‘THE SAGE’-Klein’s Online Newsletter—MAY 2019
Klein’s Floral & Greenhouses
608/244-5661 or info@kleinsfloral.com


Our 2019 Spring Plant List Is Now Online
Our ‘Mad Gardener’ Is Ready for Your Questions
Don’t Forget Mom This May 12!
The History of Mother’s Day
Klein’s Favorite Seed, Bulb & Plant Sources
Juglone Toxicity and Garden Plants
All About Mulches for Gardens and Landscapes
You Asked the Mad Gardener About Non-blooming Spring Bulbs
Plant of the Month: Seed Potatoes
Klein’s Favorite Fresh Egg Recipes
Product Spotlight: Perfect Choice® Outdoor Furniture
Notes from Rick’s Garden Journal—From April 2019
—Seedlings Can Benefit from a Daily Brushing
—Garden Surprises–Spring Ephemerals
—It’s Time to ‘Acclimate’
May 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


OUR 2019 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 2019 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.


“Madison’s Firsthand Source for Expert Gardening Advice”


Ask any of your gardening questions by e-mailing them to us at madgardener@kleinsfloral.com. 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 rick@kleinsfloral.com. 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.


Again during the 2019 spring season, Klein’s will open at 7:00 a.m. every Tuesday! Year long, Tuesday is Klein’s Senior Discount Day. On Tuesdays those 62 and over save an extra 10% off all regular priced items. Beginning Tuesday, April 30, we open the doors an hour early. Avoid the lines and shop early! The extended Tuesday hours last through mid-June.


Monday thru Friday : 8:00-8:00 (Open Tuesdays at 7:00)
Saturday: 8:00-6:00
Sunday: 9:00-5:00


Open Memorial Day, May 27, 9:00-5:00


May 5–Cinco de Mayo


May 6–This is Madison’s average last frost date (May 10 in the outlying areas), 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!


May 6–Ramadan begins.


May 12–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 11 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 12.


May 18 & 19—Create & Maintain Summer Containers: Join us @ Klein’s from 10:00-3:00 each day to create your own one-of-a-kind summer container and learn how to maintain it all summer long. Pre-registration required. Cost is $35. Email sue@kleinsfloral.com to sign up.


May 18–Full Moon


May 27–Memorial Day-the unofficial beginning of summer! Store Hours: 9-5:00




Mother’s Day History
Contrary to popular belief, Mother’s Day was not conceived and fine-tuned in the boardroom of Hallmark. The earliest tributes to mothers date back to the annual spring festival the Greeks dedicated to Rhea, the mother of many deities, and to the offerings ancient Romans made to their Great Mother of Gods, Cybele. Christians celebrated this festival on the fourth Sunday in Lent in honor of Mary, mother of Christ. In England this holiday was expanded to include all mothers and was called Mothering Sunday.


In the United States, Mother’s Day started nearly 150 years ago, when Anna Jarvis, an Appalachian homemaker, organized a day to raise awareness of poor health conditions in her community, a cause she believed would be best advocated by mothers. She called it “Mother’s Work Day.”


Fifteen years later, Julia Ward Howe, a Boston poet, pacifist, suffragist, and author of the lyrics to the “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” organized a day encouraging mothers to rally for peace, since she believed they bore the loss of human life more harshly than anyone else.


In 1905 when Anna Jarvis died, her daughter, also named Anna, began a campaign to memorialize the life work of her mother. Legend has it that young Anna remembered a Sunday school lesson that her mother gave in which she said, “I hope and pray that someone, sometime, will found a memorial mother’s day. There are many days for men, but none for mothers.”


Anna began to lobby prominent businessmen like John Wannamaker, and politicians including Presidents Taft and Roosevelt to support her campaign to create a special day to honor mothers. At one of the first services organized to celebrate Anna’s mother in 1908, at her church in West Virginia, Anna handed out her mother’s favorite flower, the white carnation. Five years later, the House of Representatives adopted a resolution calling for officials of the federal government to wear white carnations on Mother’s Day. In 1914 Anna’s hard work paid off when Woodrow Wilson signed a bill recognizing Mother’s Day as a national holiday.


At first, people observed Mother’s Day by attending church, writing letters to their mothers, and eventually, by sending cards, presents, and flowers. With the increasing gift-giving activity associated with Mother’s Day, Anna Jarvis became enraged. She believed that the day’s sentiment was being sacrificed at the expense of greed and profit. In 1923 she filed a lawsuit to stop a Mother’s Day festival, and was even arrested for disturbing the peace at a convention selling carnations for a war mother’s group. Before her death in 1948, Jarvis is said to have confessed that she regretted ever starting the mother’s day tradition.


Despite Jarvis’s misgivings, Mother’s Day has flourished in the United States. In fact, the second Sunday of May has become the most popular day of the year to dine out, and telephone lines record their highest traffic, as sons and daughters everywhere take advantage of this day to honor and to express appreciation of their mothers.



I have both daffodils and tulips that have come up – but there is no bloom on any of them! This is maybe the third year this has happened, can you tell me what might be going on? D’Ann


Hi D’Ann,
Yours is a common question this time of the year and each is for a different reason.


As for the daffodils, the clumps need to be divided about every 5-7 years in order to continue blooming, unless they are ‘naturalizing’ varieties you purchased (and nearly all varieties aren’t because the flowers aren’t as big or showy as modern hybrids). The dividing is done now while the foliage is still green and visible. Below the soil, the bulbs are becoming smaller and smaller as they compete with each other within the clump and no longer have the energy to send up blooms. Once divided and replanted individually at normal spacing, new clumps will form over the next 5-7 years again and the process will repeat itself. And once divided, the foliage needs to die back naturally in order for the bulbs to survive.


Modern tulips, on the other hand, are a different story. Fresh tulips should be interspersed every season for a continued annual display. Modern hybrids usually bloom well for about three years before they begin deteriorating or sometimes revert back to one of their parents. The best tulip displays are replanted yearly. The most reliable naturalizers that spread and bloom well for many years are usually only the old plain red or yellow (sometimes white) varieties (the Appeldoorns) that our grandparents grew in their gardens and often passed on as hand-me-downs.


Thanks for your question,
Klein’s Mad Gardener


. . . that there are many garden plants (both flowers and vegetables) that cannot be grown near our native black walnut trees?


Many gardeners, especially beginners, are unaware that many of our favorite garden plants cannot and should not be grown near our native black walnut (Juglans nigra) due to the release of juglone into the soil surrounding the tree. Juglone is a natural chemical produced by the black walnut (and some related trees like hickories) to cut back on competition from other plants. Plants affected by the chemical usually wilt, yellow and eventually die once they come in contact with juglone.


