Thursday, February 28, 2013

CSU Fruit Growing Symposium

Ann, our Perennials Manager here at The 'Bin attended a the Front Range Fruit Growing Symposium this last weekend.  The staff here at The 'Bin continue to take classes and stay up to date on the most recent horticulture trends and developments, so we can continue to be experts in our field!  Take a look to get a brief idea of the things Ann got to learn about this weekend.  Have a question for her?  Feel free to shoot us a Facebook message, call us or stop in today!

In Ann's words...

Last weekend, I went to The Front Range Fruit Growing Symposium. It was held at Silver Creek High School, and organized by Dr. Joel Reich of Colorado State Extension – Boulder County, and sponsored by: Nourse Farms and Cummins Nursery, (plant suppliers), Mad Greens (donated an excellent lunch), and Sprouts (refreshments and snacks). There were 1 ½ days of presentations and a ½ day apple grafting class.  It was aimed at all levels of fruit growing enthusiasts, from someone with one tree in their yard to commercial growers.
Speakers included:  Walt Rosenberg of Masonville Orchards, with multiple sites on the Front Range, Tim Ferrel of Berry Patch Farms in Brighton, Pete Tallman, a local berry breeder , specializing in Black Raspberries, Scott Skogerboe, Head Propagator of Ft. Collins Wholesale Nursery, Irene Shonle of CSU Extension -Gilpin County, Harrison Hughes from the CSU Dept. of Horticulture, Joel Reich from CSU Extension-Boulder County, Whitney Cranshaw of CSU Dept. of Bioagricultural Sciences, Andy Hough, Director of Agricultural Resources-Douglas County.

Wow! What a fabulous program it was! If you’d like to have a look, most of the handouts and slides are online at: BoulderCounty Extension - Horticulture Classes & Events
Walt Rosenberg of Masonville Orchards, and Tim Ferrel of Berry Patch Farms spoke about the challenges of growing fruit in our climate, and the hazards of running an orchard business.
Pete Tallman spoke of his 20 year adventure of finding, developing, and patenting, a first year fruiting, 

primocane, black raspberry called ‘Explorer.’

Scott Skogerboe, Head Propagator of Ft. Collins Wholesale Nursery has an amazing hobby, researching, and propagating ancient apple varieties. He has resurrected Johnnie Appleseed’s last living apple tree, and the tree that “inspired” Isaac Newton’s ideas about gravity, among others. These pieces of history live on, though not too available commercially. His talk was titled “Eat a Piece of History:
Growing Historic Fruit Trees in Colorado.”

Irene Shonle, of CSU Extension -Gilpin County, spoke about native plants and the quality of their fruit. Serviceberry, Golden Currant, Buffaloberry, etc. wild strawberry…. and what not to eat!
Harrison Hughes from the CSU Dept. of Horticulture and Joel Reich from CSU Extension-Boulder County, added sources of more information and opportunities to have hands-on volunteer adventures in orchards and vineyards. Dr. Reich also showed us examples of pruning techniques to promote fruit production on apples and peaches.

Andy Hough, Director of Agricultural Resources-Douglas County spoke about ongoing research occurring near Franktown on field and high tunnel production of fruits and berries.

Whitney Cranshaw of CSU Dept. of Bioagricultural Sciences came with lots of bug slides, and great enthusiasm for the infestations that he promotes in his own yard….so he can get those slides! Dr. Cranshaw’s slides and handout are at:

We did have one speaker who couldn’t make it due to the weather, it snowed, remember, yahoo!       This was our new Fruit Specialist from CSU, Amaya Atucha. Her handout is on the Boulder County Extension page above.

Now, our county Extension Agents have a wealth of information for you, too. Besides these handouts, there are webinars, and lots more!


Thanks for taking a peek...like we said earlier, don't hesitate to contact us for further questions!

Re-Potting African Violets

Our Front End Manager Jeanette shows us step by step how to re-pot a gorgeous and prospering African Violet that Head Cashier Corinna has brought in from home! Follow these steps, and as always if you have any questions don't hesitate to call us or stop on by!

First here is a picture of the mother plant. Notice how many leaves are coming off of this plant, and how small the pot is.  It is growing well and ready to be split and re-potted.

As you can see here if you look beneath the larger leaves you can see smaller leaves starting to come up.  This is a sign that there is more than one crown of the plant, and therefore can most likely be split into numerous plants.

