Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Pacific Northwest

June, 2004
Regional Report

Plant Warm-Season Veggies

The soil is finally warm enough to plant warm-season vegetable transplants, such as tomatoes, sweet corn, cucumbers, squash, eggplant, and peppers. To get the quickest and most productive crops, plant in well-draining soil in the sunniest spot possible.

Prevent Fungal Diseases

To avoid fungal diseases on shrubs like roses, thin branches for better air circulation. Keep water off the leaves of susceptible plants, such as begonias and zinnias, and try not to water late in the day. Pick affected leaves off plants as soon as you notice them.

Monitor Insect Activity

Check young plants for signs of insects. In particular, watch for cabbageworms on cole crops, Mexican bean beetles on beans, and flea beetles on lettuce, radish, and potato foliage. Remove insect pests by hand or put a barrier screen, such as a floating row cover, over new plants.

Outwit Cats

Cats like to dig in freshly cultivated soil. One way to deter them is to lay crumpled chicken wire over the bed and cut holes in it for plants. As the plants grow, they'll hide the chicken wire, while it continues to discourage cats from using the bed as a litter box.

Discourage Aphids

When you see ants crawling on garden plants, look for aphids as well. Some ant species protect aphids, moving them from plant to plant and even taking them underground into the anthill for overnight safety. The ants do this to ensure a supply of honeydew, a sugary substance secreted by aphids, on which the ants feed. Discourage aphid populations by hosing them off your plants with a strong stream of water.


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