Western Mountains and High Plains

July, 2005
Regional Report

Thin Strawberries

This is the time of year when strawberry plants are "on the run." Clip off runners if they become too numerous, to help divert energy to the mother plants. Allow only two to three runners to root if you are growing them in a row system. Strawberries growing in raised beds usually have enough room for only one healthy runner. Otherwise you'll end up with a dense ground cover and few fruit.

Watch Tomato Foliage Closely

It's time for the tomato hornworm caterpillars to make sneak attacks. The stems will be stripped of leaves, leaving only bare stems. Time to bring out the Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis). Spray this on the foliage, and the tiny worms will eat the bacteria and eventually shrivel up.

Don't Let Grasshoppers Devour Your Plants

They're back. Tiny grasshoppers are appearing from open fields and finding their way into the garden and landscape. Until they get their wings, the birds may keep them in check. House sparrows, guineas, and peacocks love to feed on young grasshoppers. Once hoppers develop their wings, however, they will eat their weight each day. Then you can decide if you need to control them with baits or other methods.

Keep Daylilies Deadheaded

After your daylilies have stopped flowering, remove the whole scape that has completed blooming. Pull the stalk by grasping it near the ground and pulling. This will help to encourage more flowering stalks and tidy up the lily plant.

Change Lawn Watering Schedule in July Slump

Hot weather will cause lawns to take a rest in July, particularly bluegrass. That's what makes it a water-thrifty turf. If your soil was well prepared before planting and you watered and fertilized earlier, the roots should survive with good vigor. Water deeply and infrequently until the lawn begins growing more actively in fall.

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