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February Planting

  • Prune trees and shrubs, both ornamental and fruit trees
  • Check flower beds for plants that may have heaved
  • Replace mulch where needed
  • Check outside plants and trees for animal damage
  • Cut some branches for forcing
  • Check evergreens for signs of desiccation
  • Start seeds for cool season veggies
  • Apply dormant oil to fruit trees

February 18th
Seed Starting Saturday
Sale on all seed starting supplies! Seminar at 10am on starting your own seeds. Call to sign up, at 539-2217.

February 25-26th
Manhattan Area Garden Show
Pottorf Hall at Cico Park
Check out our booth and pick up a new event card for 2012

February 25-26th
Manhattan Home Show
Visit with our staff at Manhattan National Guard Armory with your landscape questions.

Horticulture Hints

Fantastic Fruit Trees

Fruit trees can be a great addition to your edible landscape.  A few trees might be all you need. It not necessary to have a whole orchard to enjoy harvesting your own fruit.  Make sure when you are planning you research this long term investment and allow room for growth. All fruit trees require full sun and good drainage.

Cherry  trees have beautiful blooms in the spring adding a lot to the landscape before picking any fruit. Sour (pie) cherries are the hardiest for our area and only require one tree for pollination. Sweet cherries have larger fruit but are not quite as adaptable to Kansas weather. Sweet cherries do require two varieties for pollination for fruit production. Blueville will carry both Montmerency and North Star sour cherry varieties, and for sweet, we will have Bing, Black Tartarian, and Stella.

Apple trees do well in our area but will require a spray program to keep your plants pest and disease free. Begin your spray program in late February - early March until about two weeks from harvest.  You will need two varieties for pollination, so plan to have room in your yard for at least two mature apple trees.  We will have many varieties to choose from, pick one that will suit your needs if for canning or eating.

Peaches are a shorter living tree in our area, living only 10 to 15 years. They bloom early in the season and a late frost can damage your blooms.  You can plan on a harvest about every 5 years.  A pollinator is not required. We will have Redhaven and Reliance varieties to choose from at the Garden Store.

Apricots are beautiful in bloom, but again suffer from late frost damage.  We will have Moorpark apricots available.

Pears are very tough and can live for years. For the best pollination plant two varieties and keep up a regular spray program. We will have Kieffer, Bartlett and Moonglow.

Plums are also available but can become riddled with insects it is very important to keep up with a spray program. They also bloom early in the spring and can be affected by the frosts. Most varieties do not require two varieties for pollination.

February is a great month to prune fruit trees. Wounds heal quickly, and it is easy to see undesirable branches without foliage in the way.  Prune crossing branches or damaged wood, and cut out watersprouts - thin, rapidly-growing upright branches in the center of the tree. Finally, remove suckers from the trunk.

Apply dormant oils and fungicides now. Dormant sprays are important because some pests attack before visible growth begins. Dormant oils control scale insects, aphids and mite eggs. Apply dormant oil before buds open on the tree, when temperatures are above freezing and expected to stay above freezing for the next 24 hours. Fungicides applied during the dormant period control diseases such as peach leaf curl.

Blueville will receive fruit trees in mid-April. We will have a Fruit tree seminar April 28th in our new outdoor living area. Greg Eyestone will give hints on varieties and care. Stop by the store anytime for a complete list of the varieties we will carry this year.

Nancy's Notebook

Growing the Sweetest of the Sweet Corn

Most of us don’t have a big farm that we can grow acres of sweet corn, but we still want that fresh sweet corn taste out of the garden. It is still possible with a small garden but you have to follow a few rules.

First of all corn plants are monoecious, meaning that there are both male and female flowers on the same plant. In corn, male flowers are the tassels at the top of the plant. The female flowers are in the junction of the leaves and stems. The female flowers become the silks of the corn, and when the wind blows, the pollen falls from the tassels to the silks for pollination. Each silk leads to a kernel of corn. Poor pollination leads to an ear that is not fully formed. In a small garden for the best pollination do not plant one long row but several short rows.

Plant corn around May 5th, or when the soil temperatures reach at least 50 degrees F. Corn seed will rot in cold soils. The Xtra sweet varieties require warmer soil temperatures, at least 60 degrees F.

Corn seeds require frequent watering for germination, so soak thoroughly.  You should plant 2 or 3 seeds 12 to 15 inches apart in rows about 3 feet apart. Plant an inch deep, except for the Xtra sweet varieties. They will need to be planted at three quarters of inch deep.

Corn prefers a rich soil with plenty of nitrogen and moisture. As always add plenty of compost. It is very important to water plenty for healthy corn plants during the growing season. Fertilize when your plants reach 12 – 18” tall with a fertilizer high in nitrogen.

When picking the perfect sweet corn for your appetite you may choose from the following.

SU – This is the non enhanced sweet corn, the standard. These are best used and eaten in a short amount of time, due to the starches converting to starches rapidly

SE – These are the sugar enhance varieties. They have an increased sweetness and tenderness. The sugar conversion to starch is at a slower rate and will store longer.

Xtra-sweet – The very sweet varieties. Plant away from other varieties, they should not be near other types for cross pollination.

You will be able to pick your sweet corn when the juice in the kernel appears milky as you puncture a kernel with your thumbnail. This “milk” stage lasts only a short time, especially in hot weather.

The corn earworm is probably the most destructive corn pest. The insect develops from moths that lay eggs on the silks of the ears. The eggs hatch and the larvae move into the tips of ears, feeding on the kernels. Insecticides or mineral oil can be applied to the ears to lessen the earworm damage, but little can be done once the worms are inside the husks. Applications are necessary from tasseling until the silks begin to dry up, usually about a two-week period.

We have corn seed available in bulk and on our seed racks, as well as the fertilizer and compost you will need to get that perfect sweet corn. As always you can stop by to ask further questions.

Avery's Additions

displayIt might be February but it sure looks like spring in the Garden Store!  New merchandise is arriving daily including (are you ready?), terrariums, gnomes, new and innovative tools, colorful gardening hats and gloves, glazed pots, terracotta pots, wind chimes, seed starting supplies, jiffy pots, benches, unique home and garden décor, bird feeders and more to come.

‘Seed Starting Saturday’ is February  18th . Enjoy 25% OFF all seed starting supplies including seeds, flats, domes, potting soil, jiffy pots and more.  Nancy will be giving a seed starting seminar at 10am on the 18th. Please call the store to sign up.

Don’t forget the Manhattan Area Garden (Pottorf Hall in Cico Park) and Home Show (Manhattan National Guard Armory) February 25th and 26th.

The store is changing daily with new display units and a little re-arranging, but don’t worry, we will still help you find everything you need!


Nursery Inc.


4539 Anderson Avenue
Manhattan, KS 66503-9799
Garden Store: (785) 539-2217
Landscaping Office: (785) 539-2671

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