four weeks in order to germinate. And though the vervain doesn’t require the cold treatment to germinate, chilling them for about three weeks causes the seeds to germinate simultaneously rather than erratically over a many week period. My seedlings will be all the same size and not all across the board. I use this same method when I sow impatiens. If ever you’ve grown impatiens from seed you know that germination can be spread over many, many weeks with seedling of all sizes. If I sow them and chill them for about 2-3 weeks, most of the seeds sprout at the same time making for very uniform seedlings when I transplant them into larger containers. Over the years I’ve experimented with chilling the seeds in their packets before sowing them, but without exception results are far more positive with seeds that have been sown before chilling.
It’s important to note that prechilling is the exception rather than the rule. It’s important to check packet instructions or do research online as to which seeds need to be stratified in order to germinate. While most annuals and vegetables require no cold period, most perennials require stratification in order to achieve desired results. A little research goes a long way!
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ENTRY: A reprint from MARCH 30, 2017 (Jolly Gardener Potting Mix a Hit)
Seed starting, transplanting and repotting are now in full swing in my basement ‘plant room’. Both of my heating mats and nearly all of my florescent “grow” lights are up and running. Everything will switch into high gear over the next few weeks.
Among the seeds I started this past weekend was a tray of four o’clocks. Because they are large plants and don’t transplant easily, I sow the seeds directly into 2” square Jiffy peat pots. Seeing as they’ll remain in those pots until planted into the garden in late May, I sow the seeds directly into potting soil, rather than a light seed starting mix.
Through the years my potting soil of choice had been Fafard 3B. I noticed years ago that my plants performed better (especially in a cool basement) in this bark-based mix rather than the more popular and readily available peat moss-based mixes. I’ve been a fan of the Fafard 3B mix ever since, not only for indoor uses, but as my go-to, all purpose mix. Because it’s bark-based, it drains better and more quickly than water-retentive peaty mixes thereby making it somewhat more difficult to overwater. And because many of us at Klein’s were such fans of Fafard 3B, sales skyrocketed and it became hard to keep in stock at certain times of the year. Hundreds of customers were familiar with the mix’s bright blue bag. The 2.8 cubic foot bags meant having to shop for potting mix less often.
Then about 3 years ago the bright blue bag disappeared and became unavailable. Instead, Fafard 3B was being packaged in a generic white ‘grower’ bag with kelly green lettering under the Sun-Gro name. It became confusing for many of our customers. On the back of the bag the Fafard name still appeared in small print at the bottom and 3B showed up in equally small letters on one side of the bag. Through education, sales of the newly packaged Fafard/Sun-Gro 3B continued to grow.
Though essentially the same bark-based mix in the new bag and the old blue bag, the potting mix had changed somewhat as time passed. The mix (to me) seemed slightly heavier and with noticeably bigger particles (sometimes even fairly large pieces of bark). That said, I really didn’t notice any change in how my plants performed.
Then two years ago we learned that in actuality the make up of the current Sun-Gro 3B mix is, in fact, somewhat different than the original Fafard 3B of years back. During the reshuffling of the soil producing companies, the recipe had apparently changed to some extent.
Last year we changed our selection of bagged potting mixes a bit and for the better. Among the biggest changes is that we offered Jolly Gardener Pro-line CB mix in 2.8 cu. ft. bags in place of the Sun-Gro (Fafard) 3B mix and to rave reviews from our customers. From what we’ve learned, the creator of the original Fafard 3B mix was involved in the formulation of the Jolly Gardener Pro-line CB mix; creating a lighter, slightly finer, better draining mix reminiscent of the old Fafard 3B from years gone by.
Side by side, there is a noticeable difference in the two mixes consistency; even though the ingredients are essentially the same; a combination of shredded pine bark, peat moss, perlite and vermiculite. That said, the Jolly Gardener Pro-line CB mix has been a huge hit with staff and customers alike.
