Western Mountains and High Plains

December, 2011
Regional Report

Continue to Rake Leaves

As leaves continue to fall, be sure to rake heavy accumulations on the lawn. This will prevent suffocation of the grass crowns. I like to run the rotary lawn mower over the lawn with a grass catcher, then put the shredded leaves in the compost bin or directly into the garden soil.

Protect Young Tree Trunks

Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, it is time to apply protective tree wrap to newly planted trees. Use a crepe wrap or white plastic tree guards around tender trunks to reflect the winter sun. This will help prevent bark splitting and keep critters at bay.

Dig and Store Canna Roots

If you grew cannas in containers, be sure to store the whole container in a cool, basement or root cellar where temperatures are between 45 and 50 degrees F. They will not overwinter outdoors. You can also dig the roots and place in a box of coarse sawdust or sphagnum peat.

Put Out Fresh Bird Seed

Fall and winter bird feeding is rewarding for young and old. Keep the feeders well stocked with fresh seed throughout the season. Birds will soon find the feeding stations and make regular visits. Don't forget about a heated bird bath, too.

Spruce Up Outdoor Pots

To add color, texture and interest to outdoor pots, create an arrangement of evergreen boughs, prunings of grape vines and bittersweet, cotoneaster and other fruiting vines and shrubs. I like to add large pinecones at the base, but other seed pods create interest, too.

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