Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Pacific Northwest

May, 2004
Regional Report

Scout For Pests

Check plants daily for signs of insects. Aphids and spider mites can be dislodged with a strong spray of water from the hose. If these pests persist, use an insecticidal soap. If caterpillars such as cabbageworms are a problem, handpick and destroy, or spray with Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis). Bt is a biological control that attacks only caterpillar-type insects and doesn't harm beneficial insects, animals, or humans.

Harvest Peas

Young peas, harvested at their peak, are sweet and crisp. Harvest them when pods are full size but before they begin to bulge. Pick peas regularly so the plants will continue to produce new pods until the weather gets too warm.

Water Regularly

Irrigate newly planted ornamentals when rainfall totals less than 1 inch per week. Apply water on poorly draining soils at the rate of 1 quart per square foot of planting area. On well-draining soils, use 1/2 gallon of water per square foot, letting it soak deeply into the soil.

Encourage Frogs

Encourage all types of critters to live in your landscape and gardens. Frogs and toads eat cutworms and other insect pests. Invite them to live in your garden by placing inverted clay pots in shady garden spots. Chip out a piece of the pot rim to give them an entrance to their new home.

Build a Flower Basket

Hanging flower baskets are great for putting color right at eye level. Select a container that's about 12 inches in diameter to create a large, full display. Fill it with light, loose, moistened potting soil, then plant. Baskets can be devoted to one plant or a combination of greenery and flowers. Suitable plants for containers include trailing or cascading ivy, vinca, thyme, and mint. For color, grow impatiens, verbena, fuchsias, creeping petunias, or dwarf marigolds.


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