Western Mountains and High Plains
Time for Pansies
It's time to add fun and inviting color to your garden. Plant pansies and violas while it's cool. They produce an abundance of blooms in cooler spring weather and will brighten the patio and porch. Plant lots of them in containers and flower boxes and enjoy their cheery flower faces.
If it's been a few years, take time to thin out the strawberry patch. Dig out older plants, three years old or more, and toss. Keep newer plants for quality fruit production. It's also a good time to spread compost around the plants and lightly cultivate it into the soil.
Clean Iris Beds
Cut back the dying foliage and old stems from iris beds. This will increase air circulation and reduce disease problems. Scatter a slow-release fertilizer, such as 5-10-5, around the plants and lightly cultivate it into the ground. Water in, and get ready for a colorful show.
Patrol for Pests
It's time to start your weekly insect and pest patrol. Learn to identify the good guys from the bad thugs. Turn over leaves, and look on the stems of trees, shrubs, vines, and ground covers. To reduce pest populations, use a gentle stream of water to wash off aphids and other soft-bodied pests.
If you have a space for rhubarb, now is a good time to set out bare-root plants. Prepare the soil with a generous supply of compost to a depth of 6 inches or more. Set the buds slightly below ground level and lightly firm the soil. Water in thoroughly.