September Color

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By , September 18, 2014 3:17 am

This is such a beautiful and exciting time of year! Summer and Fall merge, in a glorious display of color.

You can find pumpkins, strawbales, gourds, apples, and apple cider at Kirby’s. A great start to the Fall season!

 We love growing a variety of pumpkins and gourds…

This giant gourd variety grows into some very interesting shapes and colors.

Little orange and white pumpkins are adorable, in just as many shapes and sizes.

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Our large Mums are exploding with color!

And there are a lot of colors to choose from. Complement your mums with some interesting foliage plants from our perennial area. Perennials are all 25% off!
 Produce Update

Tomatoes are at their peak, while peaches are beginning to come to a close. Right now we have Cresthaven peaches, which are a freestone variety that’s excellent for baking, eating, freezing, and canning. We also Babygold, a clingstone variety that is our personal favorite for canning. They have excellent flavor, you don’t have to peel them, and their firm flesh holds up well in a jar.

Apple Varieties Available now:

Honeycrisp, Autumn Crisp, Gingergold, McIntosh, Paula Red, and Jonamac

Other homegrown produce in season:

Sweet and Hot Peppers, Eggplant, Lettuce, Kale, Beets, Broccoli, Garlic, Cauliflower, Plums, Pluots, and Nectarines.

Locally grown produce in season:

Potatoes, Onions, Carrots, Parsnips, and Shiitake Mushrooms

Field Update: Spring Growth, May to June

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By , June 9, 2014 2:33 pm

 

In mid-May, we were planting every single day. Peas, then lettuce, pickles, squash, beets, beans, broccoli, and more broccoli. As soon as the weather was warm enough and the soil was dry enough, we had to move as fast as we could.

The well-drained soil that we have on our Brockport farm is very important to us at this time of year. All of that Spring rain soaking the soil and slowing us down on our Albion farm, just drained away to the south, through the sandy soil here in Brockport.

In May the apricots bloomed, then cherries, followed by peaches, plums, and finally apples. Such a beautiful time of year.

Now it’s June! This Spring season started out cold and wet, slowing us down a little. We’re very thankful for the warm temperatures that the end of May brought us, and it’s amazing how much things have grown. It means that we’re packing fresh peas, CA apples, rhubarb, lettuce, and basil in our very first CSA share of the season.

Take a look at what can happen in three weeks!

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Peas

From bushy little pea plants, to taller bushes with lots of bloom supported by string…  and now we have peas! (See if you can find the pea in the photos.) Edible Pod Peas are for sale in the market as of June 8th and we’ll have them for weeks.


 

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Lettuce

Lettuce came out of the greenhouse three inches high, and now look! It doesn’t take long for lettuce to be ready for harvest. We have heads of this incredibly tender lettuce for sale in the market, right now!

 

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Strawberries

According to Farmer Tim, our strawberries have the best bloom he’s ever seen! The weather has cooperated so far and we haven’t lost any to frost this season. Picking should start in 7-10 days, we’re looking forward to an amazing strawberry harvest!

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 Pickles

Pickles were planted while the weather was still cold, so they were covered with a row cover. Row cover is a very large sheet of light weight fabric that insulates the plants from damaging temperatures.  From small pickle plants tucked under the row cover with just a few true leaves, and now they’re starting to look like vines! In the third photo, you can see our “control group” on the left, that was not covered by row cover. The plants weren’t burnt by the cold, but you can definitely see the difference in size.

 

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Squash

It’s incredible what can happen in a few weeks. We’ll have squash on our table in about a week!

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Beans

We’ll start out with green beans this year. Yellow beans are in the second planting, along with more green! We started growing beans just three years ago, and we all really enjoy the difference you get in homegrown, handpicked beans. They’re the sweetest, most tender beans you’ll ever eat!

 

Can you tell we’ve been working hard?






50% off Select Perennials

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By , May 23, 2014 12:49 pm

A Perennial sale this big is a rare occasion at Kirby’s, but we’re ready to move out our older plants to make room for new and interesting perennials! Wander around in our perennial area and you’ll find dozens and dozens of pots with bright orange or pink stickers on them. If the pot has a sticker, it’s 50% off!

