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Watch your garden investment grow with trees

Garden investment grown with trees
Trees may not live forever, but they usually outlive the gardener who plants one to leave a lasting heritage. Think carefully about not only the kind of tree you select but also where you put it in the garden.

Along with the hardscape — paths, terraces, fences and garden shelters — trees form the bones of the garden. One of their most important functions is to give scale to a design; they provide the over-story. A mix of trees, shrubs and low plants fosters a plant community that lends richness to our gardens.

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Cedar Flagging

Cedar flagging is a natural process that is often confused with a disease.  Evergreen plants, including conifers and broad leaf types, naturally shed some old foliage each year. Stress factors, such as insufficient water, hot winds, construction damage or other root disturbance, poor planting procedures, or recent planting can promote flagging.  It is being seen more often this year because it is more common when there is hot weather followed by cold weather.

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The Garden in Autumn

Planting fava beans at Shorewood High School Culinary Arts Garden – a Youth Education Garden in Shoreline, Washington.

Gardening is a year-round activity in western Washington. That may be a bane or a blessing, depending on your perspective.  The garden year doesn’t end when we pick the last tomato at the end of summer. This quarterly feature will highlight what’s going on in gardens in King County. Our gardens can be productive year-round, yielding vegetables and herbs well into fall and through the winter. During October, November, and December we harvest remaining summer produce, clean up the yard and garden to prepare for winter, and plant cool-weather and cover crops for winter and spring.

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Blue Orchard Bees Mason Bees!

Pollination of food crops is essential to society, for without this pollination service, most fruits, nuts and other foods would simply disappear off our dinner tables.  Today, the world depends on a variety of pollinators to perform this task from a variety of sources: Honeybees and a number of other insects – and the hard working Mason Bee. [Originally posted June 2011]

 

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Will My Tree Blow Over?

It’s not unusual to find an assortment of large trees in residential landscapes throughout our coastal region.  Many of these trees are native to the area and undoubtedly not much thought was given to their eventual size when they were planted. As a result, towering one-hundred foot plus Douglas firs, Western Red Cedars and gigantic big leaf maples along with other tree species often dominate the garden landscape.  With meteorologists predicting a stormy winter, the question is often asked, just how safe are these huge trees?  Is there a chance they could lose major branches or even blow over?
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Pinyuh Memorial Cactus Bed Dedication July 18

Dedication Plaque at Pinyuh Cactus Bed in Bellevue Demonstration Garden

Dedication Plaque for Pinyuh Cactus Bed

George Pinyuh was the WSU Regional Extension Agent for Urban and Suburban Horticulture for both King and Pierce County from July 1976 until 1994. He was involved in founding the King County Master Gardeners Bellevue Urban Demonstration Garden, better known as “the Demo Garden.” George and Larry Davis designed and planted a small cactus bed on the west slope of the Demo Garden. After George’s death in 2013, Larry, along with others who had worked with George in the Demo Garden, decided to do something meaningful in his memory at the Demo Garden. The George Pinyuh Memorial Cactus Bed at Bellevue Demonstration Garden was dedicated Saturday, July 18, at the site of the garden.

Read more about the history of the George Pinyuh Memorial Cactus Bed.

Worms In Your Raspberries?


This year that little worm may be the larvae for the Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) (aka Cherry Vinegar fly). The fly has been known to the area since 2009, and is common in many areas around the country now. The SWD attacks cherries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, plums, grapes and nectarines. Breeding sites are found where there is overripe or fallen fruit. Fruits become infected near harvest time (that’s blueberries and raspberries now).

Find out more about SWD in the WSU Factsheet FS049E. WSU also has information about damage, monitoring and management in their Orchard Pest Management pages.

See videos for Spotted Wing Drosophila on the Oregon State University site.

Spring into the Garden

And now the fun begins.  In King County, we wait impatiently for spring, even though our winters are relatively mild compared to the rest of the country.  The bulbs you planted last fall are blooming, and the flowering plum and cherry trees put on a wonderful show.  Incessant rain may keep us indoors; fortunately there are some outdoor and indoor activities that will get you started.

 

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President’s Message April 2015

National Volunteer Week 2015Volunteer Appreciation Week is a great time to acknowledge our incredible Master Gardener volunteers in King County. Our Master Gardeners gave over 22,000 hours in 2014, serving nearly 50,000 King County residents at the plant clinics, gardens, speaking events and outreach programs.

Thank you for not just doing, but doing more, and doing it with creativity and expertise. Congratulations as we celebrate our 42nd year in the WSU Extension program, a national program that began right here in King County!

Points of Light has been celebrating National Volunteer Appreciation Week since 1974. This week is about inspiring, recognizing and encouraging people to seek out imaginative ways to engage their communities.

Thank you, Master Gardeners, for making such a big difference in our community and our county.

Dave Hanower, President
Master Gardener Foundation of King County

The Garden in Winter

Just when you thought you could relax and pore through all those garden catalogs that have arrived, you realize that your yard and garden still need your attention. We’ll look at those catalogs later.

The winter months—January, February, and March—offer many opportunities to get outside. So dress warmly, put on your boots, and tackle these winter gardening tasks.

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