TIP OF THE WEEK

PRESERVING GREENS
November 26, 2016

TOW – Preserving Greens

The smell of fresh greens in the home during the holidays is intoxicating! But after a few days those fresh cut greens can become ‘dried’ cut greens and a fire hazard. We found a product that can help seal in the moisture and prevent those greens from drying out. Wilt Stop from Bonide can be sprayed on your greens to seal in the moisture and help them last longer. It can also be used on your outdoor conifers to seal in the moisture and help prevent winter wind and cold damage. We found this product at a lot of the independent garden centers around the area. If you need to find the location nearest you, check out their ‘Store Locator’ on their website.
 

RAKING LEAVES FOR MULCH
November 5, 2016

Raking Leaves for Mulch

Tired of bagging your leaves? Here is a quick tip that will help your plants and save your back! Rake your leaves into your garden beds. This will help the plants by protecting them from the bitter cold, plus it will also keep the rains from compacting your soil during the wet months ahead. This spring you can compost the leaves to finish the job that nature started or you can put them in your yard debris container where they will take up less room than they do now.

 

MOVING YOUR POTS
October 29, 2016

Moving Your Pots

With colder days on the way it is time to start thinking about moving some of your tender plants to protected areas. Judy and William moved a couple pots up under the eaves of a house. The eaves will help keep the frost from forming on the plants and it will keep the plants warmer as well, with the radiating heat from the siding. If you have plants that are ‘touchy’, now is the time to move them. One thing to remember; you will need to water them. The eaves that protect them from the cold will also prevent water from reaching the plant.
 

FALL PLANTING
September 23, 2016

Fall Planting

We keep saying it; fall is the time for planting. It really is! By getting your plants in the ground now they will have time to establish roots and be better prepared for the winter months ahead, plus they will reward you by getting a jump start for you next spring. We always tell people that there are 3 stages to perennials; Sleep, Creep and Leap. The first year they sit there, establishing their roots, the second year they start to spread out, and the third year they burst with full foliage and color. By planting your perennials now you will speed up the process. It is also a great time to move plants around your garden. This summer you may have noticed that some of your favorite plants didn’t do so well in the heat and sun. Now you can move them to different locations in the garden where it might be better suited to their needs.

Fall is also the perfect time to check out some of the fall perennials in your local garden center. Right now you will see some of the wonderful fall color that many plants get this time of year. In the spring you can see them with great blooms. Now you get to see which ones look great in their fall coats!

When planting or transplanting you will need to amend the soil to make it better for growing roots. As the old saying goes, ‘build a $40 hole for a $20 plant’. Amend your soil with some good garden compost or even a great potting soil like Black Gold. Sprinkle in a tiny bit of transplant fertilizer and you are good to go.
 

ROCK PLANT MARKERS
August 27, 2016

Rock Plant Markers

If you have problem remembering where all your plants are, join the group! We always say that we will remember where everything is and then, later in the fall or early spring, when we are planting or transplanting, we dig up a perennial or some bulbs! We found a way to remedy that. You simply take a large rock with a flat surface on it and then write the name of the plant on that surface. Then you place the rock, facedown, next to the plant! Then when you are looking for a location to plant after the foliage is gone, you will know where you plants are located. The best part is that the rocks look natural and don’t stand out like a regular plant tag or marker.

 

PET URINE
August 13, 2016

Pet Urine

If you have seen big green spots in your lawn it means you have a pet (or a frequent visitor). These green circles are from your pet’s urine and it is caused by the salts that occur in the urine. You may also notice that there is a dead spot in the center of the green; this is the grass dying from too much salt. You are seeing it more now because of the summer stress that the grass is under from all the heat and the lack of water. To get rid of the spots you have to flush them with water as soon as the animal is done. This will dilute the salts and reduce the problem areas. You can also train your dog to use a specific area of the lawn or set up a dog run to limit their movement. If you can’t flush the area, try to keep your lawn in good shape, that will minimize the stress and help the spots blend in. Some people recommend that you add tomato juice to your dog’s food to help neutralize the salts in the urine, but we would recommend that you check with your vet before you add anything to your pet’s food.
 

VEGGIE WATER FOR PLANTS
July 30, 2016

Veggie Water for Plants

Our tip for this week is about water and containers! We recently steamed some vegetables for dinner and when we were through we decided to share the leftover water with our thirsty container plants. We let the water cool down and then poured it on our plants. This water contains some of the nutrients from our steamed vegetables and helps keep our container plants happy and healthy.

LITTLE BAJA TREE WATERING
July 23, 2016

Little Baja Tree Watering

Our tip of the week is from our friends at Little Baja (503-236-8834). Little Baja are the experts in containers. They sell terra cotta, concrete and glazed containers for the home gardener. One of the biggest questions they get this time of year is how do I keep my plants from dying. Wayne told us that the problem is water. When a tree or large shrub is in a container they are reliant on you to keep then watered. They cannot pull water from an extensive root system in the ground. Plus, when you water them, they need LOTS of water. A little bit on the top won’t make it to the roots. You have to give a large tree about 1-2 gallons of water every day during the heat of summer. This is especially true if you have a tender tree like a maple. An evergreen tree with needles will dry out slower and can make it by if you miss a day, but a maple if left alone can be damaged permanently.

