It is a busy time in the garden with planting

It is a busy time in the garden with planting

Near the end of April the nurseries will be overflowing with color. Bedding plants or annuals in bloom can be purchased now but may still need to be protected from the last of the cold nights.

Some heat lovers such as tomatoes, coleus and basil should not be allowed outdoors after dark. Cool season bloomers such as snapdragons, alyssum, pansies and lobelia do not need night time curfews after hardening up for a few days on a covered porch or patio.

It is a busy time in the garden with planting, weeding and feeding. Treat yourself to a fresh pair of gardening gloves. Mentally break your landscape into manageable, smaller sections and dig in by cleaning, weeding and planting one section at a time.

Q. When should I prune my rhododendrons? D.W., Maple Valley

A. Pruning after blooming is the general rule of green thumb, so if you must prune a spring flowering shrub like a rhododendron get snippy with it once all the flowers fade. Keep in mind that some types of rhododendrons were meant to grow into trees. Keeping rhododendrons with large leaves shorter than 5 feet tall will be a frustrating experience for you and the plant.

Q. Are there any rhododendrons that will stay compact or dwarf?

A. Yes, the species Rhododendron yakusiminum are dwarf shrubs that are suitable for small spaces. Just ask for the furry “Yak” at your local nursery. The felt- like hairs on the back side of the leaves on Yak rhododendrons help them to resist root weevils, the night feeding insects that like to make notchesalong the margins of rhododendron leaves.

Q. Do I have to cut off all the faded blooms once my rhododendron is done blooming? K.P. Sumner

A. Nope. Removing the faded flowers will tidy up the shrub but your rhododendron will still bloom and grow if you let the faded blooms dry on their own and fall from the shrub.

Q. Are there some shrubs that will flower even in the shade? I thought rhododendrons and azaleas were shade lovers by mine get very little blooms. The leaves look good and the plants are growing but they do not flower as well as those that grow in the sun. S.L. Tacoma

A. If you want lots of flowers than give both rhododendrons and azaleas semi-shade. At least half a day of sun promotes the most buds. In general rhododendrons with larger leaves like more shade and rhododendrons with smaller leaves such as PJM and the Impeditum rhodies prefer more sun. The early blooming “Christmas Cheer” rhododendron is one example of an easy to find variety that is a dependable bloomer in shaded locations. Consider shrubs with colorful foliage for dependable color in your darkest corners. Fastia japonica and Aucuba japonica ‘Variegata’ are two tropical looking shade lovers that stay evergreen in protected locations. Hydrangeas and camellias bloom in the shade but like rhododendrons they flower most abundantly with at least four hours of morning sun.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@rentonreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.rentonreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Life

2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness

By Larry Lark, contributor Residents of the PNW are no strangers to… Continue reading

2021 McLaren GT. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2021 McLaren GT

By Larry Lark, contributor I’m not sure words can do the 2021… Continue reading

2022 Kia Carnival SX. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2022 Kia Carnival SX

By Larry Lark, contributor It’s the way of the world. As old… Continue reading

Car review: 2021 Toyota Venza Limited
Car review: 2021 Toyota Venza Limited

By Larry Lark, contributor Many people are unfamiliar with Toyota’s Venza, but… Continue reading

Car review: 2021 Lexus LC 500
Car review: 2021 Lexus LC 500

By Larry Lark, contributor I can’t think of many more fun ways… Continue reading

2021 Volkswagen Arteon 2.0T SE
Car review: 2021 Volkswagen Arteon 2.0T SE

By Larry Lark, contributor The mid-size 2021 Volkswagen Arteon 2.0T SE has… Continue reading

2022 Honda Civic Touring
Car review: 2022 Honda Civic Touring

By Larry Lark, contributor You’ve all heard and read the idiom attributed… Continue reading

2022 Hyundai Tucson Limited
Car review: 2022 Hyundai Tucson Limited

By Larry Lark, contributor Hyundai’s “horse” in the compact sports utility market… Continue reading

2022 Mitsubishi Outlander SEL. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander SEL

By Larry Lark, contributor It always starts around this time of year.… Continue reading

2021 Infiniti QX80 Sensory. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2021 Infiniti QX80 Sensory

By Larry Lark, contributor If you’re looking for a full-size, affordable, luxury… Continue reading

Rajiv Nagaich is an elder law attorney, author, adjunct law school professor, and retirement planning visionary who has achieved national recognition for his cutting-edge work with retirees and his contributions to the practice of elder law. He is the founder of two firms based in Federal Way: Life Point Law, an elder law and estate planning firm, and AgingOptions, a firm that provides retirement-related education to consumers and professionals.
You probably won’t die in your sleep | Senior Lifestyles

Traditional estate planning is based on notions that are out of sync… Continue reading