What’s New at the Nursery

Clematis

Clematis vines are a real jack of all trades when it comes to planting uses and their adaptability and beautiful flowers have made them a favorite of gardeners everywhere.  Their affinity for vining makes them a perfect choice for filling in vertical spaces on fences, porches, arbors and trellises.  Some varieties can also be trained to spread horizontally along the ground to provide cover and spread in horizontal spaces.  Shorter varieties can fill in gaps around trees and shrubs and provide bursts of beautiful color.  Many varieties can even be successfully grown in containers.

Clematis prefer a moist, cool soil and like to have their roots shaded via a groundcover or some sort of mulch.  The plant and flowers can take full sun and generally require at least 6 hours per day.  Because clematis are deep-rooted, it is important to water thoroughly and regularly.  They are a relatively easy plant to grow and will get larger and stronger each year.

Fort Collins Nursery has a great selection of clematis in stock and here are a couple of great varieties for you to check out:

Boulevard Fleuri Clematis

  • Height: 3-4 ft.
  • Width: 2-3 ft.
  • Traits: This prolific, compact climber offers large purple flowers over a long season. Ideal in containers or in a border where it can grow through a shrub.  Its deep purple color make it a must for a sunny location.
  • Water: Moderate
  • Bloom: Late Spring/ Early Summer
  • Zone: 4-9

Nelly Moser Clematis

  • Height 8-10 ft.
  • Spacing: 4-6 ft.
  • Color: Produces an amazing display of flowers; pink petals with dark pink bar in center, and reddish-brown stamens. Woody vine with leathery textured, dark green foliage.
  • Bloom Time: Spring-Summer.
  • Water: Moderate.
  • Zones: 4-9

Vancouver Danielle Clematis

  • Height: 6-8 ft.
  • Traits: A cross between The President and Violet Charm. This compact variety has deep purple blue 6-8” flowers with striking red tipped stamens.
  • Water: Regular
  • Bloom: Spring and Fall
  • Zones: 4

Cherokee Clematis

  • Height: 3-5 ft.
  • Spacing: 2-3 ft.
  • Traits: Cherokee (aka ‘Ooh La La’) is a compact vine making it a good choice for containers or smaller gardens. The large single blooms are dusky pink with a darker pink bar, blooming in late spring and again in late summer.
  • Water: Moderate
  • Bloom: May-June
  • Zones: 4-7

Hummingbird Feeders

Why attract hummingbirds to your yard? Not only are they fun to watch, they’re also beneficial in pollinating flowers in your garden. As they feed, they rub their forehead against the stamens and pistils and collect pollen before moving from flower to flower.  Hummingbirds also love to eat many garden pests like aphids, gnats and mosquitos!

Fort Collins Nursery has a great selection of hummingbird feeders to help lure these quick and colorful creatures into your yard.  The feeders are easy to use and clean and provide the hummingbirds with much needed nourishment for a busy day of darting around. We have custom blown glass, dish, vintage styles, hand-held, hanging and stake-mounted feeders.  We carry ready-to-use nectar bottles and nectar concentrate or make your own with 4 parts water to one part white granulated sugar.

In addition to feeders, we have dozens of perennial and annual flowers that are great for attracting hummingbirds such as hyssop, penstemon, foxgloves, bee balm, lilies, snapdragons and petunias. We also carry a wildflower seed mix that is blended with varieties especially apt for attracting hummingbirds.

Cucumbers

Cucumbers are fun vegetables to grow and are great for pickling, salads, or enjoyed right off the vine.  Cucumber plants like warm weather and need a lot of sunlight.  When planting cucumbers, choose a site that has adequate drainage and fertile soil with organic matter such as compost. Keep the soil evenly moist and avoid powdery mildew by watering in the mornings and watering at the soil level to avoid getting the leaves wet. Most cucumbers are vine crops and can take up a lot of space. Training cucumbers on a fence or trellis will reduce the amount of space needed and is a great method for keeping a tidier appearance in large gardens or for preserving space if container growing.  Also try a more compact or bush variety cucumber for container gardening.

Select started plants if you just need a few plants, or plant from seed for a larger harvest. Cucumbers germinate quickly in warm soil, and can be successfully grown from seed directly sown in the garden as late as mid-June.

We currently have a great selection of cucumbers in stock including the following varieties:

Marketmore Cucumber

  • Fruit size: 6-12 in.
  • Spacing: 15-18 in.
  • Matures: 68 days
  • Features: High yields of large, juicy cucumbers with excellent flavor. Resistant to most cucumber diseases. Great when eaten raw, in salads and pickled.
  • Water: Prefers moist, well-drained soil.
  • Sun: Plant in full sun.