KLEIN’S RECIPES OF THE MONTH—These are a selection of relatively simple recipes chosen by our staff. New recipes appear monthly. Enjoy!!
For the past 12 years, Klein’s has been sharing some of our very favorite recipes with our readers and for obvious reasons most of the recipes we’ve shared contain some sort of cooking oil. With today’s concern fat intake and health, we thought we’d share this concise overview of some of our many cooking oil choices and how they’re best used.
We use cooking oils for frying, baking, stir-fries, salads and marinades, but choosing the right one can be confusing. Consumers are bombarded with all different types of oils – not to mention all the different descriptors such as “extra light” and “cold-pressed”.
Then of course there are health concerns, particularly around levels of saturated fat. So when it comes to cooking oils, which one should you use?
While all fats supply the same amount of energy to the body (1g of fat provides 37kJ), not all fats are created equal. Fats are the body’s most concentrated source of energy and help protect and insulate your vital organs. They also allow fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K), to be absorbed and provide essential fatty acids, which are important building blocks for the brain, eyes and nervous tissues. So what are these different types of fat?
Saturated fat is the main dietary cause of high cholesterol, raising levels of the harmful low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in the blood. Too much saturated fat heightens your risk of heart disease.
Trans fat behaves similarly to saturated fat. However, it not only raises levels of harmful LDL cholesterol, but also lowers levels of the good high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. To earn the Heart Foundation tick, vegetable oils must contain no more than 1% trans fat as part of their total fat content.
Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated (omega-3 and omega-6) fats are the types you should aim to include in your diet. They’re essential nutrients for the body, and also reduce the levels of the harmful LDL cholesterol. Keep in mind, however, that these fats still provide kilojoules, so only use them in moderation.
It’s generally recommended that less than 30% of your daily kilojoule intake should come from fat, with no more than 10% coming from saturated fat.
You can largely avoid the bad fats – saturated and trans – by staying away from processed and fast foods. When it comes to cooking, make your meals heart-friendlier by using a small amount of the right oils (instead of butter or margarine), adding nuts and seeds to stir-fries and salads, and including avocados in your diet. This will provide your body with the good monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats it needs.
Cooking oils are a combination of all the different types of fats. When it comes to cooking, we use oils in a wide variety of ways. But you don’t need to buy a whole range, as some are versatile and multi-purpose. Using non-stick cookware and trying to stir-fry, grill or bake your food rather than deep-frying it will reduce your need for oil.
Almond oil is high in monounsaturated fat and comparatively low in saturated fat, so it’s a good heart-friendly choice. Like mustardseed oil, almond oil has a strong nutty flavor and aftertaste. It’s a low-heat oil, so it should only be used to drizzle over vegetables, in salad dressings, or to make mayonnaise.
Avocado oil is very high in monounsaturated fat, but comparatively low in polyunsaturated fat. It’s packed with the fat-soluble vitamins A, D and E, and also contains B-group vitamins. Avocado oil is green in color with a mild flavor and pleasant aftertaste. It’s a low-heat cooking oil and a great addition to salads, poultry and seafood. But it is more expensive than other oils.
Canola oil is high in monounsaturated fat and a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. It’s versatile and comparatively inexpensive; you could easily replace peanut or vegetable oil with canola oil in the kitchen as it’s much higher in monounsaturated fat and lower in saturated fat. It performs very well for low-heat cooking and has no strong aftertaste, allowing the food flavors to dominate. It also performs well for high-heat cooking purposes.
Canola and red palm fruit oil is high in monounsaturated fat and a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, as well as pro-vitamin A and vitamin E. It has a medium smoke point, making it a good multipurpose oil; however, in a chip-frying test we found it has a slight smell and unpleasant taste. Carotino claims its red palm fruit oil comes entirely from environmentally sustainable plantations in Malaysia.
Coconut oil has a slight nutty flavor and works well in both savory and sweet dishes. It’s particularly popular in vegan cooking and can replace dairy products to make pastry and creamy desserts. Coconut oil has a very high smoking point when cooking and has a long shelf life, but it’s very high in saturated fat.
