Marianne Binetti is the author of "Easy Answers for Great Gardens" and eight other gardening books. She has a degree in horticulture from WSU and will answer questions from her Web site at www.binettigarden.com.
Gardeners, your lawn needs your attention right now. This is the week you should get into your garden and fertilize grass with a slow release plant food.
Got moss? Buttercups? Then, add calcium in the form of Super Sweet lime. Our naturally acidic soil is great for growing rhododendrons, azaleas, blueberries and blue hydrangeas, but not so great for growing lawns. Adding calcium is an inexpensive way to raise the pH and make the soil less acidic. The lime in the calcium also helps to break up clay soils and improves drainage.
Our state flower is the rhododendron and to celebrate your civic pride, add a rhododendron to the garden this spring. We are lucky to have a world-class rhododendron collection in Federal Way as part of the Weyerhaeuser campus.
Head to the nursery this week because new plants are arriving daily and the best plants go first. Last week, I gushed over unbeatable plants for the sun, and to be fair to gardeners on the dark side, here is a partial list of the best-looking, well-behaved plants for the shaded areas of the garden.
Why put up with problem plants when there are so many well-behaved trees, shrubs and flowers that love to grow here and never complain?
The beginning of April is always going to be somebody’s heartache. Spring can be a flirt but the nights are still cold. If you fall madly in love with a gorgeous but tender young thing at the nursery, you will risk losing the entire plant after one frosty night.
Spring and summer color in the Pacific Northwest is as easy as picking the right plant for the right place. If nature sings with flowers you can create an entire symphony of blooms just by placing plants in the perfect location.
Spring is here, but you still need to protect your flowers. Don’t get too confident and think you can start planting warm-season crops.
This is the month to march right outdoors and start gardening. There are weeds to pull and smother, perennials to dig and divide, plants to move, trees and shrubs to add and the soul-satisfying, instant gratification that comes from cleaning up the beds.
The end of February is all about the weeds. The start of longer days and warmer weather means that annual weeds will be sprouting up anyplace they can find open ground, and early spring is the time to get control and become a first-responder to this attack. Here are the weeds you should seek — and destroy.
The third week of February and it is time to start planting — but not everything can go into the ground. It still is too cold and early to set out annuals, plant most new perennials or to seed a new lawn, but you do have the green light to start sprouting pea seedlings indoors and to add bare root roses, fruit trees and shrubs to the landscape.
If the Northwest Flower & Garden Show kicks off this month, can spring be far behind? This year, Western Washington’s tribute to all things green and blooming runs Feb. 20-24, and the theme for the garden designers is to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the show with a nod to the silver screen. For tickets and to check out the vendors and the show garden designers, visit the show website at gardenshow.com.