Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Western Mountains and High Plains

June, 2005
Regional Report

Mount Biological Warfare

Control the little green caterpillars that attack the foliage of cabbage, broccoli, Brussel's sprouts, and kohlrabi with Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis). Once these pests ingest the Bt, their feeding slows and they eventually die.

Be On the Lookout for Slugs

It's time to protect the garden from an invasion of slugs. Crowded plants with little air circulation are more prone to these pests. Reduce the frequency of watering in shaded areas, use coarse mulch to discourage them (rough surfaces pierce their epidermis and lead to dehydration), and set out slug traps.

Deadhead Peonies

Make it a practice to cut off the spent flowers of your peonies. This will not only keep the plants tidy, it also will discourage pests like earwigs. With some species of peonies, early deadheading may result in some additional small blooms in July.

Divide and Conquer Poppies

After the Oriental poppies have completed their blooming cycle, it's time to divide and separate the older plants that are becoming crowded. They have brittle roots that break easily. Plant these broken pieces, and they will grow. Look for some of the newer varieties that are bicolored or pink, mauve, white, or purple.

Cultivate Compacted Soil

If the soil around vegetable plants has started to crust and bake, lightly cultivate to loosen the soil and allow air and water to permeate into the ground for healthy, vigorous root growth. It's a perfect time to spread a layer of organic mulch, such as dried grass clippings or cedar shavings, around plants.


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