- Make a fresh cut in your Christmas tree right before you put it in water.
- Keep water in your Christmas tree stand at all times. Add “Tree Life” to keep your Christmas tree fresher.
- Keep Christmas tree away from heat vents, stoves, and candles.
- Take down Christmas trees and decorations before they get too dry.
- Wrap trunks of smooth-barked trees up to the bottom branch to prevent sunscald and cracking.
- Protect outdoor plants from rodents and deer—wrap trunks with tree wrap that they cannot chew or rub through.
- Fence young trees.
- Use spray repellents.
- Poison voles
- Apply Wilt-Pruf to evergreens susceptible to winter burn. (Dwarf Alberta Spruce, arborvitae, some pines) Apply Wilt-Pruf on a warm day.
Saturday, August 17, 2013 8:00-6:00
How they work: From July 29 through August 16, Cashman Nursery will give you one Zucchini Buck for every $10 you spend at our nursery. Then, on August 17, during our Zucchini Festival, you can redeem them here for plants or any items in the store.
10:00 - Lucia Christie, a representative from Skagit Gardens, will tell you about EXCITING NEW LATE SUMMER AND FALL PERENNIALS for your garden. She’ll touch on ideas to spruce up your pots and flowers for late summer and fall.
10:45 - TOUR OF CASHMAN GARDENS with Bonnie Hickey. See what is blooming and looks good in August!
11:30 - Scott Peterson, owner of Storm Castle Café, will show you IDEAS FOR COOKING WITH SUMMER SQUASH.
Start growing a BIG one because great prizes will be given for the biggest zucchini. Plan to bring in a dish made from zucchini for the recipe contest.
All entries must be submitted by 11 AM!
- Biggest Zucchini — Great prizes!
- Best Food Dish made with Zucchini — More great prizes!
- Best Decorated Zucchini — For children ages 4-14 — Kid’s prizes!
10:00 – 12:30 ART PROJECTS for all ages!
Past Zucchini Festival Photos
Click any photo to see an enlarged version
Red Rocket Maple (Acer rubrum ‘Red Rocket’) — Narrow, columnar shape—8’spread x 30’ height. Fiery red fall foliage.
Pacific Sunset Maple (Hybrid of Acer truncatum, a maple native to northern China, and Acer platanoides or Norway maple) — Compact, relatively small hardwood tree. Good fall color.
Goldspur Amur Chokecherry (Prunus maackii ‘Jefspur’) — Hardy tree for small spaces—10-15’ height x 8’ spread. White flowers in spring, golden, exfoliating bark, tiny black fruit in summer.
Little Devil Ninebark (Physocarphus poulifolium ‘Little Devil’) — One of the smallest ninebarks, 3-4’, so requires no pruning. Reddish-purple foliage. Whitish-pink flowers in June.
Superstar Spirea (Spiraea x bumalda ‘Denistar’) — Smaller & more compact than Froebels spirea—2.5’x 3.5’. Deep green foliage with red new growth. Deep pink blossoms all summer. Bronze fall leaves.
Setting Sun Potentilla (Potentilla fruticosa) — Unusual peach-colored flowers with a dark peach-red eye. Compact—2’ height x 3’ spread.
All the Rage Shrub Rose — Easy Elegance Series, Coral buds opening to apricot blossoms. Blooms all summer. Disease resistant. Pleasing, round shape—2.5-4’ height.
Valley Cushion Mugho Pine (Pinus mugho mugus) — Smaller than the commonly sold dwarf mugho pine–only 2-3’ wide. Hardy.
Fruits, Vegetables & Herbs
Ozark Beauty Strawberry — Everbearing, deep red, firm berries, ‘just right’ sweetness.
Organiks — One of our biggest bedding plant suppliers is offering a new line of organically grown herbs and vegetables grown in organic soils, using organic fertilizers, and 100% eco-friendly, recylable pots! Perfect for those of us trying to become more earth-friendly.
We will have many new perennials but here are a couple of the best new perennials for 2013:
Variegated Solomons Seal (Polygonatum odoratum ‘Variegatum’) — Awarded the 2013 Perennial Plant of the Year! Greenish-white flowers in early summer and variegated (green and white) foliage. This hardy perennial is fragrant and needs a shady spot.
