Western Mountains and High Plains

August, 2005
Regional Report

Water Containers Regularly

Keep container gardens well watered and fertilized. As the roots are beginning to fill up the container, water and nutrients are quickly depleted. Use a soluble plant fertilizer at half-strength and apply when the potting mixture is slightly moist.

Prune Back Flowers

Now is a good time to cut back many annuals like alyssum and lobelia to encourage more blooms for late summer and early fall. Cut back the old plants by half and apply a granular, slow-release fertilizer. They will be in bloom again next month.

Hand-Pick Bean Beetles

It's the season for Mexican bean beetles on bush and pole beans. Though they look like ladybugs, they are more yellowish with a multitude of spots, unlike the true ladybug. Look for their yellow egg masses on the undersides of the leaves; squish them, too.

Give a Final Feeding to Perennials

Water the perennial and annual garden a day before you put down a final application of granular fertilizer. Never fertilize a dry, stressed plant or it will suffer more stress. For some extra soil conditioning, add some compost at the base of plants after fertilizing.

Water Dry Spots in Lawn

If you have areas of the lawn that get too dry or "droughty," use a garden fork to pierce the turf to a depth of 4 to 6 inches. Then apply a wetting agent according to manufacturer's recommendations over the pierced areas. The solution will penetrate the soil slowly to get water to the roots of stressed grass plants.

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