Western Mountains and High Plains

April, 2005
Regional Report

Get Ready to Plant

As the soil begins to thaw and dry out, get out there and work in some compost. If you already added compost in the fall, work the soil with a spading fork. Work to a depth of 6 inches or more to encourage a deep, drought-enduring root system.

Cut Back Perennial Ornamental Grasses

If you haven't cut back those perennial grasses, get to it. This will encourage new, healthy growth and you won't inadvertently chop off the new growth as it begins to emerge. Lightly cultivate around the plants and work in some 10-10-10 fertilizer.

Construct Trellises for Sweet Peas

Now is the time to make supports or trellises for sweet peas or garden peas. They are easy to make with chicken wire or bamboo stakes. Be sure to anchor the ends in the ground to a depth of 8 inches or more.

Plant Spuds

If the soil is not too wet, now is the time to plant certified potato eyes. If you haven't tried planting potatoes in a bed of straw, give it a try. Dig a row 6 inches deep and line it with straw. Set potato pieces onto the straw and cover lightly. As the sprouts grow, add more straw until the trench is filled to soil level.

Check for Early Signs of Insects

As the leaves emerge on shrubs and trees, look for signs of insect eggs hatching or young hatchlings. Get them while they are young with a spray of water or homemade soap spray, and it will mean less damage later on.

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