Monday, November 28, 2011

Fertilizer Safety by Joyce D'Agostino

I recently received a call on the Master Gardener hotline from a consumer in Jefferson County who wanted to know which fertilizer that we could recommend to him that was “pet safe”. He planned to use fertilizer on his lawn and garden in the future and wanted to be sure that his pets would not be harmed should they be exposed to the fertilizer when it was applied.

While the Master Gardeners do not typically endorse or promote a specific product, my first suggestion to him was to be sure that he bought his fertilizer from a reputable source and carefully read the label.  Some consumers may not be aware that the label information on products like fertilizer, pesticides and herbicides are actually legal statements. The companies that make these products are obligated to outline on their label the components of their product, how it should be used and any safety guidelines that the person must use to handle and apply their product. In addition it should tell what to do if a person or animal is exposed to their product.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tomatoes for Thanksgiving by Duane Davidson

I've volunteered to provide the salad for this year's Thanksgiving dinner. I plan to show off my fresh home-grown tomatoes. I always try to have a taste of my own tomatoes as late as the beginning of December. You could, too. Here's how.

I grow tomatoes mostly in containers these days. A couple of the containers are lightweight pots of manageable size. (Mine are made of a foam material, but sturdy plastic would do.) They spend the summer in my backyard. At the end of the season I bring them inside when an overnight freeze is expected. But they go back out into the sunshine every time the temperature reaches 50 degrees. I don't expect the plants to continue blooming and setting fruit, but this is a good way to let existing fruit ripen – more or less naturally.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Denver Urban Gardens Wins Grant!

Congratulations to Denver Urban Gardens!

RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post

From the Denver Post:

" More than 25 years' experience with community gardens helped Denver Urban Gardens win a $70,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's People's Garden Grant Program.  The money will be used to develop 14 new gardens in the next two years, adding to Denver Urban Gardens' network of 114 community gardens, which produce more than 294 tons of food each year. "

Read the whole story here.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Aconitum - A Plant with a Dark Side

“Even those who are pure of heart, and say their prayers at night, can become a wolf, when the wolfsbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright.” 

You might remember hearing that popular rhyme while watching the old werewolf movie “The Wolfman”.  Wolfsbane, also known as monkshood, is a member of the Aconitum genus of over 250 plants.  Aconitum species are popular and attractive ornamental perennials that enjoy shady moist garden sites, but beware, they are also considered some of the deadliest plants in the world.

The myths and fear surrounding Aconitum are based on real-life danger.  Every part of the plant is poisonous especially the leaves, roots and seeds. The principal alkaloids are aconite and aconitine.  Aconitine is thought to be the main toxin causing severe gastrointestinal upset, followed by cardiac symptoms and eventually death if enough has been taken in. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

How Did Your Garden Grow? by Donna Duffy

Autumn is the perfect season to step back and reflect on the successes and challenges you experienced in your garden this summer. Grab your garden journal and take a walk around your yard. Jot down detailed notes – your memory may fade over the long winter months. Consider the following:

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Help For Storm Damaged Trees by Carol King

CSU Extension
Many Front Range residents awoke on Wednesday to find that their trees had been further damaged by Colorado's second major fall snowstorm of 2011. It seems that we are not catching a break this year!  Perhaps you are wondering just what to do about it.

The Colorado State Forest Service offers these first aid tips for dealing with damage.

Read about it here.