Everything listed under: truckee gardens

  • October 2018

    So, our "Fall Sale" ended on the 14th.

    We have brought in so many trucks of fresh material throughout this year's fall planting season.  We have ANOTHER truckload of aspen arriving Wed / Thurs 10/17-18 and then another truck full of conifers, maples and native plants arriving on the 22nd.  It continues.

    Along with the aspen on this week's truck, we have more of the amazing, hardy, fast-growing, fall-coloring, and extremely large Acer ginnala (Flame and Tartarian Maples - Acer ginnala var ginnala = Amur Maple / Flame Maple; A. ginnala var. tartaricum = Tartarian / Hot Wings Maple).  We have dozens of these in a variety of sizes and we'll be offering them at 20% off through the month.  

    Eric cannot resist interesting hardy perennials and native wildflowers, thus, we have an abundance, possibly an over-abundance, and so, we will continue to have the 4", 6-pack and mud-flats of hardy perennials at 30% off (in order to reduce the winterizing work we have to do). Also, we'll offer 20% off all the #1g and up herbaceous perennials.  We reserve the right to give random deeper discounts for large purchases.

    AND, walking around the nursery, looking at all the amazing plants we have, I noticed a couple more we have an over-abundance of:  Physocarpus (nine bark), Syringa (Lilac - we brought in 100's for spring blooming), Spring Snow crabapples (an absolute cloud or solid blooms EVERY spring), and, still, for Glenshire folk, Pinus monophyla (Piñon Pine).  ALL these will be 30% off through the end of the month....

    One, more thing.... In our "challenging" soils, when you go to the trouble to dig a hole for a tree, shrub or perennial, add compost and organic fertilizer... DON'T waste the hole by filling it in without at least tossing in a few bulbs.  This time of year, we say, NEVER waste a planting hole!

    Winterizing Class with Rob VanDyke 10/20

  • A Very Brief Overview of Mountain Vegetable Gardening

    In Truckee, our "average last date of frost", the day when the chance of frost drops below 15%, is July 15 and our "average date of first frost" is August 15. It is important to aways have floating row-cover "frost cloth" on hand. It is a spun-bonded polyester fabric developed for frost protection in the late 70's and it is much better for plants than sheets or plastic sheeting. It allows air, water and light through it while trapping warmth. 

    Our brief gardening class handout explains a little more:  High Sierra Organic Gardening

  • "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.

  • FALL PLANT SALE

    FALL PLANT SALE 9/15 - 10/15/2017
    Right NOW is the sweet-spot for mountain gardeners: Villager Nursery has a huge, fresh selection, the plants are on sale AND it's the best time for planting everything AND its the most comfortable time for planting.  Visit our Facebook page, our website Referencespage and come by the nursery soon to shop the sale for the best choices.  If you found this newsletter on-line or via Facebook, sign-up to receive your very own.


  • 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

  • April-May 2016

    Wow, a "Normal" winter-Spring.  Lots of new faces to gardening in Truckee. Welcome. The edibles trend IS a cultural shift and it is excellent. We were the ONLY source for solid gardening information and education for many decades and as more and more folks experiment and learn on their own, they are becoming valuable assets and mentors in the gardening community. Thank You.

    We have always felt extremely fortunate to have jobs we love and to have the opportunity to share with and learn from thousands of individuals each year with as many disparate gardening and landscaping experiences.  We essentially garden vicariously through all these wonderful people.  Slow Food Lake Tahoe and Lake Tahoe Master Gardeners have been putting together some fun classes that we dropped the ball on this spring.

    We hope to make the time to put together our usual Summer-Fall Class series this year... stay tuned.  We are ALWAYS open to new ideas for classes.  

    Don't Forget!... We do have an event the first weekend in June (Fri-Sat, June 3-4).  Our EIGTH annual FREE Kellogg Planting days (See elsewhere on the website for details).  It is always a blast and always busy and Giselle is THE fountain of information for ALL things compost, organic related.  PLEASE ask her your toughest questions.  She teaches classes in Nevada, Humboldt & Mendocino counties as well as across the nation.  Oh, we'll have MINI-seminars on a variety of subjects on the 3rd & 4th... (see elsewhere for details).  Visit our Facebook page or LIKE us for more up-to-date information.


  • Smart Mountain Lawns

     

    Our Truckee Donner PUD irrigation days are Tuesday and Friday and lawn's are our largest outdoor consumer of water yet they are not as bad as they are often made out to be. They clean volumes of air pollutants and dust and they produce vast amounts of oxygen and they give us an outdoor room where our children can run. (“Plant containers, trees, shrubs, groundcover, and vegetable gardens may be watered as needed when using automatic drip irrigation or hand watering.”) Please Share this.