Next, Jeanette demonstrates to you what two separate crowns looks like. If you look in the middle of the plant, centered between her thumbs you can see where the stems are coming from two different bunches, or crowns.  You can sort of tell that they have two different root systems going.  This is where you split the plant apart.

Alright, she has them split.  These are two of the baby plants, there is also a third plant which is the original mother plant.

Here is a closer look at one of the baby plant's root systems.  You can see that they all lead down to one root bunch and can be easily re-potted.

This is one of the baby plant's all potted up.  There are a few things to remember when potting up the baby plant.  For starters you want to make sure that you plant it fairly deep in the soil.  Wherever there is a "wound" where it was disconnected from the mother plant should sprout another stem.  The other thing is that you don't want to pack the soil around the violet.  African Violets like their soil fairly loose, and it will be easier for the plant to re-root in loose soil.

There you have it the mother plant posing with it's two new baby plants!

During the process of re-potting you will most likely have several stems of leaves that fall of, and have no roots.  If you would like to go further and take those leaves and try to root them, Jeanette shows us a few different ways!

The first one is a little bit tricky, but with practice it is quite effective! Flip the leaf upside down.  Take a sharp scissors or exacto knife and cut each vein on the leaf once.  Cut into, but do this without cutting through to the other side of the leaf.  

Then place the leaf face up in some soil, so that the cut veins are touching the soil.  Place it in a small greenhouse setting, and keep the leaf very moist.  Then each place that the vein was cut, a new root system will grow!

Another way to root the leaves is to take a sharp scissors or knife and cut a slit in the exposed or "wounded" end of them stem in a criss-cross pattern.  Then you can put the stem in a vase with water, and it will grow roots from each one of the four pieces.

Here are the four pieces coming off of the stem.

Well there you have it, several great ways to re-pot, split and root your African Violets!  Even though it is a little bit harder to do the method of rooting where you cut the plant veins Jeanette does suggest this way.  While rooting stems in water is easy, the plant loses a membrane in doing so.  This means the plant is going to have a little bit harder time rooting and growing strong once it is placed into the soil.

We hope this helps, and please feel free to ask us questions!  You can leave a comment on this blog, call us, stop in, or even leave us a Facebook message!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Fresh Arrivals Daily!

We have fresh stuff coming in daily, whether it is plants, gifts or garden supplies!  Yes, it is still only February, but The Flower Bin is bursting with activity.  We have our "Spring Begins" open house coming up Saturday and Sunday March 16th and 17th, free classes in session the next two Saturdays, a brand new Customer Loyalty Program, seeds flying out the door and new products arriving constantly!  So come, visit and daydream about spring which is right around the corner!

You can buy your bamboo with the crystals and vase, or buy
them separately
 We just go a really fun product in...colored bamboo crystals!  These crystals in a packet as small, dry little crystal pellets.  Once they are put in water they absorb and grow.  Often people keep their bamboo plants in these crystals because it is a perfect way to keep your bamboo standing up straight, keep them moist and now you can even add an extra splash of color! You can also use them for other things such as cuttings!

These great Crystal Accents come in 9
different colors!

A Calla Lilly in it's colorful new home

 Here is something new: Recycled Oil Drum Sculptures!

Some new art that just arrived is from Haiti, and is made out of recycled oil barrels!

March 17th is the day...St. Patrick's Day that is!  Why not celebrate by giving your friend or family member an Oxalis clover plant!  We put foil and a bow on them for free.

Spring decor is popping up all over our shelves! Decorative chicks, turtles, rabbits, ducks, etc.  Cool baskets and spring planters galore!  We even have artificial spring wreaths in to put that finishing touch on your front door.

So don't forget to stop by, and see what's new as we put out new stuff every day!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Ladies and Gentlemen...Start Your Peppers!

Alright, it's time to start planting your pepper seeds indoors!  Let's go through some tips for growing peppers from seeds, some of the products you can use, and the varieties that we have here at The Bin.

To start off with, always remember that peppers like it warm and sunny, and this is no exception as a seedling.  Keep that in mind, and follow the steps below to be well on your way to eating tasty peppers all summer long.

1.  Make sure you have the right surroundings for your pepper seeds to start with.  Pick your sunniest window to make a home for them.  If you do not have a sunny window you are going to want to pick up a growing light (different than your regular household lamps and lights).  Another thing that many seasoned pepper planters will tell you to invest in is a seedling heat mat.  These amazing little creations sit below the seed trays to heat those seedlings up and help them grow big and healthy.

