Author Archives: Doug
It’s December and we have had more than one hard frost. The perennials and ornamental grasses have died back. The leaves are off the tree. If not for the dwarf conifers, your garden would be barren. During the winter months it is your evergreen shrubs that add the texture and color that are the mainstays of your winter garden.
Dwarf conifers can take the form of pillars, round balls or flat ground covers that add that visual punch that is needed for your winter garden.
Green Arrow Weeping Alaska Cedar: (Chamaecyparis nootkatensis) Tall and narrow growing to 20 feet in 10 years.
Dwarf Colorado Blue Spruce: (Picea p. ‘Glauca Globosa’) Globe shaped conifer growing to 3-5 feet with bright blue color. Hardy down to -40 degrees F.
Weeping White Pine (Pinus strobus ‘Pendula’) Grows to 15 feet tall with a 10 foot width with graceful weeping branches. It has blue green foliage with long ornamental needles.
Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar (Cedrus libani (ssp.atlantica)’Glauca Pendula’). Makes an ideal specimen tree with its drooping and twisted branches. Powdery blue needles are attention grabbing. 10 feet tall and 15-20 feet wide at maturity.
Great overview video on how to prepare and install a new sod lawn. For more step by step instructions please go to our step by step sod installation instructions. Remember to properly install a new sod lawn follow these simple steps.
1. Test your soil and then add in fertilizer, lime and any necessary soil amendments.
2. Rototill or hand till the soil.
3. Level and compact the soil.
4. Moisten and install your new sod.
5. Roll to compact your new sod into the soil.
6. Keep watered and stay off the grass until rooted.
For high quality sod and personal attention and advice, come to the Far West Turf Farm located in Woodland, Washington. Located just North of Portland, Oregon and your perfect source for Portland Sod. Call us at (360) 263-4700 for more information.
Is your pet stopping you from having a beautiful, lush green garden? You don’t have to worry any more. There are ways to create a Dog-Friendly Yard which is not only beautiful but also enjoyable for your pet too.
You need to achieve balance between your landscaping design and your dog’s behaviors, habits and personalities. The following tips will provide you detailed information on creation and maintenance of Dog-Friendly Yards. Remember that every dog is different and has distinct characteristics and personalities. It is important to design landscaping in a way that your dog enjoys the time spent in the garden and at the same time gets some exercise and be able to perform their fun activities.
Digging: Does your dog like to dig? If so it is important to create a spot away from your plants in a shady area so that digging activity there and doesn’t disturb your plants. If your dog loves tunnels, they can be made with wires between plants so that the pet can enjoy in there.
Clean-up: Provide an area for your dog to relieve themselves that is covered in pea gravel or wood chips. This will save your lawn from all the dead spots when your dog chooses their own area.
Safety: Picking up of plants and pesticides for your garden is critical when you have pets. Poisonous plants and hazardous fertilizers, pesticides, chemicals should be avoided. Also plants near paths should not have thorns. Objects like garden hoses should be kept away to avoid any unwanted incidents.
Exercise: The ideal Dog-Friendly Yard should have sufficient free space for the dog to run, play and complete their fun activities. Expensive plants are not needed; instead colorful hanging baskets can be used for the eye treat. Also a well-designed dog house can be built at some corner so that your dog gets an outdoor shelter and stays cool.
Since people love their pets as much as they love their gardens, it is important to design Dog-Friendly Yards keeping in mind all the above points so that your dog, who is a member of your family, will have safe, healthier and fun atmosphere to play and complete their activities.
Who is using sod in the winter months? Sod is used by large construction firms that build bioswales and settling basins where the bio-swales need to be operational very soon and there is too much risk in allowing seed to germinate and grow.
One of our large contractor is purchasing sod by the acre for their bio-swale project. 🙂
Below is a video showing the bioswale using sod (not our contractor) so you can see the application.
- Mow your lawn at regular height until the growth stops. The growth slowdown has already occurred for many lawns.
- Apply lime and a winter type fertilizer. This will slowly be absorbed by the grass roots and prepare your lawn for spring growth.
- Winterize lawn equipment by changing the oil and emptying the fuel tank. Place into storage.
- Remove leaves: Keep your lawn free of leaves so they don’t smother it over the winter.
Then you are ready to enjoy a warm fire and a good book as you wait for the coming of spring.
This tropical looking flowering shrub will bloom all summer and through the fall. The Fuchsia pictured in this blog posting was photographed just a week ago in a Vancouver, WA garden
Winter hardy Fuchsias not only grow, but thrive in the Portland – Vancouver, WA area. They need sun, with full sun being best. Plant them in a well-drained location. Sandy soils with added organic material work well.
The best time to plant is in the spring of the year, but planting can be done through the summer and into early fall.
Winter care of cold hardy (winter hardy) Fuchsias: Allow the frost to kill all of the leaves and trim back the all the non-woody growth. In the spring when green shoots appear, prune the plant back hard and work into the soil a general fertilizer. Fertilize again in August.
This is a graceful looking ornamental grass that is a member of the Hakonechloa family. Its bright colors and textures light up the garden. Japanese forest grass does best in full shad or partial shade. It is slow growing and takes little care once it is established.
Japanese forest grass is available in striped (variegated) or solid and comes in several colors. Colors include Gold or Green with white or gold stripes. Their elegant textures add character to your garden. It typically grows 18-24 inches high with its blades forming arches that flow back down to the ground.
Soil should be well draining and kept moist. Add soil amendments for best growing conditions. Grows well in partial shade. Combines well with Hastas in the garden.
Older plants can be dug up and divided to form new bunches. This dividing is best done in the spring or fall. Remove the dead leaves in early spring before the new growth forms.
Fall is here and winter will be soon. Winter is the season when you spend the least amount of time thinking about your lawn. There are steps you need to take in late fall to make sure your lawn is vibrant and healthy for next spring.
Leaf clean-up: Carefully remove the blanket of leaves that will fall in the next 2 months. A covering of leaves if left over the winter will smother and severely weaken your lawn. Remove any objects or equipment that can block sunlight over the coming long rainy season.
Final Fertilization: In late fall (usually November in the Pacific Northwest) feed your lawn with a good winter type fertilizer. Much like many animals that will bulk up for the winter, lawns will accumulate the fertilizer in its roots to make ready for a spring emergence.
When spring does come, your lawn will emerge from its winter slumber with healthy and lush new growth.
Tips from Far West Turf Farm and Nursery serving Vancouver, WA and Portland, Oregon. Your Vancouver, WA turf farm.
Preparing Your Lawn for Winter
Sod Farm and Nursery
35306 Northwest Toenjes Road
Woodland, WA 98674
Spring & Summer Hours
Monday - Friday 9AM - 4PM
Saturday 9AM - 2:30PM