Western Mountains and High Plains

January, 2011
Regional Report

Shear Indoor Herbs

Keep your windowsill herb garden producing fresh leaves and stems by pinching or shearing off the tips. Don't be afraid to snip back the branches, not just a leaf of two. With good sunlight, water, and regular fertilizer, herb plants will send out new, healthy, compact growth.

Cut Back Ornamental Grasses

If wet, heavy snowfall has broken down ornamental grasses, making them look a bit unsightly, now is a good time to cut them back. This coming growing season, remember to place stakes around the clumps, then some green twine around the stakes to make a camouflaged support.

Plan Ahead to Grow Strawberries

Strawberries are easy to grow and are dependable. They require a rich, compost-enriched soil that is well drained. Try growing them in a raised bed and make preparations to protect them from birds to ensure a sweet harvest.

Save Some Plastic Milk Jugs

This is a good time to salvage some plastic containers to make mini-greenhouses for cold sensitive plants come springtime. Cut off the bottoms and stack in the garage or garden shed. After planting out tomatoes and peppers in late spring, set these homemade covers over the plants to protect from chilling night temperatures.

Protect Fruit Trees

Mice and other critters like to hide or nest within the protection of the weedy or trash accumulations next to tree trunks. Discourage them from chewing on bark and injuring trees by pulling away grasses, blown-in leaves, weeds, and other debris from trunks of your fruit trees.

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