Western Mountains and High Plains

February, 2005
Regional Report

Plan Your Landscape

Take time to research plants you desire to add to your landscape. You need to know their ultimate height, spread, sun exposure, soil requirements, and aesthetic characteristics. Make a sketch of your yard and note exposures. This will help you make the right choices.

Get Ready to Start Seedlings

As you prepare to start seeds indoors, select a quality commercial planting mix that is sterile or pasteurized. This will prevent the onset of diseases such as damping off. Economical plastic trays with individual cells are my favorite since they makes transplanting much easier.

Read the Seed Packets

Take the time to read the colorful seed packets before making a final purchase. There is good information on what the plants require to grow successfully. This will help you decide if the plants will work in particular garden areas.

Don't Put Ashes in Garden

It's unwise to mix fireplace and wood stove ashes into the vegetable or flower bed soil or around landscape plants. Ashes can increase the pH of the soil and aggrevate the availability of nutrients. Our regional soils generally have sufficient calcium already.

Add More Compost to the Soil

Before you plant the spring vegetable garden, be sure that you've added a good complement of organic compost to the area. I recommend at least 3 cubic yards per thousand square feet. Dig or rototill to a depth of 6 inches or more.

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