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Whistling Gardener Blog

April to do list part one, from The Whistling Gardener

We have set major records for rainfall in February and March and I am more than ready to embrace spring with all of my heart and soul. Here is part one of what the Whistling Gardener is going to be doing in his garden in the month of April.

I have mixed feelings about it being April already. On the one hand I can’t believe the first quarter of the year has evaporated before my very eyes or perhaps more accurately washed away (yes, we have set major records for rainfall in February and March). On the other hand I am more than ready to embrace spring with all of my heart and soul and get the old joint whipped into shape. Here is part one of what I am going to be doing in my garden in the month of April.

Time to get those cool season veggies planted, from the Whistling Gardener

March is the consummate month to plant “cool season” veggies like potatoes and carrots and onions and radishes, leaf crops like lettuce and spinach and cabbage and broccoli and finally peas. All of these crops demand a cool soil and cool air temperatures.

March is the consummate month to plant “cool season” veggies like potatoes and carrots and onions and radishes, leaf crops like lettuce and spinach and cabbage and broccoli and finally peas. All of these crops demand a cool soil and cool air temperatures to perform their best. When it starts to get too warm they will mature rapidly and go to seed.

What are your harbingers of Spring? From the Whistling Gardener

I have heard told that there are really only two seasons in the northwest, the rainy season and road construction season. There may be some truth to that. But despite the difficult transition from winter to spring there are sure signs of the season if you just look and listen.

Spring is an elusive season for the northwest. Typically what happens is that winter comes and goes for what seems like months on end and then one day we wake up and it is summer.

I have heard told that there are really only two seasons in the northwest, the rainy season and road construction season. There may be some truth to that. But despite the difficult transition from winter to spring there are sure signs of the season if you just look and listen. For me there are some very distinct indicators.

Hang in there baby, Spring is coming - from the Whistling Gardener

There are two main factors that drive plant growth, light and temperature. Ever since December 21st the days have been getting longer and the nights shorter. This will continue to happen until we get to the Summer Solstice in June when the cycle will reverse itself.

I think we can all agree that February has been a stinker of a month this year. Cold, wet, windy and even some snow was about all we could manage this month. This is not the kind of weather that draws us out into our gardens. I for one have had zero motivation to get anything accomplished and while that lack of motivation has immobilized me, Mother Nature has hardly skipped a beat. Here is why.

Dealing with foliar disease, welcome to the Pacific Northwest!

The Puget Sound has a maritime climate with a high relative amount of moisture in the air and mostly mild temperatures. These conditions make for a fabulous growing environment, but they also are ideal for many foliar diseases that can drive gardeners nuts.

We live in a maritime climate and what makes us unique from other parts of the country is the relative amount of moisture in the air and the mostly mild temperatures. These conditions make for a fabulous growing environment for plants but they also are ideal for many foliar diseases that can drive gardeners nuts. Here is what we can do to help mitigate these kinds of problems.

Back from the show and ready to go!

The Whistling Gardener hopes that many of you had a chance to attend the Northwest Flower and Garden show this last week. It is always a highlight of the month for him and a great way to get him into the mood for gardening again.

I would hope that many of you had a chance to attend the Northwest Flower and Garden show this last week. It is always a highlight of the month for me and a great way to get me into the mood for gardening again. It never fails that I don’t come home with some new plant or gadget that I just have to have to make my life complete and this year was no different. Let me introduce you to the M Brace.”

House plants do amazing things, from the Whistling Gardener

Back in the late 60’s when I was finishing up my undergraduate studies house plants were all the rage. In the trade we referred to them as foliage plants and had it not been for the draft and the Vietnam War my path might very well have been through the vast foliage growers of Encinitas California where range after range of greenhouses were packed with ferns, palms, golden pothos, snake plants, philodendrons, Swedish ivy and of course spider plants.

Back in the late 60’s when I was finishing up my undergraduate studies house plants were all the rage. In the trade we referred to them as foliage plants and had it not been for the draft and the Vietnam War my path might very well have been through the vast foliage growers of Encinitas California where range after range of greenhouses were packed with ferns, palms, golden pothos, snake plants, philodendrons, Swedish ivy and of course spider plants.

Time to get back in the groove, from the Whistling Gardener

anuary is typically a time for gardeners to hunker down by the fire and plow through the seed catalogs and dream about the wonderful gardens we are going to grow in the coming spring.

January is typically a time for gardeners to hunker down by the fire and plow through the seed catalogs and dream about the wonderful gardens we are going to grow in the coming spring. It would seem as though nothing much is going on in the yard but I can assure you that any time the mercury gets into the 40’s things are indeed happening. Here are just a few examples:

What's on your Christmas list – Part 1, from the Whistling Gardener

Every gardener has a wish list and I suspect that at the top of that list is probably a greenhouse and then some sort of automatic watering system. Down a little farther might be a fancy tool or a handy item of gardening apparel and finally a few specialty plants and a year’s supply of compost. Here are some items to consider for the gardener in your life.

Every gardener has a wish list and I suspect that at the top of that list is probably a greenhouse and then some sort of automatic watering system. Down a little farther might be a fancy tool or a handy item of gardening apparel and finally a few specialty plants and a year’s supply of compost. Here are some items to consider for the gardener in your life.

December 2013 check list from The Whistling Gardener

One would think that by December there wouldn’t be much left to do in our gardens, and for anyone with a typical northwest low maintenance yard with mostly evergreens and a few deciduous shrubs surrounded by a sea of bark that might be the case. Not so for the rest of us. We are compulsive dedicated gardeners who live for the chance to commune with nature right in our own backyards.

One would think that by December there wouldn’t be much left to do in our gardens, and for anyone with a typical northwest low maintenance yard with mostly evergreens and a few deciduous shrubs surrounded by a sea of bark that might be the case. Not so for the rest of us. We are compulsive dedicated gardeners who live for the chance to commune with nature right in our own backyards.

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