Western Mountains and High Plains

April, 2009
Regional Report

Transplant Rose Bushes

If you need to move a rose bushes that were placed in the wrong location, now is the time to get it done before full leaf expansion. Cut back the canes to six inches and dig the entire plant out with a heavy-duty spading fork. Have the new planting hole ready and replant immediately. Shade the plant with a large cardboard box or five gallon bucket for a week or so.

Pamper New Perennials

Keep newly transplanted perennials well watered during the first few weeks to help ensure that they become well established before warm weather. Apply mulch to retain moisture and to prevent the invasion of annual weeds.

Use Slow-Release Fertilizer

Apply a slow-release, organic fertilizer (5-10-5) when new shoots emerge on spring-flowering shrubs. Follow label directions regarding the amount and frequency of application.

Pull Out Annual Weeds

Be on the watch for the invasion of winter annual weeds, including downy brome grass, chickweed, and henbit. Pull these pests before they can go to seed.

Provide Support for Hefty Perennials

As the shoots of peonies begin to emerge from their crowns, plan to support these plants before they get too tall and floppy. I like to use tomato cages positioned over the clump, anchored down with heavy-duty landscape pins.

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