Everything listed under: Mulch

  • October 2015

    https://www.facebook.com/VillagerNursery  If you're not on our Villager newsletter list.  October specials: http://conta.cc/1PuK0Bw

    October is like April in some ways. It's a genuine gardening month and a chance to get a head-start with excellent sunny days and warm weather but it frequently turns to winter and on Halloween (like Easter) it's usually pretty hard on he kids. November, like March can go either way.  March has the advantage of longer days for getting hardy veggies going early but November has much warmer soil for keeping roots growing and the shorter days equate to less evapotranspiration and less stress on the above-ground portions of plants while root growth progresses in ernest.

    Plant bulbs now.  We hand select our favorites for their beauty, interest, persistence and repeat performance. Almost ALL of the bulbs we offer you are deer and rodent resistant perennials and we have bulbs that bloom in late February through bulbs that bloom in early August.  You can plant hardy spring-blooming bulbs any time between now and ... February but it's a lot more trouble planting them under several feet of snow or in frozen ground (both of which I've done... more than once). If you're considering planting wildflowers, remember to also plant wildflower-type bulbs and be sure to plant some 4"-pots of native wildflowers at the same time to really get a jump on establishment.

    Fall is for planting. Fall is NOT for pruning. I think the common misconception comes from the warmer climes of CA & the southwest where there really is no winter and fall and spring overlap in December and January (imagine pears with fall color and spring blooms at the same time as frequently happens there.) Woody plants store their winter reserves of food in their stems, branches, trunks and roots (plants are alive and respiring all winter). Fall pruning steals-away the energy they have saved.  Pruning cuts made on dormant wood in fall do not seal over and the fresh-cut tissues dry-out and die-back in our long winters.  There is also a much greater chance of infection from fungal disease when cuts are made in fall. Cuts made in late winter / early spring seal-over as top-growth begins (and the stored energy in the stems has been used to maintain vigor).  That said, if you have a funky branch that the snow is going to remove if you don't... absolutely, prune it now.

    We don't LOVE tree wrapping. We do it because it is inexpensive insurance against breakage and toppling in the first winter or two after planting and it can protect at-risk trees or shrubs for many years where snow is stored, thrown or shoved. It is best to prune well the first few years in order to develop plants that will tolerate our potentially very heavy snow-loads.  We'll have a couple more classes this fall / winter. Follow our Facebook page for far more frequent updates and information.

    Take advantage of the newsletter coupon for Biosol.  If you've never tried it, it is expensive, it smells and it's crazy-good for improving soil, feeding beneficial soil biology and for feeding plants over a very long period. We use it alternately (Biosol fall) with Dr.Earth or G&B fertilizers because they'll also inoculate your soils with fresh microorganisms. It's probiotics folks and it's been going on in farming for millennia.  The Sierras are only 3-4 million years old, an infant range, our rocks need a lot of help supporting plant life.  Oh, and please, don't forget to mulch, on top, to hold moisture, protect roots & microbes, and provide a long-term source of carbon for the soil.

    Indian Summer  (The Sweet-Spot for planting EVERYTHING!)
    Oct. Hours: Mon.-Sat.  9:50AM-5:00PM & Sunday10:00AM-4:00PM
    If you need help with products, plans, bids or consulting, please  contact us with your questions or for an appointment.  You can also call and leave a message at 530-587-0771


  • July Color Sale 7/11-7/13

    Post 4th of July Weekend SALE on Veggies, Annual Color and (as requested) Hardy Herbaceous Perennials, Groundcovers and Wildflowers. Sale ENDS Sunday 7/13.

    Tomatoes, Greens, and Beans plus other veggies are 40% OFF.  Annual (and tender perennial) COLOR for sun ad for shade all 40% OFF.

    Hardy Herbaceous Perennials and Mountain Native Wildflowers (that look best en masse) buy 3 of any variety and get 1 FREE.

    Tough Roses and Evergreen Mugo Pines are also buy 3 of any variety and get a 4th FREE.

    Water plants are 20% OFF or Buy 2 and get 1 FREE!

    AND Gromulch Compost, Topper, Amend and Black Forest Top-Mulch are buy 4 (of same size & price) and get a 5th bag FREE.

