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Gardening Year Round

Take some time to clean up before plants get growing. This is a good time to rake leaves, pull weeds, and get your tools in good repair. Yes, you can do some planting now. Once the ground has thawed, you may begin planting bare-root trees and shrubs as well as bare root roses. This is also an ideal time for planting blueberries. Be careful not to plant container-grown trees, shrubs, perennials, and ground covers prior to last frost date. Fill in bare spots with cool-season annuals such as pansies and snapdragons. Pruning roses, trees and shrubs can be done at this time. Be careful not to trim off the developing buds of flowering varieties. Start seeds indoors for warm season annuals, such as, tomatoes, marigolds, peppers, cosmos, zucchini, impatiens, salvia, and basil, to name a few. Don't forget to fertilize the lawn.
Continue clean up and bare root planting. Wait to plant warm- season annual flowers and vegetable until after the last frost. Start your plant hunting now. If you haven't already, prune deciduous fruit trees and roses. Spray them both to prevent insect problems later. Keep an eye on the seed starts indoors; ensuring they are provided adequate light and moisture.
Continue cleaning. Remove winter mulch from perennials. Use slug bait as bulbs begin to show signs of new growth. Continue bare-root planting and container planting. Deadhead spent flowers on faded spring blooming bulbs so that the energy may be directed back to their roots for next years growth. Now is the time when you can plant potatoes and perennials, fruits and vegetables such as rhubarb, strawberries, and asparagus. Dividing perennials after they bloom is a great way to keep them blooming beautifully (by avoiding overcrowding) and provide yourself with more plants. Prune evergreens from now until late summer. Prune raspberries. Clean out debris from water gardens and add to compost.
Keep dividing those perennials as long as they are not spring bloomers and the foliage isn't taller than several inches. If the last frost is safely past, plant your warm-season annual flowers, herbs and vegetables, such as tomatoes, peppers, basil, marigolds, petunias, etc. Beautify patios, porches, window boxes and walkways with containers of color. Now is the time to get excited about the Clark County Home and Garden Idea Fair. You will find the Northwest's largest selection of plant materials for planting now. Continue planting bare-root and container trees, shrubs, perennials, herbs, ground covers and flowers. Renovate weak lawns and reseed if necessary. Dead-heading rhododendrons and azaleas will neaten the appearance as well as encourage future blooms. After they are completely done blooming, you may prune them along with your other spring blooming shrubs. Finish up any other pruning this month with theexception of evergreens. Fertilize roses and decide how you will control or eliminate insects and disease throughout the season.
Lots to do and enjoy in the garden. After last frost; plant warm-season annul flowers, herbs and vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, basil, marigolds, petunias, etc. This includes container gardeners. Be sure to fertilize and water consistently. Containers tend to dry out quickly, requiring frequent water, which in turn, effects the greater need for fertilizer applications. Planting continues throughout the garden as does cleaning and dead-heading. Continue to feed roses and be sure all new plantings are well watered.
Head to the garden for a few minutes; dead-heading promotes longer bloom season and a more beautiful garden. Prune spring blooming trees and shrubs such as lilacs, forsythia and crab apples as soon as possible after bloom. Once the soil has warmed, apply a layer of mulch on flower beds and around trees. This will reduce weeds and prevent disease. Continue fertilizing and monitoring insects and disease prone areas.
Harvest your vegetable garden daily. Water all areas as needed. Containers may need water as much as twice daily. Lawns require approx. one inch per week. Water deep rather than often. Start weeding and stay up on it. To avoid heat stress on you and your plants, plant on overcast or drizzly days. Continue the dead-heading and fertilizer program.
Your focus now becomes watering. Water early in the morning. Keep up on your vegetable garden - pick small amounts daily. You may need to replenish mulch, it should be 1 - 3 inches thick. Plan your maintenance weeding for after a rainy day when it is easier and moreeffective. Deadhead and fertilize throughout the summer.
Take a break andenjoy the fruits ofyour labor. By mid-month the rain iswatering for you.Think of what youwould like yourgarden to look likenext year and plannow. Fall is THEbest time for plantingtrees and shrubs.
The return of rain to our area provides the perfect time for planting, transplanting and getting your garden in shape. This month is ideal for planting spring-blooming bulbs, such as tulips, daffodils and hyacinths. Think of how happy you will be in the spring. Rake up leaves and use for compost. Consider planting a cover crop in your vegetable garden, it is an ideal way to improve soil and feed your vegetables. Don't forget to weed flower beds and add more mulch. If the fall is dry, be sure to water as needed.
Finish planting and cleaning in preparation for the onset of cold, wet weather. Pull out dead foliage. Keep up on raking, this can be a fun chore for kids. As long as the ground has not frozen, you can still plant spring-blooming bulbs. Prepare roses for winter by adding several inches of mulch to the base. Cut back leggy canes. Protect potted plants to prevent roots from freezing.
Use natural resources this holiday by filling your home with evergreens, holly and other materials from your own garden. If you bring a live tree inside to enjoy during the holidays, pay close attention to keep it well watered. Make note of how to care for holiday plants that are given this time of year. Consider giving gift certificates from local nurseries or garden centers this year. Garden tools, books, catalogs and magazines are great gift ideas as well. After the holidays you can recycle your live tree by cutting off the branches and laying them around the base of roses and other plants.

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