Sunday, November 26

Forcing Paperwhite Bulbs for Beginners


If you shop early enough you will find a large collection of Paperwhite bulbs in late fall. They get bought out quickly, so plan ahead if you want to buy them. Sometimes you can get lucky enough to find a few marked down in November. Paperwhites are known as the easiest bulb to force inside because they don't require a long cold spell in a cellar or a fridge. 


First you need to find a container that is tall and big enough to to hold gravel, stones or rocks that you will need to place the bulbs on. You may want to use a little more  stones or gravel than I used if you have more available. You can also find suitable containers cheap at your local dollar store. Next you want to fill the water up just to the top level of the stones. If you put too much water your bulb may rot so be careful. If you need ideas for containers you can simply google paperwhites, or do a search on Pinterest. 


Then you place enough bulbs on the surface to cover the diameter of the container or vase. Don't worry if the bulbs touch. I am going to put this container in my laundry room that is not heated and dark for a week. I am doing this because the instructions said to do so. So be sure to follow any directions that come with your bulbs.


After a week a good root system should have developed and the bulb should show signs of  growth. At this stage you want to set the container in a warm room. It should grow and bloom in a few weeks. Once you have mastered how to grow these bulbs you can try ones that need a few weeks of cold to mimic winter like tulips and even daffodils.  It is best to start with less bulbs at first to make sure you have the technique down because bulbs can be expensive. Forcing bulbs in the winter is a great way to bring a touch of the garden indoors and keeps the idle hands and mind of a gardener occupied until spring starts.

Good Luck
Michele


Saturday, November 25

Photo post from the garden on Thanksgiving Day-Portland, OR

I bought some more succulents from "Garden Fever". They were 40% off

These Snapdragons look great considering it is that end of November

Amazing that the color is so good on these annuals that act like perennials 

I love the look of leaves on grass in the fall

A Camellia Tree with many buds. It will start flowering in December

This is how we collect rain water at the community garden

Succulent pot at the community garden

This Mock Orange usually flowers in the Spring

Friday, November 24

Sprouts Friday Featured Favorites: MIgardener Organic Gardening Channel


Several years ago, Sprouts posted our 20 Favorite YouTube Gardeners. It's consistently our most popular post. Since then, more gardeners have shared their wisdom and gardens on YouTube. Each Friday, we will feature one garden channel we find inspiring.

This week's featured YouTube Gardener is MIgardener. Check out this channel for organic and sustainable gardening videos with great information twice a week.



Saturday, November 18

Tips for how to grow Garlic in the Pacific NW


 Plant cloves October through November and harvest in June. Garlic grows best in well drained soil so amend your beds with compost if needed.

Three different varieties of garlic

Make sure to separate the whole garlic bulb into separate cloves. Skip planting any cloves that look dried out. Plant 5-6 inches apart and 1 inch deep. Plant cloves with their pointed tips up.

Remove any cloves that are dried up

Water the beds after planting and apply a mulch of compost, straw or grass clippings. This will protect the gloves in the cold months.

Make holes easily with the back of a hoe or stick

Stop watering the beginning of June. When the plant has 3-4 brown leaves it is ready to harvest. Dig the bulb out carefully. It will have to be cured for 3-4 weeks. Lay the garlic down in a area with good air circulation and out of direct sunlight. Make sure the garlic does not get wet.

One clove per hole

Once cured, cut off the stalk leaving 1-2 inches. Also trim the roots to less than 1/8 inch. Brush off dirt and do not peel the outer skin. Garlic stores best in a cool, dry place around 50-60 degrees. Such as a root cellar or cool basement with low humidity.

Friday, November 17

Sprouts Friday Featured Favorites: Learn How To Garden with the Ten Minute Gardener


Several years ago, Sprouts posted our 20 Favorite YouTube Gardeners. It's consistently our most popular post. Since then, more gardeners have shared their wisdom and gardens on YouTube. Each Friday, we will feature one garden channel we find inspiring.

This week's featured YouTube Gardener is the Ten Minute Gardener.


