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Archives for February 20, 2017

Vines enhance garden designs

Ask any honest gardener what your garden is lacking, and you’ll get plenty of suggestions. We gardeners love to offer advice. Most gardeners may not be as honest when you have too much of something — be it petunias, bottle trees or gnomes. But ask away: “What do I need to add to my garden?”

I posed this question to a friend and garden adviser who cares for a fabulous 6-acre estate garden near Atlanta several years ago. Nicknamed the “Priestess of Plant Propagation,” this knowledgeable and dedicated garden expert simply said with surprise, “You have no vines!”

She proceeded to explain how they are an important part of the complete picture. She was quick to list various selections of vines to complete different areas of our garden.

Comparing a garden to a room with carpeting ground cover, fillers of small and tall herbaceous plants, walls of shrubs, and a canopy of trees, vines are the threads that weave it together. They can be graceful loops of color and texture, leading the eye from place to place. They can dress up arbors, fences, pergolas, columns, trellises and even other plants. Vines can enhance almost every garden design.

Years ago on a garden tour, I can’t forget the most amazing climbing hydrangea I saw gracing a huge, old oak. Its glossy, dark leaves and snowy white flowers were stunning in this shady spot. I’ve also admired the amazing blooms and seedpods of clematis and even the quirky cones of hops. Yes, my gardens were lacking a fundamental element.

One of my favorite vines, Silver Lace Vine (Polygonum aubertii also called Fallopia baldschuanica) is native to Asia. I had it in a previous garden and it is really a workhorse of a plant. It grows quickly; it covered my 8×15-foot lattice in a season.

It is perennial and the small, heart-shaped leaves are described as deciduous, semi-evergreen. The plant has fragrant, white flowers in late spring. The lilac-shaped clusters may surprise you with a repeat bloom in fall. They are attractive to birds and pollinating insects. Some gardeners call it fleece vine, as the flowers look soft and fluffy. You can even use them as cut flowers.

Silver Lace Vine likes full sun to part shade. Mine tolerated plenty of shade and performed very well. The vine is drought tolerant. Mine competed with a huge silver maple’s roots with success. Not as heavy as wisteria, it doesn’t need a super strong support and it even flowers in its first year. Unlike some ivy, it does not have suckers that damage walls, but you do need to help it a bit with twining or a few ties here and there.

Silver Lace Vine is said to grow up to 12 feet in a year. You can prune it in early spring, to keep it in bounds. Some gardeners fear it is invasive, so I recommend keeping an eye on its spread.

Good in zones 4-8, Silver Lace Vine is deer resistant, too. It has few insect or disease problems, though Japanese beetles might discover your vine.

Propagation: You can use stem cuttings from a healthy plant. Cut 6- to 8-inch pieces and strip off lower leaves. Dip into a rooting hormone and insert into damp, sandy soil. Cover with clear plastic and place out of direct sun.

Keep it moist and you’ll soon have new plants to add to your garden or share with friends. Even a small piece of vine dug with roots will quickly form a new plant. You can also grow new vines from seed, but this takes more time and patience.

So listen to the garden experts (thanks, Patti) and don’t forget to add those vines.

Martha Murdock is a Master Gardener with Penn State Extension – Beaver County.

Article source: http://www.timesonline.com/lifestyles/homeandgarden/master_gardeners/vines-enhance-garden-designs/article_f2180c88-f51e-11e6-9ef8-877e011341cc.html

How to grow a garden in a small space

Gardeners are often faced with small spaces when landscaping. In urban areas, lots are typically fairly small. Even in situations where lots are larger, restricted-space areas often need to be addressed on the small scale.

Though creating small-scale gardens may seem easier to deal with than larger ones, careful planning is just as, or even more, critical. The choice and use of building materials; the choice and placement of plants, textures, shapes and colors; the activities that will take place in the landscape; and the positioning and flow of traffic are all matters of concern. When every square inch counts, a well thought out plan is essential because the prospective viewer is going to be closer to the landscape and thus more aware of every detail.

