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Covered Plants

Cindy Stockett - Horticulture

Common varieties that require cold stratification for spring planting:

What Is Cold Stratification?

Cold stratification, also known as seed stratification, is the process of exposing seeds to cold and moist conditions to encourage germination. In nature, the stratification process takes place when fallen seeds overwinter underground or beneath a layer of snow. In the spring, the temperatures rise, thawing the ground and breaking the seed out of its dormancy period. The seed sheds its hard seed coat, beginning the germination process. You can mimic this process indoors to prepare seeds for propagation.

"The Importance of Seed Stratification"

Presented January 9, 2023

How to Stratify Seeds in the Refrigerator

Follow these steps to cold stratify your seeds in the fridge.

  1.  Place the seeds in a damp medium. Small seeds can be sprinkled onto a damp paper towel. Larger seeds should be placed in a moist medium such as damp sand or vermiculite. Ensure that the medium is moist but not soaking wet.

  2.  Store the moist seeds in a plastic bag. Once your seeds are wrapped in a damp paper towel or planted in a moist growing medium, place them in a plastic bag. To prevent excess water from accumulating inside the bag, allow for some airflow by leaving the bag partially open or puncturing the bag with a few small holes.

  3. Place the bag in the fridge. Most seeds require about a month of cold stratification to increase germination rates. However, the exact amount of time needed for the stratification process will vary depending on the type of seed you choose. Consult the cold stratification timeframe suggested on the seed packet. Check on your seeds periodically and if they start to sprout, remove them from the bag and plant them.

stratification pic.jpg

Garden Chores for January:

  • Sprinkle lime/soil sweet around hellebores and peony's to prevent botrytis (a fungus that  blackens the leaves and emerging flowers)

  • Remove completely all old leaves so emerging  flowers are visible

  • Cut back old leaves on epimediums to expose emerging flowers


December 12th, 2022

Cindy says.."Plant a Tree!"


1-   Trees hold soil in place

2-   Trees sequester carbon dioxide

3-   Trees produce oxygen

4-   Some animals are dependent upon trees

5-   Trees make cities more livable

6-   Trees increase property values

7-   Trees help to save energy

8-   Trees are important for physical and mental wellness

9-   Trees feed us

10 -Trees create a sense of place

11- Trees are an investment for our communities and for future


12- Trees help to slow stormwater runoff

13- Trees clean the soil

14- Trees are beautiful

Chores for December:

Pull any weeds that remain in your garden. On a sunny day they come out of wet soil more easily than out of dry soil, but don't walk on wet beds (soil compaction)

Plant bare root trees and shrubs if soil is soft enough.

Evaluate your garden beds, what worked, what shrubs need to be moved or removed (outgrown their space) this is where taking photos throughout the spring and summer can be a good way to record plantings.

Fall Foliage

Garden Chores for October

Presented October 10th, 2022

  • The days are still warm but there is no denying that the wet and shorter days are not far behind.  This is a busy time in the garden:, moving plants, planting new ones and putting the garden to bed.

  • Keep deadheading throughout October, particularly  dahlias. This will extend their flowering season

  • Collect seeds from perennial plants, using paper (plastic) bags. Always label seed packets immediately. Store in a cool, dry place until ready for sowing.

  • It is not too late to take cuttings and it is  a very satisfying process if it is successful. Choose healthy non-flowering growth, use a sharp knife and keep the humidity high by frequent misting or a cover.

  • Remove annuals as they fade and as you clean up beds add a good layer of compost.  This will act as a mulch for the winter and help suppress weed seeds.

  •  If you haven’t ordered bulbs it is getting late for that chore.  You can still find packaged bulbs in many of the nurseries and they can be planted anytime now. .

  •  You can dig and divide a lot of perennials now, I usually wait on Hostas until early spring.

  •  Astilbes, Siberian irises, Japanese irises and daisy clumps are all good choices for the Fall.  Be sure to add additional compost into the hole after dividing and give them a good soak.  Irises benefit from dividing as the clumps can become congested. If you notice that you aren’t getting as many blooms that is an indicator that they would benefit from division.  Use a sharp shovel to cut through the center of the plant.

  • Remember to rake leaves and add to compost or chop with the lawn mower and use as a mulch

  •  Make sure trees (newly planted or young) and shrubs are well watered going into Winter,

  •  Clean up beds to avoid providing places for slugs and snails to winter over


"Collecting Seeds"

Presented September 10th, 2022

Fall Garden Chores: 

  • Plant Fall bulbs & perennials

  • Mulch beds with compost 

  • Divide perennials

  • (daylillies, iris, hostas)

  • Continue weeding!

"The Chelsea Chop"

Handout provided by Cindy 6/13/2022

Cut the plants back by a third or half to delay bloom and limit size.

"The Chelsea chop (so called because it is usually carried out at the end of May, coinciding with the RHS Chelsea Flower Show) is a pruning method by which you limit the size and control the flowering season of many herbaceous plants."

  • pennstemon

  • phlox

  • campanula (bellflower)

Benefits:  Leggy perennials tend to not be so floppy as they grow shorter
                    Delayed flowering will extend or stagger bloo
m times


Good candidates for the Chelsea Chop:

  • asters

  • upright sedums

  • heleniums

  • goldenrod

  • shasta daisy

  • rudbeckia


Method 1

Chop back clumps of perennials by one-third to one-half using shears. This will delay the flowering until later in summer and keep plants shorter and more compact.

Method 2

Cut only half the stems back on a plant, which will extend the season of flowering rather than delay it.

"Garden chores for April"

Things to Do...

  • Weeding - stay on it!

  • Mulching

  • Dig and Divide (donate some to the Plant Sale!)

  • Plant trees & shrubs (don't forget to keep well watered over summer)

  • Plant summer blubs

  • get ready for dahlias

  • set out cool season vegetables

  • bait for slugs - use cheap beer to create traps

Presented April 11, 2022 by Nancy Kappelman

Image by Zbynek Burival

Garden Chores for March

  • Plant bare root roses and trees

  • Cut back deciduous grasses

  • (use gloves to pull out dead stems)

  • Leaf clean-up - save for leaf mold! 

  • Prune trees and shrubs

  • Dig/divide snow drops

  • Prune group 3 clematis*

  • Plant sweet peas and hardy cold vegetables

     *If it blooms before June - 

        Don't prune!

peat moss.jpg

"Garden Soil Choices"

Presented March 14, 2022

Stop using non-renewable peat moss!

coir pic.webp

Say yes to using COIR! (natural coconut fiber)

crabapple pic.jpg
crabapple pic.jpg

Crape Myrtle Lagerstroemia

"Small Trees for the Pacific Northwest"

Presented February 14, 2022

pink dogwood.jpg

Serviceberry Amelanchier


Garden Chores for February:
Weed! and apply compost
Divide your hostas - pot up for plant sale!
Prune your roses, apply compost
(use BloomDriver in June)
Prune your Clematis, but remember-
"if it blooms before June, don't prune!"
Use Jacks Classic Blossom Booster to fertilize


Fringe tree -Chiananthus virginicus

Flowering Dogwood - Cherokee Sunset

Cindy helps define the real meaning of some catalogue gardening terms:

"robust grower" - probably a garden bully

"A favorite of birds"  - avoid planting near cars, sidewalks, or clotheslines!


Seed Catalogue pic.jpg

Cindy says...

It's time to order from your Catalogues!

Presented on January 10th, 2022


Hellebores" presented 12/13/2021

Close Up of Pink Roses

"Rose Care for the Fall"
presented on 10/11/2021

presented on 9/13/2021

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