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Made in the Shade






by Cliff Bennett

'Chets Garden Center'
March 18, 2014

I love this time of year the most when it comes to gardening. Wait, I think I always say that, sorry. It really is a great time though. All the garden centers are filling up with beautiful new plants and as usual, we have seen some beautiful sunny days between the rains which has been a blessing. Even though it was no drought buster it really did help the situation. Remember that it is still winter so don’t jump the gun. I already have customers asking for tomatoes and peppers.

If there is any thing that could be regarded as urgent I would say that if you have not finished your dormant spraying of fruit trees than get it done. If you have not applied a pre-emergent to your lawn and landscape, thing about doing that as well. Both are important and will payoff down the road. Our plants are showing signs of activity so you can also think about fertilizing. Your lawns can be done now too. I recommend this time to take a close look at your roses and prune them as needed. You can hit then with dormant sprays too and help prevent black spot, rust and powdery mildew. That can really be a help if we have a wet cold spring.

The local garden centers are seeing a run on vegetable seeds this year. Many of the seeds can be planted about now but pay attention to the weather since a good freeze can wreak havoc on new sprouts. I recommend having row cover such as Harvest Guard on hand to cover your tender plants to protect your investment. It can help keep insects from entering that area and eating your small plants so long as you have the sides fastened down. Potatoes have most likely landed at the nurseries and available for planting.

Potatoes are a fun and easy crop but if you read last months column, do not delay. When nurseries usually do not re-order so when they are out, they are out. They are easy to grow and the kids get a real kick out of it. Let them dig some up later on and watch the smiles on there faces when they see a potato pop up out of the ground. If you plant one pound you will get about ten pounds in return. It seems like each year there are more varieties available. Blue, purple, gold, white and red. All offer something a bit different but can really be impressive when put all together at the dinner table.

Next month I will be back on Cool New Plants. I have some really nice new introductions to tell you about including some new edibles that you will have to run to your favorite nurseries and get. Thank-you again for taking the time to read this column every month. The Sneak Preview is an awesome publication and is always informative and relaxing to read. Thanks Curtis!!!

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Our blueberries are now in stock we have all the old varieties as well as all the new ones. Come check out the new Peach Sorbet and the Jelly Belly Blueberries. Chets also has the very popular evergreen and self pollenating Bountiful Blues. If you only have room for one, this is your blueberry. We also have many varieties of raspberries figs and kiwis too. To start off the new gardening season Chets will give you 20% all blueberries in stock for the entire month of March so hurry in for best selection.

� 2014 - Cliff Bennett - All Rights Reserve

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Cliff and his wife Roxanne have owned and operated Chets Garden Center downtown Grants Pass, Oregon at 5th and H st. for the last 21 years. Cliff has an extensive background in plants. Owned a large commercial landscaping company in San Diego for 23 years specializing in hotels and shopping centers. Cliff and Roxanne are very active in the community and are always doing what they can to help beatify the downtown area such as hanging flower baskets etc.

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I love this time of year the most when it comes to gardening. Wait, I think I always say that, sorry. It really is a great time though. All the garden centers are filling up with beautiful new plants...