Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Western Mountains and High Plains

July, 2009
Regional Report

Thin Out Older Flowering Shrubs

To rejuvenate older shrubs, including lilacs, forsythia, spirea, quince, and dogwood, thin out the oldest stems to open the shrubs to more light. This will encourage production of new flowering stems. Make clean pruning cuts close to the ground when cutting out the older wood.

Continue to Mow Lawns Frequently

Mow often while lawns are growing rapidly with all the afternoon rains. Follow the rule of one-third: Don't remove more than one third of the leaf blade in any one mowing. This gives a cleaner and neater look and prevents stressing the lawn.

Plant New Trees

Make new additions to your landscape to replace storm-damaged trees or those that have succumb to "winter kill." Consider the overall height and spread of trees before placing them in your landscape. Prepare the soil with some compost to improve soil structure and help with drainage.

Fertilize Flower Beds

If you haven't incorporated a slow-release fertilizer into your flower beds, now is the time to add granular organic-based 5-10-5 fertilizer. Sprinkle it around the base of plants and lightly water it in. This will keep plants growing vigorously and promote more flowers throughout the summer.

Pinch Back Herbs

As herbs start to grow in height, pinch back the tops of basil and others to promote bushier plants. This will also keep the plants growing more vigorously and delay flower and seed production.


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