Western Mountains and High Plains

January, 2009
Regional Report

Books

Ornamental Grasses
Ornamental Grasses, by Peter Loewer, is an older edition but still a favorite book that contains ideas for utilizing ornamental grasses in your landscape. The book includes useful tips for environmentally-friendly ways to grow and maintain these popular plants. Ornamental Grasses, by Peter Loewer (Better Homes and Gardens Books; Step-By-Step Successful Gardening, 1995, Meredith Corporation, Des Moines, Iowa)

Clever Gardening Technique

Pre-Warm the Garden Bed
You can get a head start on preparing your garden in late winter by pre-warming the soil. Six to eight weeks before your first outdoor planting date, cover the prepared garden bed with a sheet of heavy-duty clear plastic. You can even do this right on top of the snow if there is any left on the ground.

Clear plastic will raise the soil temperature by 10 to 12 degrees F. Snow will melt adding additional moisture to the soil and the ground will get warmer more rapidly for starting cool-season crops. You can actually plant cool-season vegetables a few weeks earlier than you normally might.

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