The most obvious and well-known family of plants affected by juglone toxicity are those belonging to the Nightshade Family, including: tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, potatoes, petunias, nicotiana, datura, brugmansia, among others. Plants from this family are affected from the onset. Ornamentals such as lilac, peony, rhododendron and azalea are particularly sensitive to juglone.


The chemical is not just released from the roots of the tree, but occurs in the leaves and nuts as well. The area most affected by juglone is confined to the drip line of the canopy, but it can extend far beyond that boundary. Gardeners often misdiagnose a problem they’re having with their plants when, in fact, a neighbor’s tree could be the culprit. Black walnut toxicity can be confused with wilts caused by bacterial and fungal pathogens or drought.


There is no cure for a plant affected by walnut toxicity. Removing a walnut tree may not be practical as the tree could be the focal point in a landscape. In addition, even if a walnut tree is removed, juglones will not immediately be eliminated, because it is next to impossible to remove all root pieces from the soil and remaining pieces may continue to exude toxins for several years as they decay. When establishing a garden around a walnut tree, try to plant species that are tolerant to juglone. If you are growing sensitive species near a walnut tree, transplant them elsewhere in your garden. If you must grow sensitive plants near a black walnut, keep beds free of walnut leaves and hulls and remove walnut seedlings as they appear. Growing shallow rooted woody and herbaceous plants, and improving drainage can also diminish the effects of juglone. Alternatively, consider building raised beds with wood, stone, or concrete barriers that limit root growth through and under the beds. When disposing of bark and wood from a walnut tree, do not use these materials for mulch.


One of the most asked questions at Klein’s is to suggest plants that are tolerant to the effects of black walnut toxicity. The UW Extension has an extensive list of juglone tolerant plants on its website at http://hort.uwex.edu/articles/black-walnut-toxicity/ (as well as those most affected by juglone toxicity).


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.


Perfect Choice® Furniture (from Chilton, WI)
“The perfect choice for lasting comfort and value”


For the first time in 2019, Klein’s is an outlet for outdoor furniture from Perfect Choice® Furniture of Chilton, WI. All furniture is made with recycled poly lumber material and manufactured in the USA. Orders for custom-made pieces can be placed at Klein’s for pick-up at Klein’s or can be drop-shipped to your home for an added fee. Choose from an unbelievable color palette and style choices and all pieces come with a lifetime limited guarantee.


Why Perfect Choice® Furniture?
(from the their website @ perfectchoicefurniture.com)


-Lead Time
Our lead time is the best in the business. Even during our busy season, our turn around times are the quickest you will experience.


We use only the best quality materials and ensure every product is tested using our strict quality control standards.


AlloChrome marine coated stainless steel fasteners and Weather-all® ploy lumber make our product the most durable outdoor furniture on the market.


Not only is our Weather-all® ply lumber made from recycled materials, but we recycle all unused poly lumber materials for a truly sustainable product.


Our innovative designs such as the one-piece chair backs and seats are why our products are uniquely more durable and provide enhanced stability.


-Lifetime Limited Warranty
Perfect Choice® offers a Lifetime Limited Manufacturer’s Warranty on all of our Weather-all® ploy lumber products.


-Customer Service
Email us, fax us or even contact us the old fashioned way—on the phone—for unparalleled service.


NOTES FROM MY GARDEN JOURNAL–Tips and Observations from My Own Garden by Rick Halbach


ENTRY: APRIL 12, 2019 (Seedlings Can Benefit from a Daily Brushing)

Seedlings started indoors tend to be weaker than those that sprout outside in the garden. Indoor seedlings tend to be taller and more tender, even if grown in strong light. The difference is the absence of wind—as wind shakes outdoor seedlings, their stems become stronger and their growth remains stocky.

Indoors, you can re-create the effect of the blowing wind by “brushing” your seedlings. Brush a folded piece of paper across the tops of small seedlings, quickly but gently bending them to horizontal and letting them pop up again. Do this twice a day for about a minute. As seedlings get larger, you can use your hand instead of the paper. A fan blowing over your seedlings will have much the same effect, but will dry out your seedlings much quicker. That said, using fans can also aid in protecting your young seedlings from fungus gnat infestations.

In studies, seedlings that were brushed had smaller, darker leaves that grew closer together than those of seedlings that were not brushed. There is also evidence that seedlings that were brushed acclimate to the outdoors quicker and suffer less transplant shock.

Source: Horticulture Magazine @ www.hortmag.com

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ENTRY: APRIL 23, 2019 (Garden Surprises–Spring Ephemerals)
Now as the weather warms, each day brings new surprises to the garden. It started with the winter aconites and the species crocus in the grass a few weeks back. Then the scilla, the chionodoxa and the first of the daffodils. This is just the beginning. Over the next few weeks, and before the leaves appear on the trees during early May, it’s the ephemerals that will become the stars of my garden.


The word ‘ephemeral’ is of Greek origin and means ‘lasting a very short time or having a very short life cycle.‘ Spring ephemerals usually sprout shortly after the snow melts and complete their life cycle before leaves appear on the trees. Once they flower and set seed, plants go back into dormancy for the rest of the year.


Favorite spring ephemerals in my own yard include:


Bloodroot–forms large patches over the years and as they spread. They are low to the ground and have white flowers held above leathery foliage. They are quite impressive when in bloom, but last almost the least amount of time among the ephemerals. Don’t blink if the weather heats up quickly!!b They are native and reliable hardy. Single and double-flowered versions are available.


Virginia Bluebells–Few scenes are more striking than a forest floor in full bloom with Virginia bluebells. Plants emerge purple immediately after the snow melts and grow quite quickly to up to two feet in ideal conditions. The foliage is large and soft and plants become quite floppy toward the end of blooming. Flowers emerge pinkish and turn a beautiful shade of blue. Plants spread easily through the garden as the patch spreads and also by seed. They are shallow rooted, however, and are easily pulled and rarely become a problem in the home garden. Plants die back quickly once flowering is complete. I tuck the yellowing foliage along the ground among the later perennials growing around them. At some point the dead foliage detaches easily from the roots for quick clean up.


White trilliums–Since childhood trilliums have ranked high among my favorite flowers. I traditionally picked my mom a bouquet for Mothers Day each year from the woodlands near our home. They grew everywhere! Having said that, once you’ve picked a trillium, you’ve killed the plant. There’s been much concern over the years about loss of trillium habitat and over-harvesting. However, the fears haven’t panned out and trillium populations remain sound. In Wisconsin it is legal to pick trillium on one’s own property or another’s property with permission. But it is illegal to pick trillium on any public land.


