Monday, December 22, 2014

Get out and have some fun this winter!


Great classes and workshops for the whole family!


JANUARY
Homeschool Garden Craft Class ~ Suet Making - Wednesday,  January 7th, 1pm  
In this class, each child will learn about feeding our feathered friends and will make a suet cake to take home to feed the birds!  Please wear old clothes.  For children 5 - 12+.   Pre-registration and payment required.  Fee:  $5.00

Garden Craft Class ~ Suet Making - Saturday,  January 10th, 9am  In this class, each child will learn about feeding our feathered friends and will make a suet cake to take home to feed the birds!  Please wear old clothes.  For children 5 - 12+.   Pre-registration and payment required.  Fee:  $5.00

Mommy & Me Garden Craft Class:  Pencil Toppers ~ Tuesday, January 13th 10am  In this fun class, each child and parent (together) will make 2 creative pencil toppers.  This class is for children 4 years and under.  A parent or guardian must stay with the child.  Pre-registration required.  Fee:  $5.00

Winter Wellness with Essential Oils ~ Make Your Own Foaming Hand Wash and Hand Cleansing Gel - Wednesday, January 14th 1pm  Heard the buzz about the harmful chemicals found in many of the products we use daily?  In this fun class, learn some of the benefits of essential oils and make your own Foaming Hand Wash and Hand Cleansing Gel using natural ingredients and essential oils.  These homemade versions will cleanse and moisturize your hands without the toxins while saving you money.  Pre-registration and payment required.  Fee: $5.00

Fairy Garden Workshop ~ Saturday, January 17th, 1-2pm  In this class, each 
participant will plant their own fairy garden.  Fee is $5 plus plants and supplies.  Pre-registration required.  For adults and children.

Simple Soap Making for Adults - Tuesday,  January 20th, 1-2pm  Each participant 
will learn about some creative ways to use ‘melt and pour’ soaps.  These make great gifts!
Pre-registration and payment required.  Fee:  $15.00

Homeschool Garden Craft Class ~ Terrarium Workshop - Wednesday,  
January 21st, 1pm  Each child will make their own terrarium garden and learn how to care for it.  Please wear old clothes.  For children 5 - 12+.  Pre-registration and payment required.  Fee:  $5.00

Soup & Bread Luncheon ~ Thursday, January 22nd 11am.  Enjoy a delicious, hand made lunch featuring several different kinds of soups and breads - all made right here in our farm kitchen.  Dessert and drinks are included.  Recipes will be available.  Pre-registration an payment required.  $15.00


Adult Suet Making - Tuesday,  January 27th, 1pm  Each participant will learn about bird feeding and will make several suet cakes to take home.  Pre-registration and payment 
required.  Fee:  $10.00

Adult Terrarium Workshop ~ Saturday, January 31st, 1pm  Each participant will make their own terrarium to take home.  Fee is $5.00 plus plants and supplies.  Pre-registration and payment required. 


FEBRUARY
Homeschool Garden Craft Class:   Sugar Cone Bird Feeders ~ Wednesday, February 4th, 1-2pm  In this fun and crafty class, the children will make beautiful bird feeders using huge sugar cones, peanut butter, seed and fruit.  They will finish it off with some decorative flowers.  Please wear old clothes.  Ages 5 and up. Pre-registration required. Fee: $10.00

Garden Craft Class:  Recycled Owl ~ Saturday, February 7th, 9-10am In this class, each child will make a creative owl made from recycled items. Great to hang in a bedroom window.  Please wear old clothes.  Ages 5 and up. Pre-registration required. Fee: $5.00

Fairy Garden Workshop ~ Saturday, February 7th, 1-2pm  In this class, each 
participant will plant their own fairy garden.  Fee is $5 plus plants and supplies.  Pre-
registration required.  For adults and children.

