Saturday, January 21, 2017

Here They Come...Seed Catalogs! by Donna Duffy



Photo courtesy treehuggers.com
It's the stuff gardeners' dreams are made of: seed and nursery catalogs that fill our mailboxes in January and put us on the road to planning our next garden. Those catalogs are a lot more than a list of products the seed companies want to sell. They are encyclopedias of information that, among other things, tell us which plants won't grow in Colorado. That keeps us from throwing away money for plants destined to fail with our growing conditions. Dan Jewett, Denver County Master Gardener, offers the following information to get the most out of the seed catalogs that end up in your mailbox. 

Friday, January 20, 2017

URGENT: 2017 Spring Gardening Symposium Change of Location

Join us at the "Taj" for the 2017 Spring Gardening Symposium!
Take note! The 2017 Spring Gardening Symposium "Jump Start Your Garden the Right Way" has a new location. Please join us at the Jefferson County Municipal Courts Building, 100 Jefferson County Parkway (fondly known as the Taj) on Saturday, January 28th.  Check in begins at 7:45am and the exciting, information-packed program begins at 8:45.

It's not too late to register or find a friend to join you! Click here for the registration link. What a great way to spend a cold January day!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Nature's Beauty: Hoarfrost by Donna Duffy

Photo courtesy Colleen Hart, The Weather Channel Facebook Page

Sometime this winter, you may be fortunate enough to see hoarfrost in your landscape. But look quickly, because it will disappear with sunlight.

According to the Old English dictionary (c. 1290), hoarfrost is defined as "expressing the resemblance of white feathers of frost to an old man's beard." No, this isn’t frost on performance-enhancing drugs, but it can be quite different from your normal frost! Colleen Hart of The Weather Channel provides the following facts about hoarfrost.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Protecting Perennials in the Winter by Donna Duffy


Rudbeckia, photo by Donna Duffy
Colorado's relatively warm days and cold nights, extreme temperature fluctuations and drying winds can wreak havoc with many of our commonly planted perennials. Planttalk Colorado offers the following suggestions to protect your perennials over the winter.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Symposium Sneak Peak: Companion Planting by Dustin Foster


An example of trap cropping, photo courtesy organicfarmingblog.com
Separating the facts from fiction when it comes to companion planting can be tricky.  There are many “old wives tales” and practices learned from grandparents and parents.  Some actually, if not accidentally, have some scientific truth to them and some, not so much.  Once such scientific concept is called trap cropping.  Although it may not have been known as that back in the day, it is a scientifically proven companion concept.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Symposium Sneak Peak: Plentiful Container Vegetable Gardens by Jennifer Verpraskus


Photo courtesy harvesttotable.com
Container gardening can be a fun and easy way to grow vegetables as well as flowers in the Front Range. Quick and easy access to food, as well as utilizing small spaces and hard surfaces makes growing food in pots desirable. Container vegetable production is somewhat more demanding than growing flowers and other ornamentals, but it can be done following some simple guidelines.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Symposium Sneak Peak: Dreaming of Tomatoes by Sharon Tanaka

Photo courtesy gardeningknowhow.com
Here’s a quiz for you. Ask people what vegetable they would grow IF they could only grow one. What do you think they would choose? Eighty percent would say “tomatoes, of course!” And yet, tomatoes are one of the plants that bring the most questions to the Jefferson County Master Gardeners Hotline. Surprisingly, with the right information, tomatoes are one of the easiest and most successful vegetables that the home gardener can grow in Jefferson County. 

Monday, January 2, 2017

Symposium Sneak Peak: The 10 Easiest Vegetables to Grow in Colorado by Amy Bubar

Photo courtesy extension.unh.edu

The vegetable gardening season is over for most of us. And with winter just beginning, it might feel like next season is an eternity away. But the truth is that it’s never too early to start planning next year’s garden. In fact, now’s the prefect time to get started.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Monday, December 26, 2016

Symposium Sneak Peak: Vegetable Garden Planning - Why it Makes a Difference by Bill Orchard

Photo courtesy vegetablegardener.com

As the carpenter says, “measure twice, cut once,” so should the gardener say, “plan twice, avoid goof ups!” Planning ahead is the first way to avoid making costly mistakes when starting a vegetable garden. And now is the time to start planning. We are indoors for the next several months, so armchair gardening is the way to increase your knowledge – it will pay off when it comes time to start outside. It will make your garden a compliment to your existing landscape and provide you with an abundance of healthy vegetables.  Following are five best management practices to make planning go smoothly.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas!


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Celebrate the Winter Solstice by Donna Duffy


Photo BlueDotMusic

It feels like the days just can’t get any shorter, and it’s true. Today we celebrate the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. 

December Solstice (Winter Solstice) arrived at 3:44 am in Denver, today December 21, marking the moment that the sun shines at its most southern point (in case you are counting, the sun is about 91.473 million miles from earth today).  This day is 5 hours, 38 minutes shorter than on June Solstice. In most locations north of Equator, the shortest day of the year is around this date. To the delight of many of us, this means that the days will start getting longer, however incrementally.

The Winter Solstice is celebrated in many cultures around the world. It is a major pagan festival with rituals of rebirth having been celebrated for thousands of years. In the northern latitudes, midwinter's day has been an important time for celebration throughout the ages. Nova Scotians celebrate the Winter Solstice as Children's Day to honor their children and to bring warmth, light and cheerfulness into the dark time of the year. In pagan Scandinavia the winter festival was the yule (or juul). Great yule logs were burned, and people drank mead around the bonfires listening to minstrel-poets singing ancient legends. It was believed that the yule log had the magical effect of helping the sun to shine more brightly.