Pacific Northwest

July, 2009
Regional Report

Web Finds

Birdwatcher's Delight
Our bird feeders attract lots of visitors all summer long. Many are just passing through on their way to distant places, and we enjoy trying to identify them. Audubon Online is a super Web site for birdwatchers. It contains bird portraits for help in identification, information on conservation, activities for kids and lots more.

Clever Gardening Technique

In-ground Division
Dividing perennials doesn't have to be a difficult task. If you take just a little extra care with them, many of the tougher, fibrous-rooted plants can be cut into pieces while they're still in the ground. Ornamental grasses, daylilies and hostas are three such plants that I regularly divide in my garden. I use a sharp, flat-bladed spade to cut the crown in two. I dig around one half of the crown and pull it free, leaving the other half in place. The next step is to fill the hole with compost or topsoil and water thoroughly.

I think this method has a couple of advantages over digging up the entire plants. To begin with, it's easier. You have to lift only part of the plant out of the ground. In-ground division also spares the half left in place from much of the shock of being dug, divided, and replanted. While the piece you carry away may wilt and require cutting back, the piece in the ground rarely shows any signs of having just undergone major surgery.

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Special Report - Garden to Table

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