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Edition 9.06
February 2009
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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.

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"An addiction to gardening is not all bad when you consider all the other choices in life."
~ Cora Lea Bell

Manager's Corner: Encinitas

Grangetto's Escondido Demonstration Garden Opens
1105 W. Mission Ave, Escondido CA 92025

Have you been told there's going to be water rationing, and in addition, to expect huge water bills in the years to follow?  Are you confused when the fire department is telling you to clear brush and chaparral from within 200 feet of your house, and at the same time water districts, newspapers, magazine articles, and landscape designers are urging you to landscape with those same "natives" that are flammable and dangerous, around your home?

If you have already tried going "native,” were you discouraged when you found they only look nice during our short, cool, wet, spring season-  and then everything looks grey, dead and dried-up during the rest of the year?  Or were you frustrated when you found out how even mature "native" plants tend to die in the summertime when exposed to the slightest bit of human intervention or cultivation?

It is true.  Southern California is facing severe water shortages.  You can be assured mandatory water rationing is around the corner.  What are you going to do with your dead lawn? And your brown yard?

Grangetto's faced these same concerns as they took on the challenging task of updating their landscape at their main facility in Escondido. Kevin Grangetto states, “The horticultural community was encouraging the use of native cultivars and while this is not a bad option there are some limitations with native plant species". Grangetto's wanted their newly painted building  to be enhanced by a strikingly beautiful landscape that attracts attention and demonstrates to their customers that water-wise doesn't mean "compromise" when it comes to a lush look, greenness, and beauty.

PhotoTom Jesch, of Designed II... and Daylily Hill nursery, was asked to develop a design- concept and plant palette that would achieve these goals.  At Daylily Hill, they have a unique mixture of plants that can't be found at other nurseries.  He explained how plants could be selected for contrast of textures, foliage color, flowers, structure and shape, so that the appearance of the landscaping would be ever-changing and always beautiful throughout the year!  He also showed them a system of drip-irrigation they had perfected at their nursery in order to carefully water tens of thousands of plants, that was inexpensive, effective, and trouble-free.  Tom said the same tools, creativity, and careful selection of plants applied to Grangetto's project to create their special look could be utilized to create any appearance, whether it's tropical, forest, meadow, or cottage garden- as well as Tuscany, Mediterranean, or southwest- they all can be achieved in a very water-wise format.  Additionally, he emphasized how important it is to think of the plants in a long-range concept, giving attention to their ultimate mature sizes and how much space they need to occupy.  When this is done, there is very little pruning maintenance, because everything ends up filling into its appropriate space just how it was intended.

PhotoAfter the plants were installed, the drip irrigation system was connected to the old sprinkler system infrastructure, so most of the expensive part (time clock, valves, pressure regulators, lateral lines) were already in place and didn't need to be redone.  The finishing touch was a nice layer of mulch spread over the surface, covering the drip tubing, but not making it inaccessible.  The value of the mulch is that it improves and amends the soil substantially just from being on the surface, as well as retains and conserves moisture, and reduces weeds.

Grangetto's invites the public to come and see, and experience, the excitement and beauty of such a unique and refreshing approach to the challenges that face all of southern California landscaping and the impending water crisis.  They have prepared many formats of education from signage, labels, service information, and scheduled speaking engagements, to the "real-time" experience of walking along-side the garden itself- "peeking, poking, and pinching" to see if it's really as beautiful as it appears, and learning how this could be done at your home or project too!

For more information, see our article "Water-Wise Without the Compromise" in the "magazine" section at

Author: Tom Jesch of Designed II

Design II


Grangetto's Horticultural Seminar: May 13th, 2009 at Wild Animal Park in Escondido. Be on the lookout in March for more information!


Free Classes for California Friendly Gardening

LogoThe City of San Diego Water Conservation Department is sponsoring a "California Friendly Gardening for the Water Wise Gardener Class" on Saturday March 7th from 8:30 - 12:30 at Live Well San Diego, 4425 Bannock, San Diego 92117. This is in the Clairemont area.

