Western Mountains and High Plains

June, 2006
Regional Report

Add Polymer Gel Crystals

Keep container potting soil mixes from drying out by adding polymer gel crystals. Be sure to moisten the polymers first, then add some to the soil mixture. This will provide a steady source of moisture -- even on the hottest days -- and reduce your watering frequency.

Fertilize Raspberries

As the raspberries are growing rapidly and setting fruit, it's time to apply a 10-10-10 fertilizer around the base of the canes. Lightly cultivate the fertilizer into the soil and water in thoroughly. For plump, sweet fruit, raspberries need 2 to 3 inches of water per week.

Use Bacterial Warfare Against Caterpillars

Sprinkle or spray a biological control that contains Bt to dispatch tiny green caterpillars that will attack the leaves of broccoli, cabbage, kohlrabi, and Brussel's sprouts. One taste of the Bt will cause the caterpillar to cease eating and soon starve.

Begin Deadheading

June is busting out all over with perennials blooming. Take some time to remove spent blooms and seed stalks (unless you want them to reseed), a process called deadheading. This will encourage more buds and blooming stalks to extend the flowering season of many perennial flowers.

Look for Bargain Plants

As June ends and July begins, many garden centers will discount their plants. Now is the time to look for plant bargains and add new plants to fill in the garden. Carefully knock the plants out of their containers and inspect the roots. Healthy roots are a creamy white, and even if they are rootbound, you can tease the roots out and repot them in bigger pots or transplant to a permanent site.

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