Corn oil is effective in lowering blood cholesterol levels because it’s high in polyunsaturated fat. It has a high smoke point which makes it ideal for frying, and its mild flavor means it’s good to use for baking where oil is only needed to provide moisture and texture. It performs well for both low- and high-heat cooking; however we found it developed a slightly unpleasant smell when frying chips.
Grapeseed oil is high in polyunsaturated fat, and not only lowers the bad LDL cholesterol but also raises levels of the good HDL cholesterol. It’s a rich source of vitamin E and has a light, pleasant taste that brings out the flavors of the other foods being cooked. It’s a good multi-purpose oil.
Macadamia oil is very high in monounsaturated fat but comparatively low in polyunsaturated fat. It’s also relatively expensive and has a strong strong nutty flavor and aftertaste, making it better for stir-fries and salad dressings than, say, making a mayonnaise.
Mustardseed oil has the lowest saturated fat content of any edible oil. It also has a good balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. In cooking, it has a distinctive strong flavor and very nutty aftertaste that can overpower the rest of the dish.
Olive oil is a great source of monounsaturated fats and a key ingredient in the Mediterranean diet – a heart-healthy style of cooking that traditionally includes fruits, vegetables, pasta and rice. Olive oil is best used for low- to medium-heat cooking in salads or marinades.
Palm oil is commonly used in manufactured and fast foods. Its low-cost production makes it a cheaper option but it has also raised a number of environmental concerns, particularly around deforestation. At 51% it’s also high in saturated fat, making it suited for processed food, but obviously a less healthy option. Currently there is no obligation to label palm oil.
Peanut oil is widely used in Asian cuisine and works well for high temperature cooking, especially for frying and stir-frying. It’s predominantly monounsaturated, but in comparison to the other oils it is lower in both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and comparatively higher in saturated fat. If you’re cooking for guests, check no-one has a peanut allergy before using the oil.
Rice bran oil has one of the highest amounts of saturated fat, but is free of trans fats. It performed excellently for chip-frying and can be used in all cooking practices.
Sunflower oil comes in two main varieties. Normal sunflower seeds will make polyunsaturated sunflower oil rich in vitamin E. Monounsaturated sunflower oil requires special breed of sunflower seeds. Both varieties help reduce cholesterol levels. Sunflower oil is versatile for cooking; it works well for high-, medium- and low-heat temperature cooking. It’s also comparatively good value for money.
Vegetable oil generally contains a combination of canola and soybean oil. It’s comparatively inexpensive, but also comparatively high in saturated fat. It’s worth noting that palm oil and coconut oil can also be labelled as ‘vegetable oil’, which can be an issue seeing as palm oil contains 51% saturated fat and coconut oil contains a staggering 90% sat fat.
Who knew cooking oils could be so complicated? Here are some commonly used terms – and what they mean:
—Cold-pressed oils aren’t extracted using excessive heat. As a result, they generally have a stronger flavor and are higher in antioxidants such as vitamin E and polyphenols.
-All oils are from cholesterol-free, as oils are derived from plant sources that naturally have no cholesterol.
–Blended vegetable oils are made from mixture of oils depending on availability and price. For example, vegetable oils generally contain a mixture of soybean and canola oil.
–Lite/Light/Extra light only means the oil is lighter in flavor and/or color, not lower in kilojoules.
–Extra virgin olive oil is extracted from the first pressing of olives. It yields the best-tasting and lowest acidity oil, and therefore comes with a higher price tag. It’s best suited for cold purposes such as salad dressings, drizzling over cooked pasta or char-grilled vegetables.
-The smoke point of an oil refers to the level of heat it can withstand before it begins to smoke. Oils with a high smoke point are ideal for frying. Once an oil begins to smoke it will start to lose both flavor and nutritional quality and becomes more prone to bursting into flame (i.e. its flash point).