Sneezeweed (Helenium autumnale) — Two new compact (20”) Heleniums: ‘Fuego’ and ‘Salsa’ will form a mass of color in the late summer and early fall garden. Salsa is bright red Fuego flowers are orange and golden.
Again lots of beautiful, new annuals, but here are two worth noting:
Lemon Slice Superbells (Calibrachoa) — Bicolor white and bright yellow striped flowers for growing in pots or hanging baskets.
Blue a Fuse Petunia — Bicolor petunia with blue and white stripes. Trailing compact habit for containers or hanging baskets.
This is the time of the year when gardeners are pouring over seed catalogs dreaming of what seeds to plant when spring finally arrives. Those little seeds are truly God’s wonders. They contain all that is necessary to produce a new plant. Did you know that orchid seeds are so tiny it takes 800,000 of them to make an ounce? But coconut seeds can weigh as much as 50 pounds! And, amazingly, the size of the seed has nothing to do with the size of the plant it produces, as the acorn growing into the oak shows us.
You don’t have to wait until May to get your hands in the dirt and start planting your seeds. You can have fun this winter starting your own vegetables and flowers from seed and watching them grow. Of course, you could buy your bedding plants from a nursery in the spring. But it’s more fun and cheaper to grow your own.
Many vegetables, flowers, and herbs need to be started from seed early in order to mature. And remember, even though you are starting peppers and tomatoes inside, you still need to pick early-ripening varieties for our short growing season. Broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, pumpkins, and winter squash are other vegetables started early inside. Herbs, such as basil, oregano, catnip, thyme, and rosemary, are easy to grow from seed. When you want masses of a perennial flower, it can be a money saver to start your own seedlings. Columbine, lupine, hollyhocks, gaillardia, shasta daisy, and purple coneflower are a few popular perennials that grow easily from seed.
Plant your seeds in plastic flats or pots made for that purpose or you can cut down paper or plastic milk cartons, aluminum cans, or other containers you have at home. At the nursery we seed into flats and then transplant into plastic or peat pots. Convenient peat pots can be planted, pot and all, directly into the ground when it’s time. Whatever you use should have drainage and be clean. Used pots with traces of soil in them can harbor diseases. So wash out whatever containers you use with a weak solution of one part bleach to nine parts water.
Of course, you will need soil in which to plant your seeds. Real topsoil is not recommended unless it is sterilized, because it can cause seedlings to ‘dampen off’. Damping off is a soil-borne fungus disease in which the seedlings wither and die at ground level. A fine seed-starting mix with a blend of sphagnum peat moss, vermiculite, and other sterilized components works best.
The date you start your seeds depends on germination time, growth rate of the plant, and when you dare to plant outside. Depending on the variety, it could take anywhere from 6 weeks to 3 months to start perennial seeds inside. April 15 is a good starting date for frost tender basil, pumpkins, winter squash and cucumbers. Seed broccoli, cauliflower, and brussel sprouts 6 to 8 weeks before you want to plant them outside.
Large seeds, such as pumpkins and cucumbers, can be planted directly into peat pots or other containers you are using. We plant small seeds like tomatoes densely in rows in seeding flats and transplant them when they are about 2 inches tall. But if you are doing this on a small scale, planting one or two tomato seeds directly into your peat pots will work. The depth most seeds are planted should equal the length of the seed. Do not plant them too deep. Seeds need the proper moisture and temperature to germinate. Moisten the soil medium before you plant; and then keep it evenly moist but not soaking. If possible, use a clear dome or some other device to keep the humidity up. Although some seeds need higher or lower temperatures, 70 degrees soil temperature is best for germination.
Nancy Berg, our bedding plant grower, worries that a common mistake people make is keeping their flats of seeds on a windowsill. The flat gets warm in the daytime, but at night, especially near a cool window, will be too cold for germination to occur. We use germination mats which heat the bottom of the flats to an even temperature.
Some seeds need stratification and scarifying in order to germinate. Stratification means to supply a period of moist cold to trick the seeds into thinking they’re experiencing winter. Columbine and purple coneflower are two popular perennials seeds that you will need to stratify for at least 3 weeks. Scarifying means to nick the hard outer seed coat with a knife or sandpaper so moisture can reach the inside of the seed for germination. Lupine seeds need to be scarified. Soaking the seed before planting also helps to loosen the hard seed coats.
