California Heritage Plant for April 2017

Erythranthe lewisii , formerly known as Mimulus lewissii, commonly called ‘Purple Monkey Flower’ (despite the fact it is more pink than purple) is native to mountainous riparian corridors from Canada down to California.  This is a great way to get some pink color in a moist shady or part-sun location while teasing hummingbirds who expected to…

Pollinator Power Plant for April 2017

Salvia ‘Bee’s Bliss’ is our choice for Pollinator Power Plant for April 2017 This hybrid of Salvia leucophylla x S. clevelandii or S. sonomensis is one of those ‘native’s’ developed in a Botanic Garden.  Growing 2 feet high and 5 feet wide, this low ground cover feeds bees and butterflies as well as receiving occasional…

Workshop: Growing Awesome Tomatoes

Join us Saturday April 8th at 12 noon for a presentation on everyone’s favorite vegetable, ur, …  berry.  Learn how to grow great tomatoes in the East Bay’s cool marine influenced environment.   Topics will include history, horticulture and how to overcome challenges of less than optimal environments!   This is a free workshop, bring some gloves…

‘Hugelkultur Building Workshop’

‘Hugelkultur Building Workshop’ Sunday March 19th 12-3pm at Ploughshares Nursery 2701 Main St. Alameda CA 510 755 1102 Tickets are $5.00 Do you ever feel ridiculous paying to have your tree trimmings hauled away?  Learn to instead put them to good use in your garden.   Hugelkulture (literally “mound culture” in German) is a time-tested method…

Vegetables and Herbs on the Tables Now March 10, 2017

STILL TIME FOR VEGETABLE STARTS BEGGING FOR THE LAST PART OF COOL WEATHER~! (plant now and harvest late spring) 4″ pots Jersey Knight Asparagus 6 packs Purple Peacock Broccoli 6 packs Early Wonder Beets 6 packs Giant Mustard 6 packs Romaine Lettuce 6 packs Speckled Romaine Lettuce 6 packs Speckled Bibb Lettuce 6 packs Cauliflower…

Advice for the Great Deluge of 2017

Wow this is a lot of rain, I hope people are keeping an eye on potted succulents and moving them under shelter or covering them to keep them from becoming over-saturated and rotting out. This is a good time to examine areas of the garden for standing water and observe which plants are growing there,…

California Heritage Plant February 2017

Snowberry is our pick for California Heritage Plant 2017 Symphoricarpos albus  is common throughout most of the American North West.  This thicket forming native grows 3-6ft. wide and high spreading via rhizomes.  Pink flowers appear late Spring and early Summer giving way to white berries.  The berries contain saponins which have mild toxicity and many…

Unusual Edible for February 2017

Big Jim Loquat is our pick for Unusual Edible February 2017 Eriobotrya japonica ‘Big Jim’ Loquats originated in China and were introduced  in Japan 1000 years ago during the T’ang dynasty.  Chinese migrant workers carried Loquat seed everywhere they went and it easily naturalized in moderate and tropical climates.  The fruit is 30% seed and…

Use this Native Planting Soil for Success with California Natives

G&B ORGANICS NATIVE PLANTING MIX is ideal for western region landscapes that require less water. Specially blended to provide an excellent balance between moisture retention and drainage, NATIVE PLANTING MIX provides an organic alternative to plant-less “rock-scapes” or artificial turf. The organic materials in NATIVE PLANTING MIX help build life back into soils that have…

Whats On Sale January 2017

It’s not too late to distribute California Native Wild Flower Seed, for a beautiful display of flowers which benefit local pollinators come spring! All Pacific Coast California Native seed half off during the month of January 2017.  

Unusual Edible January 2017

Hachiya Persimmon is our pick for Unusual Edible for January 2017 Diospyros kaki ‘Hachiya’ came to  North America from China, Japan, Korea and Burma in the 1800s.  The tree is deciduous, leaves drop off in Fall and fruit comes on late season.  Sometimes the leaves fall off before the fruit is done setting, making for…

How to Select and Plant Bare Root Trees

Saturday January 21st at 12:00 noon Ploughshares Nursery 2701 Main St. Alameda CA ‘How to Select and Plant Bare Root Trees’ Bare root trees (see list below) are sold without soil and require special care to be successful, but you can save a lot of money when you plant them! Join Ploughshare’s Jeff Bridge for…

Unusual Edible for December 2016

Mache or Valerianella locusta ‘Corn Salad’ grows wild in parts of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.  This is a nutty flavored cool season green which lays low to the ground and is easy to grow from seed. “Corn salad was originally foraged by European peasants until Jean-Baptiste de La Quintinie, royal gardener of…

Ploughshares will be Closed 11-24 and 11-25 for Thanksgiving

Ploughshares will be closed 11-24 and 11-25 for Thanksgiving.  Thank you for your support this year, your interest in growing edibles, using plants which require less water and restoring native plants to our urban gardens makes the world a better place and keeps our doors open!  It’s been a privilege serving Alameda and the East…