Seattle Area Recycling Tips

Recycling Yard Debris – & Everything Else!

Recycling yard debris

Here in the Northwest it’s the season for yard work! Cutting, trimming, pruning – Endless branches and debris are piling up. What are you going to do!?

Here are a few ways for recycling yard debris:

  1. Self-haul: Load up a truck or trailer and haul your branches to the closest recycling station. Click here to find a recycling center near you.
  2. Curbside Pick-up: Have your debris and yard waste picked up curbside by Waste management. They provide a variety of collection services. Call 1-800-592-9995 for details.
  3. Chipping: Rent or use a friends chipper and create your own mulch!
  4. Tree Service: There are local tree services that will trim your trees and chip or haul away yard debris for you.

Here are a few tips for recycling yard debris:

  • Plastic wrap or bags and any food containers should NOT be included with your yard debris
  • Only tree/shrub debris and natural waste not including food is considered “yard debris”
  • When landscaping or doing yard work cut your branches small so they are easier to dispose of
  • If doing any digging in your yard – Like planting trees or shrubs be sure to call 811 for free marking of your utility lines

 

Recycling yard debrisTo recycle other items such as styrofoam, mattresses, TV’s and chemicals there certain recycling centers that will take items for free.

FREE styrofoam recycling at rndrecycling in Fife, WA. Click here for info.

FREE laptop, computer, ink cartridge, cell phone etc. recycling at PC Recycle. Click here to find a location near you.

FREE vehicle, refrigerator, washer/dryer etc. recycling with 1 Green Planet in Renton, WA. Click here to view their website.

 

For more detailed info and to ask questions you can contact the Washington State Recycling Database at 1-800-RECYCLE(732-9253).

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Fabulous Orchids!

Fabulous Orchids!

Orchids

Orchids are mysterious, breath taking and high maintenance. Grown by enthusiasts for their elegance and beauty, as well as for decoration. The most common type of orchid is probably the moth orchid, or the Phalaenopsis orchid. These orchids can be bought at most garden stores and are the easiest to take care of because they do well in most indoor environments. But even the easiest to grow orchids require special care.

What are orchids?

Orchids belong to the Orchidaceae family. It is a diverse and widespread flowering plant with colorful blooms and is often fragrant. There are so many orchid species it’s impossible to know them all.  The number of orchid species is twice the number of bird species, and about four times the number of mammal species! Since the 19th century, horticulturists have produced more than 100,000 hybrids and cultivars. Orchids can be found anywhere around the world except in freezing climates. The majority of orchids are found in humid, hot, tropic/sub tropic regions. Orchids are perennial epiphytes which grow anchored to trees or shrubs.Orchids Species such as Angraecum sororium are lithophytes growing on rocks or very rocky soil. Other orchids (including the majority) are terrestrial and can be found in habitat areas such as grasslands or forest.

Orchids can be found in a rainbow of colors, shapes and sizes. I happen to prefer the brightly colored larger species. Many different orchid vendors can be found online offering some rare and sometimes strange looking species and hybrids.

Orchids

Can you grow orchids in a Sunglo?

Absolutely! Sunglo greenhouses are great for growing orchids due to the ability to manipulate the environment. You have a ventilation system for the summer months and heating for the winter. Orchids have many different preferred climates. Be sure to make yourself aware of the climate needs of each species. There are even climate controls available to help control humidity and moisture. Greenair products offer a wide variety of atmospheric controls and can be purchased through Sunglo.

Orchids

Tips on maintenance:

Growing orchids from seed is something I really don’t want to get into. It can take years and years for a “seed orchid” to mature and we just don’t have time for that! But when you purchase an orchid and bring it home here are a few things to remember:

  1. Study the species you want to bring home. Make sure you can provide the needed light, temperature and feeding instructions.
  2. Understand the watering requirements. With a vast number of species there are some differences in the watering procedures. Most do not need much water. Click here for more orchid care tips.
  3. Feed your orchid. Orchid fertilizer can be bought at most home and garden stores. A fertilizer with high nitrogen is usually suggested. It is recommended to feed most orchids 1-2 times per month.
  4. Repot when needed. You must research your orchid to know what kind of media it likes. Most garden stores carry mixed media packages for the common species. Repotting is important to give the orchid fresh media – moss, bark, peat etc. And also give more room if it needs it.
  5. Know the diseases that can occur. If you can identify the disease right off the bat you will have a greater chance of saving your precious flowers. Some common diseases are leaf spots, petal blight, and fungi such as black rot.