The concept of good design can mean different things to different people, and no one design is absolutely right for a given situation. To get you started in the right direction, however, certain design considerations are worth bearing in mind when you are pondering how to go about laying out a small-scale landscape.

Often, small gardens are located adjacent to or in close proximity to the home. This is important when considering the style of your garden. The style of the garden should reflect the location and style of surrounding buildings. Look for established neighborhood features, such as neighborhood buildings, parks or old gardens, and take inspiration from them. The building materials used in the garden should also relate to and harmonize with the building materials used in the house.

For instance, stucco Spanish revival homes might incorporate Spanish landscape elements into their landscape style, while homes with a relaxed Acadian-style architecture are complemented by informal, natural elements in the landscape. You can learn more about styles of landscapes and their characteristics from any good landscaping book.

When I lived in New Orleans, my home was a late 1800s Victorian Eastlake-style house. The Victorian period generally favored formal elements in the landscape – symmetry, geometric layouts of beds, straight lines – and the exuberant use of color. This was the style I adopted for my very small backyard garden. The style selected has a great influence on the way the garden is laid out and the plants and the building materials used.

My selection of building materials was also influenced by my home and neighborhood. After looking around, I chose such building materials such as laid brick, lattice, wrought iron, clapboard, French doors and stained glass for structures and surfaces and terra-cotta pots to embellish the patio. Remember, your landscape will not exist in a vacuum, and you should feel free to draw on existing surroundings for inspiration.

One last comment on style and materials: Remember that the style and décor of rooms that have a view of the garden should also be considered because the garden will visually become a part of those rooms and should harmonize with them.

Everyone’s garden is unique based on their tastes and needs. Once the fundamental style of a garden has emerged, the actual form and layout are largely dictated by how it will be used.

The first step in drawing a landscape plan is to list your family’s needs that can be fulfilled by the garden. Do you need privacy, a patio for outdoor entertainment or shade? Are you an avid gardener, or do you need to minimize maintenance? How about vegetables, flowers, pets, children’s play areas and work areas? Taking inspiration from John F. Kennedy, I sometimes say, “Ask not what you can do for your landscape; ask what your landscape can do for you.”

After you have determined the general style, how the landscape will be used and what it needs to provide, it’s time to begin drawing a plan. The area can be carefully measured and a scale drawing produced to work with, or simple sketches can suffice.

The desired features of the garden, based on the chosen style and needs, are arranged and re-arranged on paper until you are satisfied with the results. If existing features will be retained, make sure you include them in the plan.

At this stage in developing your plan, you need to determine the size and shapes of beds, outdoor living areas and other features. This is an artistic phase and will be substantially guided by the style you have chosen. Take your time. Feel free to look through landscaping books for inspiration and ideas.

When choosing plant materials, keep in mind the smaller scale of the situation, and select plants that are compact, dwarf or slow-growing. It is very easy to over-plant or select plants that grow too large for their location. This creates additional maintenance as frequent pruning will be needed to keep plants in control. Always find out the mature size of the trees and shrubs you are considering to make sure their size is appropriate.

Help, if you need it, is available. If you are unsure of your final plan, consult with a licensed landscape architect to iron out the rough spots.

— Dan Gill is an LSU AgCenter horticulturist. You can hear his call-in radio show Saturday mornings on WWL-AM in New Orleans.

Article source: http://www.houmatoday.com/news/20170219/how-to-grow-garden-in-small-space

Tree-Felling and Gardening Services in South Africa 2016

LONDON, Jan. 30, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — The South African Tree Felling and Gardening Services Sector: The South African tree felling and gardening services sector is a fragmented sector that comprises hundreds of companies ranging from SMMEs employing no more than five people to large companies that provide services to large corporate and government entities. With no formal research conducted by the sector, there is no reliable estimate for the value or size of the industry.

