Western Mountains and High Plains

April, 2011
Regional Report

Books

Organic Gardening in the West
As you get ready to start the vegetable garden, consider going organic. This little book is a good read that will give you lots of helpful ideas. Organic Gardening in the West, by Robert F. Smith, Jr. (Sunstone Press; 1976) is out of print, but you can find at the library and used via the Internet. Glean ideas on raising vegetables in areas with short growing seasons and using depressed beds to help protect plants from the vagaries of nature.

Favorite or New Plant

Russian Hawthorn
Russian hawthorn (Crataegus ambigua) is a hardy tree with unique qualities that traces its origins to the Cheyenne Wyoming Experiment Station. It is a small to medium-sized tree, growing 15 to 25 feet, with deep green foliage. The clusters of white flowers in spring (April and May) are followed by bright red fruits and a nice, golden fall color. It will adapt to clay or sandy soils, is hardy to zones 4 through 9, and grows in full sun to semi-shade.

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