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Tag Archives | Garden Guru Emilio “Elmo” Telles

Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Garden Guru Emilio "Elmo" Telles at the Armstrong

Garden Guru: Fall planting from seeds in the Southland

Now’s the time to get those winter veggies ready to start! I have people coming in wanting to buy pepper and tomato seeds and I immediately show them what they should be planting now. Here in SoCal we have mild enough”winters” to start our cool season seeds this early. Green and root vegetables will do fine in our winters. Here are some seeds to start now. Remember the hot days might be a risk for starter plants (cool season) you’ll find growing at your nursery. That is kinda risky with the... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Garden Guru Emilio "Elmo" Telles at the Armstrong's Garden Centers in Glendale August 4, 2012

Garden Guru: Summer bugs

Lately, I have had customers and my neighbors inquiring about patches in their lawns looking “dry” or spreading patches. The answer: Grubs, which are an “alien” looking fat white worm, are eating at the roots. There are a few organic forces you can use against them and they will go away easily and are environmentally friendly — organic is particularly good (read safe)  if you have pets and kids running around the lawn. Then again,  the problem with lawn brown patches can be attributed to fungal/bacteria diseases, which also attack the... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Garden Guru Emilio "Elmo" Telles

Garden Guru:Watering flowers and plants in hot weather

Occasionally, when the temps hit the high ones, my customers will ask why I am watering at Armstrong nursery when it is kind of hot and during the middle of the day. They quote various stories/articles about NOT to water at that time of day. Well, here’s the deal. In a retail nursery the smaller containers(6-pack color, 4-inch pots and 1-gallon containers dry out quicker than plants that are in home gardens. For those at home gardens, I suggest our best selling items are a premium potting soil (for containers) and a... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Garden Guru Emilio "Elmo" Telles

Garden Guru: Freaky weather and your vegetable garden

Lately, I’ve noticed as I walk my dogs and listen to customer’s comments and questions that this vegetable season has been a roller-coaster ride for people’s gardens. From the start of “warm” season vegetables(February), we had warm days, cool nights with just a bit of rain. Warm season veggies are(but not limited too) mostly peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, melons etc. Cool season veggies like leaf lettuce, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, etc are on there way out so I would recommend trying them only from seeds this late. Problem is from the... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Garden Guru Emilio "Elmo" Telles

Garden Guru: Summer watering tips

The easiest way to make the switch to less frequent lawn watering is to set the sprinklers to every two to three days for about three weeks. You’ll be amazed that after a month or so on that schedule your lawn will tolerate twice a week watering! My Bermuda grass lawn, which was getting watered every other day,  now gets watered once a week!  It’s all about training those roots. Adjusting your flower bed watering can be an easy task, too. You can begin by putting your flower and rose... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Garden Guru Emilio "Elmo" Telles

Garden Guru: Planting tomatoes and peppers part 2

Being in the retail nursery business as long as I have been, I frequently get asked–“What is the best tomato/pepper?”  I’ll smile and respond–“If you ask all five of my associates that question, you will get about five different answers.” But the tried and true favourites are: Better Boy(medium/large fruit) Champion(medium fruit) Cherry(Small salad-type) Beefsteak/Beefmaster/Big Boy( for “hamburger big size!) Sungold!( it’s a small cherry type of golden-red that is yummy! I’m so gonna try that one this season!) On the labels of the tomatoes they will be classified as... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Garden Guru Emilio "Elmo" Telles

Garden Guru: Planting tomatoes and peppers part 1

It’s about time for tomatoes and peppers. With these unusually cold nights and warm days those plants don’t know what to do! But they are readily becoming available at your local nurseries in seedling form. If you want to start from seeds, now is the time. For seed sowing this time of year, it’s a good idea to start them indoors using an old egg carton or singular peat pots that you can plant directly in the soil when you have at least three leaf shoots coming out from the... Read More →

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Black baccara rose

Garden Guru: The truth about black roses

 “What is a black rose like the ones they have in the florists that I can grow”? Well those “black” and also the “blue” roses are only found in those 1960 Hercules movies and the “NCIS” TV series! Those rose colours(and other florist colours) are dyed by fresh cutting the stems and putting them immediately in the colored water to slowly absorb the color to the “tight” budding blooms. There are two popular roses that the gardener can grow in their garden that can give them a reasonable facsimile. Black... Read More →

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christmas tree clipart

Garden Guru: Christmas tree shopping and care

Shopping for a fresh cut Christmas tree should be a fun and analytical experience. The first two things to look for is (obviously) shape and gaping holes between the branches. A little bit of gap is okay, because when you hang the ornaments the weight will help bring the branches down. What about the old story about pulling the branches to see if any needles pull off? If some needles come off and are green, you’re okay. It’s when they are... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Garden Guru Emilio "Elmo" Telles

Garden Guru: Fall lawn care

I have customers coming in saying that it’s time to over-seed their Bermuda and St. Augustine grass while it’s “calendar” wise for them to go dormant (= “go to sleep, and get brownish”). The thing is with us here in the valley having a very short dormant period, I would watch the weather and when it says we will be cooling down soon, that’s when you want to over seed with the Annual rye seed. The annual ry is a cool-season temporary grass that is a cool season grass that... Read More →

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clipart of pumpkins

Garden Guru: Growing your own pumpkins for Halloween

Oh geez! How many customers have I talked out of pumpkin seeds this week? Mark your calendars for next year around June if you want to plant a pumpkin patch for the kids or yourself. Pumpkins are a warm season crop that likes the heat and ripens about this time in the fall. If you can find the starters about August, you might have some luck in time for some “smallish” pumpkins to come up for the kids. But don’t expect some... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Garden Guru Emilio "Elmo" Telles

Garden Guru: Growing winter veggies from seeds

 A couple weeks ago I had a class at work, which was about winter vegetable seed planting. Unfortunately, with that hot spell we had I talked those in attendance into waiting a bit for cooler temperatures — then start seed planting. Seed planting the winter veggies is pretty cool and easy. First thing is, stay away from such summer veggies like peppers, tomatoes, summer squash, etc. Now is the time to start cool season stuff like, lettuce, carrots, cabbage, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, and so on. If you are hard-set on... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Molemax, mole and gopher repellent

Garden Guru: Invasion of moles and gophers in Burbank and Glendale

There was a time in the garden business that I couldn’t give away mole ( gopher) repellents.  As of the last two years, I can’t keep it in stock! My theory is because of the limited rainfall, we have been inundated with moles and gophers. They are coming down from the hills. Here’s the deal. With gophers, you will have the holes open and exposed in your lawn and garden beds. With moles you will notice mounds of “fine”-powdery soil covering the holes. There is this product called “Molemax” that will... Read More →

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