A sector Under Pressure : The country’s weak economic climate and the increasing financial strain on households has led to a shift away from non-essential costs such as gardening services and this, together with the decreasing size of urban dwellings, has resulted in a decline in the demand for residential gardening and landscaping services. In the commercial sector, landscape architects who generally work closely with developers, architects, civil engineers and municipal authorities have also experienced slower growth, due to weak activity in South Africa’s construction industry and the reduction in government’s spending on infrastructure.

Environmentally Friendly Trends:
Companies in the sector have seen increasing demand for ‘indigenous’ and ‘organic’ gardens, as customers have realised the urgency of protecting and preserving the country’s natural resources. The trend towards water-wise planting and the use of sustainable organic methods has increased and garden landscapers continue to promote environmental responsibility by using exclusively organic compost and fertilisers, recycling compost, and sourcing natural stone from local quarries in an effort to minimise carbon footprint.

Report Coverage:

The South African Tree Felling and Gardening Services Sector report describes current conditions, training initiatives and other factors influencing the success of the sector. The report profiles 18 companies including leaders in the landscaping sector, Servest Landscaping, Abacus Garden Enterprises and Bidvest Landscaping, previously known as Topturf. Also profiled are tree felling companies, Tree Fellas Inc, Fastfell CC, Leon du Plessis Arborcare CC t/a Arborcare, Singenza Tree Felling CC and Topfell CC, all SMMEs based in the Western Cape.
Download the full report: https://www.reportbuyer.com/product/4286540/

About Reportbuyer
Reportbuyer is a leading industry intelligence solution that provides all market research reports from top publishers
http://www.reportbuyer.com

For more information:
Sarah Smith
Research Advisor at Reportbuyer.com
Email: query@reportbuyer.com
Tel: +44 208 816 85 48
Website: www.reportbuyer.com

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/tree-felling-and-gardening-services-in-south-africa-2016-300399173.html

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Article source: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/tree-felling-and-gardening-services-in-south-africa-2016-300399173.html

How to grow a garden in a small space – Daily Comet

Gardeners are often faced with small spaces when landscaping. In urban areas, lots are typically fairly small. Even in situations where lots are larger, restricted-space areas often need to be addressed on the small scale.

Though creating small-scale gardens may seem easier to deal with than larger ones, careful planning is just as, or even more, critical. The choice and use of building materials; the choice and placement of plants, textures, shapes and colors; the activities that will take place in the landscape; and the positioning and flow of traffic are all matters of concern. When every square inch counts, a well thought out plan is essential because the prospective viewer is going to be closer to the landscape and thus more aware of every detail.

The concept of good design can mean different things to different people, and no one design is absolutely right for a given situation. To get you started in the right direction, however, certain design considerations are worth bearing in mind when you are pondering how to go about laying out a small-scale landscape.

Often, small gardens are located adjacent to or in close proximity to the home. This is important when considering the style of your garden. The style of the garden should reflect the location and style of surrounding buildings. Look for established neighborhood features, such as neighborhood buildings, parks or old gardens, and take inspiration from them. The building materials used in the garden should also relate to and harmonize with the building materials used in the house.

For instance, stucco Spanish revival homes might incorporate Spanish landscape elements into their landscape style, while homes with a relaxed Acadian-style architecture are complemented by informal, natural elements in the landscape. You can learn more about styles of landscapes and their characteristics from any good landscaping book.

When I lived in New Orleans, my home was a late 1800s Victorian Eastlake-style house. The Victorian period generally favored formal elements in the landscape – symmetry, geometric layouts of beds, straight lines – and the exuberant use of color. This was the style I adopted for my very small backyard garden. The style selected has a great influence on the way the garden is laid out and the plants and the building materials used.

My selection of building materials was also influenced by my home and neighborhood. After looking around, I chose such building materials such as laid brick, lattice, wrought iron, clapboard, French doors and stained glass for structures and surfaces and terra-cotta pots to embellish the patio. Remember, your landscape will not exist in a vacuum, and you should feel free to draw on existing surroundings for inspiration.

