Western Mountains and High Plains

July, 2008
Regional Report

Watch for Pests

Check your shade-loving perennials and annual flowers for the marauding slugs that chew on the foliage. Hostas and other tender-leafed plants are favorites. Set out shallow traps made from empty tuna cans; fill with a homemade bait of sugar water and yeast. Dispose of any trapped pests each morning.

Deadhead Flowers

Remove or deadhead the faded flowers from annuals and perennials to promote new flower buds for future blooms. This includes daylilies, salvia, phlox, coneflowers, beebalm, Stoke's asters, and yarrow.

Monitor Roses

Heat invites spider mite invasions on rose foliage. Look for stippled leaves, dusty-looking foliage, webbing, and premature leaf drop. Keep the bushes adequately watered to prevent drought stress, and routinely clean the undersides of the leaves with a spray of forceful water.

Weed Around Shrubs

Be careful when using weed trimmers around shrubbery. The fast-moving nylon string can girdle the stems, which allows entry points for diseases and insect pests. Though it can be more tedious, get in touch with nature by kneeling down and pulling out the weeds that are growing close to the stems.

Pinch Off Suckers

Clip or pinch off juvenile suckers (the shoots that appear between the main stem and leaf branch) on indeterminate tomato plants. This will increase the size of tomatoes and create a single stem that's easier to stake. This also promotes better air circulation, discouraging disease.

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