May 2013 Newsletter
Spring is here! Bringing with it our usual windy days and teasing, warmer day temperatures. Stay on guard Flagstaff! This early in the growing season, the weather likes to tempt us to plant tender summer annuals and vegetables. Keep vigilant and ask us about the many different ways to protect tender plants from the frost.
Make sure to visit us at the store! We’ve been busy revamping and reorganizing our store for a much improved layout. Check out our in-store raised bed vegetable garden. We incorporate the best gardening tips and techniques, so feel free to ask us about the garden and what’s growing.
Take advantage of the great gardening weather and plant some color! Every week we are receiving new arrivals of annuals, perennials and vegetables. 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. We would like to extend our graditude for everyone who came out and supported us during our Pansy Party last month, it was a hit! Also Thank You to Thornagers on Kiltie Lane for the wonderful, delicious cupcakes and our amazing musician,
Tomato Fest 2013
The Vegetable Season has arrived! For our grand kick-off to the season, Viola’s will once again be celebrating our remarkable Tomato Fest on Saturday, May 4th and Sunday, May 5th. Both days will be loaded with free (and fun!) vegetable gardening seminars for both kids and adults. We will also have over 75 different tomato varieties In-stock, from husky cherries to short-season producers, this means that everyone can pick out a new tomato type to try.
Also on Saturday May 4th, we will be hosting an Art Show, with exhibits from local artisans, Live Music, and Face Painting for the kids. Join us in celebrating another great vegetable planting season at Tomato Fest.
The Schedule for both Saturday and Sunday are as follows:
**Please call Viola’s to Sign-Up for any Seminars at (928) 526-0202 or Sign-Up online at our website
Another Spring in Flagstaff is usually synonymous with one thing. Wind and lots of it. With the wind back once more, everyone from Doney Park to Kachina Village will agree that not only does the wind usher in the warmer weather, but it also brings in the bugs. In the early Spring this means rampant populations of insects such as our month’s featured bugs, Thrips and Aphids.
Thrips: Early Spring is when these little guys become active. A fast reproduction cycle usually means we deal with Thrips throughout the season. (These guys can have as many as 15 generations in one season!) As small as 1 mm, the adults are normally a darker color then the nymphs. Thrips will attack the juicy plant greens, sucking out the juices and leaving a mottled, crinkled, shrunken leaf behind. In small numbers Thrips are not usually a nuisance, but with high winds they spread faster and this may lead to a larger infestation that has the potential to harm the plants and stunt growth.
Aphids: This is another plant vampire that comes in several different varieties. From green, to red to wooly, Aphids are larger and have a more recognizable body. They are common garden pests that often appear on the tender stems and undersides of leaves.
Symptoms: Noticing mottled, crinkled leaves on your roses? Or maybe an abnormally high appearance of lady bugs in the garden? These are both indicators of a possible Aphid infestation. Aphids and Thrips 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 and Thrips 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/Thrip population. Using Eight Garden & Home spray or Dormant Oil is another way to control the large crowds.
Planting garlic, and mints around aphid susceptible plants is another way 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:
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, onions, potatoes, lettuce and mixed greens.
Seeds that need to be started indoors can be planted right now; this includes tomatoes, squash, melon, eggplants and herbs. Tender veggies such as tomatoes and peppers can be planted now IF a Wall-O-Water is being employed. These nifty guys extend the growing season, and protect against frost.
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.
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.
With the weather slowly warming up, it’s time to start watering the gardens. On days where the sun or wind are out and about, check to make sure plants are not drying out. New plantings and even established plants will benefit from a supplemental watering if the weather is desiccating the plants.
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. A good layer of mulch will help keep plant roots moist, healthy and happy.
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?
It is time to plant! Many veggies, annuals and perennials can be planted now! 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.
Fertilize your plants, after a long winter spent dormant many flowers, lawns, trees and shrubs like a good feeding to help jumpstart the Spring season.
Check out the Tomato Fest! A great, fun way to become inspired to plant a vegetable garden.