Welcome to May Day Nursery News.

Here you will find information about house plants and succulents.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Aloe The Medicinal Plant


The Aloe group has over 300 different varieties. All varying in size and shape. Most are natives of Africa, especially South Africa and Madagascar.

Medicinal Plant
Aloe plants contain a thick fluid which seeps through if the plant is damaged. This sap is tapped from the plant, dried and sold and used as medicine for all over health.
Many of the Aloe varieties grown as house plants are were used in former times as well as today, for first aid. A piece of the plant was stroked across a cut or burn to speed up the healing process.

Beauty Aid
Aloe plants have come into the limelight for beauty aids containing sap from the plant. It may benefit poor skin and improve the complexion in general. Aloe is said to help the skin retain its natural moisture.

A Member of the Liliaceae Family
Aloe belongs to the Lily family but looks much like Agave, sometimes called "American Aloe." The two plants are botanically distinct, however, Aloe flowers, unlike those of the Agave, are bell shaped, in shade of yellow or orange red, and perch on the ends of long, slim stems. Another difference is that Aloe leaves can be snapped to reveal a juicy pulp. The stong-fibered Agave leaves do not easily break.

Size and Growth Rate
Some Aloes have an upright growth and stem while others have a rosette shape and spread through side shoots which gradually form a carpet of small tufts. Many Aloes have sharp thorns along the edges of the leaves. Some grow as high as 60 feet in the wild and other are very low growing.

Flowering and Fragrance
The flower stems grow up from beside the rosette of leaves. The flowers are bell-like and yellow or orange-red. Large varieties have flower stems several feet tall while others will be only 4-8 inches. Most of the flowers have a faint but pleasant fragrance. At spring time when all the Aloe are in bloom humming birds fly in to get nectar.

Light and Temperature
Lots of light and lots of sun. Regular all-year room temperature is fine but a lower winter temperature, about 60 degrees is recommended, Avoid frosts. Zone 8-10 hardiness.

Watering and Feeding
Water well in the summer but let the soil dry out in between. Water infrequent in the winter or not at all.








Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Invasion of the slugs

Ever brought home a plant you loved only to find it half gone the next day? Slugs have huge appetites and will eat your plant down to nothing. It only takes one to lay hundreds of eggs and spread to nearby plants. So, how do you kill the bugs without killing the plant? One of the best solutions I have found is to spay those little pests with full strength rubbing alcohol. Rubbing alcohol will also take care of mealy bug and aphids.  Don't forget about ants. Ants will place aphids on your lovelies to harvest those nasty sticky secretions they love.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Farmer's Market

One of the best of summer, the Farmer's Markets. A place to pick up locally grown vegetables and meet friends and family. Fun browsing the many aisles of booths and picking up a handmade craft or two. This year May Day Nursery is part of the Turlock Certified Farmer's Market at the Turlock Fairgrounds. There you will find a variety of houseplants and succulents. We also have fun crafts for children as well as adults to learn about growing.




Sunday, July 24, 2016

Broken Pot Gardens




Broken pot gardens are relatively new to our market. They are basically  terracotta pots that have been broken on one side and then planted. Most broken pot gardens use succulent plants but you can basically use anything. The reason for using succulent plants over any other is because of the watering. Succulents don't use as much water as other plant do. It is hard to keep the soil from washing away when watered too much. Also succulents don't grow as fast. Maintenance is easy using succulents. When the succulents get too big you can remove them or cut them down and most succulents can stand overcrowding. Watering is minimal. Use a spray bottle and water when dry.















To make your own broken pot garden you will need a terracotta pot, potting soil or cacti soil. If you don't have cacti soil you can mix potting soil and play sand. Choose an assortment of succulents. Some will need to be tall and some very small.

To brake your pot you will need a hammer and safety glasses. Start tapping firmly at the rim. You will start to see it crack. Choose another spot on the rim and again start tapping firmly till it cracks. If it hasn't broken yet tap softly in the middle between the two cracks. If you are lucky you may have one large piece and maybe some smaller pieces.

Now to plant. Place a small piece of pot over the drainage hole to keep the soil from falling out. You can now start adding soil to the first broken part. You may want to water your soil to make it mold better. Make sure to press down firmly on the soil. Now add your broken pieces and keep adding soil and pressing down. Once you have the design you want you can start adding plants. I find using the tall plants in the back and the smaller plants in front make it more appealing to the eye. Continue planting till you fill up the pot. You may use moss, sand, rock or wood chips to cover the soil.

