Western Mountains and High Plains

August, 2014
Regional Report

Control Tobacco Budworms

It's time for the invasion of the tobacco budworms as they attack geraniums, petunias, and flowering nicotiana in the flower garden. One of the safest controls is Bt (Bacilllus thuriengensis). It is bacterial warfare that is specific to caterpillars and won't harm other beneficial insects in the garden. However, use it judiciously since it will harm butterfly larvae.

Harvest Summer Squash

To keep summer squash producing tender young vegetables longer into the season, harvest often. Don't allow the squash to get over-mature, as this signals the plant to stop production. Zucchinis harvested when they are only 6-7 inches long are tender with minimal seed development.

Give Trees a Deep Drink

Protect your trees from summer drought stress by deep watering on a regular basis. Set out a twin-eye or "frog-eye" sprinkler at the dripline of the tree and water long enough to soak the soil 6 inches deep. Then move the sprinkler until you complete the circle around the tree. Water this way at least twice a month during the summer.

Prune Out Dead Wood

If dead wood is visible in trees and shrubs, prune it out at any time. Leaving it around will attract borers and other critters. Use a sharp pruners to make clean cuts and remove branches and stems completely; don't leave stubs.

Sharpen Lawn Mower Blade

When your lawn has "white tipping" on the leaf blades, it's a good indication that the mower blade is getting dull. Instead of making a clean, even cut, it frays the top of the grass blade. Carefully remove the mower blade and get it sharpened. Frayed grass ends provide entry points for disease organisms.

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