Friday, August 17, 2018

Fruit Fly Control by Carol King

Fruit flies
This time of the year, when your counter if full of ripening fruit and the compost bin is loaded with peelings, seeds, and all the residue of the wonderful produce available this season, we find a problem pest flying around.  That annoying little creature we call the fruit fly.  

Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University Cooperative Extension Entomology Specialist gives us this information about the fruit fly. 

"Vinegar flies, also known as small fruit flies, commonly develop in overripe or decaying fruit and vegetable matter. They are minute, light brown flies with orange-red eyes and rarely are they found very far from the fruit bowl. Numbers tend to build in late summer. If conditions are suitable and food is present, they may breed indoors.

Although associated with fruit, developing vinegar flies actually feed on yeasts. To eliminate a vinegar fly problem, use up overripe fruit, refrigerate it or discard it. At the same time, give attention to other breeding sites. Vinegar flies may, for example, breed in the moist residue that remains in the bottom of beer bottles or soft drink cans, as well as in other areas where moist organic matter allows for yeast growth. After all such food sources are removed, some residual adults may remain for a week or so, but ultimately will die out."

Also clean sinks and drains, empty indoor compost pails and set out baited traps. Here's and article on how to make your own fruit fly trap: lancaster.unl.edu/pest/resources/fruitflytrap.shtml


Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Debunking a Hot Weather Watering Myth by Donna Duffy

Photo courtesy ehow.com

Perhaps you’ve heard it said that “watering plants on a hot sunny day will scorch their leaves”. It’s a myth! The following information, provided by Linda Chalker-Scott, PhD, Extension Horticulturist at Washington State University, debunks that myth once and for all!

Friday, August 3, 2018

How to Use Your Harvested Rainwater (Video)

If you have installed a rain barrel, here are best practices for using the water.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Celebrate Colorado Day!

Columbine, Aquilegia caerulea, Colorado state flower, www.statesymbolsusa.org
On August 1, 1876, president Ulysses S. Grant signed a proclamation admitting Colorado as a state. Colorado Day was celebrated as a state holiday on August 1 for many years, and then was moved to the first Monday in August, most likely after the time the U.S. Congress passed the Uniform Holidays Bill in 1968. The day no longer became a public holiday, but rather an observance, when the state started observing Martin Luther King Jr Day as a public holiday in 1985.  

Following are some Colorado natives that have earned designation as a state symbol.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Summer Mystery: Powdery Mildews by Olivia Tracy

Photo courtesy of M. Grabowski, UMN Extension
If you’ve gone out to your peonies and found that they look like someone dusted them with talcum powder, you likely have a case of powdery mildew. Varieties of powdery mildew can affect almost every type of plant (although particular infections are host-specific), and the leafy portions of the plant are typically most affected. The original whitish-gray, powder-like growth will eventually turn brown, and then black, and can ultimately cause leaves or buds to drop off the plant.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Five Things to Know For a Successful Fall Vegetable Garden by Patti O’Neal


Plant Lettuce now for Fall Harvest photo CSU Extension
Front Range weather has been especially challenging to gardeners this season.  After a fairly dry winter, spring presented with cold nights, freak snow storms, scorching heat and pounding rain and hail – and all of a sudden it’s mid July and we have had scorching heat!  But take heart.  One of the nicest growing seasons is yet to come; fall. 

There are many vegetables that will happily germinate from seed in the warm summer soil and thrive in the cooler temperatures of fall once they mature, and even taste better after a cold snap. This includes about 20 varieties of leaf and head lettuce, Swiss chard, radishes, kale, about 6 varieties of spinach, many oriental greens, onions, cilantro, peas, beets, turnips, arugula, carrots, kohlrabi and collards.  Even better news is that thinnings of all of these vegetables can be used in salads or soups.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

How to Harvest Summer Squash (Video)

Fine Gardening show us the nuances of harvesting summer squash.

The Cicadas are Singing!

Dog-day Cicada, Neotibicen canicularis
Did you know that Colorado has 26 species cicadas, all of the order Hemiptera?  It seems like the cicadas are earlier than usual this summer, I heard the first one in my garden at dusk in mid-July.  That's a bit disconcerting because according to folklore, the first cold spell arrives about 6 weeks after the first cicada serenade. But that's just folklore, right? Following are some interesting facts about cicadas.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Create a Monarch Waystation




Monarch Watch is a nonprofit educational outreach program based at the University of Kansas that focuses on the monarch butterfly, its habitat, and its spectacular fall migration. 

