Pacific Northwest

July, 2005
Regional Report

Renew Annuals

Most annuals and some perennials will bloom again if you keep the old blossoms cut off. Renew plants by trimming back old flowers plus some of the stem. Not only will you keep them tidy, but you'll help redirect the plant's energy from seed production into developing new flowering shoots and stems.

Reseed Bare Spots

Summer is a good time to reseed bare spots in the lawn. Rough up the soil in bare areas with a rake, sprinkle grass seed, cover with peat moss or bark dust, and keep moist. In 7 to 10 days your new grass will sprout and grow, becoming lush and thick before autumn weather arrives.

Eradicate Weeds

Even though home gardens are well established by midsummer, weeds will continue to sprout and compete with garden plantings for water and nutrients. It's important to remove this weedy competition, and hand-pulling is my favorite method. Other means of controlling weeds include using mulches, both organic and non-organic. For example, a 1-inch layer of bark dust or sawdust will deter most annual weeds. A mulch of newspaper -- five sheets thick -- covered with bark dust, clean straw, or compost, will help control weeds and conserve soil moisture.

Plant More Veggies

To get the most value from your vegetable garden, make successive plantings of vegetables such as beets, beans, and carrots. Later plantings will enable you to continue the harvest into late fall. Dry soils can inhibit seed germination so wait until after a rain to direct seed cool-season crops, such as broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts.

Water Early in the Day

Water the garden early in the day so plants can absorb the moisture before the hot sun dries the soil. Early watering also improves the chance that the foliage will have time to dry before night. Wet foliage at night increases susceptibility to fungus diseases.

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