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Spring Fever Alert March- 7 Things to do in the Garden Now.
1. Planting. In the beginning of the month March 5th is the new moon- which is a great time to plant by seed – cool season veggies (Broccoli, Lettuces, Kale, Greens), summer edibles (Tomatoes, Peppers, etc) & annuals (Pansies, Calendula, Snapdragons) indoors to be put outside mid-April to late-May. Add color to pots and containers- Heather, Primroses, Hellebores.
After the full moon on the 20th is best time to prune- mid to late part of the month. Also, Plant root veggies- direct sow- onions, potatoes, carrots, beets, garlic, etc. and Summer Blooming Bulbs- Lilies, Daylilies, Peony, Crocosmia.
2. Apply Organic Fertilizers- granular dig a trench, scratch into soil or apply to soil surface and cover with mulch like – planting compost, soil building conditioner or acid lovers mix- depending upon your plant’s needs. Landscape and container plants that are winter and spring bloomers.
3. Weed/ Blackberry control- Cut back weeds and other unwanted plants to remove &/or weaken them- especially blackberries. Use a combination of white vinegar, salt and soap dissolved in water inside a spray battle. Apply directly to unwanted leafy weeds. Cover larger areas with a tarp or black plastic for several weeks to kill weeds using the sun solarization method.
4. Winter Storm Cleanup- if you haven’t already….pick up branches, trim broken branches, rock removal in the lawn
5. Lawn- over-seed or apply sod to patches in your lawn or wait until early April. Apply moss control if needed- once moss is dead, remove and replace with seed/compost mix.
6. Plant Bare Root Fruit Trees, Berries and Asparagus. Apply organic starter fertilizer (read directions on the package) and planting compost combined with existing soil (1/2 and 1/2)
7. Attend a Class at Zenith Holland- we have 3- March 16th- Winter Blooming Plants. March 30th Ciscoe Morris and March 31st Create a Bonsai Tree Garden…for more details see our classes page.
After the weeks of snow, it is nice to get a break from the artic blast and get back to our normal milder winter! This is an excellent time to get a few things done before March. Here is a list of 7 top suggestions.
1. Go to the Flower & Garden Show (Feb. 20-24). The color and smell of the plants is beneficial to your health. Plants add oxygen to the air while their aromas can reduce stress and color is its own therapy. The landscape designs can inspire you for your plans for spring and summer projects.
2. Plant Cool season Veggies-Direct Sow. Root Veggies best done now after the full moon. Beets, Radish, Onions, Garlic, Potatoes, Parsnips and Cool Season- Spinach, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Swiss Chard and Kale.
3. Prune and Tidy Evergreen Perennials- Hellebores, Heuchera and Blooming Seasonal plants- Violas, Pansies, Primroses- that may need deadheading or damaged/old leaves removed.
4. Add a pair of Camellias or other evergreen shrub or Conifers for containers near entry way outside of your front door. Use cool season color- Violas, Pansies, Heather, Primroses and Ground Covers to trail- Vinca, Wire Vine, Lonicera or Heucherella.
5. Get Your Spring Seeds, Bare Root Fruits & Sets Now. Ed Hume Seeds are local to the PNW and are non-GMO, have a great price point and selection. Order seeds online or explore “seed libraries” or seed sharing programs for heirloom or hard to find plants. Bare Root Fruit Trees and Berry plants may be available this time of the year but must be planted right away (they have no soil). Garlic, Onions and Potatoes bulb sets can also be planted now.
6. Prune Fruit Trees. Selectively prune others. Wait until March to prune Roses and other summer bloomers.
7. Houseplant Care. Repot houseplants that are root bound. Check others for insects and disease. Water those that need it, add organic liquid fertilizer to soil or liquid with water.
If you need help understanding your landscape and garden, take one of our classes or stop in for help!
Valentine's Day is here time to get your sweetie something special from Zenith Holland Nursery.
We have potted blooming plants that last longer than cut flowers!
Blooming Beauties for Valentine's Day Gifts for Wife, Partner, Mom or Neighbor. We have a huge selection of houseplants, pottery and gift certificates.
Benefits of Beets- Old fashioned sweet treat is back in style for its many nutritional and health benefits. Beets are rich in fiber, Vitamin C, Folic Acid (helps memory), Calcium, Iron, Manganese, antioxidants and Nitric Oxide compounds (increases oxygen).
