Welcome To Spring Lake Gardens

You have arrived at a treasure trove of ideas that we hope will captivate your imagination and increase your interests.  Take a moment to dream about the things we will show you.  We hope you will be inspired and see how you can do-it-yourself..

This website and our articles can show you the way and get you off to a good start.  Hopefully, you will build on what we show you and stand on our shoulders to reach higher.  We want you to do it yourself and do it your own way.  Your ideas may be better than ours.  We hope so.

We want you to get excited, to catch fire with enthusiasm.  Hopefully we can be the catalyst and show you the resources to help you get started.  We want to have you make your dreams come true.  Check back often to see our updates and new ideas.

We believe that your home and yard environment should be an escape from the world, and actually be a vacation destination, somewhere you would rather be than anywhere else on earth.  Our job is to help you accomplish that through our direction and recommendations here.

What are our qualifications?  In these pages you will learn.  You will see what we are doing.  We have come so far that we now are a Utah State Licensed Nursery specializing in Fast-Growing Trees and an online supplier of information and everything else that will make your property enchanting and enjoyable.

Fast-Growing Trees

We sell Fast-Growing Trees at very low prices

$20 each for 6 ft. tall trees when you buy 5 or more

$30 each for 6 ft. tall trees when you buy just one or less than five

$5 per foot for specialty trees that are taller than 6 ft. and have larger caliper trunks

See details below about our seasonal specialized long cuttings (February – March)

 

  • Hybrid Poplar
    Our best selling, fastest growing poplar, with huge dinner plate leaves, open shade, medium spreading, open branching, windbreaks, woodlot, firewood (cut and come again), straight trunk, saw logs, paper pulp, ethanol production, clean male clones, no seeds, 100 ft. tall x 40 ft. wide.
  • Androscoggin Hybrid Poplar
    Very fast growing, unusual characteristics, some horizontal spreading branches, large leaves, deep shade, specimen tree, interesting trunk, landscape use, golf course. clean male clone, no seeds, 60 ft. tall x 40 ft. wide.
  • Corkscrew Curly Willow
    Extremely fast growing, nice trunk, curly decorative branches used in crafts and decorations, grows to 30 ft. tall and then spreads to 30 ft.  or more wide.
  • Navajo Globe Willow
    First tree to turn green in the spring, huge round burst of green, shade tree, up to 70 ft. tall x 70 ft. wide.
  • Black Willow
    Loves water, stream banks, wet spots, and even swamps, bluish green lance shaped leaves, huge gnarly decorative trunks and roots, used in bonsai, can stretch tall to compete for sun, can reach over 100 ft. wide by 60 ft.  or more wide.  Called the king of willows.
  • 100 unrooted late-winter cuttings from any of the above listed species, per bundle $50
  • Long Hybrid Poplar cuttings, and how to plant them
    In February and March we harvest some select long cuttings 10 ft. to 15 ft. long that are then slipped into 24 inch or 30 inch or deeper augered holes 1 1/2 inch, 1 3/4 inch, 2 inch, to 3 inch diameter or larger.  In some soft wet soils, deep holes can be created with a long heavy sharp pointed digging bar.  You can also use one of these bars to break rocks and to prepare and clear the way for your earth auger to penetrate.
  • Hybrid Poplar tree cuttings root deeply because they can be easily buried deeper in the water-table and can grow ten feet per year after the first year, very rapidly turning into substantial sized trees.  They usually only require a watering each two weeks after planting so deep.  These long Hybrid Poplar cuttings are offered on a pre-order basis and are limited in number.   Our long cuttings are priced at $15 each, or 10 for $150 in 10-15 ft. lengths.  Contact us for ordering and more information.

To prepare cuttings for planting, you can very lightly scrape the sizes of the bottom 24 inches of the cutting with a sharp knife, barely exposing some of the bright green just under the outer bark.  Then dust with rooting hormone.  Do not scrape hard enough that you go through the green into the white wood underneath.  Cuttings will root without any treatment at all, but many experts feel that the rooting hormone helps.

