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Monthly Tips

"We still love our yard, and now have grandkids who love to ride bikes on the deck and patio, have pretend picnics under the big fir tree and roam the wild paths on imaginary bear hunts. Now no matter whether you're outside looking in, or inside looking out, the views are great and the living is easy."

- Susan and Alan S.
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Tips for February

Perennials, Annuals and Vegetables We now carry Irish Eyes organic vegetable seeds so it's time to plant peas, both ornamental and edible varieties. "Peas by Presidents' Day," goes the old saying. Remove any last winter carrots and other root vegetables from vegetable beds. Clean up all weeds and leaf debris. To improve drainage and fertility, dig in compost and organic fertilizers before the heavy rains of spring. You can also start spinach and other greens later this month, though wait on lettuce unless you have a cold frame or other means of protection. Plan for starting seeds indoors soon; many seed packets tell you to start them indoors 6-8 weeks before last frost...right about now.

The hardy early herbs arrive mid-month. Choose from 11 different varieties.
Just before plants start leafing and filling out into their spring wardrobe is the best time to put a layer of mulch around your plants. This is one of the most important tasks in a low maintenance garden. Feed the soil and suppress weed seeds all at once.

The hellebores are really starting to show off their colors. To highlight these early flowers, cut most or all the leaves back to the ground. After blooming, a new flush of shiny healthy foliage will appear. If you don't yet have enough of these most elegant plants (is that possible?) stop by the nursery and check our selection. But be quick, these go fast once they start to bloom, they're irresistible!

Trees, Shrubs and Fruit

Witch Hazels are starting to bloom and deliver their astringent fragrance to the world. We have 3 varieties to choose from each with its own potency of fragrance and color to match your garden theme. Arnolds Promise is the staple of Witch Hazels with its warm yellow flowers and strong scent that is sure to captivate passers by. Jelena delivers rich orange blossoms with a more subdued scent but is still quite fragrant but not as strong as Arnolds Promise. And last but not least, Diane, this variety sports the deep red blooms that is sure to add interest to an otherwise bleak winter garden. Fragrance is subtle but still there to chase the winter blues away breath by breath.

This is the month to give your shrub roses their major pruning. Typically, you will cut the rose canes back around President’s Day to about knee length as a good rule of thumb. You always want to cut roses with clean, sharp pruners and make clean cuts at a 45-degree angle. Cutting at this angle will help keep moisture and disease from penetrating into the fresh cut and infecting your plant. TIP: dab a little Elmers® glue on the fresh cuts to keep rose cane borer from damaging the cane. Also remove any dead wood from the bushes and if it looks brittle or black, take it out. For all roses, make sure any leaves that didn't fall on their own are removed and discarded in the trash bin. Putting rose debris in the compost pile can spread disease like powdery mildew and black spot. Follow up the pruning with a good feeding of fertilizer; Dr. Earth Rose and Flower is a good choice to get them started. Still have questions? Call our knowledgeable nursery staff to get great advice on all your gardening needs!

Speaking of Roses our new stock of 2017 roses have arrived. We have 10 varieties to choose from along with a few from the Downton Abbey series. Keep an eye out on our website for the updated rose list, or give us a call to find out if we have your favorite in stock.

Daphne odora is a beautifully-scented tidy rounded shrub with dark glossy leaves that flowers in late winter and early spring. The popular cultivar 'Aureomarginata' has narrow wavering yellow margins. Many newer cultivars have lost the lovely scent, but ‘Mae-Jima’ and ’Marianni’ have it all: broader yellow leaf margins and a powerful sweet scent too. Lets not forget about Sarcococca to add that Winter fragrance to your landscape, or adorn containers in your entry way. Don’t let the small blooms fool you, this little shrub packs a very aromatic punch. Its glossy evergreen leaves will keep it from looking drab all year long.

Been thinking about berry pies, making your own jam? Our selection of berries is at its peak this month. Now is a great time to get these edibles and put them in the ground! Tempting cane berries and strawberries are available now, too.

General Tips February is a real “Get Ready” month: Clean, plan, prepare. Spring is not too far away, and there is plenty that can be done to get ready. The Northwest Flower and Garden show runs from February 22nd-26th. Great place to go for inspiration for both new and veteran gardeners alike.

Be sure to not do any major turning of the soil if the ground is still too wet or saturated. While it’s the best season to transplant dormant trees and shrubs, it is important not to compact the soil. Try covering a planting area with plastic to give it a chance to dry out a bit before digging or planting. This is especially easy with raised beds.
Shot weed regularly takes advantage of early warmer temperatures to take over any bare soil. Creeping buttercup and grasses that established over winter are easy to rip out now. The more you pull now, the less you’ll have to deal with later!

Continue to keep your bird feeders and birdbaths clean and filled. If you like to feed woodpeckers & larger birds with suet and have squirrel problems, try a squirrel baffle & keep feeders 10’ off the ground.
Children can get cabin fever this time of year too. An easy to grow flower such as Love-in-a-Mist can be started inside now, then planted in any sunny hole in the garden mid-spring. The airy foliage, fabulous flowers and intriguing seedheads hold youthful interest all season long.

Replant window boxes and seasonal containers with small conifers, heather, pansies, primroses and other hardy treasures for early spring enjoyment. Here’s a starter recipe that will last all year with seasonal touch ups:
Camellia ‘Yuletide’, Sarcococca humilis, Pieris ‘Little Heath’, Heuchera ‘Obsidian’ and Helleborus niger ‘Jacob.’

Mild Winters lead to early slug arrivals. Keep an eye out for the little slimmers, they can lay up to 500 eggs a season.