Western Mountains and High Plains

January, 2011
Regional Report

Select Hardy Strawberries

Among the hardiest strawberries for the home garden are 'Fort Laramie,' 'Ogallala,' 'Ozark Beauty,' and 'Superfection.' Just be sure to give them a drink of water during open, dry winter conditions to ensure survival.

Harvest Scion Wood

Make cuttings of scion wood if you plan to graft later in the spring. Cut pencil-size growth from apples, pears, apricots, cherries, and other fruit trees you may desire to graft. Bundle them up, place in a plastic bag, and store in your refrigerator until the time is right.

Cut Back Geraniums

If your geraniums are like mine, it's time to cut back the tallest, leggy stems of plants you are overwintering indoors. Give them plenty of sunlight so new growth will start to push out. If you like, root new cuttings in moistened soilless growing mix.

Prune Dogwood Shrubs

Prune redtwig dogwood (Cornus sericea) and yellowtwig dogwood (C.s. 'Flaviramea') to rid the shrubs of old, grayish stems that may have infestations of scale. These shrubs provide the best display of winter stem coloring if stems are young. Prune old ones off at the soil line.

Assess Tree Development

With the leaves off deciduous trees, it is easy to inspect branch structure and make plans to remove crisscrossing branches or weak-wooded branch attachments. Sucker shoots may also be more apparent now, particularly at the base of tree trunks. Use loppers to reach below the soil surface to cut away these shoots.

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