July 29, 2017

Pool Plants

The heat makes us all thirsty! Our garden tip of the week helps quench the thirst of your hanging baskets and small container gardens. We found a small 'kiddie' pool, filled it ½ full of water and set our driest plants in the water. During those days that have excessive heat, the plants really like the extra water and we don't have to worry about constant watering. There are a couple of precautions you have to follow. Don't leave them in there for more than a day or two; they can get too much of a good thing and that may create mold, fungus or disease problems. And don't over fill the pool. Allowing the plant to take what it needs from the pool is good, drowning it is not!

June 24, 2017

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.

June 10, 2017

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.

June 3, 2017

Tool Handle Measuring Stick

Our tip of the week is about making your tools do double duty. When you buy a plant or plant seeds a lot of the tags will tell you to keep the new plants separated by a distance to make sure they have room to grow. Most of us don't carry around a measuring tape to make sure we keep those distances, so why not make your long handled tools be the measuring tape? Simply make marks on your handle at 6 inches intervals and then all you have to do is lay your tool down to measure the distance and you can plant without worries!

May 13, 2017

Double Gloves

A painful blister on the hand of Producer Jeff brings us the tip of the week. If you ever get blisters from working with your garden tools you may want to try this tip. We recommend that you wear double gloves when you are working. First put on a pair of rubber surgical gloves and then put your garden gloves over the top. The friction that causes the blister between your glove and your skin now happens between the 2 sets of gloves. This will prevent blisters and will make your gardening much less painful.


May 6, 2017

Preserving Woody Stems

The spring is the best time to bring in cut flowers for display in your home. The problem is that the blooms don't last long enough, especially the woody stemmed ones. Judy and William shared a tip we learned at the Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens (360-225-8996). This tip will make your lilacs last longer after they are cut. They told us how they smash the stems with a hammer. You want to crush the stems about 1-2 inches up the stem before you put them in warm water. The smashed stem allows the flower to draw more water and thus it will last longer. This technique works well for almost all woody stemmed plants. You can also cut it along the length of the stem and accomplish the same thing.

If you are looking for some great lilacs for your garden, check out the Lilac Days event at Hulda Klager's garden in Woodland, Washington!

April 29, 2017

TOW - Sealing Containers

You can extend the life of your wooden planters and it doesn't take much to do it. We found that if you use a pruning sealer it will do a great job of preserving your planters and containers. Pruning Sealer is normally used to seal the cuts and wounds on trees after they have been cut or damaged in any way. This prevents pest and diseases from entering the tree and damaging it. The same principle holds true for planters. If you just spray a coating on the inside of your planter or container it will prevent disease and decay from shortening the life of your planter. Check for Pruning Sealer at your local independent garden center or nursery. The product we found was from Bonide.

April 22, 2017

Using a Sprayer Safely

In the late spring and early summer people start to pull out their sprayers. Whether they are applying weed control, moss control or other chemicals we thought it would great to give people a reminder about sprayer safety. These are good tips to follow even if you are applying an organic spray. First make sure that there is little or no wind. You don't want drift from your sprayer to get into different areas than where you want it to go. Also, make sure that the temperature is not too hot or too cold. Most chemicals, either organic or synthetic, are most effective in warm weather. Of course you will always want to read the label for application to make sure that you are applying it correctly. When you are applying the product you should walk backwards so you don't spread the spray on your shoes to other areas in your garden.

As far as attire, you should wear long pants, long sleeves and closed toed shoes. Eye protection, gloves and a mouth cover or respirator round out your clothing choices. Follow these simple rules and
you can be sure that the spray will end up right where you want it!

April 15, 2017

Bad Gas

Our tip of the week comes to us from our friends at Stihl Tools. Wayne Sutton from Stihl told us about the importance of keeping fresh gas in our power tools and equipment. He recommended 89 or higher octane rated fuels that are not more than 30 days old. Gas gets weaker as it ages and weak gas creates most of the problems a homeowner will encounter in their power equipment. For other power tool tips check out the Stihl website.


April 8, 2017

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.

April 1
, 2017

Hellebore Clean-Up

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.


March 25, 2017

Read the Label

When the spring approaches it is time to get out and spray, or apply garden products to your lawn and garden. We wanted to remind you that when you are using garden products to read the label. As they say ‘The label is the law’. That means that when applying a product, whether organic or chemical, you should follow all the printed instructions on the label. Those instructions are tested for safety and effectiveness. Plus, as pesticides and herbicides get older they tend to lose their effectiveness. The spring is a good time to check your garden chemicals to make sure they are not too old. It is also a good time to review their safe use. If you buy a new chemical product, use a marker to date it so you can easily see when you bought it. If you need to dispose of an old bottle, check with your local garbage hauler to learn how to dispose of it safely. Always remember to store all garden products, whether organic or chemical in a safe area away from pets and children.

March 11, 2017

Two Season Seeds

Our tip of the week involves seeds. You can pick up a cool season crop seed right now and start your garden early. Cool season crops include vegetables like lettuce, radishes, peas, kale and cabbage. Then in August you can plant these same crops again and enjoy a second harvest because they can handle the cooler temperatures of late fall.


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