Chickens: Your Garden’s Best Pest Control We have spent two decades experimenting with environmentally sustainable plant solutions. One wonderful discovery years ago was introducing chickens to control the snail and slug population. Gone are the days of discovering vast areas of our nursery overrun with snails. If we see a snail-infested container, we call the chickens over for a protein-packed meal. Clockwise from top left: Supper is happily anticipated by the nursery’s flock of chickens. Right: Gio Herrera, six-year-old grandson of SVWN founder Paul Martinez, helps out at feeding time. Lower left: Two sentinels at SVWN keep an eye out for snails in [...]
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Students and Succulents: Growing Together Fourteen-year-olds Bianca Herrera of Rincon Valley and Kelsei Jimenez of Sonoma are spending their summers in 100-degree heat tending our plants, but neither is wilting. Clearly they’ve learned something about thriving in heat from the succulents they’re growing. This summer, we broadened the number and variety of succulents we offer. Succulents’ ability to tolerate both Sonoma Valley’s long-day summer growing season and winter’s relative cold renders them ideal for our region. With a little water and a lot of sun, most succulents provide an extraordinary range of colors, textures, and shapes. Our succulent offering is [...]
Olive Trees: Fruit & Fruition We take special pride in our olive trees, as we have found ways to grow the trees and harvest the olive without using any sprays or chemicals. Customers praise our trees for their high rate of success — whether they choose 5-gallon containers, 36" boxes, or something in between — and use them for screening, to create a Mediterranean aesthetic in landscape designs, or to extract their oil and cure their fruit. The word petro (oil) and oleum (olive) make up the word petroleum, which we associate with something quite different than olive oil, but [...]