Theresa Knutsen

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

  1. How to Prevent Frost Damage on Non-Dormant Hardy Plants

    How to Prevent Frost Damage on Non-Dormant Hardy Plants
    Frost on plants on a very cold winter morning. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Most of the plants we ship are dormant from cold storage. However some are potted and are growing. The following is how to handle those leafed out plants. Sometimes you might receive non-dormant plants that would normally be dormant and ready to plant outside. Our hardy plant...
  2. Planting and Growing Raspberries

    Planting and Growing Raspberries
    Raspberries. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Raspberries are typically grown in a two foot wide row. Prepare the soil for planting by first clearing weeds in a 3-4’ wide strip the length you are planning to plant. Put a 3-4” thick layer of composted manure (cow, steer, or other ruminants, not chicken) or leaf mold on the surface of the row...
  3. Planting in Warm Climates

    Those of you living in the southern U.S. may be regularly experiencing day time temperatures in the 70’s. If this is the only time you can acquire particular plants, follow the late planting instructions in the Raintree Nursery Owners Manual or the following to ensure success with your new plants, or pre-order plants to be shipped to you at your...
  4. Planting Time Continues in Cold Climates

    Planting Time Continues in Cold Climates
    New orchard planting (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Planting time continues for those of us living West of the Cascade Mountains in the Pacific Northwest, and other similar climate locations throughout the country. So long as the ground is not under water or water-logged, frozen, or covered with snow, and the weather is above freezing when you plant, you can plant...
  5. Dormant season pruning continues in February

    Dormant season pruning continues in February
    English: Pruning the vines (Photo credit: Wikipedia) See the Raintree Plant Owners Manual for basic pruning information, or check out our selection of pruning books. Finish pruning grapes, kiwis, figs, maples, and other heavy sap producers this month, before the weather starts to warm, to avoid excess bleeding from the wounds. Prune stone fruits (plum, cherry, peach, apricot, and almond) after...
  6. It's planting time for moderate winter climates!

    It's planting time for moderate winter climates!
    A test site with several fruit tree forms located at Gaasbeek Castle. (Wikicommons) Planting time has arrived for those in moderate winter climates including people living west of the Cascade Mountains in the Pacific Northwest. So long as the ground is not under water or water-logged, frozen or covered with snow, and the temperature is above freezing when you...
  7. Dormant Season Spraying: Now Is the Time

    Dormant Season Spraying: Now Is the Time
    Shothole blight on a peach tree. Photo credit: Utah State University extension Late winter is the time to apply dormant oil spray to control insects or eggs over-wintering on the trunks or limbs of your trees. Focus on trees you saw significant infestations of aphid or scale in last year. Some dormant oil products may have insecticide in them...
  8. Dig Up Potted Bulbs Now to Force Early Spring Color

    Dig Up Potted Bulbs Now to Force Early Spring Color
    English: Tulip, 2005 Floriade, Canberra (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Dig up potted bulbs you sunk in the ground last fall to force early spring color. Keep them in a cool greenhouse or basement and provide 12 hours a day of supplemental light. When flower buds start showing some color bring them inside to enjoy. The flowers will last longer if they...
  9. Soil Testing Is Important to the Health of Your Garden

    Soil Testing Is Important to the Health of Your Garden
    Homeowners are encouraged to test their soils for nutrient needs, and to apply only what nutrients are needed for a healthy lawn. Farmers practice the same testing procedure. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) How well did your plants grow for you last year? A soil test might be needed if you noticed last years’ growth was weak, off-color (red summer leaves...
  10. Fruit Storage: Apple and Pear Varieties That Keep Well

    Fruit Storage: Apple and Pear Varieties That Keep Well
    English: A "Belle de Boskoop" apple. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Check stored fruit for rot, discard or use any fruits with bad spots. Many fruits will still be in excellent shape. Apples Belle de Boskoop, Karmijn de Sonneville, Enterprise, King Edward VII and Melrose apples all have a long storage life. Pears Comice, Bosc, Highland and Conference European pears, and...

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