Green Thumb Guides

You have natural skill for growing plants well.

These Green Thumb Guides will assist you to grow as your garden grows.

Plants for Shade

"These are plants that can grow in light shade to deep shade. Check the cultural requirements of each plant for further information."

Perennials, Shrubs, Trees, Grasses, and Ferns included.

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Pruning Rhododendrons

"Rhododendrons can be cut back severely. If you really need to rejuvenate a plant, do it over a period of 2-3 years, leaving some foliage each year to help the plant survive."

"Consider moving your rhododendron. Some varieties can and will rapidly outgrow their
space. An old gardener’s saying is “Inside every rhody is a 15 foot tree trying to get out!”
Before hacking away at your rhody every year, consider moving it. Rhododendrons are
easily moved because of their shallow root system."

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Nutritious, delicious and easy to grow are three words that describe blueberries. Fruit ripens at different times, so it’s possible with the right combination of plants to have fresh berries from mid-summer into the autumn.

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Butterfly Plants

Butterflies are fascinating garden creatures with many unique characteristics. Butterflies-
• Live on average 20-40 days.
• Eat with a long, flexible, tube like tongue through which they sip nectar and water.

To entice butterflies to your garden, provide them with host plants and nectar plants.

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Container Gardening


You can grow just about anything in containers. Trees, shrubs, annuals, perennials, even herbs and vegetables!

Fertilizing- ... Annuals are heavy feeders and need more than most other plants. If you do not have any annuals in a given pot, you’ll only need to fertilize a couple times a year.

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Deer Resistant Plants

Deer inhabit almost every part of the American continent. They are adaptable and may change their feeding preferences over time. During times of hunger, deer will eat almost any plant to survive. Following is a list of plants that are usually deer resistant.

Rotten Egg Recipe!

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Fruit Trees


Cross pollination is recommended for most apples and pears and many sweet cherries and plums. Most peaches, nectarines and sour cherries are self-fertile. The act of pollination depends mostly on bees.

Descriptions of: Oriental Pear Trees, Pear Trees, Apple Trees, Cherry Trees, Plum Trees, Peaches and Nectarines.

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Growing Grapes

When pruning, keep in mind that fruit is produced on the current season’s growth, that in turn grows from last season’s wood. Heavy pruning provides the best fruit. Light pruning results in large yields of poor-quality fruit; very heavy pruning produces too much vegetative growth and very little or no fruit. Table, juice, and jelly varieties can have 40 to 60 buds per vine, but wine varieties should have only 20 to 30 buds per vine after pruning.

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Hardy Fuchsias

Hardy fuchsias are spectacular plants that offer endless flowers.

This step is the most important. When you plant your hardy fuchsia, plant it three to four inches deeper than it was in the pot. This will stimulate root growth along the buried stem, creating a stronger plant that can survive colder temperatures better. DO NOT use this method on other plants, most will rot. Also make sure to plant your fuchsia in well draining soil and where it will get four to five hours of good sun.

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Hedging Plants

As a screen, to define property boundaries, to create a living fence and to improve the look and atmosphere of the property, the following plants take pruning well
and are good choices for a hedge.

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Herbs are a delicious addition to the vegetable or border garden. They are productive, like vegetables, but in the right spot can add texture and scent to your garden beds. Herbs like full sun and well drained soil. Below are some of our favorites...

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Hummingbird Plants

To keep the Anna hummingbird around during the winter, it is important to plant flowers in your garden that provide food for them year round. The following plants are a
hummingbird favorites...

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For late bloomers, it’s okay to cut them way back. The PeeGee Hydrangea and the Smooth Hydrangeaboth bloom on new wood and are consequently late bloomers. Theyrespond remarkably well to annual pruning, although they do not require it. In late winter, cut the stems back to two or three buds, or 18 to 24” from the ground, similar to a rose bush. This will encourage larger flower size.

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Japanese Maples

For true year-round interest, Japanese Maples have it all. Spring color rivals flowering shrubs with vibrant leaf shades and Fall brings a spectacular fiery show. Even in Winter Japanese Maples reveal an artistic and beautiful structure. Japanese Maples are hardy and adaptable to different soils and they thrive in our Northwest conditions. Used as a specimen plant, in a container or grouped with other plants, there is a size and shape for any garden.

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Long Blooming Perennials

There are some perennials that will bloom for months on their own and others that need a little extra care to keep blooming. The following list includes perennials that bloom for two months or longer and the months in which they bloom. Those with an asterisk * will bloom even longer with deadheading or trimming after the first blooms have faded. For perennials to flower for long lengths of time they need a lot of sun.

Includes: Sshade perennials and additional information.

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Northwest Lawn Care

There are two extra steps you can take to maximize a mowing, leave the grass clippings and mow high. Leaving the clippings acts like a mulch and helps the lawn retain water. Doing so also lets the nutrients from the clippings return to and feed the soil. To further aid in water retention, adjust your mower blade so you are trimming your grass 2-2 ½ inches tall. Tall blades will help shade the soil, which stops water from evaporating. When the grass is growing fast, April through June, you’ll need to mow more frequently. This may be weekly, depending on how fast it’s growing.

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Northwest Native Plants

The Pacific Northwest has a rich and diverse flora. Our native plants range from the great Western Red Cedar to the delicate understory Trillium. Landscaping with natives is beneficial, here's why...

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Northwest Newbies

Welcome to Western Washington, the Evergreen State and the Great Northwest! With our mild maritime climate, it’s possible to plant and garden all year long. Summer features bright blooming perennials, Autumn offers fiery fall colors, Winter captivates us with flowering witchhazel and hellebore, and Spring shows off a rainbow of Rhododendrons and flowering trees. Every month brings new activity, growth and color.

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Planting Trees and Shrubs

You’ve just bought a beautiful tree or shrub and now what? Here are some tips on how to plant it in the ground and get it off to a good start.

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Plants for extremes

A hardy two page list of plants tolerant to either wet or dry soils.

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Raspberries are the taste of summer and also one of the most delicious of the berry crops. Raspberry plants are perennial. The base of the plant and the roots live for many years, but the canes are biennial.

includes: Checklist for Establishing New Raspberries

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Rose Care

Roses grow best in at least six hours of sunlight each day. Morning sun is preferred, as it dries the moisture on the foliage sooner than afternoon sun. Good drainage and good air circulation will keep roses healthy.

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Trees for small spaces

Patio Trees are generally small, have decorative flowers, fruits, foliage or bark, minimal litter and root systems not likely to crack or raise pavement.

Includes relevant Small to Medium Trees.

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Vegetable Gardening

Growing your own vegetables is perhaps the most rewarding type of gardening. Not only do you get to harvest what you’ve grown, you get to eat it too! In addition to being rewarding, growing and eating your own veggies is safer than store bought produce, convenient, money saving and healthy!

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A 2 page list of vines that bring a new beauty to your garden. Trumpt Vines and clematis, grape vine, wisteria add premiums to your garden. Perfect for training up trellises, mailboxes and fences.

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Weeping or Columnar Trees

A list of weeping and columnar trees.

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Winterizing Plants

The easiest way to have your plants breeze through the cool and wet, is to get them established and healthy during the growing season. Plant them in the right place with fertilizer, add compost and water them when needed during spring and summer. Healthy, strong plants survive the cool of winter easily.

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Last Update: 11-3-2013

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