Date published: April 1, 2012
HOW TO PRUNE FROST DAMAGE
Cold snaps may have left your tender perennials - angel's trumpet, bougainvillea, citrus, and the like - looking ragged. Before you grab your shears, keep these tips in mind:
1 | Wait until all risk of frost has passed before you prune. Deadwood insulates healthy plant parts against late freezes.
2 | Prune damaged parts down to new growth buds.
3 | Assess your work as you go, making sure not to leave the plant lopsided.
4 | Water deeply and apply a balanced fertilizer.
Here at last!
Fresh off the presses, the ninth edition of The New Sunset Western Garden Book (Time Home Entertainment, 2012; $35) is updated for the way we garden today. It has a reorganized practical guide that tells you everything you need to know from planting to harvest, plus color photos for every genus and an allnew Plant Finder (sibling to sunset.com/plantfinder and its smartphone edition) to help you get growing now.
IDEA WE LOVE
Signaling that spring is here, dreamy chains of pendulous yellow Laburnum ? watereri 'Vossii' blooms dangle from Dave and Pat Eckerdt's arbor in Salem, Oregon, for several weeks every year. The trees are planted at 7-foot intervals along each side of the custom-built, tunnel-like steel frame, and their young, flexible branches are pruned and trained to the frame every winter. -JIM MCCAUSLAND
* Correct color clashes by digging up bulbs and moving them while they are still in bloom.
* Sow seeds of wildflowers just before rain or snow is predicted.
* Acclimate containergrown plants in a protected spot (such as under an eave) for a few weeks before planting in the ground.
* Start seeds of salad greens, keeping the soil moist until seedlings are 1 to 2 inches tall.
* Prune roses before new leaves appear, cutting dead canes to just above an outward-facing bud.
* Start pepper and tomato seeds indoors.
* Spread gravel 2 to 4 inches thick as a mulch between plants in dryland gardens.
* Plant hardy lily bulbs in spots with morning shade and afternoon sun.
* Tidy perennial flowers by cutting off dead tops to within a few inches of the ground. -MARCIA TATROE
CHOOSE PLANTS AND LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR ZONE: junset.com/ plantfinder