L.E. Cooke Blog

Thursday, 26 January 2012 02:00

USDA Cold Hardiness Zones

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On 1/25/2012 the USDA in association with OSU announced and unveiled the latest version of the Cold Hardiness Zones Map for the U.S. Nursery Management magazine has done a nice summary of the changes here in NMPro so I won't repeat it here. In short, zones have shifted both due to warming trends but also more accurate geographically due to better data and technology. Some areas are now colder or warmer on the zone chart…
Monday, 23 January 2012 02:00


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I heard the shout from the front office - "Ron get your camera!" Double Rainbow We were treated to one of the better rainbows I have seen in many years.  Big black clouds and associated downpour had just passed heading east and the late afternoon sun popped out brightly to create a brilliant rainbow.  Double rainbow in fact. The Other Half I think what impressed most was the brightness near the ground.  The left side…
Friday, 20 January 2012 02:00

Disaster Preparedness Pays Off

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We have made various plans in case of disasters and Friday it paid off.  Not that it was a major disaster but the effects were troubling none-the less. One of the planned scenarios is what happens if we lose utility power during our busiest part of shipping season.  When shipping up to 240 orders a day, we are processing a lot of invoices, packing lists and calling a lot of customers alerting them to their…
Saturday, 07 January 2012 11:55

Lavender Twist Redbud

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Lavender Twist® Redbud Cercis canadensis 'Covey' GM David Cox showing freshly dug Lavender Twist® Redbud Cercis canadensis 'Covey' is a tree I like which is still under used in the landscape. The main feature is the form - weeping which gives it character all season long - especially when dormant in the winter. Spring Bloom - Cercis canadensis 'Covey' This year's crop is well sized and there are some still available. Ron Ludekens 12-16-11
Tuesday, 29 November 2011 16:48

Grand Marshal

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Last night my father, Bob Ludekens, was honored as the Grand Marshal of the Visalia Candy Cane Lane Parade. This is a major event for our lovely city where 7-10,000 families line Main Street in the cold (and sometimes fog like last night) to kick off the Christmas season. Parade has been growing for 66 years. It was a treat for all of us to see Bob honored. Most of you in the nursery trade…
Monday, 21 November 2011 11:24

Seasons are Relative

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Some of you are already building snowmen. In this agricultural rich San Joaquin Valley, we rarely see the white stuff so we have to be creative. I saw this on Tom's computer monitor several times last week but each time I came to take a photo, body parts were missing. Tom likes the tasty Fuyu-Jiro Persimmons (so do the rest of us). It is persimmon season in Central California and the trees are full of…
Monday, 14 November 2011 14:58

Muscat Grapes on a Roll

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Muscat Grapes, Moscato, Muscatel Ernie brought an article to me that I found interesting and thought I would share it with you. Muscat (Alexandria) Grapes have been around a long time but in relatively recent years they have been bolstered with the introduction of Golden Muscat and Summer Muscat (Seedless). And the sales of all three have been increasing. I never dreamed it was because of Hip-Hop songs. Here is the article: Muscat Wines On…
Thursday, 27 October 2011 10:43

Lessons from Trees

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I ran across this piece this morning while reading Cybersalt Digest's daily email of clean fun and thought it worth sharing with those in the tree trade. "Lessons From Trees" It's important to have roots. In today's complex world, it pays to branch out. If you really believe in something, don't be afraid to go out on a limb. Be flexible so you don't break when a harsh wind blows. Sometimes you have to shed…
Monday, 24 October 2011 13:20

Jerusalem Artichokes

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Our Fall harvest has started on the Vegetables and Berries. (Hint - get your orders in soon if you want the catch the November deliveries). I went to the processing yard and ran across this trailer load of Jerusalem Artichoke roots/tubers (Helianthus tuberosus) : Trailer full of Jerusalem Artichoke Roots I thought you might like to see what you plant in your garden. We plant one of these tubers: We plant the "Quarter Sized" Jerusalem…
Tuesday, 25 October 2011 03:00

Gravenstein Apple Article

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The L.A. Times had a nice article: The Future of Gravenstein Hangs on a Thin Stem Please take a minute to read it. We have been selling Gravenstein Apples for years (and more recently the newer Red Gravenstein Apples as well). They are not big sellers and that is a shame. As the article mentions, there is a small resurgence of the Gravenstein by fans of this apple. They want to save this wonderful apple…
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