Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Rocky Mountains

August, 2004
Regional Report

Start Cool-Weather Plants

Begin to plant fall crops of spinach, broccoli, and cauliflower. You can direct sow spinach in a wide-row planting. Cauliflower and broccoli are easier to grow if set out as transplants. Start the seeds of these cole crops indoors and grow to a second or third set of leaves before transplanting to the garden.

Inspect Plants to Prevent Pest Invasions

Check landscape plants for spider mites, some of the most damaging hot weather pests. These sucking pests -- smaller than the head of a pin -- can be found in colonies with a fine webbing on the undersides of the leaves. Mites can be particularly bad in dark, dry places, such as the interior of evergreens. Spider mites will succumb quickly to a forceful spray of water and homemade soap sprays.

Out With the Old, Up With the New

Cut back the old delphinium bloom stalks all the way to the ground when they're finished flowering. The plants will regrow to form neat foliage and send up more blooms in early autumn.

Increase Fall Harvest

Plant more vegetables for a fall harvest. Sow seeds of beets, carrots, green onions, lettuce, radishes, and green beans in late July and early August. Keep these seed beds moist for good germination, and allow the plants to become established. Lightly mulch with compost to keep the soil from drying out and to prevent weed competition.

Cover Celery for Improved Texture

To grow succulent and tender celery, place bottomless, 2-quart, cardboard milk cartons over the plants. The protective waxed boxes will support the plants in bundles that will grow more tender and crisp. As soon as the tops stop growing, harvest celery, wash and store in plastic bags in the refrigerator.


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