Western Mountains and High Plains

April, 2011
Regional Report

Feed the Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds will soon be making their way to the mountains and will benefit from supplemental food while our flowers are just getting started. Place hummingbird feeders near protected areas in a semi-shady spot to keep the nectar from spoiling. Mix one part fine sugar to four parts water and boil for three to five minutes. Place unused nectar in the frig. Change nectar every three days.

Be Picky When Buying Perennials

When buying perennials, be sure to select vigorously growing plants that have healthy foliage and a strong root system. Gently pull the plant out of its pot to inspect the roots, or ask the nursery staff to assist you.

Fertilize Cool Season Grasses

As the soil temperatures begin to warm up, it's time to apply a regionally formulated lawn fertilizer. Select carefully as some national-brand lawn fertilizers contain little or no iron or sulfur. Most of our alkaline soils benefit from a proper balance of nutrients with ample amounts of available iron and sulfur.

Rejuvenate Forsythia Shrubs

Early-flowering shrubs can be pruned after their bloom period is finished. Thick, old stems can be cut to ground level to rejuvenate the shrub and promote better flowering. After pruning, lightly cultivate the soil and apply an organic 5-10-5 fertilizer. Water in thoroughly.

Eat your "Weedies"

Young dandelions are a delicious delicacy with a little bite. Harvest the young, non-blooming plants by digging out the crown and roots. Trim off the roots. The young, white, tender basal growth and crisp green foliage makes a tangy salad or can be mixed with other greens.

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