Sales | Events | Classes | Tutorials | Garden Tips
It’s the winter season, which means it’s time to get out the dormant spray!
Thanksgiving, Christmas and Valentine’s Day are good markers to remind us to do something nice for our fruit & flowering trees, grape vines, berries, roses, and lilacs.
The Pacific Northwest with its mild, damp conditions is a wonderful place to garden. It is also the fungus capitol of the universe. These fungal spores over-winter in the crooks and fissures of bark and twigs, and may manifest during the growing season as troublesome diseases.
Dormant sprays are compounds that assist us in controlling fungal diseases and many insect infestations, and are used during the winter season while the plant is in its dormant phase. (The plant is dormant, not the spray!)
Common dormant spray materials are acceptable by organic certification standards. Although approved by the EPA for organic use, exposure to the eyes and skin is dangerous and should be applied with caution. Wear long sleeves, gloves and goggles when spraying, and avoid the windy days. As boring and tedious as it may be, always read the label and follow the directions. A special note…more is not better. Under certain conditions, plants may be damaged by using a concentration that is too strong.
Copper Fungicide – Copper Fungicide is a dormant spray and a very good fungicide. While you can use it on any tree, it is the only kind of dormant spray that should be used on Peach and Nectarine trees.
Dormant spraying is the most cost effective method of disease and insect control. It is essentially a sanitizing process performed when the plants are resting. Prevention is the key to success. The spray is applied to the bare limbs and twigs of the plant, thoroughly wetting down the bark, covering all sides until it drips.
The first spray, when done in late autumn or early winter is like putting a raincoat on the plant. Fungal spores blow around in the wind all winter in the maritime northwest. This spray applies a protective coating, which prevents these spores from getting a toe-hold in the bark of the tree or shrub. The second spray, done around Christmas time is an added bonus, but if you are going to skip a spray, this is the one to skip. In the event only one spray can be applied, this should be the Valentine’s Day or late winter/early spring spray. This is the spray that will control apple scab, which can be a serious pest on apples, crabapples and pears. This is known as a delayed dormant spray. Delayed dormant sprays are applied from the "green tip" stage to the "half-inch green" bud growth phase. When the leaf buds are just beginning to emerge and the plant is just starting to come out of dormancy is the time to do this spray. This is by far the most effective time to wipe out the apple scab spores and many newly emerging insects that have just pounced on the fresh green buds. Timing is critical as sprays applied after this can injure the young leaves.
It’s important for the spray to dry on the plant. If it rains within 24 hours of spraying…yup, that’s right, you need to get out there and do it again. So watch the weather report and wait for just the right timing. Look for an above freezing, dry, calm day and apply!
No method of insect and disease control can substitute for good cultural practices in gardening. Healthy plants have their own mechanisms for fending off pests. Don’t forget about healthy soil, appropriate fertilization, adequate water, proper location, correct pruning, debris clean-up, and an appreciation for the alluring wonder and beauty of growing things. And enjoy your Holidays!
Pantone's color of the year symbolizes a fresh start. Follow suit and refresh your indoor space with lush foliage from our ever-growing selection of house plants! We're stocking a wide variety of tropicals, cacti, succulents, airplants and more. Plus plenty of beautiful pots to plant them in!
A Taste of Spring
Chasing the Grey Away
Early Spring plants have arrived! Brighten up these rainy PNW days by planting colorful containers on your porch or entryway. Gorgeous Violas, Pansies, Primroses, Hellebores and much more.
Just in: New Outdoor Pottery
Browse the nursery for new outdoor pottery and statuary, arriving daily. Bright colors and beautiful textures in a variety of shapes and sizes to compliment any landscape.
Plant this Fall for Spring Blooms!
Planting bulbs in containers offers a solution to gardeners who lack the space to create a full garden. Spring blooming bulbs can be grown in decorative pots to add accents to patios, decks and entryways. Bulbs planted in beds outside require little maintenance, however, with a few guidelines and commitment, container bulbs can prove equally as easy.
Read more from the Netherland Bulb Company about container bulb planting here. Stop by the garden shop to browse our bulb wall and see the wide range of bulbs and potential blooms.
Pumpkins have arrived
It doesn't feel quite like Fall until porches and front yards are decorated with warm colors, lots of textures and of course, pumpkins! This year we have a wide variety of carving, ornamental and mini pumpkins including Fairytale, Cinderella, Ghost and more. Stop by all month and pick out your favorites!
Fall Garden Tips: Cover Crop & Improving Soil
Now is the time to sow cover crop over your beds to prepare for spring. This helps replenish nutrients, suppress weeds, loosen the soil and add nitrogen back in. You don't need much – a little seed goes a long way!
