Wondering what to plant early?

So many plants so little time…. but what to plant in April? We all know that the nasty frost can ruin tender plants in a blink of an eye.  It almost always happens when you least expect it. Forget to bring in your planters or baskets with items that are greenhouse grown and you bet it will freeze that night!

There are however, many tough plants that like cool weather and can tolerate the cold. These are what folks should be buying and planting outside right now.  These include:

*Herbs like: Parsley, Sage, Oregano, Thyme.

*Early blooming perennials like: Phlox, Rockcress, Columbine, Lupine, Lamium, Campanula, Bergenia, Bleeding Hearts and MORE!

*Cold Crop Veggies like: Cabbage, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Kale, Spinach, Lettuces, Kohlrabi, Chard, Beets,Onions, Potatoes and Peas.

* Pansies and Violas can cure any craving for color, and they can freeze solid and still keep smiling!

One of the biggest gardening mistakes I think I see every year is people waiting until the Tomatoes can be planted  and planting their entire garden then. A good garden gets planted in a sequence of plantings beginning when the soil can be worked in March and April and ending in the Fall when a late crop of greens can be planted and harvested up until the snow falls.

What do you want to grow? Let the helpful staff at Westwood Gardens help show you what can and cannot  plant now!

Gardening made EASY!

The all new Square Foot Gardening Book!

I have been gardening since I can remember with my parents. I always remember my favorite job was to make the hills for the squash and cukes.  The dirt was always fluffy and nice. I didn’t know what an accomplishment that was until I started my own garden as an adult!  The amending and the rototilling, and more amending!  Still, I never seemed to have the nice soil that my parents were able to achieve .

That all changed last year when we set up an above ground demonstration garden at the nursery! I was so excited at how fluffy the soil was and then later at how BIG everything in that bed grew! It was the difference between night and day compared to my attempts to garden in the ground . I had read Mel Bartholomew’s  “All New Square Foot Gardening” and followed his soil recipe pretty closely.  I added Composts, Peat Moss and Vermiculite in nearly equal amounts as he did and it was awesome compared to the hard rock clay “top soil” that I was used to gardening in.  We followed his plan even closer this season in that bed and made the square grids to guide our planting and it looks like everything we planted is perfectly spaced!

I can’t tell you how easy it is to take some 2 x 6 boards and some metal corner brackets at a few dollars a piece and put together a “raised bed”.  You can build it anywhere!  On top of lawn that you are having to mow and water seems like the very best spot!  If you are going to be a slave to something, make it something that produces healthy food for you and your family!

We do have everything you need to get started on this wonderful adventure. We even have some pass outs available to use as a guide if you haven’t got the book. You can stop in and see our display garden and see just how EASY it really is! Who says you have to have  “green thumb” to GARDEN?  Happy planting!

Natural and re-purposed decor’

One very easy way to bring in outdoors inside is to use naturally harvested materials like these inside your home or close to your living space in your garden areas. Anyone living in North Idaho is blessed with abundance and the wooded areas around us are full of beautiful brush that can be harvested and made into almost anything! We recently collected twigs and branches of all sorts and wired them into frames and made panels to hang in the cieling of the gift shoppe at Westwood Gardens. We are renovating that area with all natural and re-purposed items.  The panels were hung yesterday and they look fabulous and add an organic element to the space.

Our intention is to create an Urban/Natural look in our gift shoppe. The panels have definately done their part! As for the “urban”, we visited the Habitat for Humanity Surplus Store and found some galvanized metal pieces that were 12 feet long and are attaching them to the cieling as well to contrast with the branches. We already had a strand of outdoor lights that had circular galvanized metal tops above the bulbs. The look we wanted is really coming together and for very little money! It has been fun re-purposing and creating. It has reminded me of the abundance of resources all around us! I will certainly post photos when we are finished!

New LIFE emerging in the dead of Winter!

Newly emerging little sprouts give warmth to the dreary days of Winter! I had doubts about the ability to grow indoors and these precious little signs of hope are proving me wrong!

Experiment NOTES:

There has been some signs of mold wanting to start to ruin my little project. I knocked it down with my hand and added a fan to circulate the air.

I think I might need to find a sunnier window on the south side or add a grow light as these get bigger…?

Peas were fast to sprout and are supposed to be good as micro greens so I may want to start some and try them.

This would be a good project for kids! I bought my Grand kids a sprouting jar for them to try. I can’t wait to have them report on their progress!

Growing Vegetables Indoors…Can we get to a Harvest?