OrchidsMore valuable information can be found at the following links:

My first orchid

American Orchid Society

YouTube Video – Orchid care

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Ladybug pest control

Ladybugs – Your best ally in the fight with aphids!

Ladybug

Ladybugs -

 Let’s learn a little bit about these pest eaters. Ladybugs have many names. Such as lady beetle, Asian lady beetle, multicolored Asian lady beetle, ladybird and many more. They are actually not bugs but are beetles. Ladybird Beetle is the correct name but I still like “ladybug” There are about 5,000 species of ladybugs worldwide, only 400 are native to North America. The convergent lady beetle is the most common species.

Ladybugs are widely used as a form of natural pest control. Aphids seem to be the top food choice for them but they also eat scale insects, mealy bugs, mites, white fly and other soft insects. A fully grown hungry ladybug can eat 50 aphids a day! They could eat 5,000 aphids in their lifetime in both larvae and adult stages.

 

LadybugsAphids-

Aphids are the most common garden pest insect and they feed on almost every type of plant. There are many different species of aphids but they all seem to have the same goal in mind… destroying you’re garden! They feed in colonies which is why they are so destructive and fast.

Signs of aphids are dried and colorless leaves and curled leaf tips. Aphids usually can be found on the underside of leaves and close to the top where the most nutrients can be sucked from the plant. They are savage little things and need to be dealt with as fast as possible.

LadybugsPest control-

Here at our Kent, WA. Sunglo office and warehouse we have a few greenhouses on display and like to grow plants and veggies ourselves, so we take advantage of the opportunity by growing a few things here and there. We bought a few herb plants from a home and garden depot only to find aphids on them!

We decided to try ladybugs for pest control. And boy let me tell you… it was awesome! We were able to purchase 1500 bugs online and they arrived within 5 days, let them free in our small lean-to greenhouse and within 15 minutes almost every aphid had disappeared! Overall I would 100% recommend ladybugs to get rid you of your pest nuisance! They are cute, inexpensive and best of all non-toxic! We freed most of them by keeping the doors wide open but a few are still around, stalking their next aphid meal.

Ladybugs

To learn about another common pest; thrips – click here.

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Energy saving tips – In your greenhouse

Here are a few energy saving tips:

Energy Saving Tips

Reduce air leakage from the greenhouse -

Small cracks and loose glazing materials can cause unwanted air to enter or escape from your greenhouse. Obviously both will affect the efficiency of any heating system you have in place. But fixing areas around the doors and vents that are not air tight can help stop unwanted air flow. Caulking holes or lining parts of the frame and weather stripping around the door can make a big difference. Shutting your fans off during the winter and covering them with a thick plastic will help keep your greenhouse regulated in the winter months. And always fix any holes or broken panels. If you have a Sunglo you can call 1-800-647-0606 for any replacement parts!

Use a double layer glazing system -

Double layered glazing material can be beneficial, if it is done the correct way. Our greenhouses have an inner corrugated panel that creates a 1.5” dead air space keeping it exceptionally insulated. To see how Sunglo’s unique glazing system works click here.

Install windbreaks -

Windbreaks are important in high wind areas because it prevents the cold wind from hitting the greenhouse therefore cooling it down. Building a mini fence or even planting shrubbery around the base of your greenhouse is effective. Some gardener’s plant small trees around their greenhouse, it not only looks pretty but will help keep the wind at bay. Whatever you decide to use make sure it stands mid-level to your greenhouse so it doesn’t block the sun.

Use a shade cloth -

Shade cloths are wonderful for high temperature areas. They are used during the hottest time of the day to reduce thermal solar radiation. Sunglo carries a wide variety of sizes and they can be mixed and matched to perfectly fit your greenhouse. For more information on shade cloths click here.

Use your heat wisely -

To calculate what type of heater you’ll need for your greenhouse there is a simple formula. Take the temperature you want the greenhouse to stay at (let’s say 50) and the average winter temperature in your area (how about 20) and subtract them (equals 30). Next you multiply the temperature difference by the surface area of your greenhouse (8×10 greenhouse is 276 X 30 = 8280). Now you multiply your answer by your greenhouse materials U value. For a Sunglo you would multiply 8280 X .75 = 6210 BTU’s(.75 is Sunglo’s U value). This means you need to find a heater that has exactly or over 6210 BTU’s to efficiently heat your greenhouse. Using the correct heater will ensure thriving plants and not use unwanted electricity. To see this formula again and more in depth information on BTU requirements check out this post. Click here.

