Western Mountains and High Plains

September, 2007
Regional Report

Favorite or New Plant

Fall-Blooming Saffron Crocus
Fall-blooming saffron crocus (Crocus sativus) is eye catching when scattered throughout the perennial garden. These small bulbs sport delightful lavender-to-purple blooms. The stiff grass-like foliage accents the flowers. It's the bright red stamens in the center of the flowers that really attracts attention. These can be collected and the saffron dried to add color and flavor to foods. Plant this crocus in drifts to get that unexpected burst of color in early to mid-fall.

Clever Gardening Technique

Homemade Seed Desiccant
Packets of seeds can be saved for next year if they are stored properly. The secret is to keep the seeds cool and dry. Make a homemade desiccant by placing powdered milk into a tissue or paper towel. Twist the ends of the tissue or towel together and fasten with rubber bands. Place this sachet of powdered milk in the seed storage can or jar with the packets of seeds. Close the storage container tightly. Check the powdered milk sachet every few months and change it if it becomes damp.

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