Vegetables 101 with Ed

Newsletter 7 – Thursday, March 31, 2016

Current Hours

Cottage Grove

Mon-Fri 9-6
Sat & Sun 9-5


Mon-Fri 8:30-5:30, Sat 8:30-5, Sun 9-4

Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush.

Doug Larson

A Sign of Spring and Symbol of Remembrance

Next month’s forecast: lots of adorable, colorful pansy and viola blooms. They’ve been tolerating this cool, frosty weather like champs and maintaining their cheery disposition all the while! The color they provide is perfect for putting the “spring” in your landscape, even on a gloomy day.

Folklore deems these sweet flowers a symbol of remembrance or thought, as in thinking of someone you love, care about, or miss. They make the perfect gift to show someone you’re thinking of them, so come and pick up some of these cutie-patooties today!

Why is everyone so tired on April 1?
Because they’ve just finished a long, 31 day March!

Vegetable Gardening Class

Saturday, April 2nd 10-11

By Ed Knapton
Owner of America’s Best Flowers

Come have some fun and listen to a few jokes, as you learn about vegetables and flowers in your garden with one of the most experienced vegetable growers in Dane County. Much of the time will be spent answering your questions, and a handout will be provided as to varieties and proper spacing.

Our speaker, Ed, has experience starting seedlings in a wide range of settings, including in the living room 40 years ago, in a lean-to greenhouse on the house, and in a large commercial greenhouse. He has planted container gardens, small backyard gardens, and a one-acre garden, which grew into 30 acres of vegetables for a pick-your-own operation. He has attended vegetable, fruit, and flower conferences all over the US and Canada, and has a degree in horticulture from the University of Wisconsin. Please come to pick his brain. If he doesn’t know the answers, he certainly can get them for you later.

Seed Potatoes and Onion Sets have Arrived!

Our seed potatoes and onion sets have landed and they’re looking great! We have Russet Burbank, Red Norland, Red Pontiac*, White Kennebec, Golden Yukon, and Purple/Blue* seed potatoes and yellow, white, and red onions sets.

*Note: Red Pontiac potatoes are only available at our Edgerton location and Purple/Blue potatoes are only available at our Cottage Grove location. All others are available at both locations.

What day do eggs hate most?

New Products Corner

Garden Art Yard Stakes

Add some art and interest to your garden or yard with our fun garden art stakes!

We have a beautiful assortment of colorful flowers that reach 5 feet tall! They’ll provide a whimsical dimension to any space and make you feel like a little kid again.

We also have a wide variety of rustic pieces varying from flowers to ladybugs, dragonflies, and butterflies, oh my! Some of the flower pieces even have a solar light that will add an element of enchantment!

Plant Finder

Click here to try our Plant Finder

Now you can find the plants you need with ease! Our new Plant Finder tool on our website has an extensive list of many of the trees, shrubs, vines, ground covers, perennials, ferns and ornamental grasses that we carry. You can search using keywords including common and/or botanical names and you can narrow your search by choosing specific characteristics.

You even create your own list and print it to bring with you when you shop! Our associates will be happy to help you find the plants on your list and even offer other solutions to fit your needs.

The plants listed include those we have available at our store or plants we can special order for you. Please note that while it has many of the plants we carry, the list is not comprehensive. We encourage you to call us about availability at 608-222-2269, or ask any associate when you’re here!

What do you get if a chicken lays an egg on top of a barn?
An eggroll.

Save the Date
Saturday, April 9
11 – Noon
Spring Rose Care Class

Our very own rose expert, Sharon, will be here to answer all your questions about proper spring care and maintenance of your roses.  Learn how to enjoy more blossoms over a longer period of time from your plants.  There is nothing Sharon likes to talk about more than beautiful roses. Plan to join her for this informative class.

Apple Scab Makes Crabapples Crabby!

