Friday, January 30, 2015

Grafting Junipers

Matilde and Juan
Matilde and Juan

The propagation department began the New Year grafting upright junipers, such as Hetzi Columnaris, Skyrocket, Canaerti, Taylor and Spartan.  In the past, Loma Vista has purchased upright junipers as grafted liners because our customers prefer to have these plants grafted on a rootstock that is more fibrous, such as Hetzi.

Grafting Tent  

Ben Cecil, Operations Manager, began a test of grafting them in-house last year that was successful. As a result, we bought in small rootstock liners, shifted them to 4" pots and grew them out for the rest of the season.

trays in chamber  

In November we transferred them to a fog house with bottom heat, began collecting scion wood and started grafting.  We have just finished 8050 grafts.

The plants must be kept in a warm, humid environment until the graft heals, approximately six weeks. We built grafting tents within the fog house to trap heat and humidity to help this process.  

Wichita Blue Junipers in Grafting Chambers

We are planning on increasing our grafted liner numbers in the future and are growing the rootstock in house for next year's crop. 
By Patricia Osborn, Propagation Manager, Loma Vista Nursery

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

What are your stats?

Many people like each New Year because it is a chance to start over, everything is fresh (or frozen) and new and possibilities are limitless. I personally like the New Year for a few other reasons - college basketball starts conference play (maybe this will finally be the year those unfairly good Jayhawks don't win the Big 12), NFL Playoffs, pitchers and catchers in less than two months and taxes.
Photo: Scott D. Weaver/K-State Athletics
One of those is not like the others I am well aware. I am also well aware that I am a rare breed that likes the idea of taxes. To be clear, I do not like paying them. It pains me every couple of weeks when I look at the payroll register and see much of the hard earned money being shipped off to the city, states and federal governments. I like taxes because the process of preparing for them gives you your 'stats' for the prior year both personally and for the business. Growing up, I loved to collect baseball cards. The pictures were nice and all but what I liked was the stats on the back (Topps was the best because they would fit an entire career's worth). So, as I prepare for our business and my personal taxes, I am excited to see how we stack up to prior years. We already know for the most part (or we would not be a very good accounting department). But, submitting the taxes makes it final. In the end, what we report on our years of tax reporting is the stats of our career and gives us a great indication of how we performed.
As we move into 2015, do not let the idea of preparing the 2014 taxes stress you out. Just look at it as the recap of your 2014 and a bunch of stats to improve on in 2015. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

New(er) and Exciting Plants

I hope your 2015 is off to a fabulous start! We are excited for another great season in 2015. The winter trade show season is underway and it's a great time to get out and see what is new for perennials, shrubs and trees. Also, see what new projects are on the horizon for our land-grant universities at KSU and CSU along with other rich resources of information too. This is the time of year to tour some of the horticulture highlights in your backyard or, if you are lucky enough, abroad in some tropical location. A visit in the winter gives you a new appreciation for the winter interest in all ornamental horticulture and it also helps chase some of the winter cold awayJ

There are several new plants coming on and we really hope that you are trying them and stocking them in your holding yards. See how they perform. We would love to hear your success stories.

For our 2015 season (although these plants have been around a while), here are just a few that I feel cannot get enough recognition. One of my new favorites for the shrub category is Quince (Chaenomeles)'Double Take Scarlet', 'Double Take Pink' and 'Double Take Orange'. This is not your grandma's Quice (I don't think my Grandma had a quince). The beautiful double blossoms look more like a camellia than a quince. Yep, I said camellia! What a nice treat to find these tough smaller plants (2.5-5') start to bloom somewhere around late February (depending on the year) through April. No thorns or fruit. This plant may need to be sold to your customers but is one worth selling. I don't think anyone will be disappointed.

Double Take Scarlet Storm Quince

Lemon Candy Ninebark (Physocarpus) is a new and improved golden leaf ninebark turning from gold to chartreuse in the summer. It can really brighten up the landscape in a dry spot. It matures 5-6' and, once established, will do well in drought tolerant and cold weather situations. Morning sun with afternoon shade will give you best foliage color. Blooming white flowers in late spring, it is reported to be less susceptible to powdery mildew.

Lemon Candy Ninebark

Heuchera! These plants are so lovely and versatile and heat tolerant too. We have had the New Carnival series Heuchera for a year or two now and I love all the colors. The newest one for 2015 is Rose Granita. What is that? A tasty adult beverage and a plant too. See recipe link below for the beverage. Be sure to buy the plant when it is ready and available through your Loma Vista Nursery plant resource. Here's a link for an article on heucheras by Sheila.

Rose Granita Heuchera

Happy plant hunting and preparing for the 2015 season. Please stop by and say hello at the Pro Green Expo. Lyndsi and I will be in booth #749.
By Michelle Cadena, Sales Representative, Loma Vista Nursery