Western Mountains and High Plains

September, 2009
Regional Report

Beware of Powdery Mildew Disease

Be on the watch for powdery mildew. Symptoms of this disease include stunted new growth; white, flour-like coating on the foliage; leaf drop; and poor plant vigor. This disease favors tender growth and will infect leaves, stems terminal buds, blossoms, and even fruit. Prune out the worst of infected parts and dispose.

Keep Garden Clean

Develop good sanitation practices in the yard and garden. Clean up what's left from summer's annual flowers and vegetables. Rake up heavy accumulations of leaves and other plant refuse and use in the compost pile if the materials are not diseased. Leaves from cottonwood, aspen, and willow should be chopped up before composting.

Plant When You Can

You can still plant for permanence. Try to accomplish all your planting before fall storms and early frosts. The earlier in the fall you can plant container-grown or balled-and-burlapped nursery stock, the better the chances for fall and winter survival. Water regularly during the fall and winter and especially be watchful when weather conditions are windy and dry.

Breathe New Life into your Lawn

Lawns should be core-aerated in the cool weather of fall. Soak the lawn a day prior to aeration so the mechanical aerator removes deep plugs. Holes left form aeration allow for better air, water and nutrient movement through the soil. This helps the lawn thicken up since root and tiller growth is more active during the autumn.

Plan for Spring-Flowering Bulbs

To bring beauty and welcome spring, now is the shop for daffodils, tulips, crocus, hyacinths, alliums, and many other spring flowers. Plant them is locations that are visible from windows so you can enjoy their show of colors from February through June. Bulbs are short-lived if planted in poorly drained soils, so add compost prior to planting.

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