One last comment on style and materials: Remember that the style and décor of rooms that have a view of the garden should also be considered because the garden will visually become a part of those rooms and should harmonize with them.

Everyone’s garden is unique based on their tastes and needs. Once the fundamental style of a garden has emerged, the actual form and layout are largely dictated by how it will be used.

The first step in drawing a landscape plan is to list your family’s needs that can be fulfilled by the garden. Do you need privacy, a patio for outdoor entertainment or shade? Are you an avid gardener, or do you need to minimize maintenance? How about vegetables, flowers, pets, children’s play areas and work areas? Taking inspiration from John F. Kennedy, I sometimes say, “Ask not what you can do for your landscape; ask what your landscape can do for you.”

After you have determined the general style, how the landscape will be used and what it needs to provide, it’s time to begin drawing a plan. The area can be carefully measured and a scale drawing produced to work with, or simple sketches can suffice.

The desired features of the garden, based on the chosen style and needs, are arranged and re-arranged on paper until you are satisfied with the results. If existing features will be retained, make sure you include them in the plan.

At this stage in developing your plan, you need to determine the size and shapes of beds, outdoor living areas and other features. This is an artistic phase and will be substantially guided by the style you have chosen. Take your time. Feel free to look through landscaping books for inspiration and ideas.

When choosing plant materials, keep in mind the smaller scale of the situation, and select plants that are compact, dwarf or slow-growing. It is very easy to over-plant or select plants that grow too large for their location. This creates additional maintenance as frequent pruning will be needed to keep plants in control. Always find out the mature size of the trees and shrubs you are considering to make sure their size is appropriate.

Help, if you need it, is available. If you are unsure of your final plan, consult with a licensed landscape architect to iron out the rough spots.

— Dan Gill is an LSU AgCenter horticulturist. You can hear his call-in radio show Saturday mornings on WWL-AM in New Orleans.

Article source: http://www.dailycomet.com/news/20170219/how-to-grow-garden-in-small-space

Garden of the week: Queenstown garden’s award-winning landscape

Garden of the week: Award-winning landscape in Queenstown

Along the contours, Japanese cherry trees and silver birch soften the landscape to the west; extensive irrigation ...

Well-established Himalayan birch with flax, mountain flax and thriving Hebe odora.

Several tonnes of local river stone were brought in to create the water feature at Robyn and Peter Ireland’s property ...

With panoramic views out over the Shotover River and up towards Coronet Peak, the property receives all-year sun.

An infinity pool on the deck provides a gentle water feature cascading down the concrete walls.

Robyn and Peter Ireland enjoy the sun and views from every corner of their home.

Peter prides himself on mowing all the lawns and extensive grass terraces; the occasional silver birch provides softer ...

A favourite spot under the cherry tree facing east to the Crown Range.

The steep bank at the rear of the house was a challenge to landscape architect Joe Nutting.

The water feature ends in a natural-looking pool to the south of the house alongside a barbecue and outdoor dining area.

The gabion baskets contrast with upright slabs of macrocarpa; Hebe odora is planted above with Libertia peregrinans and ...

Another award-winning feature of the property, the dry creek bed was created to channel stormwater off the hill and down ...

The view out to the garden is uninterrupted and takes in the stream and now semi-forested hillside.

A Corten steel sculpture by Olaf Mengeringhausen in the sheltered stone courtyard.

From the master en suite bathroom the view takes in the rich mix of red and silver tussocks alongside a dry creek bed; ...

Along the contours, Japanese cherry trees and silver birch soften the landscape to the west; extensive irrigation enables drought-prone kowhai and red tussock to flourish.

Well-established Himalayan birch with flax, mountain flax and thriving Hebe odora.

Several tonnes of local river stone were brought in to create the water feature at Robyn and Peter Ireland’s property near Queenstown.

With panoramic views out over the Shotover River and up towards Coronet Peak, the property receives all-year sun.

