Sunday, October 7, 2012

Getting Ready for Winter

Employee Vicki working hard potting
So I am out of space for all the plants I want to carry over for the winter already. Employee number two Vicki Peterson has generously offered her backyard for more space. I'd like to expand and have been wondering where I can get some more property for a cheap price.

Yesterday we were potting up the 36 ct. flats and 4" pots into one gallons. I don't think I can overwinter the 4" very successfully but I may be forced to do so. Went last week to my greenhouse supplier Hortmark in Capac, MI and got more pots and we've already used half of them. Looks like another run for supplies is in my future.

We potted small foxglove and sweet william from the 36's. Also potted up the terribly expensive "Hot Papaya" Echinacea or coneflower so I can get a better price on them. Even at the rock bottom clearance prices I haven't been able to sell enough plants. Thank you to Judy for supplying us with the earthworm compost that we have been adding to the soiless mix. Been reading about improving the biological activity of a soiless mix and it was recommended to add something like this. Ran out of the earthworm poop and am starting to use my composted manure bags. We'll see if it improves plant growth in the spring. Had trouble feeding plants like delphinium which are such heavy feeders. I hope this new mix helps hold nutrients in the soil.

So I think I'll take Vicki up on her offer and start trucking plants over to her house as we pot them up. Also have to get some frost blankets for the plants to help insulate them for winter. All the plants are cold hardy so the philosophy is to freeze them and then keep them cold through winter, thawing them out gradually in the spring.Pam - employee number one is coming over Tuesday and we will be potting some more 4", so I think we'll make a few runs to Vicki's house, which is conveniently only about 5 miles away, with our new transplants.

So I'd have to say the first season of Sage Advice nursery has been a tentative success. After starting in what one grower told me was the slowest time of the season, we did fairly well for a newcomer at the market. Starting to develop a few regulars who always stop by and look to see if I've brought anything new. I really appreciate those folks, they stop by and chat about their gardens and it makes for a more pleasant time at the markets. It is gratifying to help make others worlds more colorful and interesting. Here's to a bang up start for 2013!

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