The spring season marches on, with all of the usual ups and downs of weather and temperatures. It looks like we are going to have some cool nights, with possible frost, coming up. Most years, the frost free date in this area can be anywhere from May 5 through May 20. While not totally reliable, the soil temperatures can indicate the last frost, as well. The warmer that the ground is, the more difficult it is to get a frost. But difficult does not mean impossible! Starting off April this year with such warm temps gave us a bit of a head start. And you can also see that with all of the blooming daffodils and magnolia trees that are going to be finished in the next week or two.
With all of the plants that we grow in the greenhouse, we have one simple rule of thumb. They will be happiest and safest outside for the season, when it is consistently staying above 50 at night. We have customers that move things in and out or cover them when it is going to be below that level. If you want to do this, just make sure that the plants are getting some light during the day. Going from the bright greenhouse to a dark garage will not help them grow at all.
Each year we offer Spring Container Planting, which allows customers to bring their own pots to the greenhouse, plant them with our plants and then leave them here for us to take care of until it is warm enough for them to go outside. Last year, everything was different, including our planting policies. Customers dropped off their pots and we did the planting. Our goal is to return to a more “normal” process for the upcoming spring of 2021.
You bring your own empty planters here and we fill your pots with fresh, nutrient rich soil. You will choose potted, growing plants from our greenhouse and place them in your containers and we plant them for you. Our goal here is to reduce the amount of time you spend with others in a group. Then, as always, you leave them here with us and we care for them in our greenhouses.
You are charged for the plants that you pick out, as well as a Growing Fee. This fee covers the care and maintenance of your pots in the greenhouse, as well as the addition of time release fertilizer and the soil to fill the pot. This is the fee:
Containers 10” across to 12” across: $9.00 each
Containers over 12”and under 17” across: $11.00 each
Containers 17” across and over: $.85 per inch
You can do this now, through the end of the day on Friday, April 23. We are open Monday through Saturday, 9 am until 5 pm and Sunday, 11 am until 4 pm. We will be happy to give you as much or as little assistance as you want. We will not hold any “workshops” this year, in the interest of not having larger groups in the greenhouse at one time, spending time together.
There are 2 rules that we have. The first is that your pots measure at least 10” across. Planting a pot that is smaller defeats the purpose of getting a head start. Pots that size can be planted and put directly outside and you save the cost of the Growing Fee. The second is that you pick your pots up before 4 pm on Sunday, May 23. The Growing Fee covers care and maintenance of your planters until then. Any pots that remain after that will cost $2 per pot, per day for the additional care.
If you are interested in having us do all of it, like we did last year, we can do that as well. The costs and rules above would apply, and an additional 7.50 per pot for us to gather the plants for your pots.
Each week, we have a Weekly Wednesday Special. Last year, in the interest of not having a crowd, we ran our Wednesday Special on both Wednesday and Thursday and for this week, we are going to do that, as well. The special this week will be on our 7.5″ pots of geraniums. They are regularly 14.99 each and will be 10.99 on Wednesday and Thursday, April 21 and 22, only.
Our operating practices for this spring are quite similar to what we did last year. These are our guidelines for shopping at SHADY HILL for the spring of 2021.
-Mask or face covering is necessary in greenhouse
-Please keep 6′ away from staff and customers
-No groups of more than three people in the greenhouse
-Please use a cart, as that is how we count people in the greenhouse
-We will limit the number of people in the greenhouse at one time
-No pets in the greenhouse
These directions served us well last year and we are going to stick with them for the time being. This weather is going to give people spring fever, but it is obviously still too early to plant outside. But, we will get there. We do every year. Hope to see you soon.