Tuesday, April 23, 2024

MY GARDEN PATH — Summer … fun while it lasted

| August 30, 2020 1:00 AM

August is flying by, but we're still seeing some hot days. For those of us living in Post Falls, there are watering restrictions we need to follow. The City Ordinance says “No outside irrigation from noon to 6 p.m. Customers are allowed to water new plants and lawns that are newly hydro seeded.

Odd numbered addresses are asked to water on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Even numbered addresses are asked to water on Tuesday, Thursday and and Saturday.

This comment is posted on their website: “The city is not looking to stop kids from using the slip n' slide or keep citizens from watering their new plants. We're just asking them to conserve water during the hottest part of the day when irrigation does the least amount of good.”

On another note, many of us grow Christmas cactus (aka holiday cactus) as house plants. To ensure that you will get blooms later this year, the plants need to be exposed to cold (not freezing) temperatures for a while.

The easiest way to do this is to bring the plant outside and keep it in an area with some morning sunshine for a few weeks. Once you see the tiny buds developing on the ends of each branch, you can take the plant back inside. Those buds will continue growing and will, in time, turn into nice flowers. This works for me.

Be sure to check out the Post Falls arboretum when you're in the area. It is located on both the north and south sides of I-90, between Idaho and Spokane streets.

The arboretum consists of 6 acres and was started in 1996. It features more than 50 species of trees. Also included is the waterfall and landscaping located at the Spokane Street/I-90 interchange. Very pretty.

Asclepias, also known as butterfly weeds, are in bloom … now if only some monarch butterflies would show up to enjoy them. These are the only plants they will lay their eggs on. Unfortunately, due to the widespread use of weed spray, these plants are few and far between. If enough of us will plant and grow some of these, the monarchs may still have a chance to avoid extinction.

Don't be fooled. Three other kinds of butterflies look similar to monarchs. These include Viceroys, Queens and Soldiers.

One of the most rewarding annuals to grow is the Calibrachoa, also called Million Bells. These resemble petunias, but have smaller flowers. They more than make up for that because they don't need to be deadheaded. Their old blossoms fall off without assistance and the best part: they don't go to seed and stop blooming like petunias do.

It was amazing to see the wide variety of Million Bells at nurseries this spring and summer. Very interesting patterns and color combinations.

Plants in hanging baskets do need extra attention … sometimes needing water twice a day. But, they're worth it as they can put on a show like no other. My favorites are the tuberous begonias as they just get more gorgeous by the day.

Here's something to keep in mind: "Your mind is your garden, your thoughts are your seeds. You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds."

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Elaine Cerny has gardened most of her life, starting in 4-H. She has belonged to garden clubs in three states and is currently an active member of the River City Gardeners Club in Post Falls. Her column has appeared in The Press every other Sunday from early March until late October for the past 12 years.