Current Health Claims of Beets:
-Boost Longevity, Weight Loss and Stamina (especially during workouts)
-Prevents Chronic Illness and Possibly Cancer
-Increases Oxygen to the Blood. Improves Blood Flow and Lowers Blood Pressure.
-Increases Blood Flow to the Brain. May Reduce Dementia.
-Useful for Detoxification, Improve Digestion & Sexual Health. Reduces Inflammation.
There are many ways to eat your beets. The young, fresh greens can be eaten in salads, smoothies or cooked. The root is often boiled used as a vegetable, pickled or made into a soup. If you don’t have time for that, ground beet root powder is available as a supplement added to smoothies alone or with other greens.
Growing your own Beets is another alternative and is a relatively easy garden root crop. Best planted direct sow (directly applied to the soil where it will grow outdoors) after the full moon before the new moon phase. Beets grow best in rich, fertile soil free of rocks or heavy clay. Beet seeds can germinate in soil as low as 45 deg. F (55-65 is best) and seedlings are frost hardy. Plant seeds- 1 per inch, ½ inch deep in rows 16” apart. Germination is between 5-14 days typically. Thin seedlings to 3-4” when they are 3-4” tall. Keep well- watered. Harvest is in 60+ days.
If you have questions about growing your own fruits and veggies stop by Zenith Holland. We can help you questions and supply you with starts, seeds, fertilizers and soils to get your garden started out right!
Indoor Gardening is the new rage, once again. Like the seventies, we are decorating our window sills, entry ways and bathrooms with Orchids, succulents and blooming foliage plants. The reasons may be a bit different now than in the past. Nasa has done studies proving the amazing air cleaning qualities houseplants have that improve our indoor atmosphere. But many of us turn to gardening inside our homes for many other reasons.
-Indoors can extend your growing space for certain crops. Yard sizes are shrinking, leaving home owners smaller spaces for growing veggies, fruits, herbs and other edibles that can help supplement our healthy diets. Growing food indoors can increase your nutritional intake by sprouting seeds or growing microgreens or herbs near a bright window or kitchen counter.
-Seed Starting. Don’t have a greenhouse? Start your seeds indoors 1-2 months before you plan to acclimate them outdoors. In winter- start cool season plants to go outdoors in March or April. In early spring, start warm season plants to go outdoors in May.
-Over Winter Tropical & Seasonal Plants. There may be many plants you want to try to grow indoors- exotic hard to find to seasonal holiday favorites. Citrus and other tropical fruits can also be grown indoors, with some being more challenging than others.
-Propagation. Take Cuttings or starts from houseplants or other plants. Make more for you or give as gifts. Indoor growing projects are great learning tools for kids.
Whatever your reasons, Indoor Gardening can be beneficial for everyone. To Learn more, stop by Zenith Holland or take one of our classes.
3 Houseplant Guidelines – 4 Steps to Choosing Plants
1. Right Plant = Right Spot
Exposure: Light- Low light, Medium or indirect light, Bright or Direct light. Temperature- heated or cool room, avoid draughts? Humidity levels- low to high- use a tray with gravel with water to provide humidity.
2. Right Plant= Right Intention – Is this a permanent or temporary plant? Maybe a gift?
3. Right Plant = Right Care – Proper watering- monitor well, do not over water. Fertilizing- liquid or granular, apply monthly. Repotting-yearly or every other depending upon how fast they grow. Keep Plants Tidy-remove dead leaves and spent flowers. Pest free- monitor, take care of problems quickly. Rest period- understand your plants needs and requirements, many have a rest or dormant period.
4 Steps to Choosing Your Plants
1. Is this a Year- Round or Temporary Plant?
2. How Green is Your Thumb? How much Time to do you have to Invest in plant care?
3. Price you want to Spend depends upon 1 & 2.
4. What Size & Shape do you want? 4 Main types of Plants(next blog) that come in a variety of sizes to start out with, but remember that some plants can grow quite large or bushy. Think about where the plant will be in your home and what size that space can support.
Planting by Moon Phases
It seems that there really is something to scheduling your planting with the moon phases, science has proved it. The theory is based on the effects of the alternating gravitational pulls the Moon has on the ground, much like our ocean’s tides. During the New Moon moisture is highest on the soil surface and as the gravitational pull begins to increase leading to the Full Moon, the moisture distributes downward wicking deeper into the soil.
