Heimos Nursery Visit – Millstadt Illinois

After visiting the Heimos Nursery in Mildstadt, I’m posting a few notes about my visit.

They make their own potting mix.

  • 47% peat moss – fine/shredded
  • 47% Coir – coconut fiber husks – finely shredded
  • 5 % perlite (the speaker did not like perlite, but only put it in because the buyers insist on it.

They don’t use Osmocote or hard fertilizers. They use liquid feed which they tailor to each plant.

They don’t use rooting hormone. They said that plants are selected which are easier to root.

Most of their cuttings come from overseas – Mexico, South America…
One thing I noticed about the cuttings was that they were small and the stems were not large.  After the plants are rooted, they put them into a cooler temperatures so that the plants don’t grow large.

It seems like  big part of their business is rooting cuttings and then shipping them off to other growers and nurseries.

They use a product call Strip It to clean the hose drip lines and also use it to sanitize areas. She said they do this quite often. (Seems a bit much for home use.) This product is sulphuric acid!

They use yellow sticky cards to see if they have any insect problems.

They use Vernalization on many of their plants.

They don’t use Micorrhizae.

Seed Starting – they use tiny cells and just peat moss and cover the seed with small vermiculite.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Compost – Basic Information

I just attended a program on Compost and Mulch at MoBot. Ron Alexander was the keynote speaker. His website – http://www.alexassoc.net/ has lots of great information on the benefits of  using compost and mulch.

Here are some notes from that program.

  • Compost and its Benefits Brochure.
  • Composting Blanket – they talked about this concept to cover eroding soils and to get seeds to germinate.
  • Composting that is done at commercial companies like http://stlcompost.com/ reaches a high enough temperature to kill off pathogens. I was concerned about putting plants with mildew into the yard waste, but they indicated it would be killed off. They also indicated that home compost may not reach high enough temperatures and thus you should throw diseased plants into the landfill if you do home composting.  One of the MoBot leaders indicated that when they took out the diseased roses, they did not put them in the compost pile, but threw them away in the trash.
  • Incorporate two inches compost into the top six inches of soil – for new gardens.
  • Lawns were shown that had been core aerated and then had compost put on top and raked in. They looked much better than surrounding areas.
  • MoBot seems to mainly use leaf mold for their mulch.
  • Planting Seeds – you can plant seeds deeper if you cover them with compost versus soil.
  • Soil Health Brochure

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Inexpensive Trees and Shrubs

2016-tress-shrubs-moEvery year the state of Missouri offers inexpensive trees and shrubs for sale. They can be as little as $1.00 or less, depending on how many you order. The catch is that you have to buy in large quantities, so call your neighbors and friends and see if you can come up with the minimum.

Click on the link below to get the brochure and order form. Many plants will be sold out, so the quicker you order the better.

From their list, I grow Tulip Poplar, Hackberry, Willow, and Spicebush.

https://mdc.mo.gov/sites/default/files/downloads/SeedlingOrderForm.pdf

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Compost Program at MoBot

There’s a free program about compost at the Missouri Botanical Garden on November 10th – 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and includes a free lunch.

compost-black-gold

Click on this link to get the seminar brochure.

You do need to signup ahead of time.

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Here One Day – Gone the Next

monarch-dsc04726October 6, 2016 – I still have around a hundred Monarchs nectaring on Tropical Milkweed mostly. This was the nicest migration I have ever seen. The migration came through a couple of weeks late, but they stayed around for a week or so.

October 7, 2016 – We are having a cold front come through with winds from the Northwest.

By the end of the day, all one hundred Monarchs have left.

It will be interesting to see how many Monarchs make it to Mexico. From my sightings, the numbers should increase significantly.

 

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113,000 Seeds – $17.59

monarchs-milkweed
asclepias-113000I just found a deal on milkweed seeds that I thought I’d share. I just bought 113,000 asclepias curassavica seeds for just $17.59.

I got them from MyDirtyGardener.com. The link will take you to this offer.

asclepias-oregon-800Note – the main Monarch migration is going through St. Louis right now, so get outside and enjoy this phenomenon.

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Monarch Butterflies Program – Tuesday 7 p.m.

I’m doing a program on Monarch butterflies tomorrow at Grants View Library at 7 p.m.
9700 Musick Ave, St. Louis, MO 63123
Tuesday – Sept. 27, 2016

I hope you can make it.

Here’s a video of the Monarchs in my garden.

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