How to Divide Dahlia Tubers and Store Over the Winter

It's getting cold outside! If you haven't dug up your dahlia tubers, now is the time! Our Summer 2020 Box featured guest, Jesalyn Pettigrew of Mossy Gate Farm, talked us through the ins and outs of dahlias, including how to care for them once the growing season is over. Here's a fresh recap about what to do with those dahlia tubers during the winter, as well as how and when to divide them for next year.

Watch the video below, or if you can't listen right now, scroll down to read her tips for caring for those spent dahlias.

 Cutting Back Dahlias

Wait until the first frost to kill your dahlia before cutting it down. You'll look out at your garden and see it turn brown and start falling apart within hours. 

Cut it down short so you have a handle at the base. If you leave it in the ground over winter, you do risk losing the plant. In mild climates you can sometimes get away with this. Jesalyn recommended digging it up and storing it for the winter, especially those...

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How to Get Your Garden Winter Ready

The growing season is ending, and that means you need to get your garden winter ready.

Fall means cooler temperatures and slowed growth. Cutting the last of my garden’s flowers and picking the final few raspberries is always bittersweet for me. I love the joy and love that the upcoming slate of holidays bring, but saying goodbye to the bounty of summer is difficult. What helps me is focusing on the plan ahead. This is a great time to get your garden in top shape for next year.

Here are the things I do at the end of the growing season:

Dry Flowers and Herbs

This is a fantastic time to preserve and dry culinary herbs. Some of you have probably done this before! Did you know you can save some of your blooms, as well? As a florist, I strive to use locally grown flowers, and winter obviously puts a damper on this. One way I get around this is by using dried flowers. Now is the time to snip those fading hydrangeas and sprigs of floral oregano. Remember: you can get a floral drying...

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Why Mulch Is the Secret Super Hero of Garden Care

Mulch is seriously the secret hero of garden care.

I just finished adding three cubic yards of mulch to my front yard garden beds. It was quite the project, shoveling and spreading, but it is always worth it in the end thanks to just how beneficial it is to my plants. (Take a peek at my garden here.) Mulch is absolutely amazing! Even just one of its benefits would make the hard work worth it, but it has a whole bundle of advantages. If you’re not using mulch in for your garden care, you should seriously consider it. Here’s why. 

Keep Weeds Back 

This is one of my top reasons for adding mulch to my yard. Here in the milder Pacific Northwest, plants grow like crazy. It often rains, and it doesn’t get too hot. That means weeds get out of control very quickly. I weed my beds before adding mulch, and while this doesn’t stop the weeds completely, it does stunt their growth and make it much easier to keep up on weeding. Some people will even add...

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3 Ways to Treat Aphids without Pesticides

Oh, goodness. Aphids. What a pain. I don’t know about where you live, but here in the PNW, they are a real pest to my flowers. The very first summer in our new house, I put roses, lupines, and foxglove into the yard to create a beautiful English cottage garden vibe. And within a few weeks, I brushed up against some of the flowers and went inside. I looked down at my pants, and there were little bugs crawling on the fabric. It was disgusting. I brushed them off outside and took a closer look at the flowers. They were totally smothered by aphids, especially the lupines. Of course, I panicked! My gorgeous flowers were being eaten alive!  

I have since become a bit of a self-taught expert at getting rid of aphids. They invade my garden every year, and I now have a solid plan to treat my plants. Once I see those early signs, I start treating them before the aphids get too out of control. The best part is that I never use pesticides, which I don’t want around...

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3 Surprising Greens to Arrange With

foliage garden greenery greens Jun 29, 2020

If you’re like me, you are loving all of the flowers blooming around town these days. I’m having so much fun cutting blooms from my garden and arranging them for my table. Just as important, though, is the greenery used as a base to showcase the flashier flowers. Your yard is probably bursting with greens right now, and they can be used just as effectively as flowers. 

When it comes to picking out greens, you might get a little nervous about sticking just anything into your vase. That’s understandable since some greens will wimp out on you in a day or less, or might not play well with other plants in your arrangement. I have three go to greens in my garden that are common, easy to grow, live long in a vase, and look fantastic. 

Let’s get cracking! 

  1. Raspberry foliage. I live in Washington state, which is half overrun with the raspberry’s cousin, the blackberry. Prickly berries just love it here! I love the raspberries in my...
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How to Care for Spent Tulip Bulbs

Temperatures are rising, bringing visions of hydrangeas and daisies and all sorts of lovely summer blooms. Your mind has probably moved on from tulips, but if you have any tulip bulbs in your yard like me, they still need some TLC, even after their flowers are long gone. Here’s what you need to know about caring for those spent tulip bulbs. 

Deadheading 

When the tulip petals fade and fall, we tend to forget about the tulips in our gardens. If you do notice their sad state, you might wonder what to do with them. The best practice is to snip off the faded flower and leave as much foliage as possible. It’s very important not to take too much green off. The bulb isn’t dormant yet at this stage. It’s still soaking up sun through the leaves. If you cut it to the ground while it’s still green, you risk starving the bulb and possibly killing it. That means no flashy spring colors next year. So, leave the greens and let them add some nice texture and...

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3 Tips for Cutting Flowers Out of Your Garden

My garden is bursting with color! Flowers are in full swing right now all across town. I love taking walks to see what’s blooming in my neighbors’ yards. Hopefully you’re enjoying your garden, and to help with that, here are some tips to help your cut homegrown flowers live long and happy lives inside.  

  1. Keep a bucket of water next to you. As you’re moving around your garden snipping blooms, haul a bucket of clean water around with you. It may seem like a hassle to lug that around, but every second counts for a freshly cut flower. That first cut is rather traumatic, and the faster that flower can get into water, the better it will deal with that stress. This translate into a longer, happier life once it moves inside your house to sit on your table.   
  2. Use a clean vase and clean water. We wrote in-depth about this recently in another blog post, 5 Steps to Triple the Life of Your Flowers. The quick version is this: water...
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What’s Blooming in My Garden Right Now

 

The days are lengthening, giving us lots of light for evening strolls and bike rides. Bees are humming through my garden beds and rhododendrons, and I’ve pulled out my sandals. Spring is blending into summer. This is especially apparent when I look at what’s blooming in my yard right now. 

Tall spikes of lupine and foxglove are reaching taller each day, as well as fluffy dutch iris. 

 

Fluffy Jupiter’s beard is filling out, and the fragrant roses are opening up their blooms.

My peonies are starting to pop, and I just can’t wait for their big, flashy flowers. 

I recently planted wildflower seeds, and I’m already seeing poppies, daisies and bachelor's button sprouting.  

Summer blooms are here! We’ve got weeks and weeks of beautiful flowers to look forward to, and I can’t wait to see what blooms next in my garden. 

What's blooming and your garden, and what are you most excited to see this summer?

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