Pacific Northwest

July, 2006
Regional Report

Divide Early-Season Perennials

You can propagate bleeding hearts and oriental poppies when growth has stopped and foliage has disappeared. The plant is dormant at this stage. Dig up the root mass and cut it into 2-inch pieces. Plant root pieces in a mixture of sand and rich garden loam. Keep the soil moist and new shoots will appear. Move the new plants to their permanent location in spring.

Pinch Back Herbs

To continue producing lush harvests of herbs, pinch back plants such as basil, sage, and oregano to encourage them to send out side shoots. Succulent new leaves are loaded with oils and are more flavorful than leaves growing on woody old growth.

Water Container Plants

Container-grown plants in sunny locations may require watering several times a day. Since additional watering can leach nutrients from the soil, fertilize with a half-strength solution of liquid fertilizer every two weeks to maintain an adequate supply of nutrients.

Take Geranium Cuttings

Mid-July is the best time to start geranium plants for winter and spring indoor blooms. Take 4-inch-long cuttings from branch tips. Cut off the bottom leaves and push the bottom third of the cuttings into a moist, sand/peat mixture. The roots will develop rapidly and new plants should be ready for potting in four weeks.

Prevent Corn Earworms

After corn silks emerge 3 to 4 inches from the corn ear, squirt vegetable oil into the tip of the ear. This will discourage adult moths from laying eggs on the corn tips and smother larvae trying to enter the ear. Don't coat the ends of the silks or you'll interfere with pollination.

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