It is a fresh new year full of possibilities, so why am I doubting myself? I have never been very successful growing indoors, and now I have a plan to actually get my newly planted seeds to do their thing and actually live and produce something edible before my very eyes on our kitchen table. This may be wishful thinking, or it just seems wishful because I have never done it yet.

I pulled the Earthboxes out of storage yesterday. Unburied 3 bags of Organic potting Soil from the snow and brought them inside to thaw out. Today was the big day to plant! After soaking the seeds overnight, I seeded directly into the soil in the boxes. I saved some of the seeds in case these flop and I need to start them in mini greenhouse trays and then transplant them when they are bigger. I know some plants do not like to be transplanted so I figured I would try direct sowing first.

I planted quick-growing “Bloomsdale” Spinach(39 days), “Red Russian” Kale(60 days), “Bulls Blood” beets(60 days), and “Oregon Sugar Pod II” peas(62 days). The way I figure it we should be able to eat some spinach by Valentine’s Day and then be harvesting the rest by March 1st. I intend to juice any beet greens or Kale starts that I end up thinning out. I am sure I planted too thick to be sure I had enough seedings pop up to choose from.  Cross your fingers for me and I will keep you posted on this challenge weekly.

Start you own Worm Factory!

New Worm Factory 360 COMING SOON to Westwood Gardens! We just ordered these great composters and should have one on display for you to see in about a week. The unit comes with a “How to” DVD that makes it so easy that anyone can compost with worms! Think about how many kitchen scaps are thrown away daily! This can all be composted and turned into beautiful worm casting compost and compost tea to put onto your plants! They will love it!

Gardening Classes at Westwood Gardens!

“Thursdays in the Garden”

Enjoy evening gardening demonstrations in a relaxed setting with like-minded gardeners. Refreshments provided. Pre-registration is required.  Call: 687-5952



Grapes for the home gardener

Edible Gardening Thursday July 15th 6-8 pm  Cost: $5.00 includes seed packet

-grow your own yummy veggies, herbs and fruits and berries… topics covered will be: container gardens, home orchards and pollination, growing edibles in the landscape, raised beds, and square foot gardening.

Water Gardening Thursday July 22nd 6-8 pm  Cost: $5.00   

~ in-ground and above ground in containers… Learn about hardy and non-hardy plant choices and how to make your own water garden.

Perennial Garden Design Thursday July 29th  6-8 pm  Cost: $5.00     

~ Thoughts and considerations when designing for your desires and exposure. Sun, shade, long bloomers, Color combos and attracting wildlife will all be discussed.

Garden Mosaics Thursday August 5th 6-8 pm  Cost: $15.00 to cover supplies.          

~ Come and create something wonderful to take home and adorn your garden with!

Please come and join us…bring your questions and bring a friend!

This Doctor Makes House Calls!

We are so proud to be stocking the Dr. Earth line of Fertilizers! These are amazing products that add LIFE to your soil.

Dr. Earth, Milo Shammas has just released a new 40 minute DVD called “The Evolution of Gardening”. We have several copies available FREE to our Faceook Friends. Come into the Nursery and get your copy today! It is informative and compelling!

Click here for more information about Dr. Earth and to be connected to their website.

Dr. Earth

Growing Spuds in Recycled Coffee Bags!

We found this great idea and are planning to try it! If you have a burlap bag  you can, too! 

By simply rolling down the sides of the bags like you would roll up your sleeves, and then planting potatoes in the bottom, you are started. As the plants grow you add more soil covering the plant stems by 1/2. Keep adding soil as the plants keep growing until they reach the top. When then are finished growing all you need to do is slit open the bag and find your burried treasure! You can plant these anywhere. We will be planting these with the kids in the” Go Green” Club at John Brown ElementarSchool in Rathdrum.

New Rain Barrels!

Stylish, New Rain Barrels now in stock!

With over 50 lakes in our neck of the woods, most people in North Idaho are not troubled by a lack of water! 

For some though, who get their water from an underground spring or shallow well, extra water for irrigating plants may be a challenge. Years ago before we drilled a well on our property, I remember conserving water by taking 5 min. showers and plugging up the drain so that I could bucket the water I had collected out to water my flower beds! ( Some people will do just about anything for their Gardens) In the middle of a heat wave we were always cautious to conserve water so that our spring would not dry up. I remember making many trips from the tub to the Garden!

When I saw these stylish Rainbarrels, I knew there must be some gardener out there, in my past situation, who could use one of these!

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