Most seeds germinate in 5 to 14 days. Once your seedlings are up, remove them from the heat mat and remove the grow domes. Most seedlings grow best at around 70 degrees. They may get too hot in direct sun and stretch toward the light. Grow lights work well, but a bright room out of direct sunlight will work fine, too. It is important to keep the soil evenly moist but not too wet. A good misting in the morning is probably enough.
When your seedlings have developed their first set of true leaves, they are ready for transplanting into individual pots. Plant a clump of herb seedlings in each pot for best results. For tomatoes and peppers, plant just one per pot. Fertilize your seedlings about once a week with a water soluble fertilizer. Miracle Gro (15-30-15) fertilizer used at the houseplant rate works well.
Grow your own bedding plants so you and your family can marvel at the wonder of seeds. Then, in May, you will be ready to plant your seedlings outside. And enjoy your garden!
By Jan Cashman 7/8/12
We don’t know what the rest of the summer will bring, but so far it’s been hot and very dry. Humidity has been low and the trees, shrubs, flowers, and vegetables in our yards and gardens can easily become stressed. Here are a few hints from those in the know…
- Water deeply and less often. This was the most commonly mentioned hint by those I polled. Whether it’s grass, trees, shrubs, or flowers, deep watering encourages deep rooting. Just wetting the soil’s surface won’t do that; the roots will stay shallow. Large trees will especially benefit by a trickling hose under them until the root system is saturated.
- Water in the cool of the morning, not the heat of the day when there is less evaporation. This will waste less water.
- Water the soil, not the leaves of your plants. Water hitting the leaves of your plants, whether lettuce in your vegetable garden, or roses or quaking aspen can encourage fungus (leaf spot) diseases.
- Establishing new plants, whether sod, flowers, vegetables, shrubs or trees, takes more frequent and diligent watering than your established plants do. These new plants are not rooted in well so their new root systems will dry out quickly. The sprinkler system for your lawn is not enough for newly planted trees and shrubs.
- Group plants with like water requirements together for efficient watering. Consider native plants that require less water. Many beautiful landscape plants are drought tolerant, once established.
- A thick (up to 3”) mulch, such as soil pep (ground up bark), holds moisture in the soil and decreases weeds. Mulches work especially well in perennial flower beds.
- Just because you have a drip or sprinkler system, doesn’t mean you can forget about it. Drip systems can plug up; they can be set wrong. Dana Durham, owner, Lawn Rain Sprinklers, recommends one or more 5 gallon per hour emitters for trees and 2 gallon per hour for shrubs, running twice a week on established plants. Bubblers are recommended over traditional drip tubes for trees and shrubs—they are less likely to plug. Dana is using a new, popular product called ‘Netafim’ to water perennial and annual flowers with emitters inside a pipe every 6” or 12” in a grid system. The pipes can be covered with mulch to hide them. Natafim stations for flowers are separate from the tree and shrub stations, coming on more often—sometimes twice a day during this hot weather.
Reset your lawn sprinkler system to come on less often (possibly every other day during hot July weather, twice a week when the weather is cooler) but with a longer duration for each set. (Newly laid sod needs to be watered more often.)
You can check the amount of water your system puts out by placing straight-sided cans around under the sprinklers. Don Mathre, former MSU Professor and Garden Club member, says that the old idea that plants need 1” of moisture per week does not hold true during dry and hot weather in mid-summer. Reset your system and water more during these times. Possibly as much as 2” per week or more will be needed depending on your soil type and where you live. (Belgrade’s soils are rocky and drain quickly, so plants there need more water than those of us with heavy clay soil.)
- Stick your finger down a few inches into the soil to test its moisture. And watch for wilting plants. Close personal observation of your plants is the best.
- As summer progresses, decrease watering of trees and shrubs to encourage them to ‘harden off’ or go dormant. This may mean cutting back on your sprinkler system settings, where trees and shrubs are planted, come August. By then, the days are shorter and the nights cooler so less water is needed to keep your grass green.
