Rocky Mountains

March, 2004
Regional Report

Add Compost to Garden Beds

If you didn't add compost to your annual flower and vegetable beds last fall, now is a good time to get started. This will allow it a few weeks to blend in with the soil and improve soil structure and drainage.

Plant Bare-Root Plants

As the soil becomes workable, it's time to plant bare-root plants, including fruit trees, shrubs, trees, perennial vegetables (asparagus, rhubarb), and fruits (strawberries, raspberries). Don't add too much compost or rotted manure as this can hamper root growth; only 20 to 25 percent by volume should be added to the backfill soil.

Start Cool-Season Crops

If you have a cold frame, now is a good time to start some cold-tolerant crops, including broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and onions. When the plants are ready to set out in the garden, they will be acclimatized to cooler nights and transplant more successfully than those grown in a warm greenhouse.

Transplant Root-Bound Houseplants

Pick a nice warm day to transplant some of those houseplants that have started to outgrow their old pots. Select a pot that is an inch or two larger than the old container. Gently prune away one-fourth of the bottom roots that may be growing in a circle or those that have become entangled at the bottom and sides of the pot.

Spot Treat Early Perennial Weeds

Save time and money by spot treating those early perennial weeds that pop up in the lawn. Pick a warm, sunny day and just spray the center of the emerging weed instead of the whole lawn. You not only save on the amount of weed killer, but it is much safer for older trees and shrubs that have their roots growing in the lawn.

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