Western Mountains and High Plains

March, 2012
Regional Report

Clean House for the Birds

Remove old nesting material, debris, and dead bugs from nest boxes and birdhouses. These can be breeding grounds for harmful parasites that can kill young birds. Check the integrity of the houses and remove wood slivers, pound in exposed nails, and repair damaged roofs.

Trim Ornamental Grasses

As weather permits, cut back ornamental grasses to within 4 to 6 inches of the ground. Gently cultivate the soil around the clumps and add more compost to help warm up the soil.

Be on the Watch for Pests

As the days get longer and the weather warms, hibernating insects will be on the move. Watch for boxelder bugs, root weevils, elm leaf beetles, and others. Take precautions to keep them at bay so they don't infest this year's plantings.

Control Winter Annual Weeds

As the snow melts and soils warm, winter annual weeds will resume growth. Now is the time to easily hoe or dig them out before they become well established. Weeds including downy brome grass and mustards are easy to control in late winter and early spring.

Prune Back Raspberries

Everbearing raspberries should be pruned back hard. This will promote fresh new growth that produces fruit more abundantly. Use pruning loppers to easily cut the canes at ground level.

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