An infinity pool on the deck provides a gentle water feature cascading down the concrete walls.

Robyn and Peter Ireland enjoy the sun and views from every corner of their home.

Peter prides himself on mowing all the lawns and extensive grass terraces; the occasional silver birch provides softer foliage and shade.

A favourite spot under the cherry tree facing east to the Crown Range.

The steep bank at the rear of the house was a challenge to landscape architect Joe Nutting.

The water feature ends in a natural-looking pool to the south of the house alongside a barbecue and outdoor dining area.

The gabion baskets contrast with upright slabs of macrocarpa; Hebe odora is planted above with Libertia peregrinans and Hebe pauciramosa below.

Another award-winning feature of the property, the dry creek bed was created to channel stormwater off the hill and down the side of the house under the paths in the event of a one-in-a-hundred year flood.

The view out to the garden is uninterrupted and takes in the stream and now semi-forested hillside.

A Corten steel sculpture by Olaf Mengeringhausen in the sheltered stone courtyard.

From the master en suite bathroom the view takes in the rich mix of red and silver tussocks alongside a dry creek bed; ‘James Stirling’ hebes nestle alongside.

The story of Robyn and Peter Ireland’s property near Queenstown is one of transformation of land and lives. Just as this couple ended nearly 40 years of corporate life in Australia with an abrupt change of lifestyle, the 3.5ha of scrubland overlooking the Shotover River would be crafted into an award-winning landscape.

The Irelands stumbled on the site while on holiday in 2010. Some of the landscaping had been done – a rough driveway cutting neatly down through the hills, a few fruit trees planted on the lower slopes. The fruit trees were dying, however, as rabbits had ring-barked their trunks, and the view was barely visible through the metre-high grasses. Surrounding the steep site was prickly rosehip, masses of broom, old man’s beard and willow trees near the end of their lives. 

But Robyn and Peter soaked up the sun and admired the view – a stunning panorama looking out over the Shotover and up to Coronet Peak. “It was an easy decision,” says Peter. 

The steep bank at the rear of the house was a challenge to landscape architect Joe Nutting.

The steep bank at the rear of the house was a challenge to landscape architect Joe Nutting.

Dunedin-born and bred, Peter Ireland trained as an accountant and for the past 25 years worked as finance director and chief operating officer at two of the largest corporate law firms in Sydney. “I’d seen so many colleagues burn out,” he says. “It was a hell of a lifestyle – long work hours, many nights away around the world. I wanted to get out early, before it affected my health.”

READ MORE:
*Garden of the week: Layered loveliness in Wellington
*Garden of the week: Roses in Timaru
*Garden of the week: Waiheke garden’s challenge to its owner

Robyn, originally from Greymouth, had spent the last 20 years working at an investment bank in Sydney. She and Peter met while studying in Dunedin, married young and worked hard all their lives. This next chapter would bring the couple even closer, but both laugh at the idea of retirement being easier. “A lifestyle block means no lifestyle,” says Peter.

Although they enlisted landscape architect Joe Nutting of Southern Landmarx to do the bulk of the work, Peter and Robyn have taken on the ongoing maintenance and planting themselves. “We joke that this is boot camp,” says Peter. “Since arriving here I’ve lost 12kg – back to my pre-corporate weight.” 

The irony is that, having lived in town houses for the bulk of their married life, Peter and Robyn had only had very small gardens. They learned fast. 

An infinity pool on the deck provides a gentle water feature cascading down the concrete walls.

An infinity pool on the deck provides a gentle water feature cascading down the concrete walls.

Southern Landmarx won three gold awards for the garden in 2016, but the company’s co-owner Joe takes his hat off to Robyn and Peter. “You couldn’t create a garden like this without owners who love it and who are willing to work in it,” says Joe. “It’s unbelievable what they’ve taken on, and what they’ve learned.”

