Western Mountains and High Plains

April, 2007
Regional Report

Fertilize Iris

Apply a 5-10-5 granular or slow-release fertilizer to your iris to help promote more blooms. You want the second number in the fertilizer -- the phosphorus -- to be the largest. Scatter a handful around each plant and water in well.

Plant Bare-Root Fruiting Plants

Get bare-root raspberries and strawberries into the ground as soon as possible. Plant the trimmed plants in a well-prepared, compost-enriched soil. Cut raspberry canes to within an inch of ground level. New shoots will emerge from the roots in about two weeks.

Clean Out Strawberry Patch

Dig out and toss older strawberry plants if this is their third season. Strawberries are prone to diseases and lose energy after several years. Keep the youngest plants and add compost around the bed to provide more organic content and help the newer plants get off to a more vigorous start.

Start Annual Insect Patrol

Turn over leaves and look at the stems of trees, shrubs, vines, and ground covers. If you detect aphids feeding or tiny eggs, use your fingers to smash them. If you're squeamish about this, wear gloves. Use a gentle stream of water to wash off aphids and other visible pests.

Plant Instant Color

With cooler night temperatures and bright days, it's time to plant pansies and violas in containers for early and instant color. Leave room between the plants to add warmer-season annuals like geraniums and petunias. Pansies will bloom until hot weather if deadheaded, and then resume blooming when cool weather returns in fall.

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