Weather this past winter, for most of the time, had been tough on those who enjoy skiing and other winter sports and for those who make a living plowing snow, or, like us who sell sand, salt, calcium chloride and other products to minimize its nuisance.
For just about everyone else, it was a fairly pleasant winter. Lower oil prices even saved money heating the house.
Of course weather is fickle. There have been times in the past when forsythia flowers were covered with snow.
We did get a fair amount of precipitation during the last few months, so a water shortage should not be a problem, but lack of snow cover could present a problem to some of our plants
A FEW REMINDERS FOR APRIL
1. Lime if needed – Our soils are naturally acid, so they will need it if lime has not been applied in recent years. A simple soil test will show if needed. Once pH is near neutral, 25 lbs. per 1000 sq. ft. yearly or 50 lbs. every couple of years will keep it there. Sol-u-Cal is the most efficient pH changer and is used at ¼ the rate of pelleted or pulverized lime. The humates it contains hastens seed germination.
2. Feed if you missed the Thanksgiving application. We have several good products, both synthetic and organic. Keep in mind NY law states you cannot fertilize the lawn with a product containing phosphorus unless seeding or a soil test shows a need. Quantum Growth helps release locked up phosphorus.
3. Fill in low areas and depressions with one of our topsoil products. Don’t try to level with a heavy roller. It compacts the soil and hinders root penetration.
4. Reseed if necessary. One pound of our Sun and Shade covers about 200 sq. ft. of bare ground. Rake into contact with the soil.
Mill River Supply – April 2016 Lawns – continued
5. Apply crabgrass preventer to sunny areas where it can be or has been a problem. Use Tupersan if reseeding, otherwise all of the others are effective.*
6. Milky Spore is a good natural Japanese beetle grub control. It takes time to establish itself so now is a good time to apply it. Merit (Imidacloprid) applied sometime between mid-June and mid-August will kill grubs as they hatch in the fall. The mature ones don’t do much damage in spring.
7. Kill lawn weeds as they appear. We offer several good liquid and granular products. A couple of the liquid products are natural.*
*Note – Lebanon Seaboard’s 24-0-6 fertilizer also contains a crabgrass preventer and a weed killer. Its only drawback is that it also will kill germinating grass seed.
1. Lime if needed - 1 ton per acre is the normal rate. (50 lbs. per 1000 sq. ft.) Use one quarter the amount if using the more efficient Sol-U-Cal.
2. Seed with our Westchester Pasture Mix at 25 lbs. per acre of bare ground. (3/4 lbs. per 1000 sq. ft.) We offer mixes with and without clover.
3. Feed with 10-10-10 at 400 lbs. per acre. (10 lbs. per 1000 sq.ft.) We also offer other fertilizers including Fertrell, Nature Safe and Espoma products if you prefer to use a natural/organic product.
When the soil can be worked (soil ball crumples when squeezed), you can plant lettuce,
peas, broccoli, cabbage, beets, radishes, onions, spinach, turnips, parsley and Brussels sprouts. We have seed racks from Burpee, Hart, New England Seed, Irish Eyes, Livingston and Weeks.
Seed Potatoes and Onion sets also are available.
You also will find the soils, flats, peat pots, heating pads, labels and other things required for starting seeds indoors.
In addition to the many products we have sold in the past we offer the following:
Coast of Maine’s STONINGTON BLEND PLATINUM GROWERS MIX is a “Super Soil” designed for high performance growing in containers and large pots. Developed for professional growers, this blend is made up of mycorrhizal fungi, kelp, fishbone, alfalfa meal, worm castings, peat, coir and lobster compost.
ORGANIX IS A NEW GROUP WHICH IS EXCELLENT FOR ORGANIC AND OTHER GROWERS
NEW ENGLAND CRAB & SEAWEED SOIL is made up of crab shells, sea kelp worm castings and beneficial mycorrhizae. It is rich in organic matter and nutrients, which helps create a great environment for healthy plants.
POWER SEED STARTER is an amazing blend of natural ingredients for quickly germinating strong, vibrant seeds. It is specially formulated with seaweed extract, worm castings and beneficial mycorrhizae. It creates a perfect environment for seeds, promoting rapid root growth and increased early nutrient uptake.
JUST ADD WATER SOIL (JAWS) – is a perfect balance of organic soil chemistry. It truly is a just add water soil. JAWS provides a complete array of soil nutrients that do not lock up on the soil colloid and is able to solubilize throughout the growth with nutrient availability in the root zone.
LOOSE COCO COIR is triple washed with rain water or spring water before being pressed into blocks and packaged. It is known for consistency and quality.
BASE SOIL MIX is a starter blend made up of Coco and peat, worm castings, horticultural sand, perlite and organic washed bark mulch. It is an excellent seed starting mix for growers that want to add their own nutrients.
60% COIR 40% PERLITE BLEND is a great base medium for hydroponics and indoor and outdoor organic cultivation applications. Triple washed low sodium and super coarse perlite creates an environment with lots of air space to help plants flourish.
TREES AND SHRUBS
Feed now – especially the trees and shrubs in weakened condition. We offer a number of plant foods for the purpose. Super Thrive and Quantum Growth provide extra health and vigor to all plants. Add a weed preventive and mulch to shrub beds.
One way to start a wildflower patch is to kill off actively growing existing vegetation with one of the many non-selective products found at Mill River Supply. Spike or rake to create a seedbed and sow the wildflowers along with non-competing Sheep fescue.
