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Posts in the category "Garden Calendar"

Get your plant sale on

April 28, 2010 @ 12:53 pm

This is the weekend to end all weekend plant sales. There are two incredible plants sales in Seattle: the King County Master Gardener plant sale at the University of Washington and the Seattle Titlh edible plant sale in Wallingford.

We’ve volunteered at the Master Gardener plant sale in previous years, but will be out of town this weekend. The sale runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, May 1 and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, May 2. You’ll find a wide selection of perennials, ornamentals, shrubs, trees, vines and edibles, including famous tomato starts, from Master Gardeners and local growers. 

The second plant sale is one that vegetable gardeners can’t miss. Seattle Tilth’s annual plant sale is one of the best in town. You can choose from over 50 varieties of tomatoes and 20 different kinds of peppers. I always leave this sale with a handful of edibles, including rare pumpkin, eggplant, cucumber and other starts that you just can’t find anywhere else.

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Fuschia and dahlia sale

March 30, 2010 @ 8:03 pm

The West Seattle Lions Club is holding its 16th Annual Garden Sale on Friday, April 9 from 5 to 8 p.m. and Saturday, April 10 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

You’ll find more than 100 dahlia tubers, fuchsias, unique rhododendron, tomato plants and more. The event is at the West Seattle Senior Center, 4217 SW Oregon St, Seattle, WA 98116.

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Gardening calendar: November

November 14, 2009 @ 9:24 pm

We’ve gotten a fair amount of rain and wind in the Puget Sound recently, and even some snow in the mountains. It may not seem like it, but there’s still plenty to do in the garden.

1. This month is a great time to mulch the vegetable garden. Mulch will help prevent erosion, keep weeds at bay and insulate your plants during the cold weather.

2. Divide perennials such as shasta daisies, asters and rudbeckia (black-eyed Susans).



3. Fertilize lawns late in the month to keep it green through the winter.

4. There’s still time to plant spring bulbs, such as tulips, daffodils and hyacinths.

5. Cut raspberry canes.

6. Continue to plant or transplant perennials, shrubs and trees. Winter months provide ideal conditions for planting new shrubs and trees.

7. Rake leaves and add them to your compost pile, or use them to mulch your landscape beds. Leaves could be piled two to three inches high; over time, they’ll break down and add nutrients to the soil. Avoid using leaves of trees with diseases, or broadleaf evergreens such as rhododendron and laurel (since they take a long time to break down).

8. Avoid heavily pruning roses now. Wait until late February for major pruning. Protect roses by removing leaves, or letting the roses form seeds, or hips.

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Gardening calendar: June

June 1, 2009 @ 8:01 am

1. Pull weeds. Pull weeds. Pull more weeds.

2. Plant vegetable seeds for a harvest into fall and even winter. Replace plants that have bolted with summer crops such as peppers and tomatoes.pjm2_600px

3. Make sure newly planted or transplanted trees and shrubs are getting enough water. Check plants that you’ve planted within the last few years. Give plants enough water to wet the root zone; water deep but less frequently. Make use of your rain barrels to help you conserve water while keeping your plants well-tended. Water container plants regularly, and fertilize them every four weeks or so.

4. Mow the lawn regularly, and don’t allow the blades too grow too long.

5. Plants are actively growing during this month, so be sure to take the time to enjoy them. Peonies, irises, rockroses, and rhododendrons are going strong right now.

6. Put out your tomato plants if you haven’t already done so. Be sure to prune the lower leaves to keep water from splashing on them. This prevents diseases and other problems.

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Gardening calender: April

April 2, 2009 @ 8:16 pm

You wouldn’t know it’s April, given the snow and cold weather we’ve been havingdaffodils lately. Despite that, daffodils and forsythia are strutting their stuff, tulips are poking through the cold ground, cherry blossoms are in full bloom, and we just noticed some blooming trillium deep in the woods of Schmitz Park in West Seattle.

Now is a good time to walk around your yard and give your landscape a good once-over: What plants are going well and where? What plants should be moved so they thrive better? Could you add a paver patio or walkway to your landscape to make it easier for people to move through it, or add interest to your landscape?

Here’s what else you can do in the garden this month:

1. Finish cleaning your garden by pulling weeds while they’re still young.

2. Plant annual seeds of asters, cosmos, marigolds, zinnias.

3. Plant cool season crops such as peas, lettuce, radish, and broccoli through seeds or transplants.

4. Fertilize raspberries with ammonium sulfate to lower the soil pH, just as bud swell begins. raspberry1Apply about 3/4 to 1 pound of ammonium sulfate per 100 feet of row. Give blueberries a spring application of a balanced fertilizer such as 5-10-10.

5. April is Arbor Month so it’s a good time to plant trees. The second Wednesday of the month, or April 8 this year, is the official Arbor Day in Washington state.

6. Plant strawberries, which you should be able to find bare-rooted in most nurseries this time of year. Give strawberries a sunny spot and good drainage and they’ll produce for you for three to five years. Weed the bed, work in a good amount of compost or manure and about 4 pounds of 5-10-10 fertilizer per 100 square feet.