 

Salt & Pepper Cucumber

  • Fruit size: 10-12 in.
  • Spacing: 18-24 in.
  • Matures: 49 days
  • Features: Small pickling cucumber with white skin and black spines. Great tasting cucumber that has a mild delicate flavor. Powdery mildew resistant.
  • Water: Prefers moist, well-drained soil.
  • Sun: Plant in full sun.

 

Lemon Cucumber

  • Fruit size: 4-6 in.
  • Spacing: 3-5 ft.
  • Features: Matures in 60 days. Sweet tasting with a fine crunchy texture. Color and size of a lemon. Good for pickling.
  • Water: Prefers moist, well-drained soil and heavy watering during fruiting.
  • Sun: Plant in full sun.

Drip irrigation makes summer watering a snap

By Jesse Eastman

Drip_Irrigation_NLYou may know the old saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When it comes to gardening, preventing your plants from drying out is worth well more than a pound of veggies, flowers, and a beautiful landscape. Keeping plants watered throughout the summer can be expensive and challenging. Hand watering takes time and sprinklers can be wasteful. Drip irrigation is a great solution that delivers the right amount of water exactly where it needs to go. It can be run on a timer, allowing you to enjoy your summer without the stress of constantly worrying about your garden. Here’s a few tips to get you started:
• Know your plants
While some plants thrive in dry conditions, others can be quite thirsty. A drip system allows you to give each individual plant the right amount of water for its specific needs. If you’re unsure how much water your plants will need, ask your garden center professional for advice. Another important consideration is the soil. Sandy soil tends to drain water away more quickly than soil that is either heavy with clay or rich in organic material.
• Draw a plan
Sketch out each flower or garden bed, including the dimensions of the bed, how far it is from the nearest water source, and how many plants you need to water. This will allow you to purchase the correct supplies the first time. Rows of small plants, such as lettuce, radishes, and many annual flowers can be best served with soaker hose, while larger individual plants like tomatoes, squash, and many landscape perennials, shrubs, and trees are better served with individual emitters.
• Have a budget
Depending on the size of your garden and what you’re growing, you can spend as little as $20.00 on a 4’x8’ bed for something basic. Depending on how intricate you want your system to be, you can certainly spend more. Proper care and maintenance of your system, including winterizing it in the fall, can reduce upkeep costs in the long run. Whether you want to spend a lot or a little, the multitude of options available to use with drip irrigation makes it accessible for budgets of all sizes.

Throgmorton: Peonies

Originally posted on May 19, 2011

Herbaceous peonies that die to the ground every fall are one of the easiest, long lived perennials to grow. Peonies add texture and spring flowers to gardens from the plains to high country.

Peonies are grown from root divisions or tubers. Fall is the best time to divide the plants. Dig around the plant and down at least a foot. Lift the plant and wash the soil off the roots. Cut the root into sections with three or more eyes or growing points. Replant the root divisions so the eyes are an inch below the soil surface. Planting too deeply causes very small, weak flowers or no flowers at all.

Peonies prefer full sun to partial shade. They’ll grow in almost any soil. Because they are long lived, prepare the soil deeply with compost. Depending on variety, peonies grow from a foot to three feet tall and wide. Once established, peonies are cold and drought tolerant. They’ll do well at elevations above 8,500 feet. The higher the elevation the later peonies bloom.

As soon as peonies start to grow in the spring they need support. Horizontal wire cages that can move up as the plant grows are best. Support is especially important for double flowering varieties. The blooms are so heavy they fall to the ground without support. Some folks disbud peonies for larger, longer blooms. Flowers usually come out in threes. Removing the two side budsmakes the flowering period longer.

Peony flowers bloom in hues of white, pink, red and speckles of these colors. There is even a yellow flower variety. Some varieties to look for are Felix Crousse a rose red; Karl Rosenfield a double pink; or Bowl of Beauty a fragrant light pink. New hybrids are available every year. Use a peony with cut leaves to border a bed. Use larger varieties as accent or focal plants.

Japanese or anemone peonies have large, showy, single flowers. The Japanese types come in a spectrum of beautiful pastel colors.  They’re as hardy and durable as other herbaceous peonies. Fern-Leaf peonies add delicate texture to the cutting garden.

Peonies are fragrant. They’re a must in the cut flower garden. Peonies can be borders or accents throughout the garden. They’re easy to grow and pretty much care free.  Peonies have eye catching blooms in May and early June.

Tom Throgmorton, of Throgmorton Plant Management, can be heard on KRFC, 88.9 FM, every Saturday morning at 8:00 am.

