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What Vegetables Can be Planted Now

Now that it's April, you think it is the time to get all your vegetables into the ground.

Not so fast!

There are some crops that require warmer soil AND warmer day and nighttime temperatures than we now have. You just have to be aware of what CAN grow in these cooler soils and nighttime temperatures.

Vegetables that grow under the ground like carrots, radishes, beets, turnips and potatoes (not sweet) can be started now. Members of the cabbage family – broccoli, kale, chard and cabbage – can thrive as well as the onion family – shallots, leeks, and onionsAsparagus, rhubarb, strawberries and artichokes can take these cooler temperatures and peas should be up and climbing by now! Spring lettuces and spinach can be grown for your salads.

That seems like a lot. Well now is NOT the time to plant warm season crops. Tomatoes, beans, members of the squash family and some corns need warm soil AND warmer day and nighttime temperatures. Hold off on planting those ones outside.

    YES       NO

Be prepared to have a frost cloth if we do get a hard frost – historically, that can still happen in our area during the month of April.

Remember that starting seeds outside requires the vigilance of not allowing them to dry out or becoming waterlogged and drowning with an overabundance of the natural hard spring rains. Plastic hoop houses can help protect them.

Instead of starting seeds outside, consider planting starts. That sprouting stage is passed.

Use a soil thermometer. Measure soil temperatures at 8 am and at least 4 inches deep for an accurate reading. Wait till above 40 degrees to plant the cool season crops and over 60 degrees for the warm season ones. Failure to thrive could be the result of planting too soon.


At this time of year there is more that can be grown than cannot. So get out there and play in the dirt. The growing season for your vegetable garden has begun!

Grow Your Own!

 

Horseradish

 

Do you enjoy the pungent and distinct taste of Horseradish? Why not grow your own! Horseradish is a rugged and cold hardy perennial with very few problems from disease or pests, great for any beginner. Plant in early spring as soon as the soil is dry enough to be worked. They can tolerate most any soil as long as it’s not waterlogged but loose soil will make it much easier to harvest the roots.

 

Find a sunny location and loosen soil down to about a foot deep working in some compost to get your plant off to a vigorous start. Take your root start and plant at a 45 degree angle with 30” from any other plants. Bury it with the crown just above soil surface. Water it in and watch your Horseradish grow. The roots will spread to about 18” or more and the green leafs reaching 24”. To keep from looking ragged in the summer, water weekly.

 

Freshen Your Air With Houseplants

Most gardeners enjoy being out in the fresh air and feel a little stressed from the stale indoor winter air in our well insulated and sealed homes. Houseplants to the rescue!
 

Studies done by NASA and several major universities have confirmed that chemicals such as benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene can be given off from everyday cleaning products, furniture, flooring, even your electronic and printing equipment! Cardio and respiratory problems can result.

Houseplants, not only release oxygen into the air – helping us to better think and exercise, they are able to absorb some of this air pollution. The more plants you have in a room, the fresher your home air is. It is recommended to have a minimum of one plant per 100 square feet of floor space.

All houseplants can do this. They help create beautiful spaces in your home and can be very calming. A stress reducer? Who does not need that? If you want to talk to your plants, that can be healing too. Bottom line, houseplants are a great for everyone.

Happily, some of the top air freshening houseplants are ones that enjoy the bright indirect light we have in our Pacific Northwest homes. They include dracenae- particularly the red-edged ones, spider plants, pothos, peace lilies, weeping figs, philodendrons, parlor palms or bamboo palms and oddly, the very easy to grow snake plant.

 
Try your green thumb with any one of these. If you need help with their care, our customer service staff are very knowledgeable and ready to help.

By the way, poinsettias, cyclamen, Christmas cactus and living or fresh-cut trees also help keep the season and our air bright! See, you are already on the right track at this time of year!

'Gold Spot' Dogwood Blooms Again!

Gold Spot Dogwood is one of the few trees to bloom in the fall.

The treat is that this Cornus nuttalli ‘Gold Spot’ blooms in the spring before the leaves come out and reblooms at this time of year. Showy, creamy-white bracts surround a green flower that later in the season can produce a small red fruit.

Like most dogwoods, ‘Gold Spot’ does best with morning sun and afternoon shade.

Being a hybrid, 'Gold Spot' has fewer disease problems than some other dogwoods.

The name comes from the unusual variegation on the green leaves. Even more of the yellow or whitish spots and blotches on the leaves appear as the tree ages. The multicolored leaves of gold and orange in the fall give the tree long seasonal interest. It would be a wonderful addition to your garden.

 

Able to grow to 35 feet tall, you can keep it lower by pruning after the second bloom time.

You would not want to chance cutting off this second flush of blossoms.

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