Newsletter for March 2023

As the bareroot season fades into spring the pink sold tape is being removed. That means you still have an opportunity to buy bareroot at Bay Laurel Garden Center in Atascadero. We have a smattering of all sorts of trees – many multi-budded types, Fuji apples and more. If for some reason you are unable to plant at this time – soil too wet, moving, etc, you can have the tree potted in a bio-degradable container and plant it container and all. This procedure eliminates the need to disturb the roots at planting time.

In a perfect world these fruit producing trees would require little assistance. But aside from water, fertilizer and pruning there are a few adversities to prepare for. If your peach and nectarines have not unfurled their buds, you can still spray with copper. As the season progresses, tiny peach and nectarine fruits are susceptible to the tarnished plant bug. This insect causes cat facing. You can spray with Captain Jack’s, Take Down or other effective sprays, but be sure to do this when the fruit is very small. Apples, pears and Asian pears are prone to the bacterial disease known as fire blight. A very recent product, Garden-Phos, is considered an effective preventative. It can be used anytime except when the tree is flowering. When your dormant plants begin to leaf out, it’s a great time to fertilize.

We welcome the summer flowering bulbs at Bay Laurel Garden Center! Delightful Dahlias, Fragrant Freesias, and Lovely Lilies are among them. A local favorite the “Naked Lady” (Amaryllis belladonna) is available as a very large bulb. The leaves appear in spring, then disappear and the pink flowers emerge in late summer. They are notably drought tolerant and in time, the bulbs will multiply.

The vegetable availability gradually evolves. We still have a good supply of cool season vegetables including lettuce, peas and spinach. Artichokes have been very popular. Arriving this week are selected varieties of tomatoes, peppers and basil. If you have a green house or are prepared to protect these plants with your life – Go for it! It is however, perfectly safe to include strawberries in your purchase. We will receive jumbo packs of Eversweet and Quinalt at Bay Laurel Garden Center in Atascadero.

The rains have inspired planting wildflower seeds. Clover has many uses including soil erosion prevention and use as a cover crop. O’Connor’s is an improved cultivar developed in Australia. It’s more tolerant of harsh conditions including alkaline soils which are most common in our area of California. The clover is a legume and therefore able to extract nitrogen from the air and fix it in the soil. This makes it an excellent cover crop. Pink flowers appear from May to November. The plant is about 12″ tall. The native California poppy seeds have been extremely popular. You can check out our other offerings including wildflower mixes and native California ones at Bay Laurel Garden Center.

There’s a bright spot as you enter the shade house at Bay Laurel Garden Center – English primrose. The plant breeders have been busy with their paint brushes. There appear to be many new color combinations this year – enough to brighten a spot in your shade garden. The old fashioned perennial violets are also in attendance. They have a subtle way of spreading amongst your shade plants.

Our gorgeous Hellebores were sold in record time but they shall return to Bay Laurel Garden Center. Hellebores come in shades of white, pink and dark rose. They are one of the earliest perennials to bloom. The plants require fertile soil and afternoon shade in the San Luis Obispo North County. Once established they do not wish to be moved. They are one of the few plants that are considered to be gopher resistant.

As the bins continue to be cleared of bareroot fruit trees, our stock of perennials, shrubs and native plants will begin to replace them at Bay Laurel Garden Center. On hand are some early flowering perennials including the earliest blooming lavender, Spanish lavender. The variety “Primavera” has unusually dark flowers. A lighter shade of lavender is found in the Erysimum variety “Sunstrong Violet”. Other colors in the “Sunstrong series include orange and yellow. We also have some great looking Osteospermum in 4” and gallons. The “Blued-eyed Beauty” and “Orange Zion’ are both favorites.