Western Mountains and High Plains

April, 2005
Regional Report

Aerate the Lawn

If you haven't already core-aerated your turf or lawn areas, get on it now. This is most beneficial before you apply a lawn fertilizer or a product that will prevent crabgrass. It is not recommended to aerate after applying a pre-emergent crabgrass control since this will break the barrier and allow the overwintering seeds to go ahead and germinate.

Check Lawns for Tiny Mites

Though they are only the size of a pin head, grass mites can cause significant damage to the lawn. Rub the palm of your hand over areas of the lawn that are turning yellow or greenish yellow to check for mites. A reddish stain on your palm will confirm that you have them. The best control is to water these areas regularly since the mites don't like taking showers.

Tune up the Lawn Mower

If you didn't get it done over the winter, better tune up the lawn mower and other power equipment before you get too busy. Drain out old gas, change the oil, and replace the spark plug. This will make your garden chores more efficient and fun.

Prune Suckers From Fruit Trees

Prune out the suckers growing on apples, pears, peaches, and plums. Suckers are those long, growing shoots that don't bear fruit and grow straight up. Use a sharp pruning shears and disinfect them between cuts with a spray disinfectant.

Plant Bare-Root Plants

Now is the time to plant bare-root plants, such as strawberries, raspberries, asparagus, rhubarb, and shrubs, before it gets too hot. Once they leaf out, they tend to suffer more transplant shock.

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