Western Mountains and High Plains

July, 2006
Regional Report

Patrol for Mites

Check landscape plants for spider mites, some of the most damaging hot weather pests. These sucking insects, smaller than the head of a pin, can be found in colonies with a fine webbing on the undersides of leaves. Mites can be particularly bad in dark, dry places, such as the interior of evergreens. Spider mites will succumb quickly to a forceful spray of water and homemade soap sprays.

Propagate Roses

This is a good time to start cuttings from some of your favorite roses. Take a 6- to 8-inch cutting from a cane that has bloomed and begun to mature (turn woody). Dust the bottom of the cutting with some rooting hormone, and insert it into prepared garden soil in a semi-shaded spot. Cover the cutting with a wide-mouth jar. It will root by the end of summer and can be transplanted next spring.

Harvest Cucumbers Often

Now that cucumbers are producing prolifically, pick them often to get the most out of the vines. Harvest every other day or as needed so you gather sweet and tender cukes for salads and snacks. If you let them grow too big, they will produce seeds and begin to shorten the productivity of the vines.

Prune for Tip Moth

If the tips of your pine trees are dying, it is likely due to the southwestern pine tip moth. Since they hollow out the new candles, little can be done to remedy this problem now. The best control is to gently break off the infested ends and dispose of the remains and any critters that still reside there. Next year, mark your calendar early in May to take appropriate control measures.

Deadhead Delphiniums

Cut back the old delphinium bloom stalks all the way to the ground when they're finished flowering. Apply a light application of organic fertilizer around the plants, and gently cultivate it into the soil. The plants will regrow to form neat foliage and send up more blooms in early autumn.

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