To drill holes you either need a 110 volt AC generator and a heavy duty drill, or you need a cordless power drill with a spare battery (two batteries), so that one battery can be charging while you are using the other battery.  The larger cordless drills have a lot of torque, which is needed to the deep holes.  The 18 volt drills with a 1/2 inch chuck are usually a little stronger and longer lasting the the small 3/8 inch chuck size.

Of most importance is to understand that you drill the hole in small segments, going down several inches then pulling up to remove the dirt.  If you try to drill to far and fast you wil run the battery down prematurely,l ruin your drill, break the bit, or wrench you wrists.  Just tackle a little at a time.  It helps to drill with a smaller diameter auger, then to increase the size.  The augers that have more spirals of metal fastened to the shaft help get the dirt out of the hole better.  Cheap augers usually will break before you get the job done, but if you gentle with them they can help you get your holes done and get them deeper.

Most of the larger 3 inch augers are for bulb planting and have only a few spiral turns.  The torque is so great you could not hang on to the drill if trying to drill too much too fast.  But a 3 inch auger can help you ream the hole out to a large diameter after it is drilled a smaller diameter to the full depth.  Yet with less spirals it is harder to remove the dirt from the hole.  A very rapid lifting motion can pull soil from the hole.

You can buy and add drill bit extensions and gain another foot of depth.  Be careful to get the right extension because some drills are round shafts and others are hex shafts.  You may also need to use a file and cut flats on your bit where it fits in the drill so that it doesn’t spin.

You can also use a post hole digger to make your holes deep and sufficient diameter.

About Our Trees…

  • Hardy in most poor and alkaline soils in Utah, Nevada, Wyoming, Idaho, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico, as well as most or the other lower 48 states.  Grow well in elevations up to 5,000 ft. with some trees known to do well at 6,000 ft.  elevation, and possibly even higher.  So these higher elevations are certainly worth a try.
  • Local pickup only – no shipping.  We are located near Payson, Utah.  We have customers that come from surrounding states.
  • 6 ft. tall trees potted in one gallon bags will easily fit in most compact cars and vans.  Trees can bend from passenger side floorboard, over back seat, into back window area.
  • Most trees can easily travel in pickup bed.  Leaves should be protected and covered when traveling at higher speeds and longer distances.
  • Larger and longer trees may require a trailer and wrapping or special protection.
  • Order early so that we will have the trees that you want in the quantity you want.  We will reserve them for you.  We usually run out before the end of the season.

Water Gardens

Non-Circulating Hydroponics

  • We have learned that Basil is the perfect year-around leafy-green to grow in your window area or on your windowsill.  Here is why…
  • Basil grows well in moist situations and has no problem with wet roots.
  • Basil does exceptionally well with homemade handcrafted organic fertilizer solutions.
  • Basil flourishes with the addition of the right amount of humic substances, specifically fulvic acids, which makes the Basil healing and medicinal in nature.
  • Basil can be cultivated through simple cuttings, with the stem submerged in water and the leaves covered lightly with a clear covering
  • Basil grows well in low light conditions and can even survive and flourish where it doesn’t receive direct light.
  • Basil gives you more flavor, nutrition and excitement than any other leafy green.
  • Basil is preferred in its raw state when made into pesto, one of the world’s most exciting and fulfilling flavors.
  • Don’t waste your valuable window space or grow lights on lettuce.  Make Basil your windowsill crop of choice.
  • Basil loves static hydroponics and gentle pruning, and flourishes indoors all year-around.
  • Make Basil the queen of your static hydroponic window gardens.

The Sterilite black 10 gallon stacker totes we used are perfect for east, west, or south-facing window use.  The black color prevents algae growth in the nutrient solution, and saves having to spray paint the totes and lids black.  These are the perfect size.  We removed the handles.  The holes where handles attach will cause nutrient solution overflow if you fill the totes too full.  Just keep the nutrient solution slightly below the holes, and it will be the perfect depth for net pots.

Lay out a nice pattern of holes for your net pots.  We settled on 12 holes which we evenly spaced..  Use a 2 inch hole saw to drill holes, and the trick is to run the drill in reverse.  Running it backwards makes a clean nice hole and the teeth of the hole saw don’t grab.  We pre-drilled the 12 holes with a smaller drill to mark the lid and give us a clean starting hole.