–High-heat oils generally have a high smoke point, allowing them to reach high temperatures, and can be used for deep-frying, stir-fries and sautéing.
–Medium-heat oils can be used for sautéing, baking, grilling and roasting.
–Low-heat oils generally have a low smoke point and shouldn’t be used where heat is involved. They’re best for cold dishes such as salad dressings and dips.
–Rancid oil develops a distinct smell akin to crayons, musty paint or paint thinner, whereas fresh oil should be fairly odorless. When heated, rancid oil has a strong and unpleasant smell. Older oil can also become more viscous and stick around the cap of the jar.
Organic Deer Control for Your Garden
Keep deer away from your gardens without hurting them or using pesticides that hurt your garden
Deer are mostly crepuscular or nocturnal—active at dawn and dusk, though they will often be active all night as well. During the day, they usually reside in protected shady areas, bed down, and stay quiet. When we understand the times of day they are most active, we can be more aware and watch for them.
Deer and auto crashes are common and cause millions of dollars in insurance claims each year. Because of the closer interaction of deer and human communities we have also seen an increase in Lyme disease and other diseases. (Due also to a better understanding, diagnosis, and reporting of the disease.) Lyme is transmitted by the deer tick, now known as the blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis, which is found on the deer and in their territory.
Deer are herd animals that have lost most natural predators. We have taken over much of the places they used to live and they have graciously allowed us to do so and try to live with us. They find our manicured landscapes, filled with tasty plants and free of many predators—except cars—to be quite acceptable. We have made many of our neighborhoods perfect deer habitats.
Deer usually travel their territory on specific trails at specific times. They keep the same schedule most of the time, so if you can disrupt their daily visit to your yard or garden they may bypass your area and bother others instead.
If you know where they enter your property, consider adding a fence there. It can be a sturdy 8-foot-tall fence or it can be a simple 5- to 7-foot temporary fence of deer netting. This netting is monofilament line (like fishing line), usually black in color, with 3/4- to 1-inch squares. From a few feet away, it is not very visible. Since deer will not see it easily, they bump into it with their sensitive noses. Not seeing it clearly or being able to know what it is may be enough to cause them to change their route, as is the uncertainty of running into it on “their” path. They may also break through it but, because it is temporary, it can be put up again.
If you have a larger open area where deer may enter, use a permaculture response. Plant a hedgerow of plants. Permaculture (a combination of “permanent” and “agriculture”) is a way of gardening that looks at the whole system and all the parts and activities involved in that system. It is a way of working with nature and using what we learn to garden more easily—for example, “stacking” plant functions so that every plant creates more than one useful benefit. When using permaculture there is no waste, energy is recycled again and again, small changes are made when needed, and observation is important. While there is a lot that goes into this, basically it is working with nature and harnessing the systems of energy in nature to create a more sustainable and resilient outdoor space.
Animals are part of the whole picture and if you have an issue with deer you can consider what and how and where you plant to direct the deer around your yard. A deer-deterring hedgerow can be done in a number of ways. One way is to plant sacrificial plants on the outside of the hedge. The deer will eat these and be on their way. Plant thickly so they can’t walk through the hedge. Plant your desired plants on the inside of the hedge. You can also plant thorny plants, such as raspberries or native plums, on the outside of the hedge. The deer may or may not eat them and, when planted closely, will not push through them. You can, if you want, also install a fence as an additional barrier between these two plants’ lines. It only needs to be 4 or 5 feet tall. Deer are prey animals and rely on their senses of sight and smell to keep them safe. If they can’t see through the area, they are unlikely to push through it—there could be a wolf, coyote, or other predator in there!
Of course, you can always plant plants’ the deer don’t eat—but if they are hungry enough they will graze on just about anything. By using what you know about the deer and their habits, you can gently redirect them away from your yard.
