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Fall is for Planting at Christianson’s Nursery!

An Essential Business,
Christianson's Nursery is Open Daily
9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Fall is For Planting!
As the summer garden begins to wane, there are many things that need buttoning up for the Autumnal months ahead such as harvesting the last of the summer garden vegetables as well as tilling and preparing the soil to plant cold season vegetables including kale, cabbage, lettuce, collards, spinach, carrots, and fava beans. Now is also a great time to begin cutting back perennials such as Bearded Iris, Bee Balm, Phlox, Lilies, Gaillardia (Blanket Flower), Shasta Daisy, Hostas, and Peony. Prune foliage down to a few inches above the ground then add compost (only healthy plant trimmings) and clear away any debris to help prevent disease and rot in early spring. Don't compost any diseased debris - throw it away so as not to infect healthy compost.
A few other reminders for fall planting:
*Plant spring-flowering bulbs: grape muscari,
garlic, allium, daffodils, tulips, crocus, and early spring ephemerals
*Plant shade, flowering, and apple trees
*Pick up pre-ordered bulbs, cold season vegetable starts,
and seeds for winter vegetable garden.
Saving the "10th Annual Weigh-Off"
As you may already have discovered, this year's Skagit Valley Giant Pumpkin Festival in its traditional form has been canceled. As much as we regret having no community celebrations, we are now taking pre-registration forms from growers to compete in the Weigh-Off (only) and will award the top-winning cash purse prize of $1500.00 to the grower with the heaviest pumpkin!
Have you ever wondered which variety of pumpkin our competitive pumpkin growers grow? The original 'Atlantic' pumpkin seeds were developed by Howard Dill of Nova Scotia, Canada. Dill was determined to win a giant pumpkin contest and we assume he won (and harvested the seeds) since they are now coined as "Dill's Atlantic Giant; World's Largest Pumpkin Variety." These seeds are not your average off-the-shelf packaged varieties. Howard Dill's 'Atlantic' seeds are mainly ordered online or through a grower. They are extra-large seeds that have an extra thick membrane covering their vulnerable insides. The seeds are prized by today's growers; some bring a giant value up to hundreds of dollars per seed!
Tip: Before planting an 'Atlantic' pumpkin seed, sand off part of the glossy membrane on one edge using sandpaper to ensure optimum germination.
Dill's 'Atlantic' seeds produce fruit weighing 200 to over 1,000 pounds and can grow up to 2-inches per day during their peak growing time! How is it that some growers can nurture an 'Atlantic' variety that weights up to 2,500 pounds (as achieved by the current Washington State record-holder, Joel Holland)? Skilled growers have a lot of the answers; some use seemingly over-the-top methods such as hand-pollination, nursing them along on cushioned sheets of plywood, or place electric fans in the garden to cool the monstrous fruit so it doesn't crack or split while putting on those extra pounds. Yet, some factors are ever-changing such as the correct level of nutrients and moisture in the soil; as well as rain, wind, cold, and heat. These variables require a change-up in tactics to ensure the cultivar's maturity. All this demonstrates the extraordinary determination and moxie that competitive growers hurdle just to be in the running of an annual Weigh-Off.
Be sure to watch segments of the Weigh-Off live on Facebook Saturday, September 19, and discover who wins bragging rights and reigns champion for the 2020 Skagit Valley Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off.
and watch the giant highlights!
Interested in growing a giant pumpkin for next year's Weigh-Off? Consider becoming a member of the Pacific Northwest Giant Pumpkin Club!
Submit pumpkins, squash, super-size garden vegetables (zucchini, tomatoes, gourds), and flowers! At the end of the Weigh-Off, we will hand out prize money to the top 10 growers on site and mail out prize ribbons to your home. 
For details, download the pre-registration form or
Thanks to our generous Skagit Valley Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off Sponsors:
Got Veggies?
