Monday, May 4, 2015

Spring Pruning of Roses by Donna Duffy

Hybrid Tea Peace Rose before pruning

Sharpen your pruners and grab your gloves – it’s finally time to prune the roses! In Colorado, the best time to prune roses is around the end of April, after the danger of frost. By now, the roses have broken dormancy, and have lots of green growth.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Help for Lawn and Garden Problems by Donna Duffy

It’s starting to be that time of year – our yards can be a delight or a headache. Does your lawn look lousy? Are you bugged by bugs? Are your perennials puny? The good news is that help is just a phone call or click away. Here are five great resources to help you solve your home yard and gardening challenges.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Gardening Power to the People: Container Gardening

Would you like to grow vegetables but are short on space? In this short video, Molly Niven, Jefferson County Colorado Master Gardener, gives you specific steps to grow herbs and vegetables successfully in containers.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Tetanus: An Important Reminder for Gardeners by Sally Berriman

Cartoon by Microbiology2009
Last spring my girlfriend and I were constructing large tomato cages by bending metal fencing into a circle then securing it with wire and snipping off the excess fencing.  The fencing wasn’t cooperating and both of us sustained a number of scratches from the rusty metal.  Jokingly we started talking with our jaws clenched as if we had lockjaw.  After we had made a few cages and called it a day, I was washing my wounds and wondering when I last had a tetanus booster.  Not knowing how current I was, I “googled” tetanus to see if I was actually in imminent danger of having to eat everything through a straw.  This is what I discovered.

Tetanus is a serious infection.  It is caused by the bacteria Clostridium tetani which can be found almost everywhere in the natural environment.    If the bacteria gets into the body it can produce a toxin that can spread systematically throughout the body and interfere with the central nervous system, producing muscle stiffness, spasms, or rigidity and the infamous locked jaw.  Tetanus is potentially fatal.  Without treatment, one out of four infected people die.  Yikes!  Tetanus has a mortality rate of 25% in the U.S. and 50% worldwide. There are currently no blood tests that can be used to diagnose tetanus.  The diagnosis is based on the presence of tetanus symptoms. If you are infected, it can take a while for the symptoms to present themselves; anywhere from eight days to a few months.  It basically depends on how far from the central nervous system the toxin entered the body.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Small Moths in the Home by Carol King

Have you noticed small moths flying around your home?  You probably have an infestation of Indian Meal Moth.  This is a very common moth problem in Colorado and is caused by an infestation on grain, grain products, dried fruits, dried vegetables, seeds, nuts, graham crackers, powdered milk and dog food. Control of Indian meal moths requires a thorough search of all dried food, including things like bird seed that can be overlooked. My infestation was from sunflower seeds stored in the garage.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Earth Day is Wednesday, April 22! by Audrey Stokes

Each year, Earth Day marks the anniversary of what many consider the birth of the modern environmental movement which began in 1970. At the time, Americans were slurping leaded gas through massive V8 sedans. Industry belched out smoke and sludge with little fear of legal consequences or bad press. Air pollution was commonly accepted as the smell of prosperity. “Environment” was a word that appeared more often in spelling bees than on the evening news. 

The April 22 Earth Day, founded by Senator Gaylord Nelson, was first organized in 1970 to promote ecology and respect for life on the planet as well as to encourage awareness of the growing problems of air, water and soil pollution.

The first Earth Day, 1970 
  • capitalized on the emerging consciousness,
  • channeled the energy of the anti-war protest movement,
  • put environmental concerns front and center ,
  • achieved a rare political alignment, enlisting support from Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, city slickers and farmers, tycoons and labor leaders, 
  • led to the creation of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the passage of the Clean AirClean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.

Gardening Power to the People: Attracting Pollinators to Your Garden

It's that time of year to think about flowering plants to add to your landscape this year. In this short video, Rebecca Anderson, Jefferson County Colorado Master Gardener, gives you tips for attracting bees and other pollinators to your garden.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Planting Warm Season Vegetables by Donna Duffy

Photo courtesy CSU Extension
Yes, it's officially Spring! On those warm 60+ degree days, it's tempting to get your warm season vegetables into the ground. Before you take that leap, here's advice from PlantTalk Colorado that may save you time and disappointment.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Recommended Fruit Tree Varieties for Colorado Front Range by Carol King

Photo CSU Extension
Growing fruit trees along the Front Range in Colorado can be challenging but also satisfying.  Late frosts, heavy spring snows, and several pests and diseases make this interesting to say the least!  However, in successful years, the gardener can be blessed with bumper crops of apples, cherries, plums, and often peaches and apricots.

Here are some varieties that are considered among the best for success in Colorado  recommended by J. R. Feucht, former Landscape-Plant Specialist, CSU Extension; and Curtis Utley, Jefferson County CSU Extension.

The more reliable varieties are:
  • Cox Orange. Aromatic dessert apple. Yellow flesh.
  • Red Delicious. A good winter apple and very resistant to fire blight.
  • Golden Delicious. A fall apple of good flavor that bears sooner than most varieties.  Also a good variety to plant with other apple trees to ensure good pollination.
  • McIntosh.  An all-purpose red apple.
  • Johnathan.  A popular apple but fairly susceptible to fire blight.
  • Fameuse.  Old variety similar to McIntosh.
  • Goldrush, Pristine, Liberty, Empire, Honeycrisp, Arkansas Black, Sweet 16, Hazen, Winecrisp, Pixie Crunch, Sir Prize, Williams Pride, Fireside, and Jonafree are also recommended by Mr Utley.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Lumps and Bumps on Aspen by Joyce D'Agostino

Photo Utah State University Extension
Recently as I was doing some spring garden cleanup, I noticed a bare sapling in the corner of my yard that had lumps and bumps on most of the trunk and branches.
I was curious what could cause this and if it was harmful to that tree or possibly other plants in my garden. In doing some research I learned that these swellings on the wood are cause by the “Poplar Twiggall Fly” (Hexomyza shineri). This insect burrows into the wood and as it feeds, which produces a swelling on the limbs and trunk which are called galls. Often the plant has these galls for several seasons and the gardener does not immediately notice them because they can be obscured by leaves. This insect prefers to invade cottonwoods, poplars and especially aspens.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Gardening Power to the People: Raised Bed Gardening

Gardening in Colorado's clay soil can be difficult, and raised beds are an alternative. Barbara LaRowe, Jefferson County Colorado Master Gardener, provides helpful information about gardening in raised beds.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Spring Lawn Care by Donna Duffy

Spring has finally arrived and it’s time to start thinking about spring lawn care again. Here are some basics to get your lawn off to a good start.