Mommy & Me Garden Craft Class:  Cookie Decorating ~ Tuesday, February 10th 10am  In this fun class, each child and parent (together) will decorate a heart shaped sugar cookie made right here in our bakery.  (Just in time for Valentine’s Day!)  This class is for children 4 years and under.  A parent or guardian must stay with the child.  Pre-registration required.  
Fee:  $5.00

Winter Wellness with Essential Oils ~ Green Cleaning Without The Chemicals - Wednesday, February 11th 1pm  It might surprise you to know that you can make simple and inexpensive non-toxic cleaners from essential oils and ingredients already in your home. Ditch the rubber gloves and join us for an afternoon of green cleaning.  You will make your own natural all-purpose cleaner and air freshener to take home and will receive recipes for other cleaners to try.  Pre-registration required.  Fee:  $5.00

Soup & Bread Luncheon ~ Thursday, February 12th 11am.  Enjoy a delicious, hand made lunch featuring several different kinds of soups and breads - all made right here in our farm kitchen.  Dessert and drinks are included.  Recipes will be available.  Pre-registration required.  $15.00

Romance Writer’s Day ~ Saturday, February 14th
Visit with local romance authors for this romantic book-signing event!  Many books will be 
available for purchase and the authors will be on hand to answer questions and talk about upcoming releases. Pick up a brochure at the registers in January!

Homeschool Garden Craft Class:   Cooking With Ketha ~ Wednesday, February 18th, 1-2pm  Come for lunch!  Our chef, Ketha will work with the kids to make their own lunch.  While it is baking, we’ll do a fun craft.  Ages 5 and up. Pre-registration required. Fee: $10.00

Adult Terrarium Workshop ~ Saturday, February 21st, 1pm  Each participant will make their own terrarium to take home.  Fee is $5.00 plus plants and supplies.  Pre-registration and 
payment required. 



Wednesday, December 17, 2014


DECORATE A TREE FOR THE BIRDS!
 
  For many of us, our feathered friends bring hours of enjoyment, watching them flitter about from tree to tree, nibbling on any little morsel they can find.  If you love bird watching, try decorating a tree just for them!  Here are some great recipes you can make at home:

PEANUT BUTTER SUET PINE CONES
6 yards of 18-gauge florist wire
12 pine cones
3 lbs. peanut butter
11/2 lbs. suet
10 lbs. bird seed

Twist an 18-inch length of florist wire around the big end of each pine cone, making a large hook at the end of the wire.  Mix peanut butter and suet.  Using small handfuls, spread peanut butter mixture on pine cones.  Roll pinecones in a large bowl of bird seed.  Yield:  12 pine cones.
NOTE:  Suet is available at supermarket meat departments.  Ask that it be ground fine for easier mixing.

PRETZEL GARLANDS
Unsalted miniature pretzels
1/4 inch wide red ribbon, cut to desired length of garland.

Weave ribbon through pretzels to make an edible garland for the birds.

SNOWY DOUGHNUTS
12 small powdered sugar coated doughnuts
4 yards 1/4 inch wide red ribbon

Cut ribbon into 12, 12-inch lengths.  Loop ribbon through doughnuts; tie in knot.  Yield:  12 ornaments.

BREAD STARS
1 loaf stale white sandwich bread
Christmas ornament hangers

Using a star-shaped cookie cutter, cut each slice of bread.  Attach an ornament hanger to each shape.

CRANBERRY HEARTS
6 yards of 22-gauge florist wire
2 lbs. fresh cranberries

Cut florist wire into 18 inch lengths.  Thread fresh cranberries onto wires; then bend each into a heart shape.  Yield:  12 ornaments.

ORANGE BASKETS
12 oranges
3 cups bird seed
3 cups suet (ground fine)
3 cups sunflower seeds
3 cups raisins
12 feet 1/2-inch-wide ribbon

Cut oranges into basket shapes and scoop out pulp.  Put birdseed, suet, sunflower seeds and raisins in individual bowls.  Fill the orange baskets with ingredients from the bowls.  
Loop ribbon through basket "handles."  
Yield:  12 ornaments.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014


AMARYLLIS BULBS
  
Of all the bulbs that will flower out of season indoors, one of the easiest is the Amaryllis.  They can provide bright flowers during the dark months of winter.  Amaryllis can be kept as a house plant for years with the right care.  Thriving best when the roots are crowded, they require a pot 2-4 inches wider than the bulb.  They bloom for 2-4 weeks, usually between December and April.

LIGHT  Indirect sun is needed when the bulb starts to flower.  Partial shade helps to bring out brilliant color of flowers.

TEMPERATURE:  A warm temperature is needed for forcing into flower; cool conditions make flowers last longer.

