Western Mountains and High Plains

June, 2007
Regional Report

Thin Apple Clusters

To encourage better production, thin apples to two per cluster. This will prevent overload on the branches, allow more light to the developing fruit, and increase apple size. Apple trees will go through a natural thinning process, but it is also helpful to do some hand-thinning yourself.

Control the Invasion of Aphids

Inspect your roses and perennials often to detect the rapid invasion of aphids. Once spotted, hose them off the infested plants with a forceful spray of water. Also, use homemade soap sprays to spot-treat badly infested plants. Apply soap sprays in the cool of the day to prevent leaf burn.

Mulch Tomatoes and Peppers

Tomatoes and peppers love heat; help maintain warmth in the soil by mulching with dark-colored organic materials such as compost, or set old tires around the plants. This dark layer of mulch will absorb the heat and promote vigorous growth and fruit set.

Pick Strawberries Often

Harvest strawberries daily to prevent the spread of rot diseases, to reduce insect pests that like to feed on decaying plant material, and to keep the strawberry patch tidy. Discard rotting fruit to the compost pile.

Cut Off Old Iris Blooms

Remove the spent flower stalks from iris plants unless you are hybridizing a new variety. This will keep the iris garden clean and divert energy into the growth of vigorous, healthy rhizomes. If you need to, this is a good time to lift and divide overcrowded iris clumps.

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