Everything listed under: Truckee Landscape

  • Mid-Winter 2018-2019

    As I closed the gate for our mid-winter season I came back inside to change the message on the answering machine, adjust the holiday lights timers, change the hours on our gate and on the search engines and social media:  Bing, Google, Yelp, Facebook and this webpage (my business partner believes this is all magically done by elves). I look forward to trying to make sense of another crazy season as a nursery in the high Sierra and to plan and prepare for the next. It's a stupid business, really. No one in their right mind would do what we do unless they have a ridiculous passion for it... and we do. We also wouldn't have survived this long ("thriving" in the nursery industry is surviving to open the next spring) without the support and straight-up love of our clients and friends who share our ridiculous passions. Thanks Y'all!  

    We are now "mostly closed" until mid-March-ish, weather dependent but we are delighted to hear from anyone with mountain gardening related questions, bid-requests, or product needs.  Call the shop and leave a message or send us an e-mail and we'll get back to you in a few days.  We are in and out of the shop almost daily all winter as the boys (cats) need feeding and attention and there is 5 months worth of bookkeeping and organizing to get done in the next 3 months.  Bright Solstice, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year. - e


  • A Fall Sale

    Fall Sale... there is so much to do... 
    Other than 10 years ago and last week, FALL really is the best time for planting here and we really have been bringing in truckloads of fresh crops every week. We also understand that fall is crowded with "chores" and that our eventual snows do curb planting enthusiasm. 
    So... Here's to Fall Planting Season and a Fall Sale at THE perfect time.

    At the risk of sounding like a broken record (we do wind-up saying the same things over and over), there is no BAD time to plant here, though digging through snow (or worse, frozen soil) adds to the adventure of preparing a hole. We are ALWAYS planting for NEXT spring when plants will emerge at the right time in your garden in rich amended soil and a much larger root-system than they had in the pot when they were planted in fall. The plants will look the way they're supposed to look in our mountain gardens. When we plant in fall, the wait for spring is not so long. 
    Fall weather is also cooler and easier on us and the tops of plants (reduced moisture loss) while the soil is continuing to warm (encouraging vital and precious root growth) until mid-November. There is no better time to plant. Deciduous woody trees and shrubs produce ~80% of their new roots in fall, AFTER they lose their leaves, and another ~20% in late winter, before leaves emerge. Conifers produce most of their roots in late winter, under the melting snow. The bigger the root system the more vigorous, robust and drought tolerant the plant. A wide planting hole, ample compost, plenty of organic fertilizers and mulch on top of the soil, all promote roots and thus healthy, vigorous plants.

    We are still bringing in fresh plant material weekly with more trucks arriving from our growing-grounds these next two weeks. There have been quite a few people asking. The inventory and selection is AMAZING and now, the PLANTS ARE ON SALE!  Sign up for our newsletter for details (I'm still finishing the newsletter).
  • "Shoulder Season"

    "Shoulder Season" in the travel industry came to mean the periods between high season and low season. In Truckee, since we have high season and high season, it should maybe be called "waist" season. The lake seems to experience this between seasons lul more than Truckee does these days. In the nursery, our busiest season is spring. We rapidly ramp-up from late April until early July when our business slowly tapers off into fall when, because FALL IS FOR PLANTING, we have a little bump in activity that quickly fades into the shoulder season: October and November when folks are otherwise occupied (gathering acorns or maybe wood). We reduce our hours and close on Sundays (we have to gather acorns too).  We still have planting projects and many landscapers are still active until the soils freeze or deep snow makes it impractical to dig. We plant a lot of bulbs and wildflower seed and the shoulder season is the best time for non-irrigated restoration / revegetation work.  The autumnal thermal overturn is just around the corner when soils begin to freeze and stay frozen (the perfect time to spread Biosol...everywhere). 

    "Ecology books speak of the "autumnal thermal overturn" when the average air temperature stays colder than the average soil temperature.  We hope for a good deep frost before the snows come because it is makes digging harder for voles.  'If ice skating is good the voles won't be as bad next spring'.  Deep in the soil the earth is consistently warm and once the blanket of insulating snow covers it, the soil begins to thaw allowing roots to continue expanding".  Wildflower seeding on top of the first 3" of snow is a technique that has worked very well for many."

