Western Mountains and High Plains

December, 2011
Regional Report

Sharpen and Lubricate Grass and Hedge Trimmers

To keep your trimming tools in good working condition, spray a lubricating oil on the pivot points and cutting edges to prevent rust. If you are handy with a file, sharpen them or take them to a repair shop where they can be professionally sharpened for next year's use.

Gather Up Seedling Trays

To save time and money, gather your seedling trays and wash them in a tub of soapy water. Rinse and allow them to dry. Then disinfect trays with a ten percent solution of bleach and water. Stack them neatly and put in storage for next growing season.

Plan Your Garden Indoors

On cold days, set up a card table and chair and plan next year's garden. Rethink how much lawn you need and where it is most needed. Slopes, hard-to-mow places, and shady areas may be easier to maintain with ground covers or perennials.

Clean Rain Gutters

While you are putting up the Christmas lights, make sure that rain gutters are clean. Remove dried leaves, twigs, and other debris from gutters and downspouts. This will reduce ices damage to plants beneath. A good inspection and cleaning will prevent ice dams that can back up underneath the roofing.

Keep Carrots Sweet

Store carrots directly in the garden for winter. This will make them sweeter. It is easy to stack layers of straw around the carrots to prevent the soil from freezing. When it is time to harvest, just pull the straw away and dig what you need.

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