Western Mountains and High Plains

June, 2012
Regional Report

Mulch Away

To conserve water, moderate soil temperatures, suppress annual weed growth, and reduce soil compaction, place organic mulches around vegetables, flowers, and shrubs. One of my favorites is shredded cedar bark mulch. It knits together to be less wind prone and ages nicely.

Dig Tree Seedlings

Tree of Heaven, Siberian elm, and other seedling trees should be dug out of the lawn and flowerbeds while they are still small and have a limited root system. Tree seedlings can be pulled out most easily when the soil is moist.

Trap Slugs

Marauding slugs come out at night to feed on the leaves of flowers and vegetables. My hostas and petunias are among the favorites of these slimy pests. Set out shallow traps made from empty tuna cans with the rims at ground level. Fill with a mixture of sugar water and yeast. The slugs will crawl in for a drink and drown.

Be on the Watch for Mites

Heat and drought invite an invasion of spider mites. Be on the watch for stippled foliage, fine webbing, and early leaf drop. You can reduce mite invasions by regular watering to prevent drought stress. Routinely spray the underside of the leaves with water to discourage and dislodge mites.

Pinch Off Fading Flowers

As flowers fade and dry, take time to deadhead perennials and annuals. This will promote more flower bud development for future blooms. Cut back catmints, salvias, phlox, coneflowers, and yarrows.

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