    Winterizing the gardens and tying-up young plantings also occupies a bit of time in the shoulder season. Fall lawn care is essential. We stake and wrap the lower branches of trees and shrubs for the first 2-3 winters to protect their important "photosynthetic potential" (energy producing leaf surfaces) that feed the trunk to improve caliper and help develop good taper.

    Now is still a great time for planting all sorts of plants, we usually have some daily or weekly specials we post to FB or the chalkboard based on something we notice that we have a LOT of or that's just cool or interesting.  We ave begun to put the nursery away for the winter, tucking the pots into shade, giving them an anti-transpirant and tossing around plant-skydd animal repellent. Rob and crew will be out wrapping trees and shrubs once leaves fall and after that, we'll go cut a few Christmas trees.

  • Happy Earth Day (and Gawd we love Science)

    Happy Earth Day and a day for appreciation of science. My other degree (besides horticulture / ag.) is in cellular-molecular biology and I am happy to consider myself a scientist. The scientific method gives me a framework to observe, question, understand and organize all there is to learn in my mountain gardens, in this world and in this life. I am ever grateful for the amazing science, English and philosophy teachers I was privileged to study with. I am so fortunate to be in a position to keep experimenting and gathering data of my own and through all of you who share your methods and results with us on a daily basis. You teach us.  
     Growing up in the age of the Clean Air Act and the eventual Clean Water Act, I was ever hopeful that humans would or could "do the right thing". We have aimed, through the nursery, to "leave the world a better place". We promote, grow and offer native plants, bulbs and seeds that require a minimum of care. We use and encourage use of natural and organic fertilizers and composts to improve the soil biology, help clean the water and produce healthy, strong plants that will survive long after we've gone.  We think we have an amazing, intelligent, and curious clientele who largely share our intentions and we sincerely appreciate you all.  

     P.S. With that in mind, we do have a couple of positions available in the nursery this summer. As always we appreciate people who love helping others, who have a passion for plants (though not necessarily a deep knowledge of them as you can't help but learn while you are with us). If you or someone you know might be interested check here

  • Truckee-Tahoe Growing Season

    Truckee's "Frost-free Period" according to NOAA is July 15 to August 15. We have many years with far longer periods without frost and some years with far less.  With foresight and effort, Villager Nursery gives clients the tools to be successful in this challenging environment.  Hardy and mountain native trees, shrubs, perennials, wildflowers and bulbs can be planted from before snow-melt to after snow-fall.  

    Our soils are still warming and plant roots LOVE warm soil for growing.  Check our Villager-Nursery Facebook page for the most frequent updates and sign-up for our infrequent newsletters


  • Winter Watering January 2012

    People were pointing and actually laughing at us as they pulled off I-80 when we fired-up the irrigation system for the nursery and landscape this Friday (1/5).  Their loss I guess. We have been fielding calls every day, usually prefaced by "...this might be a stupid question but..." at which point I often interrupt and say "Yes, you should water" (...as though I could read minds).  In our Planting Instructions and Winterizing hand-outs, we say: "Maple, Birch and Alder are particularly susceptible to drought injury in late fall and winter. Always send your garden into winter with moist soil. The last watering is often around Thanksgiving. Even dormant trees need water, so... if we have no substantial rain or snow, water at least once a month, even through the winter."  Your plants are sleeping, they're not dead.
    In sunny locations if the snow is gone, trees and shrubs planted within the last 2 years, small plants, young plants and groundcovers would love to be watered.  We have been watering the sunny south-facing slopes in the nursery since we had that little rain last week.  I watered the sunniest parts of my exposed lawn earlier this week.  Think "light rain" when watering. You want to avoid saturating frozen soil and creating a solid ice layer that will suffocate roots and beneficial soil microbes but all those same components of soil need some moisture to survive. Water only during the warmest part of the day (when temps are well over 40°F) and give the water a chance to soak well in before afternoon shade and cooling sets in.
    This is a year when we are glad we promote antitranspirant applications and plenty of mulch.  

    Colorado State University has a handout on the subject and we are pretty much in agreement with what they say: look here.
    The temperatures turned dramatically cold this fall before many plants had a chance to naturally shut-down (many still have leaves on them). These would be more susceptible to winter die-back in a NORMAL winter. I am already seeing damage to some evergreens (Cedar and Giant Sequoia) and broadleaf evergreens (Holly, Oregon Grape and Manzanita). It will be yet another instructive winter seeing what really THRIVES in our always challenging climate... stay tuned.

Contact Villager

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

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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