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SoCal Gardening

Around the Yard

April 08, 1999|ROBERT SMAUS

Things to do this week:

* Plant perennials. Although the fall months are the best time to plant perennial flowers or plants grown for their foliage, many more kinds are available in spring. And, since many bloom in May or later, you can plant them now and they'll keep flowering into summer.

They will need lots of water to get started--which is one benefit of planting in fall--but this doesn't matter in beds that are automatically irrigated. If you hand-water, make sure plants are watered every couple of days at first. Water less after a month, and still less after two.

Perennials include such plants as agapanthus, alstroemeria, columbine, coreopsis, daylily, echinacea, gaillardia, geranium, gerbera, lion's tail, Shasta daisy, verbena and yarrow.

* Turn blue. If you want your hydrangeas to have blue flowers, add aluminum sulfate to the soil now. Be forewarned--not all hydrangeas will turn blue, even in acidic soil. Some are naturally pink or mauve.

* Repair damage. Frost-damaged plants should be showing signs of life now. Prune off damaged wood and foliage just above where you see new sprouts or growth.

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