Call 619-570-1999 to reserve a spot or email

DaVinci Water Gardens


February Specials

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Growing Bareroot Fruit Trees

Gardeners who have learned the glories of picking fresh fruit from their own orchards anxiously await January to take their list of desired trees to the local nursery to buy bare root fruit trees. Your first look at the bare root fruit tree that you envision bearing baskets of fresh sweet fruit may be a bit of a disappointment; they won't win beauty contests. But there is a bonus to buying bareroot. As those smart gardeners know, you get great fruit trees at a price considerably less than a containerized tree.

Read more about growing bareroot fruit trees.

Chill Requirements for Fruit Trees

Bareroot Fruit Tree Ad

Secrets for an Extended Fruit Tree Harvest

One of the true pleasures home gardeners can experience is growing their own fruit. And with a little planning, it's possible to have an extended harvest season. Even gardens that are short on space can have an extended harvest if the proper planting techniques are used.

Read more about the secrets for an extended fruit tree harvest.


Growing Container Fruits

Don't be discouraged from growing fruit just because the space in your garden is limited. Even if there is insufficient room for deciduous fruit trees and standard size citrus, many container gardens can support genetic dwarf fruit trees, dwarf citrus, currants, blueberries and a number of other types of berries. These take up little space and are seldom found in the grocery store. And don't forget the ever-popular strawberries!

Read more about types of fruit that would be perfect for growing in containers.

Kellogg's Gro Power ad

Rose Parade: Bayer Advanced "The Garden of Oz"

Bayer Advanced Float Wins Fantasy Trophy

Tournament of Roses judges awarded the Bayer Advanced float the Fantasy Trophy for most outstanding display of fantasy and imagination.  Bayer Advanced is a three-time winner of the Fantasy Trophy.

Bayer Advanced Float

"It's an honor to be recognized with our ninth consecutive trophy for the Bayer Advanced Garden of Oz Rose Parade float," says Mark Schneid, head ofmarketing for Bayer Advanced.  "The Garden of Oz is symbolic of the type of wishes Bayer Advanced grants: Rose Parade-quality roses in your own backyard."

The theme for the 120th Rose Parade was Hats off to Entertainment. BayerAdvanced and Pasadena-based Phoenix Decorating, the largest Rose Parade floatbuilder, created the float that salutes one of the most entertaining andpopular movies of all time: The Wizard of Oz, which was released in 1939. TheAmerican Film Institute considers it one of America's 10 greatest films.Warner Bros. has launched a 70th anniversary celebration.

Key Features of the Bayer Advanced Garden of Oz Float

  • Sculpted characters including the Scarecrow, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion and  Professor Marvel (a.k.a. The Wizard of Oz).
  • The float features more than 12,000 roses, including one that traveled Over the Rainbow on NASA's space shuttle. NASA Astronaut Rex Walheim    took the rose into space on the shuttle Atlantis in February 2008. The rose traveled more than five million miles on the shuttle. Rex's brother, Bayer Advanced Garden Expert Lance Walheim selected the rose from the Bayer Advanced-sponsored Wrigley Gardens in Pasadena and prepared it for launch. 
  • The world debut of the Pink Promise rose--one of the 2009 All-America Rose Selections(TM)
  • Two riders: Dorothy and Glinda, the Good Witch
  • A rotating giant rose in front of Professor Marvel's crystal ball. The Tin Man's hat releases steam.
  • Yellow roses were used to make the Yellow Brick Road on the Bayer Advanced Garden of Oz float.


The Ultimate Weed Control Products

Dick Streeper’s 2009 Calendar of Rose Care

Jack’s Organic Rose Care Calendar:
Jack Shoultz is a master rosarian and award winning horticulture and arrangement exhibitor in Southern California. Jack tends an organic garden of 500+ roses and he cares for the rose gardens of several clients. He is in high demand as a speaker about organic rose care. Take a look at Jack's Speaking Schedule.

