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Acer's Florist & Garden Center
Edition 15.25 Acer's Florist & Garden Center June 2015


Quotation of the Week:

"I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order."~John Burroughs


Father's Day

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Father's Day Gift


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Stonewall Gift basket
Cherry Tree
Plant a Tree for Father's Day

A great way to make this Father's Day a memorable one is to plant a tree with the kids. In addition to providing a valuable asset to your yard, a tree will grow with your family and create a link between your family and your home.

Selecting the proper tree for your yard will require some forethought. The biggest thing to consider is how big the tree will get. Whichever tree you are considering, you should imagine it at its largest potential. You don't want to plant a tree that will get huge right next to your house, driveway, or where it will shade your entire garden all day. Hazards can be below ground too. The roots of a tree will grow as large as its canopy, and can interfere with unseen water, septic, and sewer lines. Roots can also uplift sidewalks and penetrate foundations. It's always a good idea to have your water and gas lines "staked" beforehand to ensure they won't become a problem later.

The second question to ask yourself is what you want out of your tree. Would you like tree that is occasionally covered in flowers? Would you rather have a fruiting tree? Would you like a large canopy to block hot summer sun, or should it enhance the privacy of your yard by blocking the neighbors' view?

Other considerations, such as soil type, fertilization, and how close it will be to power lines should factor in as well. It is best to choose a tree that will fit in its surroundings without having to be trimmed.

Planting the tree is fairly simple, but doing it correctly is essential to making sure the tree will survive.
-Dig a hole larger than the container or root ball that the tree came in. Make sure the root flare will sit above the soil line.
-Remove any packing material, including wire, twine, or burlap.
Cut away any encircling roots to prevent them from strangling the tree.
-Loosen up roots so they will be able to grow into the soil.

Backfill dirt and water it in to ensure there aren't air pockets. Gently tamp the soil down to compact it.
-It's generally best to use the same soil the tree will be living in.
-Fertilizing is usually a bad idea at planting, and can burn the roots of the tree.

The most common mistake people make when planting trees is to plant them too deep. Make sure the root flare, where the trunk begins to spread out into roots, is above the height of the soil around it. A tree planted too deep will struggle to survive and will have very limited growth. If you're not sure how to identify the root flare, ask someone in the garden center.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask. We're plant people, and want to make sure your plants thrive. It's a lot easier to answer a "stupid question" than to have to cut down a tree that was planted in the wrong place.

For help selecting a tree, bring in some pictures of your yard and we'd be glad to show you some options. If you'd like it delivered or for us to plant it for you, we can do that too.

Attract Pollinators

Regardless of how well you care for your plants, many of them will not fruit without being pollinated. Some plants have separate male and female flowers, and require the pollen is transferred from the male to the female flower. With fertilization, the female flower becomes a squash, or a watermelon, or a cucumber. Without, it dries up and falls off the plant. Other crops, such as tomatoes, peas, and beans, are self pollinating, but must be shaken by the wind or a pollinator to achieve fertilization.

Hand-pollination can be an effective tool in the home garden, ensuring that every female flower is fertilized, but it is very labor intensive. Luckily, we have natural pollinators, such as bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Getting their attention is generally pretty easy by using bright colored flowers, or flowering trees, but having a large variety of flowers will attract more of the over 400 species of bees that reside in NY. Most of the species of bees in NY reside in cavities, whether in underground tunnels or in holes in trees or walls, or in "mud-huts" that they build. Others, most notably the European honeybee, prefer hives.

Chances are, you have at least a few of these species of bees in your neighborhood. Attracting them to your yard is not difficult. Having a variety of different plants, especially native ones, will help to attract as many bees as possible. An untended lawn is awash with native flowering plants. Clover, violets, daisies, and dandelions are all important food sources for native bees, and allowing some room for native wildflowers like these to grow will attract some bees.

If you're looking for a more manicured look, consider planting some sunflower, salvia, poppies, penstemon, lupine, larkspur, milkweed, daisy, or black-eyed susans. All of these are native plants and will help feed the bees that will inevitably move over a plant or two to check out your tomatoes, peppers, or squash. Many of them will attract hummingbirds and butterflies as well. More diversity in the flowers in your garden will lead to a more diverse collection of pollinators. The more pollinators there are in your garden, the more likely it is that you will have a great crop this summer.

If you have trouble with too many or aggressive bees, contact your local bee specialist. Exterminators do just that, exterminate. Having a beekeeper move a hive to a location where it is welcome and sustainable will help ensure that it will survive to help us out with our crops next year.


Now that we're more than halfway through June, we are approaching the time where vegetables won't mature before the first frost. The next few weeks are critical for planting the rest of your vegetable garden for harvest before fall. The best bet is to start with transplants. It's already too late to start most plants from seed.

Tomatoes, peppers, and other frost-sensitive plants are the most critical. They will not withstand cold temperatures. You still have some time for pumpkins, cucumbers and squashes. You should be replanting peas, lettuce, and beans every week or two to ensure continuous harvest through the summer.

Don't forget to fertilize early plantings and regularly check the moisture levels in your soil. Keep an eye out for pests, too. A few days with hornworms munching in the garden unimpeded will be devastating to your plants. Add compost for additional nutrients and a nice thick layer of mulch to keep the summer sun off the soil. Your veggies will thank you.

Chicken Fajita Pizza

What you need:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lb chicken breasts, skinned,boned,cut into 2 x 1/2 inch strips
  • 1-2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup thinly sliced onions
  • 1/2 cup green bell peppers, strips
  • 1/2 cup red bell peppers, strips
  • Pizza dough for 12 inch pizza
  • 1/2 cup mild salsa
  • 2 cups monterey jack cheese, shredded

Step by Step:

  • Heat oil in large skillet.
  • Add chicken and cook, stirring frequently until lightly browned.
  • Stir in seasonings.
  • Add onions and bell peppers, cook an additional minute or so until vegetables are crisp-tender.
  • Heat oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Sprinkle pizza pan with semolina flour and press dough into pan.
  • Pre-bake dough until it is a very light golden brown, about 6 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and scatter chicken over crust, spoon salsa over chicken, spread vegetable mixture over that, and finally, top with cheese.
  • Bake for another 15 minutes until crust is golden brown.

Yield: 8 servings


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