Pacific Northwest

June, 2003
Regional Report

Fertilize Lawns

Use a 3-1-2 ratio of N-P-K fertilizer on your lawn. Apply this fertilizer at a rate of one pound of actual nitrogen fertilizer per 1,000 square feet of lawn. Be sure to water well after applying fertilizer. Thick, deep-rooted lawns will crowd out weeds and help the lawn endure the occasional summer drought.

Thin Apples

Fruit trees often set more fruit than they can mature. Trees go through a natural thinning process in early June, dropping fruits that haven't been properly fertilized. After this natural fruit drop, hand-thin remaining fruits, leaving only one or two per cluster. With less competition for nutrients and water, these remaining fruits will be larger and of better quality.

Build a Flower Basket

Hanging flower baskets are great for putting color right at eye level. Select a container that's about 12 inches in diameter to create a large, full display. Fill it with light, loose, moistened potting soil -- then plant. Baskets can be devoted to one plant or a combination of greenery and flowers. Suitable plants for containers include trailing or cascading ivy, vinca, thyme, and mint. For color, grow impatiens, verbena, dwarf marigolds, or creeping petunias.

Check for Insects

Check young plants for insects. In particular, watch for cabbageworms on cole crops, Mexican bean beetles on beans, and flea beetles on lettuce, radish, and potato foliage. Remove insect pests by hand or put a barrier screen, such as a floating row cover, over new plants.

Thin Seedlings

If you broadcasted seeds of carrots, beets, radishes, or onions in your veggie garden, now's the time to thin. Remove enough seedlings to provide 2 to 4 inches of space between plants. Add thinnings to fresh salads for a real flavor boost.

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