Western Mountains and High Plains

September, 2005
Regional Report

Stay On Top of Mowing

Continue to mow the lawn regularly to keep it healthy and looking its best. Mow cool-season grasses no shorter than 2 inches. It's best not to remove more than 1/2 inch of the leaf blades at each mowing. Removing too much can cause the lawn to rapidly turn yellow, not to mention the fact that you'll end up with too many clippings to leave on the lawn.

Keep on Harvesting

It's harvest season in the garden. Pick tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, melons, herbs, and summer squash regularly. If your zucchini gets too big, you can use them as billy clubs to exterminate the bad bugs of summer.

Pep Up Annuals

Annual flowers tend to wane in late summer, but they can be revitalized. Cut the stems back by at least half, use a mild liquid fertilizer, and keep them watered. This will pep them up so you'll get color till frost.

Preserve the Colors of Summer

You can keep the colors and scents of summer by drying flowers, grasses, and herbs. Gather the stems together and secure with a rubber band. Hang upside down in a warm, dimly lit garage or shed. Allow the stems to become brittle. Store the finished dried plants and blooms in paper bags until you're ready to use them.

Pick Off Hornworms

Tomato hornworms are green caterpillars that are 3 to 5 inches long with a black horn on their rear ends. The easiest remedy is to pick them off by hand and drop them in a pail of soapy water, or feed them to the chickens. Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) is an effective bacterial insecticide that's safe to use on edible plants.

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