Thursday, March 21, 2024

Heat Mats for Indoor Seed Germination by Brenda Sterns

As March brings 50-60°F warm days combined with all the winter snows, our yards are showing slight signs of life. For many of us, this tinge of greenness ushers forth images of what our 2024 gardens will hold.  What will we grow – vegetables, annuals, perennials?   We know the last frost date is two months away and now is the time to start seeds indoors.  As you eagerly grab your seeds, pots, and soil to start your best garden ever, take a moment to think about heat mats.

Thursday, March 14, 2024

How Plants Communicate When in Danger by Nancy Shepard

Graphic: Phys Org

I’ve always loved the smell of a freshly mowed lawn. Little did I know that this smell is produced by the blades of grass signaling distress from being injured. Research has shown that plants emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the atmosphere upon mechanical damages or insect attacks. Undamaged neighboring plants sense the released VOCs as danger cues to activate defense responses against upcoming threats.

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Benefits of Snow in Your Garden by Jeffrey Blake


Photo: Artem Meletov

Snow indirectly contributes to nitrogen input in the soil through a process called atmospheric nitrogen deposition. Nitrogen is a crucial nutrient for plant growth, and it can be added to the soil in various forms, including through precipitation like snow.

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Is Plastic Mulch worth my time and money? By JoAnnette Charles

I thought that plastic mulch would make my gardening easier, and it can… but only if you do it correctly. It is typically used to increase the temperature of the soil to improve the yield of warm weather plants like tomatoes and peppers. I wanted the additional benefit of fewer weeds and less wind erosion since my community garden is in a very windy location. Next year, I will use it again, but I do things very differently based on what I’ve learned.

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Are Gnats in Your Home Making You Nuts? By Amy Norwood

Adult fungus gnat showing the distinctive, curved “Y” fork in the wings. 
Photo Credit: B. Schoenmakers, via Wikipedia.

Do you have tiny flying insects in your home?  These insects don’t pose a health risk to people or animals, but they are very annoying.  They can be controlled if you know which tiny flying insect you have.

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

A mysterious water drop (or two) on houseplants?! by Vicky Spelman


I found a drop of water on the tip of one of my dieffenbachia's leaves.  What?  I checked to see if there was a ceiling leak.  Thank goodness no, but... then what caused this water drop?  

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

What is Winter Sowing? By Cynthia Baldwin

Winter sowing is a method of starting seeds outdoors in winter. This method takes advantage of natural temperatures. You will not need to refrigerate seeds to satisfy cold stratification. Winter sowing involves sowing seeds in an enclosed container outside during winter, allowing them to germinate in spring. 

Friday, December 29, 2023

Christmas Tree Recycling 2024 by Vicky Spelman

Many municipalities across Colorado have free tree recycling or composting programs for holiday pines that have served their festive purpose.

What happens to the trees? In most cases, the trees are chipped and made into a mulch which is usually made available free to city or county residents. 

Trees must be stripped of all ornaments, hardware, strings of lights and tinsel.

Sunday, December 10, 2023

Tips for Care of Cut Christmas Trees by Vicky Spelman

Christmas Tree Farm Photo credit: Penn State Extension Master Gardener Program

Is your Christmas tree up? Did you get a fresh one?  Whether you cut your own tree or bought a pre-cut tree, here are some tips to make the most of your fresh tree. 

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Ready to plant an Amaryllis bulb for the Holidays? by Vicky Spelman

Courtesy: University of Minnesota Extension

Have you tried growing an amaryllis bulb for the Holidays?  Whether it’s your first bulb or your tenth, there is always lots of anticipation waiting for the beefy bulb to produce a flower - easy and fun to do.

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Forcing Paperwhites to Bloom by Vicky Spelman

Photo:  FreeImages

 Blooming houseplants are the best during the Winter months!  Gardeners and bulb lovers like to force bulbs to bloom during the winter holidays to brighten the days. 

Paperwhite narcissus bulbs are one of the easiest to force for cut flowers or ornamental displays in the home during the Holidays as they don’t need a chilling period to bloom, unlike tulips and hyacinths.  

Thursday, November 2, 2023

Utah Juniper: Nature's Caretaker by Charlotte Coles


Utah Juniper All photos by Charlotte Coles

The Utah Juniper, Juniperus osteosperma, is one of nature's caretakers. Utah Juniper is a multi-trunked tree or shrub. Roots are vast and shallow growing in gravelly loam or clay alkaline soil (pH 7.4-8.0). The Utah Juniper grows 0.5 inch per year and may live up to 600 years. They are best suited for elevations of 3000-8000 feet. This monoecious tree or shrub is able to reproduce in distant areas by wind or animals. Each berry contains 1-2 seeds and the staminate are small soft cones.