Lawn Aeration Ad

Controlling Peach Leaf Curl

Spray peach and apricot trees against peach leaf curl, an airborne fungus disease that impairs fruiting and can eventually kill a tree. This disease thickens and stunts new shoots, and it puckers, thickens, and curls fresh leaves from the time they first emerge in spring. Affected leaves are red or orange when they first emerge, and later they turn pale green or yellow. Later still, a grayish white powder appears on them, and finally the leaves drop prematurely from the tree. Affected trees bear poorly, and the fruit that survives is usually deformed by wrinkles, raised areas, and irregular lesions.

Be sure to spray all your peach and nectarine trees — even dwarf ones growing in containers — against this dread disease, even if they've never show symptoms. Since peach leaf curl is caused by an airborne fungus it's carried everywhere, though it's at its worst in wet years. Virtually all unsprayed peaches and nectarines fall prey to it eventually, and once the leaves have emerged there's no cure for the problem.

Before spraying your peach and apricot trees, clean them up by removing any loose leaves or mummified fruits and by raking up and destroying all debris in, under, and around each tree. Spray the entire tree, carefully going over the trunk, the branches, and the twigs; also lightly spray the ground under the tree. Spray twice during winter while the trees are dormant, once as soon as the leaves have fallen and again before the buds swell in spring. (The exact timing will differ according to your climate zone, but usually you'll need to apply the first treatment sometime between mid-November and mid-December, and the second in late January or early February.) Ask a Grangetto’s Expert what products to use, how to use them, and when to use them.

Peach Leaf Curl Products

February is the Time to


• Feed Roses, Flowers and Shrubs with Bayer Advanced 2-in-1 Rose & Flower Care, a combination granular fertilizer with insect control, or Bayer Advanced All-in-One, a liquid combining fertilizer, insect and fungal control. Top-dress the soil with Worm Gold Plus, adding John and Bob’s Soil Optimizer to stimulate organic activity. In addition, for Roses, adding Epsom Salts will help with basal breaks, forming new canes on older rose bushes.

• It’s not too late to prune your Roses and Fruit Trees if you haven’t done so already. Use Lilly Miller Kop-R-Spray mixed with Lilly Miller Superior Type Spray Oil to prevent Peach Leaf Curl, insects and diseases. Grangetto’s carries Backpack and Hand Sprayers to make spraying easy.


Read more about what to do for your garden in February!


Dormant Spraying of Fruit Trees

If you haven't already done so, make sure to protect your fruit trees from pests and disease by applying a dormant spray to them. Most fruit trees should be sprayed at least twice--once in January when they are fully dormant and once again at bud swell.

It's helpful to combine both a dormant oil spray with a fungicide at the same time so you only have to spray once. This important spraying will help prevent fungus diseases such as dead bud and peach-leaf curl, in addition to knocking out any overwintering insects or insect eggs.

Since different varieties of fruit trees bloom at different times, it's important to make sure you apply your spray at the proper time for maximum effectiveness. Our staff of garden experts will be happy to guide and advise you with all your spray applications.

Garden Maintenance

Avocados: If you live near the coast (or any frost-free area), start fertilizing your avocados this month. If you live inland, wait until March (to avoid frost damage). Mature avocado trees (8 years old or older) need about two pounds of "actual" nitrogen per year (Give young trees proportionately less). You can do this by applying 25 lbs of aged chicken manure in February (or March if inland) and then sprinkling a cup of blood meal and 1/2 cup of bonemeal under each tree every 6 weeks through August. Don't rake up leaves that have fallen. Allow them to remain under the tree; Studies have shown that a very thick layer of mulch protects avocado trees from avocado root rot (Phytophthora).

Care for Avocado Trees: Read about avocado tree care here.

Citrus Trees: Now is a good time to clean up your citrus and take steps to prevent citrus pests. Start by pruning any branches that touch the ground to help close off access to ants. Clean the tree with a spray of soapy water made with insecticidal soap (according to package instructions). Use a hose-end sprayer to get adequate water pressure. This removes dust, allowing beneficial insects and mites to attack pests. Finish by wrapping the trunk with a sticky ant barrier such as 'Tanglefoot'. Do not apply Tanglefoot directly to the tree. First wrap the trunk with a strip of paper (use either cotton or a nylon stocking under the paper to keep ants from crawling under the paper) then apply Tanglefoot to the paper.

