Western Mountains and High Plains

June, 2005
Regional Report

Fertilize Tomatoes and Peppers

Now is the time to fertilize your tomato and pepper plants (eggplants, too) with a balanced plant food, such as 10-20-10. This will help them establish a good root system early and prepare for the flowering cycle and onset of fruit. Do this once a month through July and stop fertilizing the first of August.

Beware the White Butterfly

If you spot white butterflies hovering around your cabbage and other cruciferous crops, it won't be long before green caterpillars are feeding on the foliage and developing heads. Use Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis), a microbial control that is safe around children, pets, and other beneficial wildlife.

Fertilize Container Gardens

Continue to fertilize container gardens. If you used a slow-release plant food, apply it once every six weeks. The constant watering will leach out nutrients from the soil, so it is necessary to replace soluble plant fertilizers more often. Read and follow label directions.

Move Houseplants Outdoors

If you plan to move some of your houseplants outdoors for their summer vacation, do it gradually. Place them in the shadiest area for the first week or so, then into brighter light if they are sun-loving plants. Sink clay pots into the ground where the roots will remain cool so they require less watering.

Start Deadheading Perennials

Now is the time to start the task of deadheading spent flowers on early-blooming perennials. Carry a small bucket with you as you meander through the garden, and snip off dead or dying blooms. This will make way for additional side-branching and more blooms later in the season.

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