Our Perennial of the month is also 50% off, Amsonia hubrichtii! This beautiful and graceful perennial is a native plant. Long lived, bug and pest free, it’s flowers emerge in May and June with clusters of steel blue. The long narrow leaves give the plant a look of a bottle brush that turns to a golden yellow in the fall.

If you’re looking for deals, be sure to check out the clearance perennials, found in the last row in our perennial area.

Perennial Talk at Kirby’s

Finding the perfect plant for your garden can be overwhelming, when faced with hundreds of choices at a garden center.

This season we’re inviting you to join our Perennial experts, Jaime and Judy, for an informative stroll around our perennials. They’ll highlight some of their favorite plants, give helpful hints on how to navigate our perennial area, answer questions, and give suggestions for your garden.

Come by every Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday in May, at 10:30am or 2pm, and learn about beautiful perennials for your garden!

NEW Gift Shop Items, & Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

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By , May 2, 2014 5:50 pm

May is here! Our doors are open and the market is ready for a new season. Everything is cleaned and polished, out on display, and waiting for you to visit! Just in time for an important holiday…

We have a bunch of new things in our gift shop this Spring, and so many perfect Mother’s Day gifts.

These rustic bottle vases are a lot of fun, and we ordered a huge variety. Single double or triple, tall or short. They’re perfect to add a little cheer to any corner of the house, with a single flower or a small bouquet.

Or, if you’d like to take a break from the usual flower arrangement, just pick out a container (shiny, rustic, or wooden) and plunk a beautiful plant or two inside. Our greenhouse is full of pretty and interesting plants, with lots of color and texture to choose from.  You’ve made a little bit of instant beauty that Mom can  enjoy as a centerpiece, and then plant in her garden to enjoy all year.

We also have tools and gardening gloves for the avid gardener. If you really know your gardener Mom’s taste in plants, there are some gorgeous perennials in bloom right now. Bleeding Heart, Garden Phlox, Tiarella, and Brunnera are a few colorful examples. Or you could go with green and pick out a hosta or fern from our collection.

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 Are there just too many choices? Gift Certificates from Kirby’s are a very popular Mother’s Day gift.

It’s a lot of fun seeing them come back through the rest of the year, exchanged for plants, fruits and veggies, baked goods, jams, or a fun home accessory.

A few more gift ideas for Mother’s Day: Dishes and bowls from local potter Rose Vantyne; battery powered candles; pretty mugs and bowls; or votive holders with a locally made soy candle from Sandy Creek!

 

May 1st Farm Update!

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By , May 2, 2014 3:29 am


On a drive around the farm today, beautiful signs of Spring were everywhere. The apricot trees are the first to flower!

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Peas

We had a cold start to the season this year and there will be a slight delay because of it. Even for cool weather crops like peas, you have to wait for the soil to warm up enough before you can put seeds in the ground.

For the past two years, peas were planted in the first week of April, but for 2014 they weren’t in the ground until the third week. Although this is closer to normal, it does mean that we’ll have to wait a little longer for those delicious green pods to make an appearance.

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Strawberries

When the forsythia blooms, we know it’s time to rake the insulating layer of straw off of the strawberry plants. The sooner their green leaves can bask in the warm Spring sunshine, the sooner we can bite into a sweet, red, strawberry.

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Broccoli

This is the earliest broccoli has ever been planted at Kirby’s. Thousands and thousands of plants were seeded. Starting in June, broccoli will be harvested every week until cold temperatures kill the plants. We’re in for another epic year of broccoli!

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Peaches

Last year we all enjoyed a phenomenal peach crop – we just about had more peaches then we knew what to do with! Unfortunately, it looks like this year we’ll be lucky to find a peck basket in the entire orchard. It’s sad news for us, and our customers. Luckily many of our other stone fruits weren’t hit as hard; it looks like the plums, prunes, and apricots will be bearing a normal crop!

 You might remember a few days this past winter, when the temperature dropped to -11F.  That was too cold for the tender young growth of the peach trees to survive. The trees themselves weathered the winter, but those young buds are the source of this season’s peaches.