Another option is to create a hammock of bird netting or deer fencing that is just above the hostas, or other targeted plants, as they grow. As the deer lower their heads to snack on your plants, their noses hit the fencing instead and they don’t get to the plants. If you leave this netting up during autumn when the leaves fall, they may fall in the netting, making it easier to toss them into the compost or grass to be cut with your mulching mower rather than raking the hosta beds.
If you are not certain the damage is from deer, here are some signs:
• Deer usually pull plants out of the ground while eating them. This is common in newly planted plants.
• On shrubs and trees, the damage will have a shredded look to the cuts/ bites. It will also be at deer height, rather than lower and clipped neatly as it would be with rabbit damage.
• You may also find deer droppings or evidence of them bedding down for the night or day.
You can use the deer’s sense of smell against them by using repellents that feature strong-smelling ingredients. Deer learn to live in an urban environment and get used to human smells, so change it up. Use garlic for a while, then rotten eggs, then switch to a more chemical smell or fragrant bar soap. Urine from wolves and coyotes may work. Even the family dog may help in this battle simply by leaving its smell in your yard. The deer may not know the dog they sense is a tiny toy poodle, not a large guard dog.
Hiding your plants in plain sight works too. Plant susceptible, tasty plants near the house or in containers on the deck or balcony. Those planted farther away can be hidden by fragrant herbs planted around them, or by ornamental grasses. Deer don’t seem to like to forage amongst the ornamental grasses for their food. Plant the grasses thickly near and around the plants you are protecting. It can be a beautiful addition to your landscape.
During spring and summer, deer browse mostly on tender plants and vegetables. In fall, they look for food with a higher fat or carbohydrate content to build their fat stores for winter. They prefer acorns, nuts, fruits, and other higher-calorie foods. Yes, they also enjoy the seeds from the bird feeder. So, clean up the acorns, pull the feeders at night, and pick up fallen fruit.
Deer also hear well and don’t like loud noises or unexpected events. A radio left on a talk station may work. Change it up and let them listen to various stations to see which works best. A line of cans can cause a ruckus when bumped—hang them near where the deer walk. As mentioned previously, you may also want to invest in a motion-activated sprinkler (just remember to turn it off during the day or you will get blasted too).
As prey animals, deer have a limited sense of sight, which you can use this against them. Hang 6- to 8-inch-long pieces of white cloth from fences or bushes about deer tail high to mimic the white flag of alarm that does use to warn others of danger. The white works well at dusk and in early dawn lighting.
During fall, the male deer begin the rut season, where they rub the velvet from their antlers and spar with other males for the right to mate or hold territory. This rubbing can damage tree bark, especially the tender bark of fruit trees or newly planted trees. Protect the trunks of these trees with a cylinder of hardware cloth around the trunk and up to the first branch. Using hardware cloth instead of paper tape or chicken wire will protect the tree from rabbit, vole, and mouse damage also.
During winter, the deer will still be actively browsing and eating in their territory. Now the food they will eat will be the bark of trees and shrubs, lichens, and the twigs and branches of trees they can reach. A favorite winter food will be your arborvitae (evergreen). Protect these plants with deer fencing over the shrubs, tall fencing to exclude the deer, or more repellents that focus on smell. You will need to reapply the repellents due to weather or time according to label directions. Granular products may last longer in cold temperatures.
Deer also love fruit tree twigs and branches during winter. Protect the trees with fencing—a ring of two or three fences they can’t easily figure out how to jump over may work. Hanging repellents from tree branches may help as well as spraying with hot pepper spray. Remember, reapply these sprays frequently during winter.
Deer are ruminants—animals with a four-part stomach—so they can ingest and get nourishment from a wide variety of plant sources, many of which are harder to digest like bark and twigs and lichens. You may even want to give in and, if legal and it makes sense to you, provide corn or other food in a far-off location for the deer in your yard.
Motion-activated bright lights may deter them or make it uncomfortable for them to bed down in your yard. The resulting damage to your gardens and the feces they leave are reasons enough to encourage them to move on.
