Western Mountains and High Plains

May, 2008
Regional Report

Support Peonies

If you haven't done it yet, cage your peony bushes. They're growing fast and the best way to keep them from flopping over when it rains is to surround a bush with a peony cage or a tomato cage. This will keep the plant tidy and prevent the blooms from touching the ground.

Weed Away

Don't let those emerging weeds get a head start. As soon as you spot them, yank or dig them out. If you are persistent, you can get rid of some of the toughest weed pests. If you starve them of their leaves, they will eventually die.

Relocate Ant Colonies

It's that time of year when ant colonies are reproducing. If you see swarms or ants in or around the yard, they're doing what comes naturally. One of the best ways to control nuisance ants is to scoop up the swarm and dispose of it elsewhere. My grandmother's technique for getting rid of ant colonies was to pour a pot of boiling water on the hill.

Prune Water Sprouts

Got sprouts? Those fast-growing shoots at the base of apple trees and shade trees can become a nuisance and haven for aphid pests. Take a good set of hand pruners and remove suckers from their point of origin. This will divert energy to the main tree and help keep pests away.

Monitor Soil Moisture After Planting

Check newly set transplants daily for moisture needs while they put down their roots. Uniform moisture is good, soggy is not. If you have spread mulch, check the soil under the mulch. You won't need to water mulched plants as often as plants that are not mulched.

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