If you’re wondering how we can predict the yield for a crop that won’t fruit for months, there is a simple way to find out if your blossoms will turn into fruit.

Sometime in April when the buds on the trees are just beginning to break out, Tim Kirby cuts a handful of small branches. He sticks them in a bucket or jar and keeps them in a warm place. The buds will open enough to reveal the flower. With the help of a magnifying glass and a small knife, you can see whether the inside of the pistil is black or green. A black heart is a sure sign that the fruit doesn’t have a chance.

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 Thanks for reading! We know our customers like to stay informed of how the weather is effecting the crops, and how the season is coming along. For the rest of the year, we ‘ll  post a Field Update on the first and third week of the month. See you soon!
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April Flowers

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By , April 11, 2014 1:03 am

Walking in the greenhouse today, I saw little bits of color everywhere. So I picked a little photograph bouquet! I hope you like it!

April in the Greenhouse

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By , April 3, 2014 4:09 pm

So far, April is a welcome contrast to March! Those patches of snow will be gone soon enough, with weather like we had yesterday.

The greenhouses are warm and humid, especially when the sun shines. Yesterday, the skies were clear all day and it got down right HOT! The smaller houses were opened up to let out some of the hot air, keeping the perennials cool for a little longer.

But in the big house we’re keeping things toasty warm, and the annuals are growing like crazy. Hanging baskets have already doubled in size, and we’re starting to see some color here and there! When we open our doors on May 1st, the difference will be amazing. Less then a month away!

Replacing Impatiens

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By , March 29, 2014 1:32 am

It’s a sad day, as we  say goodbye to garden impatiens.

If you have a shade garden, you’ve probably heard of or experienced the issues that Garden Impatiens are having in our area. Did you have a patch of impatiens that wilted and died no matter what you did? Powdery Mildew is most likely the culprit.

First, Powdery Mildew  causes the leaves to yellow. Then the flowers drop, and soon there’s nothing but sickly stems where your beautiful impatien was growing and blooming.

Powdery Mildew was first spotted in Minnesota in 2011, and has since been found in 32 states, including New York. It spreads through the soil, water, and it will even travel hundreds of miles through the air. Once your garden or plants are infected, there’s no way to get rid of it. A similar downy mildew that effects Sunflowers remains in the soil 8-10 years after infection.

This is the first year that we completely removed garden impatiens from our roster.

It was hard to let go of a plant that brought so much color to shady areas! Last year we had a fraction of our usual numbers for those that were still able to grow them in the area. But after seeing how far the mildew has advanced, and how devastated gardens were by the infection, we realized it was time to try something new and say goodbye to regular impatiens.

The good news is, there are replacements available.

New Guinea Impatiens are the closest match. They have a similar height and growth habit, with a good selection of colors. They prefer some sun, but will tolerate full shade fairly well.

toreniasummerwaveblue.jpgThe best solution might be to select a mix of annuals for your shady garden beds. Visit the shade aisle in our greenhouse for a good selection. We have Torenia, a shade-loving plant that produces beautiful flowers, and attracts hummingbirds. Ajuga is a perennial ground cover for shade, with colorful foliage. Annual foliage plants like Coleus will provide color as well as some height. These are just a few examples. Ask one of our helpers in the greenhouse and we’ll assist you in finding the right plants for your garden!

Growing in the Greenhouse

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By , March 28, 2014 9:09 pm

This time of year, when Spring has barely made it’s presence known, the greenhouse is an inspiring place. Warm sunshine falls on thriving green plants, and flats of sprouting seeds.

One small seed placed in the soil, one of thousands transforming into tiny, tender sprouts breaking through and unfurling in the light… after a long, cold, snowy winter like the one we’ve had, we’re all waiting for a chance to branch out in the warmth!

We start our plants by seed, plug, or bare root transplant depending on the type of plant. Vegetables destined for the field are started from seed (tomatoes, peppers, brcooli, etc), as well as enthusiastic annuals (marigolds, allyssum, lobelia, for example) and perennials.

The photos below in the center and on the right show our broccoli seedings. Every two weeks, another crop will be transplanted into the field, giving us a constant supply of broccoli from June until November. 

