April Flowers

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!

CSA Sign-up Options

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By , March 9, 2014 8:19 pm

We love our online store. It makes it easy for our customers to sign up for CSA and pay online.

But we know that sort of thing doesn’t work for everyone.

If you or someone you know would like to sign up for our CSA but prefers not to do so online, come by the farm market on April 27th, 28th, or 29th. You can use our good old paper forms and pay right then. We’ll be there from 9am to 7pm each day, to help you get everything straightened out in no time, and then you’ll have a season of delicious homegrown produce to look forward to!

 

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Interested in reading more about our CSA?

2014 CSA Information

By , March 6, 2014 7:26 pm

March is here, and that means that Spring is right around the corner. The greenhouse is already toasty warm and filling up with green plants. We’re savoring these first moments of warmth and growing things! In July we’ll look back and wonder where the time went.

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And now for the news you’ve been waiting for!  The CSA Store is open and ready to accept your membership for the 2014 season.

Prices are posted on our website (here), along with updated FAQs.

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Registration Deadlines

Early Sign Up Bonus: 

All members that register and whose first payments are received by April 1st, will get an early sign up bonus.This year the bonus is your choice of a six pack of annuals. Any six pack we grow – so you can choose flowers, vegetables or herbs! Paying online with your credit card is the easiest way to make sure your payment is received by April 1st (a little more reliable then the mail) but if you would like to send a check, please mail it early enough to be sure we receive it in time.

Regular registration deadline is May 1st

(You can still join later in the year if we have space, but a $20 processing fee will be added for all late registrations.)

 

Kirby’s Winter Apple Pick-up

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By , January 21, 2014 1:13 am

Have you heard? You can get great apples from Kirby’s this winter. Even while the snow is piling up, and that last Mac in your fridge is too soft to eat, we’re pulling bins of crunchy apples out of CA storage each month! We think that if you live in WNY, you should be able to get your hands on a good apple when you want one.

We’re opening the market for one afternoon in January, February, March, and April, just for apple pickups. If you missed the January pick-up, don’t worry, February 18th will be here before you know it.

Be sure to place your order one week prior to the pickup date.

To Order: Send us an email with the name of the person picking up, your phone number, and your order.

Pay for your order when you pick up, cash or charge. Prices, pick up days and times  are listed here.

 

The first time apples have ever been sold at Kirby’s in January! I’m pretty excited.  You can get decent apples at the grocery store, but they’re so expensive. And even though they’re good, they’re still not as good as CA (Controlled Atmosphere) apples. The high quality apples that come out of Controlled Atmosphere storage rooms are the reason we decided to try this venture. After the room is sealed, all of the oxygen is removed, keeping the apples from deteriorating. When you take a bite, they’re juicy and crisp as the day they were put away in storage. Pretty amazing!

In February we’ll both Cortland and Empire available. Cortland are great for pies, sauce, baking, and they’re pretty good for eating fresh too! I’m looking forward to a nice warm apple crisp, yum.

(If you did order apples in January, you’ll notice our ordering process is a little different. We discovered a few hang-ups with the online software we were using, so we decided to go with email and good old fashioned cash!)

Kirby’s Handcrafted Evergreen Wreaths, now online!

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By , November 21, 2013 2:34 am

Piles of fragrant branches in so many colors and textures, red and gold decorations, and sparkly bows! Making Christmas wreaths is a lot of fun, especially when the end result is a festive decoration for someone’s home.

This year, we’re making our wreaths available online!

You can purchase our handcrafted wreathes at our online store, and customize it however you wish. 

When you click over to our online store here, you’ll see that we start with a sturdy 10″ or 14″ ring that won’t bend or warp. By the time we’re done filing it out with a variety of greens, (many of which we harvest ourselves) the 10″ wreath reaches 15″-18″ in diameter and the 14″ is about 19″ – 25″.

After choosing the size, you can customize your wreath with natural decorations of berries, pinecones, seedpods, a bow, or sparkly, eye-catching accents in red, gold, or silver.

Your unique wreath, handcrafted here at Kirby’s, will be ready to pick up at the market in about one week, usually less.

A wreath decorated with berries.A wreath decorated with berries.A wreath decorated with seedpods, berries, and pinecones.
A wreath decorated with seedpods, berries, and pinecones.A wreath with silver accents and pine cones.A wreath with silver accents and pine cones.

Mixed greens with boxwood.Mixed greens with boxwood.A wreath decorated with berries, gold accents, and gold ribbon.A wreath decorated with red accents.Mixed greens with ivy and a gold bow.

Autumn’s Chill

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By , October 24, 2013 2:53 pm

The produce on our tables is always a reflection of the changing seasons. Right now we have: Brussel Sprouts; Winter Squash;  Romanesco;  Cauliflower; Cabbage; Apples; Broccoli; Swiss Chard; Kale; and Pumpkins.  We also have Local Potatoes, Carrots, Onions, Grapes, and Pears.

It has been a particularly long season for tomatoes and peppers. Plum tomatoes were hanging in there for a while, but no doubt the hard frost last night put an end to them as well.

Sunlight illuminates a head of romanesco.

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