Stop and smell the perennials

Stop and smell the perennials

Check out these events

Molbak’s Woodville presents “Small Space Gardens and Decorationg Balconies, Decks” at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 22. No registration is needed and the event is free. Learn great ideas for downsizing.

Check out “Garden Tips for Western Washington” for free at noon on Sunday, June 24, at the Auburn’s Farmers Market.

The third week of June is a good time to appreciate all the perennial flowers that bloom. Visit a local show garden and you’ll be impressed with tall and spiky delphiniums, lush hosta plants and vibrant ornamental grasses.

In the vegetable garden, continue to plant beans and greens to extend the harvest. Once you harvest fresh peas and the vines start to yellow you should rip the pea vines from the ground. The warmer weather will make peas susceptible to viral and other diseases. Cool season crops such as peas and lettuce do best in late spring and early summer.

Your questions

Q. Can I grow hosta in containers? How big of a pot? What type of soil and how much fertilizer? I am downsizing to a condo with a deck but want to take some of my plants with me to grow in pots. My outdoor space is mostly shaded.

N.B., Kirkland

A. Hosta can be happy in containers and the size of the pot should relate to the size of the hosta. Some dwarf hosta such as the tiny “Mouse Ears” variety with six inch leaves can grow in a 4 to 6-inch wide container. The larger hosta such as “Sum and Substance” grows 3-feet tall and 6-feet wide. Give this monster a container at least 12 inches deep. Foliage plants like hosta are not heavy feeders so an application of slow release plant food once a year is good enough. Hosta like moist soil so adding a scoop of compost to the potting soil will mean less need to water your potted hosta. Potted perennials like hosta will adjust well to deck life. Visit me at Molbak’s Nursery at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 22 for more small space gardening ideas.

Q. I love the flowing look of Japanese Forest Grass and (I see) from your images on Instagram and Facebook that you grow this graceful grass in containers. Is this because it can be an invasive spreading grass? I have a small shade garden and do not want it to take over.

T.J. Puyallup

A. No, I consider Japanese Forest Grass or Hakonechloa macra a well behaved, shade loving grass that spreads politely when given moist soil. It can be happy for years in a pot and the grassy blades are over one-foot long and spill dramatically from the sides of the pot. It does not reseed all over like some ornamental grasses, so this is one I recommend for small gardens. The vibrant golden color of the foliage looks great sprouting from deep blue or black pots. I also use it along the edge of shaded beds to spill over onto the lawn in the summer. This lazy gardening technique hides the border of the lawn so you don’t have to keep edging.

Q. There is spit on my roses. I have never seen this before. Please advise.

A. No worries. Sometimes spit happens due to a bug that hides inside its own protective bubble of saliva. This spittle bug does not cause much damage and will mature and leave your plants alone in just a few weeks. You can get rid of the spittle with a strong blast of water and observe the small green bug hiding inside.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@covingtonreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.covingtonreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Opinion

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
A look at city council races around the region | Roegner

I have been following elections in King County for close to 40… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
Election 2021: Closer look at King County races | Roegner

The race for Mayor of Seattle will dominate the regional media, but… Continue reading

Don C. Brunell is a business analyst, writer and columnist. He retired as president of the Association of Washington Business, the state’s oldest and largest business organization, and lives in Vancouver. He can be contacted at thebrunells@msn.com.
Our economy works when consumers pick winners | Brunell

Poland and America are like two trains passing each other in opposite… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
Big-time politics: Redistricting for 2022 elections | Roegner

Based on new census data, which shows Washington state has grown by… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
Questions surround vaccine exemptions for state workers | Roegner

With about 4,800 state employees in 24 agencies requesting vaccine exemptions, which… Continue reading

Dr. Jayendrina Singha Ray serves as Faculty of English at Highline College. Her research interests include postcolonial studies, spatial literary studies, British literature, and rhetoric and composition. Prior to teaching in the U.S., she worked as an editor with Routledge and taught English at colleges in India.
What the Afghan wants to say: Arezo’s journey to America | Guest column

In our little Zoom room, I hear my interviewee break into sobs.… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
Can a Texas-style abortion law happen in Washington? | Roegner

If politicians really want to anger women voters, the easiest way is… Continue reading

Don C. Brunell is a business analyst, writer and columnist. He retired as president of the Association of Washington Business, the state’s oldest and largest business organization, and lives in Vancouver. He can be contacted at thebrunells@msn.com.
Reasons to ban Gov. Jay Inslee’s natural gas ban | Brunell

Column: Switching from natural gas to electricity is complicated and will impact everyone.

Don C. Brunell is a business analyst, writer and columnist. He recently retired as president of the Association of Washington Business, the state’s oldest and largest business organization, and now lives in Vancouver. He can be contacted at thebrunells@msn.com.
Vaccinations improve our health and employment numbers | Brunell

It is not surprising that COVID-19, which ravaged the world, was disastrous… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
Firefighters vs. the governor’s vaccine mandate | Roegner

We all thought we were in this fight with the coronavirus together,… Continue reading

Providence employees look at anti-vaccine mandate protesters as they cross the street outside of Providence Regional Medical Center Everett on Aug. 18, 2021. Olivia Vanni/Sound Publishing
Editorial: A message to the unvaccinated and unmasked

We know you’re frustrated with mandates and advice, but consider our frustrations and, yes, our anger.

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
Back to the classroom during abnormal times | Roegner

If it didn’t feel so normal, we might forget about the coronavirus… Continue reading