Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Inland Northwest, High Desert

May, 2003
Regional Report

Space Plants Closely

When potting up a container, put the plants in shoulder-to-shoulder. They'll give you the rich, full look you want if they're cozy from the very beginning. Be sure to poke damp potting soil into the little crevices between root balls to eliminate killer air pockets.

Fertilize Often

Competition for water and nutrients is high in container plantings. Add a good, balanced, water-soluble fertilizer every time you water. Peters 20-20-20 always works well for me.

Deadhead Annuals

Snip off faded flowers from annuals. If you don't, they think their lives are over and they might as well set seed and die. If you do, they'll make more flowers.

Feed Bulbs Now

Now, as the flowers have faded on most bulb flowers, it's time to feed them. They'd like some water-soluble fertilizer to absorb through their leaves as well as their roots. They'll take the extra nutrients and store them up for next year.

Wash Up First Thing in the Morning

Flowers like their water before 2 p.m. That way, they've got enough water to get through their day and the beds won't go to bed wet. Nobody likes wet bedsheets; that can invite fungal diseases.


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