The scientific names of the many New Zealand natives spill off their tongues. In the oasis of the rabbit-proof-fenced vegetable plot is an entire raised bed where the couple nurture native seedlings, all propagated by hand. As you walk the property’s many paths, they point out the hybrids of coprosma or hebe, explaining which is more frost-tolerant or hardy in the intense Wakatipu summers. 

“I never knew anything could absorb you to such an extent,” says Peter. “Our problem is that the garden has almost become too personal.” He admits their career backgrounds have carried over into an almost obsessive attention to detail around the garden. 

Well-established Himalayan birch with flax, mountain flax and thriving Hebe odora.

Well-established Himalayan birch with flax, mountain flax and thriving Hebe odora.

Robyn chuckles as she opens the door to the garden shed. Inside, a whiteboard has each item in the vegetable garden listed, with the date of planting and harvesting alongside. “Wait until you see the computer spreadsheet of the garden maintenance regime!” 

Natives abound. Five years since landscaping and planting began, the native shrubland has taken hold and the beautifully crafted water feature now looks more akin to a natural stream. With extensive irrigation, the toetoe, flax, beech, hebe and big red tussocks are now firmly established, some corners soon to be forest. 

“They say natives are low-maintenance,” says Peter. “But that’s rubbish.” They never stop working, he says, pruning toetoe flowers, flax heads and cabbage trees or simply pulling out weeds from between the tussocks. 

Robyn and Peter Ireland enjoy the sun and views from every corner of their home.

Robyn and Peter Ireland enjoy the sun and views from every corner of their home.

And they don’t stop even at the boundaries of the property. As if the mass of lawn mowing, weed-eating, weeding and planting across the massive area of this steep section were not enough, Robyn and Peter took on even more. Below them the Department of Conservation river flats are covered in a morass of introduced weeds. With DOC permission they started work – first spraying, then chainsawing, sometimes bringing in the digger and finally composting and planting their many newly propagated natives. 

The outlook from the house is stunning. But Peter and Robyn are equally enthusiastic about the views from the corners of their magnificent garden. As we wander the contours Robyn points out this seat or that, each offering a different aspect at various times of the day. “This is our morning spot, under the cherry tree,” she says. “Here’s where we bring a bottle of wine in the evening.” 

Not only have the Irelands completely transformed the land, it’s clear that the land has also transformed them. 

The water feature ends in a natural-looking pool to the south of the house alongside a barbecue and outdoor dining area.

The water feature ends in a natural-looking pool to the south of the house alongside a barbecue and outdoor dining area.

QA:

Climate: The block is sheltered and north facing, but has quite an extreme microclimate with snow and frosts down to -9°C, followed by usually very dry and hot summers with temperatures over 30°C.

Soil type: Principally sand, stone and rocks – we often would remove a bucket of stones per hole when planting to be replaced by soil we brought in. Higher up, the land is a little better, having been 

A deer farm in a prior life: Otherwise it is basically a former riverbed.

Watering the garden: The landscapers installed a 12-station automated irrigation system at the start of the build: micro-sprays for the glasshouse and garden beds, drip-line for the broader garden, and lawn sprays for two areas close to the house. We have extended that system as the plantings have increased. 

Best tip for other gardeners: Albeit we are new to this scale of gardening, accept that you will have plant losses and general failures of planting from year to year. Do not take the failures personally as we did – and still do, depending on the plant. 

Robyn and Peter Ireland


 – NZ House Garden

Next nz-house-garden story:

My favourite space: Small Auckland living room just the right size

life style Homepage

Article source: http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/home-property/nz-house-garden/89085537/garden-of-the-week-queenstown-gardens-awardwinning-landscape

Garden Tips: Advice for growing green peas – Tri

Like so many other gardeners, I am itching to do something, anything.

Spring is fewer than 30 days away, but with snow still on the ground and a sad-looking lawn and landscape, it is hard to believe. However, I do see signs of spring. Willow tree twigs are turning yellow, and gardeners are thinking about planting peas.

