Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Pacific Northwest

April, 2010
Regional Report

Prevent Powdery Mildew

To avoid powdery mildew disease on roses and apple trees, thin branches for better air circulation. Keep water off the leaves of begonias and zinnias, and try not to water late in the day. Pick off diseased leaves as soon as you notice them.

Recycle Squeeze Bottles

The handiest watering container I've found for seedlings is a plastic mustard dispenser. Mine is made of soft plastic with a screw-on top, complete with built-in nozzle. It's perfect for dribbling a little water on individual seedling cells in between bottom watering.

Plant Strawberries

Plant strawberries now. Mulch with straw to keep weeds down and prevent soil from splashing onto the fruits. Strawberries grow best in sandy loam amended with compost. Plant in double rows and be careful not to plant the crown too deeply.

Apply Organic Mulch

Add a 2-3 inch layer of mulch around trees, shrubs and perennials to help retain soil moisture and prevent weeds from cropping up. Compost, bark, shredded leaves, pine needles, and straw are some readily available mulch materials. Keep the mulch a few inches away from the trunks or main stems to prevent crown rot.

Feed Birds

A constant source of food will keep birds visiting all summer long. The best locations for feeders are in trees for protection from the weather, and near shrubs for cover. Birds also need water, so keep the birdbath filled with fresh water all through the summer months.


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