Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Western Mountains and High Plains

August, 2008
Regional Report

Watering the Lawn

No two lawns are exactly the same, so don't assume they need to be watered alike. Let the grass species, soil conditions, and weather determine your particular watering practices, not the duration of time between water applications. You will need to water more often in a mature landscape because tree and shrub roots steal some of the water. Turf in shady parts of the yard needs less water than the same turf in a sunny, windy area.

Dealing With Cats in the Garden

Discourage unwelcome felines by adding some orange or lemon potpourri, one that has lots of prickly dried flowers and dried orange and lemon peels. Collect prickly pinecones and use as mulch in areas those cats frequent. They won't walk on the prickly cones. If those don't solve the problem, install a motion detector sprinkler in the area; just don't let yourself get soaked.

Pick and Dry Lavender

Gather lavender buds that are not fully open for the best fragrance. Take the lavender stems and secure in a tight bundle and hang to dry in a garden shed or garage. You can also dry the flowers on a screen and use in potpourris.

Water the Compost Pile

Hot, dry summer conditions can dry out the compost pile quickly. Be sure to water it and turn it at least once a week to help hasten the decaying process.

Harvest Currants

Pick ripe, red currants when they are firm and juicy. Red currants set fruit on pendulous chains called "sprigs." Remove the stems and debris, cook with no added sugar, and then put through a strainer. If you like, make some currant jelly.


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