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Open for the season, Spring Hours: 8-4 Monday-Saturday
Colorscapes Greenhouse and Nursery specializes in garden and landscape plants for Northern Nevada and has been proudly serving Elko, Spring Creek, Winnemucca, Carlin, Wells, and all points in between since 1991. Although we are not a mail-order greenhouse, we know that many experienced, new to the area, and just getting started gardeners like to come out with a list of possibilities. Our Availability List Pages provide pictures and cultural information about the plants we plan to offer. Our Annuals Availability List Page will be posted in April.

Planting Planning
Gardening focuses on the plants within an area of the landscape. Choosing the right plants requires some fundamental knowledge of plant names, color and bloom time, growth characteristics, water and nutritional needs, soil quality, and available light.

Landscaping is an overall view of the property and how gardens and hardscapes are designed to fit in a pleasing fashion within those perameters. At Colorscapes we strive to make the shopping experience both educational and inspirational; via this website, by providing on-site information about our plants, and providing design ideas to help you create a landscape that you can enjoy as a beautiful extension of your home.

We're all looking for plants that are easy to grow so we can spend more time enjoying them and less time maintaining them. So, here's the challenge to people looking for plants to enrich their lives: Prior planning prevents poor performance. Getting an area ready for planting will always define the difference between plants that thrive and plants that dive. So, let's change those problem areas into a place that you can enjoy through the changing seasons.

A,B, Seed Starting: Everything Elko, April Article
Growing plants from seeds can be rewarding since it allows you to watch the seedlings develop into mature plants, controlling each step of the process. When we first opened in December of 1991, we started all of our perennials, herbs, veggies, and flowering annuals from seed. Now, we buy from large growers who specialize in seedling and cutting liners for next step growers, just like us. But, there are some veggie varieties that we prefer to seed ourselves and have had great success with over the years including tomatoes, peppers, and annual herbs. In March, we started 5 tomato varieties and 5 pepper varieties from seed and plan to offer them in 3.5" pots starting in mid-May.

I'll explain one example of starting a long-time favorite tomato, 'Oregon Spring'.
At my potting table, I start with a clean seeding tray that I fill mid-way with a well-balanced, soiless potting mix. Tomato seeds, like most veggie seeds, are large enough that I can easily handle them and space them evenly on the soiless mix at about 150 seeds per tray (we do two trays of this variety). I use a short piece of 2x4 to gently press the seeds down so they come into contact with the soiless mix, then cover the seeds with a light layer of coarse vermiculite (you can use the soiless mix). The trays are then moved onto a bench in the warmest spot in the greenhouse and watered with a misting sprayer until the vermiculite is saturated. The trays are then covered with another seeding tray that is removed each morning to vent and apply another misting. The tray stays covered until most of the seeds sprout, about 10 days. After the seeds sprout, I cut back on the misting/watering and water only when the vermiculite dries (visibly shrinks) and leave the tray uncovered. Once the seedlings have two sets of true leaves, I gently tease the roots loose using a sharpened dowel and transplant each seedling into a clean, 3.5" pot, using a well-balanced, soiless mix. I fertilize with a water-soluble fertilizer at the recommended rate, every third watering. About 3 weeks later, the plants are ready for acclimating (inside at night/outside on warm days).

Suggested supplies to consider using to start seeds indoors:
Seeds (we like Territorial Seed Company @ 541-942-9547), seeding trays, soiless potting mix, low-volume water nozzle, sharpened pencil, and small, clean pots. 18-3.5" pots fit nicely into the tray used to cover the seed trays. A limited number of trays, pots, and blank labels are available for sale at the greenhouse.

Advice to consider:
  • Look for short-season varieties (72-80 days). Example: 'Oregon Spring' tomatoes at 77 days. Seeds sown first week of April, transplanted about 3 weeks later, mature by about mid-July (77 days from transplant).
  • Sow close to the number of seedlings you plan to grow. Label varieties as they're sown and use a blank label to divide them. You can use the same tray for tomato varieties and annual herbs, and another for pepper varieties. Peppers are slow pokes and usually take up to two full weeks longer before they're ready to transplant. Remember, I sow 150 seeds per tray, so unless you're feeding a small army, a couple of trays should be plenty. Store extra seeds in an airtight container up to 3 years in the refrigerator.
  • Once the seeds sprout, keep in a sunny location (or close to the light source if that's how you're growing) to avoid stretch. A low-speed fan will allow the stems to strengthen and avoid dampening off.
  • Disregard the calendar when it comes to planting up in container gardens or in ground. Instead, go with a good five-day forecast and always be ready to cover if temperatures are predicted to fall below 38 degrees. Memorial Day is the earliest I would consider planting tomatoes and peppers.
  • Brassicas, including Broccoli, Cabbage, and Cauliflower germinate quickly and can be started and planted earlier since they are much more cold-hardy than tomatoes and peppers. Squash, cucumbers, and beans are very cold-sensitive and do well with a direct, in ground, sowing about Memorial Day.

    Toms and Peppers On Deck With Bird Netting
    Tomatoes and peppers (leftovers) transplanted into containers on July 1st.

    Caring for your newly planted veggies and herbs.
    Keep soil/container garden mix evenly moist. Wet/dry watering cycles can cause delayed fruiting, stem end cracks, and blossom end rot. Go easy on the fertilizer. Sure plants need feeding, but over doing it will lead to lots of leaves and few blooms. We use Osmocote®, a slow-release fertilizer that lasts for about 3 months. Planting colorful annuals (especially yellow ones) in with your veggies will attract pollinators and other beneficials that keep pests in check. Know thy enemy! Check for pests, especially on the underside of the leaves. A brisk rinse with a water nozzle will knock most of them off, so avoid using chemicals.

    Tomatoes for this season include:
    'Oregon Spring'; Determinate (bush type), medium sized fruit, 77 days.
    'Viva Italia'; Determinate, roma type, 76 days.
    'Patio'; Determinate, 4-5 oz. fruit, 70 days.
    'Sweet Million', indeterminate (requires staking), YUMMY!, 65 days.
    'Black Plumb', indeterminate, heirloom, 80 days.

    Peppers for this season include:
    'Gypsy'; sweet 8" fruit, blushes to orange-red later, 62 days.
    'Orange Blaze', sweet bells, 2011 AAS Winner.
    'Jalapeno; hot, 3½" fruit, 75 days.
    'Anaheim'; 8" fruit, mild heat, heirloom, 80 days.
    'Cajun Belle'; 2-3" mini-bells, sweet with hint of spice.
    Our Annuals Availability List Page will be posted in April. Happy Gardening!

    Availability List Perennials Availability List Shrubs In The Greenhouse
    Marvel's Corner Garden Designs Frequently Used Terms

    Colorscapes Greenhouse and Nursery
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