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The first week of December is when holiday gift plants appear as the easy and practical solution for Christmas, hostess and personal gifts. So what plant is best to give?
This year consider getting lost in another time by reading some gardening classics, become inspired by trying a new garden magazine or fall hopelessly in love with a plant you discover on the pages of a garden catalog.
Gardeners in Western Washington can adapt an attitude of gratitude each time they look outdoors and enjoy the reason we call this the Evergreen State.
The second week of November is a good time to put the garden and your garden tools to bed.
The beginning of November is your last chance to save tender bulbs and plants that need winter protection.
We recently returned from exploring the gardens near Bellagio on Lake Como (the real Bellagio, not the Vegas imitation) and Stresa on Lake Maggiore.
Spiders are good for the garden and using a broom to collect them means you can wipe the mother spiders along with their egg sacs onto tree trunks or shrubs in the landscape
The third week of October is still a good time to plant spring blooming bulbs, add trees and shrubs to the landscape and to dig and divide overgrown perennials such as daylilies and hosta.
The second week of October is a good time to search out and destroy newly laid slug eggs, especially while planting bulbs or harvesting from the vegetable garden.
Planting bulbs in October will give them the time they need to develop roots before winter arrives.
Fall is best for planting trees and shrubs because the soil is still warm from the summer encouraging new root growth but the autumn rains mean you can let nature take over your watering chores.
It is harvest time in the vegetable garden so keep picking ripe tomatoes, cucumbers and summer squash. Share fresh produce with your local food bank if you’re lucky enough to have a bumper crop.
The big advantage of doing these chores in the fall rather than spring is that the soil is already warm and ready to encourage new root growth and after such a dry summer the slug and snail population should be less damaging to tender young transplants.
The last week in August is time to harvest squash, tomatoes and beans, cut back perennials such as daisies and daylilies.
Here are more tips for keeping specific flowers producing until the first fall frost:
The month of August is the time for an important garden chore – bait for slugs.
The fourth week of July is when your roses and fuchsias need some special attention to keep them blooming for the rest of the summer.
The third week of July is time to harvest early crops such as lettuce, raspberries, blueberries and everbearing strawberries as well as fresh herbs.
The middle of July is when hydrangeas usually start to bloom in Western Washington – but this summer the big, ball blooms of hydrangeas were showing color months ahead of schedule and many local gardeners had bushels of hydrangea blooms by the beginning of June.
You must water more often when the weather warms up and roots fill the soil and demand more to eat and drink.