Tuesday, March 11, 2014

News from The Natural Gardener

Good morning, JWCG gardeners!

In case you're interested, I'm forwarding the Natural Gardener newsletter.  We have a great place here in Wimberley (King Feed) that stocks garden plants, soil amendments, etc for organic gardeners, but if you want to explore even more farther out from our village, I recommend The Natural Gardener in Oak Hill on Old Bee Caves Rd.  You may also subscribe to their newsletter to get the latest info on plants, pests, etc for gardening in our part of central Texas.  In the past they have been very helpful with answering questions.  Also, they hold FREE seminars several times a year, including a very good one titled "Organic Gardening 101", usually offered early spring, to get new and experienced organic gardeners off to a good start.  The forwarded newsletter tells you how to subscribe if interested.


    HAPPY SPRING BREAK AND SXSW! This weekend kicks off a fun time of year in Austin, and it‘s the        
    beginning of the most exciting & most beautiful season at The Natural Gardener. This is the time of year when 
    our world-renowned nursery really shines. Please come see us and bring your friends. Bring your camera, too 
    – Spatz is more handsome than ever these days!
 If the weather’s a little yucky (rain’s predicted, hallelujah) consider coming out anyway. Tomatoes will be on sale, and there’s a whole lot of fun stuff to see, to do, and to buy. (Gorgeous new plants and pottery, especially!) There’s a lot that needs to be done in the garden right now, and just as many things that should wait. Come see us, and we’ll help you navigate this tricky time of year. 

It’s Tomato-planting time! All sizes and varieties are 10% OFF this weekend. We’re sure to have another frost or two, so stop by our Info Desk for planting and weather-proofing tips. See IN THE NURSERY below for a list of varieties.

Starting next Thursday, March 13th, we’ll be staying open until 7 p.m. on Thursdays. Stop in after work on Thursday, and get a head start on your weekend gardening projects. 

South Austin boasts some great home brews, including ours. We make rich Aerobic Compost Tea that plants love. (You should see ‘em after a couple of gallons of the stuff – watch out!) Our tea is brewed fresh each week, and it’s good for any kind of plant growing in any kind of soil. One gallon costs just $6.50 and will cover 2,500 square feet undiluted, or 5,000 square feet when mixed with one gallon of rain or distilled water. Bring your own clean container with a lid and it’s only $5 per gallon. Our home-brewed Aerobic Compost Tea is available Thursday through Sunday only.

TOMATOES: Store-bought can never compare with the taste of homegrown organic. We have transplants of slicers, cherries, grape and paste tomatoes -- in both heirloom and hybrid varieties. Thousands of plants and no GMO's* ever! *Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are organisms in which the DNA has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally. Visit www.who.int/foodsafety  for more info. This week's tomato varieties include:

Arkansas Traveler
Better Boy
Japanese Black Trifle 
Large Red Cherry
Black Plum
Matt's Wild Cherry
Super Fantastic
Sweet 100
Cherokee Purple
Mortgage Lifter
Sweet Olive
Peacevine Cherry
Gardener's Delight
Green Tiger
Pink Tiger
Health Kick
Pruden's Purple
Yellow Pear
PLANTING TOMATOES? PLANT AN OLLA FIRST: An olla is a long-necked water urn made of very porous, low-fired clay. Ollas were “invented” by ancient dry-land farmers, and – go figure – those potters/farmers really knew what they were doing. Today, ollas are making a comeback in arid regions all over the world. You bury an olla in the ground leaving the opening just above the soil. Plant seeds or starts a few inches away, give your transplants an initial watering with a hose or watering can, and fill the olla, too. Water will slowly seep out into the soil to about the same distance as the radius of the urn. Slow, steady watering is good for all sorts of plants, Tomatoes especially. Tomatoes are tropical plants, and they love the slow, consistent moisture provided by an olla.

TRANSPLANT & BLOOM FERTILIZER – FLOWER POWER 25# BAG:  Flower Power is not just for flowers, it’s perfect for any new planting; vegetables, herbs, even newly-sodded lawns. That’s because the same elements that promote blooming (phosphorus and potassium) also promote healthy root and stem growth. In addition to those elements, there’s also the perfect amount of natural, slow-release nitrogen. It gently feeds emerging leaves, in just the right amount for this time of year. Flower Power is available in a 25 lb. bag that will cover 1,440 square feet. 

TURKEY COMPOST – GARDENER’S GOLD: Vegetables, flowers, and lawns will thrive from a springtime application of Lady Bug brand All American Turkey Compost. Turkey Compost is rich in nutrients and beneficial microorganisms, and it provides a gentle, natural feeding to your plants. It helps your soil hold water, too. For new, unplanted gardens or flower beds, add a few inches of Turkey Compost, mix in, and water to settle the soil. Do this a couple of days prior to planting. For existing beds, lay ¼ to ½ inch over the root zone of your plants and water it in. (Be sure that stems and trunks aren’t covered, though. You don’t want anything – compost, soil, or even mulch – resting on the stem of your plants.) If your lawn needs some love this spring, give it a topdressing of ¼ to ½ inch, and water in. Give all your plants some Turkey Compost this spring – you’ll be amazed by the results.

You can get our good, rich composts in several ways: we can deliver to you, we can load compost into your truck or trailer, you can bag-it-yourself, AND it comes pre-bagged. To determine how much compost you need, use the handy Cubic Yard Calculator  on our website.

For more information on our products and services, visit www.naturalgardeneraustin.com

GARDENING NATURALLY ON KLBJ RADIO: John Dromgoole has been hosting his  “Gardening Naturally” call-in radio show for over 33 years on KLBJ 590AM Austin. Gardening Naturally airs 9-11am Saturdays, and 8-10am on Sundays. Every Saturday and Sunday, you have a chance to ask John, and his expert guests your gardening questions live on the air. Call in locally at 512-836-0590, or toll free at 877-590-KLBJ (5525). You can also listen to Gardening Naturally online at http://www.newsradioklbj.com/ 
CENTRAL TEXAS GARDENER & KXAN FIRSTCAST: Saturday mornings on KXAN News 36 Firstcast- around 7:20- John gives gardeners a little seasonal advice. Tune into KLRU for “Central Texas Gardener” where John co-hosts the “Backyard Basics” segment. “Central Texas Gardener” is aired on Saturdays at noon and 4:00 p.m., and repeats at 9 a.m. on Sundays. “Central Texas Gardener” is now available on five Texas public television stations, and can be viewed online. For more information go to www.klru.org/ctg/.

KDRP SOLAR-POWERED RADIO: “Dance Halls and Last Calls” is John Dromgoole’s old style country and western music show. John hosts his show on Wednesdays from 8-9pm, and the show repeats on Sundays from 1-2pm. Tune in to KDRP (Texas’ only solar-powered radio station) at 100.1 FM Austin or 103.1 Dripping Springs. You can also listen online @ http://www.kdrplive.org Tune in! 
See you in the garden...
8648 Old Bee Caves Road
Austin, Texas 78735

BUSINESS HOURS (hours change seasonally*)
Monday through Saturday: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

*Beginning March 13, we’ll be open ‘til 7 p.m. on Thursdays.

Please visit us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, too.

Have a comment or concern? We want to hear it! Please email us at info@naturalgardeneraustin.com

Copyright 2013 The Natural Gardener
8648 Old Bee Caves Road • Austin, Texas 78735
Phone: 512.288.6113 • Fax: 512.288.6114

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