Pacific Northwest

July, 2004
Regional Report

Finish Pruning

Finish up those pruning projects you've put on hold. Any pruning done after the end of July will result in new growth. This young growth won't have time to harden off before cold weather arrives and will result in winter injury to the plant.

Save Seeds

Store leftover seeds in tightly sealed glass jars in a cool, dark place. Collect seeds from early-maturing plants, such as columbine, and either replant immediately or place in jars for storage. You can also allow the plants to drop their seeds naturally, and plan to transplant new plants next spring.

Control Scale Insects

Check the stems and undersides of leaves on woody perennials for white flecks or raised bumps. These often are scale insects that are sucking plant juices. Control scale by spraying a horticultural oil or insecticidal soap on the plant. Prune off severely infected branches.

Take Cuttings

Produce new plants by taking cuttings. Begonias, geraniums, and coleus are good plants for beginners. Take a 4- to 6-inch-long cutting, dip the cut end in rooting hormone powder, and stick the cutting in moistened potting soil. Cover with a clear plastic bag with slits in it and keep out of direct sun. Cuttings should root within four weeks.

Harvest and Store Produce

Harvest vegetables frequently, even if you won't be using the produce right away. Stored in the refrigerator, vegetables like beans and peas keep for days, and by harvesting regularly you'll encourage plants to keep producing. Many crops can be quickly blanched and frozen with little loss of flavor and nutrients.

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