Western Mountains and High Plains

June, 2012
Regional Report

Pinch When Planting

Pinch back the tips of annuals when you transplant them or within a few days of setting them in the ground. Petunias will grow more shrubby and full when pinched back. Snapdragons, begonias, zinnias, marigolds, and impatiens will also benefit from early pinching and produce fuller, more robustly blooming plants.

Plant More Cole Crops

Prepare an area to direct sow seeds of cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli for fall harvest. If you prefer, start them in small pots in a cold frame and set them into the garden after the lettuce and peas are harvested.

Take Care of Your Compost

When we're busy gardening now, it's easy to forget the compost pile. As the garden generates weeds and grass trimmings, add them to the compost pile or bin. Alternate with layers of soil, garden waste, and kitchen scraps of the vegetable kind. Add a little manure to help generate heat in the pile, and keep the pile moist.

Go Easy with Fertilizer

Avoid the urge to feed herbs with fertilizers high in nitrogen or at every watering. Too much fertilizer will encourage succulent leaves and result in less pungent oils in the foliage and stems. Instead, just sidedress with compost or rotted manure.

Stroll Through the Garden Daily

As the warmer weather continues, keep a watchful eye for hatching pests. Take the time to enjoy your garden and patrol for invaders. Check on the undersides of leave and on the young, succulent tip growth. Frequent inspection goes a long way toward preventing an outbreak of damaging pests.

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