Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Western Mountains and High Plains

May, 2011
Regional Report

Remove Tree Wrapping

Remember to remove tree wrap from young trees. Last year's protective cover can restrict growth and may girdle the bark of trees if left in place over the summer. Tree wrap can also harbor insect pests and diseases that damage the tender bark. A good rule of thumb: wrap new trees around Thanksgiving and remove the wrap around Easter.

Aerate the Lawn

If you haven't yet aerated the lawn, get to it. Core aeration that removes three to four-inch plugs is the best method, not golf shoes. A good aeration improves water infiltration, reduces soil compaction, and will control thatch buildup. You can leave the cores on the lawn or if you prefer, rake them up and put into the compost pile.

Prepare to Divide Old "Daffies"

My Italian aunt always reminded me to divide the "daffies" or daffodils. If yours are not blooming well and the clumps are quite old, make preparations to divide the plants. Mark the area where they are growing, let the foliage die down naturally, and lift and divide them in late summer or early fall.

Dig Clumps of Bunch Grass

Those bright green clumps of broader-leafed grass in your lawn are most likely bunches of tall fescue. Take a sharpened shovel and dig them out. Then, replace the spots with fresh sod. The new sod will root in and fill in the area quickly.

Replace Winter-killed Roses

Roses that have been killed by cold or winter desiccation need to be replaced. Shoots that arise from below the graft union will not result in the original rose you started with. Dig out the old plant and replace with a new, healthy rose bush.


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