Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Pacific Northwest

June, 2014
Regional Report

Fertilize Lawns

To promote thick and lush growth, apply 1 pound of actual nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of lawn. Do not use a fertilizer containing phosphorus unless a recent soil test has shown a deficiency. (This is required by law in Washington state now, but it's good advice everywhere to protect local waterways.) Be sure to water and mow regularly to keep the grass in tip-top shape. A thick and healthy lawn will prevent weeds from becoming established by crowding out germinating weed seedlings.

Make Wisteria Bloom Again

Keep wisteria blooming from May through September by cutting off as many of the faded flowers as you can reach after the first flush of bloom in the spring. A few weeks later, prune the new growth back close to the spot where it bloomed earlier. Without long tendrils to sap its strength, the wisteria develops buds and blooms again.

Thin Fruits

Thin fruits from apple and pear trees by removing all but one or two fruits from each cluster. Many fruits will naturally drop, but you'll need to check the fruit spacing anyway and thin more if necessary. If it's hard to convince yourself to thin, remember that remaining fruits will be larger and more flavorful at harvest time.

Custom Mix Your Own Potting Soil

If you have a lot of containers to fill, you'll save money by mixing your own potting soil. A wheelbarrow makes a great mixing bowl. Combine five parts peat moss, five parts perlite and two parts compost or composted manure. Add one cup granulated organic fertilizer for each cubic yard of potting soil you make. Mix until well blended and use immediately or store in clean buckets or plastic bags.

Massage Those Roots

To give pot-bound annuals and perennials the incentive to develop stronger root systems, split the root mass from the bottom halfway up the middle, then spread the two sections apart like butterfly wings. Transplant into prepared garden soil and water them well. As new roots develop, they'll explore the surrounding soil instead of remaining in a tight clump.


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