Please click here to read newsletter if not displayed below:
Edition 8.32
August 2008

Go Green with Grangetto's

Spend It In Escondido!

Advertise with us

3 day forecast
Weather Courtesy of:

Nature's Big Bud Worm Castings

Read more about what Nature’s Big Bud’s Premium Liquid Worm Castings can do for your Plants and Flowers

We now carry owl boxes!

Grangetto's Preferred Card
Start Saving Today!

Water Conservation Workshop
Water Conservation Workshop

San Diego County Water Authority
The 20 Gallon Challenge
Water: Save it or Lose it

Be Water Wise
Water Saving Rotary Sprinkler Nozzles
Get Water Saving Tips!

Be Water Wise with the Nifty 50!
50 drought tolerant plants native to Southern California

California Water Crisis

California's Water Crisis:
A Public Education Program

Fresh Produce

Want Fresh Organic Produce?

Online Account Access
Attention Grangetto Account Customers:
View Your Statements On-line!

Sign up to receive the Grangetto's Garden Newsletter and receive a 15% off discount coupon!

Subscribe Now to
Grangetto's News

Click here to subscribe, unsubscribe or change your address.

Grangetto's Gift Cards
Now Available
for Your Convenience.

Great for:
Holiday Gifts - Birthdays - Father's Day - and any other special occasion.

Have a Look
Around our Site:
Ask Mr. G

FREE Coupon

Mr. G's
"Tip of the Month!"
Tips Image


Tips image

Mulch and amend soil using Kellogg’s Gromulch for better soil condition and water retention.  Also helps to control weeds! Use at least 4” of mulch.

Tell a Friend about our Newsletter

Contact Information:

Click to e-mail us.

(760) 944-5777

189 S. Rancho Santa Fe Rd.
Encinitas, CA 92024

7 am - 5 pm
7 am - 4 pm
Closed Sunday

Mr. G's Irrigation
Fertilizing Guides

Fertilizers: Best Triple Pro 15 Dr. Earth Fruit Tree Fertilizer Best Ntra Kingproduct image

Fertilizer Spreaders: Scotts Handheld Spreader Scotts Lawn Pro Spreader

Grangettos Grass Seed
Dwarf Fescue Grass


Soil Amendments / Mulches: Soil Building Compost Sunshine Pro Premium Potting Soil John and Bob's Soil Optimizer Worm Gold Plus Sunshine Pro Planting Mix Worm Gold Plus
Landscape/Garden Tools: Ames Hose Flexrake Flexogen HoseJackson Pro HoseSwan Soaker HoseAmes ReelEasy

Pest Control: Sluggo Plus Bayer Tree and Shrub Ortho Buggeta Product Image Bayer PowerForce Wilco Squirrel Bait



Thanks for taking the time to read the Grangetto's Garden Newsletter. If at any time there is a topic that you would like to see in the next newsletter or you have a gardening tip you would like to share, please feel free to email us.

Fun and Facts

A Bouquet of
Plant Families


Garden Trivia
Crossword Puzzle

Please click here
to take our Survey

featured quote


"Don't wear perfume in the garden--unless you want to be pollinated by bees."
~Anne Raver

Show Us Your Garden

Enter to Win!

Winner gets a $50 Gift Card and a one-month supply of Fresh Organic Vegetables from J.R. Organics (value $118).

** Click here to send us your garden photo! **

One person will win. Winner will be notified via phone
of pick-up location for gift card and vegetables.
Vegetables will require multiple pick-ups throughout the month.

Read about J.R. Organics Community Supported Agriculture.


Manager's Corner

Lawn damage caused by  a fungus diseaseFungus diseases: If your lawn is developing areas that yellow and then turn brown, and you cannot find any insect pests, then you may consider the possibility of a fungus disease, particularly if you have been watering a lot, or watering at night. Closely examine the grass blades to see if they appear to be rotting off where they're attached to the stem. If so, then a fungus disease is a good possibility. Of course, if you see mushrooms, you definitely have fungus!

