Seasonal Tips for: Spring

tomato seedlings

Long and Cold Spring

What about planting tomatoes?

If you are like the educators on the Garden Hotline, you already have tomato plants in hand, waiting to set them out. OR wait, maybe you already did! It seems like it should be time but this year our spring weather has been particularly cold and wet. If you have set these heat lovers out, […]

It’s Spring!

Oh, wait, it's snowing!!!

The Pacific Northwest spring weather is always a moving target. The old saying ‘March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb’ is a little backwards this year with much of western Washington vacillating between snow, hail, cold rain, wind and 60o F and sunshine! Interestingly, sometimes, especially here in the western […]

Fun With Food Scraps!

Sue Hartman - Garden Hotline educator emeritus

We throw away a lot of food! According to Seattle Public Utilities, Seattle residents throw out approximately 100,000 tons of food annually. Composting food waste is an important step in reducing this mountain of garbage that is now hauled 300 miles away for disposal in a landfill in Eastern Oregon. But you don’t have to […]

Planting Peas!

Cultivating the Pisum sativum

Melissa McGinn and Laura Matter – Garden Hotline Educators Peas are annual plants (grow, bloom, flower and set seed within one growing season) that grow like a vine and can be planted in the cooler part of spring. Peas can be planted from March through May in the northwest for a reliable crop. We sometimes […]

Mulch 101

Laura Matter, Garden Hotline Educator

What is Mulch? Mulch is a form of organic matter spread on the surface of the soil around plants to keep weeds down, conserve moisture and moderate soil temperatures all year long. Fall is a great time to apply mulch—getting ahead of cool season weeds and freezing winter temperatures. When applying mulch to beds with […]

The Best BOMBs: Blue Orchard Mason Bees!

By Katie Vincent, Garden Hotline Educator

Honeybees may be cute, popular and extra fuzzy, but the real proboscis behind most of our region’s fruit crops is a completely different arthropod: the blue orchard mason bee (Osmia lignaria). Why Choose Mason Bees? Native to North America, mason bees get their common name from their habit of patching up naturally occurring holes with […]