Theresa Knutsen

Theresa Knutsen is a horticulturist and writes the Raintree Nursery newsletter "Growing Tips." Email: theresa@raintreenursery.com.

  1. It's Cider Making Time!

    It's Cider Making Time!
    Apples are an all-American success story-each of us eats more than 19 pounds of them annually. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Here at Raintree Nursery we enjoy making apple cider each October. We use a Cider Press to extract the juice from the apples, ours is made by Correll. They are hand made and do have a waiting list. www.correllciderpresses.com Often...
  2. Irrigation in the fall: Not too little, not too much

    Irrigation in the fall: Not too little, not too much
    English: Drip irrigation uses a series of pipes and tubes to deliver water to the base of each plant. Because little water is lost to evaporation and runoff, this method uses less water than sprinklers and trenches. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) In most locations fall rains should have begun and plants would then no longer need regular irrigation. If that...
  3. Mason Bee Care in the Fall

    Homes of mason bees (Photo credit: Wikipedia) By October, mason bees have finished pupating inside their cocoons and are mature, waiting for springs’ signal to emerge. Between now and early December you can handle the bees inside their cocoons without damaging them, or waking them up accidentally, making this the ideal time to clean your mason bees and blocks...
  4. Fall pest maintenance: Destroy infested fruits

    Spray copper on apples and pears affected by anthracnose or European (Nectria) cankers at 50% leaf-fall. Apply spray for bacterial canker to stone fruits. Control pear leaf blister mites with an oil spray combined with lime sulfur following fruit harvest. Reduce brown rot inoculum next spring by picking up and destroying all mummified or infected fruit this fall, along with...
  5. Planning for Next Summer's Shade

    Planning for Next Summer's Shade
    Vine Maple (Photo credit: Wikipedia) It is perhaps on the most sweltering days of summer that the cooling shade of trees is most appreciated- or missed. If your thoughts are turning to what to plant for future summer shade, here are a few ideas. On larger properties where space is ample, don’t overlook the potential for Big Leaf Maple...
  6. What do I do if a plant is not growing vigorously the first year the way I expected it to?

    What do I do if a plant is not growing vigorously the first year the way I expected it to?
    English: A screen planting of bamboo, used to hide a roadway (Photo credit: Wikipedia) First we have to determine why. Sometimes it is in the nature of the plant not to grow vigorously in the first year, such as Monkey Puzzle or Bamboo. More often the root system is not growing and establishing properly. There can be several reasons...
  7. Pruning Your Vines, Espalier, Nuts, Berries and Fruit Trees

    Pruning Your Vines, Espalier, Nuts, Berries and Fruit Trees
    Free-standing espaliered fruit trees (step-over) at Standen, West Sussex, England May 2006. As can be seen, the trees are used to create a fruit border or low hedge (Photo credit: Wikipedia) VINES: Manage the canopy of your vigorous grape vines. As fall approaches it may be desirable to remove some leaves, or shoots, to expose ripening fruit to the...
  8. Netting: It's For the Birds

    Netting: It's For the Birds
    Bird netting on grapes (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Install bird netting wherever the birds are getting more of the fruit than you want them to. Grape vines trained in a vertical curtain, such as in the booklet Maritime Grape Growing (#S182) are easier to stretch our extra wide commercial bird netting (#T431) over. Cherry trees grown on the dwarfing giesela...
  9. Container Plant Care in May

    Container Plant Care in May
    (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Water and fertilize regularly to keep up with the needs of actively growing plants. Allow citrus to dry out somewhat between each watering, but keep figs and bamboo evenly moist. If a plant regularly wilts in the afternoon but the container always seems to have enough moisture in it move the container so it is protected...
  10. Late Spring Mason Bee Care

    Late Spring Mason Bee Care
    (Photo credit: Wikipedia) It is important to control mites in your mason bees to keep them healthy. One method is to clean them after the bees have matured in the fall (see the October Growing Tips). Another method is to manage the temperatures they are maintained at during the summer as they mature, particularly in the Pacific Northwest and...

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