I think of peas as an English vegetable crop, but they actually date back to around 400 or 500 BC, when the Greeks and Romans were growing dried peas and eating dishes like pea soup. Peas made their way to China and were being cultivated there by the 7th century. Instead of drying peas, the Chinese ate the green pea pods as a fresh vegetable. By the 1500s, dried peas became a popular food staple in France and England, but it was not until the 1700s that fresh green garden peas became popular.

Dried peas made their way to North America with some of the first colonists, and by the late 17th century, American gardeners were growing green, or English, peas. In their 1888 catalog, Burpee Seeds offered the green pea variety called Little Gem.

Green peas are still a popular garden crop and have pods that are harvested when the seeds are fully mature. However, the harvested pods must be opened and shelled to remove the peas for cooking or drying. A tedious process.

In 1970, a green pea revolution occurred when plant breeder Dr. Calvin Lamborn discovered a different type of pea, the snap pea. Snap peas, also known as sugar snap peas, did not have to be split and shelled. The crunchy pods and the tiny immature peas inside could be eaten together. Since then, snow peas, or Chinese pea pods, have also become popular with gardeners. They have sweet flat edible pods that are also harvested while the peas are tiny and immature. Snap peas and snow peas can be eaten raw or lightly cooked.

Peas are one of the first crops that gardeners plant in early spring. They are a cool season crop and grow best during the cool temperatures of early spring. However, do not get too anxious to tuck their seed into the soil. Take a little time to get the garden ready for spring and let the soil warm up a bit.

Washington State University recommends planting peas four to six weeks before the last spring frost (May 1 in this area) and when the soil temperature reaches 50 degrees. The traditional date of St. Patrick’s Day should work well for local gardeners if the soil is warm enough. If planting too early, the seed may rot or get eaten by seedcorn maggots before sprouting.

If you are new to growing peas, here are two hints from local gardening experts:

▪ Use an inoculant with your seed: If you have never grown peas in your garden, you should consider mixing the seed with a pea inoculant. This inoculant is a bacteria that works with the pea roots to help them take nitrogen from the air and change it into a form the plant can use for better growth.

▪ Soak your seed: Pea seeds are large and starchy. Many gardeners soak their pea seed overnight (no more than 12 hours) to aid germination. The seeds should be drained, treated with inoculant and planted immediately. Have your garden ready for planting before you soak the seed.

Want to know more about growing peas? Check out bit.ly/grow_greenpeas.

Marianne C. Ophardt is a retired horticulturist for Washington State University Benton County Extension.

Article source: http://www.tri-cityherald.com/living/home-garden/marianne-ophardt/article133776774.html

5 garden tips for the week starting Feb. 18 – Pasadena Star-News – The Pasadena Star



Act fast to fight snails

Soon, snails will be awakening with hearty appetites. They love to chomp away on tender spring growth and can seriously shred foliage and damage developing flowers and fruits over night. Apply snail bait regularly, either the meal or granule form. And replenish it every 10 days or so to stop newly emerging hatchlings, as well as travelers that slither in from elsewhere in the neighborhood. Or, look up recipes for escargot on the internet and get back at them that way.

Ready for some veggies

Prepare the garden area for summer vegetables. Remove weeds and debris. Loosen soil and add organic matter, tilling it in as deeply as possible. Aged, composted steer manure works great in the garden.

Game plan for gophers

Watch for gophers and set needed traps by digging down to a horizontal runway, placing a triggered trap into each tunnel. Secure the trap to a stake with a foot or two of wire so you can retrieve it later then cover each tunnel opening with carrot tops or grass clippings to act as bait. Cover with burlap or cardboard then soil. Check the next morning and reset, if necessary, checking daily, or reset in a new opening until the problem is solved. Or, put a twisted stick of Juicy Fruit gum, with the foil wrapper still on, into the gopher hole. They eat it and … leave. The only problem with this is that it has become difficult to find foil-wrapped Juicy Fruit gum now; maybe the gophers threatened the gum company.

