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Add compost yearly and till into the soil; this works well for
flower beds and larger areas; replenishing the soil every year
with compost to give the soil its needed nutrients is important
for plant growth.
For container plants, a well-balanced potting soil is crucial,
your local professional will be happy to make a suggestion.
A water-soluble fertilizer will work on most flowers; using a
blossom-booster fertilizer works nicely as well.
Flowers that thrive along the Hi-Line include: roses, moss
roses, petunias, geraniums and marigolds.
The best time to plant is after the last frost; most people in the
area usually plant after June 1 just to be on the safe side.
Water when the top soil is dry; flowers in containers should
be watered more often than a flower bed.
Dead heading flowers (trimming off the dead flower) can
help the plant's growth; Lorrie Hansen added that plants such
as supertunias don't need to be deadheaded.
Kathy Doney said there are three things to keep in mind with
flowers: "You should fertilize, trim them up and give them
According to the Montana State University MontGuide, a mixture of Kentucky bluegrass, 60 percent; creeping red fescue,
30 percent; and perennial ryegrass, 10 percent, works for most lawns in unshaded areas. The mix should be seeded at a rate of
2 to 3 pounds per 1,000 square feet.
According to Joe Broesder, the Montana State University Hill County Extension agent, the best time to seed is late April
and May, however seeding in mid-August to mid-September will help with weed control and the grass has time to establish "a
deep root system." If grass seed is planted in the fall, fertilizer may not be needed until spring.
• Generally fertilizing should be done around Memorial Day, Labor Day and Columbus Day.
• The best time to water the lawn is in the early morning.
• If weeds are present, physically remove them or use an
For more information about getting a head start on the upcoming growing season, contact your local gardening and lawn professionals, or your local Extension agent. You just might get your green thumb.
* Growing zones are based upon the USDA plant hardiness and average minimum temperature ranges for a region. For more details and information on plants suited for the Hi-Line go to: http://thevegetablegarden.info/zones-2b-through-6a.
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