Western Mountains and High Plains

May, 2010
Regional Report

Patch bare spots

Thin, unhealthy turf opens the door to weeds such as bindweed and Canada thistle. Now is the time to overseed thin bare spots or purchase a roll of sod to re-sod the dead or thin patches. Work some compost into the soil before seeding or sodding.

Mow properly

Don't mow the lawn too short. Mowing cool-season grasses low encourages the spread of white clover and creeping weeds, such as spurge and purslane. Mow cool-season grasses 2 to 3 inches tall, taking off no more than one-third of the grass height at any one mowing.

Be on watch for spruce galls

As the new growth begins to expand on spruce trees, you can prevent infestations of the Cooley spruce gall adelgid. Often referred to as the Cooley spruce gall aphid, this insect's feeding causes brown cone-like growths on the tips of spruce trees. If severe, control these pests with a registered insecticide.

Be picky about transplants

When selecting bedding plants for your garden or containers, choose short, stocky ones without open flowers. These will transplant more easily and produce a stronger root system. If plants have not been hardened off, expose them to longer periods of outdoor conditions for 4 to 5 days before planting, but bring them indoors at night if frost is expected.

Propagate perennial Dianthus

Now is a good time to take cuttings from perennial creeping dianthus. As these plants are starting to bloom cut off some bloom stalks and a short stem with some leaves. Insert them into moist soil and roots will develop within a few months.

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