Keep your broken pot garden out of the sun. Even though the plants can tolerate full sun they will dry out much faster in the terracotta pots. And those  cute little succulents will burn.

Keep in mind the watering. For larger pots you may want to use a watering can with a narrow spout and the small pots you may use a spray bottle. Don't use a hose because the force of the water will wash all your plants and soil out of the pot.

This is a great conversation piece. Place it on your dining room table or entrance and see what happens.


Happy planting.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Growing Moss In A Fish Tank


OK. Now you have an empty fish tank and you maybe thinking I really don't want to get anymore fish so what do I do with the tank now? Well...there is a new craze going on for gardening. It is called Aquascape. Remember the fish tank terrariums? Well with Aquascape you grow moss and a few other underwater plants. So I decided to try to grow some moss in a very small tank I had for my beta fish. It passed away many years ago but I kept the tank. In the nursery we have moss growing on just about everything so I scraped some off of one of the tables and placed it into the fish tank. Well not that easy hahaha. Of course the moss just floated there. It needed something to anchor it. Plus I wanted it to look nice. Now if you plan on putting fish back in you may want to do it differently than what I'm going to tell you. I felt the moss needed some kind of nutrients to grow better. So in the tank I added some potting soil. Then I layered it with some small pebbles I found laying around. A few flat rocks I was using for a terrarium for decoration. I layered the moss on the bottom and under some of the rocks. I have had it working now for almost two weeks and I see so far nothing dying. The water is clean and the PH is at a normal range to add maybe a little African Pygmy frog. I have a large 35 gallon tank I had when the kids were young that I think I will try my hand at making up. I will try to keep you posted on my progress. If you are interested it this here is a beautiful website the you will fall in love with. http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2014/01/the-incredible-underwater-art-of-aquascaping/ . If you have any pictures of your aqua garden let us see.

Happy gardening.



Well here is the tank now at 5 weeks. It is looking pretty well. The moss seems to be growing quite well. I see some algae growing on some of the rock or it could be new moss growing in.  I think i will start adding maybe a frog or two to fertilize the moss. If you are interested in setting up your own tank here is a great website I have found.  http://www.aquariumfertilizer.com/index.asp?Option1=infopage2

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Satin Pothos


Hmmm... a Satin Pothos? The Satin Pothos is relatively a new Philodendron. Closely related to the Yellow Pothos. It has smaller leaves more like the green Philodendron but spotted with silver to white spots. The feel of the leaves are different and pleasant when touched. We at May Day Nursery have started to grow this lovely plant. They come in a 4" size pot or a 6" size pot. They come hanging or wrapped around a heart frame. The care is very simple. Give it plenty of light away from cold drafts. Do not over water or let set in water. This plant is very susceptible to root rot. So let dry out between watering. Very suitable for beginners.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Benefits of Wasps

OK. I know you are thinking in your head "What is so beneficial about wasps?" How many of you tried growing tomato plants and then finding them half eaten or completely eaten by worms? It is so very frustrating trying to grow any kind of vegetable plant for your family. Bugs love to eat vegetable too. Currently I have around 40 heirloom tomato plants that I will be using for seed. (And maybe a few to munch on too). As the summer comes to an end the tomatoes are ready for picking. The worms are more apt to munch down those beauties before you get a chance to even taste one. worms need to gain as much weight as possible so they can cocoon and turn into moths. By having the beneficial wasp in your garden you will never need to worry about worms again. That's right. They are natures way of getting rid of those nasty pests.

There is a word of caution when working with wasps. Just like the bee, if they feel threatened they will sting.
When working around them DO NOT DISTURB THEIR NESTS. That is a sure fire way of getting stung. If you see any wasps DO NOT SWAT AT THEM. When you start swatting at them they will think of you as something harmful. Best thing to do is to let them be. Working in your garden very early in the morning helps. The wasps will be sleeping or not warmed up enough to move.

I have currently around six nests that I care for. I provide them with shelters to nest in. Some ideas to use are empty cardboard boxes. When they are done you can throw them away. Somethings that are reusable are wooden crates, large bird houses, buckets set on their sides. The thing I use the most are cardboard boxes. They seem to like them the best. Place the box away from your house and in a fairly sunny area. The box will give them shade and keep them warm.

Things to remember:
1. Provide a shelter away from the house.
2. Do not disturb them by moving their house.
3. Do not swat at them.
4. Work in your garden early in the morning while the wasps are asleep.

Happy gardening.