- Remember, overwatering can be just as detrimental to plants as underwatering. In low spots, with a sprinkler system, or where heavy clay soils are present, plants can drown. Symptoms of overwatering are a lot like those of underwatering—yellow leaves, brown edges on leaves, wilting. If the area is squishy wet when you walk on it, or if you have landscape fabric with mulch around your plants, check for overly wet ground and make corrections.
Enjoy your summer but, for the health of your landscape plants and lawn, be aware of their water requirements as the summer goes on.
by Jan Cashman 5/27/12
Ninebarks (genus Physocarpus) are easy–to-grow, woody shrubs that have increased in popularity over the last few years. One reason for ninebark’s increased popularity is their stunning leaf colors on graceful, arching branches and great new, compact varieties.
Ninebark gets its name because its exfoliating bark is said to peel off in nine layers. This interesting bark makes it a noteworthy shrub even in the winter when the leaves are off.
Another plus for ninebarks is their extreme hardiness (many to USDA hardiness Zone 2) and tolerance of adverse conditions. Ninebarks are not fussy about soil type; they will grow in alkaline clay soil with a high pH or soils with a lower pH. They can withstand cold and heat and will grow in full sun or partial shade. They are extremely drought tolerant but can withstand wet soils. However, ninebarks have been known to get powdery mildew and they are not deer resistant.
Diabolo (sometimes called Diablo) is a large (8-10’) shrub with red-purple leaves and light pinkish-white flowers that contrast nicely against the foliage. Its size can be controlled by cutting it back to the ground each spring. Use Diabolo as a substitute for Purple Leaf Plum for a reliable purple-leafed plant.
Center Glow ninebark, developed in Minnesota, with 8 to 10 feet mature height, is much like Diabolo except the leaves are a brighter red and the new foliage emerges a glowing yellow-green. To achieve its best leaf color, plant Center Glow Ninebark in full sun. Leaves turn red and yellow in the fall.
Summer Wine is a more compact version of Diabolo ninebark with the same wine-colored leaves. It grows to only 5-6’ and seldom needs pruning. Summer Wine Ninebark has the same delicate, pinkish-white flowers in mid-summer and purple to red leaves in the fall.
Compact Dart’s Gold ninebark has bright yellow foliage—plant one next to a Summer Wine for a great contrast. Zone 2 hardy—it grows to only 4-5’ with white flowers and red fruit.
Coppertina is a new tall (8 feet) but narrow hybrid combination of Dart’s Gold and Diabolo Ninebarks. Coppertina’s leaves emerge an attractive copper color in the spring, transforming to a rich red in the summer. As with the other ninebarks, soft pink flowers appear in mid-summer.
Mallow Ninebark (Physocarpus malvaceous) is a native ninebark which grows to about six feet in height. It is found in west and central Montana and other mountain areas east of the Cascades growing in dry canyons and rocky hillsides and in Ponderosa pine and Douglas fir forests. Native ninebarks are found here in the Bozeman Pass, Trail Creek, and Bear Canyon areas. Three to six foot in height, this native variety of ninebark spreads from suckers. Its green leaves turn brownish-red in the fall.
Ninebark has stunning leaf colors, year-round interest, and toughness in dry conditions and poor soil, and no serious insect or disease problems. You can’t go wrong planting ninebark shrubs!
by Jan Cashman 4/29/12
You can’t go wrong with pansies. We all love their smiling faces in the spring. And now, pansies are also available without faces, in intense solid colors like white, yellow, orange, blue, even black. Many are sweetly fragrant.
Pansies, considered an “annual” flower, are sometimes perennial here—in a winter with good snow cover and not-so-cold temperatures, pansies’ leaves survive under the snow. I have found that the smaller the flower on a pansy, the more likely it is to survive the winter. Tiny pansy flowers, called Johnny-Jump-Ups, survive easily for me, becoming a bit invasive in my flower beds. I am always weeding them out but I leave a few to fill in empty spaces.
There are basically 3 sizes of pansies—large-flowered with flowers 3” across or more, violas, with 1 1/4” flowers often found in solid colors, and Johnny Jump Ups with flowers 1” across or less. Johnny Jump Ups’ flowers are only combinations of purple, white, and yellow, not other colors.