Monarch Watch strives to provide the public with information about the biology of monarch butterflies, their spectacular migration, and how to use monarchs to further science education in primary and secondary schools. We engage in research on monarch migration biology and monarch population dynamics to better understand how to conserve the monarch migration. We also promote protection of monarch habitats throughout North America. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Mid-summer Lawn Care: Watering by Donna Duffy


Photo courtesy Donna Duffy
Here we are in the heat of July, and your lawn watering practices may need to be altered from those that were effective in spring and early summer. Following are mid-summer watering tips from Dr. Tony Koski, CSU Extension Turf Specialist.

Follow watering programs encouraged or mandated in your community
  • Water the lawn whenever it is allowed.
  • Disregard for required community watering practices can result in substantial fines and may encourage communities to enact even stricter watering restrictions.
  • Contact your local water utility for information on your local watering restrictions.

Effective lawn irrigation requires an understanding of how the irrigation system operates, as well as ongoing maintenance of sprinkler heads
  • Learn how to program your control clock so that you irrigate according to the schedule mandated for your community.
  • Set the clock so that irrigation occurs between 6PM and 10 AM (or as otherwise mandated).
  • Repair or replace broken irrigation heads.
  • Adjust irrigation heads to avoid throwing water on streets, driveways, and other hardscape.
  • If you find that adjusting or repairing your irrigation system is too time-consuming or challenging, hire an irrigation or landscape management specialist to perform this important work.
  • Your lawn care company professional may be willing to program your irrigation control clock for you.
  • Contact your local water provider for information on conducting an irrigation audit; some lawn care companies, landscape management firms, or irrigation installation firms will conduct an audit of your irrigation system for a modest fee.

Even with unlimited watering per irrigation zone on a twice-weekly basis, lawns often will show signs of stress
  • Summer root stress reduces the ability of root systems to use water.
  • Stress will first appear in areas where irrigation coverage is lacking.

The application of wetting agents specifically developed for use on turf is recommended to reduce the occurrence of water repellent conditions in lawns
  • Wetting agents can benefit lawns subjected to extreme drying over the past few months by promoting better infiltration of water into the soil; summer use may reduce the occurrence and/or severity of dry spots in the lawn (but will NOT totally compensate for poor irrigation coverage).
  • Wetting agents are available in both granular and liquid forms; granular formulations are often easier for homeowners to apply.
  • The use of dishwashing detergents and other soaps in place of turf-type wetting agents is not recommended and may damage heat- and drought-stressed lawns.
  • The incorporation of water-absorbing polymers (sometimes called "hydrogels") into new or existing lawns does NOT reduce lawn water requirements and is not recommended for Colorado lawns.

Curtis Utley, Jefferson County CSU Extension Horticulture Agent, conducting a Lawncheck with a Golden resident
If you need help diagnosing turf problems, schedule a Lawncheck through Jefferson County CSU Extension.
Lawncheck is an on-site, lawn consultation service for a fee. A Colorado State University Extension professional will contact you to make an appointment and discuss cost. Service includes recommendations for improving your lawn and solving insect, disease and other lawn problems. To schedule a Lawncheck appointment, call Jefferson County CSU Extension at 303-271-6620.
  




Thursday, July 12, 2018

Gardening Under Cover by Joyce D'Agostino

Photo courtesy Joyce D'Agostino
Most gardeners have to deal with a variety of weather and growing conditions each season. These challenges can include early or late frosts, too much rain or too little, excessive heat or a variety of garden pests or diseases.

Here in Colorado, many parts of our state lie within a band that goes through the US and is known for hail damage. Protecting your plants from this damage is a necessity if you want to see your garden grow from early planting to fall harvests and what is the best way to protect.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

What's Bugging my Roses? by Donna Duffy

It’s that time in early summer when roses come into full bloom. Their beauty and fragrance make them the superstars of the early summer garden. Undeservedly, roses have a reputation for being difficult to grow. In fact, very few rose diseases are found in typical Colorado growing conditions, primarily due to our high altitude and dry conditions. Even so, your roses may become afflicted with a rose pest or disease. Here are four common rose problems and their controls, courtesy of the Denver Rose Society.