Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Western Mountains and High Plains

July, 2010
Regional Report

Protect Cherries from Birds

If you grow sweet or sour cherries in your homescape, protect them from the birds by draping trees with protective netting. Stake the netting down underneath the canopy of the tree to keep the birds from entering from the bottom. This also reduces the chances of birds getting trapped in the netting.

Deadhead Perennial Flowers

Keep perennials deadheaded as the flowers fade. You can dry many perennial flowers, such as yarrow, or use petals for potpourri. Removing the spent flowers will keep the garden tidy and encourage more blooms.

Divide Old Iris Clumps

Now is the time to lift and divide old clumps of bearded iris that are lagging behind in their blooming. Lift the clumps with a strong spading fork and divide. Keep the outermost rhizomes and discard the old, spent, center portion.

Adjust Lawn Mower

During the summer months, mow your lawn a bit higher, at 2 to 3 inches. This will help to shade the soil and reduce water loss. This also encourages a deeper root system that will become more drought resistant. Don't forget to keep the blade sharp for a clean, even cut.

Use Pesticides Carefully and Sparingly

Use pesticides only as a last resort. Minor pest problems can be controlled with good cultural practices. If you must use pesticides to control insect or disease problems, be sure to read the label thoroughly and carefully. Follow the directions "to the tee" to get the best results. Remember, vigorous, healthy plants will resist most problems.


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