Western Mountains and High Plains

September, 2010
Regional Report

Be on Watch for Mildew

Look for powdery mildew disease in the garden. Symptoms 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 infected parts and discard them.

Plant Trees and Shrubs Early

You can still plant trees and shrubs, but buy plants early during special closeout sales to get the best quality possible. Then plant them before fall storms and early frosts. The earlier in the fall you can plant container-grown or balled-and-burlapped ornamentals, the better the chances for winter survival. Water regularly during fall and winter and especially be watchful when weather conditions are windy and dry.

Time to Core-aerate Lawns

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

Plant Spinach

If you have time and space allotted, now is a good time to plant a fall crop of spinach. You will be harvesting the tender, succulent leaves for salads in fall. If you like, overwinter the young plants with mulch for an early crop of spring greens.

Harvest Onions

Once the tops of your onion plants have fallen over, it's time to harvest the bulbs. Shake away excess soil from the bulbs and dry for a few days on a screen in the sun. Then you can clean loose skins and store in mesh bags.

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