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GARDENING : Don't Hedge on Shrub Care

April 11, 1992

Although shrubs and hedges are known for giving the most beauty and effect for the least investment, they are often neglected the most.

True, these plants don't need much care. But starting them out right in the spring means a growing season of pleasure.

Give shrubs and hedges a bath of one cup chewing tobacco juice and one cup of antiseptic mouthwash mixed in a gallon of Fels Naptha soap water.

Dissolve just enough flaked Fels Naptha soap to turn warm water milky white.

Put a three-finger pinch of chewing tobacco in a pint of hot water; let it steep overnight.

Follow with an application of fruit tree spray and a feeding of any dry garden food.

Add one pound of sugar for every 50 pounds of garden food to keep plants fit as a fiddle and full all season.

Trim non-flowering varieties early and flowering varieties shortly after they bloom.

Evergreen trees and shrubs need even less care. Give them a bath by pouring one cup of baby shampoo in the jar of a 20-gallon hose-end sprayer and spray the plants. Follow up with a fruit tree spray.

Early in the season, feed evergreens with regular dry lawn food and mix in a quarter pound of Epsom salts per foot of height.

Mulch roots with shredded bark.

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