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Volume 17, Issue 7
July 2019


Right plant, right place
by Margie Lachman

It is only early July and already we have had several days with temperatures in the 90’s. Keeping our gardens hydrated becomes harder and more expensive as summer arrives. When choosing plants it is important to pay attention to what they require for optimum performance. Light, water and fertilizer are the three main considerations.

Grouping plants with similar needs not only makes caring for them easier, but also saves time. Soil that has high clay content will not drain well and must be amended with compost and chicken grit. If a plant grows well in part shade or shade, too much hot sun will burn it. But shade under a tree means competition from tree roots.

Hostas do well under trees if planted 18 inches or more from the trunk. Some ferns also do well in the shade of a tree, but check the tag for water needs. There are hundreds of ferns and each has different requirements. Lady ferns grow in sun. Plants that need sun will decline in the shade.

Hostas often do well under trees

Many annuals need similar water and fertilizer. Grouping them in an area where water and fertilizer can be applied makes care easier, and the plants have more visual impact.

Most roses will bloom well in full sun, at least six hours. There are some that can do well in shade. Roses need lots of water but well drained soil. They also want regular fertilizer to support the continual new growth throughout the season.

The website www.homesteading.com has a great list of annuals and perennials that are drought tolerant.

Most herbs want excellent drainage, lots of sun and not much fertilizer (except basil). Plant them together for success.

Lawns need a lot of water, but you can minimize it by setting the mower at three inches. This protects the soil from the sun, reducing evaporation. Leaving the trimmings from the mower on the lawn adds humus. Weekly mowing will cut the least amount of grass from the lawn, and the clippings quickly disappear. Use organic fertilizer in spring and fall. The grass will not overgrow, which causes thatch, but mowing at three inches results in a thick carpet.

Questions? Email me at margierose2@gmail.com or call 503-645-2994.


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Published monthly by Cedar Mill News LLC
Publisher/Editor:Virginia Bruce
PO Box 91061
Portland, Oregon 97291
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