By Lauren, the Bug Lady

Apple scab… yuck! Just the name alone lets you know that you don’t want this on your crabapple trees! This fungal disease occurs on the foliage and fruit of crabapple and apple trees, which can cause defoliation and weakening of the tree. It often occurs on older, more susceptible varieties during a moist and cool spring season. Beginning signs are puckered, spotty leaves, but it can go unnoticed until defoliation occurs, when yellowing and the unsightly black “scabs” are apparent.

If your crabapple tree is susceptible to apple scab, you basically have two options: replace the tree with a resistant variety or implement a combination of good cultural control and timely fungicide spray treatments. All varieties we carry have been bred to be resistant, so if you decide to get a new one, all you have to do is choose the kind that best fits your needs!

The best defense, after choosing a resistant variety, is to maintain good tree health by cleaning up and destroying infected leaf litter in the fall and pruning for good air circulation. You can also water the tree during drought and avoid wetting the foliage with a sprinkler. Apple scab will rarely kill a crabapple tree, so if infestation is low and conditions are dry, usually nothing more needs to be done.

However, if conditions are moist and cool and either apple scab has been a problem in the past or aesthetics are important, a fungicide can be used. Our best product for treating this disease is Bonide Fungonil, which must be used preventatively. Fungus spores are released early in the season, so it’s important to spray the tree when the leaves first emerge in the spring. As long as cool wet weather persists, continue to treat at 7-10 day intervals until the petals drop.

Good spray coverage is important and, as always, be sure to follow label instructions.

What happens when you make an egg laugh?
You crack it up!

Has your email address changed?

If you are a Loyalty Customer and have submitted your email address to us you will receive our newsletter by noon, every Thursday.

If your email address has changed please remember to let us know by either calling us at 608-222-2269, sending us an email at or just let us know the next time you are at the greenhouse.

Upcoming Events

Sat, Apr 2

Vegetable Gardening Class

10-11am Learn from the expert!

Sat, Apr 9

Rose Care Class – Planting, pruning & maintenance

11-12pm A 10% off coupon on all roses. Coupon expires May 30.

Wed, Apr 13

Make a Colorful Spring Basket and we’ll grow it for you! 3-6pm
Sat, Apr 16 – Sun, Apr 17

Spring Flower Show

We have your all-time favorite plants plus a few new ones for the season and a HUGE selection of new pottery.

Sat, Apr 16 – Sun, Apr 17

Universal Saw & Tool Sharpening

9am-3pm – Get your tools ready for easier gardening.

Sat, Apr 16

Drop-in ‘Hands Only’ CPR class

10-3pm No fee, no certification.

A boiled egg is hard to beat!

Our Kitchen

Jesse makes the best egg salad around.  Being the creative cook that he is, his basic approach is to chop up the eggs and then dump in whatever he’s in the mood for.  When pressed to write it down, he came up with the following.  It’s a great week to use up the extra boiled eggs you have left from Easter.  If you don’t have any left, it’s worth your while to boil some.

Egg-steaming setup
Click for Larger Image

Scott ran across a method for boiling eggs that makes peeling them a snap.  Put eggs in a single layer in a steamer basket.  Place the steamer basket into a pan which has about an inch of water.  Bring water to a boil, cover and boil for 13 minutes.  Immediately lift basket from pan, or lift one at a time with a slotted spoon, and plunge into ice water.  He says they peel like a dream.

Egg Salad With an Attitude

  • 4 boiled eggs (or 1 egg per person)
  • ¼ C mayonnaise
  • 1 t yellow mustard
  • 1-2 T finely minced onion, to taste
  • 2 t sugar
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Optional: choose 1 or more if you are adventurous
  • ½-1 t dried dill (½-1 T fresh)
  • 1 t Italian seasoning, Jesse says this is really good
  • 2 – 4 T finely chopped pickled beets, drain, pat dry & chop on paper towel
  • 1 – 2 T chopped black olives

Boil, run cold water over them, peel and chop eggs. Set aside.  Mix remaining ingredients.  Add to eggs.  Mix well.  Add additional mayo, if necessary, to desired consistency.

Serve with any bread or croissant as a sandwich, spoon onto crackers or use in lettuce wraps.