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* BULBS, CORMS, TUBERS. Zones 1-2: For late-summer color, plant begonias, dahlias, gladiolus, montbretia, and tigridia.

* CILANTRO. To make sure you have plenty of cilantro for cooking through the summer and fall, plant successive crops of seeds, every six to eight weeks. Look for a variety that takes longer to go to seed, such as 'Slow-Bolt' (from Renee's Garden, available at local nurseries or online at

* LOW-MAINTENANCE SHRUBS. Zones 7-9, 14-17: For attractive color and form with minimal watering, try blue hibiscus, cape mallow, ceanothus, euphorbia, feathery cassia, Jerusalem sage, lavender, New Zealand flax hybrids, plumbago, rockrose, Russian sage, and tree mallow

* MELONS. Now that soil is thoroughly warm, newly planted melon seedlings should thrive. In cooler climates choose short-season varieties that ripen in 65 to 75 days. Also, plant through holes in black plastic, and cover seedlings with fabric row covers (available at nurseries) to build up heat. Hot, inland climates are ideal for any kind of melon; a particularly tasty one is 'Ambrosia' cantaloupe.

* NATIVE GRASSES. Zones 1-2: At month's end, sow seed of blue grama, buffalo grass, and crested wheat grass. For the first year, water between summer showers and pull weeds around plants.

* SUMMER BLOOMERS. For annuals, try garden verbena, globe amaranth, Madagascar periwinkle (vinca), portulaca, scarlet sage, sunflower, and zinnias. For perennials, try coreopsis, gaillardia, gentian sage, 'Homestead Purple' verbena, penstemon, rudbeckia, Russian sage, statice, salvia, summer phlox, and 'Victoria' mealy-cup sage. Good foliage plants for fillers are low-growing artemisias, dusty miller, and golden, purple, or tricolor sage.


* GROOM ROSES. On hybrid teas and grandifloras, snip off faded blooms 1/4 inch above the first leaf (from top) with five leaflets. For a long-stemmed rose, cut just above the second leaf with five leaflets.

* MULCH. To help control weeds, minimize water evaporation, and keep roots cooler, apply a 2- to 4-inch-thick layer of organic material (use the larger amount for taller plants) under shrubs, trees, and vines and on flower and vegetable beds. To prevent crown rot, keep mulch several inches away from stems and trunks.

* PROTECT FRUIT CROPS. To keep birds from raiding sweet cherries and other fruits, cover trees with plastic bird netting or fabric row covers (available at nurseries). To keep the cover from blowing off, fasten it around the trunk and to the branches with wire or twine.

* SHAPE PLANTS. On young or fast-growing trees, shrubs, and vines, pinch or prune off poorly placed growth and any stems that are growing at an awkward angle. Cut back vigorous shoots to give the plant the shape and size you desire.


It's time to thin apples. To keep apple trees from producing too much small fruit, remove some of the excess after June drop (when trees spontaneously abort unpollinated fruit). Thin triple clusters to doubles, and double clusters to singles. However, don't thin at all if your tree is bearing lightly this year. Other kinds of fruit--especially Asian and European pears--need heavy thinning in order to produce large fruit.

Steven P. Lorton
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Title Annotation:gardening
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Jun 1, 2001
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