For more information on saving energy visit PSE.com

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2014 Garden Shows

Upcoming 2014 Garden Shows

Garden showPortland Home & Garden Show – Portland, OR.

The 67th annual Portland Home & Garden Show is Feb. 20th – 23rd. It’s being held at the Portland Expo Center. Adult ticket prices are to be determined but children under 12 get in for free. This garden show will be showcasing new garden designs and colors, flowers and plants will be for sale and hundreds of vendors who are experienced in landscape and garden design will be available for any questions you have. For more info click here.

 

Yard, Garden & Patio Show – Portland, OR.

This show is in Portland, OR. too. It will be held at the Oregon Convention Center Feb. 28th – Mar. 2nd. The show, typically held in late February, has long been recognized as the unofficial launch of spring in the Portland area. It features the latest ideas in plant material, landscaping and related outdoor accessories from more than 300 exhibiting companies and organizations. A series of showcase gardens adds colorful pizzazz to the show floor and provides visitors with a wealth of ideas on how they can enhance their own personal landscapes. For more info about this show click here.

 

Philadelphia Flower Show – Philadelphia, PA.

Yes, I know this one is a bit far away but it has been known to be awesome! – The PHS Philadelphia Flower Show is an annual event at the Pennsylvania Convention Center from Mar. 1st to 9th.  It’s the world’s oldest and largest indoor flower show, attracting more than 260,000 people annually. The Show features large-scale gardens, elaborate landscapes, and over-the-top floral creations. This is one show that will be a sight to see! The theme this year seems to be ARTiculture, you definitely don’t want to miss this one! Visit there website by clicking here.

 

San Fransciso Flower and Garden Show – San Fransisco, CA.

The San Francisco Flower and Garden Show is back! The show will be held at the San Mateo Event Center Mar. 19th – 23rd with exciting new exhibits and vendors added each day! This year more than ever, it is important to learn tips and tricks on how to keep your garden healthy and beautiful. The SF Flower and Garden Show will include speakers, seminar, and workshops from a variety of gardening perspectives. There will be world class designers, brand new garden gadgets, fun activities for kids, and more! Click here for more information about this show.

 

Boise Flower and Garden Show – Boise, ID.

The 18th annual Boise Flower & Garden Show, March 21-23, 2014 at the Boise Centre will spring to life with everything you need to make your garden beautiful! Shop for the latest in landscape design, garden art and decor, yard furniture, plants, decks, greenhouse, and more. You will also enjoy spectacular display gardens; educational and fun gardening seminars; orchid and bonsai displays; a silent auction of beautiful and unique container gardens and much more. This one is worth the drive! Check out there website here.

 

Southern California Spring Garden Show – Costa Mesa, CA.

This is the 25th year for the California Spring Garden Show. It is being held from Apr. 24th – 27th. Landscape gardens designed by leading landscape architects and designers will be on display, as well as Over 75 specialty garden vendors offering exotic plants, unique garden accessories, and much more! This is a smaller garden show but it is a wonderous sight! Click here for more information.

 

Garden Expo 2014 – Spokane, WA.

On May 10th Spokane Community College is hosting the 15th annual garden expo from 9am to 5pm. This is a free event and will have 250 booths displaying a variety of garden art, gardening decorations and lots of unique garden themed items. There will be one of a kind garden art, children’s activities, and a group of speakers. For more info click here.

This is not a complete list of garden shows for 2014 but definitely some of the best! If you ever have any gardening questions or need greenhouse advice please contact us anytime!

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Top 5 Greenhouse Gardening Books

Are you a greenhouse gardener? As most gardeners know there is always more to learn! Check out these top selling greenhouse gardening books and improve on your own gardening skills!

Greenhouse Gardeners Companion – Author: Shane Smith

The most comprehensive book on greenhouse gardening available today. Today, greenhouse gardening bookgreenhouses and sunrooms are real living spaces where gardeners spend as much time with a book and a cup of coffee as they do with a watering can and a pair of pruning shears. In this fully revised edition of a best-selling classic, veteran gardener Shane Smith embraces this new “lifestyle” approach to greenhouse gardening.

 

 

Greenhouse Gardening – Made Easy – Author: Simon Marlow

This book will lead you through the complete process of purchasing, setting up and greenhouse gardening bookmaintaining your greenhouse. Once you have a functioning greenhouse you then need to understand what makes your plants grow. Heat, soil and water are critical to your growing success. This guide describes how best to optimize these parameters so that you are able to grow the plants you want not only in spring and summer but also through fall and winter. This ebook shows you how to get the best from your greenhouse by taking the next step to great growing of all types of plants vegetables and flowers at anytime of the year.

