Western Mountains and High Plains

July, 2007
Regional Report

Thin Out Old Lilac Canes

To rejuvenate your old lilac shrub, thin out the oldest canes to ground level. This procedure will encourage new and vigorous stem growth for future flowering. Get this chore done by the end of the month. Scatter a slow-release fertilizer around the base of the lilac after pruning and water in thoroughly.

Sharpen Mower Blades

If your lawn has a yellowish tan to brown cast shortly after mowing, it's likely that your lawn mower blade needs sharpening. When was the last time you sharpened or changed the blade? This often overlooked maintenance tip will keep your lawn healthy and looking great.

Harvest Summer Squash

Keep picking young zucchini and other summer squash frequently. This will keep the plants producing tasty and succulent squash. Leave a zucchini on the plant too long and you'll end up with a monster that takes energy away from the plant.

Deadhead Butterfly Bush

Now that the flower spikes have faded, clip off the old blooms to encourage the side branches to send out new flower buds. This will extend the flowering season and keep the butterflies coming to your garden.

Wash Out Fairy Ring

If you have fairy ring spots in your yard, give them a dose of soapy water. Core aerate all around the fairy ring and then pour a solution of lemon-scented dishwashing detergent into the aeration holes (1/4 cup detergent to 3 gallons of water). This will stop this disease from spreading and allow the grass to fill in.

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