Tag Archives: pacific northwest

Planting in the Fall Makes Cents!

6 Sep

by Linda Kay Harrison

At the garden centers, we are often asked, “Is fall REALLY a good time to plant?”
The answer is… “Actually… yes!”

In the Pacific Northwest almost anytime is a good time to plant; but there really ARE some very good reasons to do it in the fall.

When new plants are installed in the spring or summer they have to go through the stressful heat of the summer with a small root system.  They are often expected to bloom and sometimes even produce fruit under these stressful conditions. That can take a lot out of a young plant.

By filling your beds in the fall, your plants miss out on most of that stress. With the days being shorter, photosynthesis slows and stops, so plants aren’t actively growing. They go dormant and often don’t even know they’ve been moved.  Even though the air is cooler, the ground is still warm, so the roots keep growing for weeks or even months without having to produce nutrition for growth or blooming. By the time your plants ‘wake up’ in the spring, their roots are strong and pretty well established in their new home.

You’ll also want to plant with plenty of Black Forest compost to break up that nasty clay soil, and give the roots something to work with over the winter.

One more great reason to plant in the fall… BARGAINS!  Even though the selection may be smaller, the sales and specials are fantastic!  You can save a lot of dollars, and that makes a lot of ‘cents’.

So when you tuck those plants into their beds for the winter, you can feel confident knowing that you saved a bundle, and your new plants will ‘wake up’ happy and ready to grow in spring.


The Matriarch of the Pacific Northwest

22 May

by Linda Kay Harrison

When you mention the Pacific Northwest, one of the first things that come to mind is the magnificent rhododendrons that seem to be everywhere.  Their spring display can be seen in front of homes, along shopping centers, and around commercial buildings.  rhodys, like us, love the Pacific Northwest; and we in return, love rhodys.   Why is that?

Red Rhody – photo by Kelley Snodgrass

For starters, rhododendrons love shade from the hot afternoon sun and they like moist acidic soil.  We have plenty of both here, and because of that, rhodys are very easy to care for.

When newly planted, rhododendrons do need watering on a regular basis, but once established, they are usually happy with getting their moisture from the rain.  They do need good drainage, so we suggest planting them with our Black Forest compost to break up the clay soil. If planted in dry area, you can also top dress with Black Forest to help hold moisture.

Photo by Kelley Snodgrass

Rhododendrons typically bloom without much effort, but an organic fertilizer, like Dr. Earth’s Rhododendron and Azalea Fertilizer can boost blooming to amazing levels. Fertilize once a year, either in the fall or early spring.

In addition to being easy to care for, we also love our rhodys because they are so versatile. They are evergreen, come in sizes from 1.5 feet to 12 feet, and bloom in almost every color, white, pink, red, purple, yellow and orange.

Newer varieties flower longer and at different times, from late winter to late spring.  If the right cultivars are planted together, you can have rhododendrons blooming in your yard for about 3 months.

Rhodys are at their best in a natural, woodsy type setting, but can also pull off a very formal look. Under-plant your rhododendrons with other acid loving plants like ferns, calluna, hardy gardenias and rock rose.

Visit any Dennis 7 Dees for a great assortment of rhodys and all the professional assistance needed to choose the right ones for your garden.

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