Western Mountains and High Plains

August, 2006
Regional Report

Battle of Tobacco Budworm

It's time for the invasion of the tobacco budworm as they attack geraniums, petunias, and flowering nicotiana in the flower garden. One of the safest controls is Bt or Bacilllus thuriengensis. It is bacterial warfare that is specific to caterpillars and won't harm other beneficial insects in the garden. However, use it judiciously since it will harm butterfly larvae.

Mow the Lawn Often

To keep your lawn growing healthy and reduce summer stress, mow the grass as often as it needs it. Remove only a half-inch of the leaf blade per mowing to avoid stressing the lawn. Mowing your lawn too short or waiting too long between mowing will result in "white tipping" or yellowing of the lower blades. This opens the turf to summer diseases.

Harvest Summer Squash

To keep summer squash producing tender young vegetables longer into the season, harvest often. Don't allow the squash to over-mature as this delays production. I prefer to pick zucchini when they are 7-inches long. This is when they are most tender with minimal seed development.

Give Trees a Deep Drink

Protect your trees from summer heat stress by deep watering on a regular basis. Set out a twin-eye or "frog-eye" sprinkler at the dripline of the tree and water for 15-minutes per section. Move the sprinkler every 15 minutes until you complete the circle around the tree. Water this way at least twice a month during the summer.

Prune Out Dead Wood

If dead wood is visible in trees and shrubs, prune it out at the earliest convenience. Leaving it around will attract borers and other critters. Use a sharp pruners to make clean cuts and remove branches and stems completely.

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