Start Planting

Start Planting February Gardening

I found this article from  “BETTER HOMES AND GARDEN”

Start Planting

GIVE YOUR PLANTS ROOM TO GROW.It’s time to start planting — inside and out. What should you be tucking into soil?

Bare-root stock. This includes fruit trees, shrubs, roses, berries, and grapes. Along the coast, plant at any point this month. In inland regions, wait until air and soil temperatures move above freezing.

Hardy annuals. Begin planting annuals such as calendula, poppies, pansies, and English daisies this month. Direct sow these beauties into prepared garden soil.

Primroses. Along the coast, where warmer temperatures prevail, tuck primroses (Primula vulgaris) into pots outside, or use to brighten indoor rooms. Add polyanthus primroses, the multiflowered types, to garden beds. Where temperatures are still on the chilly side inland, count on pots of primroses to sound a colorful note on windowsills.

Cool-season veggies. Start seeds indoors for cool-season edibles, such as Brussels sprouts, broccoli, lettuces, and onions. Use fluorescent lights to improve seedling growth. Plant these veggies three to six weeks before they should be moved into the garden.

Test Garden Tip: Start tomatoes indoors now to have good, sturdy plants to set out in early summer.

Breeze Through Garden Cleanup

Remove leaves that may have blown in during winter. Cut down any remaining perennial stems, taking care not to damage emerging shoots.

Clip ornamental grasses before new stems appear. To make quick work of large clumps of grass, bind stems together using a bungee cord. Cut stems beneath the cord using electric hedge clippers.

Apply Dormant Spray

Spray ornamental plants before they leaf out — while they’re still dormant. This is probably the most important spray of the year to control insect problems. Many diseases and insects (or their eggs) overwinter on plants or in leaf litter in beds. Spraying while plants are dormant allows you to use a stronger blend of lime-sulfur and horticultural oil, which will kill eggs, insects, and disease spores.

Follow label instructions carefully. In general, spray on a warm day (above 40 degrees F) with no precipitation or freezing temperatures predicted for eight hours after application. Apply horticultural oil and lime-sulfur in separate sprays spaced at least two weeks apart.

Test Garden Tip: Deal with weeds as soon as they appear. Spot-spray weeds that surface in mostly weed-free lawns.

Check out our Weed Identification Guide.

Prune Away

Late winter offers a key pruning window. Grab your pruning tools and tackle these plants.

Roses. In warmer areas near the coast, prune roses now. Remove dead, diseased, or damaged canes. Cut Hybrid Teas, Floribundas, and Grandifloras to 12-18 inches tall. Prune established shrub roses to 36 inches and remove any tiny twigs (ones that are smaller than a pencil in diameter).

Fruit trees. Prune fruit trees to improve tree form and enhance bearing. Check with your local cooperative extension office for details on shaping fruit trees.

Shrubs. Shape, shorten, and thin shrubs. Don’t prune spring-blooming shrubs until after they flower.

Houseplants. Remove any leggy growth to encourage sprouting from the base.

Test Garden Tip: Repot houseplants as needed, giving them as much sunlight and air circulation as possible afterward. Start fertilizing when you spot new growth.

Deal with Moss

Moss thrives in places with high moisture, limited sunlight, and little air circulation. Treat moss using commercially available products.

In lawns, if moss is present, sunlight may not be abundant enough for grass to grow. You may need to convert to groundcovers.

Use the right product in the right place. Lawn moss controls may contain iron, which stains concrete surfaces. Moss controls for roofs and concrete contain zinc, which may harm plants.

Picture New Plants for Your Garden

As you consider additions for your garden, keep winter interest in mind. Would your garden benefit from evergreens, berried plants, or shrubs with colorful bark? Perennials with strong stems that stand up to snow also enhance a winter scene.

Test Garden Tip: Slugs start feeding as soon as shoots emerge from soil. Deter these pesky varmints with pet-safe baits. Follow label directions, noting if you need to water after application.

  • Prune your summer-blooming clematis.

Pruning Trees and Shrubs — Prune trees and prune shrubs. Be careful with flowering trees and shrubs — you don’t want to trim off developing buds. In fact, as a rule of thumb, prune flowering shrubs and trees within a month after they stop blooming. But do trim late-summer or fall-blooming trees and shrubs, including abelia, mimosa, cassia, oleander, crape myrtle, princess flower (also called tibouchina), golden rain tree and hibiscus.