The net pots we recommend are the only ones to buy.  They are strong and have an adequate lip to work perfectly in a 2 inch diameter hole.  Other brands of net pots have problems falling through, are flimsy, break, and just don’t work as well.  Reading the Amazon testimonials will teach a lot about these things.

The things we are teaching you here can save a lot of time and money, and save a lot of grief from making mistakes.  You can grow many other types of plants in these non-circulating hydroponic totes, especially if you have a greenhouse or adequate sunlight or grow lights.  Then, growing lettuce, tomatoes, strawberries, etc. is just fine.  Just don’t let the totes get too hot in the sun and cook the roots.

One of the most valuable things that we can teach you is about the grow medium.  Many people use round clay pebbles in their net pots or other kinds of grow medium.  We use something better.  We buy bundles of quilt-sized sheets of polyester quilt batting that is 1/2 inch, 5/8 inch, or 3/4 inch thick.  Batting in these sizes will do just fine.  We use a sharp pair of scissors to cut it into 3/4 inch cubes to start all of our seeds, even for outdoor garden and vegetable plants.  We have had tremendous success with this method.  Then we take the tiny cubes and seedlings and plant them out as desired.

We will use trays and clear plastic lids as mini seed-starting greenhouses.  We will line the bottom with little wet cubes until the bottom is covered.  Each cube supports the cubes next to it.  Then we put the tray on a level flat surface, and underneath the tray we put a special seed-starting heat mat.  Then we add a little water to the tray, so that there is a tiny bit covering the bottom and wicking up into each cube.  Then we place 3 seeds on each cube.  We want the healthiest and most robust seed to grow.

We put the dry seeds on a plate and spread them out, and then we use a damp finger tip to pick up 3 seeds and transfer them to each cube.  It works amazingly well.  Back and forth we go until every cube is seeded  Then we cover the tray with a clear dome and then lay a towel over the whole thing to keep it warm and dark.  Seeds start to sprout and grow in several days.  This way we can keep a very close watch on what is happening.  For seed starting, we use a humic/fulvic solution, but use no fertilizers of any kind.  The seeds have enough of everything they need for a while.

When the seeds are up and sending new roots into each cube, it is time to plant them if you wish.  You can also let them grow in the tray a little in the light.  Don’t let them overheat in direct sun.  Opening the dome and leaving it ajar a little will prevent overheating.

For outdoor plants, it is time to put the tiny seedlings in a pot and potting mix.  For non-circulating hydroponics, it is time to put the seedlings in the net pots.  Just make sure the little cube will be in a position where it can wick moisture.  Once the roots are established, they will grow down into the hydroponic solution.

For non-circulating hydroponics we cut 2 inch squares of 1/2 or 3/4 inch thick polyester quilt batting, round the corners a little, dip them in nutrient solution, and gently press then into the bottom of net pots.  Then we put the net pots in the holes in the lid of the tote so that the bottom of the net pot sits in the solution.  If the square of quilt batting is very wet or submerged too deeply, we will add another piece or two.  Then we put the tiny cube and seedling in position, just to where the bottom of the cube is wet and stays wet.

As the little plant grows, we cut another piece of polyester batting, round it a little, cut a slit in it to the middle, and carefully work it around the stem of the seedling as it grows,  Sometimes we gently separate the pieces into two layers, making the pieces 3/8 inch thick.  We will add pieces until the little seedling is supported and the top layer is dry.  Damp top layers will grow algae over time, so the fix for that problem is to cover them with new batting pieces until the net pots are dry on top.  The algae will die when it doesn’t have light.  The lower pieces of polyester batting keep the roots moist and protected.  This whole thing works amazingly well.

There are companies that sell cubes of polyester batting for horticultural purposes, but they are very expensive, and we have found that layers work better in net pots.  The way we do it works far better than cubes or better than clay pellets.