Mayapples–Mayapples and trilliums grew together in the same woods near my parents’ house and I was always fascinated by their giant umbrella-like leaves. Today I have a rather huge patch of them growing beneath the black walnut tree behind my screenhouse. A large patch of mayapple is an impressive sight.


Winter Aconite–The first of the ephemerals to bloom in my yard–usually while there’s still a little snow on the ground. Over time they form patches of small yellow flowers. They self-sow nicely and appear randomly throughout my yard after planting perhaps 50 bulbs several years ago. Bulbs are available in the fall.


Trout Lily–Not well-known and kind of insignificant, they remind me of a yellow trillium with lovely patterned foliage. Unlike trilliums, the flowers are down facing. Plants are durable, but don’t spread quickly. They are usually only available as bulbs.


Bleeding Hearts–My very old bleeding hearts have become impressive shrubs over the years. They are very durable and old-fashioned. The foliage lingers a bit longer than most ephemerals–sometimes the whole summer if conditions are ideal. Our most common garden varieties come from Asia, though many native species are available; including Dutchman’s breeches. Bleeding hearts are always a kid’s favorite!


Jack-in-the-Pulpit--Very tough plants in most gardens where conditions are right. Pitcher-like flowers form on long stalks in sometimes impressive large-leaved plants. In late summer beautiful red seed clusters form and are beautiful in their own rite. Plants spread nicely and also spread from seed; forming nice patches as the years go by.


Many of the above spring ephemerals are available at Klein’s throughout May. But shop early because if you wait too long, it’ll appear you’re buying just a pot of soil sans visible plant!


* * * * *


ENTRY: APRIL 29, 2019 (It’s Time to ‘Acclimate’)


Acclimate (ˈakləˌmāt): Verb. To become accustomed to a new climate or to new conditions.


It’s time to start clearing the plants out of the basement! Some of those coleus and geranium cuttings have been down there under shop lights since last September and I don’t think they can take the lack of fresh air and sunshine much longer! My new seedlings are right at the point where natural light, cool night temps and the wind will prevent them from becoming leggy. The time is right to get almost everything outside. The forecast for the upcoming week looks great, with daytime highs in the 60’s and overnight lows for the most part in the 40’s.


The first bit of prep work is to free up space in the garage. The pickup truck is gonna spend the next few weeks outside. The garage is the perfect place to acclimate the plants for a life in the big outdoors. I’ve already set up a few folding tables just inside the garage door. As I bring my flats of seedlings from the basement, they spend their first few days on those tables. Being just inside the garage, the young plants receive ample natural light, but are protected from full sun or the wind. Each evening I close the garage door to protect them from the still very cool nights. After a few days have passed, I move the seedlings outside to full sun (or shade depending on the plant requirement) ready to move them back inside the garage for exceptionally cold nights or in the event of a thunderstorm. By May 10, my annuals and vegetables will be fully acclimated and ready for planting in my beds and containers.


As for my overwintered plants; I first place them in a shady and protected spot for a few days. After they’ve been outside for a while, I gradually move them to spots that fit their light requirements. Again, I need to be prepared to move them to the garage during cold snaps or to protect them from strong winds or hail.


KLEIN’S RECIPES OF THE MONTHThese are a selection of relatively simple recipes chosen by our staff. New recipes appear monthly. Enjoy!!


Now that winter is over (!) and the days are long, local hens are laying enforce; providing consumers with an abundance of locally produced, farm-fresh eggs. We at Klein’s are lucky to say that one of our own coworkers raises chickens on her area farm and supplies the Klein’s staff with the most beautiful eggs around and from a wide variety of chicken breeds. The following are some of Klein’s favorite recipes to use up our supply of eggs. Enjoy!


BAKED EGGS—No standing at the stove for this crowd pleaser! Eggs are light and fluffy and always perfectly done!! This is a family favorite.
12 eggs
1 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cups milk
1/4 cup butter
Add-ins: Choose from chopped onions, chopped green pepper, chopped ham, chopped turkey, crumbled cooked bacon, cheese, herbs of choice.


Preheat the oven to 375º. Meanwhile, beat together the eggs, salt, milk and add-ins of choice. Place the butter in a 9” square baking dish and allow to melt in the hot oven. Once melted, pour in the egg mixture. Bake 15 minutes, remove from the oven and stir, bringing the cooked parts into the center. Return to the oven and bake an addition 10 minutes. Eggs will rise above the baking dish. The center should be set and the edges well-cooked. Serves 6-8


For a larger crowd, this recipe doubles easily. Simply use a 9×13” baking dish and add 5 minutes to EACH cooking time.


FRITTATA—This recipe has been made for many a family breakfast and company get-togethers over the years. Originally appeared in Better Homes & Gardens magazine in December 1997. A tried & true favorite!
1 1/2 cups potatoes in 1/2” cubes
1 TBS. vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups (8 oz.) chopped cooked ham
3/4 cup shredded cheddar
8 lightly beaten eggs
1/3 cup molk
1 x 4 oz. can diced green chiles
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 of a 7 oz. jar roasted red peppers cut into thin strips
1 1/2 cups salsa of choice
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
shredded parmesan (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350º. In a 10” oven safe cast iron skillet, cook the potatoes in hot oil, uncovered, over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover and cook 5 minutes more until tender, stirring just once. Sprinkle the ham and half of the cheddar over the potatoes. In a mixing bowl, lightly beat the eggs and stir in the milk, chiles, green onion, oregano and salt. Pour into the skillet over the potatoes. Arrange the pepper strips in a spoke-like fashion on the top. Bake, uncovered for about 30 minutes until the center is set and a knife comes out clean. Sprinkle the top with the remaining cheese. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.


Meanwhile in a saucepan, stir together the salsa and cilantro and heat through. Cut the frittata into wedges and serve with the warm salsa and parmesan if desired. Serves 4-6.


ZUCCHINI RICE QUICHE—Yet another decades old family favorite passed down over the years.
1 TBS. butter
1 large onion (1 cup), chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
1 cup coarsely chopped mushrooms
2 cups chopped zucchini
1 chopped tomato
2 cups cooked rice
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
pepper to taste
2 egg whites
3 large eggs
2/3 cup cottage cheese
1/4 cup milk
1/3 cup parmesan, divided
several dashes cayenne pepper to taste


Preheat the oven to 350º. In a large saucepan, melt the butter and saute the onion and garlic for one minute. Add the mushrooms and zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the tomato, rice, basil, oregano, pepper and cayenne. In a small bowl, beat together the egg whites and whole eggs. Mix in the cottage cheese, milk and 2 TBS. parmesan. Stir into the veggie mixture. Pour the mixture into a greased 10” pie plate. Sprinkle with remaining parmesan. Bake 25-30 minutes until set. Allow to stand 10 minutes before slicing. Serves 6.