MOISTURE:  Water well after potting, then keep on the dry side until root growth is started.  Then keep moist while growing.

PROPAGATION:  Propagate from seed (three years to flowering) or divide bulbs at potting time (two years to flowering).

POTTING:  Use a well-drained potting mix, potting the bulbs into a five to seven inch pot.  Allow one inch of soil around the bulb.  The bulb is potted to leave the upper third exposed above the soil.

Water well and don’t water again  until it sprouts.  After it sprouts move it into the sun and begin watering.  Move to the shade when it’s ready to flower.

FERTILIZER:  Apply water-soluable house plant fertilizer once a month during growth season, or as long as leaves are green.

INSECTS:  Amaryllis is subject to spider mites and mealy bugs.  Treat with insecticide.

REMARKS:  After the bulb has flowered, place outdoors in a semi-shady location for summer growth.  In the fall when leaves die down, store in a cool, dry location until signs of growth appear in late fall or winter.

Thursday, December 4, 2014


CHRISTMAS CACTUS
 
The unusual stems and timely blossoms of these commonly grown 
house plants are both delightful and fascinating.  Christmas cactus is an old favorite.  It has striking, bright green arched branches made up of flat, scalloped 11/2 inch long joints.  The branches droop, especially when in bloom.  It’s multi-trumpeted, 3-inch long, rosy red flowers, plus other colors, appear at Christmas time.

SCHLUMBERGERAS are native to the tropical forests of South America, where they grow on trees.  They require rich, porous soil.  Keep soil most but not soggy, and fertilize weekly when the plant is growing.  They do well in front of a cool, bright window.  During the summer you can move them outdoors into partial shade.  Budding is brought on by the short days of October and November or by a cold shock.  To promote flowering, place plants outdoors for a time during the fall.

LIGHT:  Place in a bright but indirectly lit south, east or west window.
WATER:  Keep very moist during growth and flowering.  At other times, allow to dry between waterings.
HUMIDITY:  Average indoor humidity levels.
TEMPERATURES :  40°F. to 45°F. at night; 60°F. to 65°F. during the day to set flower buds; 50°F. to 55°F. at night, 65°F. to 70°F. during the day at other times.
FERTILIZATION:  Fertilize only when plant is actively growing or flowering.  
PROPAGATION:  Take cuttings from recently matured stems or shoots when plant is not in flower.
GROOMING:  Prune after flowering if necessary. 
Re-potting:  Infrequent potting is best.
PROBLEMS:  Dry soil or high soluble salts may damage roots, causing dieback.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Black Friday Savings!



Start your holiday shopping on the right track!  Visit Ashcombe for Black Friday savings!  The first 50 customers will receive a FREE muffin and coffee!


Thursday, November 20, 2014

It's Poinsettia Time!


POINSETTIAS!
 
Hard to believe, but the holidays are fast approaching and it's time to sing our praises to this beautiful Christmas favorite!

This traditional holiday plant was brought to this country by the US Minister to Mexico, Joel Poinsett, in 1835.  He returned to South Carolina with cuttings of this pretty Mexican wildflower.  
It still bears his name.  Much plant breeding has produced the superior plants we grow today.

The POINSETTIA is a member of the family EUPHORBIACEA, which also includes many succulent plants such as the "Crown of Thorns."

The colored petals which we so often call the 'flower' are actually only bracts.  The true flower is the yellow part in the center of the bracts called the cyathia.  Poinsettias are not poisonous 
to people or animals.

CARE AND RE-BLOOMING OF THE POINSETTIA
LIGHT: Poinsettias prefer bright, filtered light, in a spot free from drafts and extreme heat.  The life of the plant can be extended if you leave  a small light burning at night, however, most of the new hybrids are colorful well into the winter.

WATERING:  Let the plant semi-dry between thorough waterings.  Drain off excess water.  
Be sure to remove water from foil wrappers when bringing them home.  Average home humidity levels are fine.  

FERTILIZING:  No feeding is necessary while plants are blooming. 

TEMPERATURE:  Ideal temperature is 65-70°F. during the day; 60°F. at night.  Normal home temperatures are generally adequate, provided the plant is not placed on top of a TV (the set is too hot when in use).

