Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Opening Weekend April 25th-27th

 

Come rain or come shine we are opening this weekend for the 2014 season!  We have over 200 varieties of hardy perennials this year!

And lots of wonderful annuals and succulents for your containers inside and outside of your home!

square spring opening

Fisher's Flowers & Produce are coming once again and will bring flower and vegetable starts, rhubarb plants and honey products…fresh from their farm!

The HomeShed will be open…lots of good junk there, as always!

And, if that’s not enough for one weekend.  I’ll also be vending at the Lucky Star Market in Ames on Saturday from 9am-4pm!

Lucky Star Photo

Monday, April 14, 2014

We got “burned” this winter, what to do now…

This winter was tough at Red Granite Farm.  It was cold, cold, cold, and then near the end Mother Nature decided we needed some snow to top it all off.  In fact, as I write this, there is a blanket of white outside..yes, April 14th and she’s still giving us a hard time!  I am all for snow in the winter.  It is much needed moisture and offers a little protection to all the plants.  However, we unfortunately didn’t get any till after many many record low days and nights, which left lots of plants “out in the cold” for way too long.

So other than dampened spirits, what was the damage?  I took a walk around my garden on Saturday (because it was 84* and sunny) and took some pictures of winter “burn”.

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This one is by far the most disheartening.  This is Candy Tuft, Iberis sempervirens.

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This is the exact same spot in my garden on April 30th, 2013 and the buds were just about to open.  I did very little to this plant last spring to “clean it up”.

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This was April 3rd, 2012 (a VERY rare early, early spring)- already in full bloom.

So, what should I do?  I just sheared it up a little bit when I did my spring bed cleaning a few weeks ago and unfortunately we have not had a lot of warm weather to encourage new growth.  I am going to give this one another week or so to shoot new growth, and if I don’t see much in that amount of time, I’m going to give it a hard sheer (like maybe cut it all back to the crown) and hope for new growth from there. I see some green down in there, so I don’t think it’s dead, just needs a little extra maintenance this spring.

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Another plant with winter burn includes Dianthus. I love these when they are in bloom, but I’m not too sad to just cut out whatever is not looking good and start with a smaller patch.  They tend to spread too quickly for my taste and if they get rained on while blooming, are just a flat matted mess of flowers anyways.

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This was taken in June of 2013- a very good spring for my perennial garden, after a droughty 2012. Once the flowers fade on Dianthus, I take my hedge sheers to them to clean them up and sometimes it will encourage new flowers.

Other unknowns this year include Roses, Russian Sage, among other shrubs.  We got some much needed rain (just before the not so welcomed snow) and when temps decide to rebound back to normal, buds will start swelling and things will get growing in a hurry! A good rule of thumb for woody perennials and roses is to wait till you see new growth and then cut back what is dead. However, if the pruners are sharp and you’re in the mood, good ahead and cut them back some now and you may just have to go back later to do some more cleaning up!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Our eggs served in a REAL restaurant!

I was thrilled when The Bistro in Story City wanted to support Red Granite Farm.  It started with eggs, and hopefully grows even more when produce is in season.  Here's how she used them for a special Valentine's Day dinner.


Local farms working with local restaurants, that is a good thing.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Clematis

Allanah Clematis

Allanah Clematis

Blooms early to late summer. 4” flowers. Vigorous, but compact late blooming variety (June-September). Ht 6-9’ Pruning Group 3.

Andromeda Clematis

Andromeda Clematis

Semi-double flowers May-June and single flowers in September. Ht 6-9’ Pruning Group 2

Asao Clematis

Asao Clematis

Delightfully scented with seed heads that follow large blooms, up to 5” across. Blooms May, June and August. Ht 6-9’ Pruning Group 2.

Betty Corning Clematis

Betty Corning Clematis

Small, 2-3” nodding, bell shaped, scented flowers from June-September. Best scent in full sun. Ht 8-12’. Pruning Group 3.

Clematis integrifolia

Bush Clematis

A non-climbing form that may need some support. Nodding bell-shaped flowers from July-September. Ht 3’x3’ wide. Pruning Group 3.

Lady Betty Balfour Clematis

Lady Betty Balfour Clematis- Photo Courtesy of Allthingsplants.com

One of the most trouble free selections.  Needs full sun. 5-6” blooms from July-September. Ht 8-10’. Pruning Group 3.

Rouge Cardinal Clematis

Rouge Cardinal Clematis

5-7” flowers June-September. Ht 8-12’. Pruning Group 3.

Wildfire Clematis

Wildfire Clematis- Photo Courtesy of Walters Gardens Inc.

Huge 6-8” flowers bloom over a long season. Ht 8-10’. Pruning Group 2.

Sweet Autumn Clematis

Sweet Autumn Clematis

Many small clusters of flowers make for a bright white show in the fall. Vigorous grower to 15-20’. Pruning Group 3.

Clematis Care

Clematis prefer full sun, but need to have their roots shaded. Achieve this by planting a low growing perennial at the base of the plant. It is always best to mulch with compost or organic mulch rather than rock. Keep your Clematis well watered, do not allow it to dry out. Clematis have specific pruning types, listed above.

Type 2- All first flowering comes from the previous seasons growth. In spring when you see buds begin to swell, cut off all dead material above live buds.

Type 3- These bloom on all new growth. Prune back to 12-18" in early spring before growth appears.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Winter…it’s not done yet…

Even though it is not one of my favorite seasons, it is a necessity.  Here at the farm we need winter so we can rest. We need winter so we can reflect. We need winter so we can reset our mind and body. We also need winter so we can catch up on last year, plan for the coming year and dream about what we will become two, three or even five years down the road.  And, I think winter in my garden can be kinda pretty…

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However, I will be looking forward to this picture… Same chair, different season!

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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Fall for Junk!

Thanks to everyone that stopped out last weekend for our first fall sale.  It was so much fun, we’re going to do it again! October 11th-12th-13th!  Fall for Junk- an event put on by Central Iowa Junk Jaunt will take place Friday and Saturday- and as a bonus, you can shop with us on Sunday too. And…the E-18 bridge is OPEN!!

Click here for the complete map from their Facebook page- 19 stops of Junkin fun!

https://www.facebook.com/#!/junkininjune

Here’s a few shots from last weekend’s sale.

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Detour Map for E-18

 road closed map
And to sweeten the pot…
50% off

Click on the Perennials Tab above for the list of perennials we started with this year.  There are only a few things we are totally sold out of- call if you want to check availability! September is a great month for planting!