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Master Gardener: Some gardening notes

Bums bans and water rationing should not be big issues in our area for the first summer in quite sometime. I continued to get good rains at the house well into this month … almost 4 inches fell the first weekend. Windows were left open to let fresh, cool air in. Weatherman says those days are coming to an end. Let’s be realistic - July is around the corner!

One chore I do not look forward to is weeding. The old adage of “give weeds an inch and they’ll take over a yard” is no joke this time of year. Stick to a regular schedule of weeding in the early, cooler part of the day and after a rain or soaking, when the ground lets go of roots easier. Throw weeds onto a compost pile if you have one. Reduce weeding and lessen the need for watering by adding a layer of organic mulch, such as shredded bark or rice hulls or pine straw, to your garden. Enjoy and share your garden’s abundance with others.

One of my favorite summer plants is bougainvillea. This plant is usually trained to a trellis or for porch screening or in hanging baskets where one can appreciate its cascade of bright colorful blooms.

This fine climber can be started from seeds, cuttings or from potted plants. It is not difficult to grow and care for once established.

Bougainvillea thrives in a soil mix of two parts rich top soil to one part each of sphagnum peat moss and clean coarse sand. An alternate mix would be a part each of loam, sand and peat.

Plant comes in several vivid colors. Blooming can be extended by pinching back spent flowers. For a wealth of bright color and attractive green foliage, give bougainvillea a try.

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