Western Mountains and High Plains

February, 2009
Regional Report

Check Perennial Beds

As soil thaws on south and southwest exposures, check perennial beds for plant heaving. Replace soil around exposed roots and crowns and re-mulch as necessary. Organic mulches will help prevent heaving during alternate thawing and freezing cycles.

Check Stored Bulbs

If you have gladiolus, dahlias, cannas, and other summer-flowering bulbs in cool storage, check them monthly to make sure they are not too wet nor too dry. If you detect mold or rotting, discard the affected bulb so the rot won't spread to healthy bulbs and tubers. Lightly moisten sawdust or sphagnum peat if it is getting too dry.

Prune Trees and Shrubs

On occasional nice days, take the opportunity to prune deciduous trees and shrubs. Be careful with spring-flowering types as you don't want to remove flowering buds. As a rule of thumb, prune flowering kinds within a month after they flower.

Bring Forth Forced Bulbs

Check any bulbs that were potted for forcing last fall. When the green shoots are about an inch tall, it's time to bring them out of the cold storage and place in bright light and warmth. Get ready to enjoy an early spring show.

Start Garden Projects

As time permits, it's a great time to start some of those garden building, hammer-and-nail projects youve been putting off. It might be a window box, cold frame, compost bin, wooden arbor or trellis, and more.

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