Can you believe it? We have finally had our first big stretch of summer heat! If you followed some of our garden tips in the past few years you know that now is a great time to look around your garden and check for plants that are stressed. This shows you which plants may not be suited for their current location and might need to be moved this fall to a better location in your garden. Remember to stay hydrated when you are out in the garden and enjoy the flower show!
This week we featured...
You can extend your outdoor entertaining and your enjoyment of your garden with the creative use of light. We met with Steve Varga of Prograss (800-776-4727) to learn about all the new and exciting types and styles of lights on the market. Steve told us about the biggest change in lighting with the move to LED lights. These lights use less energy than your conventional lights, but they do have a few drawbacks. LED lights can generate a lot of heat. That heat means that you have to be careful of their placement in the garden. If you are thinking about adding outdoor lighting there are a few questions to ask… do you want area lighting, display lighting, entertaining, pathways, safety. What your needs are determines the type of light you need. Steve then showed us a couple of the newer lights on the market. One was a path light that used a reflective hood to direct light and then he had a spot light that can be used to showcase some specific plants in the garden. There were a couple of warnings from Steve as well. He was very concerned about packaged kits that you can get at discount stores. These kits are made of cheaper materials and some have a lot of plastic. These will not last as long and will soon fall apart. The adage ‘you get what you pay for’ applies here! Spend the money for a quality system and you will get years of use out of it. Also, he addressed the question of timers for your light. Some of the clock timers on the market will need constant adjusting to make sure they don’t go on when it is still light outside. He recommends a photocell. This one will only trigger your lights once the sun sets and so you don’t need to worry about using too much power. Another hot item for lighting is solar lights. These lights are great for decorative purposes and for small accents, but Steve would warn against using them for large areas or your main lighting. They will dim down in just a few hours and during the winter months we don’t get enough light to recharge them completely. If you are interested in outdoor lighting you can always get all your questions answered by the experts at Prograss!
Parr Pallet Bench
This week we had another great project from our friends at Parr Lumber (866-214-7277). Amber joined us again to show off her latest project. It was a bench that she made from an old pallet. It was so easy to do! First she cut the pallet in half. Then she used a couple of 2x4’s to nail them together at a 90 degree angle. Then came some more 2x4’s to create the legs and bracing. Finally she trimmed the edges with a 1x6 to hide the rough edges. It was great and she really didn’t even follow a plan. If you would like to learn how to do it, just watch our story again. If you need the materials, stop by your local Parr Lumber store and they can get you what you need!
The summer is the time to entertain outdoors. We stopped by Ludeman’s (503-646-6409) to talk with Mark Ludeman to see what the newest trends are in outdoor furnishings. The latest trends are ‘deep seating’ and ‘chat height’ which help people enjoy their outdoor entertaining in comfort. Deep seating refers to large, wide comfortable chairs. These chairs come with an all-weather covering and repel rain and dirt a lot better than the older styles and fabrics. They are paired with ‘chat height’ tables and fire pits. Chat height is lower than dining height and higher than a side table. It is designed for entertaining and visiting. The tables at this level include fire pits, and areas for dining. People are also learning about the cost effectiveness of buying quality materials. We saw how you can just get new covers for some chairs instead of buying new ones.
Weather doesn’t always cooperate with our outdoor plants and for that we have a couple of different ideas. Umbrellas come in all different styles and colors and can really extend your time outdoors. Also outdoor heaters have become more popular as well. There are simple models that can mount on your umbrella and wall mounted ones for your home that will cycle on and off so you don’t waste all that energy for too much heat! If you would like to see some of the new styles and learn more about being comfortable outdoors, stop by Ludeman’s and ask Mark and his staff for some help.
Summer Rose Care
Summer is the time for roses to shine! It is also the time when problems may start to pop up. To talk about some of those rose problems that we may be encountering we stopped by Heirloom Roses (503-538-1576) in St. Paul to chat with Laurel. Laurel talked to William about black spot which is always seen in the garden this time of year. How do you combat those nasty spores? Laurel recommends keeping your plant clean. Pull the infected leaves off the plant once you see them. Also, keep the ground around your plants clean. Dispose of the bad leaves and do not compost them; that will just spread the spores next year. You can also spray your roses. They use a spray in their garden to keep the roses looking great and they have a recipe at the Gift Shop that you can take home and try. We also talked about summer pruning and how to make the right cuts so you can enjoy more blooms in just a few weeks. After your rose has finished blooming you can go down the stem to the first 5-leaf bud on the stem and cut it off there. This will promote a new shoot and more blooms in as little as 4 weeks. If you love roses as much as we do, this weekend was made for you. Heirloom is having their annual summer clearance sale. You can get some of their roses for up to 50% off this weekend. They will also have people there to answer all of your rose questions. Some other tips for keeping our roses in shape during this time of year… give them a boost of a balanced fertilizer and lots of water. If you are looking for more information you can always give them a call, or better yet stop by during the big annual sale this weekend, August 11-12, for a deal on some great roses.
Hazel Dell Garden
Community gardens are growing! People are finding that it is great to garden together. Community gardens also help people who have no garden space or who need help gardening, find helpful people. We found a great garden in Hazel Dell, just outside of Vancouver that has brought together a bunch of community groups to kids to learn about gardening and to help people get fresh produce. We caught up with Barbara Nordstrom who gave us a little history about the Hazel Dell Community Garden. It started in 2003 when the Washington State Extension Agency was looking for a location for a school garden. After doing some research the agent in charge found this location which was great because it was next to an elementary school and also the Boy’s and Girl’s Club. They installed a few raised beds and soon more people got involved. This led to more raised beds, hoop houses and soon groups were joining in to make this garden a success!
To learn how school children are using the garden to learn we visited with Jodee Nickel from the WSU/Clark County Extension office and she helps run the nutrition education programs and the 4-H programs in Clark County. In these programs kids can learn about where their food comes from and how it grows. They also learn about nutrition and respect for others while working in the garden. We even got to visit with Jaiden and Ruby and they shared their excitement with gardening. If you are interested in learning more about this garden or maybe even getting involved with the garden, be sure to check out their website!