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.
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.
Forget the frost February is the month for forcing flowers. Ignore the chill outside and enjoy an indoor early spring with a few garden tricks.
The third week of January is time to banish the mid-winter blues with colorful thoughts of spring. If dark days and cold weather has you winter-weary, perk up your outlook with these tips for renewal:
I’ll tell you the secret for a gift that fits everyone: the poinsettia. It says “Merry Christmas,” “Happy Hanukkah,” “Thanks for your business,” “Thank you for hosting.” It does not require wrapping paper, a trip to the mall, a gift receipt or ordering online.
The third week of October is time to winterize the patio furniture and vegetable garden, roll up the hoses and stow away the mowing machine.
Frost will be slipping in soon to finish off any summer plants, but there’s still time to add color to container gardens and planting beds. Winter pansies, hardy mums, late-blooming asters and ornamental cabbage and kale are available now at garden centers for instant color.
Congratulations Mother Nature, you’ve made it easy for us this year. The cold, wet beginning of the summer and hot, dry end means our local weather conditions have provided the perfect opportunity to grade some new plants on their toughness and tenacity.