Monday, June 28, 2010

Trees Not Leafing? Here's Why by Mary Small and Robert Cox

    Many Front Range trees and shrubs are not leafing well, leafing slowly or appear to be dead.  A number of these were injured by the severe cold snap last October 8-9, 2009. The damaged plants had not fully “hardened off” when temperatures took their sudden drop.  (Hardening off is a natural, gradual process that prepares woody plants to survive cold winter temperatures.) 

In some cases, affected plants were already stressed by environmental conditions and predisposed to further damage from the cold. Numerous ash were already struggling with “ash decline” or borers.  Some catalpas had verticillium wilt, a fungal disease that attacks conductive tissue and weakens plants.
 Trees and shrubs that received late summer or early fall irrigation and nitrogen fertilizer remained succulent rather than hardening off and were more prone to cold injury. 

 A significant amount of dieback has been observed on rose, spirea, blue mist spirea, honeylocust, crabapple, ash, Amur maple, red oak, catalpa, hackberry and others.  Some trees with dead tops are just now pushing shoot growth from latent buds in the trunk. Any trees showing this type of growth will generally not develop into strong landscape trees and should probably be removed. 

For more information, call the Jefferson County, CSU Extension at 303-271-6620.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

“Babylon HRP5” – Hanging Rotating Planter – Project Update by Gardener Dave

For some of you, this will be the first report on my 2010 spring project. The project is nearly complete.  The solar panel was added the week of June14th and the planter is now rotating exclusively on solar power.  It starts its rotation at ~1.5RPH when the solar panel output exceeds 15V.  Full sunshine directly on the panel produces approx. 21-22V, which I regulate to 12V, then route to the motor. More details are available on earlier reports.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Noxious Weeds

Spending the day weeding usually puts me in a noxious state of mind. Especially when I notice that many of my weeds are on "the list".  Yes there is a list.  Here's a great web site that will tell you all about "them".

"Weeds are native or non-native plants that are unwanted in a particular area at a particular time.  Change the area and the time and the plant might be desirable or even cultivated.
     When weeds become so wide-spread that they threaten crops, livestock, or native species, they may become more than just a "weed".  They may then find themselves on a state list of plants to be attacked in a methodical manner with state support.  They might then be termed "noxious weed",  "invasive species", "exotic species", "alien species", or some similar term as set forth in law by each governing body.  
     These noxious weeds find their way into new areas via boats, planes, soles of shoes, imported animals and agricultural products, etc.  With increasing frequency, these most dangerous of  weeds are causing the extermination of native flora and fauna from larger and larger areas."

Read here for more information:

 Noxious Weeds

Monday, June 21, 2010

Spice Things Up with Salsa Gardens that Sizzle

 Our neighbors to the North (Larimer County Master Gardeners) have a great idea for a "theme" garden. I've tried salsa gardening and my chilis didn't produce and my cilantro bolted.  Perhaps using the varieties she recommends would have a better effect!
Read all about it:

Spice things up with salsa gardens that sizzle | | The Coloradoan

Saturday, June 19, 2010

A Summer Bummer: Aphids in the Garden by MJ Lechner

You have a cup of coffee in your hand as you stroll through your garden in the early spring morning, enjoying all the new sights and smells.  As you approach the roses, you notice something is not quite right- large clusters of white are covering the new shoots…  what the devil?  Oh no!  APHIDS!
What are they?
Aphids, also known as plant lice or greenflies, are small plant-eating insects, and members of the superfamily Aphidoidea. Aphids are soft-bodied insects that use their piercing sucking mouthparts to feed on plant sap. They usually occur in colonies on the undersides of tender ‘terminal growth’ (at the ends of the leaves). Heavily-infested leaves can wilt or turn yellow because of excessive sap removal. While the plant may look bad, aphid feeding generally will not seriously harm healthy, established trees and shrubs.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Take a Walk on the Wild Side by Donna Duffy

The wildflowers are spectacular right now,  and with the recent rain, will just be getting better! Grab your hiking boots and explore one of the many mountain parks in our area. You may see some of these lovely Colorado natives.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Urban Gardens Germinate Seeds of Better Health in Denver

In Denver, groups such as Feed Denver, Revision International, the GrowHaus, Denver Urban Gardens, Slow Food Denver, the University of Colorado's Learning Landscapes program and Sprout City Farms may have different approaches and differing philosophies. But all share one thing: They are bringing lettuce lifelines, one neighborhood at a time, to a nation drowning in high-fructose corn syrup.

Read more about it here:

Urban gardens germinate seeds of better health in Denver - The Denver Post

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Gardening Website from the USDA

Here's a great web site from the United States Department of Agriculture.  Packed with garden information!!

Look here:


Monday, June 14, 2010

Recycle Those Garden Pots!

 Did you know that gardeners cell packs, flats, and assorted nursery pots alone account for over 320 million pounds of waste annually to landfills each year.  And we think we are being "green" gardening!

Here's a list of garden centers in Colorado who will take your used garden pots and send them off to the recycler to create other products!

Recycling | Garden Centers of Colorado

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Add Annuals for Drama in the Garden

 Here are the top ten annuals from the Colorado State University's Annual Trials. Held yearly near the campus in Fort Collins, the trials test plants in pots and in the ground to determine which will stand up in our heat.

Read more:

Add annuals for drama in the garden - Boulder Daily Camera

Friday, June 11, 2010

Create a Garden of the West

The horticulture education coordinator in Ft Collins shares ideas about just what makes a western garden.

Create a garden of the West | | The Coloradoan

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Gardening Tips: Try Three-sisters Method with Vegetables

 One of our sister master gardeners in Larimer County shares this unique method to grow squash, corn, and beans!

Gardening tips: Try three-sisters method with veggies | | The Coloradoan

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

20 Masterpieces of Green Graffiti

Okay, gardeners, let your inner "tagger" express him or herself!  How about producing this kind of graffiti all over Jefferson  County, Colorado!

20 Masterpieces of Green Graffiti

How to Make Moss Murals

I'll meet you at dusk with my green milkshake of "moss paint"!  Where shall we begin?

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Urinate on the Compost Heap to Save the Planet

I know, dear gardener, I know, but....consider the West and consider our water troubles.  Leave it to the British to develop what may become commonplace garden practices!!

Urinate on the compost heap to save the planet says the National Trust - Telegraph

Or not?

Friday, June 4, 2010

Growing edible plants in pots

Rob Proctor, our local garden guru gives his take on growing veggies in pots. | Denver | Colorado's Online News Leader | PROCTOR'S TIPS: Growing edible plants in pots

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Big Colorful Cannas by Gardener Dave

The Canna Lily is one flower that is frequently overlooked by Front Range gardeners. Perhaps the tropical nature of this showy plant gives pause to raising it in our climate of rapid temperature changes, or perhaps the stated need to dig them up in the fall and store them over winter intimidates many.
Cannas grow from large, starchy rhizomes. Interestingly, they are not true lilies, but are more closely related to gingers and bananas, hence the broad attractive leaves the plant produces. When the rhizomes dry, they may look dead, but will quickly revive and swell when water is applied to their soil.

Gardening Tips: Healthy Soil

Here's a great article about building healthy soil in the Intermountain West. It's different here than in other parts of the country.

Gardening Tips: Healthy Soil | Boulder County Home & Garden Magazine