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Whats Up in Windsor - March 2015


Whats Up in Windsor - March 2015

by Tina Castelli

Time to plan your Spring Garden

Get the gardening magazines out, start searching through the seed catalogs, it's time to plan this years garden. What are you going to plant? Do you like to try new varieties every year or do you like to stick with the tried and true producers? I have heard from some eager diggers who have already planted a few tomatoes, thinking that the frost is over and hoping the year's first tomatoes will come from their garden. If you are looking for local nurseries who carry a wide selection of veggie starts you can start at Garrett Ace Hardware in Windsor & Healdsburg, one of my favorite places to buy starts. The quality is excellent and they have a vast selection with standard hybrid varieties for those who like consistency and the crazy colorful heirloom varieties for those who love to experiment. Garrett's gets in a new selection every week. Starts range from just a few days old to a few weeks old which gives you some planting options.  I find it is best not to buy all your starts at once. Get your soil amended and ready to go and then shop around. New start varieties show up from now through May, be sure to leave some spaces for those late finds.  

The Windsor Farmers Market opens on April 12th

Spring is when the farmers will be offering veggie, herb and flower starts.  These are the starts they plant themselves that produce the beautiful produce they bring in the summer. You can be assured the quality is high and they have been well taken care of. If you are looking for tomatoes, Soda Rock Farms will be at the Market with tables full of tomato plants. He grows only the biggest and the tastiest varieties, the ones all the Chefs are looking for. Russian River Valley Produce and Min Hee Hill Gardens grow an assortment of starts, but especially peppers and squash. Peppers are easy to grow and you can stick them in any where.  Especially hot peppers that grow to be a smaller adult plant and they are all the rage right now. Peppers do like a little shade in the afternoons so plant them in the afternoon shadow of something else like sunflowers or corn to prevent burning the shiny skin. No matter what the variety of veggie start it is important to get them home and get them in the ground right away. I have lost many starts by waiting a week to plant.  Sometimes even one day of low water or too hot of sun and a delicate veggie start never seems to make it back to being a healthy plant again. I am all about recycling and taking care of things so they last but now that I am older I say pull it out and get a healthy one, I don't have time anymore to doctor my plants along. I digress.

There's a new Nursery in Town

For those of you who have lived in Sonoma County for a long time, you have probably bought something or at least drove by the Prickett's Nursery on the corner of Calistoga Rd and Hwy 12 in Santa Rosa. The nursery is now owned by a new generation of Prickett's who are working hard instilling new life into the business. There has been a sale of the property on Hwy 12 pending for many years. Hearsay says the sale was held up because of a possible Native American burial site on the land, but that's another story. The sale just recently went through, the Prickett's closed their doors and reopened in two new locations. Windsor residents are lucky enough to have the main store located close by, between Windsor and Healdsburg at the old Healdsburg Nursery site on Old Redwood Hwy. It is nice to know the nursery is still operated by a local family with a long gardening history. I can't wait to see what they do with the place, they are now open and stocking up for Spring.

Windsor Garden Club makes Windsor Smile

There is a group of hardworking folks at the Windsor Garden Club who have planted bulbs all over Windsor Parks and they maintain a year around Community Garden at the Town Civic Center on Windsor Rd. Driving through Town this week I couldn't help but smile. Bright yellow daffodils can do that to you, like rays of sunshine bursting up out of the dry barren soils of winter.  Thanks to the gang at the Windsor Garden Club for all their volunteer work making Windsor smile.

The Windsor Garden Club has a monthly Meeting and Social on the 3rd Tuesday of  each month at the Windsor Senior Center. The evenings include free garden education from local garden experts. This month March 17th, they have irrigation expert, David Nystrom from Fulton Creek Nursery sharing all his secrets for irrigating your gardens and greenhouses. The short meeting starts at 6:15 pm with a social gathering with tastes and the speaker begins at 7 pm.