Western Mountains and High Plains

November, 2009
Regional Report

Be Careful Removing Snow on Evergreens

Don't be in a hurry to shake the snow off evergreens during a snowstorm, because these trees were made to withstand the load. Take a lesson from nature. Getting too vigorous with a broom or rake will break the branches and result in more damage. The snow will eventually slide off. Concentrate on the deciduous trees that are weak-wooded and still have leaves attached.

Wash Away Wandering Tourist Bugs

Get rid of meandering tourist bugs that set up vacation headquarters in your house with organic household cleaners. Spray boxelder bugs, elm leaf beetles, root weevils, and others with a biodegradable cleaner and watch them wither. Too ghoulish for you? Then vacuum them up so they won't be a nuisance.

Drown Fungus Gnats

As houseplants acclimate to the indoor environment, so do pests like tiny fungus gnats. Avoid the nuisance they create by trapping the pests. Place a brandy snifter near infested plants, filled with a small amount of wine (or cider vinegar if you prefer). The tiny black flies are attracted to the liquid beverage, crawl in, and meet their demise.

Check Deciduous Shrubs for Scale

Now that many shrubs have shed their leaves, it's a good time to check for scale insect pests. Look for tiny bumps on the bark of the stems and branches. Oystershell scale and other scale pests often attack lilac, dogwood, and other shrubs. Dormant oil can be used for control measures when temperatures are above 45 degrees F. during the day.

Plant Long-Lived Tulips

For tulips that will last, plant the Darwin types for years of performance and bloom. Red 'Apeldoorn', 'Golden Apeldoorn', 'Jewel of Spring', and 'Daydream' are reliable varieties to look for. You still have time to get them in the ground before the soil freezes solid. After a good watering, apply a mulch of shredded leaves or other material.

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