Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Uh-Oh! A "Blue Moon" Ends the OOs

It's a "Blue Moon" New Years Eve! This is a good omen for the 2010 planting season. Our wish for all  gardeners is a year with ample rain, no hail, early spring, warm summer, late fall frost, and a long harvest!  May your corn be as high as an elephant's eye; may you get blood from your turnips; may your cabbage be as large and wise as a man's head; may your tomatoes be lusty and if your fruit rots, may it become wine; may your artichokes have hearts; may your potatoes keep their eyes peeled; and may 2010 be the Dawning of the Age of Asparagus!

Happy New Year from the Jeffco Gardener Blog Team.

Read about the blue moon phenomenon here: - Press Releases - Uh-Oh! A "Blue Moon" Ends the OOs

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Tree Recycling by Donna Duffy

That lovely, fragrant cut tree you bought weeks ago has probably seen better days by now. It’s time to get it out of the house! Following are three options for recycling the tree once you’ve removed all of the decorations and tinsel. One caution: don’t burn the tree in your fireplace – the pitch content in the bark and needles can cause them to burst into flames from the intense heat.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Garden Song-Merry Christmas

Dear Gardeners,

Jefferson County CSU Extension Colorado master gardener bloggers would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Please enjoy this video of children dancing to The Garden Song (by David Mallett) at The American Horticultural Society's River Farm.  

Here's another version performed by that great philosopher/folk musician, Arlo Guthrie.  As gardeners, we will all appreciate the alternative lyrics that include: "Slug by slug, weed by weed, boy this garden's got me teed!"

Here's to a productive and prosperous new year!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Tree Blight in Frasier Fir

I have not seen Fraiser fir Christmas trees in my small search in Wheatridge.  The local greenhouse seemed to have only Douglas and Noble.  However, I found this video  interesting even though this blight is currently affecting trees in North Carolina.  We know from past experience how quickly a tree disease can spread across the county.

Video - Christmas Tree Blight |

Friday, December 18, 2009

Real Christmas Trees 'Greener' than Fake

It may not sound like "tree-hugging," but cutting down a real tree for Christmas is actually greener than going with the artificial kind, one scientist says.
"It is a little counterintuitive to people," said Clint Springer, a biologist at Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia.
Because of concerns over deforestation around the world, many people naturally worry that buying a real tree might contribute to that problem, Springer says. But most Christmas trees for sale these days are grown not in the forest but on tree farms, for the express purpose of being cut.

Read the whole story here:

Real Christmas Trees 'Greener' than Fake | LiveScience

Of course, there is controversy with this as well.  There is a group of tree growers who are looking to influence Christmas Tree Farms to change the way in which they grow trees.  Without pesticides, and utilizing real environmental conditions using sustainable farming practices.  Read more HERE.

Nothing is simple, dear gardener, even the Christmas tree choice!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Good Reads for Gardeners

Got that "garden withdrawl" feeling this winter? Feeling those "wish I could garden" blues? Try snuggling up with one of these good reads recommended by Jefferson County Master Gardener, Carol King. They would also make a great gift for a fellow gardener.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Local News | Rare Tree Stolen from Seattle Arboretum

Some grinchy news out of Washington State:  A  7-foot conifer, one of the park's rarest specimens, an imperiled species collected from the mountainous Yunnan province in China was stolen last week. It is assumed that someone wanted a Christmas tree!

Local News | Rare tree stolen from Washington Park Arboretum | Seattle Times Newspaper

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Picking a Poinsettia

There is more to picking a poinsettia than just going in the store and buying one you like.

Dr. Steven Newman, Greenhouse Crops Extension Specialist and Professor of Floriculture at Colorado State University who is a specialist in poinsettias gives this advice:

Picking a poinsettia « Gardening after five

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Garden Gnomes for Christmas

No doubt many a gardener will receive a  garden gnome for Christmas.  They are available at all the garden shops, big box stores, and even the grocery store in the produce section!  So why are gnomes given to gardeners?

Gnomes first appeared in European folklore as benevolent creatures who rewarded the good behavior of farmers, merchants, and housewives with assistance in fields, shops, and gardens at night. They also thought to ward off thieves from stores of grains and vegetables in barns. Why wouldn't any self respecting gardener want one or several?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Building a Straw Bale Greenhouse: Phase 2 by Gardener Cumax

The straw bales were laid on top of the foundation. Then the RBA (roof bearing assembly) was laid out on top of the bales. The RBAs consist of 2 sheets of 20" wide by 22/32" thick quality plywood. They were screwed together, and then a thin 1" x 4" screwed to that to act as a rail or guide so the RBA didn't slip and slide off. Each corner was pre-assembled so as to be perfectly square. The tall X at the far end is my doorframe. It's 4' wide and perfectly centered.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Hybrid Poplar Trees Help Farm Families

During a recent trip to New Mexico, I happened on this article about some interesting work being done at New Mexico State University. Hybrid poplar trees are being tested to help remediate old uranium processing sites as well as providing resources for farm families.  Fascinating research; perhaps "Mother Nature" can help clean up the environment!

News from The Associated Press

Friday, December 4, 2009

Wrap up trees for the season « Gardening after five

 Dear gardener, you know that little tree you planted in the spring? You know how you carefully planted, watered and tended it ?  That little tree needs for you to do two more things to help it survive a Colorado winter. First, water it if we don't get appreciable moisture every month.  Winter watering is extremely important.  Second, wrap that little tree.  Here's an article that explains the importance of putting your arms around your tree!

Wrap up trees for the season « Gardening after five

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Favorite Gifts for Gardeners by Donna Duffy

Throughout the year, and especially during the winter holidays, I often want to buy a special gardening gift for a friend. So I polled twelve gardeners to see what gift they’d most like to receive. Here’s their list (in random order):