Western Mountains and High Plains

August, 2007
Regional Report

Mulch Carrots

If the fleshy portions of your carrot roots are exposed to sunlight while growing, the shoulders will develop green pigment. Keep the roots covered with soil at all times. Likewise, to prevent greening of potato tubers, keep the soil hilled up around the plants throughout the growing season.

Check Houseplants for Summer Pests

If you've been summering some of your indoor plants outside, now is a good time to check them for outdoor insect pests. Look on the undersides of the leaves for tiny spider mites, aphids, thrips, and mealybugs. Inspect the stems and leaf joints for insect invasions, too. If you detect any pests, hose them off with water.

Search and Destroy Garden Slugs

Slugs come out at dusk to feed on flowers and vegetables. These slimy marauders can quickly damage tender flowers and foliage. Hand-picking these pests and dropping them in a pail of soapy water can help reduce slug populations. Slugs can be trapped between sheets of moistened newspapers or with fermented materials such as yeast and sugar water.

Inspect Plants for Spider Mites

You can check for mites by placing a sheet of white paper under the foliage and tapping the branch or plant sharply. If mites are present, they will fall onto the paper. Since spider mites don't like moisture, one effective method of control is to wash the foliage of infested plants with a forceful spray of water. Do this every two to three days until the mites are gone.

Burn Out Clump Grass

Eliminate individual clumps of weedy grasses in the lawn with a high-nitrogen fertilizer. This is an effective method of killing clump grasses. It takes about a handful of high-nitrogen lawn fertilizer placed directly into the center of the clump grass. It will burn the top of the grass and get down to the roots. Just be prepared for a brown, dead spot in the lawn. You can dig the area out later and plant new sod. Water the spot thoroughly to leach away fertilizer salt residue so the new grass will grow and fill in the area.

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