The 8 Moon phases are split into 4 quarters starting with the New Moon that pulls moisture upwards- a great time to start seeds- proceeding to the 1st quarter as the Moon light increases. This is the best time to plant Above Ground Crops- Annuals & Perennials that produce seeds outside of the fruit- Lettuces, Greens, Chard, Sorrel, Spinach, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Kale, Cabbage, Brussels Sprouts, Strawberries, Celery, Grasses and Grain Crops. The 2nd quarter approaches the gravitational pull lessons, especially 2 days before full moon. Plant Above Ground Annuals & Crops that produce seed inside of fruit-Beans, Peas, Melons, Cucumbers & Squashes, Eggplant, Peppers and Tomatoes.
During the next phases after the Full Moon, the gravitational pull is high as the light begins to decrease. During the 3rd quarter it is best to plant things Below Ground- Root Crops-Carrots, Potatoes, Garlic, Onions, Bulbs, Perennials, Trees, Shrubs, Mowing Lawn and transplanting OK. In the 4th quarter the gravitational pull decreases with the moonlight becoming a period of rest. This is a great time to Harvest, Cultivate, Fertilize, Prune and Transplant.
I hope this helps you assign your gardening tasks accordingly. I will post each quarter monthly as to what is needed to be done as reminders- follow us on Facebook and Instagram!
If you are like me, you can’t wait for spring, but there is still plenty to do this month even though it is winter. Depending upon where you live the weather will vary so some of these items listed below may not apply to your situation. Here in the Seattle area, we are currently having a mild winter so more can be done earlier to extend this year’s season.
Planning a head- right now- really helps the whole year go more smoothly! Make a list of crops you want to grow and split them into cool (fall thru spring) or warm season (spring thru fall) Get an extra calendar and write down what and when to plant, especially if you start seeds indoors.
Seasonal Indoor & Houseplants – they may need some TLC! Repotting, fertilizing or maybe just some water. Monitor for pests- spider mites love the indoors and houseplants! If present, add a few drops inside a spray bottle with water-spray top and underneath leaves.
Seeds- do an inventory and organize them if needed. I use clear plastic show boxes with seeds organized by categories- Cool Season Veggies, Warm Season Veggies, Annuals, Perennials & Herbs. Order or purchase the seeds you want to grow this season. Join a seed savers or garden group.
Start Seeds Indoors- Start seeds that you plan to put outdoors within the next 4-6 weeks unless you have a greenhouse or other protect area. Cool season veggies, annuals and perennials are best started now. I planted Calendula and Lettuce seeds yesterday! Be creative and reuse plastic muffin containers, pie plates, cardboard packing material and other reusable containers.
Winter & Storm Damage- check your plants for winter or storm damage. Cover exposed roots with compost or mulch to protect from freeze damage. Remove fallen branches.
Feed the Critters- Provide seeds and suet for songbirds (and squirrels if you like), hummingbird feeders full and a water source if you are into that!
Monitor for Pests- I found aphids all over my Hellebores! I could have sprayed but decided to remove the old leaves as the new ones were emerging anyway. If you need to spray, use a “dormant oil” spray on plants with no leaves on them or deciduous and a “soap or summer oil” spray on plants with leaves when the temperatures are above 40 degrees. Only spray if you really need to, exception would be fungal prone plants like fruit trees & roses which could benefit from a dormant spray application.
Slug & Snail Control- monitor, if present use Sluggo or other environmentally/pet safe product. Place rough sided gravel, broken pottery pieces or copper strips around plants that slugs like.
Weeding- it is easier to remove weeds when they are weakened by cold weather. Use white vinegar, salt and soap spray on weeds on walk paths, driveways or garden beds- avoid spraying desired plants.
Pruning- plants that have finished blooming Camellias or fruit trees (or wait a month). Don’t go over board pruning now, winter can still cause damage to newly pruned buds.
Planting & Transplanting- Plant summer blooming bulbs, perennials, shrubs & trees as long as the ground is not frozen. You may start to see “bare root” plants- with out soil- fruit trees, cane berries and roses available now or soon. They can be planted now through late March/early April. This is also a great time for transplanting ornamental grasses, trees, shrubs and perennials. Add seasonal color- Pansies & Violas, Primroses, Cyclamen or add some hardy plants Hellebores (Lenten Rose) or Heather.
If you have garden questions you can email me at email@example.com I also do Herbal, Garden & Pond Consultations online or in-person and teach garden classes at Pierce and Highline Colleges!
