Western Mountains and High Plains

June, 2013
Regional Report

Prune Lilacs

As soon as the blossoms fade, it's time to prune your lilac bushes. This will help you maintain their height and spread. It's also a good time to thin out the old wood to stimulate new growth and more vigor. Remove as much as 40 percent of the old stems, cutting down to ground level.

Feed Tomatoes

Transplanted tomatoes in the garden and in containers should be fertilized with a complete plant food, such as 15-30-15, every two to three weeks early in their growth. This will help them get off to a strong and vigorous start. Once the tomato plants start blooming, cut back the frequency of fertilizing to allow the plant to set fruit.

Yank Out Weeds

As weeds grow fast and develop seed heads, yank them out of the ground before the flowers open. Pick an afternoon after a good rain shower when the soil is moistened. Don a pair of leather gloves for weeds that have sticker-laden stems.

Apply Compost Around Perennials

While chemical fertilizers promote lush growth, rethink this practice and apply compost instead. Spread a layer of this organic matter around perennial flowers. Compost adds nutrients slowly and more naturally, plus it improves the soil's ability to hold water. A healthier soil will support healthier plants.

Install Drip Irrigation or Soaker Hoses

To get water directly to the root zone of vegetables and fruits, install a drip irrigation system or soaker hoses. They are designed to deliver water more efficiently with less waste from evaporation. This also helps to reduce disease problems in the garden.

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