Recently, spreading pansies, including a series called “Rain”, have been developed to trail in hanging baskets and containers. New, beautiful ‘Columbine’ and ‘Etain’ violas, listed as perennial, not annual, flowers are hardy to Zone 4.
Pansies (genus Viola) were found native in Europe as a small wildflower they called ‘Heartsease’ which looked like our Johnny Jump Ups. In the early 19th century, Lady Mary Elizabeth Bennett brought the pansy to the attention of gardeners after cultivating Heartsease in her father’s garden in England and developing many new varieties. Other breeders followed her lead in breeding, until the improved pansy became a favorite of gardeners. The name pansy is derived from the French word “pensee” (which means ‘thought’) because the flower looks like a pensive human face.
Plant pansies in early spring–they prefer cool weather and will provide your gardens with an early show of color. Once hardened off, they can take frost. During a hot spell in the summer, pansies will bloom less. One exciting series called “Ultima Radiance”, developed to be hardy and heat tolerant, has unique flowers splashed with radiant colors of violet or pink.
In a flower bed, plant pansies in groups of three or more for a mass effect. Pansies companion well under dwarf shrubs and with perennial flowers. They work well planted around bulbs in the spring or with dusty miller and ornamental kale for a fall display. I plant pansies in my herb garden next to annual and perennial herbs. (Pansies are an edible flower, often used as a colorful salad garnish for special occasions.) A popular gardening trend today is using edible plants as ornamentals, so try planting pansies with greens like lettuce and parsely in your flower garden. Pansies will also look great in a container mixed with other shade-loving plants.
Plant pansies today and enjoy their beautiful blooms in an array of colors. You’ll love their sweet fragrance—and they’ll thrive in our cool climate.
Growing Hints for Pansies:
• Plant in an area with less than 6 hours of sun per day
• Pinch back if they become leggy
• When hot summer weather starts, cut them back to 2”
• Do not overfertilize
• Deadhead spent flowers for continuous bloom
- Prune evergreens and spring-flowering hedges
- Sow Lawn seed once soil warms
- Plant bare root nursery stock
- Spray for fire blight at apple blossom time
- Sow wild flower seeds and native grasses
- Fertilize, mow and water lawn
- Sow cool-season vegetable seeds (early May)
- Sow warm-season vegetable seeds (late)
- Prepare dahlias, gladiolus and begonias
- Fertilize evergreens
- Sow annual flower seeds
- Apply fruit tree sprays after blossoms fall
- Transplant evergreens
- Plant strawberries & raspberries
- Bait for slugs
- Plant geraniums & other annuals in late May (protect from frost)
- Fertilize shrubs & trees if needed
- Harvest rhubarb & asparagus
by Jan Cashman 4/6/12
Vegetable gardening is “in”. Everyone is growing vegetables these days to save dollars at the grocery store and provide better tasting, nutritious food grown without chemicals. Vegetable gardening is an inexpensive, fun activity the whole family can enjoy together.
There is more than one way to be successful at vegetable gardening. Remember, gardening isn’t difficult. Here are 10 hints to help you get started:
- Learn by reading books and magazines, attending classes, and asking neighbors who are successful at gardening or the staff at your local garden center for advice.
- Plan out your garden on paper before you start. Keep this plan for your records and jot down other ideas throughout the season for next year’s garden. Choose short-season vegetables—‘days to ripening’ is usually listed on the seed package or learn from others which varieties are best suited to our climate.
- Start small. Make the size manageable for your first garden so you won’t be overwhelmed.
- Consider gardening in raised beds. We have found our raised bed gardens to be easy and productive for several reasons: Their height makes them easier to plant, weed, and harvest; weeds pull easily in the loose soil, the soil is warmer so vegetables grow faster. Whether in the ground or in raised beds, rotate your crops every 3 years or so.
- Amend your soil whether you are growing in raised beds or in the ground with generous amounts of organic matter such as compost or peat moss or well-rotted manure. Our heavy clay soils can be lacking in organic matter.
- Know when and how much to water. A drip system or soaker hose keeps water off the leaves which is important for leafy crops like lettuce. These watering systems will not waste water because they don’t water between the rows (Don’t water your weeds). Watering in the morning is best–water deeply, not daily. A general rule, unless our weather is unusually hot and dry, is 1” of moisture a week for most plants. Learn to recognize signs of stress in a plant from too much or not enough water.