Also, it does make a difference on the type of container you use in the garden. Concrete and glazed pots help to seal in the moisture, but a terra cotta pot breathes. That is what makes them so great for your plants (they stay healthier in Terra Cotta), but that also means that they can lose moisture faster too. The key is to pay attention and make sure your plants stay well hydrated. If you have any other questions about pottery, or statuary, stop by and ask our friends at Little Baja.
 

RAKING NEEDLES
July 2
, 2016

Raking Needles

The summer means bare feet in the grass, unless you have fir trees in your backyard! Our tip this week will help make your lawn more bare-foot friendly! After you mow your lawn, simply give your lawn a quick rake and then mow again. The quick raking will draw some of those pesky needles to the surface and they will be picked up by the second pass with a mower. Once we get into the middle of summer you will not have to do it quite as often, since the trees will drop fewer needles then.
 

TOPPING YOUR DAHLIAS
June 11, 2016

 
Topping Your Dahlias

Our tip of the week will help your flower garden later this summer. This week we are passing on a tip about ‘topping’ or ‘tipping’ your dahlias. We noticed that, at the end of summer at the Swan Island Dahlia (800-410-6540) fields, their flowers were all up-right and didn’t flop in the fields, unlike our dahlias in the garden. They told us that they cut off the tops of the flower in the late spring. This ‘topping’ of the dahlia makes a shorter, stronger bush and a better structure for the flowers. When your plant is 18-20 inches tall, just count up about 3-4 leaf nodes from the ground and cut off the top of the stem. It is hard for some people to do! They notice the buds starting to form and that means it will take longer for your flowers to bloom, but if you do it now you will have a much better plant in just a few weeks. You can find more tips about dahlia care at the Swan Island Dahlia website.
 

PLANTING WHILE STANDING
May 28, 2016

Planting While Standing

This tip comes to us from a viewer in Salem who we saw at the Subaru Garden Dayz event (sorry, I lost his name). This is a tip for those gardeners who have a hard time getting up and down in the garden. When you are planting seeds in the garden, you don’t need to add wear and tear on your back and knees. Just use a 3-4 foot piece of PVC pipe. First make your trench for planting as you would normally do with a hoe. Then just use the pipe as a ‘seed slide’. Place the pipe in the trench and move it along as you drop your seeds in the top end. They will land in the trench and then you just use your hoe to cover the seed and you’re done!
 

PLANT TAG RING
May 7, 2016

 

Plant Tag Ring

Our tip of the week is all about memory! If you are like us you have planted wonderful plants in your garden and then forgot what they were. Or, you may have planted the tag at the base of the plant, or put it in a file or envelope on your desk only to lose them when you move things around. This tip tells us to simply punch a hole in the tag with a hole-punch and then string the tag on a wire or string. Then you can hang it up in your garden shed or garage and always have the plant picture, growing instructions and other information at your fingertips! No more trying to remember every plant in your garden!
 

RAISED BED CAT DETERRENT
April 23, 2016

 

TOW – Raised Bed Cat Deterrent

We have a great way to exclude cats from your raised beds. One way is to buy bird netting and stretch it over the bed. However, you have to pay attention to when the plants start to grow, because if they get too big, you will tear them up as you take off the netting. So we have another way that's a little bit easier. You just need some push-pins and some kind of line. Put the pins in at intervals on the wood, and stretch it across in a zigzag. You can also use fishing line, which can be reused year after year. Once the plants are big enough that the cats won't bother them, you can remove the line.
 

PAINTBRUSH WEEDS
April 9, 2016

Paintbrush Weeds

Getting rid of weeds is tough. It becomes nearly impossible when that weed appears entwined inside one of your favorite plants. How can you get rid of the pest without damaging your favorite plant? Our tip takes care of the problem. We used a paintbrush to brush the weed control directly on the weed without touching the plant. It is pin-point application without waste and worry. Remember to use gloves and follow all label instructions.
 

SPRING WASP TIPS
March 26, 2016

Spring Wasp Traps

It may seem weird that we are putting out traps for wasps and yellow jackets in the spring, but next to the late summer this is the best time to use them. Our friends at Rescue (they make those cool yellow Wasp, Hornet, and Yellow Jacket traps) told us why it is a good time to put them out now. In the early spring the queens emerge from their winter hibernation and look for places to make their nests for the new season. If you get them now they won’t be around to create a nest of nasty pests to ruin your summer fun. Take down your old traps, clean and refresh them with the pheromone attractant packets available at most of your local garden centers. To make your hunting more effective, place a couple of traps around the perimeter of your yard and garden.
 

CLEANING UP YOUR HELLEBORES
March 12, 2016

Cleaning Up Your Hellebores

Our tip of the week involves hellebores and cutting the foliage. You can do this in spring once the hellebore starts to bloom. By cutting the old leaves off you can enjoy the flowers without all that beat up and tattered foliage. Don’t worry, in late spring the new leaves will grow in and the plant will continue to grow and be healthy.
 


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