Pacific Northwest

January, 2012
Regional Report

Get Ready for Seed Starting Time

Plan to start seeds indoors soon. The official last average frost date in our region is April 15, and many seed packets tell you to start them indoors 6-8 weeks before last frost. Nothing gives my spring fever a jump-start like seeing the fresh green of a new seedling emerge.

Repot Houseplants

It's time to think about repotting your houseplants. Give those cramped plants some space, but not too much -- only increase one inch in the diameter of pot size. Use a good-quality potting soil. General purpose potting soils are available in garden centers, as are special blends for African violets, orchids, cacti, and bonsai.

Feed Hungry Birds

Continue to keep your bird feeders and birdbaths clean and filled. If you have a suet feeder, now is the perfect time to put it out.

Grow Something New

This year plan to grow at least one new vegetable that you've never grown before; it may be better than what you are already growing. The new dwarf varieties on the market that need less space while producing more food per square foot may be just what you're looking for. Be sure to look for varieties with improved insect and/or disease resistance. Watch for drought-tolerant types, too.

Check Watering Needs

Water landscape plants beneath wide eaves and underneath trees or in other sites shielded from rain. Reapply and or redistribute mulches that have blown or washed away during winter storms.

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