If you live near the coast (or any frost-free area), continue fertilizing your citrus. If you live inland, wait until March (to avoid frost damage). Mature citrus trees need about one pound of "actual" nitrogen per year. Split the fertilizer into equal portions and apply once a month (or every other month) until June.

Deciduous Trees: If rains are light, be sure to water deciduous trees as this is the time that they put out new leaves and blossoms.

Fuchsia & Begonias: Prune fuchsias and begonias. Hard pruning now will result in shapelier plants later in the season. Fuchsia bloom only on new wood and need to be cut back annually to produce new growth. Cut back hanging basket plants to container's edge or 4 inches above the soil. Cut back shrub fuchsias by half or more. Prune begonias to keep them from getting leggy. Cut cane and angel-wing begonias to pot level or three or four nodes from the ground. Prune wax begonias 1-2 inches from the ground.

Speak with a Grangetto’s Expert for more tips on maintaining the above trees and plants

Crabgrass In Lawns

In southern California, the major germination period for both crabgrass species is from January 15 to early April, depending on the temperature, and seeds continue to germinate throughout spring and summer. While germination is early in warm winter areas, growth is slow during spring months until mid-May. In June and July the plants produce tillers and shoots, and flower in late July and August. In the absence of a frost, crabgrass may overwinter in warm areas or during warm winters and produce new growth and a second crop of seed in spring or early summer.

Crabgrass is one of the more irritating lawn weeds, but it's not as hard to control as you might think. An annual weed, crabgrass seeds begin germinating in early spring. The trick in controlling it is to start early and apply a pre-emergent herbicide before the seeds have a chance to germinate. Green Light Crabgrass Preventer is a pre-emergent herbicide for control of crabgrass and other annual weeds in turf. For many mild-winter areas, starting early means starting now.

Crabgrass as it may appear in your lawn

A Grangetto’s Expert can help you with your weed and pest problems.
Visit or contact us today!

Ultimate Weed Control Products

Caring for Callas

One of the most graceful plants that can enhance your outdoor garden is also one of the easiest houseplants to grow; the calla lily, which isn't really a lily, nor is it a calla, although it is related to the latter genus. In reality, the calla lily is the common name for the zantedeschia genus; just as our family trees can be at times daunting in their complexities, so too with our favorite flowers.

Read more about calla lilies.

Free Landscaping Classes for Professionals

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that includes the schedule.


Grangetto's celebrates success with Twin Oaks Growers

PhotoTwin Oaks Growers Int. ( a San Marcos based producer of foliage plants and outdoor tropicals recently had an article published in Ag Alert, a California Farm Bureau Publication. Kyle Hawkins, Commercial/Wholesale Sales Manager with Grangetto’s Farm & Garden Supply (left) is shown presenting Bas Denbraver (right) who is the co-owner of Twin Oaks Growers with a framed replica of the recent article. Grangetto’s and Twin Oaks Growers have enjoyed doing business together for over 30 years.

Alta Vista Gardens Needs Your Help!

Garden organizers ask kids for help with name
Portion of 13-acre property will be set aside as children's area

By STACY BRANDT - Staff Writer – Publication: North County Times

"Instead of having us as board members and committee members try to name it, it's kind of a neat thing to do ---- let the kids' imaginations work," said Todd Cure, a landscape architect and president of the garden's board of directors.

The board's plan is to eventually install a collection of themed gardens on 13 acres of city-owned land at the top of a hill in the 85-acre park.

So far, welcome gardens have been built and work is almost done on a portion of the land featuring jungle vegetation and an observation deck. The children's garden is expected to be the next part finished.

The garden's board of directors has a preliminary plan for what they want to see in the half-acre that will eventually be the children's portion, including a teaching area, a play house and a sand box.

Now, they're hoping children in preschool through fifth grade will be able fill in between the lines by coming up with a name and ideas of other things they'd like to see built.

By getting the children involved in naming and designing the garden, Cure said he hopes to create something with which they can relate.

Read more of this article.


Arugula Salad with Beets and Goat Cheese
Click here for the recipe.


Mr. G
'See you next month!'
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