Monday, July 15, 2024

ELAINE CERNY: MY GARDEN PATH — Spring has definitely sprung!

| May 10, 2020 1:00 AM

Happy Mother’s day! Besides being a special day for all moms, today marks the “green light” for our planting season. We can plant just about anything now. The exceptions being a few things that absolutely cannot take any freezing temps. These include things like coleus and dahlias.

These “sissie” plants need to stay inside, (at least at night) until the end of May. Then, depending on the weather, they can be planted outdoors. Other plants in this category are those that commonly grow farther south such as cannas.

The lilacs are in full bloom now. If yours are getting too tall and need to be pruned, be sure to do that within a month after flowering ends. If you wait longer, you’ll be cutting off next year’s buds.

Speaking of pruning, remember the most important rule: never prune off more than one third of any growing plant whether it’s a tree or a small annual.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the show that’s been put on lately by local blooming trees. There were lots in shades of pink and then some pure white. Gorgeous.

One of the “must do” chores right now is to do a wasp patrol. Walk around the outside of your house with a can of wasp and hornet spray. Wasps love to build their nests up under the eaves. When you spot one, give it a good dousing with the stuff. Most cans will throw spray up to 27 feet. Good hunting!

Now that the lawns have greened up and are growing rapidly, people are busy mowing about once a week. Please … don’t do this job wearing flip flops or sandals. You don’t want to be one of those people who accidentally runs over a foot. Yikes!

If you’ve ever wondered why you don’t see any hummers at your feeders on chilly mornings, there is a reason. Hummingbirds go into a state called torpor. This happens whenever the temperatures are chilly. Torpor is a condition that hummingbirds, and several other species, normally use to protect themselves from the cold. They lock their feet onto a perch, usually in a tree, lower their body temperature and slow down their heart rate to just a few beats per minute. Once warmer temperatures arrive, the birds will return to normal and be ready to fly. And eat.

Summer showers often bring rainbows. Next time you see one, remember the ditty which tells you how to name the colors in order: ROY G BIV. That stands for red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. Try it, it works!

A good slogan for us gardeners: “Gardening Forever, Housework Whenever.”

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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.