BAGEL, LOX AND EGG STRATA—A delicious make-ahead recipe from the May 2002 issue of Better Homes & Gardens.
1/4 cup butter, melted
8 cups plain bagels cut into bite size pieces (4-6 bagels)
1 x 3 oz. package thinly sliced lox-style smoked salmon, cut into pieces
2 cups shredded Swiss or Monterey jack cheese
1/4 cup snipped fresh chives
8 beaten eggs
2 cups milk
1 cup cottage cheese
1/4 tsp. pepper


Place the butter in a glass 9×13” baking dish and spread to cover the bottom. Spread bagel pieces evenly into the dish. Sprinkle the bagels with the lox, cheese and chives. In a large bowl, combine the beaten eggs, milk, cottage cheese and pepper. Pour over the bagels and lox. Press down gently with the back of a wooden spoon to moisten all ingredients. Cover and chill for 4-24 hours. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350º. Bake, uncovered, about 45 minutes or until set and the edges are puffed and golden. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Serves 12.


COMPANY FRENCH TOAST—The entire family loves this recipe that appeared in the Wisconsin State Journal in 2005.
1 x 8-10 oz. loaf French bread cut into 1” thick slices
5 beaten eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 TBS. vanilla extract
1 x 20 oz. bag frozen whole strawberries
4 medium ripe bananas
2/3 cup sugar
1 TBS apple pie spice (McCormick’s, Durkee, Penzey’s)
Cinnamon sugar


Place bread in a 9×13” pan. Combine the eggs, milk, baking powder and vanilla. Pour over the bread, cover and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, preheat the oven to 450º. In a large bowl, mix together the still frozen strawberries, bananas, sugar and apple pie spice. Place this mixture in another 9×13” pan coated with cooking spray. Top the fruit with the soaked bread. Sprinkle the top with cinnamon sugar. Bake 25-30 minutes until very golden. Makes 8 slices.




Mulches for Gardens and Landscapes
Mulch is any natural or synthetic material used to cover topsoil in the garden or home landscape. Mulches serve a number of purposes including:
–reducing soil moisture evaporation,
–ensuring a more even soil moisture supply,
–reducing or preventing weed growth,
–insulating soil from extreme temperature changes,
–preventing mud from splashing on crop surfaces,
–reducing fruit rots (in melons, strawberries, and tomatoes),
–reducing soil crusting,
–reducing soil erosion,
–reducing soil compaction,
–protecting perennial plants from freezing, and
–improving neatness of the garden or landscape.


Organic mulches like grass clippings or compost also may serve as slow-release sources of nutrients for plant growth. Earthworms feeding on organic mulches not only will enrich the soil with their castings, but also will help aerate the soil. Organic mulches may, however, encourage some pests like sow bugs, snails, and slugs. Around fruit trees, avoid thick layers of organic mulches, which may shelter rodents.


Mulch Effects on Temperature
The time of year to apply a mulch depends on the type of mulch you wish to apply and your objectives. Clear and black plastic mulches can be applied early in the spring to vegetable gardens to warm the soil. Black plastics are often preferred, as they will exclude light and discourage weed growth. Clear plastics are occasionally used to warm soils more rapidly and to solar-sterilize soils in the summer to kill weed seeds and disease organisms before planting.


Natural organic mulches and white plastic mulch applied in the summer will tend to cool soils. This is important for crops like strawberries, which do not tolerate extreme heat. Silver reflective mulches and aluminum foil not only cool soils, but also reflect light back under leaves, which tends to repel aphids.


Applying natural organic mulches in the garden in the fall before cold weather will help insulate the soil and extend the growing season. Potatoes, carrots, and parsnips can be stored in the ground during the fall and winter using a straw mulch to keep the soil from freezing. Straw placed around blackberry canes in the fall will help reduce winter kill problems.


Various rock mulches can be combined with underlying perforated plastics or landscape fabric (weed barrier) in landscapes. River rock and various colored lava and granite rock offer a number of color and texture options in the design of these landscapes. Reflected light from white rock under windows with western and southern exposures will help warm your house in the winter. Dark colored rock will retain heat in the landscape and may offer some frost protection (reradiated heat) for fruit trees in the spring (it also may encourage early breaking of dormancy).


Applying Mulch
Most coarse, natural organic mulches like straw, bark, and wood chips should be applied 2-3 inches deep over the whole area to be mulched. Grass clippings should be allowed to dry out before applying them to keep them from matting. Do not apply grass clippings over 1-inch deep. Woody material should not be incorporated into the soil, as it will tend to tie up nitrogen in the soil making it unavailable for plant uptake. Do not allow moist organic mulches to come directly in contact with seedlings as they may cause seedling disease problems like “damping-off.” Mulches are generally applied to most crops after they have emerged or around transplants.


Plastic mulches should be perforated to allow air and water movement into the soil. Holes cut in unperforated plastic for vegetable transplants should be large enough to accommodate air and water movement around the bases of the plants.


Soil levels should be 1-3 inches below the level of sidewalks in landscapes where rock mulches are applied to help keep rocks contained. New plants in the landscape will have better access to water if the underlying landscape fabrics are sloped slightly toward the plants.


Types of Mulches
The selection of a specific mulch will depend on its availability, cost, the crop to be mulched, and the season of the year. Almost any material that insulates well yet permits gaseous exchange and moisture penetration will make a satisfactory mulch. A good mulch should not need frequent renewal and should be non-toxic to plants, easy to apply, free from disease and weed seed, and not be so absorbent that it can take moisture away from plants. It should not pack, blow, wash, ferment, or burn easily.
Many commercially available mulches fulfill most of these criteria. Quite a few are inexpensive. Decorative barks and rock may be used for aesthetic value. A coarse, heavy mulch may be needed on a windy, hillside site.


A soil surface can be covered with either synthetic or natural mulches. Natural organic mulches will decay over time mixing in with the topsoil. Such mulches will improve soil structure, improving both water and air penetration into the soil. Synthetic and rock mulches will last longer and often require less maintenance.


