Creating a Firewise Landscape

on Friday, 31 July 2020.

FirewiseLogoColor

It’s that time of year when we all tend to keep an anxious eye on the horizon; looking out for the towering thunderheads that can build up quickly on our hot afternoons.

We live in a fire-prone landscape here in the Rogue Valley, and while we can’t eliminate the risk of a wildfire threatening our homes we CAN do a lot of things that will help keep our homes and communities safe if/when wildfires do strike.

The main concept behind firewise landscaping is creating a defensible space around your home: a buffer between you and the plant fuels (dry grasses, shrubs, overhanging branches, nearby woodlands, etc.) that surround you. A defensible space not only helps protect your home from wildfire, it also gives firefighters a safe place to stage to protect your house if they need to. Within 30’ of your house (or other structures), experts recommend planting only highly fire-resistant plants – low growing, well-spaced, and well-irrigated – and removing all dead grass, leaves, and branches from the area. This website has some excellent detailed recommendations and suggestions for how to create your defensible space.

Here are a few general firewise practices we can all integrate into our landscapes before wildfires occur:
        • Irrigate regularly during the dry season
        • Regularly remove dry/diseased plant material from inside, around and below shrubs/trees/conifers
        • Avoid dense mass plantings
        • Limb up shrubs and trees to reduce ladder fuels
        • Avoid planting any flammable plants within at least 30’ of your home. A list of fire-resistant and flammable plants for the Rogue Valley can be found here on our website.
        • If you live on a hillside, be especially aware of the vegetation downhill from your home. Fires tend to burn uphill – the steeper the hill, the faster a fire will spread.

Several communities in Jackson County have banded together to create Firewise Communities, the county has lots of support materials that can help you get some additional ideas about what you and your neighbors can do to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire in your neighborhood. To learn more, visit their website here.

Covid-19 Update

on Tuesday, 24 March 2020.

We Are Open - With a Few Changes!

nursery smShooting Star Nursery is committed to doing everything we can to keep our staff, our customers, and our community safe and healthy during the Covid-19 outbreak. As a result, we are making the following changes to the ways we serve our customers, effective immediately.

          Online orders are the best way for us to get our plants to you! You can check our retail availability on our website, email your order to us (please include a phone number where we can reach you), and we’ll call you to get your credit card number and confirm your order. We will then pull your plants and have them ready for you to pick up, along with a copy of your receipt.

          We can deliver! We offer free delivery for orders of $100 or more that are within 10 miles of our nursery. Our normal delivery charges will apply to any extra-large plants (requiring multiple staff) or locations that are more than 10 miles from Shooting Star. Delivery times will be subject to our nursery schedule, and we are unable to promise specific times/days.          

          At this time, onsite shopping is by appointment only. We are unable to accommodate drop-in shoppers. To set up an appointment, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or give us a call at (541) 840-6453. Please note that it may take us awhile to get back to you if you call. Email is probably best if you are hoping for a quicker response.

          We will keep everyone updated on any changes via social media. If you don’t already follow us on Facebook or Instagram, please consider doing so!

          You can purchase a gift certificate for a friend, family member, or yourself to use at a later, healthier date. We are offering $15 off every $100 in gift certificates purchased during this quarantine time.

We do ask that you stay home if you are sick, and to please help us observe the 6-foot social distancing recommendation at all times. No customers are allowed in the nursery office at this time. Your cooperation is key to our being able to remain open!

Thank you all so much for your patience and flexibility during these challenging times. By making these temporary changes, we will still be able to keep you supplied with beautiful, healthy, and hardy plants to brighten your yards – and your hearts – as you remain at home to help “flatten the curve.” This is definitely not the spring any of us wanted – but on the bright side, it does give you a great excuse to spend more time outside in your garden.

From all of us here at Shooting Star – be well!

The Fruits of Persia

on Thursday, 28 November 2019. Posted in Edibles, Fruit trees

Delicious Additions to Your Edible Landscape!

What do figs, pomegranates, persimmons, almonds, peaches, apricots, and grapes all have in common (aside from being delicious)? They’re part of a group we like to think of as “the Fruits of Persia’, as they all originated in the Fertile Crescent region and figure prominently in Persian cuisine.

The Rogue Valley shares several similarities with the climate of Persia: Hot summer days and cooler nights, relatively low rainfall, a long enough heat spell in summer to ripen fruits, and ample chill hours in winter. Thus, it makes sense that many of our favorite fruits come from this rich and abundant area of the world. In fact, the word ‘paradise’ has a Persian root, meaning walled garden. This year, let’s create our own paradise of luscious fruits!
 
figsFigs
Love our hot summers
Very traditional in Persian and Mediterranean cuisine
Best flavor when picked very ripe and soft to the touch
Choose early ripening or two-crop varieties
Appreciate a well-drained soil
 
PomegranatePomegranates
Thought to be the ‘apple’ in the Adam and Eve story
Drought tolerant and very heat tolerant, grown as a large shrub to small tree
Like figs, locate in the hottest location you have and provide well-draining soil
Choose early ripening varieties
 
all in oneAlmonds
To avoid potential spring frost damage, choose a late blooming variety like ‘All in One’, which has the added benefits of being semi-dwarf and self-fertile
Encourage your pollinators by planting pollinator-friendly plants nearby. They’ll repay your efforts by improving pollination!
Well-draining soil is best but can tolerate some clay
 
suncrestPeaches
Nothing beats the taste of a sun warmed peach
Long history in Persian culture. In fact, the botanical name for peach is Prunus persica!
Lots of varieties so you can stretch out your peach harvest time
Look for disease resistant varieties to avoid Peach Leaf Curl, or use a dormant oil spray
Does best in a well-drained soil; all varieties are self-fertile!
 
apricotApricots
Early blooming like the Almonds. For best results, choose late blooming, self-fertile varieties like Harcot, Chinese, Moorpark, and Autumn Glo
Best flavor when picked ripe, and always better than store-bought!
Very traditional fruit in Persian cuisine: fresh, dried, and preserves
Like most fruit trees, Apricots do best in well-drained soil
 
GrapesGrapes
Love our hot summers; drought tolerant and fast growing
Very traditional in Persian and Mediterranean cuisine, leaves are culinary as well
Choose different varieties to enjoy contrasting flavors and colors and ripening times
Can tolerate different soils, but well-drained is best. Avoid overwatering
Maintain good air circulation and sun exposure to avoid mildew
 
fuyuPersimmons
Persimmons originally developed in China and Japan. However, the word “persimmon” likely come from a Persian word meaning date-plum: a nice description of the flavor!
Very ornamental tree with great fall color and decorative and edible sweet fruit
Best flavor when allowed to soften
One of the latest fruits to harvest, cold hardy to Zone 7 
Persimmons can handle clay soils better than most fruit trees