Seasonal Product

Fall Crop Seeds

As we reach the midpoint of summer, it is time to start planning ahead and planting seeds for fall vegetable crops like cauliflower, broccoli, lettuce, cabbage, kale, carrots and brussels sprouts.  With lower levels of light, more consistent moisture, and the occasional light frost, cool weather crops can excel during the waning days of fall.  With some careful planning, you can keep your garden productive well into fall and even winter.   At Fort Collins Nursery we have a number of great seed varieties from great companies like Botanical InterestsBaker Creek Heirloom Seed Co.Seed Savers Exchange and Territorial Seed Co.  Before you get started, it is important to know the following information:

Average First Frost

In Fort Collins, the average first frost date is October 2nd.  For those of you in other surrounding areas you can look up your average first frost date through the Old Farmer’s Almanac.

Days to Maturity

To find out the best dates to plant your seeds, you will need to calculate when to plant your vegetables so they’ll mature before being killed by frost and cold.  To find the optimal date, simply subtract the days to maturity from the average first frost date in your region.  For example, for a vegetable like beets that take 60 days to reach maturity, you would need to plant your seeds by August 3rd based on our October 2nd average first frost.  Most seed packs will list information on how many days until the crop reaches maturity.  A quick Google search will also yield several examples of vegetable planting guides like this one from CSU Extension. Worried you missed your chance to plant? You can easily extend the growing time by providing frost protection with frost cloths or cold frames.

Cold Hardiness

Certain varieties like broccoli, beans and winter squash are more susceptible to frost while kale and cabbage are more tolerant.   If you’re worried about losing your crops to premature frost, you may want to choose from the more cold tolerant crops.

Ornamental Grasses

Ornamental Grasses are beautiful plants that add texture, softness, color, movement and even rustling sound to any garden.  Grasses provide great accents and contrast to flowers and shrubs in the spring and summer months and also provide interest to the fall and winter landscape when other plants have lost their leaves.  Most grasses are sold as container-grown plants in #1 and #5 sizes and are easy to grow and maintain.  At Fort Collins Nursery we have dozens of wonderful varieties to choose from including the following:

 

ShenandoahSwitchGrass_NLShenandoah Switch Grass

Prized for its unmatched foliage color. Fast growing green leaves emerge with red tips in spring, darkening through summer, and turning burgundy in fall. Airy reddish-pink flowers in summer. Use for mass background plantings or in containers.
Light: Partial to full sun.
Water: Once established, needs only occasional watering.
Size: Fast growing 4 ft. tall in bloom, and 2 to 3 ft. wide.

Light: Partial to full sun.

Water: Once established, needs only occasional watering.

Size: Fast growing 4 ft. tall in bloom, and 2 to 3 ft. wide.

 

MorningLightMiscanthus_NLMorning Light Miscanthus

Description: Green blades have highlights of creamy-white margins and mid-veins creating a shimmering silvery appearance. Adds visual excitement wherever used. Accepts dry conditions.

Light: Partial to full sun.

Water: Best with regular watering – weekly or more often in extreme heat.

 

AvalancheFeatherReedGrass_NLAvalanche Feather Reed Grass

Description: Create stunning vertical effects with feathery stalks that emerge reddish-brown in spring, turn golden in fall. Stalks make attractive cut flowers. Foliage has white center and green margins. 

Light: Full sun.

Water: Water regularly- weekly, or more often in extreme heat.

Size: Fast growing, 3 to 4 ft. tall, 1 to 2 ft. wide; flower stalks to 6 ft.

Houseplants

Houseplants

As the calendar flips to July, veggies and annuals have all been planted and your garden and landscape are (hopefully) in tip-top form.  Now it’s time to put some attention back inside with houseplants!  Our biggest truck of the year has just arrived full of beautiful plants from Florida. The bountiful stock has once again filled our empty benches.  You’ll find an abundance of ferns, philodendrons, fiddle leaf figs, Chinese evergreen, dieffenbachia, schefflera and palms, just to name a few.  Don’t forget to check out our great pottery selection to give your new plant a fashionable and functional resting space.

Plants for Pollinators

Plants for Pollinators

Pollinators such as butterflies, hummingbirds and bees are necessary for the survival of most plant species.  By introducing plants to our gardens that attract these pollinators, we create a mutually beneficial relationship that provides them with a great food source while allowing the plants to reproduce.  Below is a list of several recommended plant varieties to attract some of your favorite pollinators and read this great article by Deb Courtner for additional information on the topic.

Butterflies

  • Milkweed
  • Butterfly Weed
  • Rabbitbrush
  • Chokecherry
  • Zinnia
  • Butterfly Bush
  • Serviceberry
  • Rose of Sharon
  • Lilac
  • Hollyhock
  • Hardy Hibiscus
  • Salvia
  • Aster
  • Coneflower
  • Daisy
  • Sunflower

Hummingbirds

  • Hyssop
  • Columbine
  • Penstemon
  • Snapdragon
  • Bee balm
  • Foxglove
  • Daylily
  • Lily
  • Delphinium
  • Petunia
  • Weigela
  • Butterfly Bush
  • Pincushion Flower
  • Verbena
  • Catmint
  • Garden Phlox 
  • Blanket Flower

Bees

  • Blue Mist Spirea
  • Zinnia
  • Cosmos
  • Daisy
  • Coneflower
  • Goldenrod
  • Apple (including crabapple)
  • Russian Sage
  • Bee Balm
  • Yarrow
  • Thyme
  • Veronica
  • Marigold
  • Honeysuckle (vine and bush)

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

OrganicVeggieStarts_NL

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

HangingBaskets_NL

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!