Pacific Northwest

August, 2000
Regional Report

Taking Cuttings of Annuals


Take cuttings of your favorite annuals for rooting and growing indoors this winter. The following bedding plants root easily: coleus, geraniums, impatiens, wax begonias, and fuchsia. Use a razor blade instead of scissors to take cuttings, and you'll avoid crushing the stems. Slice the top 3 to 4 inches from a healthy stem, remove the lower leaves, dip the cut end in rooting hormone, and slip it into some moistened potting soil. Place the cuttings outdoors, away from direct sunlight. New growth indicates that your cuttings have developed new roots.

Water Container Plants


Container-grown plants in sunny locations may require watering several times a day. Since additional watering can leach nutrients from the soil, fertilize with a half-strength solution of liquid fertilizer every 2 weeks to maintain an adequate supply of nutrients.

Gauge Lawn Sprinklers


To know how much water your sprinklers are applying, use this method. Place several tuna cans on the lawn. Time how long it takes to accumulate 1 inch of water in the cans. That's how long you should leave the sprinkler running each time you water the lawn. An inch of water applied slowly encourages deep rooting, helping to make the grass more tolerant of heat and dry weather.

Start the Fall Garden


It's transition time in the summer garden. Remove old plants that have stopped producing and replace them with fall-flowering mums, pansies, or ornamental kale or sow vegetable seeds of spinach, radishes, or lettuce. A trick to help seeds germinate in midsummer is to plant the seeds, water them well, and then place a board over the row until they sprout. The temporary shade will keep the soil from drying out too quickly and will reduce soil temperatures. Remove the board as soon as seedlings break the surface of the soil.

Water Fruits


It's transition time in the summer garden. Remove old plants that have stopped producing and replace them with fall-flowering mums, pansies, or ornamental kale or sow vegetable seeds of spinach, radishes, or lettuce. A trick to help seeds germinate in midsummer is to plant the seeds, water them well, and then place a board over the row until they sprout. The temporary shade will keep the soil from drying out too quickly and will reduce soil temperatures. Remove the board as soon as seedlings break the surface of the soil.

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