Western Mountains and High Plains

May, 2010
Regional Report

Check transplants for pests

When shopping for annuals and perennial plants at garden outlets, inspect for insects such as whiteflies, aphids, and mites. You don't need bring pests back to your garden and infest established plantings. Start with new, vigorous, and healthy transplants.

Prune spring-flowering shrubs

Lilacs, forsythia, snowballs, and quince may need pruning to keep them fresh and vigorous. The best time to prune is after these shrubs have finished blooming. Thin out older stems, and reduce height, if needed.

Shape evergreens

Pines trees can be shaped when they are young. Snap off a third of the new growth or "candles" when the young needles are still in a tight cluster to keep the plants in bounds or direct growth.

Time for summer bulbs

As the soil warms, it's time to plant glads, dahlias, caladiums, and cannas. Amend planting beds with compost prior to or during the planting process. You can apply a 5-10-5 fertilizer a month after they have started growing

Plant tomatoes

Set out tomato plants when the soil is warm. A vigorous, healthy tomato transplant should be at least as wide as it is high with a pencil-thick stem. Foliage should be healthy and dark-green. Place the plants about an inch deeper than they grew in the container or in a shallow trench with long stems laid horizontally.

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