Western Mountains and High Plains

September, 2011
Regional Report

Favorite or New Plant

Bee Balm
The hummingbirds look forward to a stop in my garden where they can feed on the spiky, fragrant flowers of my bee balm (Monarda spp.). This late-summer flowering perennial lights up the garden with a splash of color and fragrance as other flowers fade in the heat. Bee balm is available with red, violet, peach, and mauve flowers. The plants grow to a height of two to three feet. It combines well with my ornamental grasses. As with all members of the mint family, the deer tend to steer clear of this perennial. Plant bee balm in full sun to part shade and in well-drained soil

Clever Gardening Technique

Household Vinegar for Weeds
If you are concerned about herbicide injury to plants, try vinegar to kill many annual weeds. Sprayed on the foliage, vinegar dissolves the cuticle of the leaf, which causes the weed to dry out. Vinegar is not as effective on perennial weeds as they recover from the spray and send out new shoots and leaves.

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