Preventive maintenance

A healthy lawn can fight off enemies such as fungi, weeds, and insect pests. Keeping your turf grass cut at the correct height and applying water at proper times will go a long way in fighting off lawn pests. Most turf diseases thrive under certain conditions that include moisture and temperature, and nitrogen supply. That is why you will notice that diseases appear during certain seasons. Aside from extreme weather conditions, improper watering, too much or too little fertilizer, improper mowing height, soil compaction, uneven grading, accumulated thatch, overuse of lawn pesticides, or any combination of these may make your lawn more susceptible.

Some tips:

  • Remove excess thatch and do not leave clippings in the area affected.
  • Avoid light, frequent watering. Water only in the early morning, water deeply, and water as infrequently as possible.
  • Mow frequently at recommended heights.
  • Aerate compacted soils.
  • Fertilize only with the proper fertilizer for your turf type, and follow timing and amount directions exactly - both too much and too little nitrogen can encourage fungus (of different types).
  • If the fungus is appearing in a low spot where water tends to sit, build up the area or consider a water-loving turf alternative.
  • Plant disease-resistant grasses.
  • Top-dress with a thin layer of an organic mulch, such as Kellogg's Gromulch. In addition to building healthy soil, there are also many beneficial microbes and naturally occurring substances in organic mulching materials that suppress disease organisms.


The problem with using fungicides for lawn diseases is that by the time the disease is recognized and the cause identified, the infection has often run its course. The damage is done and no amount of fungicide can restore the damaged grass. However, spraying the grass in the area with a fungicide can kill existing fungus and help prevent further spreading. In the long run, though, the lawn care measures you adopt (topdressing, watering and fertilizing properly, mowing at the correct height, aerating, and reducing thatch) more effectively address present and future disease problems in most lawn disease situations.

Printable coupon
Click here for a printable coupon.


Manager of Grangetto's Encinitas



This Month's Specials

August Specials

In the News

News PhotoFrom the San Diego Union-Tribune:

"Soaring fuel costs take huge bite out of grocery, farm budgets"
By Mike Lee

Burgeoning food prices have added to the economic doldrums in San Diego County and nationwide.

At Grangetto's Farm and Garden Supply, which has four stores in North County, company officials have observed for 56 years how shoppers respond to hard times...

Read the entire article online.


Saving Energy with Shade Trees

Shade TreesSummer is upon us and so is the hot weather. We can choose to be miserable and suffer through the heat, or we can be smart and make a difference. One way to be more comfortable is to turn up the air conditioner and enjoy the arctic air. This works well until the utility bill comes. Energy rates have increased rapidly in the last few years, making the arctic air solution not very practical.

There is one solution that not only makes you more comfortable, but can also save you money or even make you money. The key to comfort lies in the landscape. With properly placed trees and shrubs, you can reduce your energy bill by up to 50%. When plants, especially trees, photosynthesize, they release a large quantity of water into the air resulting in natural evaporative cooling. Research has shown that an environment that is shaded by plants will have an air temperature that is 3 to 9 degrees cooler than non-shaded areas.

When planting trees and shrubs you should be careful where you plant or you will actually waste more energy than you save. You want to reduce the summer sun as well as allow maximum warming winter sun. Placing trees on the east and west sides of the house has maximum summer cooling effect. These shade the walls and windows when the sun is low in the morning and evenings. If you place trees that shade southern winter sun, you may well have an decreased energy bill. To create maximum savings, you need to select a large shade tree such as a Chinese elm or a camphor tree that will grow large enough to shade the southern roof in mid summer and lose its leaves in winter to allow the needed heating. Shrubs and vines also provide sun protection and increased insulation and result in significant energy savings.

Proper placement of trees and shrubs not only saves you money, but can also make you money. There is nothing that has a higher return on home resale value than the landscape. On the average, landscaping returns 110% of the investment and continues to increase over time.

So get out and make your summers more comfortable and more affordable by planting trees and shrubs in your yard today.



