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Yes, you can grow citrus in the Pacific Northwest. Given the right care, these tropical plants can thrive in our corner of the world as well. Lemons and limes are great for this because they are available in dwarf varieties so they make great houseplants. You can let your citrus tree live outside in the summer and bring it in when it starts to get cold out, or keep it inside all year! Either way, you will love the addition of a lemon or lime tree to your collection.


The beauty of a citrus tree is endless. Aside from being able to grow your own fruit, these trees produce stunning blooms which are also edible, along with the leaves. These have their own fruity flavor and can be used to wrap meats, treated like herbs for your barbecue, or distilled in teas and other drinks. Lemon leaves can be oil distilled or used in place of lemongrass in recipes. The use of edible and aromatic lemon leaves can have many health benefits. They are great for your skin, a natural cleanser, and are used for calming the senses. There really is no reason not to have a lemon tree in your home, even if it never produces a single fruit.


Now, keeping a citrus plant alive in the PNW is a bit of a task. It may not be best suited for beginners, or a

house without much natural light. Your citrus plant will require a lot of humidity. This can be difficult, but not impossible to simulate indoors. As mentioned, a bright south or southwest facing window will be crucial. They require rich, acidic soil which you can create with a well balanced fertilizer about once a month. Lastly, be sure that your citrus plant's soil stays moist, but never wet. Don't let soil dry out between waterings. You may need to check this daily. This is a great opportunity to invest in a moisture meter to keep soil regulated.


Once you have created the right environment for your citrus plant, you will be able to reap all of its beautiful benefits. Stop by Garden Spot Nursery to pick up your dwarf lemon or lime tree today! We promise you won't be disappointed, and we are here to help. Remember to leave any questions or concerns in our comments, give us a call, or stop by for assistance.

There are many insects which will cause harm to your garden. Pests like spider mites will cause yellow leaves and ruin your foliage. Aphids attack by eating and spreading viruses to your whole garden. It can feel like a hassle trying to get these under control. But it is important to note that not all insects are harmful. Your garden can benefit greatly from the introduction of certain insects designated as "beneficial insects" whose job is to drive out pests in a variety of ways. In the following article we will be breaking down the different types of beneficial insects and all the great things they do for our gardens.


Beneficial Predators

Spiders, flies and ladybugs are all predators of pesky bugs like aphids. When you see spiders crawling

around your garden, resist the urge to squish! These leggy friends are here to gobble up anybody that would try to hurt your garden. Ladybugs are the more friendly-face version of a beneficial predator, and available for purchase at Garden Spot Nursery. Kept refrigerated until purchase, your ladybugs remain dormant. Simply bring them home and release in your garden to reap the benefits. Water beforehand and release directly onto infected plants. Your kids will love watching them crawl around with their bright red wing shells, and you can appreciate the peace of mind.


Parasitic Insects

Parasitic insects are more devious with their intervention. These will lay their eggs inside of other insects or eggs. This causes the pests to mummify and die, driving down the population. Parasitic intervention is a favorite tactic of certain non-stinging wasps. Although they may seem scary, wasps can do a lot of good

for your garden between pollination and pest control. Beneficial nematodes are another helpful parasite, and we have these available for you as well. Small but fierce, these microscopic soil-dwellers will hunt hundreds of pests and eradicate any threat to your garden. Nematodes should be mixed with water for application. Spread in the morning when the sun is low for best results.


Pollinators

Of course we are going to talk about our bee friends. One of the best things for your garden is lots of helpful pollinators to fertilize your crops and help them bear fruit. Aside from the scientific benefits of pollinators, they also create intrigue and bring life to your garden. Imagine looking out your window and watching the butterflies dance through your flowers as they enrich the flora and keep pests at bay. A great way to bring the to your yard is by filling it with gorgeous flowers like zinnias, verbena, and edible borage. Help the pollinators and they will help you.





Non-Insect Beneficial Animals

Don't forget about birds and bats! These are great assets to keeping your garden pest-free, and way easier to spot! Building bird and bat houses can be a fun kid-friendly activity and great way to attract them to your yard. Bird feeders are great, but be careful about offering your birds too much of scraps like bread crusts, as it provides little nutritional value to them and can be harmful in the long run. Stick to things like nuts and seeds, remembering that there are many different types of feeder and food for many different types of birds!




We hope that you will make use of these great natural pest control methods. As always, if you have questions regarding what you've read here, feel free to leave a comment below, give us a call, or stop by. We are happy to help with any of your pest control problems.


Check out Garden Spot Nursery's new online class series, Garden Basics. Join us as we revive our regular Saturday classes in a virtual format. Each week one of our staff members will focus on a specialized topic in the world of gardening, house plants, container design and beyond! We hope you will provide your input via our comments and suggestion box.

Updated: Jul 6

We are in the beginning days of summer here in Bellingham, which means we are enjoying the start of lavender season! Lavender is quite versatile, and comes in many forms, so if you play your cards right, you could enjoy beautiful lavender all summer long. Here we will discuss a few of our favorite varieties, and some fun ways you can use it to enhance your health and home.


Lavender is a great addition to your garden or containers. It is evergreen, so you can enjoy its beauty even when it isn't blooming. Some varieties are more tender than others, but if you plant it in a sunny spot with well-drained soil, your lavender should be generally happy. Mulch with pea gravel, rock or sand instead of organic material to assure it has this ability to drain. Once established, lavender will thrive on neglect. Each March, cut your lavender back by 1/2 to 2/3 to keep woodiness at the base and encourage new growth.


Lavender is often used in sachets, perfume and soap, but can also be a lovely addition to your favorite meal! Try swapping it out for rosemary in an Italian dish, or use it as a flavoring in desserts like ice cream and pastries. Be sure to use either English Lavender or Intermedia Lavender for best taste.


Lavandula Angustifolia

(English Lavender)


This is the most hardy of the lavenders. Depending on the cultivar, it is approximately 8" to 2' tall and wide. Its single flower spikes can be 1-4" long and hang 4-12" above the foliage. They will bloom earlier in the summer, but you can shear them when they wilt, and many will re-bloom in late summer or fall. These are sweetly fragrant, making them great for ratchets and perfume.

English Lavender we love at Garden Spot Nursery:

-Hidcote-

-Munstead-

- Satchet-

Lavendula x Intermedia

(Intermedia Lavender)


This lavender is a hybrid of L. angustifolia and L. latifolia (Portuguese Lavender). It is cold hardy and grows larger than English, about 3-4' tall and wide. Intermedia blooms mid to late summer its branching flower stems with interrupted flower spikes, showing much more color per bloom.

Intermedia Lavender we love at Garden Spot Nursery:

-Grosso-

-Provence-

-Fred Boutin-

Lavendula Stoechas

(Spanish Lavender)


This lavender is the most drought tolerant, which means it will need some serious drainage. Don't let it get too moist. It features small flowers on short, fat 2" spikes and 2-4 "rabbit ears" atop its spikes. The stems are between 2 and 8 inches long, and like angustifolia, often re-blooms if sheared after first bloom.

Spanish Lavender we love at

Garden Spot Nursery:

-Otto Quast-

-Quasti-

-Wings of Night-


It's also worth mentioning that 2020 is the Year of Lavender here at Garden Spot Nursery. Keep your eye out for special deals, recipes and fun surprises all throughout June! We love this beautiful, fragrant garden staple, and we hope you will too.

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900 Alabama Street

Bellingham, WA 98225

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Phone: 360-676-5480

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