May 2017 marks 32 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. I joined 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 off on his own and living in Wisconsin. Mrs. Rice (Mom) is still here almost every day. She is supposed to now be moving out of the customer service capacity at the nursery. She still likes to do it but is not as fast at it as she used to be. She is always there to answer questions and water and tend to plants but she is not there for writing up sales. Her vision is not what it once was and she prefers to not be in that capacity any more. So she will be in a capacity of doing some of the maintenance chores around here she enjoys and also enjoys talking to folks. But myself and those who work here will be the ones waiting on customers. I hope all our customers understand and can appreciate mom’s new capacity here at the nursery that she and dad started.
This month it seems like spring finally arrived. A bit late this year but we got water that was sorely needed. My rain total for the season here is 48″. This month has not been hot except for a couple of warm days and a little rain and long range forecasts indicate a little more to come maybe next week and seasonal temperatures. 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.
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.
If you did not fertilize in April, do it now. Many plants were under stress the last few years due to the dry seasons we have had. With the rain this year they are recovering and fertilizing will really help them grow vigorously and prepare them for the summer when it gets hot.
With this year being 32 years in business and 25 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. Maybe we’ll get to 64 years. That’s a way’s out. I’d be pretty old to be working still but you never know. Mom is still at it. She is an inspiration.
Thank you and we hope to see you soon.