May 2023 marks 38 years in business for us here at Bald Mountain Nursery. My parents, Richard and Cecilia Rice started the business in 1985. Richard Rice (Dad) passed away in 2005. Cecilia Rice (Mom) passed away in 2021. I started in the business in 1992 and have been fortunate enough to raise my son here and have him grow up around the business. He used to be here all the time as a kid and worked here too. Truly a family business. He’s now married and living in Wisconsin with his wife and twin daughters. Who knows, maybe one day one of them may want to join the business. We plan to be here for a long time to come.
This has been very nice weather once we got past the rain which was very nice to see. The weather has been mild except for a couple of warm days and a little rain and long-range forecasts indicate seasonal temperatures for the rest of the month. We have had a beautiful spring this year. It’s a great time to do some gardening and planting.
Check your watering systems and make sure all drippers and sprinklers are working. Don’t want to find out a dripper is not working when you see a dead or dying plant. Remember to mulch around your trees and shrubs. This will reduce your water usage by as much as 50% and your plants will withstand the warm days much better because the moisture you apply stays in the ground and does not evaporate. Two to three inches of mulch is what you want around your trees and in your planting beds. Also, mulch your vegetable gardens. Saves water and gives you healthier plants and cuts down on weeds.
If you did not get fertilizing done in April, this is a good time to do it. Use a balanced fertilizer on almost everything. Azaleas, rhododendrons, camellias, and hydrangeas want an acid fertilizer. Wait until azaleas and rhododendrons are done blooming to fertilize and then fertilize 3 times, each time 30 days apart. That is enough for the season on them. Roses should be fertilized with a balanced fertilizer or a rose food about every 6 weeks through the growing season, ending in October.
Clean up blooms under camellias this month if you have not done so already. Fertilize bulbs that are done blooming with bulb food or bone meal to regenerate the bulb for the next season.
Watch roses and other plants for aphids. Lots of customers are having lots of aphids this year. Plum trees and crape myrtles are also subject to aphids among other plants. If you see curling leaves on your plum trees, check them for aphids. Spray with insecticidal soap or neem oil to help get rid of them.
With this year being 38 years in business and 31 years in this business for me, we want to thank all our customers for your support and patronage. We will continue to strive to offer quality fully acclimated plants appropriate for our climate area at a good value. We’ve gotten through recession and drought and we are still here thanks to the support of our customers. We plan to be here for many years to come.
Thank you and we hope to see you soon.