    My lawn tips: • Keep lawns small. Sheet Mulching is an easy method of reducing your extra turf without injuring tree roots. Mow tall and leave the clippings. Lawns mowed to ≥3" use less water, have far fewer weeds, require less fertilization and require less frequent mowing than short lawns. The longer blades photosynthesize far better (feeding and encouraging deeper roots) and they shade the soil surface (reducing temp's, moisture loss and impeding weed growth). • Aerate and Topdress (with a deep-tine or plugger aerator - Truckee Rents) twice a year (or at least once) and then top dress with your own mature compost or bags of Kellogg Topper (a fine screened mature compost). Aeration opens compacted soils and allows for deeper water penetration and better aeration (healthy soils, roots, microbes NEED oxygen). Topdressing compost adds humus that helps soil hold much more water, reserve nutrients and supports microorganisms that break-down lawn clippings, digest & excrete organic fertilizers and protect the lawn from pathogens. We apply 2cu.ft. over 200 sq.ft. and it defies logic that it helps as well as it does. It really helps lawns retain moisture through the summer. • Use organic fertilizers. We usually apply BIOSOL (food-grade organic cottonseed & soy meals that have been completely digested by fungi :) in fall. Biosol seems to minimize rodent damage under snow in "normal" winters and releases throughout the rest spring and summer. We use G&B Organic Lawn Fertilizer in spring (and at a lighter rate every time we aerate & topdress) to give lawn a little boost while the living microorganisms in the fertilizer go to work digesting the brown straw (no, it's not "thatch") left over after every winter. • Water deeply and infrequently. In a normal summer I'll water 3 days a week in July & August but 2/week June & Sept. and occasionally, as needed in the shoulders. This summer I'll water Tuesday & Friday. Break-up your irrigation on watering days. For example, if you put your gauge out on the lawn and found it takes 30 minutes to apply 1/2" of water, then water for 10 minutes at 5am, 10 min at 6am and 10 min at 7am. Like a light rain, the first watering, wets the soil, breaks the surface tension and allows the next watering to go deeper without running-off, the third, allows water even deeper into the soil. Do not water for 10 minutes at 5am, 10 min at hood and 10min at 5pm as the moisture will simply evaporate & transpire without getting to the deepest roots that you are really trying to encourage.  This is especially important if you have any slope to your lawn or if you planted sod (often grown in dense Nevada clay). Syringing is a technique, used in the hottest weeks, where we apply 1-2 minutes of water to the lawn, near the hottest time of day (on your lawn) in order to cool the grass blades, increase humidity and halt evapotranspiration (moisture loss) for a few hours which actually saves much more water than it uses. On those Tuesdays & Thursdays, in July & August, you might try this at ~about~ 2:00pm.  Watering late in the day is generally discouraged because moist leaf surfaces at night invite disease.  • If you have dandelions it is a strong indicator of poor soil (bluegrass in rich soil, will not allow many weeds). Aerate & top dress more frequently and avoid chemical fertilizers.  There is a relatively new natural selective herbicide (Natria) of chelated iron, that kills broadleaf plants in lawns without killing grass.

    Bluegrass can go many months without water in a summer dormant state and come back to life when moisture returns. Turf-type Tall Fescues are slightly more drought tolerant in a daily basis but will die in a month without any water. Fine Fescues Meadow Blend (meadow-like grasses) are shade tolerant and can stay green on once a week watering and once a month mowing. Native Grass Blend is six species we selected for relatively short growth, drought tolerance and the ability to thrive when grazed (or mowed occasionally). Clover added to a lawn at 1/4-1/2 lb / 1000 sq.ft. reduces the lawn's need for fertilizers, improves the color of the grass and the lawn as a whole, improves the soil, and is NOT a weed in lawns. Bluegrass is a weed, that's why it makes such durable turf.

     

  • 2015 TDPUD Emergency Drought Regulations Hardship Exemption Request APPROVED

    Our request for an exemption to the 2015 TDPUD Emergency Drought Regulations (on behalf of the community) was approved this afternoon (6/3/15) for "Plant containers, trees, shrubs, groundcover, and vegetable gardens may be watered as needed when using automatic drip irrigation or hand watering." You can still have your planter boxes THIS summer. Be sure to use water-holding gel in your containers and MULCH your landscapes! NO BARE SOIL! We STILL have to reduce our overall water consumption by 28%. Tuesday & Friday for lawns, established landscapes and any spray heads and as needed for efficient drip irrigation. PUD

     

    We spent 5 stress filled days researching other districts, communicating with the PUD, discussing options, drafting proposals and ultimately submitting the request for exemption that they ultimately approved.


