Welcome and greetings from Skillin's Greenhouses where we have been gardening and Planting the Planet in Maine and beyond since 1885!
For more info about Skillin's check us out at http://www.skillins.com/ OR stop by one of our 3 retail locations (directions and so much more can be found at http://www.skillins.com/!)
We received this great email question a day or two ago and Terry Skillin gave this great response:
"question....why are there no acorns on my very mature oak...usually are hundreds???"
Here is Terry's answer:
"Our great grandfather Pa Skillin would have said "it is because there will be little snow this winter". But more than likely there are other factors involved.
The two most likely candidates would be the tough April weather may have reduced the insect world's ability to pollinate and then much of the fruit that was able to start to form may have been aborted because of the very dry summer and early fall. From May to the end of August the Great Portland area has received 19 less inches of rain than usual. "
Lack of rain also appears to be leading to premature leaf drop among some of the needled evergreens in Skillin's Country. Our nursery staff is getting lots of questions about juniper and arborvitae needles that are losing their green color, then turning yellow and orange and dropping to the ground. Usually such leaf drop occurs well into October as the weather turns cooler. But as Terry mentioned in the Oak answer, the drought of July and August has hit existing plant material hard and events like leaf drop among needled evergreens is happening early. White pines will almost certainly be dropping their needles a little early.
How can you combat this premature leaf drop? Make sure your needled evergreens and any other plant material showing early signs of stress (yellow leaves, leaf spots) get several good slow waterings over the next few weeks. You can do this by merely bringing your garden hose right to the base of your plant and letting the water run our very slowly so the water seeps slowly and steadily into the ground without creating runoff. Got large stressed plant material? Let the water run slowly for several hours if you need. Believe me the plants will drink up the water.
Also, your plants may be starving for nutrients. If you have not done so for awhile, give your evergreens a good feeding of Holly Tone by Espoma (http://www.espoma.com/) . Give your deciduous (plants that drop their leaves in the winter) a good feeding of either Plant Tone by Espoma or Pro Gro by North Country Organics (http://www.norganics.com/) . Your plants will thank you and thank you!
Let us know at email@example.com if you have any questions OR you can call us at the contact numbers shown at http://www.skillins.com/ or of course you may stop by one of our locations.
Some exciting news from American Nurseryman magazine about the benefits of utilizing interior plants. The numbers quoted here pertain to commercial situations but the benefits can easily be translated into our homes as well as businesses:
“An adequate installation of interior plants in a modern sealed office structure could save US companies $129 billion through indoor air improvements….companies could save as much as $58 billion by preventing sick-building illnesses and $200 billion in worker-performance.
Interior plants can enhance worker productivity by 12 percent. Studies through Texas A & M University and Washington State University show an adequate installation of plants can significantly lower workplace stress, decrease fatigue and enhance productivity.
Proper selection and placement of plant materials can lower heating and cooling costs by as much as 20 percent. According to the International Society of Arboriculture, the net cooling effect of one young, healthy tree is equivalent to 10 room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day.” That is amazing!
We have a great selection of indoor plants and plenty of people who can give you great advice! Indoor plants are easy to take for granted but as you can see from above the value they give to us all is astounding. One healthy tree is worth 10 room-sized air conditioners! Wow!
Many lawns and gardens and maybe yours too were absolutely infested by Japanese Beetles in July and August. Also over the fall and winter our soil and plants can be plagued by moles (and skunks) are actually digging in the ground looking for tasty white Japanese Beetle grubs. The best long-term cure for Japanese Beetle grubs is a product called Milky Spore Bacteria. This bacteria has been developed to be specifically deadly to beetle grubs only. It is an all natural product that does not harm plants, soil or any other parts to the environment except for Japanese Beetles. We sell Milky Spore in a powder form that is applied systematically to your lawn and garden area. We also sell Milky Spore in a granular form that can be easily spread with a lawn spreader. Once the soil is inoculated with Milky Spore and the bacteria has had time to take effect, your Japanese beetle problems should be over with for between 10 and 15 years! NOW is the perfect time to put Milky Spore down on the ground; our ground is nice and warm and next year's beetles are living just underneath the surface as tasty tender little grubs. Come see us so we can show you how to take back your soil OR check out http://www.milkyspore.com/ for more details!
As you can see from our list of specials in the previous post, "Bird is the Word". Birds are feeding feverishly to gear up their feathered little bodies for the coming winter. We have a great selection of BEST quality bird food and feeders here at Skillin's. And much of our bird food is on sale this week for 20% off! Come see us with any questions or if you want to get started on feeding the birds.
Personally, I enjoy feeding the birds as much as I do gardening--I really do. It is just a blast to see my feathered friends hanging at the feeders. As I have written in other places, my favorite feeders are the Squirrel Buster series put out by the Brome Bird Co. We have the Squirrel Buster feeders here. They are well made, they attract the birds and they are squirrel proof! And best of all, this week they are on sale for 20% off (through Wed Oct 3). That means the Squirrel Buster Classic feeder that usually sells for $39.99 is on sale for $31.99. The Squirrel Buster Plus which cardinals love usually sells for $79.99 and is on sale for $63.99! Great savings.
Besides recommending the Squirrel Buster feeders, I also recommend using Sunflower food to attract the most birds. We sell Sunflower in several different ways right here at Skillin's. Also, it is important to keep the food fresh and dry in the feeder. So, don't overfill your feeders and also remember to shake out or take out any wet food from your feeders (check your food after each rain storm). Most feeders are easy to clean and refill and in just a few moments you have fresh food again in the feeders and birds galore!
Mark Your Calendar
Every Tuesday is Mature Gardeners Day at Skillin’s! Those customers who qualify will receive 10% off all regularly priced items. (Sale items and volume restrictions do not usually apply and some other restrictions may apply).
Every Friday brings Flower Power Happy Hour where we offer fresh cut flower stems and bunches at 30% off their regular prices. The Happy Hour lasts from 4 PM until we close at 7 PM!! Every Friday!
Thanks for reading the Skillin's Garden Log. If you have time, send me a comment right here at the Garden Log or via firstname.lastname@example.org; it would be good to have a feel for how many people are checking out our new Skillin's Garden Log and how it is working for you, our customer and friend.