 

 

Organic Gardening – Author: Geoff Hamilton

A classic guide to growing flowers, fruit, and vegetables the natural, chemical-free way has been fully revised and updated to reflect the latest thinking and techniques. Written by one of the UK’s best-loved gardening personalities and a keen advocate of the greenhouse gardening bookorganic approach, this book will be appreciated by the novice and the experienced gardener alike. Whether you want to grow better-tasting fruit and vegetables untainted by chemicals, find natural methods of pest and weed control, or create a garden that is safer for your children, pets and wildlife this book is your practical, easy-to-follow guide to gardening.With practical advice and instructions and step-by-step photographs and artworks, the author explains how to grow delicious, healthy produce as well as how to turn your garden into a safe haven for children, pets, and wildlife. Contents include: soil improvement; organic pest & disease control; weed control; hedges, trees & shrubs; containers; the vegetable garden and more!

 

How to Garden – Greenhouse Gardening – Author: Alan Titchmarsh

The ultimate guide to greenhouse planting—the ideal place to propagate seedlings, greenhouse gardening booknurture young plants, experiment with exotic planting, and hide from the rain. The greenhouse is one of the most useful tools a gardener can have, and this book provides all the information and advice any gardener needs to set up a greenhouse and get their planting going. The advice offered includes guidance on selecting, installing, and maintaining a greenhouse; recommended vegetables, fruit, herbs, and ornamental plants for growing under cover; practical advice on general care, harvesting, storage, propagation, and pest control; a seasonal management guide etc.

 

The Greenhouse Gardener – Author: Anne Swithinbank

A greenhouse can be a garden’s greatest asset: its nucleus and powerhouse. There are many ways of using it and a gardener can adopt one or all of them. In spring, you can greenhouse gardening bookstart young plants from seed; raise tender perennials to fill gaps in the garden; give young vegetable plants a head start; sow early lettuce while the soil is too sticky to work outdoors. During spring and summer, you can raise greenhouse crops like tomatoes, cucumbers, aubergines and chillis. You’ll be able to overwinter tender plants such as bananas and cannas. And the greenhouse can be a showcase full of beautiful, unusual and exotic plants.Trained at Kew and for many years Glasshouse Supervisor at the RHS Garden at Wisley, Anne Swithinbank is the expert on greenhouse gardening.

 

All of these books can be found for sale at the Google Store.

 

 

 

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School Grants and Greenhouses

School Grants

Gardening is a valuable tool for children of all ages. Learning about plants, how things grow and how to nurture and care for living organisms. Caring for plants introduces

2100 School Greenhouse

            SCC – 2100 Model

many other topics such as the role insects play and the importance of light, water and maintenance.  Gardening has been known to also improves children’s environmental attitudes, their social skills and nutritional attitudes.  The National Gardening Association has provided grant funding for the past 29 years to support youth garden programs. They have awarded over 9,000 grants throughout the years and provided beneficial education to our nation’s children. The benefits from school gardens reach everyone including the parents, teachers and administrators.

2100 School Greenhouse

          SCC – 2100 Model

Sunglo has been a proud resource for school greenhouses for many years. Providing a covered, safe area for children to learn about gardening and all the beautiful life lessons along with it. Working with faculty and administrative staff to achieve their horticultural goals has been a humbling experience for all of us here at Sunglo and we feel honored to be apart of it. From the time the greenhouse is ordered we are here to answer any questions from shipping to construction. Our office team and warehouse/assembly team are knowledgeable and will see your project through to the finish. If you or someone you know is interested in a school greenhouse please contact us. 

 

To learn more about greenhouse grants click here.

 

 

 

 

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The Importance of Shade Cloths

Shade cloth

1000D Sunglo With Shade Cloth

There are many factors involved in greenhouse gardening. And we all know that to grow different plants and flowers the conditions need to be just right. So climate control and ventilation are very important. Greenhouses can get very hot in certain areas around the country. So for that extra protection we offer shade cloths.

But why? Well, in humid areas misting and fogging may not be adequate enough in those hot summer months.