We now have several new indoor plants in stock. Stop in for a great gift for someone special or treat yourself. Whether you're a beginner or a more experienced indoor gardener, we have plants for everyone. Our experts are here to help you choose the right lil'(or big) plant for you to take home.
Houseplants do more than just look nice in the corner of a room. They can actually keep you happier and healthier. Below you'll find some fun facts about how houseplants can improve your life
• STRESS RELIEF – Studies show that having plants in your home can lower blood pressure, reduce headaches, help with depression and even lessen illness.
• REDUCE TOXINS – Did you know that many items in our homes, can give off toxins? Houseplants absorb the toxins in our air from these everyday items. Having several houseplants in your home can significantly reduce the amount of formaldehyde, benzene, and other harmful toxins.
• INCREASE HUMIDITY – When you water your houseplant, the houseplant then gives off most of this water into the air, as humidity. Having houseplants in the winter can prevent your skin and hair from becoming so dry.
• OXYGEN – Plants give off oxygen, while absorbing carbon dioxide.
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Holiday Plant Guide
The holidays are nearing an end, you may have questions about your Christmas Tree, greens or that seasonal plant someone gave you and you are not sure of the proper care.
According to Q13, Pertaining to Christmas Trees & Greens:
SEATTLE Residents can compost their Christmas trees and holiday greens for free through January 31, 2019. Just place them next to your yard waste cart on collection day. Apartment residents can play two trees. They must be under four feet tall. All decorations and tinsel must be removed. Flocked trees will be charged extra. You may also drop them off at a Seattle Public Utilities transfer station.
KING COUNTY- No flocked or artificial trees accepted. Some extra fees may apply. Check the King County Holiday Tree Recycling sheet for drop-off locations.
PIERCE COUNTY- Flocked trees will not be accepted. If they are put in yard-waste bins, the lids must close. For more info https://q13fox.com/2018/12/27/how-to-recycle-your-christmas-tree-this-year/
Now what about Poinsettias? They come in many colors & sizes and be kept year-round as a houseplant. This Mexican native prefers to be evenly moist- not wet! or bone dry. Overwatering is the biggest issue. Take the plant out of the foil, water until it runs out of the bottom, allow to drain before placing back into the foil. Place in a bright location away from drafts. I replant mine with other plants to make a nice indoor planter. Fertilize only after it is done blooming. Refer to our Poinsettia Blog for more info. Keep away from pets.
Christmas Cactus- These blooming beauties are succulents that can also be treated as a year- round houseplants. Remove blooms as they fade, use organic bloom fertilizer a few times a year- add into soil when repotting. Water as needed, more while in bloom-do not over water. Likes a bright sight indoors.
Living Trees, misc. You may have been given a small, potted evergreen “tree”. If you can’t identify it, then keep it indoors in a cool bright location until it can be acclimated to the outdoors. Many Spruces, Cypress and other conifers as sold as small holiday trees, as well as herbs like Rosemary and Lavender. Most of these trees are hardy (look up your hardiness zone-USDA) and may not like to be indoors for long periods of time. I replant mine as they grow using them as fillers in pots until they are large enough to plant in the landscape. If you need help identifying a plant, send images to: firstname.lastname@example.org for a free ID and brief care guide.
Blooming Flowers- Mums, Cyclamen, Bulbs. Mums or Chrysanthemums are an old-fashioned favorite often given during many holidays. Dead head spent blooms, water as needed. Place in a bright location. May be hardy if properly acclimated outdoors- sometimes they come back year after year, sometimes they don’t. Cyclamens have unusual flowers that arise on stems above thick variegated leaves. These are treated like Mums, may have a better success rate, they make great outdoor container plants or shade garden plant. Bulbs-Amaryllis, Paperwhites. Amaryllis is a large bulb, with enormous bloom clusters of 3 or more huge flowers. Long- blooming flowers in red, pink or white- some are fragrant. Once they are done blooming, “lift” the bulb and store bare root or without soil in a shoe box with newspaper or straw. Allow to rest until the fall when it can bloom again for the next holiday season. Often bulbs are placed inside special bulb vases, so the roots are in the water and the bulb is not or you can plant it in a bowl with decorative rocks and water. Paperwhites are pretty, small white flowers with a heavy fragrance. They are usually mass planted in a shallow dish with rocks for support. After they bloom, discard as usually don’t rebloom. Keep away from pets.
If you have additional questions, stop in Zenith Holland or email us!