Western Mountains and High Plains

May, 2005
Regional Report

Check for Aphids

Inspect the new, emerging growth on ash trees and others. It's the season for tiny, soft-bodied aphids to be hatching and feeding on tender new growth. Hose down the ones you can reach, or spray a soapy water solution on clusters of these pesky critters.

Battling Lawn Invaders

Those tiny, wedge-shaped bugs that hop around your ankles when you walk across the lawn are not only a nuisance, they can cause some damage. Known as leafhoppers, they can sap the chlorophyll from the leaf blades. This gives the lawn a brownish yellow look. Spray with a homemade soap mixture or insecticidal soap.

Support Your Local Peony

Now is the time to put down a tomato cage or peony support around emerging peony plants. The plants can grow up through the supports, which will stabilize the plants so they don\'t flop over when they get bigger. The wire cages will be camouflaged by the leafy growth.

Keep Birds From Eating Seedlings

If sparrows and blackbirds are eating the emerging vegetable seedlings during the wee hours of the morning, it's time to put a netting over the row of lettuce, carrots, beets, or whatever, to foil the birds. Support the netting with a couple of wooden stakes to keep it above the foliage.

Cut Suckers From Tree Trunks

Take a few extra minutes to remove any fast-growing suckers that start to emerge at the base of some shade and ornamental trees. A quick snip now will get rid of them before they become taller and thicker. Cut right down to ground level.

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