Natural Materials
Bark – Bark offers outstanding effectiveness and appearance. It is available in fine, medium, and large sizes, although medium and coarse grades are best for mulch. Do not incorporate bark into the soil, as its high carbon content will cause nitrogen deficiency in plants.
Coffee grounds – This material has rich color and is high in nitrogen and some trace elements.
Compost – Use finished (well-cured) compost by itself or under other mulches. It can be mixed with soil before planting.
Corn cobs – Use medium ground, not fine, cobs. The cobs may be colored for special uses. Additional nitrogen may be necessary if corn cobs are mixed with soil.
Cornstalks – Cornstalks are very good shredded, or as whole stalks laid over other mulches in vegetable gardens. They are good for winter mulch.
Cover crop – Any crop, preferably a legume, that can be grown on spare land and cut can be used for mulch.
Grass clippings – Grass will mat and ferment if used fresh in a thick layer and alone, so only use it dry and in a thin layer. It is better mixed with other dry mulches. Do not use clippings if lawn has been treated with herbicides, and avoid grass like Bermuda that propagates easily.
Gravel, marble chips, crushed stone – Pea gravel or larger can be used over a weed barrier or alone. These mulches tend to warm the soil, so use them for heat-loving plants. Do not use marble around acid-soil loving plants.
Hay and field grass – Hay and field grass should be mowed before it goes to seed. Legume hays are rich in nitrogen. Loose hay will blow in wind and these mulches can carry weed seed.
Leafmold – This mulch is best placed around shrubs and on bare plots as leaves fall. Shred the leaves to keep them from packing.
Manure – Use well-rotted and strawy manure for best results, and watch out for weed seed. Use manure sparingly on vegetable gardens, roses, and other plants. Fresh manure can burn tender roots and can smell during the first couple of days after application.
Peat moss – Fine-textured types dry out and crust badly; instead use chunky peat (sphagnum). Peat moss is very expensive and hard to wet.
Peanut hulls – This is an excellent mulch and is very attractive. It blows in the wind unless partially cultivated into the soil.
Pecan shells – This long-lasting mulch has a nice color and good texture. However, birds and rodents may become a problem, and it blows in wind unless partially cultivated into the soil.
Pine needles – Pine needles are a very good mulch, especially for acid-soil-loving plants (such as strawberries). Pine needles are light, airy, and attractive but can be a fire hazard.
Pomace (apple or grape) – The odor may be somewhat heavy for the first couple of weeks. This mulch is good for heavy soil and it decomposes very slowly and releases some nutrients to soil.
Sawdust (preferably decomposed) – Apply sawdust 1-inch deep, but do not incorporate it into the soil as its high carbon content will cause nitrogen deficiency in plants.
Straw – This is a good general mulch used for winter protection and on paths between vegetable rows. It may carry weed seed.
Wood chips – This is a long lasting mulch. Apply it 2-4 inches deep. It decomposes slowly. Do not incorporate into the soil as its high carbon content will cause nitrogen deficiency in plants.


Synthetic Mulches
Cloth – Burlap is sometimes used between rows in vegetable gardens.
Erosion-control netting and blankets – Use these materials for holding mulch and grass seedlings on steep slopes.
Fiberglass matting – This is a very effective mulch because it is permeable to air and water and its glass fibers may repel certain pests. Cover it with bark or similar organic mulch for better appearance.
Newspaper – Use three to six sheets thick and cover it with organic mulches for better appearance and to speed decomposition.
Perlite, vermiculite – Horticultural grades are useful around tiny seedlings or on plants in containers. It can blow badly.
Plastic film – These mulches are unattractive alone. For best results, plastic should be well perforated to allow aeration and moisture penetration. Clear plastic warms soil but permits weed growth, whereas black plastic warms soil and deters weed growth. White plastic cools soils and deters weed. Other colors are available and have various effects on plants. Silver reflective mulches (cool soil) reflect light, which tends to repel aphids (aluminum foil has a similar effect). Plastic is often used under rockscaping to discourage weed growth, but this is not recommended unless the plastic is perforated. Soil should be damp before applying plastic.
Woven weed barrier – This mulch allows moisture and oxygen to penetrate the soil, encouraging roots to penetrate more deeply. Use it in landscaping as a substitute for black plastic. It deters weed growth.


Originally written by Esteban Herrera, Extension Horticulturist, New Mexico State University. Source: New Mexico State University




Seed Potatoes
What are Seed Potatoes?
The term “seed potato” can be a little misleading. Although potatoes do set seed, they do not grow true to seed. To get the variety of potato you want, you need to grow them vegetatively, meaning we re-plant a part of the actual potato. These pieces of potato are referred to as seed potatoes.


Selecting Seed Potatoes
Because potatoes are propagated vegetatively, any diseases from the prior year will be carried over. That’s why it is SO important to use disease free seed potatoes and that means certified seed potatoes, rather than supermarket potatoes. Certified seed potatoes are certified by some government authority to be disease free.


However, even certified potatoes can contract disease once planted, especially diseases that are not apparent in the seed stage, like ring rot or fusarium wilt, but at least you have a bit of an edge, with some disease tolerance.


Any potatoes that have soft spot, cracks or bruises or signs of rotting should be discarded. Start with the healthiest, strongest seed potatoes, to avoid problems and guarantee an good harvest.


So what exactly do you plant?
You do not need to plant a whole, intact potato. Seed potatoes can be cut into pieces, as long as the pieces have at least 1 eye each. An “eye” is a bud that grows into a new plant. If you’ve ever kept your potatoes in the cabinet too long, you’ve probably seen them sprout.


You can plant whole potatoes or pieces with multiple eyes, but in general:
—More eyes per piece = more, but smaller potatoes
—One or 2 eyes per piece = less, but larger potatoes
It all depends on what you want.


Preparing Seed Potatoes
If you decide you want to cut your seed potatoes into pieces, cut them about 2 days before you plan to plant. This allows the pieces to callus or seal and prevents rotting and soil born diseases, while the pieces sprout and take root.


To further protect your seed potatoes, you can dust them with powdered sulfur, right after cutting them. Place the potatoes in a bag, add the sulfur and shake. Then lay the pieces out and let them dry for 3-4 days.


To Chit or Not to Chit Potatoes
Chitting is the term for pre-sprouting your seed potatoes, before planting. It may also be referred to as “greening”. Many gardeners feel this give them a head start, but you do not have to chit your potatoes, to get a good crop. The two circumstances, when chitting is advised are:


—If your seed potatoes are already sprouting.
—If you have an early variety and want an early crop.


How to Chit
Although potatoes will sprout in the dark, you will get long, pale shoots that easily break. Instead, place them in a cool (room temperature) spot with bright light. This way, the sprouts will grow stocky, sturdy and dark green.


A traditional method for chitting is to place your seed potatoes upright in an egg carton, with the bud end facing up, but you can just lay them out on a tray or screen, as long as they are not pile one on top of another.


It will take about 2–4 weeks for the chits to develop, so don’t start until about 1 month before your planting date. (Potatoes will store for several months without sprouting, if kept dark and at about 40º.