DaVinci Water Gardens



Things to do in August
  • Be careful of the heat. Wear a hat and sunscreen; drink plenty of water. Try to do outside work in the morning or evening, when it is cooler.
  • Be sure to trim trees and vines growing near swimming pools.
  • Choose crape myrtles.
  • Clean off the stems from agapanthus and daylilies that have already bloomed.
  • Control fireblight by removing disfigured branches and twigs.
  • Control pests and diseases that cause dead brown patches on cool-season lawns.
  • Control pests on fuchsias.
  • Control rose pests and diseases.
  • Control white grubs on cool-season lawns.
  • Cut back your petunias in mid-August to keep them flowering.
  • Cut off the suckers from deciduous fruit trees.
  • Do not fertilize deciduous fruit trees.
  • Feed fuchsias, tuberous begonias, water lilies, cymbidiums, ferns and tropicals.
  • Feed warm-season lawns. Feed cool-season lawns only if they show signs of yellowing.
  • If you started biennials from seed in July, fertilize them with fish emulsion at weekly intervals.
  • Fertilize roses.
  • Give fuchsias a light pruning.
  • Control weeds by mulching, cultivating, and hand-pulling.
  • Pick out and purchase cassias and flame eucalyptus.
  • Plant papayas, bananas, and palms.
  • Plant tropicals in coastal zones.
  • Prune and train wisteria.
  • Prune and train your espaliers through the growing season.
  • Pull out dead crabgrass if you have previously treated it with weed killer.
  • Purchase and plant succulents, cacti, and euphorbias.
  • Remove dead and dying foliage from date palms.
  • Remove suckers from roses.
  • Stop pinching chrysanthemums.
  • Study your irrigation system, check for malfunctioning heads. On drip irrigation systems, flush filters and headers.
  • Transplant palms.
  • Water warm-season lawns deeply at least once a week in most zones. Water cool-season lawns more shallowly and frequently.
  • Water, water water! Be sure to keep container plants and garden beds watered well.


August Lawn Care

This is the time of year when warm-season lawns, such as Bermuda, zoysia, and St. Augustine are looking their best, but cool-season lawns such as Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, and tall fescue are looking their worst. Water warm-season lawns deeply and infrequently, feed them every month to six weeks, and mow them as short as possible.

Feed dichondra half-strength. Don't feed kikuyu, Futurf, or Adalayd grass in August. Continue to water cool-season lawns regularly, cut them high, and feed them lightly, if at all.

Control crabgrass when it turns red. Now, in August, you have another chance to control crabgrass - this time when it goes red in color but before it sets seed. Ask for products containing DSMA or ASMA. Be sure to follow the directions on the package and not to use these products in the middle of a hot day. Water deeply the day before use, and then avoid watering again as long as possible. For best results pull out the clumps after they die. (Another possible control is to spot-treat with glyphosate, but it will kill anything it touches.)

Control pests and diseases on cool-season lawns. Dead or brown patches often disfigure cool-season lawns now even if you water and feed lightly. Take hold of a tuft of grass in one of the bad patches and yank up on it. If the patch is circular and grass blades pull off at the roots but the roots stay in the ground, the problem may be brown-patch fungus. Some other fungus diseases cause variously shaped brown patches; with these the grass sticks tight when you pull on it. In some cases there's a dark green or grayish green line or circle around the damaged patch. For pictures and descriptions look at the "Ortho Problem Solver."

Treat affected grass with fungicide. Always read the entire label and follow all directions and precautions carefully. Unless you use a product that already contains fertilizer, be sure to follow up treatment with a light application of fertilizer. Water early in the morning, not late in the day. Aerate the ground to improve water penetration.

If you've noticed large numbers of moths fluttering in a zigzag pattern over the lawn in the evening and the grass blades are chewed off at ground level, look among the roots for silky white tubes with brown or gray black-spotted grubs in them. These are signs of sod webworm. For this, treat the lawn with a spray or granular product recommended for controlling webworms.

If the grass is loose and comes up like a mat, roots and all, the problem is white grubs. Roll the turf back and look for curled white grubs living under the turf and eating the roots. (In the Southern California area, these are not grubs of the Japanese beetle, as is the case in the East and Midwest, but they are the grubs of several other beetles.) Treat with a product recommended for the control of white grubs, such as diazanon. They're easiest to kill when young, but you may have to treat more than once.

