Caring for Perennials
Inside Caring for Perennials: What To Do and When To Do It, by Janet Macunovich (Storey, 1997; $18), you'll find a season-by-season guide to creating and maintaining a topflight garden with a minimum of effort. There's general advice for doing preventative maintenance in early spring; mulching, dividing, and moving plants in mid-spring; staking them in late spring; and deadheading in midsummer, cutting back and removing them in mid-autumn, and composting in autumn. Chapters on pruning, edging, weeding, watering, and fertilizing round out the book, which focuses on the care and feeding of 130 of the most popular perennials.
Plant Problems Demystified
Washington State University's Hortsense Web site (http://pep.wsu.edu/hortsense) presents specific information on about 600 common plant problems in western Washington. It's a tremendously helpful site and one I use often. Topics include problems with turfgrass, ornamentals, small fruits, tree fruits, vegetables, and weeds. The site offers nonchemical management information and a list of registered chemicals for the problem.