Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Great Pumpkin Recycle by Keith Rabin

Photo courtesy treehugger.com

This year, consider doing something beneficial, fun and productive with your pumpkins instead of relegating them to the landfill. There are many options that provide benefit to the soil, birds and wildlife.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

When Can I Pick My Apples (or Pears) by Joyce D'Agostino

Apples ready to harvest photo by Joyce D'Agostino
This time of year, some of us are fortunate to have fruit trees that are bearing fruit and are even overabundant. The question is, when do I know when my fruit really is ready to pick because often just judging by the color does not often mean that the fruit is ripe.
One good way is to first determine which variety of fruit you have and research when it typically is ready to harvest. Apples for example, have very early, early, mid-season and late season varieties and harvesting at the right time will result in the best results for canning or eating fresh.
Also, you may find that keeping up with a large harvest can be challenging,  Fruit may begin to drop from the tree or falls from windstorms and the cleanup can be considerable. Proper pruning of your trees not only helps the tree become more healthy but helps control better harvests.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Hello Yellow; Fall Flowers by Ann Moore

Chrysanthemums by Carol King
Have you noticed it? The days are slightly shorter and a little cooler.

It is time for the stately cottonwood trees along the irrigation canals, the many ash trees planted as street trees in many cities and of course Colorado’s famous aspens in the high country are turning yellow. There are many many traditional and familiar yellows that are apparent in the fall.

Chrysanthemums come in all shades of yellow from vivid gold to pale almost white and some have two shades on the same blossom. Chrysanthemums are best and easiest planted as container plants and now is the perfect time for next fall show.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Harvesting Peppers in the Fall by Joyce D'Agostino

Early jalapeno by Joyce D'Agostino
If you have grown sweet or hot peppers this season, now is the time to prepare to harvest what is left on the plants before the hard frost arrives. Peppers are tender annuals that prefer the warm weather, so will not tolerate frosts or extremely cold weather.
Purple Beauty Pepper by Joyce D'Agostino
Many peppers begin green and then will turn color as they mature or ripen. The taste and heat of the pepper can vary from the green state to when they turn a color. If your peppers are the hot variety, refer to the seed packet information to learn the Scoville units that rates the heat of the pepper. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Squash Pollination Tips by Sheilia Canada

Photo Hudson Farmers Market
I am having a lot of people ask me why their squash is not producing. Here are some tips and suggestions for bumping up your yield.

Firstly I will tell you I am not just a Colorado Master Gardener. I am also a Permaculturist. I practice many Indigenous and ancient gardening techniques that you may or may not have heard of. I do this because I find it makes sense for me as an organic gardener and Permaculturist. It creates balance in my garden and life.

So, lets look at our problem through this lense…

Problem = My squash is not producing. 
I have fertile well draining soil. 
I have it planted in full sun.
I am fertilizing with an organic 5-10-5 fertilizer.
I know squash are not self-pollinating. I need flowers & the pollen in them to cross to get any fruit.
I have lots of flowers. I STOP 
I look closer… Do I have any female flowers?