Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Rocky Mountains

April, 2004
Regional Report

Prune Non-Blooming Lilacs

If your lilac isn't blooming this year, it might be caused by the frost that followed the early warm-up this year. Perhaps the shrub is planted in too shady a location and will need to be moved. Older shrubs may need some renewal pruning since they bloom best on younger branches. Remove one-third of the oldest stems at ground level after their normal blooming cycle.

Plant Container-Grown Perennials

When buying perennials, be sure to select vigorously growing plants that have healthy foliage and a strong root system. Tip the plant out of the pot to check the roots.

Fertilize Cool-Season Lawns

As the soil temperatures begin to warm up, it's time to apply a regionally formulated lawn fertilizer. Select carefully as some national-brand lawn fertilizers contain little or no iron or sulfur. Most of our alkaline soils benefit from a proper balance of nutrients with ample amounts of available iron and sulfur.

Put up Hummingbird Feeders

Hummingbirds will soon be making their way to the mountains and will benefit from supplemental food while our flowers are just getting started. Place hummingbird feeders near protected areas in a semi-shady spot to keep the nectar from spoiling. Mix one part fine sugar to four parts water and boil for 3 to 5 minutes. Store unused portion in refrigerator. Change nectar every three days.

Tidy up Flowering Shrubs

Early-flowering shrubs can be pruned after their bloom period is finished. After pruning, lightly cultivate the soil and apply a granular 5-10-5 fertilizer. Water in thoroughly.


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