Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Saving Seeds

In this CSU Extension fact sheet, we learn how to save seeds for planting next season. This is a great way to not only save money but to perpetuate the best of your produce.

"The art of saving seed has been practiced by Gardeners long before there were commercial seed producers. In fact, most of the vegetables and flowers we have today owe their existence to the fact that these early Gardeners, with an eye for quality, saved the seed of their best plants, sowed them the next year, and in this way improved the species.
In recent years, the responsibility for maintaining and improving vegetable seed has been assumed by seed companies; however, it is still possible for home Gardeners to save their own seed. To do so successfully, they must be familiar with the basics."

Read here for the basics.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Gnome- Gnapping? by Gardener Dave

A recent article in the Denver Post about kidnapped lawn gnomes prompted me to dabble a bit more into “Gnome Incidents” in other places and at other times.  Apparently they are popular – it’s almost a cult thing!   Stolen or not, they really are hot!  According to the Post article, one home in Arvada had nearly 150 gnomes stolen in late July of this year!  A couple of other links to gnome information and incidents are included below.

Hmmmmmm…  Scientists have done a lot of work sequencing the human genome – I wonder if anyone is working on the gnome genome?  It should be interesting – and strange!
Hey out there!  Do any of you bloggers have more “Gnome Capers” to share with us? 


Friday, September 24, 2010

Peaches and Squirrels by Heirloom Fan

I know this sounds like an odd combination, but this year I had an unusual “crop” of persistent squirrels visiting my trees and garden. Some people consider them cute and some are annoyed by them but however you feel about them, squirrels can do significant damage to your landscape and garden.
While squirrels are all part of our ecosystem, knowing how to safely control them is a must. Last year, my big challenge was that I had major damage to my garden due to the July hailstorm of 2009. This year I was looking forward to a big recovery and I was very happy to see that we had abundant peaches and apples, and that my vegetable garden was also doing well with producing tomatoes and other favorites. But it seemed as soon as the plants and trees became full of ripe fruit and vegetables, the number of visits to my yard by the squirrels also became “abundant”.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

10 Ways to Attract and Enjoy Birds this Fall - National Wildlife Federation

The National Wildlife Federation has this excellent article on attracting birds.  For some reason gardening and bird watching seem to go hand in hand!

10 Ways to Attract and Enjoy Birds this Fall - National Wildlife Federation

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Maria Rodale: Tomato Week: Easy Tomato Recipes & Tomato Plant Harvesting Tips

Here's a lot of information about what to do with an abundance of tomatoes.  I hope that is your problem, dear gardener!  It's been a strange year for tomatoes along the Front Range in Colorado.

Maria Rodale: Tomato Week: Easy Tomato Recipes & Tomato Plant Harvesting Tips

Monday, September 20, 2010

Fall Garden Tips (PHOTOS)

 Here's a slide show with some fall garden tasks for you to tackle.

"You've been weeding until your back hurts all summer, but your job isn't over yet. Before the frost sets in there is plenty to do in your garden to keep it healthy and beautiful, and set it up for the spring.  "

Fall Garden Tips (PHOTOS)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Houseplant Moving Day by Elaine Lockey

“Brrrrr” says my peace lily, “How do I look in this wool hat?” says my aloe.  Okay okay, I get the hint.  With temperatures dipping down into the 40’s at night our lovely tropical houseplants are ready to move to a warmer climate, that being your house.  Leaving them out too long in the cold will damage them and eventually kill them.
There is a bit of prep that you’ll want to do to get ready for your returning houseguests.  The first thing you’ll want to plan out is space. Chances are you’ve filled in the all the spots that your plants normally take with furniture or other d├ęcor.  Time to reshuffle the room and provide inviting spots that will give your plants plenty of sunlight.  Maximize space by using plant stands with multiple levels.  Get creative, plants can look good in any room of your house as long as it offers the amount of light levels that the plant needs. Plants like Sansevieria and pothos can handle lower light levels and can take up spots further into the room allowing plants like aloes and bromeliads the strongest light.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Fall Lawn Care by M J Lechner

It's only a matter of time before Jack Frost will be nipping at our noses and the woes of mowing and weeding will be distant memories....but wait! Before you hang up your garden hose, let's get down to 'grass tacks' and get your lawn prepped for fall.

