Pacific Northwest

July, 2011
Regional Report

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 2 weeks to maintain an adequate supply of nutrients.

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.

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 cuttings about one-third their length 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 and damaging the kernels. Don't coat the ends of the silks or you'll interfere with pollination.

Pinch Back Herbs

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

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