Hydrangea macrophyila (formerly called hortensia), which bears pink or blue flowers, should be pruned soon after the flowers fade in midsummer. It blooms on new growth of the previous year and usually heavy pruning at the right time will result in more and better flowers the following year.
The ones that bear white flowers, Grandiflora and Hills-of-Snow, bloom on new growth of the current year and should be pruned in early spring. They bloom well even though cut almost to the ground each year.
Macrophyila is the one forced into bloom and sold at Easter. Flower color depends on whether the soil is acid or alkaline; acid soil results in blue flowers, alkaline in pink ones.
Cut back rather severely, leaving two sets of leaves (four leaves) on each stem, fertilized and watered adequately, vigorous shoots will result from the stems that are left. The size and beauty of the flowers will be in proportion to the vigor of the entire plant.
Tomatoes grown on vines with dense foliage are redder because of the shade. The red pigment does not form when the temperature of the fruit goes above 88 degrees. The fruits are highly perishable. Get them into the shade as soon as possible after picking them. Left in sunlight even for only a short time, they may sunscald and become soft.
Keep ripe tomatoes in a cool (50 to 55 degrees F.), not cold place. Refrigerate them just before using. Stored in the refrigerator for several days, they lose their fine flavor and develop a flat taste.
Watch your lawn mowing during hot, dry August weather. A good lawn can be badly damaged and a poor one almost ruined if it is done improperly.
Mowing every two weeks usually is sufficient. But if rainfall, watering or slow-release fertilizers stimulate growth, don't let it get too tall before clipping it.
If too much of the green (food-producing) portion of the grass blade is removed at one time, the plants go into a state of shock from which they are slow to recover.
A safe rule is to cut no more than one-third of the green matter off at one time.
High mowing will not guarantee a beautiful lawn, but you can be assured your grass will be much healthier, will survive heat and drought better and be more resistant to disease attacks.
A tomato plant and a petunia have the same basic needs whether growing in the ground or in a pot, bushel basket or tub. They need sunlight, adequate water and fertilizer and protection from insects and diseases.
The big difference is the potted plant has to be watered more often (sometimes once or twice a day) because the soil dries out faster, and it has to be fertilized more often because there is a smaller soil mass for it to draw upon for nutrients.
The smaller the container, the more frequent the need for water and fertilizer.
During hot weather the soil dries out rapidly. The plant wilts, the small pores in the leaf close to reduce water loss and food production is materially reduced. Sprinkling the foliage with water can reduce the temperature of the leaf tissue from 8 to 20 degrees F. Sprinkling in the hot sun will not cause scalding.