Start Seeds Indoors — Keep an eye on any seeds started indoors. They need gentle, constant moisture but not too much or they’ll get damping-off. (Running a fan in the room helps.) Also give them as much light as possible. Keep grow lights just an inch or two above the plants


Blueberry Bushes

It is time to trim your blueberry bushes. I found this short article.

Blueberry Bushes

Q.Several of our blueberry bushes petered out last year even though they produced bucketloads of fruit in past years. What could be wrong?

A. If a late frost didn’t kill the buds, the bushes may be suffering from too much bounty and too little pruning. If growing in the type of environment they love — acid soil, not too competition from weeds, full sun — blueberry bushes are very prolific berry producers. And ironically, it’s their high productivity that wears them out. Canes that are more than seven years old become less productive. To keep them producing well, blueberry bushes need to be pruned every year.
  • If your bushes have never been trimmed, be careful not to go overboard the first year: Remove no more than two or three of the oldest canes (more than seven years old).
  • Remove any diseased or broken wood, plus crossing branches. You want the bush to have a narrow base and a wide, open top that allows sunlight and air in.
  • The best time to prune blueberry bushes is late winter while they’re still dorant.
Q.Several of our blueberry bushes petered out last year even though they produced bucketloads of fruit in past years. What could be wrong?
A. If a late frost didn’t kill the buds, the bushes may be suffering from too much bounty and too little pruning. If growing in the type of environment they love — acid soil, not too competition from weeds, full sun — blueberry bushes are very prolific berry producers. And ironically, it’s their high productivity that wears them out. Canes that are more than seven years old become less productive. To keep them producing well, blueberry bushes need to be pruned every year.
  • If your blueberry bushes have never been trimmed, be careful not to go overboard the first year: Remove no more than two or three of the oldest canes (more than seven years old).
  • Remove any diseased or broken wood, plus crossing branches from your blueberry bushes. You want the bush to have a narrow base and a wide, open top that allows sunlight and air in.
  • The best time to prune blueberry bushes is late winter while they’re still dormant.

Thank you HGTV :

Diatomaceous Earth

We came across this great article.

40+ Amazing Diatomaceous Earth Uses For Health, Home And Garden

Diatomaceous earth is made up of fossils of tiny algae-like organisms called diatoms. It is a soft white powder made of 80 to 90 percent silica. Unlike many silica sources, the silica found in diatomaceous earth is highly absorbable by the human body. Its high absorption rate makes it an excellent supplement for health benefits.

Many people are not aware of the many uses and benefits of diatomaceous earth. Not only is it a health-promoting supplement, but it is also useful for cleaning and pest control. We have put together this guide to try to pass on more information about how to use diatomaceous earth.

Use Only Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth for Human or Pet Consumption. If you choose to take diatomaceous earth for health benefits, you must use food-grade diatomaceous earth. Industrial grade or pool grade diatomaceous earth contains impurities that may not be healthy for the body. Many sources of industrial grade diatomaceous earth has also been heat-treated, and it no longer has the properties that provide the health benefits,


Winter Gardening

Winter Gardening

KALE is one of the most popular winter vegetables in winter gardening.  It’s hardy and can be used as tender sprouts or fully mature growths.

Spinach is a vegetable that can be great for winter gardening a cut and repeat crop.  You can harvest it almost all year long, even in winter!  You can harvest the young leaves to full grown plant

During the winter almost any variety of onions can be grown if the soil doesn’t freeze over too often for winter gardening. You can grow green onions, red onions, or really any other type. The growing season is long. Greenhouse growing is a good option.

Who doesn’t love garlic?  It’s a great plant for winter. Like onions, it takes a long time before you can harvest.  It can be planted in or near winter season!

Another option that’s just as terrific as spinach is lettuce.  There are some varieties that  are best for winter, it is a fast harvest, taking about 20 days.  Green house growing is great. WaLa fresh salad!

Do you love asparagus? We do also and  it makes us so happy to see it’s a veggie that grows well in the winter!  An asparagus bed takes a few years to establish. It is so worth it.  Your family will enjoy the crop.

