What To Know About Container Plants Part 3

800px-Garden_hose_pistolNow that you’ve read Part One and Part Two in our container plant series, Part Three is here to help readers understand how to care for container plants in an ongoing fashion. Growing plants in containers can be tricky, so here’s our best ideas on how to keep them healthy and thriving in the Oregon area.

How To Care for Container Plants

Fertilizer

Watering container plants has a tendency to flush out fertilizer and nutrients. It is important to add a slow release fertilizer when you plant the container plants, and then to also apply a water soluble fertilizer every two or three weeks during the growing season.

Container Size

By their very nature, containers limit how expansive that the root system can grow. Generally, the bigger the pot you can give a plant, the larger it will allow the roots to expand, producing a healthier, fuller plant.

Sunlight Needs

While you want to follow the best sunlight instructions for each plant individually, avoid placing a container plant in direct sunlight. Direct sunlight can “cook” the root ball with too much heat and kill the entire plant.

Pruning

Take extra care to continually prune container plants. Deadhead and trim as often as possible to promote the growth of new flowers or fruits.

Watering

Container plants need extra water and fertilizer because their roots are limited in space. Most containers need water every day, and in particularly warm weather, twice daily.

Repottingi-jbCFBt8

Long-term plants like shrubs and trees will need repotting every 2-3 years. There are two methods you can use to repot a tree or shrub. The first method is to remove the plant, cut away several inches of roots from the root ball and then return it to the original container. The second method is to replant the tree or shrub into a container that is a few inches larger than the original. Either way, the plant needs extra space to develop new roots.

Well, we are wrapping up this series on container plants, and hopefully we’ve given you all the information you need to keep your container garden bountiful this summer. If you have more questions, you can find other resources on our blog, or by giving us a ring. We provide landscaping design and installation for any intimate space  or other specialty landscape designs in Portland and the surrounding suburbs.

What to Know About Container Plants Part 2

Welcome to the second post in our 3 part series on container plants. Container plants are stylish, and sometimes necessary in smaller, intimate outdoor spaces and today we’ll cover what container plants are most likely to thrive in the Portland, Oregon area.

Some Notes on Soil for Container Plants

It turns out there is a lot of myth surrounding the soil you should use in containers. Research proves that potting soil or planter mix is the best option, despite other theories. Potting soil is designed to be very course as opposed to gardening mix which is very fine. The coarse texture of potting soil provides the best drainage to your potted plants, while too fine of particles can clog up drainage paths, killing roots, and ultimately resulting in insufficient air, AKA: dead plants. Don’t go overboard with coarse materials either, it is ill-advised to add a layer of rocks or pebbles to the bottom of planters. This practice in facts inhibits drainage, not supports it. When it comes to soil, using a potting mix is best practice for potted plants.

Best Plants to Grow in Containers

The following is a recommended list of container plants from the Oregon State University Extension Service. Almost anything can be grown in a container, but if you are a beginner, any of the following are great place to start.

peppers are a great choice for container plants in Oregon
Black Pearl Peppers

Veggies 

  • Bush cucumbers
  • Chard
  • Eggplant
  • Endive
  • Lettuce
  • Peppers
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes

Annuals

  • Alyssum
  • Begonia
  • Dianthus
  • Dwarf Zinnia
  • Fuchsia
  • Lobelia
  • Marigold
  • Nicotiana
  • Pansy and viola
  • Petunia
  • Salvia
  • Verbena

Perennials

  • Aster
  • Bulbs
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Coreopsis
  • Dahlia
  • Fern
  • Geranium
  • Herbs

    Dahlia make great flowers for container gardens in Portland, Oregon
    Dahlia
  • Lamium
  • Sedum
  • Sweet William

Shrubs and Small Trees

  • Acuba
  • Barberry
  • Boxwood
  • Conifers
  • Fatsia
  • Grecian Bay Tree
  • Hebe
  • Hydrangea
  • Rose
  • Skimmia

All Oregon Designs Intimate Space in Portland

Have some ideas on what you might grow in your containers? Need to know about picking the best pots? read our previous post, What to Know About Container Plants Part 1. If you think you need help choosing the right pots or plants for your container garden, give us a ring and let our landscape designers Carl and Elida “wow” you with their colorful and creative intimate space designs.

What to Know About Container Plants Part 1

container plants by All Oregon LandscapingWith yards getting smaller and smaller in bigger cities, and even here in Portland, containers have become a way to add color, scent, and liveliness to a small yard or what we like to call an intimate space. Just because you’ve got limited outdoor space doesn’t mean it has to be void of all plant life. Container plants are a great way to boost the fun in any space, large or small, and today we’ll talk over the basics of choosing containers in part 1 of a 3 part series on container plants. Look for more on the All Oregon Landscaping blog over the next few weeks to learn all about container plants.

