Magazine article Sunset

Your CHECKLIST

Magazine article Sunset

Your CHECKLIST

Article excerpt

ROCKY MOUNTAINS

PLANT

After picking the last of the spring-planted peas, remove leaves and roots to add to your compost pile. In the empty spot, start seeds of Swiss chard, a biennial that germinates when the soil temperature is 85 ° or below. Keep the soil moist. When sprouts appear, mulch them with straw or organically grown grass clippings to keep the soil cool and prevent moisture loss.

MAINTAIN

Prune once-blooming roses like 'Banshee', 'Félicité Parmentier', and red-leafed Rosa glauca after they finish flowering by cutting back leggy growth and removing twigs, suckers, and dead canes.

Pull out and compost coolseason crops such as lettuces, mustards, and radishes after they send up seed stalks and become bitter and woody. If you like, leave a few in the garden and allow them to set seeds to feed small finches.

Keep water from collecting any place in your yard where it could create a breeding site for mosquitoes. Store wheelbarrows and buckets upside down, and check pot saucers daily. Once a week, flush container plantings until water runs out of the drainage holes.

On very hot days, check the soil in container plantings twice a day-once at daybrack and again at dusk-and water whenever it feels dry.

If powdery mildew, a fungal disease that causes white patches on vegetables and flowers, is a problem, prune off affected parts and toss into the trash, stop overhead watering, thin plants to prevent overcrowding, and spray with neem oil.

HARVEST

When pulling out the low-spreading, yellow-flowered succulent weed purslane, save a few of these nutrient-rich sour greens to add to salads and stir-fries. …

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