Western Mountains and High Plains

March, 2008
Regional Report

Start Pruning

Dead, diseased, or injured plant parts can be removed at any time of the year. Plants that bloom on this season's wood -- most summer- and fall-flowering shrubs -- are best pruned while still dormant in late winter or early spring.

Plant Raspberries

Now is a good time to plant fall-bearing raspberry varieties such as 'Heritage', 'Fall Red', 'Fall Gold', 'September', 'Pathfinder', or 'Trailblazer'. These are easier to care for than spring-bearing types, which sometimes don't survive the winter.

Gradually Remove Mulch

Spring brings fickle weather, so don't remove all mulch from perennials. Gradually pull back mulch from bulbs as they emerge. Leave snow on spring-flowering bulbs as it protects them from sudden temperature fluctuations. If stems bend or break, cut the flowers and enjoy a bouquet indoors.

Start Cool-Season Annuals

Stocks, godetia, ageratum, lobelia, and impatiens can be started indoors. Use clean, sterilized seed-starting trays or pots. Once the seeds germinate, grow seedlings in bright light and moderate temperatures.

Look for Bare-Root Plants

Bare-root trees, shrubs, berries, and perennials, are arriving at nurseries. Take advantage of the bargains and purchase fresh stock before it elongates in darkness and heat. Plant bare-root plants outdoors as soon as possible.

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