Greenlight Coupon
Click here for a printable coupon.




Irritrol Special




Pest Alert: Asian Citrus Psyllid

Asian Citrus PsyllidThe Asian Citrus Psyllid is an insect which can be a carrier of a fatal citrus tree disease. Read more about this pest and how to keep it from ruining your citrus crop by visiting this link:



Pest of the Month: Ants

Ants are among the most prevalent pests in households. They are also found in restaurants, hospitals, offices, warehouses, and other buildings where they can find food and water. On outdoor (and sometimes indoor) plants, ants protect and care for honeydew-producing insects such as aphids, soft scales, whiteflies, and mealybugs, increasing damage from these pests. Ants also perform many useful functions in the environment, such as feeding on other pests (e.g., fleas, caterpillars, termites), dead insects, and decomposing tissue from dead animals.

Bayer Power Force Granules




Roberts Irrigation Ad




Basic Gardening: Simplified Plant Diseases
Plant Diseases

Is it a bug or is it a fungus?

Telling the difference between insects and fungus or disease problems is not a simple task! Remember when giant whitefly first showed up? Many thought it was fungus because of the fuzzy filaments hanging from the undersides of the leaves and reacted by spraying fungicides, which weren't any help at all.

Actually, insecticides didn't help much either--as we soon found out--due to the many generations present (some of which were resistant) at the same time. Since the mouthparts of giant whiteflies are long and tubular, a good blast with the hose is actually one of the best methods of getting rid of them!

Many other bugs also leave damage that looks much like fungus. In some cases, such as aphids (honeydew produced by the aphids promotes the growth of sooty mold), they actually attract mold or fungus. Using a fungicide may get rid of a symptom but leave the original problem.

Another example: small holes in the leaves of plum, nectarine, almond, and apricot trees are actually symptoms of "shot hole" fungus, but if you see tiny holes in your eggplant's leaves--you probably have flea beetles!

As you can see, diagnosis is not always easy! Bring a sample in and we'll try to help diagnose problems and find the best cure for your problem.

As always, the first and best line of defense is prevention. Keep plants healthy--avoid injuries (such as hitting trees with lawnmowers, etc.). Choose varieties that do well in your area and are naturally resistant. We can help you choose resistant plants that will thrive for you.

Disease occurs when the conditions exist to allow it. It is an interaction between the pathogen (causative agent), environmental conditions, and host (plant). All these must be present. That's why prevention is so important. Consult our nursery professionals for help.

Garden Terms

Pathogens: Microorganisms that cause disease.

Host: Plant that sustains the pathogen.

Spraying Tips

Whether you use our organic or conventional sprays, you can get the most out of your spraying by following these tips:

  1. Make sure the spray is getting UNDERNEATH the leaves. Mites, whiteflies, and many others spend most or all of their time there, so spraying only on the top surfaces will not control them.
  2. Don't spray a bone-dry plant, and don't spray in the middle of a very hot day. Early morning is a good time to spray because it's usually cooler and less windy, and the insects are less active--so more spray hits the pests.
  3. Follow all label directions. Don't use a more concentrated spray than the label recommends--you can easily burn your plants, and usually it is no more effective on pests. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to consult our nursery professionals.

Bayer Preferred Card Special


Brown Turkey Fig Tips

by Tamara Galbraith

The best-loved and most common fig grown in the U.S. has to be the Brown Turkey. And no, the turkey referenced in the name isn't the Thanksgiving bird, it's the country of origin...although there are vicious rumors that the Brown Turkey Fig (Ficus carica) is actually French. Gardeners across the country might also know this variety as Lee's Perpetual, Eastern Brown Turkey, Brunswick, Ramsey, Harrison, Texas Everbearing, or the Everbearing Fig.