Choosing the Best Container

There are all sorts of containers available, and here’s the rundown on what makes the perfect container.

Clay pots: Mostly inexpensive, but can dry out quickly.
Terracotta: More expensive than clay, but usually last longer and dry out slower.
Ceramic containers: Can come in any design, but have a tendency to be fragile and break easily.
Plastic pots: Lightweight and cheap. With too much light they can quickly become brittle. TIP: Make plastic containers last longer by placing them inside of a clay or ceramic container.  
Wood containers: Will ultimately rot. The time it takes to rot depends on the type of wood, and the level of moisture. TIP: Cedar and Redwood are the most resistant to rotting. 
Tin containers: Will rust over time. But that can be an appealing look for some.
Whiskey barrel: A good size for shrubs and small trees, but get heavy and difficult to move.

Choosing the best container for you plants and yard is about both style and functionality. If you are the type to spend quality time caring for your plants and their container homes, any of the above will probably suit you. If you are more of a “plant them and forget them, except to water them” type, try a low-maintenance container like plastic. You can always spruce up the appearance by putting plastic containers inside something more fashionable.

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If you need help designing a garden or your container plants for the year, just give us a ring. Container plants and intimate spaces are one of our specialties. Check out our photo gallery to see some of our work in smaller spaces. We work throughout the Portland Metro area including Tigard, Beaverton, Lake Oswego, Sherwood, Wilsonville, Tualatin, Hillsboro, Gresham, Oregon City, and more – just ask.

Have any great photos of your container plants? We’d love to see your designs, so share them in the comments or on Facebook.

All Oregon Landscaping Appears in Lake Oswego Living

Guess what? We were featured in the latest print addition of Lake Oswego Living. This write up details the humble beginnings of All Oregon Landscaping. Our leader, Craig Prunty, began landscaping in high school as a way to earn extra cash. His parents owned an apartment complex and taking over the landscaping duties seemed like a natural fit. Soon, another apartment complex across the street also sought out Craig’s landscaping services. With the addition of a few buddies and then his younger brother, Tony, as the “little weed puller”, All Oregon Landscaping soon became a rapidly growing business.

Craig is the first to admit that two things have gotten All Oregon Landscaping to where it is today. The first is amazing customers who are willing to share their great experiences with their friends. Just outside Portland in the smaller surrounding areas like Lake Oswego, Beaverton, Wilsonville, Sherwood, Tualatin, Hillsboro, and more, word of mouth is more important than anything. All Oregon Landscaping has consistently worked to exceed the expectations of their clients so that they will want to share their experiences with their friends. The second is having a qualified, professional, and experienced team to carry out every aspect of a landscape design, big or small. The team at All Oregon Landscaping still includes the “little weed puller”, Tony Prunty, who now manages the operations and the design team. He has implemented both dramatic and small landscape designs with precision and expertise. Our design team, comprised of Carl Liebhardt and Elida Rivera, use their skill, creativity and detailed eye to design many award-winning landscape designs.

If you’d like to read more from the Lake Oswego Living article, open the PDF.

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Both our top-notch team and our customers have made our best landscape designs possible, and here are some links to a few of our favorite recent projects.

If you think we can help you create the landscape you’ve always wanted, feel free to give us a ring. We always provide free quotes, and we love talking with customers about their landscape ideas.

landscape zones in Oregon explained

What is the Deal With Landscaping Zones?

Every spring when it is time to start planting, the questions come out about what landscaping zones mean exactly. Today, we’ll explain what landscaping zones mean, particularly to those of us here in the Pacific Northwest.  Plant Hardiness Zone Maps were made by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) to help growers determine what plants will flourish in their area. Here is what the map of the entire United States looks like.

USDA hardiness map for landscaping zonesTechnically speaking, the map maps out zones based on average temperatures for the area. All landscaping zones are divided by 10 degrees Fahrenheit. The zones are based on average temperatures over the past 30 years and do not reflect the coldest temperatures ever recorded or account for the coldest possible temperature in the future. It is important for growers to keep that in mind when considering planting plants that are not rated specifically for their landscaping zone. If you are a new gardener, we always recommend staying with plants recommended for your landscape zone. Here’s what the map for our state of Oregon looks like. For those of us situated around the Portland area, we fall within the 8B landscape zone, or plant hardiness zone.

hardinessmaporegon

A Word About Microclimates

Microclimates are small areas that have fine-scale climate variations. Good examples are areas around blacktop, concrete, or small hills that can cause cool spots in your garden. Every yard or landscape is different, and it is important to note any microclimates you may have on your property. In addition, it is possible that your entire yard could be part of a microclimate. This happens most often when a yard is sheltered or very exposed. There are a few other factors that can change a gardener’s idea of what they should or should not plant.