Continue feeding until plenty of food becomes available in the wild. Feed all year long, if
you wish, for your pleasure and to keep them close by to help with insect control.
Mount a Bluebird box or two.
KEEP DEER AND OTHER PESTS OUT OF YOUR GARDEN AND FROM EATING YOUR SHRUBS
We offer many liquid and dry repellents to help prevent deer and other pests from adding your property to their list of favorite restaurants. Fencing, of course is the most permanent and effective deterrent. We stock many types of fencing, stakes, post pounders and ties to give your property the protection you require.
GOOD BOOKS FROM LOCAL HORTICULTURAL EXPERTS AVAILABLE AT MILL RIVER
Read Johnsen Design’s excellent book “Heaven Is A Garden” by Jan Johnsen, and Sprainbrook Nursery’s book by Al Krautter along with the popular book on deer control (in its 3rd edition) by Peter Derano.
Mill River Supply – April 2016
FOLLOWING ARE A FEW TOPICS COVERED AT APGAR SALES’ MARCH 23RD, 2016,
25TH ANNUAL SEMINAR:
Mike Donahue of LEBANON/SEABOARD mentioned that his company purchased ROOTS and PHC a few years ago. All PHC products will now be labeled with the ROOTS name. The products all have beneficial bacteria and mycorrhizae and are excellent for sod establishment, hasten seed germination and are used in the establishment of transplanted trees and shrubs.
Joe Magazzi whose company, GREEN EARTH AGRICULTURE distributors of QUANTUM GROWTH (which is OMRI listed), pointed out that the product, which also contains beneficial microbes and mycorrhizae can be used as a foliar spray or soil drench. It aids in the reduction of soil
compaction, is better than gypsum in protecting plants from salt damage, releases
soil phosphorus and reduces fertilizer needs by as much as 20%, produces deep roots
which better withstand summer drought and heat and aids in quick seed germination.
Eric Maurer of ENGAGE AGRO talked of his bio-pesticide product FIESTA, which is a selective lawn weed killer, the active ingredient of which is a form of Iron Chelate. It is a Canadian product, which is the number one lawn herbicide used in that country of tough pesticide restrictions. It works in 24 hours at temperatures between 50 and 80 degrees. It can be applied one week after grass seed emergence and reseeding can take place the next day. It is a top killer, not systemic, so a second application may be necessary 3 to 4 weeks later. It controls many weeds and turns moss black.
Tim Layman of SOLU-CAL USA spoke of the importance of humic acid in the way it produces a higher yield and healthier crops. It is a food source of microbes and enhances the effectiveness of organic fertilizers. It helps soil retain 10% more moisture. Solu-Cal includes humic acid in its products, which are OMRI, CDFA and NOFA approved. Solu-Cal in addition to being a quick acting source of Calcitic lime aids in the prompt germination of seed. It is fully effective in 6-8 weeks in raising pH as opposed to other forms of limestone, all of which takes many months to become available. It also aids in preventing Blossom End Rot on tomatoes.
SOLU-CAL S is Gypsum. It is far more effective than standard gypsum in preventing problems and aiding in recovery from salt damage. It also reacts with dog urine and promotes recovery. It should be applied at six week intervals where urine damage is ongoing. Standard rate for all purposes is 12.5 lbs. per 1000 sq. ft.
SERVICES OFFERED BY MILL RIVER SUPPLY
We can build BIRD HOUSES, WINDOW BOXES, and PLANTERS
and just about anything you require made of wood.
Our SHARPENING SERVICE can refresh many of your hand tools.
Our KEY CUTTING can reproduce many of your keys.
Check our WEBSITE for the weekly specials.
We will gladly mail you a copy of our NEWSLETTER. We just need to be asked. Of course, we would prefer to e-mail it to you, but are aware that many people still prefer to receive things through the United States Post Office.
P.S. Power Pellets kill invasive trees and shrubs. Used for over 25 years in the West; they have been approved in March for use in N.Y. Ask us about these easy-to-use pills.
FOLLOWING ARE SOME REMINDERS FROM THE TIME IN THE MID 1960s
WHEN I WAS PART OWNER OF CHAPPAQUA EVERGREEN NURSERY (corner of South Greeley Ave. and King St. – by the bridge):
If you missed spraying your plants and trees in March, use a DORMANT OIL spray now before growth starts.
FEED TREES and SHRUBS now to help them get a good start.
Prevent White Pine Weevil and European Pine Shoot Moth by thoroughly spraying pines and spruces late this month.
Prevent the common gall aphids by spraying spruces late in the month
Prevent Birch Leaf Miner by spraying as leaves begin to unfold and repeating in 2 weeks and again a month after the second spraying. Small yellow-brown spots appear where adult flies deposit eggs.
Spray Tent Caterpillars as soon as webs appear on fruits, especially wild cherry.
Plant radishes, peas, carrots, beets, lettuce and spinach, but be sure the soil is loose and workable before you plant.
Peonies can be saved from Botrytis Blight by timely sprayings as soon as shoots break through the ground and again two weeks later.
Remove winter rose protection early in the month. Prune where necessary and feed to encourage healthy, profusely flowering plants.
Prevent Iris Borers by removing old leaves and spraying with a good insecticide when leaves are six inches tall. Repeat every ten days until flower stalks appear.