Pacific Northwest

June, 2004
Regional Report

Control Slugs

With our mild, wet, spring weather, slugs are having a field day. They eat holes in the leaves of many plants, feeding mostly at night but leaving a tell-tale trail of slime. There are many chemical and non-chemical controls for slugs, but one I've used successfully for the past 3 years contains iron phosphate as the active ingredient. The slugs eat the pellets and die, yet the iron phosphate won't harm other wildlife or the environment.

Harvest Strawberries

Both June-bearing and everbearing strawberries are ready to harvest. As you're picking those plump red jewels, be sure to remove any berries that show signs of grey mold or rot diseases. These berries are not edible, and they can quickly spread the diseases to other ripening fruits. After removing the rotten berries, mulch under plants with straw to reduce contact with the ground where the disease spores reside.

Control Mosquitoes

Inspect your yard for areas with standing water, such as empty nursery pots, old tires, or upturned garbage can lids, and dump them. Mosquitoes breed in these places, and by removing them you'll get a head start on controlling the pests. Use commercial mosquito dunks in ponds; these disks contain a specific strain of Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) that controls the mosquito larvae. Be sure to follow label instructions.

Harvest Beans

Harvest bush beans when they're about 6 to 8 inches long. Fillet bush beans can be harvested when they are even smaller. By harvesting beans when they are young, you'll be rewarded with tender texture, and the plants will be encouraged to produce more beans.

Harvest Herbs

Herbs should be harvested just before they flower. This is when the leaves have the highest concentration of essential oils. Some herbs, such as basil, will respond by putting out a new flush of growth. Rather than picking off individual leaves, harvest entire stems right back to a set of leaves.

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