Be aware: You must know the legal ramifications of any action you take to hunt or physically remove deer from your property.
APRIL’S PLANT OF THE MONTH:
Senetti® Percallis (Cineraria) Hybrids
Senetti® is the brand name given to a completely new collection of pericallis (cineraria) hybrids.The aim of this brand is to put across the fact that this is an entirely new group of varieties obtained by cross-breeding.
The genus pericallis was formerly called Senecio but it has been re-classified in recent years, and they are known for being winter and spring flowering plants. Until recently all material was raised from seed, Senetti® is the first pericallis to come from vegetative cuttings Senetti® has the potential to overtake the seed raised group in terms of volume.
Senetti® is bred by the innovative plant breeding company Suntory® Flowers Ltd, from Japan. Suntory® bred the first vegetatively propagated Trailing Petunia called Surfinia®, Verbena’s Tapien® and Temari®, Viola called Violina® and the very first calibrachoa hybrids to the world’s market place, called Million Bells®.
The secret of Senetti® is that it is the first genuine re-blooming pericallis. It also has better branching, larger blooming and more tolerance to a wide range of temperatures and is easy to cultivate in North America.
Every consumer who buys or receives Senetti® is bound to want this magnificent product in their garden again next year. This has been indicated by consumer research!
In addition to being popular as a pot plant, Senetti® is also emerging as a popular bedding plant best suited to the outdoors in semi shade.
Bloom count can be as high as 200 on a plant grown in a 10-inch pot. Senetti® also has a unique reblooming ability. Cut plants back 50 percent for a fresh flush of blooms. Plants will stop flowering when temperatures are 80 degrees are higher at night during the summer.
Klein’s currently has an amazing assortment of these stunning new cinerarias in shades of true blue, pink and magenta. They make for a wonderful, long-blooming gift.
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.
2018 Green Thumb Gardening Series
Thursdays, February 22 thru April 19, 6:30-9:00
Dane County UW-Extension Office, 5201 Fen Oak Dr, Suite 138
The Green Thumb Gardening class series will give you the practical knowledge to keep your home garden thriving! University of Wisconsin Extension educators and local horticulture experts will provide in depth and accessible information for everyone from the novice to the experienced gardener.
In Spring 2018, classes will be held Thursday evenings, Feb. 22nd – April 19th from 6:30-9:00pm at the Dane County UW-Extension office. Register for the complete class series at a discounted price or individual classes according to your interests.
2018 CLASS TOPICS:
April 5 – Diseases in the Home Garden
Learn how to prevent and manage diseases that afflict a variety of plants in the home garden. Taught by Lisa Johnson, Dane County UW-Extension Horticulture Educator.
April 12– Growing Berries
Learn how to propagate and cultivate a variety of berry fruits in the your home garden. Taught by Lisa Johnson, Dane County UW-Extension Horticulture Educator.
April 19– Weeds & Invasive Plant Management
Learn how to prevent and manage common weeds in the home garden as well as identification and control of terrestrial invasive species in Wisconsin. Taught by Lisa Johnson, Dane County UW-Extension Horticulture Program.
April 26– Annual & Perennial Flowers
Learn general techniques for selecting, planting, and caring for annuals and perennials. The session will also highlight new and recommended varieties. Taught by Lisa Johnson, Dane County UW-Extension Horticulture Program.
Dane County University of Wisconsin-Extension
5201 Fen Oak Dr, Suite 138
Spring Pansy Sale
Saturday, April 7
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
Saturday, April 7
From 10:00-4:00 while 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
Rotary Garden’s Compost Sale
Saturdays in April and May, 8:00-noon
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 45 lb. (1.5 cu. ft.) bags for $6 per bag. Rotary Botanical Gardens’ Friends Members will receive an additional 10% discount at the sale.
Rotary Botanical Gardens
1455 Palmer Dr., Janesville, WI
Midwest Gourd Fest
Saturday, April 14, 9:00-4:00
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 608/445-1410
or email @ [email protected]
Admission and parking are free.