So this happened. Last spring when the COVID shutdown first went into place, there was an interesting side effect. About half of Skagit Valley decided this was the year to plant a veggie garden. For many, it was the first time they had ever bought a packet of seeds, a veggie start, or even a pair of gardening gloves. Almost every shopping cart or curbside order included a fruit tree, veggie starts and berry bushes. When Christianson’s offered free veggie starts to kids and teachers, the response was incredible - to the point that we had to change up our logistics and offer plants via a drive-through line at the back of the Nursery. One of the many highlights of the season was when an 8 year old boy called us to ask what to do now that his kale plant had started to flower. That made our day! 
So flash forward to the present and guess what? There’s a veggie explosion! We’ve seen some pictures of veggie gardens planted by newbie gardeners and it’s been astounding. Well done! Many of you were extra ambitious and planted multiple zucchini, pumpkin, and tomato starts and are now experiencing the joys (and challenges) of what to do with the fruits of your harvest.  
And this is where Primrose can help! We have a fabulous selection of books to guide you through harvesting and preserving your fruits and veggies, books like Grow Cook Eat, The Women’s Heritage Sourcebook: Bringing Homesteading to Everyday Life, and Attainable Sustainable: The Lost Art of Self-Reliant Living. We also have a great selection of seasonal cookbooks, such as Fresh Veggie BBQ, Harvest: 180 Recipes Through the Seasons, Heirloom, and so many more! 
For those who are already looking forward to planting in the fall (and yes, you can grow veggies all year long), we have a wide section of gardening resource books such as Cool Season Gardener, Maritime Northwest Gardening Guide, Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades, and Growing Berries and Fruit Trees in the Pacific Northwest.
Growing fruits and veggies is a wonderfully rewarding endeavor and this is the season when all that hard work pays off. It can become a bit overwhelming during harvest season but with a little experience under your belt and a few handy resource books at your side, it gets easier and more enjoyable over time. 
Keep growing and let us know how it’s going!
Sale of Two Seasons
Save 30 to 60% off selected spring and summer merchandise from September 5 through September 20! Sale items include home decor, housewares, pillows and throw blankets, candles, books, greeting cards, stationery, soaps, lotions, hats, and much more!
All sales are final on discounted items and sale excludes antiques.
Ask John!
John loves hearing from his customers and they love to ask him questions! Each conversation features a question submitted by someone like you.
Q: Hi John,
When is the best time to plant daffodils and tulips? And, how do you remember when to plant them versus other bulbs that are blooming now?
Many thanks,
Kristine M., Stanwood, WA
A: Dear Kristine,
The question is a popular one during the Tulip Festival in April-"Can I buy tulip bulbs now?" The answer is no, the bulbs blooming in the ground are not available until the blooming plants go dormant and are harvested.
Bulbs that flower in the spring are normally planted in the fall. Daffodils and tulips are the most popular. Bulbs that flower in the summer are normally planted in the spring. Dahlias, begonias, and lilies are the most popular.
Of course, there are exceptions, such as our very popular autumn crocus. Plant it now, and it will bloom in two weeks!
Happy Gardening!
John Christianson
September Gardening Class
Instant Fall Containers
Saturday, September 26 , 11:00 a.m – noon
class size limited class fee: $15
*Demonstration will take place in the Potting Shed
Choosing seasonal plants for fall containers is a cathartic process that helps usher out the overgrown and sun-faded summer annuals and welcomes in the arrival of Fall color.
Laura Campbell, container designer at Christianson’s Nursery, will expand your awareness of potted plant varieties by overlooking the common commercial varieties (used at many big-box retailers) and offering underutilized and unusual flowers and foliage to fill a container that results in a unique and stunning fall statement.
For reservations, email us or call 360-466-3821
Curbside Pick-Up Service Continues
For those who have specific plant lists or gift ideas and would prefer not to shop in person, we continue to offer curbside pick-up service. To learn more about it visit Curbside orders require 48 hours turnaround.
Please note: Christianson’s Nursery is an essential business and is not a place to gather socially. We practice social distancing even while wearing masks and appreciate it when our customers do the same.
September Specials
Fall is For Planting!
Now through September 17
Roses, Perennials, Vines, and Hydrangea
(not including heathers & heaths, water plants, or ground covers)
20% off
September 18 - October 1
Fruit, Flowering, and Shade Trees,
Rhododendrons and Azaleas
20% off
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