Hiking tips

Change of climate, change of gardeners. Here are some tips for adapting


Mulch seals in moisture and prevents the sun from heating up the soil.

Olympic archive photo

It’s a good time to buy spring-flowering bulbs like daffodils and tulips as soon as you see them for sale.

You can store the bulbs in a paper bag until you have time to plant them, but remember where you store them. You need to plant the bulbs before the end of November to give them the best change in root growth before winter sets in.

September is also the best time to dig and divide irises and to fertilize the lawn.

Next week, I’ll be giving a Zoom talk on “The Changing Garden and the Changing Gardener: Tips for Climate Change and Senior Gardeners to Refresh the Landscape”. This is an advantage for the master gardener program. I offer 10 tips for adapting to the changes to come. Here is an overview.

1. Accept our warmer summer weather. Collect large umbrellas to shade your hydrangeas and hostas during extreme heat. Better yet, replace wilted hydrangeas with heat-tolerant Pee Gee hydrangeas. Also consider adding a shade structure to your deck.

2. Add a layer of mulch to your soil. This will seal in the moisture and prevent the sun from heating up the soil.

3. Put drought-tolerant yuccas, sedums and succulents in containers. They’ll do the trick if you’re not around to water on hot summer days.

4. Trim your lawn. As your shrubs get bigger, cut more lawn to widen the beds. By planting more drought-tolerant shrubs like spirea and barberry, you’ll have less pruning and less mowing.

5. Learn to use a “winged weeder” or a pointed hoe to weed while standing. Hide uprooted weeds behind your shrubs. Uprooted weeds can be used as organic mulch until you collect them for the compost pile.

6. Integrate displacement prevention. Learn to use a hoe or small shovel as a walking stick or support system when walking around the garden.

7. Choose pruning tools that are gentle on the joints. A manual ratchet pruner makes a series of small cuts, so it takes less force to cut a branch. Hedge trimmers and pruning tools can be purchased with rechargeable batteries and are lightweight.

8. Take steps to avoid back injuries. Dig holes with a hand trowel while kneeling or sitting on the ground. Take your time when planting and avoid jerky movements.

9. Get a stretch hose. Put drought-tolerant salvias in containers and water your pots with a light stretch hose, but don’t leave your hose hanging around to trip over.

10. Hire help for spring cleaning and applying mulch. You’ll be amazed at how much less watering and weeding your landscape requires if you get rid of weeds in the spring and mulch before the end of May.

Join the Zoom course on “The Changing Garden and The Changing Gardener”

You can support the Master Gardeners by registering for a Zoom course on this subject on www.mgftc.org Here’s how it works: You go to the website and sign up for the Zoom course by paying a $25 fee. Then you will be emailed a link for the live class which will take place at 6.30pm on Thursday September 15th.

If you’ve never done Zoom, don’t worry. Just click on the link and follow the instructions. The course will be done using PowerPoint so you can see beautiful gardens on your computer screen while listening to the seminar live.

Then, to reward you for your donation, a raffle will offer prizes to members of the public, including a visit to my garden, plants and other gifts. There will also be a Q&A session after the seminar.