Western Mountains and High Plains

May, 2009
Regional Report

Fertilize Spring-Flowering Bulbs

It's time to apply a complete fertilizer to spring-flowering bulbs, whether the frost got them or not. Tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, and snow drops will benefit from slow-release nutrients that will help build foliage and store food in the bulbs for the next year's bloom.

Clean Away Nuisance Pests

A very effective way to eliminate nuisance box elder bugs around the house is a spritz of household cleaner such as Fantastik or Formula 409. Spray the cleaner directly onto the bugs and this will knock them out in short order. It is a safer alternative to pesticides, especially if you have pets.

Trapping the Bad Guys

If you want to grow organic apples in your home orchard, now is the time to put out pheremone traps and the sticky red spheres. If you need additional apple pest controls, look for natural or organic-based pest control products which are the least harmful to the beneficial insects and the backyard environment.

Winter Kill on the Rise

Samples of evergreens are showing classic symptoms of late fall and winter desiccation. Many of these plants were planted last fall and didn't have adequate water and care to develop healthy root systems. There are not miracle cures such as fertilizing with acid fertilizer since plant food will not revive a dead plant. Consider replacing these evergreens this spring with new, vigorously growing plants.

Exclude Tiny Vegetable Pests

Flea beetles will soon be on the move and these tiny pests will attack radishes, turnips, spinach, and other leafy vegetables. They can riddle the foliage with holes overnight. An effective way to reduce damage from flea beetles without chemical sprays is to place super-light insect barrier over the plants. This polypropylene fabric transmits 90% of sunlight but prevents crop damage from flea beetles, leafhoppers, leafminers, and many other pests. Hold the cover in place with "U" shaped pins.

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