Spring Gardening in Seattle and the the PNW

 

By now we are more than happy to say goodbye to winter. With birds chirping, cherry blossoms blooming, and foliage buds emerging, we can’t help but to think of our gardens.  April is the month to start paying more attention to your landscape. Time to switch from planning to doing. A little maintenance can go a long way!

Deadheading

Once the bulb show is over, remove the flowering stems by cutting as close to the ground as you can. Leave the rest of the foliage while still alive as they are helping to build food storage for the bulb.

Similarly, you can cut off spent blooms of rhododendrons and azaleas. This encourages the plant to put energy into creating new blooms.

Vegetable Gardening

If you have already started germinating some seeds inside, April is the time to start hardening off and transplanting outside! Plants to transplant this month would include broccoli, cabbage (early types), chard, cilantro, kale, parsley and peas. It is also the time to sow cool season seeds directly into the ground.  Cool season plants ready to sow would be leafy greens, carrots, beets, dill, radishes and scallion.

Before you plant, make a garden map!! We highly recommend planning out your garden plot and creating a key, especially if you grow many different edibles.  Many seedling starts look very similar and can drive you crazy trying to figure out which is which if you can’t remember.

 

Slugs & Snails

The wet and rainy climate of the PNW also brings a common garden pest – slugs. Getting ahead of the slugs this month is key because emerging perennial shoots are particularly susceptible to damage. Your garden can benefit from spring applications of organic snail bait. One option is to sprinkle pet-safe iron phosphate bait around the garden.

Ultimately, cultivating a balanced ecosystem within your garden is the best strategy for pest management.  It’s more sustainable to practice preventative pest management, rather than reactive pest control. Supporting biological control agents which naturally eat garden pests is crucial for this to happen. If a pest does get out of control, seek the most non-toxic options available. This can include insecticidal soaps, horticultural oils and botanical insecticides.

Spring gardening can seem overwhelming, especially if you have a large landscape. If you have any questions about how best to prepare your garden, give us a call! You can reach us at 206-551-9872. Happy gardening!