To grow your plant over summer and to bloom next holiday, keep it growing and cut back in May.  Each time the plant grows about 4 inches, cut half of the new growth off.  Water lightly and feed once a month.  You may place the plant outside in summer, keeping it pruned back, and re-potting only if necessary.  Cut back new shoots early in August, leaving 3-4 leaves per stem.  Bring plant inside in September before temperatures become chilly at night, and put in a bright sunny window.  From late September until the end of October (flower buds should be set), the plant MUST receive 14 hours total darkness at night.  Even a little bit of light during this crucial time will set the plant's flowering back.  Use a dark closet, or a dark unused room with curtains drawn closed to block out any street lights.  Then bring the poinsettia out and continue growing it as before.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Holiday Open House on Saturday!

Time flies!  It is time for our annual Holiday Open House this Saturday!  We have a wonderful line up of guests this year and vendors offering their crafts and hand made items for sale.  Join us on Saturday between 9 and 4 for these great vendors, events, trains, displays, food and more!


ADAMS COUNTY WINERYSamples available, wine and gift certificates for sale

THE NATIONAL RAILWAY HISTORICAL SOCIETY Share train history, trivia and information and  see a 14’x10’ historical model railroad.  9-4


THE STATION  10-4.  Share train history and information with members of this New Cumberland based organization.


Vegetable & Fruit  Garnishing  with caterer Ed Byrem.  9-4


Artistic Expressions In Photography by Joann  Black and white photographs of nature.


SHADOWBERRY FARM ALPACAS  Hand knit, crocheted
and handwoven items, felted hats & purses, hand dyed yarn.


JEWELRY BY JILL  9-4  Felted wool flowers, zipper flowers, watch part pins.


PAISLEY BY BRENDA  9-4  Crocheted apparel - mostly hats.


HART-SO-BIG ALPACA FARM WITH BARB  9-4  Alpaca clothing, hats, gloves, scarves, socks, hand made knitted items and dryer balls.


GOURD & WOOD WHIMSIES WITH JENNIFER  9-4
Gourd Christmas ornaments, gourd bowls and bird houses.  Wood carved Christmas ornaments.


CHILDREN’S CRAFT  Make a bird seed ornament.  FREE


GARDEN TO GOURMET WITH VEGGIECATION® WITH MELISSA  “Cucumber Wreaths” with fresh veggies.


PLANET FITNESS  Will be here - stop by and learn about
their fitness programs.


UPCYCLED CRAFTS BY NATALIE  Hand crafted jewelry & artisan made home decor.












We will also have beautiful 'theme' displays.  Check these out for great decorating ideas!

And remember...our floral designer can make the perfect accents for your home!
Classic Christmas
Traditional red and green holiday charm featuring snowmen and Santa Claus.

Rustic WildernessThe look of the natural forest with rock garland, birch logs and burlap accents.


Frozen WoodsTeal and brown accents centered around lit birch trees and owls.


The Call Of The CardinalRed and white and all things cardinals!


Pop Of Pink
Not your traditional color palette for Christmas but stunning all the same.


Decorating
Decorating ideas for your front door, mail box, mantle and holiday table.

Visit us on Friday, November 14th for a Holiday Open House preview from 

5-8.  Hope to see you there!






Wednesday, November 5, 2014

There is still time to plant!


FALL PANSIES and

ORNAMENTAL CABBAGE 

AND KALE

Put some 'pizzazz' in your fall garden!

Pansies are hardy, or cold-tolerant annuals.  They can survive cold snaps, even snow, with little damage except to the open blossoms.  They can be planted in the fall and will winter over for excellent spring color.  

  
Ornamental Cabbage & Kale offer great fall color for the garden and really stand up to frost!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Our Bakery


Make Ashcombe pies part of your Thanksgiving tradition!  Each one of our pies is hand made from scratch.

Be sure to order your Thanksgiving baked goods early.  Deadline for orders is November 22nd. 

  
PIES - AVAILABLE IN 5" OR 9"
*  Apple
*  Apple-Cranberry
*  Banana Cream
*  Blueberry
*  Cherry
*  Chocolate Cream
*  Coconut Cream
*  Coconut Custard
*  Egg Custard
*  Key Lime
*  Lemon Meringue
*  Lemon Sponge
*  Mincemeat (seasonal)
*  Montgomery
*  Oatmeal
*  Peach
*  Peanut Butter
*  Pecan
*  Pumpkin (seasonal)
*  Raisin
*  Shoofly

*  Frozen Sugar Free Pies 
- Apple and Cherry

We have baked goods for any occasion!

