Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Pacific Northwest

August, 2005
Regional Report

Pinch Back Herbs

To continue producing lush harvests, pinch back herbs such as basil, sage, and oregano to encourage the plants to send out side shoots. Succulent new leaves are loaded with oils and are more flavorful than leaves growing on old woody growth.

Make Room For Roses

Roses grow well in containers if garden space is at a premium. Use a 16-inch pot to accommodate roots, and fill it with a good grade of commercial potting soil. Remember that potted roses must have winter protection because their roots are exposed to winter air temperatures. Place the pots on wheels so you can easily move them into an unheated garage for the winter.

Prevent Corn Earworms

After corn silks emerge 3 to 4 inches from the corn ear, squirt vegetable oil into the tip of the ear. This will discourage adult moths from laying eggs on the corn tips and will smother larvae trying to enter the ear and damage the kernels. Don't coat the ends of the silks or you'll interfere with pollination.

Divide Early-Season Perennials

You can propagate bleeding hearts and oriental poppies when growth has stopped and foliage has disappeared. The plants are dormant at this stage. Dig up the root mass and cut it into 2-inch pieces. Plant root pieces in a mixture of sand and rich garden loam. Keep the soil moist and new shoots will appear. Move the new plants to their permanent location in spring.

Take Geranium Cuttings

Early August is the best time to start geranium plants for winter and spring indoor blooms. Take 4-inch-long cuttings from branch tips. Cut off the bottom leaves and push the cuttings about 1/3 their length into a moist, sand/peat mixture. The roots will develop rapidly, producing new plants ready for potting in four weeks.


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