Western Mountains and High Plains

February, 2007
Regional Report

Read Seed Packets

It's helpful to check the seed packets of plants for germination and maturity times. Each vegetable and herb and flower needs a specific soil temperature to germinate and grow at its best. Also, be sure to select varieties that will mature within your growing season.

Clean Indoor Pots and Saucers

Wash or replace those plant saucers to get rid of any salt buildup and other debris. This will reduce fungus gnat problems. Scrub the sides of the pots if there are any signs of salt accumulation. This will prolong the life of the container.

Plant Cool-Season Seeds

Sow seeds for early cool-season crops in mid to late February. Broccoli, cabbage, kale, onions, garlic, and chives can be planted to get them going for early outdoor transplanting. Make sure they receive enough light to promote strong, vigorous seedlings.

Thin Out Old Shrubs

A good practice in late winter is to thin out old shrubs. You can see the stem and branch structure when there are no leaves. Remove the oldest branches to ground level rather than just cutting back old branches. This will encourage new growth from the base, and it's the best way to renew older shrubs.

Check Bulbs

If it's been over a month, check corms, tuberous roots, and tubers in storage for signs of decay or dry rot. Check hardy bulbs potted up last fall, and move them indoors to coax them into bloom if the buds are emerging.

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