  • Solstice Summer Sale

    We've been trying to carve out a few minutes to make a Spring Promotion Newsletter, so here it is, a few days past Summer Solstice, a sale to last until nearly 4th of July.  Get your garden on if you have not yet... I planted my greens in early April but have not had a chance to start my Tomatoes yet - (It has become an tradition for me to stay home from the parade to plant mine up.)  They're all 20% off until the 3rd along with beans, cukes, peas, squash, peppers, lettuce, etc....  The mature composts from Kellogg as well as the garden enhancing Chicken and Farmyard composts are all buy-three-get-one-free now as well so side-dress away.  We put a couple of awesome #5g shrubs (maple and chokecherry) on special for your screening needs this week, because they are fantastic.  Ad 30% off of our Apples, hardy Cherries, and incredibly productive currants and gooseberries is a smokin' deal - you can use fruiting shrubs as ornamentals without worry, they're tough and attractive as well as productive.  Sales run through July 3.  Our 4th of July hours are roughly 9-10 and 12-2... depending on traffic and the parade when we are closed.  Please swing by and say hello if you're walking the route (or throw us extra candy if you're on a float).

  • Freeze-Drying Winter '11-'12

    January 2007 was similar to this December-January '11-'12. That cold dry year the ice skating was spectacular voles damage was minimal and many plants suffered.

    The process of preparing for winter in hardy plants goes something like this: Plants sense shortening days and cooling temperatures and produce chemicals to start the processes of dropping leaves or closing stomata (the holes they “breathe” through). Food is moved to the roots and important compounds in leaves are recycled and stored away. When freezing begins, water moves out of the cells and into the intercellular spaces (between the cells). This water freezes, but the cell’s contents, with higher concentrations of sugars and salts, have much lower freezing temperatures (like salt water or anti-freeze). As temperatures drop, more water moves out of the cells and solute concentrations in the cells increase, and freezing temperatures drop further. The cell membrane, which is inside the rigid cell wall, actually pulls away and makes room for the ice crystals between the cells.

    If temperatures drop too quickly, water cannot move out of the cell fast enough, ice forms inside the cells and in pores of the cell membrane. As you might imagine, jagged ice crystals inside the cells rip them apart and if enough cells die, the plant dies. This is damage we see frequently suffer in spring.

    This winter, before it finally began to snow, the days were sunny the nights were very cold, the north-east winds were blowing and several things happened.During the warmer sunny days, plant tissues warmed up enough to thaw and begin photosynthesis. Cells woke up and filled with water. At 3:00 PM in mid January, the warm afternoon sun had the plants thinking it was spring, just before the sun went down. The air temperatures were already below freezing and without the sun on the stems, leaves or needles, the temperatures plummeted and many plants suffered – This damage often shows-up as “freeze-cracking” , split bark or tissue damage on the southwest side of trees.

    In many other locations the dry wind and sub-freezing temperatures caused the ice between plant’s cells to sublimate (change from solid to vapor). When the ice around the cells was gone, the cell membrane was exposed and the little moisture remaining in the interior of the cells dried up – This is “freeze-drying”.

    This winter, some plants just dried-up. The soils became so dry that even roots died. I lost 2 of 7, 14 year-old currants. Sometimes there is no telling why some one plant dies and another survives. In the wild it is the same story, one manzanita is dead and 3 feet away another is fine and 12 feet further another is dead and so-on. It could have been one branch of a pine 30' away provided a few extra crucial minutes of shade in mid January or the one plant's roots just happened to be under a large rock... it is fascinating and frustrating at the same time.

    In home landscapes, many people may have saved their plants by watering in January and people with 3-4" of mulch throughout their garden suffered far fewer losses than most. NEVER underestimate the wonders of mulching.

    In the nursery, we lost huge numbers of plants in pots this winter. We tuck the plants together for the winter and put shade around them to trap snow but this winter they froze and dried. You cannot water a frozen container plant because the water freezes and suffocates the roots so we tried to lightly mist them and just raise the humidity but it was largely ineffective. We really need a cheap used snow-making gun for winters like this one (many larger nurseries in the mountain west have them.)

    We don’t have a huge variety of broadleaf evergreens that grow well here but there are a few. Manzanita, Huckleberry Oak, Live Oak and Ceanothus and Mt. Mahogany are some of our broadleaf evergreen natives. Many of these suffered this winter, especially those exposed to the north-east winds (see photo of fried manzanita and dead squaw-mat).  I have not seen damage on any Mountain Mahogany.

    I’ve also seen damage on Native Incense Cedar, Giant Sequoia, Lydia Broom, Hardy Holly, Hardy Rhododendron, Dwarf Alberta Spruce (it often suffers sun scald), Cotoneaster and Bear-Berry Manzanita.

    We are still waiting to see what has survived but many are pushing some new growth. Meanwhile, we've fertilized with Biosol and Dr. Earth and with seaweed to stimulate roots.

Contact Villager

Villager Nursery, Inc
10678 Donner Pass Road, Truckee, CA 96161-4834
Central Truckee, exit 186 off I-80
(530) 587-0771

Founded 1975, Incorporated 1990

California Nursery License 1975
No. C 3976.001, Co.29CA
Contractors License 1977
No. 413907-C27 LS
ISA Certified Arborist: Eric Larusson
No. WE-7983A

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