Western Mountains and High Plains

September, 2005
Regional Report

Allow Grapes to Ripen On the Vine

Don't pick grapes from their vines until they are ripe and sweet. They do not ripen after harvesting. If wasps are piercing grape skins, cover each cluster with a brown paper bag. This also will prevent birds from getting the upper wing.

Bathe Outdoor Houseplants

Before bringing in houseplants that have summered outdoors, give them a bath in tepid, soapy water. This will help to dislodge insects and remove dust accumulation. Hold the plant upside down by holding one hand over stems and soil. Swish the plant in the soapy solution for a minute, remove, and rinse with clear water.

Plant or Divide Spring-Blooming Perennials

Dig and lift out crowded perennials (3 to 5 years old) and divide. This is an excellent time to lift the entire clump with a heavy-duty spading fork and place it on a tarp. Divide sections with a sharp knife or spade. Reset in the garden or share with friends.

Pick Up Dropping Fruit

Keep the fallen fruit picked up in the fruit garden. Leaving apples, peaches, plums, and others on the ground will invite wasps, yellow jackets, and gnats. In mountain communities, bears may become visitors. Though the fruit is soft and blemished, it can be laid out in an open area to dry for the birds.

Save Some Seeds

Start to save some seeds from our favorite flowers and vegetables. Paper envelopes are good containers because you can label them and make notes of growing conditions. Shake the maturing seed heads into the envelope to dislodge the seeds and lightly blow out the chaff.

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