Nursery Update – Week of April 2, 2021

This week continues to bring new signs of spring, even if the weather has turned back into winter.  We’ve got a lot of new growth going on at the nursery, both for the near term and long term future.  

Our seedlings are coming along well.  We mentioned some of the varieties that we are growing for sale in our last update. We’ve also placed a wholesale order of 3 kinds of bare root strawberries that we’re going to wake up in little pots to sell (Strawberries are coming from Wagner Family Nursery in Slippery Rock, PA).  

The strawberries varieties we will have are:

Honeoye– Popular, versatile start that works well in the north. Heavy yields of very large, sweet fruit, and excellent winter tolerance. Honeoye is great for both the backyard and U-Pick operations.

Sequoia Springbearer – One of the best tasting berries ever. Fruits like an everbearer under certain conditions (warm), in colder climates they are June bearing. 

Eversweet Everbearer™ – Fruits throughout Spring, Summer, and Fall, even when temperatures are over 90 degrees . Outstanding flavor, and works well in bedding plants packs and in hanging  baskets.   Eversweet™ shows very good results all over the USA. Works well in hanging baskets.

We have other varieties in our yard like Earlyglo, Albion, and Flavorfest, which we don’t really have for sale, but if you’d like some runners let me know, I’d be happy to share.  

We also got a couple of plants for future propagation, and hopefully for enjoying their fruits at home.  We ordered a fruiting ground cover offer from Jung seeds and nursery.  This offer includes Pilgrim Cranberries and Lingonberries.  This was the first time I ever ordered anything from Jungs, and the plants showed up well packed and healthy.  This summer I will just allow the plants to grow and establish roots, next year I will work on propagating through cuttings.  The Lingonberry plant came with lots of flowers, so, who knows we may even have some fruit this year.  The only place I’ve ever eaten Lingonberries is Ikea, so I’m interested in seeing what can be done with fresh lingonberries.  If you have any ideas on recipes, let me know!  

Speaking of fruit, last year we planted 2 varieties of bush cherries.  We planted 2 Nanking Bush Cherries and 3 Hansen’s Bush Cherries (both of which we obtained from Gurney’s nursery).   The Nanking bush is flowering right now and it is amazingly beautiful!  When I was pruning them this spring, there was a largeish branch crowding out another, so after making the cut I decided to stick it in some dirt after cutting it, wouldn’t you know that the curring has rooted and is also blooming!  I wasn’t sure if bush cherries would reproduce well through rooting, many fruit trees need to be grafted, but if this turns out well I may reproduce these bush cherries through cutting in the future.  The Hansen’s variety are alive, but look like they will just leaf out and not flower this year.  I’m happy that they even survived, last spring when I planted them they got chomped down by deer.  I’ve since put up some minimum deer protection and look forward to seeing them leaf out this year, and hopefully flower and fruit within a couple years. 

Photo of cherry branch with a couple blossoms opened but most of them still closed.
Nanking bush cherry blossom. This blossom was a little damaged by the frost last night, but I will update with photos as more of the buds open.

We also made even more free seed packets for our Little Free Library, and we have seen that some folks have stopped by and taken some of the seeds! This past weekend we made packets of cilantro, aji rico, Panamanian sweet peppers, basil, and more! It was great working with Liliana to make the seed packets.  She also took several seed packets to her school for her teacher and classmates! I really enjoyed having her help on this project!  

Image of 8 year old girl stuffing a small envelope with seeds from a brown paper bag.
Liliana making some seed packets of aji criollo, a Panamanian sweet pepper. Ignore the clutter in the background, everything from our basement is now in our garage while our basement is being remodeled.

Another things we got going on, a free deliery of wood chips. Arborist woodchips are a great mulch for trees, shrubs, and perennials. I saw a local tree service cutting down a tree down the street and asked them if they wanted to dump in my yard, which they were more than happy to do. They have to pay to dispose of the chips normally. There is a service that connects people to arborist for woodchips, chipdrop. I did not go through chipdrop, I just walked down the street and asked the crew. It worked out very well. I regret not getting the company’s name, I’d love to give them a should out. I have a couple of beds that need reworked, and I will put this load of woodchips to good use!

Image of pile of woodchips at the end of driveway.
THe best things in life are free, like this pile of woodchips. It also helps the arborist not have to pay to dispose of this valuable resource.

Overall I’m very grateful for what we have going on.  When you’re relying on plants, especially grown from seed, anything can happen.  A fungal disease can wipe them all out or you could have poor germination rates.  While we do what we can to maintain best practices to avoid these outcomes, we rely on luck, chance and faith for a lot of this.  Our plants have been doing very well, and we’re enjoying the journey raising the plants to be healthy and vigorous.  We are still working on getting some ornamental shrubs to sell this season and will keep you up to date on our progress.  We’ll also post some of the other items we will have for sale, like canvas grow bags, grow lights, and more.  Thank you for reading, and we will post the events we will be attending this growing season.  Wishing you a great spring season and very happy gardening.  

Starting the process of hardening off our seedlings. that have sprouted so far.

“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow” Audrey Hepburn

Published by scottmeneely

Gardener passionate about organic gardening, fresh food, sustainable landscaping, home brewing, and much more! Our nursery also includes my wife and 2 kids. We work together, learn together, and travel together. My wife is Panamanian and we try to grow lots of good Latin American ingedients. We live in Baldwin, Pennsylvania in the South Hills of Pittsburgh.

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