Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Pacific Northwest

July, 2001
Regional Report

Protect Apple Trees

Apply maggot adult flies begin laying eggs in apples in mid-July. Place round, red, sticky traps throughout your trees to catch the flies before they lay eggs. Buy traps at garden centers or make your own by coating red rubber balls with Tanglefoot (sticky substance) and hanging them from tree branches.

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 smoother larvae trying to enter the ear and damaging the kernels. Don't coat the ends of the silks or you'll interfere with pollination.

Take Geranium Cuttings

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

Divide Bleeding Hearts

You can propagate bleeding hearts and oriental poppies when growth has stopped and foliage has disappeared. The plant is 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.

Check for Squash Vine Borers

The squash vine borer moths lay their eggs on squash and pumpkin stems now. The hatching larvae bore into the vines causing them to wilt and die. You can discourage egg laying by spreading a thin layer of wood ashes around the plants. To remove larvae from stems, cut where the wilting begins. Slit the vine until you find the larvae. Remove and destroy the larvae, then bury the end of the vine in the soil to encourage rooting.


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