No need to monitor soil moisture today as the ground is covered with snow. I deep-watered my yard in Reno and my garden and orchard in late October just before I shut down my irrigation systems. I’ll check soil moisture monthly (use the holiday each month as a reminder) and water accordingly.
Winter is the time to order plants for next year. I’ll be sending out the 2014 Price/Availability Retail Sales List later in December. Again this coming spring, I’ll be ordering a number of bare root fruit trees from various wholesale nurseries; varieties will include apples, pears, apricots, peaches, cherries, nectarines, and plums.
…and on those cold snowy days this winter, if you are looking for nursery sources for trees, berries, grapes or seeds, check out these websites:
www.italianseedandtool.com has Euro-sized packages of vegetable and herb seed; prices are similar to US packages, but lots more seed per package. They have a US distributor. Try the zucchini Romano—one of my favorites. They also have several varieties of fava beans, fancy lettuce, radicchio, and more…Rail City Nursery in Sparks also carries their Euro seed competitor…same large packages.
www.burntridgenursery.com in Washington specializes in “unusual trees, shrubs, and vines that produce edible nuts or fruits”. Maybe someone of you would like to try the cold weather Kiwis…
www.onegreenworld.com has an eclectic selection of rare, exotic, and previously unheard of plants from all over the world—many are cold hardy varieties from Siberia….
www.millernurseries.com in upstate New York has lots of cold weather fruits and berries and strawberries…
http://www.raintreenursery.com A Washington nursery with a wide selection of trees, berries, grapes; note the climate zones. They have many cold weather varieties, but caution, they also have varieties for western, coastal Washington that won’t survive winter here…
www.grimonut.com in Ontario (that’s Canada) has a variety of nut trees, some of which will produce here. You’ll need something for USDA zone 5 or lower and possibly a pollinator. (PS persimmons won’t work here; I tried–it didn’t sprout leaves until July 3 its second year. It’s now living happily in Texas….) Hall’s Hardy almond trees in Reno/Sparks had bumper crops in 2012….
I have had good experiences ordering from the above nurseries. When you find a new (to you) nursery, you can check out their customer feedback on The Garden Watchdog; it’s now part of www.davesgarden.com under Products & Sources.
Remember, if you collected seeds last summer or have bought them, be sure to store them in a cold place—I use the garage. Seeds need to have a dormant period (stratification) to ensure germination in the spring.
Keep warm and have a great holiday season.