Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Western Mountains and High Plains

February, 2008
Regional Report

Getting Ready to Start Seeds

As you prepare to start seeds indoors, select a quality commercial seed-starting mix that is sterile or pasteurized. This will prevent the onset of soilborne diseases such as damping off. Economical plastic trays with individual cells are my favorites since they make transplanting much easier.

Read the Seed Packets

Take the time to read the colorful seed packets before making a final purchase. There is loads of information on what the plants require to grow successfully. This will help you decide if you want to start them indoors or purchase them already grown.

Plan Your Landscape

Take time to research plants you desire to add to your landscape. You need to know their ultimate height, spread, sun exposure, soil requirements, and aesthetic characteristics. Make a sketch of your yard and note exposures. This will help you choose the right plants for the right places.

Watch for Creepy Crawlers on Windowsills

Tiny creatures known as clover mites love to congregate on the south and west exposures where it is warm. They can find their way indoors through the smallest openings and become a nuisance. Vacuum them up inside, and wash them off the outside of the house with a soapy water spray.

Add Organic Matter to the Vegetable Garden

Before you plant the spring vegetable garden, be sure that you've added a good complement of organic compost to the area. I recommend at least 3 cubic yards per thousand square feet. Dig or rototill to a depth of 6 inches or more.


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