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hAPPY GARDENS
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Plant them as early in the season as possible, so as to give them plenty of time to establish roots before the cold weather sets in. May and June are best.

Now, this next bit is important. Once you've prepared your planting area, create a saucer shaped depression in the soil, about a foot or so across and about 4 inches deep in the center. Plant your Fuchsia in the center of this depression. As the season progresses, the depression will begin to fill in with soil and organic debris. This will ensure a deep root system.

Water your Fuchsia in and keep it well watered throughout the season. Fertilize regularly until August.

After the first hard frost, cut the stems back to about a foot above the soil line. Stuff some straw or fallen leaves in amongst the branches and around the perimeter of the plant. During the winter, ensure that the plant remains completely covered with snow.

In the spring, remove the mulch and cut the stems back to an inch or so. Soon you should see some new shoots arising from the soil. Apply some fertilizer and wait for the show to begin!

POPULAR GARDEN MYTHS
(from page 1)
Studies conducted at various agricultural colleges over the years have consistently shown that B-1 has no effect with regard to transplant success.
MIXING SAND WITH CLAY SOIL IMPROVES DRAINAGE
Mixing sand with clay is great for making bricks but will only make your garden soil as hard as a rock. The best material for improving clay soils is compost – lots of it. If you have clay soil that doesn’t drain well, thoroughly mix 4 inches of compost into the top 8 inches of soil to create raised beds.
continued next column
POPULAR GARDEN MYTHS
(from previous column)
LIME KILLS MOSS IN YOUR LAWN
Lime does not kill Moss. Lime may help your turf grass compete with the moss ONLY if the pH of your soil is seriously below the ideal for your particular species of turf (usually about 6.5). Iron compounds such as ferrous sulfate kill moss but the moss will keep coming back unless you address the underlying cause(s) of the moss. These can include excessive shade or moisture and compacted or infertile soil.
LEAVING GRASS CLIPPINGS ON YOUR LAWN CONTRIBUTES TO THATCH BUILD-UP
Thatch is comprised mainly of the stems and roots of the grass which decompose slowly and not the leaves which decompose quickly. As long as you mow regularly, removing no more than 1/3 of leaves each time, leaving your clippings on the lawn can only benefit your turf.
TALL TREES SHOULD BE TOPPED FOR SAFETY
Topping trees only leads to problems, eventually rendering your tall trees less safe. First, there is the risk of decay setting in where your topping cuts were made. Then the tree will create a new top and the attachment point will be much more prone to breakage than if the tree were left alone.
HARDY FUCHSIAS FOR NORTH IDAHO?
(from previous page)
WHEN PLANTING BARE-ROOT TREES AND SHRUBS, YOU SHOULD PRUNE THE TOPS
This piece of misinformation has been repeated so often that it almost seems true. Many university studies have shown that the more leaves and terminal buds a tree or shrub has, the faster the roots grow.
ALWAYS DIG THE PLANTING HOLE TWICE AS DEEPS AS THE ROOT SYSTEM WHEN PLANTING TREES OR SHRUBS
Bad idea. You should dig the hole at least twice as wide as the roots but no deeper. Loosening the soil under the root ball will eventually lead to settling and sinking putting your tree or shrub at risk of crown or root rot.
NEWLY PLANTED TREES SHOULD BE STAKED SECURELY
Newly planted trees should be staked LOOSELY so as to allow them to rock in the wind. This will encourage a strong trunk and root system. The stake should be removed after the first year.
The leaves produce energy and the buds produce hormones both of which are essential to the establishment of your newly planted tree or shrub.
WOUND DRESSINGS PROMOTE FASTER HEALING OF PRUNING CUTS
The research does not support this claim. Wound dressing does not prevent decay organisms from entering the wound. In fact, wound dressing may promote decay by sealing moisture inside the wound. A properly made pruning cut – leaving the branch collar intact, will heal faster than if the wound were dressed.
ORGANIC PESTICIDES ARE SAFE
It is true that many Organic pesticides are less toxic than many of the synthetic alternatives but the Organic label does not guarantee safety. Care should be taken to properly handle, use and store all pesticides.
SYNTHETIC FERTILIZER KILLS BENEFICIAL SOIL MICROBES
continued next column
Healthy soil contains millions of fungi and bacteria many of which are beneficial to plant growth. It is often said that the salts in synthetic fertilizers kill these microbes resulting in sterile soil. The research does not support this claim. In one study researchers looked at fungal and bacterial populations in soil before and after an application of synthetic fertilizer, an application of Organic fertilizer and in a control plot to which nothing but water was applied. In the field treated with synthetic fertilizer the bacterial population remained unchanged while the population of fungi increased as compared to the untreated
control plot. In the field treated with Organic fertilizer there was a slight increase in both fungi and bacteria. A second long term study found no significant detriment to microbial populations in soil treated with synthetic nitrogen over ten years.
POPULAR GARDEN MYTHS
(from previous column)
ADD CALCIUM TO YOUR SOIL TO PREVENT BLOSSOM END ROT IN TOMATOES
It is true that Calcium deficiency IN THE DEVELOPING FRUIT is the cause of blossom end rot. But in fact, the issue is most often connected to a problem with Calcium transport rather than soil deficiency. Problems with Calcium transport are often related to an uneven availability of moisture. Ensure that adequate moisture is available to your plants at all stages, most particularly during fruit set and development.