There are many different ways to “shade” your greenhouse. Spray on and liquid options are available. As well as woven polyester or even aluminum varieties. Shade cloths can be found in varying densities or degrees of shade from approximately 5% to 95%.

shade cloth material

Sunglo’s Shade Cloth Material

Sunglo offers a 73% gradient polypropylene cloth with double sewn reinforced hems and brass grommets for easy anchoring. Polypropylene is a thermoplastic polymer and it is used in a variety of products around the world. Polypropylene is normally colored using carbon black. It is tough stuff but still flexible and it has good resistance to fatigue. It is suseptable to UV damage from sunlight exposure but our shade cloths are coated with a UV absorbing additive and carbon black also has some “SPF” properties to it.

Shade cloths can be the difference between beautiful plants or burnt plants! Don’t leave your plants to risk, shade cloths are inexpensive and will last you through the years keeping your plants safe and happy! Please contact us to request our complete pricing and product catalog

Shade cloth

Sunglo’s Shade Cloth Packaged

To attach Sunglo’s shade cloth to your greenhouse, use some bungee cord or rope to thread through the grommets and secure them to some loop posts that are anchored to the ground or base. Lean-to models: For convenience try to set up the loop posts so you can easily roll the shade cloth up or down.

For more information on Sunglo’s shade cloths or other greenhouse accessories please contact us anytime. And visit us on Facebook for promotion updates and gardening info.

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Recipes – Prime Soup Season!

I love food! So I have decided to mix it up a bit and start a monthly recipe blog post series! Showcasing my favorite recipes and copycat recipes from my recipe book and from around the web! SO here is the very first recipe post: Top 5 winter soup recipes!

Who doesn’t love a hearty chili or a classic chicken soup? Winter time is prime soup season. And I have traveled the web and through my recipe books to find my favorite recipes, that I know you will enjoy! So please pick 1 or pick them all and get your soup on!

 

French Onion SoupFrench Onion

Oh baby, I love onions! I could eat them raw, baked, blanched, battered, fried, grilled, barbecued you name it. But French onion soup is at the top of my list of onion recipes. The warm gooey cheese sinking the crusty bread into the savory, beefy, oniony flavored broth … MMM! This is my favorite winter soup!

Roasted Cauliflower SoupRoasted Cauliflower Soup

Don’t be afraid, I know it sounds fancy but this was a hard one to put at 2nd place. This soup changed my mind about cauliflower. Every other time I have eaten cauliflower I just did not enjoy it. This soup is absolutely delicious. I omitted the prosciutto for bacon and left out the almonds and it was perfect for my taste buds. This is a crowd pleaser and if you want to impress someone with your cooking skills this winter but with little effort and big reward this is the recipe to use!

Butternut Squash SoupButternut Squash Soup

Squash is kind of a foreign food to me. I have not experimented much with squash but acorn and butternut are the ones I always go for. The first time I had butternut squash soup was when my mother brought home a store bought container of it on a “no cook” night. It was amazing! This recipe is delicious. If you have never tried butternut soup this is the one to try. It’s easy and will warm your belly right up!

White ChiliWhite Chicken Chili

Chicken chili doesn’t sound very hearty. At least that’s what my boyfriend thought before this recipe. When people think of chili they almost always think of beef chili. But boy I’ll tell you this white chicken chili will change your mind! It is superfast and the left overs are just as good as the first day. This is a must try recipe!

Cocunut Chicken SoupCoconut Chicken Curry Soup

I don’t know about you but my boyfriend and I are in love with Thai food. I mean we have been to probably all of the Thai restaurants around our town. This soup has a creamy coconut flavor that just doesn’t get any better than paired with rice and a few lime wedges! I use curry paste instead of powder and microwaved some carrots, chopped them and threw them in to add some more color and crunchy. Superb!

Baked Potato SoupBacked Potato Soup

I had to put this recipe on the list because it is just the best winter soup to eat curled up under a blanket with your honey. We love this recipe because its hearty and cheesy and we always have the best night sleep after a huge serving! Try this recipe please, it will become a favorite, I just know it!

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NWFGS 2014 – Sunglo Booth

NWFG ColorIt’s January in Washington and you know what that means! We’re counting down the days to the 2014 NWFGS! Sunglo will be hosting a booth this year so get your walking shoes on and get ready for gardening paradise!

NWFGS 2014This year the theme is  “Art In Bloom”. There’s a little garden in all of us is the slogan. And boy is that true! There will be a ton of free seminars and lots of expert speakers this year. Plus a garden to table cooking series. Speakers will give you ideas, advice and inspiration for creating gracious outdoor living spaces and luscious, sustainable gardens. It’s pure entertainment and invaluable education!

Stop by the Sunglo booth #701 to a greenhouse on display, learn about our products and take advantage of our NWFGS specials!

To view a list of activities and speakers or to buy tickets click here.

 

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