2.  Now you want to provide the right environment for the seeds.  You can do this a number of ways.  You can get some plastic seed trays, small plastic pots, Jiffy pellets (circular peat pellets for seedlings), or peat pots.  The best way in insure your peppers sprout is by putting a dome over them to act as a mini greenhouse, keeping all the heat and moisture in.  We have many sizes of domes, trays, pots etc for you to choose from.
Jiffy Seedling Starter Kits-comes with trays, peat plugs and a dome

3. Stay organized!  Make sure that if you are planting more than one type of pepper you either make or purchase some labels or plant tags to put in the soil as you are planting.  Once planted, odds are it is going to be hard to keep the different varieties straight otherwise.

4. Plant away! Pick up some seed starting soil...this is specially designed soil to give young seedlings the ingredients they need to grow strong.   Plant your seedlings according to the directions on the specific variety's package that you purchase.

5.  Stay even!  You want to make sure that your seedlings have a constant and even amount of moisture in the soil.  This means that they soil should never be sopping, and never be dry.  Some people like to use a water spray bottle to help them regulate how much they water the seeds.

6. Take that dome off!  Domes are key to sprouting those little seedlings.  However, once they do sprout you are going to want to take that dome off to prevent them from dampen off.

7. Fertilizing.  There is a nifty product we have that many gardeners swear by called SuperThrive.  This is a mixture of hormones and vitamins that can be added at any point during the growing process.  It comes in a small bottle, and only takes one drop per gallon to tell a noticeable difference in the health of your plants.  If you would like to, you can use a fertilizer rich in nitrogen, but only once the seedlings have produced at least two sets of leaves.  A favorite among some of the staff at The Bin is Age Old Grow Formula (all organic).  However, any Nitrogen rich fertilizer should do the trick.  Once the peppers start to flower, which will most likely happen after they are outside in the ground, you can use a bloom fertilizer like Age Old Bloom.  If you ever get confused about the when, where, what and how of fertilizers stop in or call (303-772-3454) The Flower Bin.  One of our staff members in the Hardgoods department can walk you through exactly what to do.

Corinna is standing next to some of our seed starting supplies and showing off one type of
seed heat mat that we have.
Well, there you have it...some basics on planting your own peppers this season!  Don't be intimidated, it is a simple and fun process, and we are always here to help if you ever have any questions.

Now that you know how to get your seedlings going, take a look at the different varieties and brands that we are carrying.  In addition to the three brands below, we are also expecting Weeks seeds to be arriving soon.  All of the seed varieties highlighted in RED are available as organic.

Botanical Interests:

Lake Valley:

Bounty Beyond Belief:

<!--[if !vml]--><!--[endif]-->

Monday, February 18, 2013

New Fairy Garden Plugs and Getting Rid of Bugs!

There is a lot going on both at The Bin and in your very own yard this time of year!  Read below to learn about what some of the our experts at The Bin say you should be doing in your yard right now, and also learn about some great new plants for your fairy gardens.
Michael and Luis working on diagnosing the leaf off of a sick plant at our (free) Diagnostic Center

Dormant Spray Oil
Insects are sneaky, and many of them are overwintering inside the bark of your shade trees and your fruit/nut trees as you read this.  Late February and early March is the time to  take care of that problem with our Dormant Oils.  This oil takes care of nasty overwintering bugs such as Scale and Coddling Moth.  This is a paraffinic oil that you spray on the trunk of your ornamental trees, your fruit/nut trees and even your rose bushes.  It is highly 
effective, yet isn't potent like a pesticide.  For those of you who have never applied sprays to your trees before....do not fear, it is simple!  We sell Fertilome hand sprayers that are made to work with our Hi-Yield Dormant Oil Spray.  Just screw the nozzle of the sprayer onto the bottle of oil, turn the dial to the amount of tablespoons listed on the back of the bottle, hook it to your hose and you are all set!  It is really that easy.

Butterfly Bushes
It may seem odd, as it is still cold out, but now is the time to prune back those Butterfly Bushes that bring so much color in the summer months.  Cut the bush back to the ground, and it will come back beautifully this spring.

