Think Green #3 / Compost 101

What started as an extremely chilly morning, turned out ok as the sun rose in the sky and the wind died down. We set up out in the very back of the nursery - this was to be a "hands on" class with Master Composter Paul Pflimlin taking the lead. Paul has an extremely beautiful yard here in Fallon, and has been on our garden tour in the past. The entire back area of his acre is devoted to composting, vermiculture (worms) and perfecting his humic acid. The first hour of the demonstration we discussed the benefits of compost/ compost vs. mulch / how to get started / variety of methods /and a questions and answer session.

Then it was on to building some compost bins. Paul uses a variety of systems in his own yard, and one very effective one for him is the rolled bin. He discussed the benefits, including the low cost, and set about putting a few together. (We purchased a roll of this wiring at our local Ace Hardware -Louie's for 33.00 including tax. It made 6 cages)
Michelle then took over with her bin process - using old pallets, another low cost method considering you can find old ones for free at a lot of locations - including The Flower Tree!!! During the construction came the hands-on part of the class for many volunteers as we put together the bins and then raked and pruned around the nursery to gather material to start filling them. At the bottom of the page I have included some great links about compost and project lists. (Thank you to Paul Pflimlin and Jim Anderson for the compilation of these sites)
Hope to see you at the next class this coming Saturday the 20th, when Michelle and I will be presenting #4 in our Think Green Garden Series "Edible Gardening" otherwise known as Eating up the Landscape.
And of course Harriet was there to oversee the project!
Great Sites on Composting
Vermiculture: This is Darren Murphey's site, Sierra Worm Solutions. He does classes at The Flower Tree on worm composting, as well as furnishes worms for us to sell.

Pruning with Jay 2010

Well our luck held out once again, as predictions of rain/snow and cold temperatures took a back seat for our annual pruning class. The green room filled to overflowing, we settled in with the fireplace going, just in case. This was #2 in this years "Think Green Garden Series".

Jay Davison, who is our area soil & plant expert with the University of Nevada Co-op Extension, has been teaching this seminar for the last 9 years now, and I still learn something new to take back out to the garden with me each time. This year it was a "fruit tree" moment when I realized I (read "Robert" here) was probably cutting off the majority of my fruit producing branches every spring on our plumcot tree.

We downloaded his PowerPoint presentation to MyPassport backup, and I hope to have it uploaded to our website later today. But for now here a quick few highlights to keep you going if you just HAVE to get out in the garden today. It is a beautiful sunny day isn't it....and don't forget to gaze up at the moon tonight, should be a full one.

Why to prune:
Physically control (manage & enhance) plant growth and development
Change shape of a plant
Improve plant health
Remove hazards
Increase fruit production
Etc. etc. etc. (Have a reason to prune)

Four Rules for Successful Pruning Cuts:
1) Never leave a stub
2) When “heading back always cut to an outside facing bud or branch
3) When “thinning” cut just outside the branch collar
4) Do not paint or seal pruning cut

Useful Web Sites for Pruning
Fruit Trees
Shade Trees
Thanks again Jay! As always, your class was a fun learning experience.

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Raised Bed

The first class in this years "Think Green Garden Series" took place last Saturday. Under a sun filled blue sky, we gathered out back by the river to go over the basics of Raised Bed Gardening. Mike McLain from Kelloggs Garden Products was on hand to show us how to set up one of the new Gardner & Bloome Pre-made Raised Bed packages. Made from 48 recycled milk bottles, it holds 12 cf of soil and is the perfect size for a small raised garden. We also went over the what/where/whys of raised bed gardening and touched on Mel Bartholomew's method of Square Foot Gardening that I practice at my own home.

Bill & Korena Mewaldt from Fallon's own Mewaldt's Organics took over for the second part of the class. Bill went over all the info on starting seeds now to have them ready for the Wall-O-Waters on April 1st. YES!!! You can put your young seedlings in the ground if you use those handy tools.

It was a great class, lots of great questions and comments, and with over 40 in attendance, we may be repeating this one in a couple weeks. Don't forget, this Saturday it's on to pruning when our "Think Green Garden Series" continues with Jay Davison from the University of Nevada Co-op Extension service. His class is always a great refresher on the basics. Hope to see you there! Susan

Bill takes over..............

What a GREAT surprise when Cameo arrived with Emma and Emily in tow. We don't get to see them near often enough since they moved to Reno. Sure we can't talk you into moving back! (Just kidding, Cameo is studying at TMCC for her horticulture degree!!!! Yeah)

Bill and Korena brought their seed starts to get everyone started. They sell their seeds on line now, as well as at The Flower Tree. Check them out at

oh yeah.........and this is what we woke up to on Sunday about a "lucky weather" day we had!!!!!