You can plant as soon as the sprouts or 1/2”-1” long. If you have to postpone planting because of weather or some other reason, move them to a cooler spot, to slow down their growth. Don’t wait too long, or your seed potatoes will dehydrate and begin to shrivel.


Handle the seed potatoes carefully, so the sprouts do not break off or become damaged. You can plant the whole potato or cut into pieces with at least 1 eye each, as discussed above, but do this after chitting, not before. Plant with the sprouts facing up and cover lightly with soil.


How Much Should I Plan on Planting?
On average, 1 lb. of seed potatoes should yield about 10 lb. of potatoes. One lb. is about 5-8 tubers, which should plant about a 10 ft. row. Klein’s sells 1 & 3 lb. bags.


Source: Written by Marie Iannotti for http://gardening.about.com.


What Kinds of Seed Potatoes Does Klein’s Carry?
Magic Molly–Magic Molly produces larger than normal fingerling-shaped tubers with dark purple skin and solid dark purple flesh that retains its color when boiled. Tubers have an excellent flavor, especially when roasted.


Red LaSoda–Bred in Louisiana, this deep red Potato with creamy white flesh has excellent flavor and is ideal for boiling and steaming. When cooked, it has a fluffier texture than more waxy reds, so it also bakes and roasts very well. This midseason variety grows vigorously, producing high yields of medium-size tubers. Stores extremely well for a red variety.


Red Norland–An early season red. One of the best summer varieties for early digging and it stores well! Great baked, boiled and roasted. Potatoes have a smooth, red skin, white flesh and size rapidly. Introduced in 1957, this has been the standard red potato for years.


Russet Norkotah–A relatively new variety that has actually replaced Russet Burbank as the top selling russet. Versatile and very flavorful. Harvest is a bit earlier than other russets, starting in August. Has a very long storage life. Great baking appeal because it has very few eyes.


Yukon Gold–Early to mid-season. One of the best eating potatoes for boiling, roasting or salads. Flesh is a lovely gold. A very firm variety that is also easy to grow with a nice buttery flavor. Rather disease resistant. Excellent for long winter storage.


For neighborhood events or garden tours that you would like posted in our monthly newsletter, please contact Rick at (608) 244-5661 or rick@kleinsfloral.com. 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.


UW Family Gardening Day
Saturday, May 4, 10:00-1:00


Join us for the 13th Annual UW Family Gardening Day at D.C. Smith Greenhouse, 465 Babcock Drive; Allen Centennial Gardens, 620 Babcock Drive; Steenbock Memorial Library, 550 Babcock Drive; the WI Energy Institute (WEI), 1552 University Ave and the UW Botany Garden, 1090 University Ave.


Some new activities include displays on biofuels, pollinators and monarchs at the WEI and looking at seeds under the microscope in the Botany Garden.


While supplies last, Allen Centennial Garden will be distributing Pasta Four-Packs (sets of tomato, oregano, basil and pepper plants), and Master Gardener’s at Steenbock Library will hand out pollinator-friendly Mexican Sunflowers for visitors to take and plant in their home gardens.


Steenbock Library will have Master Gardeners on hand to answer questions and distribute information about gardening resources. Visitors are also encouraged to check out the library’s collection, which includes popular materials on cooking, food preservation, gardening and urban agriculture.


While on campus, visitors should be sure to stop by Babcock Hall Dairy Store, which will be open and dishing up ice cream treats from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.


Free parking is available in Lot 34 at 1480 Tripp Circle; in Lot 36 just west of Steenbock Library; and in Lot 40 behind Babcock Hall.


Visit www.science.wisc.edu/family-gardening-day.htm#sthash.ugjcsqEH.dpuf or contact Johanna Oosterwyk @ jmooster@wisc.edu or (608) 262-3844 for details.


Saturday, May 4, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
In the Longenecker Gardens


Tour the gardens’ extensive magnolia collection, and other spring flowering plants encountered along the way, with Michael Jesiolowski, Missouri Botanical Garden horticulture supervisor. Free, no registration required. Meet at the Visitor Center.


University of WI Arboretum
1207 Seminole Hwy.
Madison, WI 53711
608/263-7888 or arboretum.wisc.edu


Occupy Madison’s Spring Plant Sale
Saturday, May 4, 11:00-3:00
304 N. 3rd St., Madison, WI 53704


Occupy Madison’s Tiny House Village will be selling 1700 plants that have been growing throughout the winter and spring. All proceeds from the plant sale will be used to support Occupy Madison, an organization in Madison that supports the homeless population by providing affordable and community housing. Come find vegetables, succulents, listen to live music, and connect with the community. Info? 608-305-4707 or email: occupymadsioninc@gmail.com


Occupy Madison Village
304 N. 3rd St.
Madison, WI 53704


Rotary Garden’s Compost Sale
Saturday, May 4, May 18 & May 25, 8:00-noon
Rotary Botanical Gardens Horticulture Center, located at 825 Sharon Road


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


Guided Garden Strolls
Sundays, May 5 thru October 13, 1:30-3:00


Get an insider’s view of Olbrich’s outdoor gardens during a free guided garden stroll. All ages are welcome for this casual overview of the Gardens. Guided garden strolls will vary somewhat according to the season to reflect the garden areas that are at peak interest.


Strolls start and end in the lobby near the Garden entrance and are about 45 to 60 minutes in length. No registration is required; strolls are drop-in only. Strolls are held rain or shine and will be cancelled only in the event of dangerous lightning.


Olbrich Botanical Gardens
3330 Atwood Ave., Madison
608/246-4550 or www.olbrich.org for details.


Dahlia Tuber Sale
Sunday, May 5, 11:00-2:00


Dahlias are late summer bloomers popular for their extravagant blooms, diverse forms, and bright colors. They’re subtropical annuals grown each year from tubers dug up in the fall and overwintered in a cool, dry environment. The sale is sponsored by the Badger State Dahlia Society (badgerdahlia.org). For more information call 608-577-1924.


Olbrich Botanical Gardens
3330 Atwood Ave., Madison
608/246-4550 or www.olbrich.org for details.


Garden Excursion
Sunday, May 5, 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm


Learn about Arboretum history, land, and science on a gently paced walk in the gardens. This new monthly stroll offers a multigenerational learning experience on the first Sunday of each month, April–October. Free, no registration required. Meet at the Visitor Center.