  • Education & Villager 2015 SPRING Classes

    Villager 2015 Spring Classes - When I first worked with Villager Nursery in 1984 (~8 years after the existing florist was purchased) we began giving classes & sending out informational newsletters. Education in natural sciences gave me a strong bent toward environmentally conscious organic landscaping including natural pest controls and using as many drought tolerant and mountain-native plants as possible. Rob joined us just 2 years later and taught us the wonders of bat guano, worm castings and many organic fertilizers.  The tradition of education and working WITH our ecosystem, continues to this day. We are very disappointed and concerned about the drought AND we have been promoting drought tolerant landscaping and native plants since 1984. Most folks water far more than they need to. Back to the reason for this post, our SPRING class schedule is here if you'd like to see it. For MORE info sign-up for our VERY occasional e-mail newsletters and visit us (better yet, do LIKE us) on Facebook.


  • Fall & Holiday Reflections on 2014

    We had another LONG autumn season and we all gardened and landscaped and harvested and planted well into November and even into December. The average air temperatures and nighttime lows were WELL above average for months and the soils were accumulating solar energy (warmth) for an extra long time. On top of that we had a few rain and snow showers here and there that added some moisture to the soil and kept relative humidity slightly elevated for some periods.  All-in-all a great fall for planting & growing. Deciduous trees installed this past summer and fall should have put-on tremendous root expansion and will be far better off come spring when they use those larger root systems to take-up resources.

    The PUD’s state mandated 2-day a week watering was a God-send for improved fall color. Too many folks water too much too often as it is, especially in late summer / early fall when we need to be letting plants know it’s time to begin acclimating to cold for winter. Some deep cold followed by very mild temps gave plants a long acclimatization period that meant excellent fall colors for us all to thoroughly enjoy.  We were able to see and appreciate, as we do with bulbs and perennials, early, mid and late fall color plants.  Amur maple one of the earliest and serviceberry one of the latest.

    We brought-in a truck-load of quaking aspen and shapely blue spruce late in October. The aspen (bomb-proof weeds that they are) are used to create snow-catch & shade for other overwintering plants and the spruce for living Christmas trees.  We almost sold-out of both with the extended planting season and I’m a fraud we disappointed a few living Christmas tree devotés.

    Harvesting high-elevation cut silvertip Christmas trees can and is done (by some) in October. It is ideal to wait until they have had quite a few days of extreme cold to insure they are fully acclimated to their normally harsh winter environment before harvest. It is also best to harvest as close to Christmas as possible. These two conditions mean that we often only have one to two days to get out there and do our thinning job before snows make it impossible to continue. This year we waited and waited and waited for cold, finally harvesting in the couple of days before Thanksgiving.  We did see a slight increase in needle-drop over the usual but still not much when compared to douglas fir.  Our plantation-grown noble fir were incredibly lush and dense after the heavy rains and snow they received in the northern coast range where they’re farmed.  The rains and warm snows throughout December kept them in their prime.  It also helps that we keep all but the few on display in deep shade under row-cover.

    We had nearly 100 pre-ordered Christmas trees and most folks have already put-in their order for December 2015. Let us know if you are interested; the pre-orders get the pick-of-the litter. We cut a few extra 4-5’ white & red fir this year and since the Boy Scouts and Optimists were more-or less sold-out by the 22nd, we were happy to, as usual, provide trees for folks arriving to their second-homes or vacation rentals at the last-minute.  We tried to close by noon on the 24th but Jose stayed-open ‘till well past 2:00 helping folks.  Friends and colleagues with nurseries are surprised that we try to NOT sell-out of Christmas trees.  The B.S.A. and Optimists clean-up and leave their lots. They don’t have to see the faces of disappointed parents and children when you tell them the trees are all gone. We do see them and we’d rather turn a hand-full of thinned or plantation farmed trees into organic mulch than disappoint a mini-van full of kids excited for Christmas.  We provided 100's of yards of garland and 100's of wreaths from one to six feet across. (due to an ordering snafu, we have 3 rolls of fresh garland left - and we'll be open Friday-Sunday the 2nd-4th)

    SO, 2014 was fun, crazy, fast and in the past.  Cheers!   Here’s to you and yours, wishing you all a healthy and very happy 2015!!!


  • Truckee Trees, Truckee Bulbs, Truckee Seeds, Truckee Shrubs, Truckee Perennials

    In the populated locations of the Sierra Nevada (or the Rockies for that matter) the climate does not get much more challenging than it does in Truckee, Glenshire & Hirschdale.  Trees, Shrubs, Perennials, Groundcovers, Bulbs and Seeds that thrive in Truckee, plants that the Villager Nursery offers, will grow well anywhere in the mountain west.  Really.  We have MANY wonderful clients from Reno, Colfax, Nevada City, Downieville, Quincy, Portola, Meyers and more mountain-top, glacial valley and upper foothill locations.

    Fall sales are "technically" over, and we have one more load of trees arriving approx. 10/25.  We are like the trees at the Villager these days... changing color but not yet dropping our leaves.  We have begun cutting back perennials and fertilizing with Biosol and Gardner & Bloome but we have not yet begun putting the plants into the shade for winter.  Fall IS for planting and, in the sun at least, the soil is actually still accumulating the warmth that encourages root system expansion.  

