Everything listed under: Truckee Houseplants

  • January

    In mid-winter, Villager Nursery is "mostly closed". January and February we catch-up on paperwork, repair, clean, organize a bit, once in a while.  If the sign says we are CLOSED... well, yep.  Apologies.  If the gate is OPEN and the sign says OPEN as it may be, now and again on sunny winter days, PLEASE stop in. We do have a few indoor bulbs left as well as some houseplants we are growing and maintaining.  If you need something, please feel free to call and leave a message or e-mail us.  March is very early spring and we'll start opening again then depending on the weather.  Pray for snow. Get out and enjoy it. Happy New Year!  See you soon.Soliel d'Or

     

  • 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.

     

  • 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.

  • Truckee Gardening Season

    Our gardening season and our "growing season" are not the same. We were gardening in February this year, planting shrubs we didn't get to in the fall as well as seeds and bulbs we forgot we had.  MANY clients were preparing their raised-beds and planting beet and radish seeds. The could have been plating seedlings of chard and kale as well. The best spinach I've ever had was grown from seedlings I planted in early April that then laid covered with snow for 2+ weeks. Our growing season, according to NOAA, is our "frost-free period", when we have less than a 10% chance of ≤ 32°F on any given night, is July 15-August 15.  July 31 is the middle of our growing season.

    Our "average" temperatures are derived from wildly fluctuating daily temperatures at all times of the year. The average gives us a rough guide with which we make wildly fluctuating guesses at how cold it might get on any given day.  That said, it is a tool, much like the USDA zones or the useless-to-mountain-folk Sunset western zones (see Northeastern for a more useful tool).  I've posted this pic of our chalkboard before but it "bears repeating".

    Here is a graph of an "average" winter (temperature-wise). Jan15, 2013-Jan 14, 2014. For interest, note where the "average" nighttime low is ≥32° and where the average daytime temps average ≥70°F.

    I think that, without a greenhouse, our "average" mountain gardening season in Truckee is about March 15 - November 1 (or 15).  It is a matter of taking advantage of clear and warm conditions, choosing the right plants and crops and being able to protect the harvests of others (see RowCover). If you have an unheated greenhouse you can add 3-6 weeks on either end of that gardening season for some veggies. 

    I have planted hardy annuals in February MANY times with great success (pansy, viola, dianthus, calendula, stock, primrose) and I have also planted dormant trees and shrubs in December, January, February and March with excellent success.

  • Happy Halloween and Biosol is Back in Stock!

    We bring in tons of material late to encourage fall planting because it is GOOD FOR YOUand then we put much of it on sale to reduce our overwintering efforts.  Also, plants are always happier in the ground than in pots and WE LIKE HAPPY PLANTS.
    SO - until we finish putting plants away... in the next couple of weeks... the Final Sales are:
    ALL Outdoor Bulbs: 20% off* (*of ¢ or $/ea price),
    Hardy Trees* and Shrubs are 20% (*except spruce we JUST brought in for Living Christmas Trees).
    4' & Qt. Hardy Perennials are 50% off,
    ≥ #1g Hardy Perennials are 40% off,
    All the bagged composts, manures and potting soils are "buy 4-get 1 free",
    We have a pallet and a rack full of "orphan" plants of all sizes for cheap,
    Pottery over 14" dia. and all redwood planters: 30% off,
    Outside Garden Art: 30% off (gift ideas?)
    & Pumpkins are $3.99 (1 free to anyone under 6  from 10/28-10/31 while they last).  Happy Halloween.


  • Truckee - Tahoe Christmas Trees 2012

    2012 Villager Nursery Christmas Offerings

    The Villager boys (all of us) go out for several days each November and harvest fresh, high elevation silvertip Christmas trees from snowy mountain tops (talk about a work-out).  With the incredible fall we enjoyed this year, we had to wait and wait and wait until it got cold enough to harvest (if we harvest before the deep cold, the trees don't hold-up in your home). 

    And, of course, as soon as it was cold enough to harvest we received enough snow to keep us out of much of the high country.  In spite of chains and slippery slopes and post-holing through snow atop brush, we managed to bring down a few good loads of nice Silvertip.  We also harvested some very full white fir from slightly lower.  We may yet get out to harvest a few more.

    We also brought down 150 BEAUTIFUL fresh Noble Fir from a great little grower, high in the Oregon coast range.  Troy (the grower) uses compost teas and organic fertilizers for superior trees. He actually measures for degrees Brix (°Bx: sugar content) of his fir needles and compares his to other growers. His have far more sugar and as a result, hold more water, last much longer and are more aromatic.   We have Noble Fir from 5-14'.  

    Troy harvests a portion of our Noble Fir with more natural form ("Open Grade"). These have the tiers of branches with space for ornaments (like Silvertip) but with twice as many branches, rich green color and the superior Noble Fir fragrance.

    While many tree lots sell through thousands of trees, Villager nursery usually sells 2-300.  We have 50 or so for folks that pre-order in September and October and we cut-to-order Silvertips up to 25ft. tall.  It is not to late to reserve a tree: call or e-mail to let us know what you'd like so we can tag it and keep it in the shade.

    We usually only sell a third of our trees before the 18th of December and the bulk between the 19-22nd:  4 busy days after weeks of taking care of them and shaking off the snow. The trees stay very fresh in our "refrigerated" climate.

    If you're interested in living trees we have hardy Colorado and Engelmann Spruce.  Our care instructions here and Spruce planting instructions here.