COOKIES
*  Filled Cookies - Coconut, Chocolate, Chip, 
     Truffle Peanut Butter & Raspberry
*  Chocolate Chip
*  M&M
*  Maple Walnut
*  Molasses
*  Monster - Peanut Butter, Oatmeal, Chocolate 
     Chips, M&Ms, Peanut
*  Oatmeal Raisin
*  Peanut Butter
*  Snickerdoodles
*  Sugar
*  Triple Chocolate
*  White Chocolate Macadamia Nut

CAKES
*  Angel Food Cake
*  Black Walnut
*  Carrot
*  Chocolate
*  German Chocolate
*  Spice
*  White
*  Yellow
*  Cupcakes
Frostings:  white, chocolate & 
    peanut butter
 

SPECIALTY ITEMS
*  Pumpkin Cookies with Caramel Icing
*  Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
*  Oatmeal Whoopie Pies
*  Pumpkin Cupcakes w/ Cream Cheese Icing
*  Pumpkin Roll
*  Pumpkin Sheet Cake
*  Texas Sheet Cake

We also have a great selection of muffins and breads!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


HOW TO GROW BULBS INDOORS
  
1.Fill a pot three quarters full with good garden soil, mixed with some sand if possible for better drainage.  Plant the bulbs gently in the pots, close together then pack some soil around the bulbs leaving the tips visible.

2.Water them thoroughly, allowing time for the soil to absorb enough water so it is thoroughly soaked.

3.Now the pots need a period of cold storage for about 12-14 weeks, in a dark and cool place.  This period is of vital importance, because the bulbs need to develop good roots and sprouts.  You need to fool them and make believe that they go through winter.  Most ideal is to burry the pots in the garden.  Simply dig a trench, put the pots in and cover them with a 4-5 inch layer of sand or peat moss and Mother Nature will take care of them.

4.  The best time to pot the bulbs is the end of October or the first part of November.  The best time to take the pots into the house is the middle to the end of January.  Perhaps the ground is frozen by the middle of January but if you have a thick layer of mulch on top of the pots, you will probably be able to get them out anyway.

5.Chances are you do not have a garden or you will absolutely not be able to get into the ground in the middle of January.  Then we look for alternative places.  Ideal cold storage temperature is between 40 and 50°F.  A cellar, a basement or perhaps an old refrigerator are ideal alternatives, providing the temperature can be kept at the required level.  (Do not store fruits in the same place.  They set off ethylene gas which can kill the flower buds inside the bulbs).

6.The pots may need watering while in cold storage and should be checked from time to time.  Keep the soil damp at all times.

7.As soon as the bulbs have developed sprouts of about 2 inches long, the pots can be brought into the house.  Place preferably in a sunny window at regular room temperature.  The more light the better.  This will prevent them from stretching too tall.  In a matter of a few weeks you will have a beautiful indoor flower show.  We need to mention that Crocuses should be kept cooler than other bulbs after they are released from cold storage.  Too warm a temperature can dry up the flower buds in Crocuses so they may not bloom.

8.Be sure to water bulbs well, because they drink lots of water at warm room temperatures.  You may need to soak the pots about twice a week in a bucket of water and allow time for the pots to absorb enough water or keep a matching saucer filled with water under the pot.

After the buds unfold, flowers will last longer if you move the plant to a cooler place.

NARCISSI PAPERWHITES
Paperwhites can be grown without going through a cold storage period.  Simply fill the pot halfway with soil, wet the bulbs gently in the soil and pack more around the bulbs, leaving the tips visible.  

Water them thoroughly, allowing time for the soil to absorb enough water so it is thoroughly soaked.
Place anywhere in the house and watch them develop into bloom, preferable in a window sill where there is plenty of light; water regularly.  

(If you place your Paperwhites in a cooler, place for 3-4 weeks directly after planting, they will have a tendency to stay shorter).