Lovers of Mediterranean climates, figs will thrive in the hottest and sunniest part of your garden, will usually fruit the first year, and typically produce two crops of the tasty, brownish-purple fruit in the summer and again in the fall. The Brown Turkey's fruit has a short, plump stem, few seeds and a mild sweet flavor. Early crop fruit is very large, sometimes 2 inches in diameter.

Brown Turkey fig trees are generally hardy from Zone 7a and warmer, (although some gardeners report success up into Zone 5). Until the plant is well-established, it must have a constant supply of water to fruit properly. Soil dryness will result in fruit drop. Don't keep it soggy either, however. And remember that an organic fungicide spraying program will control rust, one of the few problems fig trees experience.

Brown Turkeys, in particular, are good both fresh or made into preserves.


Deciduous Fruit Trees in August

Do not feed deciduous fruit trees now. It's difficult enough for us to get our fruit trees into dormancy in this area without stimulating growth so late in the season.

Deciduous TreeBe sure to prune unwanted sprouts, those tall shoots that grow in summer straight up from the trunk and branches in the centers of mature deciduous fruit trees. Their growth is so sudden and rapid they soon look like buggy whips. Spot this growth as it begins and cut it out flush with the bark. A tree in which water sprouts have been allowed to persist and take over is a terrible mess. They eventually thicken and bear branches just like miniature trees within a tree, taking energy from the parent and ruining its shape. Some deciduous fruit trees also send up suckers from the base of the trunk and from roots. Cut these off now too, so they don't sap the strength of the tree.

Remember to water these trees infrequently. Water deeply and infrequently to encourage deep rooting, but don't subject your trees to absolute drought unless it's unavoidable. A good rule of thumb: mature deciduous fruit trees growing in hot interior valleys need two or three deep irrigations per month throughout the growing season in order to grow well and bear good fruit. Full-grown trees along the coast should be watered deeply once or twice a month. Trees in sandy soil need more water. Young trees require more frequent water to get established.

This is the time to train fruit tree espaliers. Throughout the growing season train the whippy new growth that you want to save into the shape you want, but firmly into place. While the branches are still flexible try tying bamboo poles onto them to train them in straight lines. This system can be especially helpful if you're training your espalier onto a wire framework, because wire bends but bamboo is rigid. Remove the poles when the wood has hardened. Cut off unwanted water sprouts, flush with the bark, from espaliered trees too, now.

On trees that bear on spurs, such as apples, apricots, and pears, cut new growth back to two or three buds to stimulate production of fruiting spurs. (Apricots aren't ideal to espalier. After several years, when their old wood no longer bears as well as formerly, retain some well-placed fresh growth to replace it. Then during winter dormancy cut out the old wood; start training the new growth to take its place.)



Mid-summer Feeding

The recent string of high temperatures has taken a toll on gardens and gardeners alike! The lush green leaves of weeks past now have a yellow, or worse, brown, crispy appearance.

Bringing healthy life back into the garden is pretty basic: Increase water, cut out the dead stuff and feed! Mid-summer feeding is essential for ensuring a healthy and productive garden. Roses, citrus and evergreens tend to suffer from iron and nitrogen deficiency this time of year but with the proper food plants will green up very quickly. A rangy pile of petunias can be cut back and fed and within a couple weeks will explode with color again! Most garden plants including buddleia, salvia, shrubs and assorted annuals will benefit from a trim, a good drink of H2O and food. Organic sources of food are always better as they not only give the soil the nutrients necessary for supporting plant life; they also add essential bacteria. Meal or liquid form may be used. Meal is slower release and longer lasting; liquid, giving a quick fix, will result in faster results but require a more frequent feeding schedule. Since organic solutions feed the soil rather than the plant there is no danger of chemical burn. Plants will feed themselves directly from the soil, as they need it. A little extra effort today will give you lasting results!


Osmocote Special



Problems to Watch Out for in August

The main concern is water, water, water--it's typically hot and everything is thirsty. Be especially careful that camellias get plenty of water, or they will drop their buds next winter!

