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Edition 16.17 Yamagami's Garden Center April 28, 2016
Store Hours: 7 Days a Week, from 9 AM to 6 PM
featured quote


In the spring, I have counted one hundred and thirty-six different kinds of weather inside of four and twenty hours.
~Mark Twain


Grafted Tomatoes vs. Hybrids

Grafted tomato plants are becoming more and more popular as people discover how much more vigorous certain varieties can be when grafted onto a sturdy rootstock. Many modern tomatoes have been hybridized to include disease resistance. That's what those letters (VFN) refer to at the end of a name like "Early Girl VFN". The trouble is that certain qualities/traits have been bred out at the same time.

There is a gene for "green shoulders" that has been carefully bred out over the years. Recently it was discovered that that gene is linked to rich flavor - oops! This is one of the many reasons that heirloom tomatoes are so popular. It is the flavor! Yes, their flavor can be fantastic - but the plant itself can be wimpy, especially in our clay soils. All kinds of tomatoes can be grafted but Yamagami's has chosen to focus on the heirlooms that are so yummy but can easily fall prey to local prevalent diseases like verticillium wilt.

The rootstock used for the grafts is resistant to many local issues. We have just received the following mostly heirloom varieties, all organically grown, in quart-size pots. Supply is very limited.

Hawaiian Pineapple
Cherokee Purple
Black Krim
Green Zebra
Mortgage Lifter
Brown Sugar

Cherokee Purple Tomato

Grafted Tomato


Heavenly Hydrangeas

It's springtime, and all the different Hydrangeas are setting the stage for seasons of blooms. The old-fashioned large leaf Hydrangeas (macrophylla) used to bloom only on old growth so when spring was over, so was their blooming season. Now, with loads of hybridizing, Endless Summer types bloom on old wood and new, for flowers spring through fall.

New for the Endless Summer line is Bloomstruck! It too, blooms spring through fall. Its color can also be switched to blue by acidifying your soil with Espoma Soil Acidifier. Bloomstruck also offers stunning reddish-purple stems and reddish petioles and dark-green leaves, with built-in resistance to powdery mildew. It's a garden prize.

Bloomstruck Hydrangea

Hydrangea arborescens varieties are prized for their exceptionally large flowers. A new variety, Incrediball, can have flowers up to 12" across! With super-strong stems, their giant blossoms are carried high without flopping. The flowers start off lime-green, then turn white, then green again as they age. Incrediball also flowers on new wood for a long blooming season.

Incrediball Hydrangea

Hydrangea quercifolia, Oak-Leaf Hydrangeas, have beautiful lobed leaves and cone-shaped spikes of flowers rather than balls. Jetstream is a new variety with lots going for it. The plant itself is dense and compact with good disease resistance. Its blossoms start out bight white then gradually fade to a dusky pink. In the fall, its foliage turns a vivid reddish-orange and even the bark is handsome in the winter - tawny-brown and peeling.

Jetstream Hydrangea

Hydrangea a. petiolaris, Climbing Hydrangea, is a shade-tolerant fence or wall cover. It is self-adhering, and once established, quite sturdy. In the summer, it offers lovely lace-cap flowers for a sweet old-fashioned appearance.

Hydrangea petiolaris

Hydrangea paniculata is a shrub with long spires of flowers that change colors as they age. Fire and Ice is a newer variety with flower clusters that start out white, fade to dark pink and by fall, become maroon. Actually, the "Fire" in their name refers to their bright red stems that contrast beautifully with the blossoms. Plant it where you can watch the color show as it develops.

Fire and Ice Hydrangea:
Color Changes

In our area, Hydrangeas look best when they get some shade, especially in the hot afternoon. They prefer an acidic soil and acidic fertilizers, like Azaleas. They want regular watering to get started but, once established, are much less needy. Keep them mulched for sturdiest flowering. Hydrangeas make gorgeous cut flowers both fresh and dried. For tips on cutting, see:


Nancy Garrison Passionfruit!

Named for our local fruit guru, Nancy Garrison, who collected the seed, this passionfruit has shown itself to be fairly cold-hardy (to 20°F) and very prolific. The fruit has fragrant orange pulp with a distinctive tropical, pineapple-like flavor. It is self-harvesting and will drop when ripe ( deep purple). Once it has dropped, allow it to dry and wrinkle a bit before eating it. It is exceptionally tasty.

Plant high and prepare your soil with G&B Organics Planting Mix to improve drainage. Spare yourself heartbreak and plant in a gopher cage. You can also plant in raised beds or even half-barrels, as long as you provide sturdy support. Available in one-gallon size cans.


Last Chance For Soil Savings!

Just a reminder: Our buy 3, get 1 FREE on G&B Organics Planting Mix, Harvest Supreme and Raised Bed and Potting Mix promo ends on Sunday, May 1.

Stock up now for all your spring planting, and get growing organically!

Coming Events

May 6th, 7th, and 8th - Mother's Day Sale

20% OFF All Roses

Water 101 Class
Our Landscape Consultant, Alan Tagami, discusses how to conserve water and maintain a beautiful garden. Class is FREE.
Saturday, May 7th at 10 AM
Saturday, May 21st at 10 AM
Sunday, May 22nd at 11 AM

Saturday, May 14th at 10 AM.
Fairy Garden Class

$40 fee covers materials and instruction to create your own whimsical garden to take home. Space is limited. It's a fun project to do with friends or family. Call us at 408 252-3347 to pay for your space.

Saturday and Sunday, June 4th and 5th,
10 AM to 3 PM both days
Chrysanthemum Starter Plant Sale

Members of the local Chrysanthemum Society will be selling florist mum starter plants at very reasonable prices. Learn how to grow your own show-stopping specimens!

Saturday, June 11th, from 10 AM to 2 PM.

Fuchsia Show and Sale!
Come see some beautiful Fuchsia blossoms and learn how to grow your own. Fuchsia Talk at 12 noon. FREE!

Fantastico Sweet and Sour Tomato Sauce

What You'll Need:

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 pint Fantastico or Sugary cherry tomatoes, halved (or other cherry tomato)
  • 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

Step by Step:

  • Warm olive oil in a 10" skillet over medium heat.
  • Add garlic and cook 30 seconds - until fragrant.
  • Add wine and brown sugar.
  • Increase heat to medium-high and cook until wine reduces to 1/2 cup.
  • Add halved cherry tomatoes and simmer for 3-4 minutes until liquid releases and begins to thicken.
  • Remove from heat, stir in vinegar. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Season to taste with additional sugar or vinegar for a sweet/sour balance.
  • Serve over crusty bread, steak, grilled tuna, zucchini, grilled eggplant...or chicken breast!
Recipe courtesy of The National Garden Bureau


3 day forecast

3 day forecast


New Native Planting Mix
G & B Organics
Native Planting Mix
is ideal for CA natives and other water-wise plants.

Since 1948, Yamagami's Nursery has been committed to the promotion of beauty and the plants, products and friendly, professional support needed to attain and maintain that Beauty. In my parents' footsteps (and Taro Yamagami's before them), I promise to continue that tradition. I invite you to visit us in the nursery and on our website, for help in making your yard into a beautiful garden.
Thanks for visiting,

Preston Oka

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1361 S. De Anza Blvd
Cupertino, CA 95014

7 Days a Week:
9 am to 5 pm

Finally, the perfect soil for raised beds!

Seed Starter

Vegetable fertilizer

Soil Building Compost
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