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Fall Harvest Days daily October 17th through November 1st


(weather permitting - please call ahead)
Hours:  Monday - Saturday 9am-6pm 
Sunday 11am-4pm
Every day enjoy great family fun:  
* Hayworld Play Area For Children w/Hay Slides 
    & Jumps (Free)
* Field Games & Activities (Free)
* Pick-Your-Own Pumpkins 
* Horse Drawn Hayrides $4.00
* Mini Corn Maze $2.00

Visit us for these other exciting events happening throughout the month...
Scarecrow Making Saturday, October 18th:  Bring your own clothes and the cost is $15.  For $20 we'll take care of everything!

Jack & Joan's Kettle Corn October 18th and 25th.

Big Rock Alpaca Farm will be here with their beautiful alpacas Saturday, October 18th and 25th.

Apple Butter Boil October 25th.

Face Painting  October 18th and 25th.

Visiting Nigerian Dwarf Goats & Chickens the entire month!

Special Harvest Foods every Saturday and Sunday in October.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Firefly Sale October 13th

Well, we are going to try something a little different.  On Monday, October 13th we are going to have a Firefly Sale from 5-8pm.  This sale is fun!  Choose your own shopping time and choose your own sale price.

Let me explain.

Shop in our Perennial Area or our Trees & Shrubs Department for great savings on plants.  If you shop between 5 and 6pm, your discount will be 30% OFF.  If you shop between 6 and 7pm, your discount will be 40% OFF.  If you shop between 7 and 8pm...yep, you guessed it - your discount will be 50% OFF!

To make it even more fun, there will be some additional specials here and there.  We'll even have little flashlights for customers to use when the sunlight starts to fade...thus, the firefly part of the sale.  It will look like tiny fireflies flitting throughout the plant areas.

Come join the fun on Columbus Day, Monday October 13th from 5-8pm.


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

PA CHILDREN'S FESTIVAL


Saturday, October 4th 

Benefiting Children's Cancer Recovery Foundation.  Presented by Turkey Hill; sponsored by Highmark.  Special games can be played by purchased tickets only.  Pumpkin Ring Toss * Face Painting * Hole In One * Fish Bowl * Nerf Shoot Bean Bag Toss * Can-Can Football Toss * Paper Airplane Toss * Pumpkin Bowling
 

About Children's Cancer Recovery Foundation (CCRF)
Headquartered in Harrisburg, PA with a division in The Woodlands, TX, the Children's Cancer Recovery Foundation supports children under 18 and their families facing the hardships of cancer. The foundation performs acts of care and kindness through the following programs: Bear-Able Gifts (largest distributor of gifts to children with cancer in the U.S.); Toxic-Free Kids(educates families on the dangers of environmental toxins); New Era Cancer Research Fund (funds research for less toxic, minimally-invasive pediatric-cancer treatments); International Aid (provides medications and supplies to clinics in developing and impoverished countries); Helping Hands Fund (provides emergency financial assistance to families); and Camp Scholarships (allows children in remission to reconnect with activities they love). With a national pediatric-hospital partner network of 215+ locations, the foundation directly helps more than 15,000 children affected by cancer and their families every year. Please visit www.ChildrensCancerRecovery.org.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Helpful Guidelines For Fall Planting This Fall


PREPARE YOUR PLANT
Remove shrub or tree from its container.  Check the root ball.  If the roots have grown into a thick mass or are growing around the inside of the container it is crucial that you tease them out of their entangled mass.  Pot-bound roots that are not teased apart will continue to grow as they are and will never be capable of sustaining the plant that relies on them.  We suggest that you set your plant in a bucket of water to which a liquid root starter has been added.  Soak 10-15 minutes or until the soil mass has softened up.  Use your fingers or a garden pick to carefully pull the roots apart.  Don't worry about breaking off a few - just cut the ragged ends with sharp pruners.

PREPARE THE SITE
Dig out a planting area only as deep as but as least twice as wide as your plant root ball.  The wider the area dug - the better.  If soil is poor, add up to 50% organic matter - such as well-rotted compost, rotted leaves or soil builders such as "Bumper Crop".  (Ask our staff for details about this fabulous organic product!) 