Be sure to take advantage of our sale on Gardner & Bloome Soil Building Conditioner (Buy 3 get 1 free) while supplies last.
Final Week of our Fall Progressive Sale
The moist climate that comes with Autumn makes it the best time of the year to plant – the soil is still warm, allowing roots to continue to grow until the ground freezes. We're celebrating this transition with discounts throughout our nursery on Trees, Shrubs, Vines, Outdoor Pottery and Statuary as well as running a Buy 3 get 1 Free special on soil conditioner. Stop by this week for big savings!
Sept 17-25: 40% OFF: Trees*, Shrubs*, Vines*, Outdoor Pottery & Statuary
Buy 3 get 1 FREE Gardner & Bloome Soil Building Conditioner (while supplies last)
*Select green tagged plants will remain at the 20% through out the sale.
Fall Planting Tips: Soil Conditioning
As we all have discovered for ourselves, Whidbey is mostly made up of clay and gravel–which makes for a tough environment for most plants. So, any time you add organic matter to your beds you are helping enrich the soil and drastically improve conditions! Top mulch a few inches of compost or soil conditioner (like Gardner & Bloome) during the Fall–it will compost down over the Winter and you'll be primed for planting come Spring! This Soil Conditioner helps slow drainage and retain moisture in sandy soil while breaking up clay beds as well.
Time to Plant: Trees, Shrubs, & Vines
As September rolls in so does the warm colors, cooler weather, and misty grey clouds. This Fall moisture makes it the best time of the year to plant – the soil is still warm, allowing roots to continue to grow until the ground freezes. We're celebrating this transition with discounts throughout our nursery on Trees, Shrubs, Vines, Outdoor Pottery and Statuary. Stop by during the month for tiered savings listed below.
Sept 3-9: 20% OFF
Sept 10-16: 30% OFF*
Sept 17-25: 40% OFF*
*Select green tagged plants will remain at the 20% through out the sale.
By Eric Studebaker
When I was young, my grandmother had a giant Pacific Dogwood tree in the front yard. In flower, the tree was magical, with thousands of saucer like flowers held delicately on its wispy branches. Her yard was small, so this huge old tree dominated her front yard. Unfortunately, the tree was also suffering from a dreaded fungal disease called Anthracnose. This made the tree drop leaves throughout spring and summer, and I specifically remember kicking leaves around her yard as a young boy. This made the tree messy, and very unsightly at times when the tree had no flowers. Over the years, I always remember that tree, think of her, and have a particular passion for what I consider the most beautiful flowering trees on earth.
I have now been selling Dogwood trees for more than 30 years, hoping to inspire the passion to customers that I hold to heart. Fortunately, there are breeders with the passion, crossing and selecting the trees for heavy flowering, disease resistance, and better overall performance in our landscapes. I could not be happier, and have come to recognize other attributes of these fine trees. They not only bloom with wild abandon, most have have great fall color, and some even produce beautiful, and edible, bird friendly fruit.
Here are a few great dogwood trees, most rather recent, for you to consider. There are many other great forms available, as Dogwood is a large group of trees and shrubs. I hope they bring you some passion as well.
Satomi Kousa Dogwood
A recent Rutgers introduction with large white flowers, large red fruits, and beautiful fall colors of reds and oranges. The flowers are said to cover the tree, the fruit is large – like a strawberry, and abundant. I have been amazed at the flower production of the young trees I have seen so far. Matures up to to 20ft x 18ft.
Summer Gold Dogwood
I have fallen head over heels for this new Korean Dogwood and had to have one for my garden. It combines foliage, flowers, fruit, and fall color in a way few trees can. The foliage is bright, like sunglasses bright, and refuses to burn, even in the hot sun and heat of last summer. The white flowers take on pink hues as they age and contrast the foliage nicely. The late summer fruit is also beautiful, reddish-orange, and highly ornamental against the foliage. The fall foliage is a riot of different colors and
tones–including pink! The tree is said to be small, reaching 8ft high and 5ft wide in 10 years. I love the variegated plants and think this form is going to be a winner.
Milky Way Dogwood
This is a selected form of Korean Dogwood with flowers as abundant as the stars in the sky. The flowers begin a chartreuse color in late May, then age to white, and finally take on pink hues. Generous red raspberry like fruits cover the tree in late summer. In Fall, the foliage color is orange tones. The tree has a beautiful rounded and tiered form, with cascading outer branches. Mature height is about 15-20ft high and wife. Sun or partial sun is best.