Job opening

on Monday, 30 January 2017. Posted in Landscape contractor

Shooting Star Nursery is hiring

discover-new-perennials-grasses-shrubs-for-rogue-valley

 Job Opening at Shooting Star Nursery: 

 

1- Seasonal Grower assistant  

Family owned retail/wholesale nursery in Central Point is looking for an assistant to our head grower.  We grow many of the perennials and shrubs that we sell and spring is a very busy time to get them going.  Job duties include helping move soil, potting up plants, keeping plants organized and tagged, putting away finished plants in sales area, and later in the season- watering, fertilizing, pruning and grooming plants.  Love of the outdoors in all weather is needed as well as a good work ethic, dependability, and attention to detail.  Need to be able to lift 50 pounds and be on feet all day.  You will learn a lot about hundreds of plants that thrive in the Rogue Valley!   Position could include some sales depending on experience.  Some experience with plants is desirable but also a willingness to learn.  

Pay dependent on experience.  Can earn paid time off and nursery discount.  Needed at least 4-5 days a week during busy season, from 25-40 hours a week.  Work season is early March  to late October.  Applicants with more experience could supplement their hours with customer service, especially if available on Saturdays.  

Please email or drop off resume during open hours of 9-5.  No phone calls. 

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Fruit Tree Season is Here!

on Friday, 06 January 2017. Posted in Fruit trees, Classes, New Plants

New Fruit tree varieties by Joey Sparks

blueberriesasian pear closeupclass hops vineBlackberries2classPearTreeFruitpeach

With these cold winter months ahead many gardeners are eager to get back outside and work on projects. Bare Root Fruit tree season is here!  So many great varieties of fruit trees are available this time of year that become harder to find during the rest of the growing season. While we carry all of the classic favorites like apples, cherries and pears, we also bring in some in some unusual fruit trees such as persimmon, walnuts, and Chinese Jujube.  

Most people prefer to grow fruit varieties they are more familiar with, like ones they purchase at the store (Pink lady Apples, Santa Rosa Plums). While these varieties are popular for good reason, consider planting a lesser known fruit tree like the ‘Chocolate’ Persimmon or a Mulberry. You’ll never find them at the store- often because they aren’t bred for a long shelf life.  So, you can enjoy unique flavors right from your yard!  

 

chocolate persimmonThe non-astringent ‘Chocolate’ Persimmon has bright orange skin and brown flesh, thus it’s reference to chocolate.  The fruits form and color late in fall and resemble lanterns hanging from the tree after leaf drop. Letting the fruits freeze on the tree a few times before harvest is recommended to enhance sweetness. The rare ‘Chocolate’ variety has a hint of nutmeg spice along with the sweet flavor.

 

 

black beauty mulberryMulberries you will almost never see at a store or even a farmer’s market because they are best picked ripe from the tree and tend to get juice down your arms in the process.   But they are worth the mess- with a flavor and look similar to blackberries, but almost more complex.  They have elongated black fruits and can make a large bush or small tree that could be hedged.  Just plant it far away from the family vehicle.  We carry the variety 'Black Beauty' which is hardy to Zone 7.

 

 

One confusing topic when it comes to fruit trees is pollination. Fruit trees are either self-fertile or they require a pollinator. If a tree is self-fertile that means that it will produce fruit on its own without the help of another tree. If a tree requires a pollinator than you need to plant two or more varieties of that species that are compatible.  There are several pollination charts out there to reference.  Our fruit tree descriptions tell you if they are self-fertile or need a pollinator.

 

class pruning older fruit treesExample: A Granny Smith apple is self-fertile as well as a pollinator for the ever-popular Fuji apple. They would make a great pair! One type being sour and one sweet.  But even if a fruit tree is self-fertile, it will set more fruit with other fruit trees of the same species nearby. Don’t stress too much about how close they are to each other, bees are pretty good at traveling. The important point is that diversity is a good thing .Growing fruit is a rewarding experience. It allows you to share food that you’ve grown with friends and family. It’s important to grow fruit that you not only like but will also use. You would be surprised how fruitful a couple of trees can be once they mature.

 

class asian pear espalieredWhat if I am limited in space? You’re not alone: if you would like to grow more varieties than your space will allow there is a way. One solution is to plant genetic dwarfs like the ‘Dwarf Empress' Peach or 'Golden Prolific' Nectarine. These compact trees only reach about 5’ tall and wide, while still producing a healthy amount of tasty fruit! Another solution is to use a technique called espaliered pruning. This allows you to control the size and form of your trees. Espaliered trees are also a very beautiful way to incorporate fruit trees into your landscape and garden space

 

Be sure to pre register for any upcoming classes you are interested in.  Many of them have limited spaces and the fruit tree classes are always popular.  Looking forward to seeing you!

 You can also see descriptions of most our fruiting trees and shrubs here.  Our availability is always listed here.

Locally Grown

on Sunday, 27 March 2016. Posted in Drought tolerant

Plants are one area where it makes sense to 'Buy Local'

Locally Grown

Locally Grown

by Christie Mackison, co-owner and designer at Shooting Star Nursery

(this article is originally published in Southern Oregon Magazine)

One of the things I like best about gardening and plants is what a localized pursuit it is and at the same time enhanced by global influences.  You need to truly understand your garden’s microclimate for plant success.    It also helps to have a sense of what local or native plants do well in your area.  But at the same time we have the entire globe at our disposal when it comes time to choose what we put in our garden. Many of our favorite common garden plants come from Asia (Rhodies, Hydrangeas), the Mediterranean (Cistus, Rosemary), or even the Himalayas (Deodar Cedar).  So where to begin?

First, observe and understand your area’s climate and then on a smaller scale your garden’s microclimate (that includes sun/wind exposure and soil type).  Most of the Rogue Valley is USDA Zone 8a, I like to verge towards Zone 7b to be on the safe side.  We have a long dry season with temps reaching into the 100’s.  We have a shorter rainy season than the typical Pacific Northwest but it is still concentrated in late fall-spring.  So our goal is finding plants that can withstand winter wet/summer dry cycles and occasional extreme temps of single digits to triple digits. 

That tag on the Hydrangea that you just bought from the box store says it will take full sun.  But now you know- not in our drier/hotter climate.  Even though Oregon is a huge producer of nursery plants, most plant tags and most plants coming straight off a delivery truck are produced for an east coast market.  So put your filters on and make sure you are buying for your climate- not just the pretty new plant that is being marketed across the country. 

So here is where you can get local. Start with your local nursery that is ideally growing plants themselves- the plants are acclimated to the climate and the nursery makes choices on what to grow based on what will do well here.

We still have the world to choose plant species from but we choose from areas that have a similar climate- like the Mediterranean, and we can choose native plants from our unique area.   Keep in mind we are more similar to northern California for natives than the Pacific Northwest.  Plants are one area where it especially makes sense to ‘shop local’.