It is okay to use a little bit of peat moss as a part of the organic matter - but too much peat can make soil dangerously soggy during wet periods and dangerously dry and hard during drought.  Organic matter is always beneficial to soil, for it improves flow and availability of oxygen, water and nutrients to plants.  If your soil is not too poor and you do not want to take time to amend a large area around each planting hole, it is best not to amend average soil at all.  Pampering plant roots in a planting hole of rich soil does not encourage them to grow out into your native soil.  Your plants will actually grow better and be more self-sustaining in un-amended soil because roots have been forced to be tougher and more wide spreading in their search for water and nutrients.

SITUATE YOUR PLANT
Hold your plant in the hole so that the top of the root ball is level with the existing soil level.  Look for the spot on your plant where the trunk flares out to meet roots and set this line level with or above the soil surface.  If the plant is heavy and may settle, place it one to two inches above  the existing soil level.  Fan out the plant roots you so carefully teased apart and begin to refill the hole.  Throw your shovel aside and use your hands to scoop and pack soil in around the roots.  It is important to fill in thoroughly.  Avoid leaving any air pockets behind, for they can dry out the roots.  Pack soil around the root ball until your planting hole is half full.  Fill hole up with water to which you have added root starter, let it drain down and settle the soil, then continue back filling the hole with soil until full.  Water to settle soil again.  Be sure not to mound soil up around the base of your plant any higher than it was in the original container.  Planting too deeply will kill your tree or shrub.  If your soil has too much clay or is not well drained, or if you have a plant that must have perfect drainage, it is a good idea to plant your nursery stock in a raised bed.  Create a raised bed by digging out a planting area - then adding more soil to create a mound higher than your existing soil level.  Planting in this small hill that you have created will position your nursery stock up a little higher than it would be in an un-raised bed and gravity will assure better drainage.

MULCH
Mulch your plant to conserve moisture, keep roots cool, and add organic matter and control weeds. Use only a 2 to 4 inch layer of well-aged material.  Avoid a heavy layer that impedes water and oxygen flow into the soil.  Avoid freshly chipped mulch, which produces acid that burns roots and young shoots.  Do not mound mulch around the base of your plant, keep it pulled back 3-4 inches or to the drip line.  Mulch or soil in contact with a woody plant stem often causes rot and insect damage.  Water again to settle mulch.

WATER
Monitor the progress of your newly planted shrub carefully during the first growing season.  Do not let it become an orphan!!  Hand water new plantings regularly as needed for the first year.  Do not rely on rainfall to water a newly planted tree or shrub!  After established, most plants need one inch of water each 7-10 days.  If rainfall is inadequate, be sure to hand water.  Water thoroughly and check the soil to ensure that moisture has penetrated down four to six inches.  Light and inadequate watering causes plants to form shallow roots and does more harm than good in the long run.  So water deeply but only about once a week or whenever the top 2 inches of soil are dry.  Be aware that overwatering can kill a plant as fast as underwatering.  If a container grown tree or shrub cannot be planted right away, it must be checked daily and watered as needed.  Again, do not count on rain to water your container plants.

FERTILIZE
Fertilize a woody plant with caution, especially during its establishment period.  For the first year or two we suggest that you use only root starter to stimulate strong root growth, and/or slow-release pellet fertilizers such as Osmocote.  Please do not use granular or water soluble "Quick Release" fertilizers (like Miracle-GroTM) on newly established trees and shrubs.  These fertilizers can easily burn off young roots, especially if used too heavily or in drought conditions.  Please, never use fertilizer as a "Quick Fix" solution for your plants health problems.  Fertilization will never be a good substitute for building up your soils organic matter, or for proper placement, planting, mulching, watering and pruning.  Know your plant and its needs.  Keep your plants healthy with your attention and good care.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

2014 Chrysanthemums Available At Ashcombe




DAZZLING STACEY
• orange daisy flower on dark green foliage
• likes full sun in well-drained soil; drought tolerant
• great for containers, massing and borders









POMONA VIOLET

• beautiful purple-violet flowers on rounded compact plants
• early season bloomer
• likes full sun in well-drained soil
• deer resistant
• great for containers, massing and borders

BONNIE

• bold fire-red flowers with a cheery yellow eye cover a cushion of strong, flexible stems; blooms late in the season; adaptable to various conditions, best in full sun
• great for containers, massing and borders


