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May 2012 Newsletter

Viola’s News

Spring has sprung! Unless you’ve been oblivious to the last couple of seasons in Flagstaff, you know that this Spring is already shaping up to be one of the nicer growing seasons in a couple of years (knock on wood!). The weather still likes to throw a curveball or two, so don’t completely relax and store away the frost cloth. Stay vigilant and your garden will benefit greatly.

Everyone seems to love the warmer temperatures and calm winds. (Definitely a change from the norm in Flagstaff!) So take the opportunity and get in the yard and plant some color! Viola’s is now filling-up with new arrivals of annuals, perennials and vegetables every couple of days.

So if you have a particular variety or specimen in mind, it’s most likely on the way and will be in the store shortly. By mid to late Spring, Viola’s will be bursting at the seams with everything you need to color up the garden.

Tomato Fest 2012

The Veggie Season has started! For the big start of the season, Viola’s will be celebrating our Tomato Fest for 2012 on Saturday, May 5th and Sunday, May 6th. Both days will be filled with free gardening seminars for both kids and adults.

Also, for the Tomato Fest we will have an Art Show presenting local artisans, Live Music, Face Painting, Food by Mulkey’s Food Works, and a FREE 20lb bag of Hickman’s Chicken Manure, and a Wall-O-Water for every customer (as long as supplies last).

The Agenda for both Saturday and Sunday are as follows:

**Please call/email Viola’s to Sign-Up for any Seminars at (928) 526-0202 or**

What's Buggin?

A mild Winter combined with our warm Spring has the insects back in numbers! Not only are the usual suspects arriving on-time this year, they brought friends. Normally, this time of year is blissfully fairly pesky-insect free, but the same warm day and nights that are encouraging the lilac and fruit tree blossoms are promoting insect populations all over. So in order to combat the early wave of pest insects this year, let’s take a look at a common pest and the remedies offered from the 2011 June Newletter. That’s right, we're gonna talk about aphids!

Retro ‘What’s Buggin’-June 2011 Newsletter

It’s that time of year again! Yep, the aphids are back. These creepy-crawlies are attracted to many plants in the flower and vegetable garden. Noticing mottled, crinkled leaves on your roses? Or maybe an abnormally high appearance of lady bugs in the garden?

These are both indicators that an aphid infestation may be afoot. In the garden, aphids are usually able to be seen with the naked-eye. They have soft-bodies that can appear green, grey, brown, or just about any color.

Aphids appear in gardens in order to feed on the sugar-water that plants produce in their stems. Tender stems under the buds of flowers or the underside of leaves are the most common feeding places for these sap sucking insects.

Aphids are among the most common and most devastating insect infestations that occur in both small and large gardens. Their strength is in numbers, massing together to continually feed from garden plants. The effects are usually seen as a decline in plant health, wilting, browning that can lead to a fatality in the garden.

What to do? In the case of aphids many treatments are available. For a mild case of infestation, spraying them off the afflicted area with water is effective. In heavier infestations, applying an insecticidal soap or allowing natural predators such as, lacewings or lady bugs, can significantly reduce the aphid population. Using Eight Garden & Home spray is another way to control the large crowds of aphids. Planting garlic, and mints around aphid susceptible plants is another way I’ve heard to ward off these pesky intruders. Tried and true rose aficionados swear by planting garlic with their prize roses!

Back To Basics

Now that our Spring has officially started for Flagstaff, many gardeners want to know what is suitable for planting and when the right time to plant is. Just keep in mind folks, Flagstaff is known to demonstrate all her seasons within a 24-hour period, so be prepared for any weather contingency. But, weather warnings aside, for the month of May, every gardener in town probably has some type of vegetable in mind to try, so here is a quick planting guide to May.

May 5th: In the beginning of May the night temperatures might still be cool, so the cold crops are the best for either directly sowing from seed or transplanting from starts. Cold crops would be veggies or herbs that can take the cooler temperatures and not perish. These would include veggies such as; beets, carrots, radishes, spinach, chard, lettuce and mixed greens. Seeds that need to be started indoors can be planted right now; this includes future tomatoes, squash, melon, eggplants and herbs.

May 10th: Once temperatures begin to warm and the forecast seems to exclude nights that fall below freezing, corn and edible sunflowers can be sown from seed at this time.

May 15th: By the middle of May, temperatures are usually warmer and broccoli, cauliflower, and celery can be planted.

Memorial Day/June 15th: The residents of Flagstaff are in agreement that between Memorial Day and June 15 is when the tender veggies such as; tomatoes, eggplant, squash, melons, basil and other tender herbs can be sown or transplanted outside.

Depending on the particular year (and who you talk to in Flagstaff), this is an abbreviated list for the month of May. The planting dates will usually vary from year to year. If you’re interested in the complete Flagstaff Planting Guide, come into the store to pick one up today. It’s filled with even more information, tips, and tricks to planting here in the high country. And remember using a Wall-O-Water will extend the planting season for the tender veggies.

Water Wise

The warmer weather has everyone rejoicing this early in Spring. With the sunny days, make sure that plants are staying moist. Our mild Winter may not be giving enough melt-off moisture to our plants. New plantings and established plants alike may need supplemental watering to keep roots moist and happy.

Remember, the goal of watering your garden, landscape or lawn is to establish a deep root system that will help eliminate the need for frequent watering. In order to do so, watering deep but less often is better. New planting usually need frequent watering as they become established, but watering too frequently creates a shallow root system that can impair root stability.

Also this is the time to check the irrigation lines, heads and valves. Proper maintenance after the Winter will help deter any irrigation mishaps and identify damaged equipment for proper repair.

What to do?

  • Time to start cleaning-up overgrown perennials, shrubs or trees. A minor trimming will help everyone grow bigger and better.

  • It is time to plant! Many veggies, annuals and perennials can go in this month, so plant some color and make the garden bloom.

  • Check watering systems regularly, standard maintenance will keep leaks and clogged drips from becoming a hassle.

  • Check out the Tomato Fest! A great, fun way to become inspired to plant a vegetable garden.

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