Western Mountains and High Plains

February, 2012
Regional Report

Get Seed-Starting Supplies Ready

If you have carryover seed starting supplies in storage, get them out and give them a good cleaning. Sterilize plastic pots and trays in a ten percent bleach solution, then rinse with warm water. A good cleaning will help avoid disease problems and ensure healthy growing conditions.

Check Tree Trunks

As the snow melts in the home orchard, check the trunks of fruit trees for rodent damage. You will notice chewing on the lower portion of the trunk. Deter further nibbling by wrapping the trunk with wire mesh. Also, be sure to cut away any grass and weeds around the base of the tree that can provide shelter to rodents.

Prune Apple Trees

Now is a good time to prune and shape older apple trees. Evaluate shape and form, removing weakly attached branches and water sprouts that won't bear fruit. Keep the tree manageable and it will bear more fruit.

Keep Valentine Forced Flowers

Don't toss the gifts of forced tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, lilies, and other bulbs received as gifts. Place them in a cool location with moderate to bright light. As the weather and soil warms in spring, plant them back into your garden.

Check South Sides

Take time to get down on hands and knees to inspect the lawn on the south side of the house. Spider mites can become active and suck the life out of the turf, turning it brown. These mites can be controlled by watering infested spots with a bucket of soapy water.

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