Monday, August 07, 2006

hummingbird feeder : Garden planner

July 8, 2006

This week

• Pinch chrysanthemums back one more time this week to keep plants short and bushy and to prevent early flowers, but don't pinch them again after July 15.

• Deadhead annuals to keep them flowering all summer. If your trailing annuals, like petunias, are getting too straggly, pinch them back a few inches to encourage some lush new growth. Most annuals need regular fertilizing.

This month

• Harvest cantaloupe when they can separate from the vine with just a gentle pull.

• It's time to divide and transplant bearded iris. Lift out the clumps, shake off the dirt, and cut or break off sections of plant. Only keep big, healthy rhizomes with a fan of leaves; discard any shriveled rhizomes and dead foliage. Cut back healthy leaves by about half so the new roots don't have as much plant to support. Replant the divisions so that the tops of the rhizomes just show above the soil. Keep them watered (but not soggy) during the hot weather the rest of the summer.

• When your raspberries are done, cut the canes that fruited this year back to the ground.

• If you have a hummingbird feeder, wash it out with hot, soapy water every two or three days to keep away mold and bacteria, which can harm or kill the birds.

• Stop fertilizing trees and shrubs by the end of the month so they can begin to harden off for fall.


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