Pacific Northwest

May, 2005
Regional Report

Fertilize Lawns

Use a 3-1-2 ratio of N-P-K fertilizer on your lawn. Apply it at a rate of one pound of actual nitrogen fertilizer per 1,000 square feet of lawn. Water well after applying. 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 Hanging 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.

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.

Support Tall Perennials

Use tomato cages to provide support for tall-growing perennial flowers, such as peonies and delphiniums, to keep them from drooping when rain saturates the flowers. The plant foliage will grow in to hide the wire cage. Leave the cage in place all season long and remove it during fall cleanup.

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