Pacific Northwest

June, 2003
Regional Report

Fertilize Roses

Try giving your roses a little extra something this year: magnesium. Sprinkle about one-half cup of epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) around the base of each rose bush and water in thoroughly. Apply the epsom salts three times over the summer for stronger canes and greener foliage.

Take Tip Cuttings

Now is the time to take semi-ripe tip cuttings from deciduous shrubs. Cut a 5-inch piece of stem from the tip and remove the lower leaves. Dip the cut end in rooting hormone and insert in dampened potting soil. Water once, cover the pot with clear plastic to maintain humidity, and set in a bright spot out of direct sun. Check for roots in about a month.

Control Spider Mites

Hot, dry weather encourages spider mites. To discourage mites, wash plants, especially junipers and roses, with water first thing in the morning. If you see their tiny webbing, put a nozzle on the hose that produces a hard stream of water and blast the plant. This almost always gets rid of the mites.

Divide Aquatics

After 2 to 3 years in the pond, aggressively spreading bog plants, such as parrot's feather, cattails, and water lilies, can outgrow their containers. To remedy this, unpot and divide the plants, then replant them in individual pots. Share the extras with friends or start another pond garden.

Create Weed-Free Pathways

Create weed-free pathways in your garden by laying down brick, stone, board, gravel, or organic mulch. Lay a weed barrier, such as landscape cloth beneath the walkway material and place edging around the walkway to help keep weeds out.

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