7. Shear winter flowering heather after it blooms.

8. Prune forsythia once it is done flowering.

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Gardening calendar: March

March 6, 2009 @ 8:01 am

While the weather is still fickle in March, the days are starting to feel longer and the temperatures are starting to warm up. There’s lots yet to do in the garden.

1. If you haven’t completed pruning your roses, this is is the month to do it.

Tulips are coming!

Tulips are coming!

2. It’s also a good time to divide overgrown perennials and rearrange and move existing plants.

3. Thatch, aerate, top dress and over seed your lawn from late March to early April.

4. Plant native trees, shrubs and ferns as temperatures warm and rains are consistent.

5. Overgrown forsythia can be cut to the ground.

6. Cut back dead fern fronds.

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Gardening calendar: February

March 1, 2009 @ 3:45 pm

February is  a tough month for gardeners in the Northwest. We have our share of sunny, blue-sky days, but rain, snow and perpetual dreariness can sometimes make getting out in the yard difficult. February is a good month to get started on some yard chores that will make the rest of the year easier, especially weed pulling.

Here are 8 things you can do in your yard this month.

1. Pull winter weeds. The Ecoyards motto is to pull weeds early and pull them often. That seems to be the only way to keep on top of weeds if you want to take a natural approach to weed control. In February most weeds are babies, so they are much easier to pull.

2. Mulch landscape areas where soil has become bare.Rose

3. Inspect trees and shrubs for damage after storms.

4. Prune evergreen and deciduous shrubs.

5. Cut back or rake out ornamental grasses.

6. Cut back dead fronds on sword ferns.

7. Prune roses when buds appear.

8. Time to conduct major cut back on hedges.

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President’s Day peas

March 1, 2009 @ 3:11 pm

There’s an old saying in the Northwest that says you should  plant peas by President’s Day. But if you haven’t gotten around to it, March is a great time to do it. (April is fine, too, but by then try to plant virus-resistant varieties. Peas grown in warmer weather are susceptible to pea enation, a virus transmitted by aphids that appear once the weather warms up).pea

Peas are a cool season crop that, for me, signals the start of the active vegetable gardening season. They thrive in the Northwest — provided they get sun and are planted in well-drained soil.

Sugar snap peas are a given in my garden. I like “Cascadia” snap peas, an enation-resistant variety developed at Oregon State University.  (Read more here). The peas grow on short vines and produce thick, juicy, sweet pods. “Sugar Snap” is another favorite variety of mine, but since they grow 6 feet tall, they need a strong trellis system. The pods are especially sweet and taste great plucked right off the vine. (Territorial Seed Co. in sells both varieties, and their packets can be found at most Northwest nurseries.

Read more about growing your own peas and beans here.

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Gardening calendar: January

January 13, 2009 @ 10:53 pm

It may be too early to start planting, but there are plenty of things that can keep you busy in your garden in January.  Here are a couple things to put on your to-do list:

Sharpen your mower blades and tune up your mower (we recommend Aurora Lawnmowers, 7323 Aurora Ave Seattle, WA 98103).

Snowbound in Seattle

Snowbound in Seattle

While you’re at it, try to stay off soggy or frozen grass to keep it from being compacted.  Be sure to keep wet and soggy leaves from piling up on the lawn as they can smother the grass.

It’s never too early to pull weeds. Get them early, get them young.

Clean up landscape beds. Pull out or dig up annuals after they have been killed by a freeze and cut herbaceous perennials to the ground. With the beds clean and open, it’s a good time to top-dress landscape beds with mulch as long as the ground is not frozen.

Now is a good time to plant or move trees and shrubs.

Selective pruning of evergreen and deciduous shrubs and trees can be done at this time of year.  Cut out deadwood, crossing branches, and branches that are damaged by storms.

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November 1, 2008 @ 10:33 pm

Sherridan in Leaves

Fall is here and that means one thing for gardeners and homeowners: leaves and lots of them.

What should you do with all those fall leaves?

Before you bag it and leave it on the curb, consider ways to recycle the leaves on your property. You can use the leaves as a mulch around your plant beds or add them to your compost pile to create rich fertile soil that you can use in several months.

Here’s what you can do:

1. If you use the leaves as mulch, which helps suppress weeds, be sure not to pile them on too thick. Too thick a layer on the grass or around your plants can smother it, lead to pests and rot your grass or other plants.

2.  Use a mulch-lawn mover to shred the leaves into tiny pieces (no thicker than 1-inch) and leave them on your lawn to decompose, returning nutrients to your lawn without smothering it.

3.  Leaves can also be composted by simply leaving them in a pile in your backyard. This is a simpler, but longer compost process.

4.  Mix the leaves with other organic matter in a compost pile, the leaves will break down faster. Good compost piles need a balance of nitrogren and carbon, which creates good conditions for microbes that decompose the plant materials.  Leaves, shredded newspapers, dead flowers and corn stalks all provide needed carbon — the “brown” — to balance out the nitrogren-rich “green,” including grass clippings or plant clippings.  The smaller the pieces are, the faster they’ll compost. The pile will need a proper amount water and air. If it’s too wet, it’ll become anaerobic and start to smell. Too dry, and the pile won’t do much.

5.  Be sure to rake up and remove leaves from fruit trees and roses as they can harbor diseases.

For more information about composting —

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