Pacific Northwest

May, 2012
Regional Report

Think Water Conservation

Even though we have had plenty of precipitation coming into this spring, it is still important to get into the water-wise gardening habit. Wise water use is a good idea at any time, and efficient use of water is important not only for the preservation of resources and the health of your plants, but for the health of your summer water bills, as well. Think about switching from your sprinkler system to soaker hoses or drip irrigation.

Plant Perennial Vegetables

Asparagus, rhubarb, and horseradish can be planted now. It's also time to plant peas, carrots, beets, beans, spinach, cauliflower, and cabbage. Root crops such as potatoes, radishes, parsnips and onions can be planted within the next 4 weeks. Warmer weather crops like tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, and peppers can be planted in late May or early June when the soil warms.

Thatch and Reseed the Lawn

Spring is a good time to thatch and over-seed your lawn. Thatch buildup can smother your lawn and provide an environment for diseases to get started. Remove thatch with a brisk raking, or with a de-thatching machine. Over seeding will help fill-in the lawn and deter the re-growth of moss and weeds. Use about one pound of quality grass seed for every 300 square feet of lawn area. Apply a light layer of compost or soil over the seed to keep it moist and in place.

Rejuvenate Your Houseplants

Spring-cleaning your plants will keep them beautiful and healthy. Remove any spent flowers, dead leaves, or branches and any yellowing leaves. Rinse dust from the leaves by spritzing them with the kitchen sprayer or giving them a tepid shower. Clean leaves allow the plant to breathe.

Cull Non-Producing Bulbs

Dig and discard tulip and hyacinth bulbs that performed poorly this year. If they sent up spindly leaves and stalks but few flowers, they should be replaced. Most tulips and hyacinths last only two or three years.

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