Archives > October 2016

Spooky Thoughts – Vampire Flowers

Posted by Wallish on Oct 27 2016

Calla lilies are a beautiful, popular late spring bloomer and they are wonderful cut flowers. If you are a horror film fan, you often see these decorating the vampire’s casket.

Calla lilies aren’t really lilies at all; they are actually from the species Zantedeschia. They hale from South Africa and are rated as a zone 9 plant, so that’s why they are grown in pots and their bulbs are lifted at the 1st frost, stored over winter for their required dormancy period and then replanted.

Here are a few tips for planting Zantedeschia:

  • Callas can be planted in pots (most common) or out in a garden in full sun – so an east or south exposure with some afternoon shade would be best.
  • Before planting, plan ahead by familiarizing yourself with their growing habit, double check their mature height which varies by variety (usually 12-18”). Match your pots to their height accordingly so the pot can support it adequately. Also know that each bulb can produce 10-20 flowers.
  • Plant callas in loose, porous soil with good drainage. Good drainage is important so the bulbs are not soggy.
  • Plant the bulbs so that they are 1.5 – 2” below the soil. Give it a light watering; keep the soil moist but not damp. Let it dry slightly between watering.
  • If the soil is continually kept too wet the bulbs will rot – we have killed more things at our greenhouse from overwatering than under watering…
  • They should be up and growing in 3 to 4 weeks
  • Fertilize when actively growing & blooming; about every 3 weeks, but stop fertilizing when they are done blooming.
  • Let the leaves die back naturally after they have ceased blooming, don’t cut the leaves back – the plants are building up their bulbs and storing nutrients at this time.
  • Zantedeschia require a dormant period before they can rebloom, so:
    • dig up rhizomes in autumn after first frost to let them rest before the next bloom cycle.
    • Let bulbs air dry, store in dry peat moss, keep in cool (50-60s F), dark, dry area
    • Or; keep bulbs in the actual containers they grew in, keep the containers dry over winter. A great time to bring them out of the dark and start them with a little watering is in March
  • A container idea: Plant in a container with other plants that will continue to bloom after the Zantedeschia have finished blooming, just make sure they require the same conditions

Sources: www.gardeningknowhow.com, www.easytogrowbulbs.com, www.blackthumbgardener.com, www.gardendesign.com, www.theflowerexpert.com, www.thegardenhelper.com, www.flowermeaning.com, www.pacificcallas.com, www.growingwisdom

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How to Grow a Great Pumpkin

Posted by Wallish on Oct 20 2016

One may think the timing on this blog is a little late, kind of like closing the gate after the cows have escaped but….since the spotlight is on pumpkins at this time of year, let’s talk about how to grow a great pumpkin and store this knowledge up for the spring. We may even do a reprise of this as the warmer weather draws nigh in the early months of 2017 with suggestions for good pumpkin varieties.

Here are some things to consider when mulling over pumpkin cultivation:

General guidelines:

  • Pumpkins are very frost sensitive (as are squash, zucchini and cucumbers).
  • In our climate, we usually have to start them indoors because we average round 115 frost free days, so be sure to investigate pumpkin varieties that have a maturation time between 85 and 125 days.
  • Miniature and large pumpkins often share the same maturation times.
  • There is a difference between pie pumpkins and carving pumpkins, so look for those features as well.

Preferred locations look like:

  • Full sun – 8 hours of sunshine
  • Lots of room – pumpkin vines take a LOT of space
  • High quality, well draining soil – pumpkins hate to have their feet soggy

When to plant:

  • Again, because pumpkins are very frost sensitive, it’s a good idea to start them indoors in 4” pots at the beginning of May to give them a good start and then to transplant them out in the garden after the last threat of frost has passed – which is THE $64,000 question – our Grandpa John Wallish says June 9 is safe – we can probably get away with the 1st week of June.
  • Watch for night time temperatures & cover them if the temperature looks like it will be flirting around 5 C.
  • They don’t have to be to be planted in a mound of soil – a mound is only needed if there is poor drainage.

Growing Tips:

  • Water only when needed – otherwise leave it alone
  • Water in the morning so it dries during the day & it is not damp at night
  • Too much water = powdery mildews or rotting
  • Avoid water on the leaves because that as well can lead to powdery mildew
  • Decrease watering as they begin to turn orange, no more watering is needed 7-10 days before harvesting
  • Blossoms do need to be pollinated, bees usually take care of that but you can use a paint brush to pollinate
  • Beetles sometimes bug pumpkins, pick them off & drop them in a jar of vinegar or just squish them

How to tell your Pumpkin is ready:

  • Look for the a very bright orange color or whatever the end color should be, sometimes they are yellow or white but they all start off green.
  • The vine has begun to age – starts to look dry, stems begin to twist.
  • It has a hard outer shell.
  • Leave about 4-6” of stem so the pumpkin will dry well.

Take this and store in your memory banks for spring, home grown is always tastier and more fun.

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Looking for Fundraising Ideas? Try a Poinsettia Fund Raiser!

Posted by Wallish on Oct 4 2016

 

A Poinsettia Fund Raiser is an effective and simple way to raise needed resources for your favorite cause. We have had interest range from kindergartens, school projects, to sports teams, sports schools, youth groups, and churches.

Here is how we do it at Wallish Greenhouses to keep it simple:

  • We offer florist quality poinsettias grown on location in 4 different pot sizes: 6”, 8”, 10”, and 14”. **Note that this is the diameter of the pot that the poinsettias come in, not the height of the entire plant.
  • We offer poinsettias in 3 different colors: red, pink, and white – and this is how the organizations offer them. It keeps things simple.
  • We ship them free of charge for orders over 30 plants to anywhere in the Edmonton area.
  • The poinsettias are packaged individually in paper sleeves and boxed according to pot size and color. All the boxes are marked accordingly.
  • When the poinsettias arrive at the drop location, some organizations tape a colored ribbon (red, pink, or white) to the paper sleeves to indicate what color they are – it makes it easy to pick them out.
  • When they are sent home, they are wrapped in a plastic gusset bag over the paper sleeve to provide another layer of insulation as they travel into a warm vehicle.

Interested? We’d be happy to chat with you and support you through this process.

Call us at 780-467-3091 or send us a quick email at wglperen@telus.net and we will get in touch with you.