Western Mountains and High Plains

January, 2012
Regional Report

Plan Your Garden On Paper

You can save time and money when you plan your garden on paper first. Learn about the plants you desire to grow. Information of exposure, i.e., sun, shade, part shade will help you site plants appropriately. Moisture requirements will let you know if you have the right location. You can group plants with similar water and sun needs in specific locations.

Select Varieties for Early Maturity

In shorter growing seasons, look for vegetable and fruit varieties that are early maturing and disease resistant. If you have limited garden space, grow bush varieties of cucumbers and squash. Vining crops can be grown on trellises or other supports

Recycle Plastic and Foam Containers

Start seeds indoors in empty foam and plastic containers from the fast food places. Just be sure to punch holes in the sides or bottom for good drainage. Wash containers in bleach water (one part chlorine bleach to nine parts water), then rinse. Sow seeds at the recommended depth and cover with the plastic wrap, which will be removed when the seedlings start to grow.

Prevent Fungus Gnats

Carefully examine new plants for any signs of insect infestation before purchasing. Always use a quality, clean potting soil mix when planting or re-potting. Take care not to overwater your plants, as fungus gnats require a moist environment to feed and breed. Be sure that the container you are using has good drainage and allow the soil to dry out between waterings.

Make Mini-Greenhouses

Make something from plastic milk and juice jugs. Cut off the bottom to construct a mini-greenhouse for cold sensitive tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers. This milk jug protector will keep them warm enough that they will never know there was a chilly spring night.

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