Fuchsias need a trim

Cut back leggy fuchsias the latter part of February. Leave at least two or three healthy leaf buds on each branch. Frequently, pinch the tips of the branches during the spring and summer to force side growth, making the fuchsia bushier, and pick off flowers as they fade to promote more blooming. While you are in the garden with your clippers, be sure to prune your ginger, cannas, asparagus ferns, ivy and pyracantha, too.

Harvest time

Fall-planted carrots ought to be at their peak for harvesting now. Warm weather makes leafy vegetables bolt (go to seed), so pick lettuces, cabbages and spinach as soon as they are ready unless we get a significant dip in temperatures for several weeks. If you planted onion sets an inch apart, harvest green onions as needed, leaving one every 4 inches to develop into globes. Continue picking peas, because the more you pick, the longer they will keep producing.

Article source: http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/lifestyle/20170217/5-garden-tips-for-the-week-starting-feb-18

RIDLEN: Garden Tips for February

Perhaps the majority of your perennials and trees are still dormant during this month.  This doesn’t mean you need to ignore your garden.  Dormancy actually helps with some of the opportunities for projects during February.  Now is a good time to evaluate the architectural elements of your garden.  Inspect your deciduous shrubs and trees.  What needs to be pruned?  What kind of winter interest do they bring to your garden?  Perhaps some need to be removed or transplanted.  If the ground is not frozen, winter is a good time to do this.

Even though there will be days of cold damp weather, perhaps there will be an occasional sunny day. This gives opportunity to cut down ornamental grasses or work on the compost pile.  Cold hardy vegetables can be planted now if covered with a plastic translucent row cover.  If planting summer crops early, keep an eye on the weather forecast and be ready to cover tender crops.  Mid to late February is the time to fertilize shrubs and evergreens.  If you have rhododendrons, azaleas or camellias use an acid type fertilizer.  Use an all-purpose fertilizer to feed roses and other deciduous trees and shrubs.  If you use granular type fertilizers, be sure to water it in thoroughly.

Prune your summer flowering shrubs now but be aware that spring bloomers have already produced their buds last fall, and pruning them now will result in the loss of flowers.  Forsythia, quince, spirea and other early spring flowering shrubs should be pruned a little later, after they have finished flowering.  It is a good time to stroll around your landscape and trim back any branches that were damaged by the ice of winter.  Plants that may have been pushed out of the ground by frost heave should be pressed firmly back into the ground.  Toward the end of February is a good time to plant daylilies, bleeding hearts, and hostas.  Most perennials can be divided and moved in February.  The vegetable garden can get its first good tilling of the year if weather and wetness permits.  

    •    Base any fertilizer application on a soil test.

    •    Fertilize ornamental, fruit, and nut trees and shrubs, annually.

    •    Finish pruning shade trees, summer flowering shrubs, and hedges.  Spring blooming shrubs such as forsythia may be pruned immediately after flowering.

    •    Most bare-rooted trees and shrubs should be planted in February or early March.

    •    Apply first pre-emergent summer annual herbicide to turf areas from February to mid-March.

    •    Begin the vegetable garden with cool-season crops such as potatoes, onion, and radishes.

    •    Dormant oil can still be applied to control mites, galls, overwintering aphids, etc.

    •    Spray peaches and nectarines with a fungicide for prevention of peach leaf curl before bud swell.

    •    A product containing glyphosate plus a broadleaf herbicide can be used on dormant Bermuda in January of February when temperatures are above 50 degrees F for winter weed control.

    •    Place Nantucket pine tip moth pheromone traps by March 1st.

    •    Pre-emergent crabgrass control chemicals can still be applied to cool and warm season turfgrasses.  Heed label cautions when using any week killers near or in the root zone of desirable plantings.

Article source: http://www.edmondsun.com/news/ridlen-garden-tips-for-february/article_0cfae702-f6e4-11e6-9ffd-a7fdc326b9e2.html