Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Western Mountains and High Plains

February, 2009
Regional Report

Plan the Vegetable Grden Now

Now is a good time to plan your vegetable garden now. Try a few new things this year. You may discover a new favorite and expand your garden palette.

Check for Critter Damage

Inspect the base of young trees and shrubs for critter activity. Field mice and voles can wreak havoc on plants as they nibble the bark. If they girdle a tree trunk, that damage is irreparable and often kills the tree. Avoid continuing damage by removing weed accumulations (which are hiding places), place barriers around the trunks, and keep mulch several inches away from tree trunks and shrub stems.

Take Houseplant Cuttings

As the days lengthen, it's a good time to start new cutting from many houseplants. Tip cuttings work the best as they root faster. Use moistened perlite or vermiculite to root cuttings and place in a brightly lit location.

Seek and Destroy Weed Seedlings

Enjoy the pleasant outdoor weather and control weeds whenever possible. Use a scuffle hoe on tiny weeds early in the day so the sun will dehydrate their tiny roots. If the soil has started to dry out, thoroughly water down areas where larger weeds reside to loosen the roots' grip in the soil. This will make it easier to pull the weeds out by hand or dig with the shovel.

Check Shrubs and Trees for Pests

Take a walk through the garden and landscape to check for overwintering insect eggs or pests, including oystershell scale. A properly timed application of dormant oil spray can control these pests so they won't cause major damage later in the spring or summer.


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