Watering 101

on Friday, 29 May 2020. Posted in Drought tolerant, Fruit trees, New Plants

Watering Guidelines for the Rogue Valley

soaker hoseWith the temperatures rising and summer right around the corner, we thought this would be a good time to give you a little “Watering 101” overview. Watering problems are behind the overwhelming majority of the garden-related concerns we deal with here at Shooting Star. We’d love to help you avoid some of those problems this summer! Let’s start with a few basics:

--- Even if it is 100 degrees out, do not water twice a day - or even every day! Your plants can’t take up that much water; they actually shut down when it gets very hot. In addition, most plants actually need a period to dry out between waterings.

--- Frequent, shallow watering (e.g.: 10 minutes a day, every day) only encourages shallow root systems in perennials, shrubs and trees, which makes your plants even less drought tolerant!

--- Ideally your yard should have multiple irrigation zones, to accommodate different plant needs.
      • Trees should be on their own watering schedule, separate from shrubs, perennials, and lawns
      • Drought tolerant areas should be a different schedule than areas that need more water
      • Lawns should always be on their own separate watering schedule

One of the trickiest things about watering is that everything happens out of sight – under the ground – where you can’t see what’s going on. Here’s a quick little exercise that can help you get a better understanding of what’s going on below the surface. Pick an area and water on your regular schedule. Wait for about an hour after watering (to let your water soak in), and then dig down to see how far down your moisture zone extends. In general, the roots from lawns will penetrate about 6-8” into the soil; most perennials will go 2-3’; shrubs will go anywhere between 3-6’ down; and a tree’s roots are often as big below the ground as your tree is above the ground. In order water effectively, you want your water to penetrate all the way down to where those roots are. What did you learn?

Woman Watering Garden Hose.jpg.653x0 q80 crop smartSo what are our recommended watering strategies for different kinds of plants? For most perennials and shrubs: water deeply every 2-3 days for first 2-4 weeks after planting, then switch to every 3-4 days. After the first year, drought tolerant plants can usually get by with a weekly deep soak of an hour or more during the growing season. Once established, non-drought tolerant plants will generally need an hour-long deep soak twice a week. If weather is cooler, or if you have heavy clay soil, your plants will need water less often. Trees need a good deep soak upon planting, and then on average a deep soak for an hour or two once a week through the first summer. Once they are established, trees will be fine with a long, soak every two weeks. If you are watering trees with drip, consider placing multiple emitters in a ring around the tree.

Finally, retrofitting your irrigation system might sound overwhelming, but it is actually pretty easy. If you are the DIY type, the folks at Grover’s and the Grange do a good job of walking you through the process, answering your questions, and making sure you have the parts you need. If DIY just isn’t your thing, there are a number of irrigation specialists here in the Rogue Valley who can install a system that does what you needed to. Rest assured that the money you spend upgrading your irrigation system will be more than made up for by the money you save when you don’t have to continually replace dead and dying plants!

Want to learn more? Check out our Watering Guidelines for the Rogue Valley handout here.

 

Job Posting for Office Manager

on Friday, 07 October 2022. Posted in Landscape architect, Landscape contractor

Join our team! Office Manager and Plant Pro

 

class 10 year anniversary first day spring

Shooting Star Nursery seeking- Office Manager

Office manager role includes:

-Answering phone and processing requests, payments, orders, delivery requests, etc.

-Making sure file of orders is kept up to date

-Entering bills

-Making tags for new items that come in

-Keeping plant info signs up to date and out on the floor (could be a shared job)

-Cleaning office and maintaining office order

-Potentially keeping up with Instagram account

-Open and close of the office 

Benefits:

-Pay starts at $19 an hour (dependent on experience in offices and with plants) with raises dependent on responsibility taken and experience

-Health and Dental Plan offered after 6 months

-IRA offered after one year

-Paid 80 hours of PTO 

Hours are M-F 8-4 most days or 8-5 some days. Winter hours can be less. Position is open as of October 10th but a new candidate may be able to delay start to mid January.

 

This is a fast paced environment during the busy season of spring and fall.  Some experience with plants is a must. Strong work ethic, punctual nature, patience, team participation and willingness to learn and take on new tasks are required.   Occasionally the office manager may help with customers, tag plants, or water but that would not be their main role.  The nursery has a wide range of duties and sometimes everyone pitches in.  

Our Nursery:

Shooting Star Nursery prides itself on providing exceptional customer service as well as outstanding plants that make sense for our climate. We grow a lot of the plants we sell and have a well rounded staff that feel like family, many for 10 years now. There is a huge knowledge base among our staff, so this is a great place to learn your plants. Plus you get to be inside and out and no day is the same as the other. 

  Please send resumes to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. No phone calls, please

An Interview with Head Grower Erik Petersen, Part 1

on Sunday, 08 May 2022.

Erik Petersen

If you’ve visited Shooting Star Nursery, you’ve probably noticed that we have large areas in and around our hoophouse that are flagged with ‘Not For Sale Yet’ signs. These plants are all part of our onsite growing operations.

We asked our Head Grower, Erik Petersen, to tell you a bit about the plants we grow here at the nursery, and what the benefits of buying locally-grown plants are.

What kinds of plants does Shooting Star grow onsite? We grow and propagate regionally-appropriate, unusual, and hard to source plants; mostly perennials, grasses, and shrubs.

HoophouseAbout how many plants does the nursery grow onsite? Approximately 50,000 perennials, 15,000 ornamental grasses, and 19,000 shrubs per year - in sizes ranging from 4” to 15-gallon pots.

How long does it take for a plant to go from a tiny plug to being ready for the sales floor? Most perennials take approximately 8-10 weeks to finish in a 1-gallon container. Grasses can range from 6-10 weeks, depending on the variety and season. And some plants, like Echinacea, can take 12-14 weeks of grow time!

Growing Grounds edit smAre there benefits to purchasing plants that are grown locally? Yes! To begin with, the plants we grow here at the nursery are already acclimated and accustomed to our local climate and seasons, rather than plants having just arrived from Portland or the Willamette Valley.

We don't overly push our plants with heavy fertilizers, and they aren’t coddled in hot houses. They aren't addicted to liquid feed fertilizers that just promote big blooms and overgrowth and lead plants to failing once they’re planted in your yard. As a result, our plants adapt quickly and easily to your garden.

In addition, our growing practices are ecologically minded: we incorporate lots of natural Integrated Pest Management in our growing methods, and never ever use neonicotinoids – which are extremely harmful to pollinators.

Supporting the nursery also allows us to grow and share lots of cool, unusual plants you won't find at big box stores or from huge nurseries that grow large quantities of a few standard offerings. Finally, when you buy locally grown plants from Shooting Star Nursery, you’re supporting a local business and a local staff. Thank you!