Olbrich Botanical Gardens
3330 Atwood Ave., Madison
HortiCULTURAL Landscapes Symposium: Telling the Story of Place through Plants
Saturday, April 14, 9:00-4:00 p.m.
Dejope Residence Hall, Mendota Room
640 Elm Dr., Madison 53706
Public gardens tell the stories of their communities’ natural and cultural commonwealth. Through the art and science of interpretation, they use these stories to build strong communities through provoking important conversations among their audiences. Through the process of interpretation, it connects people to plants and also connects people to one another. This is the power of plants and public gardens.
Shari Edleson-Director of Horticulture and Curator for the Arboretum at Penn State
Peter Hatch-Emeritus Director of Gardens and Grounds at Monticello
Ian Simpkins-Deputy Director for Horticulture & Urban Agriculture at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
Jeff Downing-Executive Director of Mt. Cuba Center
General Public $110 | Members $88
Allen Centennial Garden
620 Babcock Dr., Madison, WI 53706
Rotary Garden’s Pansy Sale
Saturdays, April 14, April 21 & April 28, May 5, 8:00-noon
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.
Rotary Botanical Gardens
1455 Palmer Dr., Janesville, WI
Saturday, April 21, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
In the Longenecker Gardens
See, smell, and learn about the gardens’ extensive magnolia collection, and other spring flowering plants encountered along the way, with Michael Jesiolowski, Chicago Botanic Garden senior horticulturist. Free, no registration required. Meet at the Visitor Center.
University of WI Arboretum
1207 Seminole Hwy.
Madison, WI 53711
Earth Day Among Woodland Wildflowers
Sunday, April 22, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Walk from the Visitor Center
If this is a typical spring, we may find bloodroot, wild ginger, Virginia bluebells, and Dutchman’s breeches (among other delights) along the trails of our restored woodlands.
University of WI Arboretum
1207 Seminole Hwy.
Madison, WI 53711
Dane County Late Winter Farmer’s Market
Saturdays, January 6 thru April 7, 8:00-noon
Madison Senior Center
330 W. Mifflin
Dane County Farmer’s Market
Saturdays, April 14 thru November 10, 6:15-1:45
On the Capitol Square
Wednesdays, April 18 thru November 7, 8:30-1:45
In the 200 block of Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.
APRIL IN THE GARDEN—A 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:
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 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’S—This 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.
—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.
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
Follow Klein’s on Facebook
where we post updates and photos on a regular basis.
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
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.
RELATED RESOURCES AND WEB SITES
University of Wisconsin Extension
1 Fen Oak Ct. #138
Madison, WI 53718
Plant Disease Diagnostics Clinic
Dept. of Plant Pathology
1630 Linden Dr.
Madison, WI 53706
Insect Diagnostic Lab
240 Russell Labs
1630 Linden Dr.
Madison, WI 53706
U.W. Soil and Plant Analysis Lab
8452 Mineral Point Rd.
Verona, WI 53593
American Horticultural Society
Garden Catalogs (an extensive list with links)
3601 Memorial Dr., Ste. 4
Madison, WI 53704
Madison Area Master Gardeners (MAMGA)
Wisconsin Master Gardeners Program
Department of Horticulture
1575 Linden Drive
University of Wisconsin – Madison
Madison, WI 53706
The Wisconsin Gardener
Allen Centennial Gardens
620 Babcock Dr.
Madison, WI 53706
Olbrich Botanical Gardens
3330 Atwood Ave.
Madison, WI 53704
1455 Palmer Dr.
Janesville, WI 53545
University of WI Arboretum
1207 Seminole Hwy.
Madison, WI 53711
University of Wisconsin-West Madison
Agricultural Research Center
8502 Mineral Point Rd.
Verona, WI 53593
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
•Dieffenbachia (dumb cane)
•Lily of the valley
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/
•Lily of the valley
•Star of Bethlehem
•Wild black cherry