Other Factors to Consider When Choosing Plants

  • Light – Plants always need to be sure to receive the proper amount of sun and the amount of sun a place in your yard receives can vary greatly between summer and winter depending on your area and the amount of shade. Consider what temperature variances can happen in both the summer and winter in accordance with the possible amount of sun before choosing to plant something on the fringe of your hardiness zone.
  • Soil moisture – This is usually not a problem in Oregon, but occasionally soil with too little moisture can affect how well a plant does in a particular zone.
  • Temperature – Pay attention to the optimal temperature range for a specific plant. While some plants can handle varying temperatures, others cannot. Be aware before you plant what temperatures a specific plant can handle.
  • Humidity – High relative humidity limits cold damage by limiting moisture loss from sensitive parts of the plant (leaves, branches, and buds). Cold injury can be more severe if the humidity is low, especially for popular in Oregon, evergreens.

To make the best choices about plants in your landscape, use your knowledge of landscaping zones, microclimates, and the other factors listed above.  Or, if you ever feel that you are in over your head, always feel free to ask a  professional. If that is already the case, you are in the right place! All Oregon Landscaping is full of landscape experts who can help you determine the best plants for your yard, microclimates and all. Don’t hesitate to shoot us an email or give us a ring!

Top 5 Reasons You Should Hire a Landscape Contractor Right Now!

Sometimes, we’ve got projects in our landscape that we can handle. A small firepit, laying some new patio stones, or maybe mulching. But when it comes to a landscape overhaul, we feel it is best to hire a landscape contractor, and it isn’t just because we want your business. It really is mostly beneficial to you, and here are the top 5 reasons why.

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5 Reasons To Hire a Landscape Contractor

  1. It could save you money. Let me rephrase that, you will most likely save money. Often, contractors get deals with suppliers for large pieces like firplaces or pools, as well as special deals on small things like pavers and more. In addition, we see it more often than not DIYers starting a landscape project that gets away from them, and the repair costs can be more than it owuld have to complete the project correctly on its own. If you are planning a major landscaping change, hiring a landscape contractor will save you money 90% of the time.
  2. It will be done quicker. Instead of wasting the entire summer working on your yard, it will eb done before we even start busting out the BBQs. Enjoy your yard instead of sacrificing the entire sunny season, we don’t get enough sun as it is here in Oregon!
  3. You will get what you want – no settling. When you get in a pickle on your DIY landscape project we often start cutting corners and settling for things we don’t really want. Different colors, or doing something the cheap way. By hiring a landscape contractor, there are rarely surprises. Contractors know what things cost and are really good at informing clients upfront about any potential surprises that may occur. In the end, clients get exactly what they wanted with little room for settling.
  4. Your brain and body will thank you. Sometimes, doing your own landscape overhaul can be like a chef trying to perform brain surgery. We all have different skills and talents, and landscaping is not everyone’s – and that is okay. The more bogged down your brain gets thinking about your landscaping, and the more your body is exhausted fromt eh physical labor, the more apt you are to not be performing at your best. Leaving it to those who’ve put in the time to become experts in their field does have its advantages – and you will sleep far better at night not worrying if you installed that irrigation system correctly or if you water bill will be through the roof next month.
  5. They are experts and have a lot more experience than you. There are reasons they do what they do. If you’ve done your due diligence and are pleased with their past work, there is good reason to trust your landscape contractor. They will be more efficient and cost effective than you. A good landscape contractor will also tell you when you are out of your mind. If there is no way to install an inground pool, your contractor should tell you that upfront. Let’s face it, you’d probably try to do it and fail miserably.awards1

Bottom line – don’t fail miserably. Call us now to help you get your landscape overhaul done before your ready to hop into the pool. To get a better idea of our work check out our picture galleries.

We always provide a free quote, so give as a ring and let’s discuss your dream landscape.

2014 Yard, Garden, and Patio Show Photo Review

Well, we are excited to have completed our most ambitious endeavor yet at the Yard, Garden, and Patio Show just a few weeks ago. With months and months of planning, the All Oregon Landscaping team put up a display that left most show-goers swooning. Complete with spaces for everyone in the family, this landscape design was polished, refined, and well thought out. Tony Prunty created the “hardscape layout” of the garden’s base and Elida Rivera finalized the design in a fabulous “team effort.”  We are lucky to have both of them as part of the All Oregon Landscaping team.