Next we need to discuss the hydroponic solution, which needs to be tailored to the plant you are growing.  Yet there are some great products and it isn’t that hard to do.  First you will need a good scale that weighs grams as well as ounces.  We use an electronic scale.  We also use an Ohaus triple beam balance scale.

One thing you need to know is that there usually is a base hydroponic fertilizer.  Then there are other components.  Mixing them all together dry, then adding them to the water, will cause some components to chemically react and precipitate to the bottom, becoming worthless and unavailable to your plants.

So the trick is to first adjust your pH to neutral (pH7) or slightly lower (pH 6.5), and then add the main fertilizer  component and dissolve.  Then completely dissolve the nitrogen component in some neutral pH water, and add it to the base nutrient solution.  Then add the magnesium component to some neutral water, and when dissolved, add that to the main solution.  Last you can add the humic/fulvic component to neutral water, then add it so the main solution..  It sounds complicated, but it is really easy.  We will explain it in more detail later.

When growing Basil we like to use a totally organic nutrient solution.  It works really well, even better than the very best chemical hydroponic solution.  That information will be forthcoming as well.

Organic Gardening

We are totally into organic gardening.  We look at organic gardening as an art-form. a much loved hobby, yet even as a necessity.  Organic gardening has so much more to offer, more than most people know.

It is not just about gardening without harmful pesticides or chemicals, or not using genetically altered seeds.  It is not just about gardening with natural manure and compost.  It is far more than that.  Primarily it is about first nourishing the billions of plant-like organisms in the soil so that they can nourish the higher plants, which ultimately nourish us with millions of unseen components that are so numerous most will never be known or discovered.

Working with fulvic acids and humic substances as a research scientist, I have learned things that few people know about organic gardening.  It is really quite simple actually.  Humic substances are the very essence of the rich black soil humus.  The humic substances in organic soil are move valuable than gold.  The fulvic acids that come from humic substances are the water soluble portions that are available to plants.  Without these mostly unknown components, all life on earth would eventually cease.

What most people don’t know is that one teaspoon of rich soil humus is primarily made up of billions of plant-like microorganisms and millions of species.  There are more living and dormant individual microorganisms in a teaspoonful of healthy organic soil than there are people living on the earth.

Most of our antibiotics and prescription drugs came from these same single soil-based microorganisms that have been isolated and identified.  Then the pharmaceutical companies figure out how to synthesize the substance, and then they patent it and sell these drugs for a lot of money.  Yet they have only identified a tiny fraction of microorganisms and substances, so small that in the whole scheme of things they are virtually insignificant.  All of science has barely scratched the surface.

Scientists look to the stars and the universe for answers; yet the largest realm of discovery is hidden right under their feet.  The plant-like organisms in healthy organic soil hold all of the solutions to everything, conquering sickness, feeding the hungry, healing the pollution and toxic wastes, providing energy, heating our homes, and so much more.  It is all there right under our feet if we just take the time to be good stewards in the ways that we use and nurture the soil.

Yet other scientist have also proven that these valuable substances, millions of them, are also taken up into our food crops.  When we eat them, they provide health-giving substances far beyond what anyone comprehends.  News media want to sensationalize the idea that there are few additional vitamins or minerals or nutrients in organic foods as compared with conventional.  And in some ways they may be right, because organic agricultural practices have become so easy and lax.

Yet for someone who understands, there is a great lie being told and sold.  There is really no comparison between the good-looking phony hollow foods grown from conventional agricultural practices, compared with the plethora of benefits provided by organic food that is grown right.

Today our agricultural and garden soils are sick because we use herbicides, pesticides, and chemical fertilizers on them, which kills many of the most beneficial microorganisms.

So we end up with sick plants that are ridden with insect problems and disease, and are hollow because of lack of nutrition and flavor.  Those industrial-grown plants require chemicals to keep them looking good.  Then we eat the products of the good-looking but sick plants or feed them to our livestock, and wonder why disease is so rampant.  It is really rather simple.

Well, this is what organic gardening is really about.  And you have not been told the whole story and have been misled.  The best way to learn and see, feel and taste the difference, is by doing it yourself.  Believe me, it is worth it.