University of WI Arboretum
1207 Seminole Hwy.
Madison, WI 53711
608/263-7888 or arboretum.wisc.edu


Olbrich’s Plant Sale with the Pros
Friday, May 10, 11:00-5:00
Saturday, May 11, 9:00-3:00


Get great plants and expert advice from area professionals this year at Plant Sale with the Pros. The sale features everything from annuals and perennials to ornamental grasses and shrubs. Olbrich’s staff carefully chooses unique plants that do best in this climate. Find the newest, hardiest, disease-resistant cultivars on the market. Local plant pros, master gardeners, and Olbrich’s horticulturists will be available to answer questions.


Proceeds from the plant sale benefit Olbrich Botanical Gardens. Shop early since quantities are limited. Shoppers are encouraged to bring cartons, wagons, or boxes for carrying plants. Cash, checks, MasterCard, Visa, and Discover are accepted. Maximize your support of the Gardens by using cash or check.


Note: Due to construction, parking onsite may be limited this year. If you have to to park offsite, know that after you check out, you may leave your purchased plants at our Plant Pick-Up station before retrieving your vehicle.


Early Bird Shopping
Got your eye on a particular plant? All Plant Sale with the Pros shoppers can take advantage of an Early Bird Shopping opportunity. By giving a $20 per person donation, or $30 per couple, you can shop from 9 to 11 a.m. on Friday before the sale officially opens.


Member Benefits
Members save 20% off purchases in the Growing Gifts shop on Friday, May 10!


An annual individual membership to the Olbrich Botanical Society starts at $40 and includes many other benefits throughout the year. Call 608-246-4724 for more information on membership. Or, just sign up to become a member at the Plant Sale with the Pros.


Pro Potting Bench
Take advantage of free container design and potting services at the Plant Pro Potting Bench. Get help selecting the best plants for a stunning container garden or hanging basket…then let a professional plant them for you!


Design Stations
Friday, 9 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Saturday, 9 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Refresh a lack-luster garden area at the Design Station during a short, 20 minute consultation. Local landscape architects will sketch out basic garden designs on the spot using your printed photos and feedback. Be sure to note the features of areas in your landscape, for example, how much water is received, lighting conditions, existing plantings, etc.


Plant Sale with the Pros features everything from annuals and perennials to ornamental grasses and shrubs. Choose cultivars on the market including tropical plants that will fire up your garden, small-scale garden conifers, herbs, and butterfly plants along with hundreds of annuals and perennials. Find rare shrubs and trees, including hardy shrub roses that thrive in the challenging Wisconsin climate.


Olbrich Botanical Gardens
3330 Atwood Ave., Madison
608/246-4550 or www.olbrich.org for details.


Rotary Garden’s Spring Plant Sale
Friday, May 10, 9:00-6:00
Saturday, May 11, 8:00-5:00
Sunday, May 12, 10:00-4:00
Rotary Gardens Horticulture Center, 825 Sharon Rd., Janesville, WI


Plant Sales are open to the general public. Those with a RBG Friends membership will receive a 10% discount on purchases. Memberships may be purchased at the sale. The sale includes a wide range of vegetables, herbs, perennials and shrubs.


Rotary Botanical Gardens
1455 Palmer Drive
Janesville, WI,
608/752-3885 or www.rotarygardens.org


Native Plant Sale
Saturday, May 11, 9:00-2:00
U.W.-Madison Arboretum Visitor Center


Visit the big tent on the lawn in front of Curtis Prairie to shop for all your native plant gardening needs. The Friends of the Arboretum (FOA) annual native plant sale offers more than 200 species of native plants suitable for a variety of soil and light conditions. Experts will be available to answer questions. Organized by FOA, open to the general public.


University of WI Arboretum
1207 Seminole Hwy.
Madison, WI 53711
608/263-7888 or uwarboretum.org/events


Troy Garden’s Spring Plant Sale
Saturday, May 11, 10:00-2:00
Troy Farm, 502 Troy Dr., Madison, WI 53704


-All plants are certified organic
-Over 20 types and 75 varieties of vegetables and herbs.
-Same varieties as grown at Troy Farm
-Grown on-site in our greenhouse and hoophouse
-All plants come “hardened off” and ready to be planted (weather permitting)


Community Groundworks
2702 International Ln., Ste. 200
Madison, WI 53704


Crosstown Violet Club Sale
Saturday, May 11, 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.


This annual sale includes African violets, starter plants, blooming plants, leaves, gesneriads of all kinds, and potting soil and pots. Sponsored by the Crosstown African Violet club. For more information call 608/850-9740


Olbrich Botanical Gardens
3330 Atwood Ave., Madison
608/246-4550 or www.olbrich.org for details.


Lilacs and Crabapples
Saturday, May 11, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
In the Longenecker Gardens


David Stevens, LHG curator, will lead this tour through two signature collections, focusing on the history, beauty, and landscape value of crabapples and lilacs, which are some of the favorite ornamental woody plants in the Midwest. Free, no registration required. Meet at the Visitor Center.


University of WI Arboretum
1207 Seminole Hwy.
Madison, WI 53711
608/263-7888 or arboretum.wisc.edu


11th Annual Plant Sale
Friday, May 17, 7:30-4:30
Saturday, May 18, 7:30-12:00
414 Meadowlark Dr., Madison, WI 53714


Sponsored by Kappa Master Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi. A wide variety of locally grown perennials and some dahlias. Partial proceeds this year will go to the Hope Transplant House in Middleton, WI.


Create and Maintain Summer Containers @ Klein’s
Saturday, May 18, 10:00-3:00
Sunday, May 19, 10:00-3:00


Join us on Saturday May 18 and/or Sunday May 19 to create your own one-of-a-kind summer container and learn how to maintain it all summer long. Pre-registration required. Cost is $35. Email sue@kleinsfloral.com to sign up.


Klein’s Floral & Greenhouses
3758 E. Washington Ave.
Madison, WI 53704
608/244-5661 or kleinsfloral.com


Badger Bonsai Annual Show
Saturday, May 18, 9:00-4:30
Sunday, May 19, 10:00-4:30


Marvel at these growing miniature landscapes. Sponsored by the Badger Bonsai Society (badgerbonsai.net). For more information call 608/249-6195.


Olbrich Botanical Gardens
3330 Atwood Ave., Madison
608/246-4550 or www.olbrich.org for details.


Rare and Uncommon Native Wisconsin Trees and Shrubs
Saturday, May 18, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
In the Longenecker Gardens


Join Keith Phelps, Arboretum horticultural technician, on a tour highlighting unique and rare Wisconsin woody natives. Learn about their ecology, cultural significance, conservation concerns, and landscape use. Free, no registration required. Meet at the Visitor Center.