 

Most perennials that come in as plugs (young plants growing in trays) are planted in smaller quart pots. Delphinum, Columbine,  and Dianthus are pictured below on the right, growing happily in quart containers. Look at that green!

All bare root transplants are put in gallon pots to give these large root masses plenty of room for an equally large plant. Some particularly vigorous plugs like hosta and helleborous are planted in larger gallon pots as well. Pictured to the left, for example, is Heleborous Ivory Prince with striking red stems and graceful, blue-green leaves.

Below on the left and in the center is Hosta Sum and Substance, one of the largest hostas on the market. It grew so well in the tray that they were impossible to pull out and we had to cut the tray to pieces! Look at all those roots. To keep them from becoming root bound, we sliced off a layer of the bottom of the roots. On the right is Pineapple Lilly, an exotic looking plant with  long pointed leaves and a tall flower stalk.

 

New Annuals for 2014 at Kirby’s

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By , March 27, 2014 8:54 pm

Here are a few of the new annuals we’ll have in the greenhouse this Spring. They’re all Proven Winners, which you can count on for easy care and “vigorous, healthy, vibrant, and unique” plants. We’re looking forward to trying out these gorgeous colors in hanging baskets, garden beds, and brand new combinations!

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Superbells Spicy and Superbells Pomegranate Punch Callibrichoa

Superbells® Pomegranate Punch - Calibrachoa hybridSuperbells® Spicy - Calibrachoa hybrid

We added Spicy and Pomegranate Punch to our already long list of Superbell color choices. They look pretty spectacular! Those hot colors will pair wonderfully with purples, reds, and chocolate folliage.

Superbells Callibrichoa are a type of petunia with a finer foliage and many
small blossoms. They are amazing in

superbells-spicy-mono.jpghanging baskets, container gardens and garden beds, and they can get very, very large!  One of our favorite things about superbells and supertunias is that, unlike traditional petunias, you don’t have to remove the dead flowers. They’ll bloom all season long with plenty of water and regular feeding.Growing Tips: If they get too big, they do respond well to being cut back. Because of the airy habit of the plant, it’s best to protect them from high winds to achieve a better overall shape.For best bloom, don’t let them dry out!

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SSupertunia® Flamingo - Petunia hybridupertunia Flamingo, Petunia
A soft salmon color with delicate veining, Flamingo is a very robust Supertunia. It joins the ranks of some of our favorite annuals, including Royal Velvet Supertunia, Priscilla Supertunia, and Bordeaux Supertunia.
This beautiful plant has the potential to grow up to 18 inches high and two feet across! Like all Supertunias, Flamingo is beautiful in hanging baskets and container gardens. And you don’t have to deadhead. It’s always nice to avoid that sticky, unpleasant task!
Click here for more details.

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Senetti Electric Magenta, Osteospernum
Osteospurnum, (or African Daisies) have been grown in our greenhouse every Spring for many years. This season we added Senetti, an African Daisy with smaller, prolific flowers. The color is intense!
Senetti® Magenta - Cineraria - PericallisGrowing Tips: Similar to the Symphony Orange and Yellow African Daisies we usually grow, these annuals will bloom heavily in cooler weather, but will retreat in the intense heat of summer. When July comes around, be sure to put them in part shade and water often to encourage bloom. However, these beautiful flower are frost tolerant! We’re looking forward to seeing what they do in the Fall.
Click here for more details.
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Superbena® Violet Ice - Verbena hybrid

Superbena Violet Ice, Verbena
Lavender purple flowers on dark green folliage. This plant will bloom all season until frost, with proper care. Excellent in hanging baskets, containers, and garden beds, Violet Ice will also blend well with other flowers in combination pots.
Growing Tips: Superbena are heat and drought tolerant! Expect impressive results with regular watering and fertilizing. Verbena is another plant that you must deadhead, traditionally, but they were developed to avoid all that itchiness. Violet Ice will bloom for the entire season whether you remove the dead flowers or not.

Superbena® Violet Ice mono

Click here for more details.
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Coming Soon…. photos from the Perennial House, and new perennial varieties for 2014!

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