For Fresh Color

Our favorite annuals for summer color have returned!  Refresh your landscape plantings and update curb appeal with showy summer color. Use annuals to fill space between young, immature shrubs and perennials; they will grow quickly and compete with weeds while keeping the yard in bloom. Some of our favorite annuals include bacopa, begonias, coleus, geraniums, impatiens, marigolds, million bells, petunias, red bananas, snapdragons, sweet potato vine, tender fuchsias, petunias, verbena, zinnias, and many more.

Reinvigorate your patio and deck pots and hanging baskets with fun combinations of color and texture.

For waves of color that return year after year, choose perennials. Spring is an excellent time to plant perennials to get them established before the heat of summer. When picking perennials, look for peony, echinacea, geum, hardy fuchsia, hardy geranium, lilies, wallflower, and many others to bring exceptional lasting color.

For stunning foliage plants, go for brunnera, cannas, heuchera/coral bells, hostas, and ornamental grasses, to name a few.

For the Lawn & Landscape

Improve soil health and texture by layering compost and amendments on top; use soil builders like Harvest Supreme, worm castings (WormGro), or Malibu Compost to boost the microbial populations in your soil (add in advance or at time of planting). Use G&B Soil Building Conditioner to break up clay soil. Top off low levels in raised beds with G&B Raised Bed & Potting Mix and/or Harvest Supreme (for an extra kick).

Remove moss from lawns with MossMax. Also treat hard surfaces with Moss Out Roofs & Walks, a special formulation that keeps walkways and roofs safe and moss-free without staining.

Fertilize the lawn by applying G&B Natural Lawn Food. Apply lime if necessary; it adjusts the pH of soil, making nutrients more available to the grass and helping to control moss (do a soil test to determine pH).

Kill off broad-leafed weeds in lawn; hand-pull or use Bonide’s Weed Beater Ultra, which works even when the weather is cool. If gophers and moles are ruining your lawn and garden beds, use Bonide’s Mole Max for quick, season-long relief.

Now is the perfect time to plant shrubs to get them established before the heat of summer. For a complete landscape look, compliment perennial plantings with shrubs—azaleas, hydrangeas, rhododendrons, roses, and lilacs are some fantastic blooming shrubs. Barberry, euonymus, and Mexican orange are just a sampling of shrubs with stunning foliage.

Prepare and prime your irrigation system to be ready for summer watering. Call our landscape office for assistance at 503-777-7777.

Tidy & Trim

As spring flowering bulbs like tulips and daffodils fade, it is good to remove the spent flowers and fertilize before they form seeds, but wait for their foliage to yellow before cutting them to the ground.

Deadhead rhododendrons and azaleas just after bloom by removing flower clusters; simply snap at the natural break point just above where the new leaves emerge. This is also the time to prune for shape too; pruning after bloom ensures an unaffected flower set for the following year. It is also a great time to fertilize them with an acid-lovers blend for future health and vigor. Monitor for lace bugs and root weevil damage, come talk to our experts for advice (bring leaf samples and photos).

Prune other spring flowering shrubs like lilacs, forsythia, and flowering quince after bloom. These vigorous, durable shrubs can be hard-pruned to remove any dead wood, control size, and maintain shape. In addition, regular thinning every two to three years should also be done to encourage fresh growth and reduce the potential for disease.


  • G&B All Purpose Fertilizer: If they have not yet been fed, use for trees, shrubs, and perennials that are prized for their foliage.
  • G&B Organics Rhododendron, Azalea & Camellia Fertilizer: Use for the shrubs listed, plus conifers, maples, and blueberries, which prefer acidic soil.
  • G&B Citrus & Fruit Tree Fertilizer: Use for citrus and other heavy feeding, acid-loving plants like gardenias.
  • G&B Bud & Bloom Fertilizer: Use to promote ample, luscious blooms in shrubs, perennials, and annuals.
  • G&B Fruit Tree Fertilizer: Use to promote foliage and flower production and a bountiful harvest with fruit trees and berries.
  • G&B Tomato, Vegetable & Herb Fertilizer: Use for all edibles including perennial vegetables (like artichokes, rhubarb, and asparagus) and herbs (high in calcium).
  • Fertilize hydrangeas to encourage vigorous growth and lush blooms. To make/keep hydrangeas pink, add lime to the soil; to make/keep hydrangeas blue, add aluminum sulfate or Hydrangea Blue.

For the Edible Garden

May is the time to plant your edibles in the Pacific Northwest. Our average last frost date is April 15th, but it can vary from year to year. After that date, it is safe to plant outdoors: tender and tropical herbs like basil, cilantro, dill, tender sages, lemongrass, and lemon verbena.

Vegetables to plant: beets, broccoli (starts), cabbage (starts), melons (end of month; watch soil temps), carrots, cauliflower (starts), celery (starts), corn, cucumbers (end of month), eggplant (end of month), kale, leeks, lettuce (starts), onion (starts), parsley (starts), peas, peppers (starts; end of month), potatoes, pumpkin (starts), radishes, snap beans, squash (starts; mid month), tomato (starts)

Apply lime to garden beds for the following crops: cucumbers, eggplant, melons, peppers, pumpkins, tomatoes, spinach, summer squash, and winter squash. Lime helps provide necessary calcium to the soil, ensuring a productive harvest.

Monitor fruit trees for signs of pests; place traps for coddling moths in apple trees, and plan for control if moths are found.

In the Garden Shed

Continue to monitor and treat rhododendron/azalea lace bugs; watch for early signs of black spot on roses and fruit trees, and treat as necessary (consult our experts).

For Fun

Make a miniature zen garden to enjoy at home or to give as a special gift; stop at one of our garden centers for inspiration and assistance to get you started.

Celebrate Mother’s Day with a colorful hanging basket, a healthy blueberry bush, or a beautiful rose plant about to bloom!