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Marguerites, Cymbidiums


Marguerites will stop blooming with the hot weather (except at the coast). Use hedge shears to trim them back, leaving the green stems and foliage (most marguerites won't send out new growth from old growth). For a summer-bloom substitute, try white or yellow lantanas. Unlike marguerites, their flowers will drop off by themselves and do not have to be cut off.

Cymbidiums bloom most when they are a little crowded. If the pseudo-bulbs are pushing the edges of the pot, divide or repot them now to give them a chance to establish spikes. Fertilize with a high-nitrogen growth fertilizer such as 30-10-10. For cattleyas and Phalaenopsis , use a more balanced fertilizer.

Plants in four-inch pots provide instant color and are most abundant in nurseries at this time of year. Pansies, violas, snaps and Iceland poppies will flower for only a short time. For bloom that lasts into the summer and fall, look for vinca, begonias, impatiens and gloriosa daisies. If the roots are matted from confinement in the pot, loosen them before planting.

Pole beans usually require a lot of garden space. However, to get a better-than-

average yield, place an old tire in the garden bed and fill it with a commercial soil mix to which a time-release fertilizer has been added. (That will give the beans a boost.) Anchor a redwood trellis in the center of the tire for the beans to climb on.

Zucchini squashes need to be harvested as soon as they reach the proper size; when they are allowed to reach large proportions, the plant's energies are severely drained, which results in poor-quality fruit.

A six-foot-long trellis makes an ideal growing structure for cucumbers; that way the plants take up far less space than when they are allowed to sprawl. Use 2x4s, with a 1x2 running across the top as a brace, and cover the structure with chicken wire or garden netting. At the base of the trellis, plant seeds every four inches; later, thin out so that the plants are a foot apart. Cucumbers are not natural climbers; you will have to tie the plants to the trellis until they become established.

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