Radishes  grow really quickly. You will be able to harvest them in about 3 weeks or so. A great addition to your salad.

Planting peas in the autumn allows them to  grow during winter. You will be able to harvest peas in the early spring, much sooner than your neighbors!

Do you know what vegetables grows better in the cold? Brussel sprouts do.  Frost can makes Brussel sprouts sweeter and tastier, So planting them in winter an super idea.

 brussel sprouts

Carrots will grow well for winter gardening.  What a fun vegetable to plant and so colorful.


Growing cabbage can also work for winter gardening, but if you live in a cold zone, then you may want to grow it in your greenhouse. Cabbage can still survive most mild winters. When it is very cold it can freeze.


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Greenhouses delivered!

Greenhouses delivered!

Solar Gem Greenhouses delivered to Garden Delights in Brush Prairie WA. They received their 15′ Solar Gem greenhouse and are very excited to begin growing wonderful vegetables and flowers.

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Solar Gem Backyard Garden

My Solar Gem Backyard Garden began with a Solar Gem Greenhouse.

The first thing I decided when choosing a Solar Gem Greenhouse was how much growing space I would need. I kept in mind, that a greenhouse is a long-term investment.  My Solar Gem Greenhouse has ample room for growing in the years ahead.  My Solar Gem Greenhouse has maximum light and plenty of headroom for hanging plants as well. I am able to grow vegetables easily.

Because of the  heat and humidity held in my Solar Gem Greenhouse it was simple to start seeds early and to hold young plants in containers until the weather  warmed up. I waited until  the plants were strong enough to be transplanted.

I was so excited  with my Solar Gem Greenhouse I designed a garden around it. It was great to begin early and plant the starts I harvested from my greenhouse. I have had lots of fun researching all the plants I decided to grow. I find it so interesting. I have learned quite a lot.

My Solar Gem Greenhouse will be great to grow in all year round. In wintertime to assist my plants I found a few choices. These are heat mats, grow lights or a space heater that can help with heating my  Solar Gem Greenhouse.

I look forward to winter time in my Solar Gem Greenhouse. I have more to learn about greenhouse garden but I am ready to get started.  My Solar Gem Greenhouse is a great investment for me and my family. My young toddler loves the strawberries I was able to grow in the strawberry trough in my Solar Gem Greenhouse.

My family and I are happy with our investment in our future, growing healthy food and living a healthy life style with the help of a Solar Gem Greenhouse.

(John from Beaverton, Oregon)

Solar Gem Greenhouse

Welcome to Solar Gem Greenhouse – manufacturer of the best backyard greenhouse in North America since 1991. Are you ready to grow your dream garden, year-round, right in your own backyard? Our one-piece and easily portable fiberglass greenhouse is designed for gardening enthusiasts of all skill levels.

Best built, best warrantied backyard greenhouse

We make it easy for you by manufacturing a greenhouse that requires no deck, slab, or foundation; no assembly whatsoever (yes, you read that right); is virtually maintenance-free; thrives in both cold and hot climates; shrugs off high winds and snow; comes with a Limited Lifetime Warranty; and is delivered right to your home. What other greenhouse product offers all this?!

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Learn more about a SOLAR GEM GREENHOUSE. You can grow all year round. Start your seeds early and have a great bounty. SOLAR GEM GREENHOUSES are made in Tacoma, Washington.

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Swiss Chard

Swiss Chard

Swiss chard is nutrient-packed chameleon of the vegetable world comes in a variety of colors and is a superb, year-round stand-in for lettuce, spinach and celery.
Swiss chard is bursting with nutrients, including vitamins K, A, C and E, plus several B vitamins, magnesium, manganese, potassium, iron, dietary fiber and a great source of calcium.

The best Swiss chard is that which you grow yourself, and fortunately it’s easy to cultivate and taste great. Swiss chard only needs 50-degree soil to germinate, and the plants are quite cold hardy, so in many places it’s not too late to start some seeds for a late fall/early winter crop, but can be grown throughout the year.



Soak Swiss chard seeds in warm water for 15 minutes to speed up germination before planting. Sow seeds 1/2-inch deep and a few inches apart directly in the garden when the soil is at least 50°F.