University of WI Arboretum
1207 Seminole Hwy.
Madison, WI 53711
608/263-7888 or arboretum.wisc.edu


Dane County UW-Extension’s
Teaching Garden Plant Sale
Sunday, May 19, 11:00-3:00
Dane County UW-Extension Office
5201 Fen Oak Ct, Madison (just off Agriculture Dr. between Pflaum & Femrite)


Mark your calendar for the Dane County Master Gardener Plant Sale. We offer hundreds of perennials for shade or sun, vegetable & herb starts, annuals and more! Master Gardeners will be available to answer your gardening questions. Plants are reasonably priced. Cash or check only.


Madison Area Master Gardeners Association
PO Box 259318
Madison, WI, 53725


Dahlia Plant Sale
Friday, May 24, 8:00-2:00
Saturday, May 25, 8:00-2:00
5335 Whalen Rd., Oregon, WI 53575


Dahlias are late summer bloomers popular for their extravagant blooms, diverse forms, and bright colors. They’re subtropical annuals grown each year from tubers dug up in the fall and overwintered in a cool, dry environment. This plant sale is at the home of the Badger State Dahlia Society (badgerdahlia.org) member, Charles Craig. For more information call 608-277-7584.


Iris Show
Sunday, May 26, 12:00-5:00


The Madison Area Iris Society sponsors this show of iris rhizomes, the roots that grow into iris plants. For more information call 608/271-3607


Olbrich Botanical Gardens
3330 Atwood Ave., Madison
608/246-4550 or www.olbrich.org for details.


Dane County Farmer’s Market
Saturdays, April 13 thru November 16, 6:15-1:45
On the Capitol Square


Wednesdays, April 17 thru November 6, 8:30-1:45
In the 200 block of Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.


For details visit www.dcfm.org


Northside Farmers Market
Sundays, May 5 through October 20, 8:30-12:30
In the Northside TownCenter at the intersection of N. Sherman Ave. and Northport Dr. across from Warner Park.


The Northside Farmers Market is a nonprofit community enterprise. It is one of the newest and fastest growing farmers’ markets in Dane County. In keeping with the innovative spirit of Madison’s Northside, we are surpassing what defines the traditional farmers’ market. Our fundamental principles include:


–Providing an abundant selection of high quality, locally grown foods.
The market accepts Quest, WIC and Senior FMNP vouchers.


–Supporting our local agricultural entrepreneurs who are increasingly important today in ensuring that we have the best and safest food possible.


–Educating the community about traditional foods and the history of local agriculture in an attempt to preserve (and expand upon) our rich heritage.


–Promoting nutrition and the market by hosting dinners for neighborhood groups and seniors.


Parking is always FREE!



MAY IN THE GARDEN-A checklist of things to do this month.
___By May 1, cool weather items like pansies, cole crops, onion sets, etc. should
already be planted.
___Sow successive crops of radishes and greens every 2 weeks.
___Mow your lawn frequently and at a high setting to control lawn weeds.
___Reseed bare spots in the lawn as needed.
___Begin hardening off your seedlings and overwintered plants. Move inside or cover on cold nights.
___Prep beds as soon as the soil is workable and not too wet.
___Till compost into beds.
___Perennials, shrubs and trees can now all be planted safely.
___Divide and propagate most perennials as desired (except peonies & iris)
___Plant strawberries and asparagus early in the month.
___Plant your leftover Easter Lily into the garden. They’ll bloom each July in the garden.
___Be prepared to move plants indoors if a sudden cold spell (or snow) hits.
___After May 10, begin setting out all plants, but KEEP AN EYE ON THE WEATHER!
___Sow beans and corn after the last scheduled frost date.
___After May 20, begin planting warm weather items: tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, cucumbers, coleus, impatiens etc.
___Mulch beds as needed to cut down on weeds and watering.
___Begin a weeding as needed. The smaller the weed, the easier to remove.
___Prune spring blooming as desired AFTER they are done flowering.
___Wait until after the foliage has yellowed to cut back daffodils, tulips, etc.
___Begin pinching tall perennials like asters, goldenrod, phlox, etc. for shorter and bushier plants.


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


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.


—Transplanting continues!! Early in the month we finish transplanting the seedlings for spring sales. But during mid-month we begin transplanting the seedlings for our summer “Jumbo-Pack” program. Customers continue to purchase bedding annuals through the summer months. Sometimes they’re replacing plants that have succumbed to summer heat or heavy rains. Or maybe some quick color is needed for selling a house or having an outdoor party. Whatever the case, we can fill their needs.


—The spring onslaught is in full swing. The back greenhouses are filled floor to ceiling with plants awaiting purchase. Our outdoor space is a sea of color. Flats of plants waiting for sale fill most nooks and crannies of our property.


—Watering is a nonstop endeavor. On hot, windy days, we no sooner finish the first round, when we have to start all over again. Some plants in our retail areas may need watering 3 or 4 times in a single day! You wouldn’t do this at home, but customers don’t like to see wilted plants. It’s not harmful for us to let them wilt a bit, but it makes for bad presentation.


—Restocking is also constant. Cart loads of product are moved nearly continuously from our back greenhouses to the front showrooms.


—Believe it or not, but our fall mums arrive! The small plants are put into small pots now and then stepped into larger tubs later in the summer. They won’t be available for sale until mid-August.


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 madgardener@kleinsfloral.com. 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.




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.


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.


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 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 jamie@kleinsfloral.com
Accounts, Billing and Purchasing—Kathryn Derauf kathryn@kleinsfloral.com
Delivery Supervisor & Newsletter Coordinator—Rick Halbach rick@kleinsfloral.com
Owner, Floral Designer & Purchasing—Sue Klein sue@kleinsfloral.com


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)


Invasive Species


Community Groundworks
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


Rotary Gardens
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


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
•Deadly nightshade
•Dieffenbachia (dumb cane)
•Glory lily
•Holly berry
•Indian tobacco
•Lily of the valley
•Mescal bean
•Morning glory
•Mountain laurel
•Night-blooming jasmine
•Poison ivy
•Poison sumac
•Water hemlock


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/
•Autumn Crocus
•Black locust
•Carolina jessamine
•Castor bean
•Chinaberry tree
•Christmas berry
•Christmas Rose
•Common privet
•Corn cockle
•Cow cockle
•Day lily
•Delphinium (Larkspur)
•Dutchman’s breeches
•Easter lily
•Elephant’s ear
•English Ivy
•European Bittersweet
•Field peppergrass
•Horse nettle
•Jerusalem Cherry
•Lily of the valley
•Milk vetch
•Morning glory
•Poison hemlock
•Rosary pea
•Sago palm
•Skunk cabbage
•Star of Bethlehem
•Wild black cherry
•Wild radish
•Yellow jessamine