Saturday, April 19, 2003

Gardening things to do this week



Civic Garden Center

Landscape

• Scratch surface of mulched areas with garden rake to prevent crusting, thus allowing water percolation into root areas and giving a more pleasing appearance.

• Wait to apply new mulch until the soil has warmed.

Mulch will keep the soil at uniform temperature. June is ideal.

• Promote new growth on forsythia by pruning out 1/3 of the oldest branches close to the ground after flowering finishes.

• Apply fertilizer to lawns only once.

Over-fertilizing in late spring and summer with high nitrogen promotes lush growth that will suffer from drought and will be susceptible to summer disease.

Flowers

• Plant flowers such as salvia, penstemon and lobelia that attract humming birds with their tubular blooms.

• Remove spent flowers from bulbs, but leave the foliage to produce food for next year's flowers.

Houseplants

• Avoid over-watering since wet soil can encourage small black fungus gnats.

• Remove yellow anthers from Easter lilies to prolong blooms.

Water to keep soil moist but not soggy, and avoid allowing them to stand in water.

Cut back stems that have finished blooming to 3-4 inches. Continue watering lightly until mid May. Plant outside to depth of 4-6 inches.

Eco tip

Control bush honeysuckle (lonicera maackii, L. tatarica and L .morrowii) before berries form and it spreads further.

Grub out root systems of young shrubs. Cut large plants close to the ground and apply systemic herbicide to freshly cut stump.

Roots of honeysuckle exude chemicals that inhibit growth of native wildflowers.

Contact Civic Garden Center Hotline by phone: 221-8733; e-mail hotline@civicgardencenter.org.




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