Fairy Garden Plugs
Kathy, the Houseplant and Herbs Manager is hard at work planting the fresh Fairy Garden plant plugs that have just arrived.  Many of you have been waiting for these to come in, as they are perfect for that indoor fairy garden you have been wanting to plant in the cold months.  She is planting up 6 different varieties; Ali's Sensitive Plant, Iris' Variegated Flowering Maple, Suzie Q's Variegated Marjoram, Emmy's Alpine Strawberry and Bambi's Velvet Vine.  Three weeks, and Kathy says these adorable little plants will be 
ready to go home with you!  On that same note, we are waiting for a shipment of fairy garden supplies to arrive soon.  We are getting in a bunch of new stuff that we have never carried before...and we are pretty excited about it!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Meaning Behind the Plant

Corinna and Megan are gearing up for Valentine's Day.  Corinna is making bows as Megan shows off a few of our foiled and  bowed Tulip and Kalanchoe plants

Some people like to pick out a plant for their sweetheart based solely on what looks good at the time or perhaps based on a favorite color.  Some people however like to pick their plant based on a common meaning behind the plant.  If you are one of the latter, we are here to help!  If not, it's still fun to learn something new!  Let us go over just a few common meanings behind certain plants you may be giving for Valentine's Day...and yes we do have all of these!
Some of our Daffodils hanging
 out by the fountain

Daffodil-Regard, respect

We have some beautiful potted and hanging
Boston Ferns, as well as many other varieties

Fascination, sincerity, magic

We have these gorgeous Geraniums
blooming and ready to go in the

Comfort, folly (giving this plant as an act of apology)

Some White Heather, starting to bloom

Heather (White)-
Good luck, protection, wishes coming true

A gorgeous Hyacinth ready for
 your sweetheart!

Playful, fertility, games

Three different varieties of Ivy hanging out in our vibrantly
colored, biodegradable bamboo pots

Fidelity, wedded love, friendship

Stunning maroon Orchid
thriving out in the greenhouse

Orchid-Love, beauty, luxury

A few of our Ranunculus chillin' with our stone owls

I am dazzled by you!

We have a ton of herbs, included this delicious smelling

Remembrance, wisdom

Some of our Tulip and Daffodil bulb gardens

Fame, happy years

Well, that should give you a few ideas of the common meanings behind many plants that we have. Also, don't forget that we put your choice of colored foil and a bow on your plant free of charge.  We hope this helps on the quest to find a meaningful gift this Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Are you ready for Valentine's Day?  We sure are!  We have tons of great plants and gifts for you to give to your Valentine this year!  Don't have a Valentine?  Come grab something for yourself...we have awesome stuff for everyone!
Fresh bulb gardens and blooming plants!

One of our owls shows off a few of our fresh arrivals.  On the left we have a bulb garden that features Crocus, Daffodils and Tulips.  On the right we have one of many Azaleas   These would be great, lasting gifts for your valentine to enjoy.  Don't forget; we wrap our blooming plants with colored foil and a bow of your choice, free of charge.

Are you a collector, or is someone you know?  We have Jim Shore figurines and Carruth artwork.

Part of our selection of Jim Shore
One of our Carruth pieces
We have  of vibrantly colored Primrose, as well as Daffodils, Crocus, Tulips, Orchids, African Violets, Cyclamen, Azaleas, Hyacinth, and more.  We also offer a plethora of cool gifts.  We have a lot of new wind chimes that have come in, and a fresh selection of decorative stone owls. We also carry other items that would be great for Valentine's day such as; artificial spring wreaths, gazing balls, plant nannies, gnomes, and countless other gifts and decor.  We even have a section of luxurious hand creams and soaps that are perfect for gardeners.
We have a nice selection of African Violets

Some spring decor surrounded by Primrose

A Cyclamen and a Daffodil garden ready for
someone's Valentine.

Funky wind chimes
Heart wind chime
Maybe you want to go the extra mile and make something even more personal for your Valentine.  We have a lot of unique houseplants, annuals and cacti that you can pair up with a piece from our large selection of ceramic, plastic and bamboo pottery.  If you purchase the plant and the pot, we will pot it up for you free of charge, to save you from a mess later.  Maybe you just can't decide, or you know your Valentine loves browsing at The Flower Bin.  We also carry gift cards that are perfect for any occasion, and let the receiver enjoy whenever they please.  As always, call us or come in for any questions or advice!
Maria with The Flower Bin gift cards