- Fertilizer is a must! Whether you use organic or chemical fertilizers, your garden will do better if you fertilize it. We fertilize twice, once when the seedlings are a few inches tall and again when they are ½ grown. Corn and leafy crops need higher Nitrogen fertilizers; the rest of your vegetables will do well with something like Lily Miller’s Tomato and Vegetable Food (5-10-10), an environmentally friendly fertilizer which also includes important trace minerals.
- Don’t let your weeds get out of control! Weeds are a lot easier to pull when they are small and your soil is moist. We avoid chemical herbicides in our vegetable garden. Some gardeners place newspapers or black poly between their rows to keep weeds down.
- Protect from deer, rabbits, voles, and other pests. They can ruin all your hard work. Last spring, after deer pulled up our newly planted Brussels sprouts, we fenced our whole garden with 5’ fencing. Use smaller gauge wire to keep rabbits out. Voles are hard to control but traps work and poisons are available. Net strawberries and raspberries from birds and use rotenone or row covers to protect broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower from cabbage worms.
- Use tricks to keep frost at bay—such as wall-o-waters for tomatoes, hot caps, frost blankets, even old gallon milk jugs or 5 gallon pails. Turn on your sprinklers when a frost occurs to protect vegetable plants from freezing.
Get your children involved. They might be persuaded to eat their vegetables if they grow them themselves. Have fun with your vegetable garden and enjoy the nutritious, delicious fruits of your labor.
A barrier between grass and flower or shrub beds can keep grass from encroaching on your beds and keep mulches from spilling over into your grass. Edging helps the gardener who wants a low-maintenance landscape to keep their grounds looking neat. There are many types of edging that will add beauty, interest, and practicality to your landscape.
Round Top Vinyl
Vinyl lends itself to flowing, smooth curves. If properly installed,vinyl is one of the best edging values. Because of its low cost, our landscape department uses vinyl edging more than any other type.
Disadvantages: Vinyl edging can be damaged by lawn mowers.
Installation Hints: Vinyl edging is easy to install yourself. Purchase good quality, heavy-duty vinyl, which is thicker (.1”) and taller (5”)—it will be worth it. Stake at 45 degree angles through the middle of the edging. Do not place connections on curves.
Steel edging, usually painted green, is considered the Cadillac of edgings. It lasts and its clean edge is inconspicuous.
Disadvantages: Steel is heavy and is hard to bend into tight curves. It is difficult to install in hard, rocky ground.
Installation Hints: Professional installers weld seams so they do not separate.
Black aluminum edging is almost completely invisible. It forms curves easier than steel and provides a long-lasting border.
Disadvantages: Because it is a softer metal, aluminum can be dented or damaged by lawnmowers and other equipment.
Installation Hints: Aluminum is easier to install than steel edging because it is lighter and the pieces slide together for easier joint connection.
Long-lasting concrete edging can be dyed and/or stamped to make it more visually appealing. It is easy to mow along and weed-eat around.
Disadvantages: Once installed, it is hard to change. The light, bright color of undyed concrete can detract from your plants and landscape.
Installation Hints: Best professionally installed.
Natural looking. Stones can be any size from small rocks, to flat blocks set on edge, to boulders.
Disadvantages: Heavy to work with and can be a challenge to get to look natural. Weed-eating around them is hard.
Installation Hints: Install in a trough of sand. Use herbicide to control weeds.
Can give your garden a Western look. Logs can be laid flat or stood on end. Or use railroad ties. Any wood will hold up better if treated.
Disadvantages: Difficult to keep in place because frost cause it to heave. Wood deteriorates over the years.
Installation Hints: Install in a trough of sand. Use herbicides to control weeds.
In most places in our yard we use no edging at all. Every spring, before the flowers grow too big, between our perennial flower beds and our lawn, we cut a vertical edge. Then, throughout the summer we use a sharp spade, and sometimes a little herbicide, to weed out invading grass. I like the look of this crisp, grass edge, but it does take extra time to maintain. Your edging choice depends on cost, ease of installation, and, of course, the look you want. Whichever you choose, make sure it is installed properly for a long-lasting solution.