Western Mountains and High Plains

March, 2012
Regional Report

Prune Hybrid Roses

Tea roses will bloom more prolifically on new wood that has solid pith, the center of the cane. Cut back the old stems that have signs of discoloration or have died back from winter desiccation. Cut back hard enough to expose solid, white, healthy pith. Remove stems to within 4 to 6 inches of the graft union. This will promote new canes with more blooms.

Plant Garden and Sweet Peas

Plant pea seeds as soon as the soil can be worked and harvest before hot, summer days. Dwarf varieties save space and produce early harvest. Tall or pole varieties produce bigger harvests over a longer time. Sow seeds in the early spring 1 deep and 2 inches apart. Plant raised beds in double rows 6 inches apart, with a support structure or trellis in the middle. Allow 24 to 30 inches between each double row of seeds. Plant single rows 3 feet apart with supports alongside each row.

Take Advantage of Bare-Root Plants

Planting bare-root perennials, fruits, roses, shrubs, and trees can save money and give you great results. Now is the time to plant bare-root plants so they get a good start and acclimate in your soil. Soak the roots in a bucket of water for a few hours prior to planting.

Rejuvenate Red-twig Dogwoods

If your dogwood shrubs lack color and vigor, now is the time to prune them back hard. Remove old stems to ground level to stimulate new, colorful, and healthy stems. Stems that are infested with scale should be removed and disposed of.

Plan Your Vegetable Garden on Paper

Before planting your seeds in the ground, sketch out a vegetable garden plan. Taller crops should be located on the north side so as not to shade lower growing plants. Group plants with similar needs together so they get proper watering and care. Make room for herbs, marigolds, zinnias and other flowers to attract bees for pollination.

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