Or sow them indoors anytime in standard-sized, 10-inch by 20-inch plastic flats of individual plugs filled with a soil-less seed starting or potting mix (place 1 or 2 seeds in each plug) and transplant seedlings into the garden when they’re 2 to 3 inches tall.

Thin seedlings so they are 4 to 5 inches apart, or 8 to 10 inches apart if you plan to only harvest the outer leaves.

Plants do best in full sun but will tolerate some shade. They can endure light frosts in spring and moderate freezes in fall.  Swiss chard has withstood temperatures well below freezing protected by nothing more than a piece of heavy plastic or an old sheet, and it survives in the raised bed greenhouse during Zone 5 winters, when it sometimes gets down below 0°F.

Minimum maintenance:
Mulch your plants with compost and/or grass clippings to add nutrients and discourage weeds, and use a natural fertilizer such as kelp or manure tea (a must for container growing). Provide moderate, even watering.

Harvesting Swiss Chard:

Swiss chard is a ‘cut and come again’ plant, which means that one crop can supply you with terrific bounty for months. Growing your own allows you to enjoy the tender baby leaves.

You can harvest just the outer stalks often or cut whole young plants off an inch or two above the soil and wait for them to grow again.


February Greenhouse Planting

Tips for February Greenhouse Planting

 This is a great time to begin some cool weather crops such as lettuce, broccoli and radish seeds. Who does not love  garden lettuce freshly grown in their greenhouse. A great February growing tip.

Salad anyone?
Lettuce – February Greenhouse Planting : lettuce seeds get planted in rich, well-drained soil  and near the surface where they can get a little light (this helps with germination). Since lettuce has such shallow roots, transplanting can be cumbersome so plant in large container.  Plant leaf lettuce and expect a crop in 50 to 80 days.


You might want to plant some sweet alyssum between lettuce rows to attract predatory insects that feed on aphids.
Radish -February Greenhouse Planting : radishes about 1/4″ deep about 2 to 4″ apart in your greenhouse in February.  Radishes need long periods of daylight for fast maturity so you might want to keep them under a fluorescent grow light. It would be best to keep your greenhouse temperature between 45ƒ and 50ƒ at night (temperatures that are too warm can lead to non-edible radishes).  Radishes are high in vitamin C, folate, and fiber.

Broccoli -February Greenhouse Planting :  broccoli . Broccoli takes about 2-3 months to mature. When you harvest the central head before flowering, you will continue to get smaller side sprouts. You will get bigger heads when you keep the broccoli cool. Broccoli has vitamin C, calcium, vitamin A, potassium, folate, iron, and fiber .


February Greenhouse Planting. YOU can start frost-tolerant crops , according to your local climate. In most areas of the country these can be started in January then hardened off and moved to the garden in February or early March. Some frost-tolerant vegetables include beets, Brussels sprouts, spinach, parsley, kale, carrots and collard greens. Remember, these vegetables are frost-tolerant but are not tolerant of deep, extended freezes.

ENJOY February Greenhouse Planting in your Solar Gem Greenhouse.




medium-greenhouse Greenhouse SaleGreenhouse Sale from our factory


Solar Gem Greenhouses are the BEST BACKYARD GREENHOUSE AVAILABLE ANYWHERE!  Solar Gem Greenhouses manufacturers the best backyard greenhouses in North America since 1991. Are you ready to share the possibility to  grow a dream garden, year-round, right in their own backyard? Our one-piece and easily portable fiberglass greenhouses are designed for gardening enthusiasts of all skill levels.

Check out our Inventory Sale
$500 discount on small
$800 discount on medium size greenhouses
Contact John @ Solar Gem Greenhouses office 253-383-3055

We overbuilt our inventory and that is GOOD for you! We need to move these out of our shop so we can do our winter mold work repairs. This means a great savings for you! Hurry while supplies last! We also have inventory of our work tables and can give discounts on these as well. These prices are good through January so you will be getting a great deal. Don’t wait, get into the growing mode and get your greenhouse set and start your seeds so you can have beautiful flowers and/or vegges in the ground when the weather improves. You won’t find this deal anywhere else, we need to move these out so we can work on our molds, you get a good deal, we get room!