Saturday, May 31, 2003

To do this week

Garden tips from the Civic Garden Center


• To attract bluebirds to the home landscape, plant dogwoods, elderberries, hollies and sumacs in May.

• Tap spruce branches over white paper to detect spider mites. Control by spraying with a strong stream of water from the garden hose.

Treat remaining mites with insecticidal soap or superior oil spray weekly, for three applications, to control subsequent hatchings.

• Avoid spring lawn fertilization unless no fertilizer was applied last fall.

Lawns yellowing in late May can be lightly fertilized with 1/2 pound of actual nitrogen per 1,000 square feet.

Heavy fertilizing in spring and summer increases turf stress, diseases and weeds.

• Apply a second application of pre-emergent crabgrass control in June, six weeks after the first treatment.


• Prevent black spot and other diseases of roses by spraying every week with a mixture of 2 teaspoons of baking soda and 2 teaspoons of liquid soap (not detergent) per gallon of water.

• Water in the morning and avoid wetting the leaves to prevent black spot and mildew on roses and other disease-prone flowers.

• Sow seeds of these annuals directly into the garden since they do not transplant well: ainnia, cosmos, four o'clock, and Mexican sunflower (Tithonia).

Fruits and vegetables

• Plant culinary herbs such as basil, coriander, dill and sweet marjoram outdoors.


• It is now safe to move many houseplants to a shady area outside. The plants will dry out faster outdoors, so monitor the soil moisture frequently.

• Move African violets out of south-facing windows in the summer.

Relocate to an east- or protected west-facing window is best..

Contact Civic Garden Center Hotline by phone: 221-8733; e-mail

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