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Monthly Tips

"Dear Wan-Chi, I checked my calendar a few days ago and realized that Classic Nursery will be doing our spring maintenance work very soon. It is hard to believe that it has been over a year since we completed the hardscape and landscaping of our new home here in Bellevue...I have become a consistent user of organic products and methods for all of my planting and fertilizing. I was gratified that you not only agreed with my convictions but were able to implement them in the work that was done on our property. Thank you very much for being an advocate and not an impediment. I would also like to recognize you for the artistic sensitivity and skillful eyes that you brought to our rather large project. Your insights were very helpful in visualizing what the yard would look like upon completion and in the years to come. I can hardly wait to see what it will look when three full growing seasons have past. I think it is going to be even more beautiful... I was completely ignorant of the unique climate of the northwestern United States. Your help in making the right plant choices for the new home were crucial to the long term success of our landscaping vision. Supplies at the local plant markets at the time I started the project were very limited. I appreciate the enthusiasm with which you searched for the best choices and the constant efforts you made to find sufficient suitable plants. Your judgement in selecting and recommending the right plants for the Seattle area was sound. The evidence of that fact is now growing in my front and back yard. I was worried that the heavy cold rain that persisted all winter would damage the roots of the new plants and the recent transplants. My yard was soaked and wet all winter and I feared that many plants would die. Therefore, I am happy to report that almost 100% of the plants appear to be alive and doing well. Almost all have swollen bud, new leaves or flowers already, though the first day of spring was only a few days ago. All of the perennial grasses are showing signs of growth. I look forward to working with you this spring at our regularly scheduled maintenance event so that we can continue to improve the health and beauty of our outdoor spaces. Best Regards,"

- Jim D.
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Make your thumb even greener. Follow some Classic Tips.

Is it hard to know when to divide the daylilies? Prune the paeony or trim the taxus? Sign up for our email Garden Tips and you'll get a monthly reminder about what's happening in your garden and what you need to do about it. (Don't want to do anything about it? Ouch. Better see our Landscape Care section!)

To receive the "Monthly Gardening Tip" just fill out the form above. Note: We are unable to send the "Monthly Gardening Tip" via an email attachment to some ISP's. If you asked for, but aren't getting it, either find a surly and jaded teenager to reconfigure your computer or simply send a self-addressed stamped envelope to receive "snail mail."

Tips for June

Our entire selection of Roses are 20% off for the month of June (see web coupon) and Hanging Flower Baskets are 40% OFF. Father’s Day is Sunday June 19th and we have a great selection of gardening tools, pruners and all things that any Dad would love. Not sure what to get him? How about an Umbrella Pine? Or give him a Classic Nursery Gift Certificate and let him pick his own gift.

This is still a great time for planting — vegetables, annuals, even trees and shrubs — but it is more importantly the time to WATCH WATERING!

Water deeply on new plantings, rather than a daily spot-watering that won't get water down to the deeper roots. Deep water new trees & shrubs with a 5 gallon bucket of water once a week.

Water early in the morning, rather than in the heat of the day or in the evening. Watering in the morning will give the plants time to soak up the water before the heat of the day, it will eliminate evaporation that happens when watering during the hot summer afternoons and finally your plants will be less susceptible to ugly plant problems like black spot and powdery mildew. Both of these plant diseases can arise due to water sitting on the leaves for long periods of time; such as overnight!

Watering from overhead may cause leaf-burn from the midday sun and can make your plants susceptible to disease. Water at the base of your plants to avoid these dangers.

Mulch plants to help the soil hold in moisture and keep it more evenly available to the plants, this is also a great way to keep weeds at bay as they try and regrow.

Perennials, Annuals and Vegetables:

Clean out containers of spent bulbs and early spring annuals and repot with a fresh supply of all-summer annuals. The selection at the nursery is at its peak, everything from annual vines to unusual tropical plants to the traditional favorites. Mix and match for a season of color!Sunflowers will start to shoot up, now that we've had some warm weather. If you didn't get around to planting by seed this year, we have an assortment of varieties now on hand in starts, so it's not too late to be sure to have these favorites in your garden. Fertilize and mulch tomatoes; also prune them for good air circulation, to help prevent those unwanted funguses and blights. Water them regularly and evenly; uneven watering is one of the causes of blossom drop (remember not to water overhead at the heat of the day, to avoid leaf burn). This month is the time to start thinking about a second planting of bush beans. Look for our heirloom varieties for something a little different. It is also time to think about starting another succession planting of greens — lettuce, spinach, chard, arugula — this will help maintain a supply of these delectables through the fresh-eating season. We also carry Irish Eyes Organic seed line if you want to try your hand at starting these from seed.

Trees, Shrubs and Fruit:

This month will be time for the second feeding for Roses. Still time to spray for black spot and powdery mildew with Rose Defense (be sure to spray in the cool shade of early morning). Roses are in bloom this month at the nursery. Come in and pick your favorite colors and fragrances while they are flowering! Treat for pests and disease — spray neem or other horticultural oil for scale, aphids, and spider mites. Use neem oil or lime sulfur for scab and mildew. Set out sticky traps for apple maggots. For other insect pests, you can also try introducing beneficial, predatory insects like lacewings, ladybugs and praying mantis.

Prune those early-bloomers like Camellias, Quince and Forsythia. If they have already set buds for next year's bloom, bear in mind that any pruning you do will reduce next spring's show. And it's too early yet for the best-time summer pruning for other trees and ornamentals. If in doubt about pruning time for any particular plant, please give us a call at the nursery. Better to be safe than sorry!

Blueberries especially, seem to produce their sweetest berries when watering is kept even and not fluctuating from too wet to too dry. Deep watering over longer periods will insure more consistent coverage.
General Tips:

    Projects for the month include

  • Start or refresh a compost pile.

  • Set up a rain barrel. Build a Rain Garden or ask Classic Nursery for help to build one for you! .

  • Build a trellis or arbor. .

  • Clean/paint garden furniture. .

  • Fix leaky hoses, change washers. .

  • Set up the hammock, make some lemonade & chili and enjoy! .

Butterflies: Nothing adds more whimsy to a cottage style garden then the addition of butterflies. Plant Achillea, Asters, Columbines, Monarda, lupines, and Abelia to bring home the butterflies. For a more complete list of butterfly attracting plants see our nursery staff.

Hummingbirds: Attracting Hummingbirds to the garden can be one of the highlights of the summer season! We have lots of plants that you can add to your garden that these birds find especially appealing: Penstemons, Crocosmia, Heucheras, Salvias, Honeysuckles and Arbutus  are just a few of the possibilities. Come see us for more ideas!