Seasonal Tips

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 […]

Gardening and COVID-19 Concerns

Safe and Healthy Gardening This Spring

If you are like many of us, fortunate to be healthy and safe from the COVID-19 illness, you might be finding yourself home right now with some time on your hands. And if you are also like many of us northwesterners, in love with the outdoors, you might be coming to the realization that you actually […]

Getting Ahead of Winter

How to protect your plants during inclement weather

How well your plants will fare during bouts of winter snow and freezing temperatures depends on many factors. You will want to look at how well your plants are sheltered, the hardiness of your varieties and the maturity of your plants. If plants are already under stress or if they are in containers, they might sustain […]

Leave the Leaves

Katie Vincent, Garden Hotline Educator Fall is iconic—and, sometimes, obnoxious—for the swath of red, orange, yellow and brown deciduous leaves that litter the ground. But this shedding of foliage is more important to our yard’s ecosystem than many of us may believe. Getting the leaves out of your driveway and street side curbing will also […]

The Waning Days of Summer

What a summer we have had in the Pacific Northwest! From record heat to minimal rain to smoky skies that kept us indoors we have all been challenged to keep our gardens alive and thriving. Our rainfall measure since April ended (and that was a rainy month!) stands at 0.88 inches total. An average summer […]

Support Your Local Pollinators!

Summer is approaching in its usual mercurial Pacific Northwest style – breaking high temperature records one week and enveloping us in June gloom the next. Our local pollinators pay little heed, staying focused and intent on their tasks in our blooming gardens. Many of us barely notice the purposeful travels of our insect companions, brushing away a […]

Juniper and berries

Greenery for Wreaths: Honoring our Flora

Katie Vincent, Garden Hotline Educator

As a symbol of strength and prominence, the wreath has adorned crowns and dwellings of humankind for thousands of years. And in the dead of winter when little else grows, what better way to pay tribute to our region’s resident evergreen trees than to make our own wreaths from fallen branches? After all, these benevolent […]

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 […]

Tomato Late Blight Season is Upon Us!

Melissa McGinn, Garden Hotline Educator

It’s mid-summer and you have your tomatoes planted in healthy, well-drained, nutrient-rich soil. You water your tomatoes with a soaker hose in the early morning before work. Your staking system is a work of architectural perfection. But with one swift wind on a cool, humid day, spores from an infected plant up to 30 miles […]