Pacific Northwest

February, 2006
Regional Report

Rearrange Mulch

Protective mulch can be brushed away from newly emerging bulb foliage as soon as the shoots are visible. Be prepared to replace the mulch if snow or freezing weather is predicted.

Renovate Blueberries

Blueberry stems remain productive for four to six years. When stems reach 1 to 1-1/4-inch in diameter, they become less productive and should be shortened. Renovate your blueberries by cutting to ground level all the older stems; then shorten young, weak stems and remove older twiggy growth. Remove some stems in the center of the bush so it's not overcrowded, then shorten the fruiting stems until only three to five of the fruit buds remain.

Plant New Roses

To plant bare-root roses, first prepare the soil by adding composted manure and working it in well. Inspect the roots and prune off any that are dead or damaged. Plant so that the graft union is 1 to 2 inches above the soil line. Keep plants well watered, especially when new growth begins.

Prune Clematis

After the danger of hard frost is past, prune fall-flowering clematis back to the strongest stems. Wait until after blooming is finished on spring-flowering clematis before pruning. After pruning, broadcast fertilizer on the soil beneath the plants, scratch it in, and water well.

Spray Peach Trees

Spray peach trees with a fungicide to prevent peach leaf curl. Choose a calm, dry day to avoid spray drift on adjacent plants. If you're planning to plant a new peach tree this spring, choose a disease-resistant variety such as 'Frost'.

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