The week leading up to the opening of the show is hectic at best, and it takes a lot of organization skills to pull off such a grand design implemented in four days.  Thanks to Tony Prunty and our fabulous crew, our design came together right on time, and with every detail executed seamlessly. At the end of a long week of preparations, it is time for the judges to have their say.

The Judging Process at the Yard, Garden, and Patio Show

The judging process at the show is a bit different than you might think. Every display is set up without any signage or representation of which company has designed which display. The three judges were hand selected from outside the Portland Metropolitan Area.  They are all professionals within the landscaping industry, such as published authors, landscape architects, horticulturalists, and highly sought after “guest speakers” that fully understand all of the elements that are essential in developing and implementing an award-winning garden.  The judging was performed prior to the show opening to the public on that Friday morning.  They judges were able to experience and critique each display and pour over the details and design elements implemented in each garden.  In the end, the process of choosing which displays receive awards is done without any of the judges having any inkling as to who is responsible for each design.

The way the judging takes place makes us even prouder of winning both the Best in Show and Best Use of Space awards at this year’s Yard, Garden, and Patio Show. Let us know if you agree with the judges on our design, by checking out this photo gallery of selected images from our display.

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BEST OF SHOW

1st Place: All Oregon Landscaping Inc., Inside Out: A Family Portrait
2nd Place: Dennis’ 7 Dees Landscaping & Garden Centers, Come Alive Outside
3rd Place: Autumn Leaf Landscaping Inc., Abstract Reflections

 

BEST OF CATEGORY

Best Use of Space: All Oregon Landscaping Inc., Inside Out: A Family Portrait
Best Use of Plants: Dennis’ 7 Dees Landscaping & Garden Centers, Come Alive Outside
Best Use of Color: Autumn Leaf Landscaping Inc., Abstract Reflections

 

If you’d like to read more about what it takes to get a grand display like this inside of a building, take a peek at some of our past posts that include photos of how we made it happen.

As always, we love hearing your biggest yard ideas and then helping them become a reality. We handle all aspects of landscape design and offer a free quote for any of our services.

Plant Onions Now for the Biggest Bulbs

Throughout the food world, Oregonians are known as what are called “localvores”. The term “localvore” refers to a people who prefer to eat locally sourced foods as opposed to seeking out labels like “all natural” or “organic”. It explains why our Oregon Farmer’s Markets are so popular and why a lot of Oregonians have produce gardens in their yards. All Oregon Landscaping clients often want vegetable gardens or herb gardens to coincide with their fabulously designed outdoor kitchens and cooking areas. We do our best to meet every need, including helping to jump start the perfect vegetable garden for a client. Now that it is spring, there is a lot of hub bub going around about what to plant and when to plant it. The bottom line when it comes to the best onions in Oregon? Plant them now for the best results.

Plant Onions in April for the Biggest Bulbs

growing onions in oregonAlright, here is your plant word of the day, “photoperiodic”. Photoperiodic refers to plants that have lifecycles that are sensitive to day length. Onions are photoperiodic and usually begin bulbing when the amount of sunlight per day reaches around 14 hours. By planting your onions in April, the plants will be fairly large by the time the days reach 14 hours of sunlight, resulting in larger onions. Onions can be grown in almost any type of soil. Just make sure it has good fertility, drainage and tilth. Onions respond well to both compost and commercial fertilizers. Plant onion seeds a half inch deep at a rate of one to five seeds per inch. Thin seedlings after they are established. For large dry onions, thin seedlings to two to three inches apart, and for boilers and green onions, plant about a half-inch to an inch. The key to getting good seed establishment is to keep soil moist so it doesn’t form a hard crust over the top.

Best Varietals to grow In Oregon

The following are the best onion varietals to grow in Oregon according to the Oregon State University Extension Center.

  • Yellow: Copra, Prince, First Edition, Millennium, Fiesta, Frontier, New York Early
  • Overwintering: Buffalo, Walla Walla Sweet
  • Red: Red Wing, Benny’s Red
  • White: White Sweet Spanish, Superstar, Blanco Duro
  • Green bunching: Ishikura, Tokyo Long White, Hishiko

Other Landscaping Questions?

Have landscaping questions that are about more than growing the best onions? We can help. We’ve got landscape inspiration on our blog, tips, advice and more. We are gearing up for a big season this year and are happy to meet with you to discuss your biggest or smallest landscaping needs. Contact us about your garden, pool, water feature, custom outdoor kitchens, pergola, or patio ideas anytime. We work throughout the Portland area including Beaverton, Gresham, Lake Oswego, Hillsboro, Tualatin, Sherwood, West Linn, Oregon City, and more.