    Do not forget to keep your plants and lawns moist.  It does not take much but do not let your plants dry out. Once a week-or-so is probably plenty, less often in shade.  Hopefully you got the memo and  mulched ALL bare soil with Gromulch and wood chips to reduce moisture loss, keep out weeds, reduce temperature swings in the roots and to feed the soil.  Winterizing Class Saturday 10/26 from 10-11am. ($5-ish donation to the Farwest Nordic Junior Ski Program).

    Get your BIOSOL now before we run out again.  Sign-up for the newsletter to receive wonderful coupons and timely advice. Check-in with us or even "Like" us on Facebook just for the fun of it. Or look for the BIOSOL give-away deal!

  • Truckee Trees, Truckee Bulbs, Truckee Seeds, Truckee Shrubs, Truckee Perennials

    In the populated locations of the Sierra Nevada (or the Rockies for that matter) the climate does not get much more challenging than it does in Truckee, Glenshire & Hirschdale.  Trees, Shrubs, Perennials, Groundcovers, Bulbs and Seeds that thrive in Truckee, plants that the Villager Nursery offers, will grow well anywhere in the mountain west.  Really.  We have MANY wonderful clients from Reno, Colfax, Nevada City, Downieville, Quincy, Portola, Meyers and even many more high foothill to summit locations.

    Fall sales are "technically" over, and we have one more load of trees arriving approx. 10/25.  We are like the trees at the Villager these days... changing color but not yet dropping our leaves.  We have begun cutting back perennials and fertilizing with Biosol and Gardner & Bloome but we have not yet begun putting the plants into the shade for winter.  Fall IS for planting and, in the sun at least, the soil is actually still accumulating the warmth that encourages root system expansion.  

    Do not forget to keep your plants and lawns moist.  It does not take much but do not let your plants dry out. Once a week-or-so is probably plenty, less often in shade.  Hopefully you got the memo and  mulched ALL bare soil with Gromulch and wood chips to reduce moisture loss, keep out weeds, reduce temperature swings in the roots and to feed the soil.  Winterizing Class Saturday 10/26 from 10-11am. ($5 donation to the Farwest Nordic Foundation).

    UNTIL we start putting plants away (~after Halloween):  

    20% OFF Trees and Shrubs*    

    *except the spruce we've just brought in for living holiday decor.

    40% OFF 4" & Quart Perennials (not woody)

    30% OFF #1g and larger Perennials

    Awesome and hardy wildflower-type bulbs, Garlic and more.  Wildflower seeds for Tahoe, Truckee and the High Sierra along with, always, the best advice for far-better-than-average successes.  

    Pumpkins: 3.99 each.

    Get your BIOSOL now before we run out.  Sign-up for the newsletter to receive wonderful coupons ad timely advice. Check-in with us or even "Like" us on Facebook just for the fun of it.

  • Start Sweet Peas Today

    I told Rob that we'd be getting a big storm because I'd just ordered 30 flats of hardy color and hardy veggies.  The plants arrived on Friday and the storm on Tuesday.

    Today is another spring gardening landmark day. 

    April 1st is the day we put sweet pea seeds in the ground.

    Sweet Peas need a fairly long season  AND they can tolerate cold. They also like sun, so they're usually planted in the first spots to melt off.  I'm not planting mine today, the snow is too deep today.  Here's what you do.

    Pick up some cool pastel, hyper-fragrant,  heirloom sweet peas (like 'April in Paris') from your favorite Garden Center.

    Soak the seeds overnight in a glass of water, change the water before you go to bed.

    In the morning, put the seeds into a folded paper towel.  Fold the paper a little more with the seeds inside and dribble some water on it.  Put the moist paper towel containing the seeds into a plastic bag and set it someplace dark and warm.  I put mine on top of the refrigerator.

    - Prepare the soil where you'll be planting by digging in a little compost, Gromulch or Amend, a little lime (oyster shell, dolomite, etc...), and some Dr. Earth Life fertilizer (it has bacterial innoculum that legumes associate with).  I dig a 4" trench along a south facing wall and amend the trench all at once, smooth it out and then make a 1" furrow where I'll put the seeds.   If the spot is not melted off, wait to start the seeds.

    You don't want them growing indoors.  If they come up in the cold, they can take frost.  If they are grown indoors and transplanted, they suffer in frost.

    Look at the seeds in 2-3 days (it may take 4-5).  As soon as you see a little radicle* emerge you'll plant them 1-3" apart and  1" deep. *(the radicle is the little white shoot, that the embryo sends out to become the root)  Sweet Peas need support as soon as they emerge.  I stapled bird netting to the back of a redwood trellis. It works well and looks nice.

    (ed. Pam McAdoo) 

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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