Summer Bug Corner

Flower thrips will be active--they are very tiny, narrow insects found in flower buds. If flowers are small, deformed and fail to open, suspect thrips. A shake over white paper will usually show them running around. They are often a problem with roses. Initially they breed in grasses and weeds--watch and spray as needed. Also, keep your garden clean! A strong early shower with the garden hose will wash away a lot of problems!

Leaf Scorch

Leaves that are brown at the tip and along the edges reflect a condition called leaf scorch. This can be caused by disease, but is often caused by the leaves losing water faster than the roots can absorb it. Leaf scorch often starts during mid-summer because of hotter weather and winds. It's common on new plants because of their limited root systems, which either are not receiving enough water, or are too small to absorb enough water during hot weather.

A thorough watering usually prevents further damage. If the plant is set on shallow soil, scorch will be a perennial problem and you should either replace the plant with one that can take these conditions, or water on a regular basis.

Leaf scorch on house plants often indicates too much fertilizer or too many salts in the soil. If this is the case, flushing out the salts and fertilizer will prevent further damage.



Notes from Nan


There are two types of gardeners: those who can grow orchids successfully and those who can’t. If you are in the latter category, take heart. Reed orchids are so easy, so tough, and so forgiving, that anyone can grow them. Reed orchids have tiny orchid flowers in shades of lavender, papaya, butter yellow, orange, magenta, and red. The flowers develop in generous clusters at the tips of slender reedy stems. Their graceful vertical stems are lined with pairs of succulent green leaves that project left and right at 90-degree angles. Reed orchids form small plantlets called “keikis” (Hawaiian for “babies”) along their stems. Simply break some off with roots intact and pot them up to make an entirely new reed orchid.

This information is from Nan Sterman's book California Gardener's Guide volume II published by Cool Springs Press.

California Gardener's Guide




Zukes, the unwanted gift

By Tamara Galbraith

A few years ago, a Mt. Gretna, PA, couple known for inventing wacky holidays designated August 8 as “Sneak Some Zucchini onto your Neighbor’s Porch Night". Any gardener who has successfully grown summer squash and zucchini will chuckle with understanding over that one. Invariably, we end up with way more zukes than we can possibly eat. We give them to friends, family and co-workers but every time we turn around, there's more.

Occasionally, though, people do have trouble growing zucchini. Here are a couple of common complaints, with suggested solutions:

Q: My zucchini/squash plant is producing lots of leaves and flowers, but no fruit.

A: This is usually a pollination issue, i.e., the pollen on the male flowers isn't reaching the female flowers, due to low bee and other pollinating insect activity. Female flowers have swelling at the base of the flower. Take a Q-tip, get some pollen from a few male flowers, and rub it on the sticky middle part at the end of the female flowers' pistils. You can also plant several bee-attracting flowers around the zucchini plants.

Q. I have some zucchini fruit growing on my plants, but the end of the fruit starts to go rotten before I can harvest.

A. Two things can cause this rotting: a calcium deficiency or an irregular watering schedule. Add mulch around your zucchinis and water on a regular schedule. If that doesn't help, water a small handful of finely ground limestone into to the soil around each plant to raise calcium levels.





Serves 4.


  • 1 onion, sliced thin
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • a 3/4-pound eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
  • 1 small zucchini, scrubbed, quartered lengthwise, and cut into thin slices
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 3/4 pound small ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup shredded fresh basil leaves


  • In a large skillet cook the onion and the garlic in 2 tablespoons of the oil over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened.

  • Add the remaining 3 tablespoons oil and heat it over moderately high heat until it is hot but not smoking.

  • Add the eggplant and cook the mixture, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes, or until the eggplant is softened.

  • Stir in the zucchini and the bell pepper and cook the mixture over the moderate heat, stirring occasionally, for 12 minutes.

  • Stir in the tomatoes and cook the mixture, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.

  • Stir in the oregano, the thyme, the coriander, the fennel seeds, the salt, and pepper to taste and cook the mixture, stirring, for 1 minute.

  • Stir in the basil and combine the mixture well. The ratatouille may be made one day in advance, kept covered and chilled, and reheated before serving.




Mr. G

'See you next month!'
print thisclick here for a printer friendly version of this page