    As always we have a large selection of wreaths from 19in. to 6ft.  We have mixed and fresh cedar garland by the 75ft. roll or by the foot.  We have mistletoe, greens by the pound, swags, etc...  Sales of our super-full 23" mixed wreaths support a non-profit horticultural training center, providing training and employment opportunities to men and women with varying developmental disabilities.  We've been offering their wreaths since 1984.

    In the shop we have beautiful ornaments, candles, soaps, and a nice selection of subtle holiday accoutrements.

    We are still here.  The lights are still on. 

    Merry Christmas to anyone who might read this!  Thanks so much for keeping us alive.

    Eric Larusson

    Villager Nursery, Inc

    Truckee, CA

  • Happy Birthday Villager

    December 1, 1975 - December 1, 2013

    We have continued to grow and branch and flower and fruit and hedge and adapt in order to offer our clients an interesting, useful and beautiful selection of plant materials and products that insure your successes.  "We've killed thousands of plants, testing them in our own gardens, so our clients won't have to."

    Our Founder, Jeanette Harper and a partner finalized the purchase of the existing florist in the Gateway center 12/1/1975 and celebrated with Champagne in the office of the Gateway Motel with Roxie Arche and Azad McIver (Our current location is Azad's old home and dairy). 

    Eric showed-up in 1984 and Rob a couple of years after that.  Quite a few nurseries have come and gone in Truckee in 38 years. Some only lasted a season some for a decade or more.  We needed to move our nursery from Gateway to our current home in 1999. The reality is that Truckee is a ridiculous place to run a retail nursery. It seems that you have to be crazy. We also happen to be fanatical botanists and ecologists hell-bent on providing education and materials to local gardeners to show them that they CAN succeed in this harsh climate.

    We've thought that we could just offer the 20% of the plants that 80% of clients ask for and we'd be probably be profitable ... But what about the other 80% of really cool unique native and hardy plants that people SHOULD be using..? And what about that 20% of customers who LOVE natives or thrill at really cool, unique plants, bulbs and seeds from the far coldest corners and peaks around the globe?  It's more interesting the way we've been growing.  We are continually aware that we have YOU to thank for keeping us rooted in Truckee.  Thank You!

    Villager Nursery: helping mountain gardens thrive since 1975.  Experience you can trust / Information you can use.

  • WINTERIZING YOUR GARDEN

    Here are a couple of pertinent links:

    Winterizing your Mountain Garden.pdf

    Tree Winterizing Instructions.pdf

    Tahoe Arts and Mountain Culture

    In spite of the moisture we received last week in the form of snow, the soils are still quite warm and this is the best time of year for planting.  The beauty of the snow (besides the literal beauty) is that it   s l o w l y  infiltrated our parched soils. It was a nice, slow, deeply penetrating watering.  Perfect for native and landscape plants to increase fall root-system expansion.

    October IS Planting Season.  Once the leaves fall, woody deciduous plants (trees and shrubs) begin expanding their root systems.  Our soils are warm, we'll get a little precipitation, the summer's worth of photosynthates are shuttled and stored in stems, trunks and roots. The root systems use this stored energy to grow. Most conifers ("evergreens") produce the majority of their root expansion very early in spring (March, April).  AND perennials planted THIS fall will rise aggressively larger and will grow and bloom in their appropriate seasons next summer.  We always remind clients that with perennials, you areplanting-for-NEXT-year, and when you plant in fall, you don't have to wait as long for spring. There is really no other time to plant bulbs so... for the next month... Dig, Drop, Done. Bulbs are the easiest perennial color in your garden.  We have a great selection of animal-proof Narcissus (every shape, size and bloom time) as well as wildflower-like alliums that are almost never touched by critters.  Bulb Class Hand-Out

    - If you missed the last newsletter, register for our occasional newsletters here for more specials coming soon.

  • Garden Tour Notes and Cart-Load SALE

    The Lake of the Sky Garden Tour was across the north shore on Saturday. Thanks to all the incredible volunteers in the garden club who organized the tour, delivered the tickets and hosted the gardens.  And especially THANKS to the homeowners who dressed-up, tidied and added a little extra color here and there before opening their gardens to 1,000 enthusiastic visitors.  Some of us don't have much opportunity to visit lake-front gardens and that is always an added treat.  Highlights and reminders for me were Helenium spp. a VERY under appreciated and under-used wildflower-daisy that blooms mid-late summer in rich autumn shades. It is seldom eaten by deer.  Crocosmia 'Lucifer' dominated many gardens with it's RED.  Annuals can be perfect, mixed into perennial gardens for continuous color. Even a very small waterfall is a nice addition to a garden.  

    The Villager is having a BIG SALE this week.  25% off any plants or seeds you can put on a cart.  One time, one cart, one customer with coupon from the newsletter.  Plus other specials.  We received our LAST portion of the shrub-form #5g Chokecherries last week and they are going quickly. reg 44.99 for 19.99.  

    NOLO BaitWe also just brought in NOLO bait (Nosema locustae) a protozoan that kills ±90 species of grasshoppers (Melanoplus group), locusts, and mormon crickets (a type of grasshopper).  They are BAD this year and we have started seeing lots of damage.  They are attracted to and eat the bait, become infected, slow and die. Then the other grasshoppers eat them, and become infected and so-on. It is a slow acting and debilitating disease that offers long-term management of grasshopper populations AND there is some Nosema carryover to the next year. It is harmless to any other creatures.  (We have Corry's if you want Carbaryl).

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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