Western Mountains and High Plains

July, 2005
Regional Report

Now is the Time to Conquer Aphids

Be on the watch for tiny, soft-bodied insects known as aphids that will sap the life from plants. Green ash and poplar are under attack when you notice the shiny, sticky coating on the leaves. Wash off the insects with a spray of water or use a homemade soap spray in the coolest part of the day.

Start Rose Cuttings

This is a good time to start cuttings from some of your favorite roses. Take a 6-inch cutting from a cane that has bloomed on which the wood has begun to mature. Dust the bottom of the cutting with some rooting hormone and insert it into prepared garden soil. Cover the cutting with a wide-mouth jar, in a semi-shaded spot. It will root by the end of summer and can be transplanted next spring.

Light Up a Shady Deck

You still have time to plant some container gardens to lighten up a shady, north-facing deck or patio. Red and pink coleus, lobelia, impatiens, heliotrope, and caladiums all do well in pots. Colorful blooms and foliage, what more could you ask for!

Fertilize the Vegetable and Fruit Garden

Apply an all-purpose plant fertilizer, such as 5-10-5 or 10-10-10, and water in well. Vegetable and small fruits (raspberries and strawberries) will benefit from the extra fertilizer to keep them productive in the heat of summer. If you haven't mulched bare soil, do so after applying the fertilizer.

Watch for Spittle Bugs

Keep a watch on your shrub-like junipers for the appearance of bubbly masses of spittle on the foliage. Little bugs that suck plant juices will cover themselves with this weird spittle material to protect themselves from predators. They can be easily controlled by hosing them down with a forceful spray of water. Once exposed to sunlight, and heat, they will die.

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