Tag Archives: winter

Rehydrate Your Lawn Seminar

Does your lawn look tired and dry from the hot summer?   If so, come for our free Seminar on How to Rehydrate and Rejuvenate your lawn for fall.

  • Tips to make your lawn ready for fall/winter
  • Learn how to protect your lawn from bugs and disease.
  • Free!
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Houseplant Care 101

We held a houseplant care class over the weekend and I wanted to share some of the highlights with y’all because it’s such good info. Especially for those of us who are going a little crazy waiting for spring, this is a great is a great way to keep busy and still manage to stay warm and dry indoors.

Just as for us, winter can be a stressful time for houseplants; low-light and dry air from heating can leave them more susceptible to disease and other issues. It’s a good idea around this time of year to give your houseplants a checkup and ensure they’re staying healthy through the winter.

  • Look for yellowing leaves— Houseplants may need less water than normal over the winter, as a lot of them go semi-dormant. In most instances yellow leaves mean too much water. If you’re noticing yellowing, remove those leaves and hold off on watering until the soil drys out. If the plant stays green at that point you know you just need to cut back on the water, if the yellowing continues despite dryer soil, you may have a lack of iron in your soil. Treat with a few doses of Ironite brand fertilizer to correct the deficiency.
  •  Dust the leaves— Most houseplants not only don’t like dust accumulation on their leaves, but it clogs their pores so to speak, so they are unable to transpire. Just take a soft dust rag or even a clean swiffer duster and dust both the tops and bottoms of smooth leaved houseplants.
  • Moisturize— Just as you need to moisturize extra in the winter due to the dry air from the heater and the dry cold outside, your plants need to also! If you notice any dry or brittle leaves or stems, provide a little extra moisture. Create moist habitats by filling trays with pebbles and water to set your pots on, using a humidifier, or even easier, just take them into the bathroom while you shower once or twice a week!
  • Check for pests— When plants are stressed out, it creates the ideal opportunity for bugs to move in. Check your plants for signs of pests and treat accordingly before any real damage is done. White mold-like fuzz indicates mealybugs, webs and red dots indicate spider mites, green or white piles on the underside of leaves indicate aphids, and small brown or amber colored “turtle shells” along the stems indicate scale. All of these can do real damage to your plants if not dealt with appropriately as soon as possible. We recommend Eight, an indoor insecticidal spray, or for major infestations Triple Action plus, which is an insecticide, miticide, and fungicide–this should knock out even the severest of problems!
  • Up-pot & Refresh the soil— When plants live in containers they only have access to nutrients that are available in that small amount of soil, and when they live in the same soil for years they tend to exhaust the nutrients. As your plants grow and mature, they often need to be up-potted into bigger containers which is a great time to refresh the soil. Even if they don’t need a larger container, it’s still a good idea to change out and refresh the soil every so often. This give the roots a chance to pick up and benefit from all the fresh nutrients rich soil has to offer, resulting in much happier plants!

Hopefully this provides you with some helpful tips, and gives you something to do to alleviate your cabin fever. You can also use this time of year to clean up any yard debris and do any pruning that needs to be done. Plan ahead now for vegetable and flower gardens that will be starting in the coming months. We also have the first crops of pansies, violas, and primroses out and available for that early spring color!


We need your help!

If you get our emails, or have been reading the tips on what you can be doing in the garden during the winter months, you’ll notice that we can’t stop talking about birds! That’s because we need your help to make sure they make it through the next few rough months of winter weather!

Birds are an essential part of any outdoor setting and rely solely on what’s in their natural environment for food, shelter and protection. As you may notice, most of their food sources are done producing for the winter, and a lot of trees no longer have thick lush greenery to shelter and protect their homes. Yes, some birds migrate elsewhere for the winter but NOT all and that’s where you can help them survive the winter ahead.

By providing fresh food, clean water, and secure shelter you are helping keep our valley populated for the years to come! Seeds, nuts, and grains aren’t easily found during the winter so having a bird feeder does more good than you know (they’re also super fun to watch from inside). Having trays of fresh, clean and unfrozen water out during the day provides a drinking and bathing source for the birds that may otherwise not have an unfrozen or clean place to refresh. And most importantly bird houses give a warm safe place for the birds to seek shelter during the storms. Wind and rain really take a tole on the trees, which unfortunately also takes a major tole on the birds that live in them. By providing a bird house you could be the reason a new family can grow next spring.

So please, check your emails and look on our website for coupons on bird supplies including seed, suet, feeders, houses, and more so that we can make this winter that much easier on our feathered friends.

Winter squash recipe

Most of you may not know this, but our very own Caleb Johnson is quite the chef. He is especially talented with using fresh herbs from the garden to create the best flavors in anything from beverages to decadent desserts and everything in between.

Today is our lucky day, he was generous enough to share with us one of his DELICIOUS winter soup recipes. This recipe is perfect for a frosty weekend at home or for entertaining guests through the holidays. And the best part is, its SUPER easy and a great way to utilize all those squash left over from this falls harvest!

This tasty winter squash recipe is best using strawberry crown or australian butter (or both) but feel free to substitute any similar winter squash to explore different flavors.


