Western Mountains and High Plains

March, 2010
Regional Report

Fertilize Flowering Plants Indoors

If you have flowering plants growing indoors, they may need nutrition. Use a water-soluble fertilizer as directed on the label. Apply to moistened, not dry, potting soil. Discard excess liquid that accumulates in the drainage saucer.

Be on the Watch for Aphids

Flowering plants can be attacked by tiny pests known as aphids. They tend to cluster on tender growth at the tips of stems and buds. Pinch off infested portions, and discard in the trash. You can also wash aphids off the plants with tepid water from the faucet. Repeat as often as necessary.

Check Shrubs for Critter Damage

Field mice and voles may nest in heavy mulch around the base of flowering shrubs. Look for signs of chewed bark and damage to the canes. You can spray canes and the soil around the bush with hot pepper spray to serve as a repellent. If you can find the nesting site, pull the mulch away and destroy it.

Watering Rose Beds

If you live in an area where snow and other natural moisture sources have been scarce, be sure to check the rose garden on warm, sunny days. Drag out the hose and give the rose garden a good drink when temperatures are above freezing. This may need to be done every four to five weeks, depending upon weather conditions.

Prepare for Bare-Root Roses

Planting of bare-root roses begins in late March, whenever the soil thaws and it's not too wet to be worked. It is important to plant rose bushes ordered by mail as soon as they arrive and while they are still dormant. Add a generous amount of compost to the new planting site.

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