The 2014 Yard, Garden, and Patio Show is Here!

Today is the day! This morning the floodgates open at the Oregon Convention Center for another fabulous few days celebrating the best the Portland area has to offer in landscape design at the Yard, Garden, and Patio Show. The All Oregon Landscaping exhibit is no exception; this year we developed the most intricate display yet. The focus is on the family, and finding multiple uses for your outdoor space and incorporating the highest technology in your landscape design. If you’d like to see a bit more about our design for this year’s Yard, Garden, and Patio Show, check out our previous post, Plans For the Yard, Garden, and Patio Show 2014. Here’s what our 2014 plans looked like on paper.

3D model of our display garden for the 2014 YGP show.
3D Model of our display plan for the Yard, Garden, and Patio Show.

How the Yard, Garden, and Patio Show Display Comes Together

The week leading up to the Yard, Garden, and Patio Show is a culmination of months of preparations, and can be hectic, rushed, and quite crazy. Our fearless leader, Tony Prunty, always does a fabulous job of getting the details exactly right, and organizing the team so that every facet of the design is carried to perfection. The week begins on Monday with flatbed trucks, U-Hauls, and backhoes inside the Oregon Convention Center, unloading and moving materials about. As the week progresses, elements of the landscape design are thoughtfully crafted; starting with big features like running water then followed by smaller features like shrubs and trees. By Friday, we are dressing the exhibit with flowers, pots, and lighting up the fireplace.

We’ve been posting lots of pictures to Facebook this year, and here is a little photo album of how we’ve created this year’s intricate display over the last four days. Yep, this was all put together in only four days!

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Come on out and visit us at the Yard, Garden, and Patio Show. It runs through Sunday, March 2nd, and has the most extensive collection of landscaping companies, ideas, and designers in the Portland area. You’ll be happy you came by.

2013 Was Great, But 2014 Will Be Better!

When you look back at the year All Oregon Landscaping had in 2013, you think “Wow. That was a lot.” It really was. A plethora of work led us all over the Portland and Vancouver area to places like Lake Oswego, Beaverton, Hillsboro, Oregon City, Sherwood, and more. It was a wild ride, but we’ve loved every moment. Transforming yards into dream-worthy landscapes is a fun job to have. Here’s a recap of what 2013 was like at All Oregon Landscaping.

2013 – Landscape Designs and Being on Television

XGrass Partnership

Example of artificial turf landscape with pond and rock retaining walls.
All Oregon Landscaping partnered with XGrass in 2013.

In early 2013 we signed a deal with XGrass to provide installation of synthetic lawns. The artificial lawn business is gaining around 20% each year, so we know that more and more people are looking for this type of sustainable solution. We are grateful to be able to provide a high quality synthetic option for those seeking it. You can read more about XGrass and our partnership in our post, Synthetic Lawns are a Safe and Sustainable Solution for Oregon Homes.

KOIN Local 6 Television Special

Sherwood residence featured on KOIN Local 6.

 

Fire Pit and Seating Area by All Oregon Landscaping
Outdoor seating area with integrated fire pit. Sherwood residence featured on KOIN Local 6.

Later in 2013 we were honored to be asked to participate in KOIN Local 6’s Fall Home Refresh Series. Aired alongside weekend football, it was the perfect opportunity to show off some of the great work we did at a local Sherwood Residence. If you want to see more about the special and the Sherwood residence, visit our post, Sherwood Residence featured on KOIN Local 6 Fall Home Refresh.

2014 – The Yard Show Starts Us With A Bang

Custom outdoor fireplace installed for Yard Garden and Patio show.
Our display from a previous Yard, Garden, and Patio Show.

The Yard, Garden, and Patio Show is just around the corner (Feb. 28- March 2nd) and we are already getting pieces put together to make this our best display yet. We’ve made things wow-worthy in the past, but this year we are taking things to the next level. Keep tuned to our blog and Facebook for the latest on our display, and be sure to  read, Plans For The Yard, Garden, and Patio Show 2014.

We are sure 2014 is going to be even better than 2013. If you want to be part of our 2014 story, give us a ring now! January and February are the best months for planning your landscape design. The winter months are prime for native plants and bulbs. Also, we can get a jump-start on any bigger projects like custom countertops, fire pits, outdoor fireplaces, kitchens, and more. Together, let’s make 2014 the year of amazing  landscaping!