Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Pacific Northwest

June, 2001
Regional Report

Leave Grass Clippings

Decomposing grass clippings left on the lawn after mowing return valuable nutrients, especially nitrogen, to turf grass. Rake up grass clippings or bag them only when the grass has grown unusually tall between mowings so that the resulting clumps of grass left on the lawn may create dead spots.

Discourage Aphids

Ants crawling on garden plants are a sign that aphids are present. 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 on which the ants feed that is secreted by aphids. Discourage aphids by hosing them off your plants with a strong stream of water.

Grow Vines

If you have walls, fences, or forgotten trellises in need of color, growing climbing plants might be a good solution. Some annual vines to use are morning glory, moonflower, cardinal climber, and black-eyed Susan. Some reliable perennial vines for summer color include trumpet honeysuckle, Japanese clematis, mandevilla, and Mexican flame vine.

Plant Warm-season Veggies

It's finally warm enough in coastal areas to plant warm-season vegetables such as tomatoes, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, and peppers. To get the quickest, most productive crop, plant these veggies in well-drained soil in a sunny location.

Protect Strawberries

If birds find your strawberries before you do, try painting golf balls or walnuts bright red and place them among your plants. The birds may be discouraged after trying to eat the golf balls, and they may leave the real berries alone.


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