Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Western Mountains and High Plains

April, 2012
Regional Report

Water Properly

Newly planted seeds and emerging seedlings need careful watering. Keep the soil mixture moist, but not soggy. Young seedlings are prone to damping off when kept too wet. Outdoors, newly planted seeds need more frequent watering to offset wind and dry weather.

Be Prepared to Protect Plants

Since we're in a season of unpredictable weather, be prepared to cover tender plants when frost threatens. Use wooden stakes to support sheets or blankets over the plants. Bamboo stakes work great in container gardens and will support a cover placed over your more tender annuals.

Support Floppy Peonies

Now is the time to install supports over perennial plants that tend to flop over. Peonies are best kept upright with wire supports set around the plants while they are still small. The foliage will soon hide the wire cage. In contrast, trying to tie up toppling plants is frustrating and often unsightly.

Use Row Covers

Protect seedbeds from marauding sparrows and other birds. Once seedlings are a couple of inches tall, it is usually safe to remove the covers. It is important to remove covers once the plants begin to flower so pollinators can go to work.

Plant Slow Germinators in Rows

Carrots, parsnips, beets, and others are best planted in rows rather than scattering in a bed. It makes it easier to differentiate between weeds and the intended crop seedlings. And you can stay ahead of the weeds that come up between the rows.


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