Western Mountains and High Plains

August, 2013
Regional Report

Keep Fire Safe

Cut back tree limbs that overhang your roof, and keep other trees trimmed so their branches don't overlap one another. Keep the grass within 30 feet of your home trimmed short. If your property is on a steep slope, increase the size of your defensible space. Wildfires run uphill.

Give Houseplants a Bath

Saturday night baths are in order for indoor plants to keep spider mites and other insects at bay. Put the whole pot in the sink. Mix up a mild soapy solution of dishwashing soap in a squirt bottle and spray top and bottom. Wash gently with a cut-off corner from an old sponge. Rinse with tepid water and let drain thoroughly.

Freeeze Zucchini

When you've worn out your welcome at the neighbor's and you've filled every parked car within three city blocks with zucchini, it's time to freeze them. Check your favorite zucchini bread recipe for quantities, then process the zucchini as though you were making bread today. Measure the correct amount into a freezer bag. Label and forget it until you need to make quick breads for the holidays.

Cut Back Annuals

All the annuals and a good many perennials will bloom again if you keep the old blossoms cut off. This directs more of the plant's energy toward the formation of new flowers and not to making seeds. Once the cooler weather hits many plants will form new flower buds and give you some of the best flowers of the season.

Prevent Leaf Scorch

When it's hot, windy and dry leaves may not be able to get enough water, especially if there isn't sufficient ground moisture. Leaves will show leaf scorch symptoms of browning on the edges if they aren't getting enough water. The best solution is mulching, regular watering, and applying deep irrigation all summer long.

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