**The first step in fall lawn care is to aerate. Aeration breaks up our Colorado clay soils and allows for moisture, fertilizer and grass seeds to settle in. Renting an aerator from a local nursery is one idea, but there are lots of companies willing to do this tiresome chore for you.
**Fall is the best time of year to fertilize Colorado's lawns. Promotions about "lawn winterization" may sound daunting, but there's nothing scary about it. Simply fertilize with nitrogen sometime during late September to early November along the Front Range, and earlier in the mountains.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Harvest Issue Colorado Gardener

Here's the most current issue of Colorado Gardener.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Potato Farmers Bitten By Nasty Texas Bug

 Mary Small blogged recently about psyllids affecting the home tomato garden.  It seems that it is doing horrible damage to the potato crop in Colorado also. Did you know that Colorado is the fourth largest potato producing state in the nation, behind Idaho, Washington and Wisconsin?

Potato Farmers Bitten By Nasty Texas Bug - Money News Story - KMGH Denver

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Impact of Water and Timing on Veggie Gardening by Gardener Cumax

Note: This is the third (and final) in a series by Gardener Cumax. You might also want to read: "The Impact of Soil on Veggie Gardening" (8/28/10) and "The Impact of Sun on Veggie Gardening" (9/9/10).
Life is a bowlful of tomatoes. Italian Heirloom, Mortgage Lifter, Crnkovic, German Pink (the original SSE offering) and Redfield Beauty compete for attention
All plants need it. Duh! And yet do not overlook this important variable: save for xeric plants, plants use water in proportion to the amount of light they receive. Cloudy days means plants need less water, but only if your soil is poor! If your soil is absolutely awesomely fertile, then too much water isn't even an issue on overcast days!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Impact of Sun on Veggie Gardening by Gardener Cumax

Note: this is the second in a series of blogs by Gardener Cumax. You might also want to read "The Impact of Soil on Veggie Gardening" posted on 8/28/10. 
Given that I've been fertilizing, the next variable is Sun. My garden is blocked from early morning sun by a huge silver maple tree. It's not until 11:30 am that the center of the garden gets full sun, and not until 1:00 pm that the area closest to the tree gets full sun.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Ash Coating on Leaves From Forest Fire in Boulder

Gardeners residing in north Jefferson County might be experiencing ash deposits on your garden as a result of the big fire in Boulder County.  If you are wondering if this will hurt the plants, here's what Dr. Jim Klett, Professor of Horticulture at CSU has to say: “This late in the season – September 7 – a lot of the trees and shrubs are starting to be ready to shed those leaves, they’re prepared for winter and a little ash won’t harm them.  They’ve already set buds for next year.”

Read the whole story here:

Ash coating on leaves from fire « Gardening after five

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Got Cracks in your Tomatoes? Here's Why

 We had question at the Belmar Farmers' Market about cracked tomatoes.  I was unsure as to the cause but Carol O'Meara from Boulder County explained all our summer tomato woes.  Seems it's weather, weather, and weather! 

Gardening after five

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Late Season Gardening Tips

 Here's some late season gardening tips from Larimer County master gardener.

Gardening tips | coloradoan.com | The Coloradoan

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Heirloom Tomato Tart by Janet Shangraw

Finally! It's time to harvest the heirloom tomatoes that I've been patiently waiting for all summer. I am so excited by the harvest of these beautiful varieties that I wanted to make a dish that would be just as interesting as the tomatoes. I have been experimenting for a couple of weeks with this tomato tart!

I planted Cherokee Purple, Green Zebras, and heirloom Roma tomatoes this spring. All three of these varieties are indeterminant tomato plants. Indeterminant plants have vines that keep growing through the growing season, extending fruit production until frost kills the vine. Plant size is typically large.
The Cherokee Purple tomatoes are a deep reddish purple color with a crown of green around the top when ripe. Be prepared for a pleasant surprise when cutting into a Cherokee Purple. When sliced, the flesh of the tomato is a very striking brick red color. This tomato has a very rich tomato flavor and is a little sweet. I am pretty pleased with this one.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

God and Grass

Jerry Peterson shared this funny observation about suburbanites and their lawns.  It is from a now defunct web newspaper called The San Francisco Call.  Have a good laugh!

 "We must really perplex God: he made us a perfect world and we have to change it. Imagine the conversation The Creator might have had with St. Francis on the subject of lawns."

 Read the complete article here:  god grass 8.16.02