Organic Veggie Starts

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The time to plant your warm season veggie starts is rapidly approaching and Fort Collins Nursery is your source for the best veggies and herbs! Come in soon to check out our Hardy Boy Organics tomatoes, tomatillos, peppers, artichokes, eggplant, cucumbers, squash, strawberries, watermelon pumpkins and more. Hardy Boy Organics are locally grown by Welby Gardens in Denver and are 100% USDA certified organic.  Keep in mind the average last frost date in Fort Collins is May 10-15.  Many vegetables will not tolerate frost or freezing temperatures.

Hanging Baskets

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Be sure to stop in and check out our beautiful selection of hanging annual baskets and patio pots. These colorful decorative pieces turn any patio into a relaxing oasis and help to utilize all available growing space. Hanging baskets come loaded with several varieties of annuals including hibiscus, mandevilla, lantana, verbena and geraniums. These make great Mother’s Day gifts, so stop in soon and pick one up for Mom!

Annuals

Annual flowers are loved by many gardeners because they are inexpensive, versatile and easy to care for.  Mixing annuals in your perennial beds is a great way to provide color in your garden all summer long.  While perennials typically flower for only a short part of the growing season, annuals try to make the most of their one and only year by flowering throughout the summer.  They also look great in perennial bed borders, patio pots and hanging baskets.  Our greenhouse has many of your favorite annual varieties in stock with more arriving throughout the summer. 

Varieties include:

  • Petunias
  • Calibrachoas
  • Pansies
  • Snapdragons
  • Salvias
  • Marigolds
  • Carnations
  • Geraniums
  • Zinnia
  • Lobelia
  • Moss Rose
  • and much more!

Tomatoes

This year we have over 40 tomato varieties that were diligently grown for you by our talented production team right here at Fort Collins Nursery.  Each plant was started with high-quality, organic seeds and re-potted into a 1 gallon container.  By the time our tomato plants are ready to sell, they are more mature than most store bought starts, so they’ll require less time between planting and producing tomatoes.  While the value is great, your favorite thing about our tomatoes will be how good they taste!  Look for the Fort Collins Nursery labeled containers to spot one of our own!

The following varieties are unique and delicious and recommended by our Production Manager himself:

Pink Berkeley Tie Dye

Unique appearance with heirloom-quality flavor.

8-16 oz. fruits are dark pink with green striping, and the flesh is pink with yellow streaks. The flavor is outstanding – sweet and complex like the finest heirlooms. The vigorous indeterminate plants performed much better than average under disease pressure in Johnny’s Selected Seeds Albion trials. Indeterminate. 70 Days to Maturity.

 

Moskvich

One of the most appealing extra-early tomatoes.

Fruits are early, deep red, and cold tolerant. Rich flavor. Smooth and globe-shaped, 4-6 oz. with a small stem scar. Indeterminate. 60 Days to Maturity.

 

 

 

Pruden’s Purple

Early Brandywine type.

Large to very large (many over 1 lb.) fruits are flattened and smooth (except for shoulder ribbing on some), and resist cracking. Vivid dark pink skin with crimson flesh. Medium tall, potato-leaf plants. Indeterminate. 67 Days to Maturity.

 

 

Black Cherry

Sweet and robust.

Bred in Florida by the late Vince Sapp, the round, 0.5 to 0.75 oz fruits are almost black in color. The flavor is dynamic – much like an heirloom. High yielding. Indeterminate. 64 Days to Maturity.

 

 

 

Tomato ‘Fiaschetto di Manduria’

Fiaschetto is a regional treasure of Puglia in Southeast Italy. These small 2-3 oz plum shaped tomatoes hang like grapes from the bushy plants in prolific quantities.  In Puglia it is preferred even over the more famous San Marzano for its freshness and fruitiness. The perfect size for halving and dehydrating for enjoying in the winter months on your pastas and pizzas. Extremely early harvest for a paste type and conveniently concentrated for processing purposes. Determinate. 65-70 Days to Maturity.

Hibiscus & Mandevilla

Create a tropical atmosphere for your patio this summer with beautiful and exotic Hibiscus and Mandevilla plants from Fort Collins Nursery. 

  • Hibiscus and mandevilla are both relatively easy to grow and are prolific producers of colorful, trumpet-shaped flowers over a long blooming season.
  • In our colder climate, these tropical plants need to be grown in containers, allowing them to be easily moved from outside to inside as the seasons change.
  • Both plants require sun and do best outdoors in the summer or near a south facing window while inside during the colder months.
  • When watering, the soil should be kept evenly moist. Be careful not to let it dry out.
  • Both plants should be potted in containers that aren’t too much deeper than the root system to ensure consistent production of flowers. Deep pots are not bad for the plants, but they will invest more energy building root systems than flowering.