Saturday, December 12, 2015

A Candy Store

Speaking of treasure troves, stumbling across the new Maryland online nursery has opened up a glorious new chapter in my forest gardening efforts.  Whereas, formerly, the only affordable and accessible source for me to buy native plants was the annual Master Gardener plant sale in Prince Frederick, where I would have to pay at least double the online nursery price, plants are now available online throughout the growing season and early orders are possible.  A minimum order of 25 plants is required and a minimum shipping charge of $20 applies to each order ($30 if your state doesn't adjoin Maryland).  Considering that retail nurseries charge over $150 for a young tree, and you could get 150 seedlings at this website for that price, it's a huge bargain.

This outlet is not for commercial resellers.  As the DNR website stipulates:

"Landowners who purchase seedlings from the John S. Ayton Nursery agree to:
  • Provide a planting report upon department request
  • Protect plantings as much as possible from fires, grazing animals and trespassers
  • Keep live, rooted trees in place (trees with roots attached may not be uprooted for sale as live or ornamental trees)"

If you are on the Eastern shore and want to see the farm with over 3 million seedlings, their address is:

John S. Ayton State Tree Nursery
3424 Gallagher Road
Preston, MD 21655,

(a place sure to appeal to at least one of my loyal readers ; )

Rather than rush into ordering, my focus will first be on establishing food forest patches where the seedlings can be planted throughout my property.  This process of sheet mulching requires a year for wood chips and leaves to break down before planting can begin.  My goal is at least 25 patches on my property ready for planting by 2018. 

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