Inland Northwest, High Desert
Preventing Fire Damage
The Inland Northwest region is on fire. Remember these tips in mind to keep you and your plants healthy. If you have respiratory problems, stay inside where the air is cool and filtered. If you must work outside, place a wet bandana over your face to help filter out the smoke. Cut back tree limbs that overhang your roof, and keep other trees trimmed so their branches don't overlap one another. Keep the grass within 30 feet of your home trimmed short. If your property is on a steep slope, increase the size of your defensible space. Wildfires run uphill.
Indoor Plant Baths
Saturday night baths are in order for my indoor plants to keep spider mites and other insects off my philodendron or ivy. Put the whole pot in the sink. Mix up a mild soapy solution of dishwashing soap in a squirt bottle and spray top and bottom. Wash gently with a cut-off corner from an old sponge. Rinse with a tepid, weak tea solution and let drain thoroughly.
When you've worn out your welcome at the neighbor's and you've filled every parked car within three city blocks with zucchini, it's time to freeze them. Check your favorite zucchini bread recipe for quantities, then process the zucchini as though you were making bread today. Measure the correct amount into a freezer bag. Label and forget it till you need to make quick breads for the holidays.
Cut Back Annuals
All the annuals and a good many perennials will bloom again if you keep the old blossoms cut off. This sends more of the plant energy to the formation of new flowers and not to making seeds. Once the cooler weather hits many plants such as flax will form new flower buds and give you some of her best flowers of the season.
Preventing Leaf Scorch
It's been extra hot, windy and dry this summer. Leaves just can't get enough water especially if there isn't sufficient ground moisture. Leaves will show leaf scorch symptoms of browning on the edges if they aren't getting enough water. The best solution is mulching, regular watering, and applying deep irrigation all summer long.