Monday, November 13

10 Great Christmas Gifts for a Gardener




  1. A Gift Certificate from a Seed Company like Johnny's Seeds Website for Johnny's Seeds  or Territorial Seed Company Territorial Seeds Website
  2. Order a  Rose like a "David Austin Rose" or purchase a gift certificate for one David Austin Roses
  3. Gardening Books Shop Amazon for Gardening Books and Gardening Magazines Subscriptions are always appreciated.
  4. Gardening gloves are basic, but always useful. Try giving 3 pairs tied with a pretty bow
  5. Pots, Containers and Window Boxes are always nice. Here is a container system that we recommend
  6. Gift certificate to get gardening tools sharpened is a unique gift. Search the internet to see if someone in your area provides this service.
  7. Make a Gardening gift basket with hand tools, gardening gloves, plant labels, gardening soap for hands, hand lotion, seed packets, etc. Watch Martha Steward make a gardening gift basket
  8. Plant labels are a must and always needed for any gardener.
  9. Hoe, Spade or any other gardening tools make great gifts.
  10. A pretty Trellis for a climbing Rose,  Jasmine, Clematis or another climber makes a wonderful gift.

Saturday, November 11

End of Garden Season in Maine 2017


After an unusually warm autumn, temperature are now in the 20s at night here, so garden season 2017 has come to an end in Maine.
This year I had good luck with zinnias, coleus, petunias, pansies, geranium, and nasturtiums. I had three cherry tomato plants on my deck. In the raised bed, I grew kale, mustard greens, herbs, rhubarb and Egyptian walking onions. I didn’t plant squash, beans or peas as in past years due to lack of space and the increasing shade on my property. And slugs. Hungry, greedy, relentless slugs. If they eat it, I'm not growing it anymore.

I wondered what wild plants would seed in if I didn’t pull them all.  So, I let my flower garden do what it may, which led to some nice surprises.

My mature perennials are tightly planted so there weren’t too many volunteers from the wild.  But, in the border, a tall mullein plant emerged amongst the day lilies.


In the center of my flower garden, a wild boneset plant grew.


From a packet of seeds, I grew more coleus than I care to count. I have brought some indoors to winter over for next year.



Next year, I’m going to continue to narrow my focus on those plants that thrive here. Flowers do well, herbs, and perennial plants both cultivated and wild.
 
 
 Elderberry, wild blueberry, wild blackberry and cultivated strawberries are happy here and I’m happy to have them.
At the end of October, the remnant of tropical storm Phillippe ended the season with a bang, resulting in the loss of two trees on my land- a maple and a white pine.

And so with that, garden season 2017 has ended. It's time for winter and thinking ahead to next year.

Friday, November 10

Sprouts Friday Featured Favorites: Gary Pilarchik


Several years ago, Sprouts posted our 20 Favorite YouTube Gardeners. It's consistently our most popular post. Since then, more gardeners have shared their wisdom and gardens on YouTube. Each Friday, we will feature one garden channel we find inspiring.

This week's featured YouTube Gardener is Gary Pilarchik who is dedicated to tomato and vegetable gardening. Gary Gardens in Maryland, and his videos are brief and informative.


Wednesday, November 8

Early November Walk-Portland, OR

RC and I on our morning walk

Many roses are still blooming and sending out new buds

I don't know what the name is for this tree. I have only seen it grown here, but it can't be naitive

Zinnia still in bloom


A typical street in my neighborhood

A Dahlia flower turned over by the heavy rain

Another rose in full bloom in my garden

Sunday, November 5

What to do with your Succulents in the winter in the Pacific NW


Do you have any Succulents in your Pacific NW Garden? Here is a photo of some potted succulents in my garden. The number one tip for winter protection seems obvious, but it is protect them if possible from the rain. If your succulents are potted like mine that is an easy to do. I just moved mine under the cover of my patio. If they are planted in your garden there is not much you can do unless you want to cover them with a "row cover". If you are in milder regions like I am in the Willamette  they should survive the winter. If they don't, you can replace them with more suitable for our climate varieties. Here are three you can try.

3 Succulents that are good to grow it Pacific NW Gardens

Haworthias
Utah Agave
Sedum "Angelina"

Saturday, November 4

5 crops to grow in your organic garden for your Rabbit

These are Cha Cha's favorites 

1. Spinach
2. Baby Carrots
3. Parsley, but don't feed
too much to your rabbit
4. Sage
5. Rosemary leaves & stems
6. Coriander 
are low in nutrients
7. Oregano
8. Basil

*Do not feed any fresh food to your rabbit that is grown in the
 wild or you cannot be certain that it has been grown organically.
**Double check this list with your vet first and rabbits are individuals as
far as their food preferences.


Friday, November 3

Sprouts Friday Featured Favorites: GrowVeg!


Several years ago, Sprouts posted our 20 Favorite YouTube Gardeners. It's consistently our most popular post. Since then, more gardeners have shared their wisdom and gardens on YouTube. Each Friday, we will feature one garden channel we find inspiring.

This week's featured YouTube Gardener is GrowVeg.  Lots of organic gardening tips and tricks here!

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