  • 8-12 cups vegetable stock (depending on size of crock pot)
  • 1 whole winter squash cubed (or 2 halves of two types of winter squash)
  • 3-5 cloves of garlic
  • 4 tbs or 3 fresh sprigs oregano
  • 2 tbs or 1 fresh sprig rosemary
  • 2-4 tbs salt to taste
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tbs paprika
  • 1 tbs cumin
  • 8 tbs butter
  • 4-6 red peppers
  • 1 cup  heavy cream or substitute silken tofu
  • 1/2 to 1 full cup brown ale


  • Turn your crockpot on high for a cook time of 3-4 hours or on low for a cook time of 7-8 hours and add all 8-12 cups vegetable stock.
  • Cube the squash into 2 inch pieces and add to stock along with garlicoreganorosemarysaltpaprikacumin, and butter. Let stand in crockpot for 3-4 hours (or 7-8 depending on cook temp).
  • After the mixture has cooked down, blend with an emulsion blender in the crockpot to puree. **If you don’t have an emulsion blender you can use a food processor or blender.
  • While the mixture is cooking roast red peppers in the oven on broil covered with vegetable oil until they’re tender and the skin can easily peel off. Let cool and remove the skin. Puree the peppers and add into the crockpot mixture. You can also add 1 or 2 jalapeños if you’d like a little extra kick.
  • After all ingredients have been pureed add the brown sugarbrown ale, and any additional spices to taste.
  • Lastly add in the heavy cream or silken tofu (silken tofu will need to be pureed in) to give the creamy texture to the soup. If your crockpot is on high turn it down to low, and leave soup to stand with all ingredients for an additional 1-3 hours as the flavors continue to blend.
  • Garnish as desired with herbs or cheese and sliced baguette style bread. Serve hot and enjoy!

Squash Collage PM


I hope you and yours all enjoy this wonderful fall recipe, from all of us at Johnson Brothers we hope this holiday season brings the warmth and love of close family, good food, and great memories!

Winter color…ya we’ve got that!

Winter bloom banner 1PM

Most people think of winter in the Willamette Valley as wet, cold and dreary… and did I mention wet? Good news is, we here at Johnson Brothers have a variety of hardy options for winter color that will bloom and provide interest all throughout the damp winter months lasting until spring.

Of course, we have all the classic options such as winter pansies and violas, which provide cute pops of color and a bold fragrance along with ornamental cabbage and kales that promise striking interest with hues of greens, purples and whites.

Aside from the traditional, we also have many other options for winter color that most people don’t think of, that can really set your landscape apart from the rest.

We have a fresh stock of both winter and spring blooming Camellias. These hardy evergreen shrubs bring color in a big way, with dark glossy foliage and big bright blooms.

Hellebores, are often an over-looked gem. These compact evergreen perennials set off their blooms around Christmas and last into the spring. They come in a variety of colors ranging from whites and pinks to deep violets.

Sarcococca is another forgotten treasure, these also evergreen, hardy shade tolerant shrubs thrive here in the Willamette Valley. These little beauties put on tons of small, white, incredibly fragrant blooms from January into early spring.

For more interest to tuck between your winter blooming shrubs we love Heuchera, a small mounding evergreen perennial that comes in a variety of colors from lime greens to oranges and even burgundies. They provide excellent winter color and year round accent in any landscape. Wintergreen is another favorite, an excellent evergreen ground cover that puts on vibrant red berries and, true to it’s name, puts off the scent of winter-green gum.

This weekend, Sept. 26th-28th, we are having our Fall Planting Event here at the nursery. We’ll have weekend only specials along with our “Cash for Plant Clunkers” event going on. Cash for Clunkers means you can bring in cuttings of your dead plants and get a voucher good for $5 towards a replacement tree or shrub. A few of these fabulous winter bloomers fall into that category, so grab your old dead plants, your Brother Bucks, and head on out to see us this weekend for big savings at our Fall Planting Event.

Winter bloom banner 2PM

Fall Veggies for Winter Harvest

Fall Veggies 2PM

Although we still have some time left to enjoy these hot sunny days, fall is on the way and now is the time to think about your fall crops! If you’re planning on a winter harvest, which you totally should because fall gardening is super easy, you want to be sowing seeds now or thinking about which starts you’ll be wanting so you can map out your area.

Lettuce, Cabbage, Kale, Spinach, Chard, Collards, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Brussel Sprouts, Carrots, Radishes, Kohlrabi, Onions, Perennial Herbs, and more are all perfect to be planted coming into the end of August and beginning of September. These veggies will utilize the heat now during their growing period and love the fall temperatures during their production period.

Once planted, mulch your garden areas using a coarse mulch to help with water retention during the hot times and insulation once it cools down. Vegetables like Carrots, Brussel Sprouts, and Kohlrabi actually get better when harvested after a frost or two due to increased sugar content, so don’t be concerned that early frost will destroy all your efforts before you can enjoy them. These veggies prefer the cooler temperatures and can totally take on the frosty mornings and damp days of fall in the Willamette Valley.

Even though the weather gets dreary pretty fast here in the valley don’t let it discourage you from continuing with your vegetable gardens. So many things can be grown through the fall, with little to no maintenance even. Think about it, with all the rain we get here Mother Nature is pretty much taking care of your veggies for you, until they’re ready to picked that is. Don’t let this part of the year go to waste, utilize it for fresh and natural (and Free!), produce from your own yard.

We are currently stocking fall and cool weather veggie starts now, come by and chat with our experts for more details.

Happy Gardening!