Western Mountains and High Plains

February, 2013
Regional Report


Homemade Garden Remedies: Fact or Fiction
At some time, you have probably tried a few home garden remedies with the hope that they would be safe and effective ways to control pests and diseases. Until recently, few of these have been scientifically tested for effectiveness and safety. The Truth About Garden Remedies (Timber Press, 2006, $19.95) by University of Minnesota horticulture professor Jeff Gilman provides insights into which remedies work and those that are just a myth. Gilman investigates home remedies that utilize vinegar, baking soda, garlic, hot pepper spray, hydrogen peroxide, garlic and coffee grounds, to name a few, assessing the evidence for their effectiveness.

Clever Gardening Technique

Water in Winter to Keep Plants from Perishing
You may need to water your lawn even in winter, as well as many of your woody landscape plants. Winter dry spells can be as hard on plants as summer dry spells. Watering during snow-free, warm, winter dry spells won't stimulate lawn grasses to grow and green up, but it's essential for keeping the crown of the grass plants, which generates the roots and shoots, from drying out and dying. So drag out the hoses and water when temperatures are above freezing, especially in areas that are vulnerable to drying out. More frequent watering may be needed on southwest and south exposures and sloped areas.

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