SAVONA

• lipstick-red, prolific blossoms on a very well-rounded plant with luscious dark green foliage
• likes full sun in well-drained soil
• great for containers, massing and borders




BETHANY

• a rich yellow basketball-shaped plant for early October
• likes morning sun and afternoon shade; plant in well-drained soil;
can tolerate sun
• great for containers, massing and borders






CALISTO PINK

• medium sized pink cushion flowers with darker center; great fall bloomer for containers or can be used as a splash of color in your beds
• likes morning sun and afternoon shade; plant in well-drained soil
• great for containers, massing and borders




BETH

• bold violet-purple flowers cover a cushion of strong, flexible stems; blooms late in the season; adaptable to various conditions, best in full sun; well-drained soil
• great for containers, massing and borders




ELENA

• rich, yellow decorative flowers
• likes morning sun and afternoon shade; plant in well-drained soil
• great for containers, massing and borders







AUTUMN GLOW BRONZE

• goldish yellow with bright orange center
• likes full sun and well-drained soil
• great for containers, massing and borders





HANNAH

• coppery-orange/bronze with daisy-like flowers cover a mound of strong, flexible stems; blooms late in the season; adaptable to various conditions; best in full sun
• great for containers, massing and borders





GRAND YELLOW

• beautiful clear yellow flowers with green centers
• plant in full or part sun; well-drained soil
• great for containers, massing and borders




SPICY CHERYL

• beautiful soft orange red flowers
• plant in full or part sun; well-drained soil
• great for containers, massing and borders
• this mum variety has been planted at the White House for the last 3 years



GIGI SNOW

• lots of white flowers that standout against the nice green foliage. It has a mounded habit and has strong stems with no brittleness
• plant in full or part sun; well-drained soil
• great for containers, massing and borders



GOLDEN CHERYL

• yellow/orange two-tone flowers on a compact plant
• plant in full or part sun; well-drained soil
• great for containers, massing and borders






DANDELION WINE

• bright golden yellow button flowers on a compact plant
• plant in full or part sun; well-drained soil
• great for containers, massing and borders





OUTRAGEOUS ORANGE

• burnt orange, late season flowers
• plant in full or part sun; well-drained soil
• great for containers, massing and borders



HELEN

• plants are smothered in stunning dark red daisy flowers at the ends of the stems from early to late fall
• plant in full or part sun; well-drained soil
• great for containers, massing and borders





CHELSEY PINK

• beautiful pink flowers with darker pink centers
• prefers full sun; well-drained soil
• great for containers, massing and borders







STELLAR PURPLE

• large showy purple flowers
• prefers full sun; well-drained soil
• great for containers, massing and borders





MICHELLE GOLD

• produces masses of small, yellow, bronze-tinged "daisies" on densely branched plants
• prefers full sun; well-drained soil
• great for containers, massing and borders





FLAMINGO PINK

• bright coral pink flowers
• prefers full sun; well-drained soil
• great for containers, massing and borders






PUMPKIN PIE

• this beautiful orange mum mimics fall foliage and pumpkins for the
fall season
• prefers full sun; well-drained soil
• great for containers, massing and borders




ANDREA

• this orange bicolor produces numerous double, copper-orange,
red-eyed blossoms on dense, rounded plants
• prefers full sun; well-drained soil
• great for containers, massing and borders



GIGI GOLD

• this gold two-toned, mid fall bloomer will bring back life to your fading landscapes
• prefers full sun; well-drained soil
• great for containers, massing and borders





AVALON ORANGE

• beautiful, two-toned bright orange flowers
• prefers full sun; well-drained soil
• great for containers, massing and borders





REGAL CHERYL

• fully double, lavender-purple blossoms cover Regal Cheryl chrysanthemum for weeks in early and mid-fall
• prefers full sun; well-drained soil
• great for containers, massing and borders





ETERNAL RED

• beautiful deep red fall flowers
• prefers full sun; well-drained soil
• great for containers, massing and borders







STARBURST WHITE

• large white flowers with a yellow center
• prefers full sun; well-drained soil
• great for containers, massing and borders





FIONA CORAL ORANGE

• a standout coral for fall; strong but flexible stems and excellent flower longevity
• prefers full sun; well-drained soil
• great for containers, massing and borders