Thursday, April 30, 2015

Help for Lawn and Garden Problems by Donna Duffy

It’s starting to be that time of year – our yards can be a delight or a headache. Does your lawn look lousy? Are you bugged by bugs? Are your perennials puny? The good news is that help is just a phone call or click away. Here are five great resources to help you solve your home yard and gardening challenges.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Gardening Power to the People: Container Gardening

Would you like to grow vegetables but are short on space? In this short video, Molly Niven, Jefferson County Colorado Master Gardener, gives you specific steps to grow herbs and vegetables successfully in containers.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Tetanus: An Important Reminder for Gardeners by Sally Berriman

Cartoon by Microbiology2009
Last spring my girlfriend and I were constructing large tomato cages by bending metal fencing into a circle then securing it with wire and snipping off the excess fencing.  The fencing wasn’t cooperating and both of us sustained a number of scratches from the rusty metal.  Jokingly we started talking with our jaws clenched as if we had lockjaw.  After we had made a few cages and called it a day, I was washing my wounds and wondering when I last had a tetanus booster.  Not knowing how current I was, I “googled” tetanus to see if I was actually in imminent danger of having to eat everything through a straw.  This is what I discovered.

Tetanus is a serious infection.  It is caused by the bacteria Clostridium tetani which can be found almost everywhere in the natural environment.    If the bacteria gets into the body it can produce a toxin that can spread systematically throughout the body and interfere with the central nervous system, producing muscle stiffness, spasms, or rigidity and the infamous locked jaw.  Tetanus is potentially fatal.  Without treatment, one out of four infected people die.  Yikes!  Tetanus has a mortality rate of 25% in the U.S. and 50% worldwide. There are currently no blood tests that can be used to diagnose tetanus.  The diagnosis is based on the presence of tetanus symptoms. If you are infected, it can take a while for the symptoms to present themselves; anywhere from eight days to a few months.  It basically depends on how far from the central nervous system the toxin entered the body.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Small Moths in the Home by Carol King

Have you noticed small moths flying around your home?  You probably have an infestation of Indian Meal Moth.  This is a very common moth problem in Colorado and is caused by an infestation on grain, grain products, dried fruits, dried vegetables, seeds, nuts, graham crackers, powdered milk and dog food. Control of Indian meal moths requires a thorough search of all dried food, including things like bird seed that can be overlooked. My infestation was from sunflower seeds stored in the garage.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Gardening Power to the People: Attracting Pollinators to Your Garden

It's that time of year to think about flowering plants to add to your landscape this year. In this short video, Rebecca Anderson, Jefferson County Colorado Master Gardener, gives you tips for attracting bees and other pollinators to your garden.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Planting Warm Season Vegetables by Donna Duffy

Photo courtesy CSU Extension
Yes, it's officially Spring! On those warm 60+ degree days, it's tempting to get your warm season vegetables into the ground. Before you take that leap, here's advice from PlantTalk Colorado that may save you time and disappointment.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Lumps and Bumps on Aspen by Joyce D'Agostino

Photo Utah State University Extension
Recently as I was doing some spring garden cleanup, I noticed a bare sapling in the corner of my yard that had lumps and bumps on most of the trunk and branches.
I was curious what could cause this and if it was harmful to that tree or possibly other plants in my garden. In doing some research I learned that these swellings on the wood are cause by the “Poplar Twiggall Fly” (Hexomyza shineri). This insect burrows into the wood and as it feeds, which produces a swelling on the limbs and trunk which are called galls. Often the plant has these galls for several seasons and the gardener does not immediately notice them because they can be obscured by leaves. This insect prefers to invade cottonwoods, poplars and especially aspens.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Spring Lawn Care by Donna Duffy

Spring has finally arrived and it’s time to start thinking about spring lawn care again. Here are some basics to get your lawn off to a good start.

Friday, April 10, 2015

JeffCo Master Gardeners Announce Flower Gardening Class

Photo by Carol King
Jefferson County CSU Extension Colorado Master Gardeners announce a spring gardening class  “Flowers: the Where, What and How of Growing Flowers in Colorado”.  Wednesday April 22, 2015,  6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Class begins promptly at 6:00 p.m. $40.  Jefferson County Fairgrounds. Register now at
One of our instructors is Jennifer Verprauskus, Landscape Architect, Permaculture Design Certificate holder, Denver Master Composter, Colorado Master Gardener, and owner of  UpBeet Landscapes, an edible landscape design firm. She is passionate about landscape design and teaching people how to live off the land.
Jennifer states: “Often times we can appreciate something without fully understanding it, but as we learn the intricacies of what makes it stand out; sometimes we can appreciate it on a deeper level. A built environment surrounds most of us on a daily basis but do we realize it as such? The majorities of the landscapes we find ourselves in have been created and don’t just appear.  From more urban landscapes such as city parks and backyards to recreational trails in the mountains- they have all been designed intentionally. 

An understanding of the principles of landscape design, which include the elements of unity, scale, balance, simplicity, variety, emphasis, and sequence as they apply to line, form, texture, and color, create the perfect landscape.  These elements are interconnected. Scale, line, balance and form are some of the things that dictate our perception and comfort in a space. Through the use of design principals as well as an understanding of the site we can choose the right plant for the right place, and almost more importantly we can design a space that feels complete. As we design a landscape, one of the most compelling skills we can embrace is the ability to design with all of our senses. 

Without the deliberations of design, our efforts of hard work, time and money are often fruitless. We are tempted to choose plants by color and not suitability, create spaces that look nice but fail to function and to use materials that distract from the space we’ve worked so hard to create. Our senses can identify a space as successful or unsuccessful; therefore, it is through education we are able to create landscapes in the built environment that are exciting and beautiful yet comfortable and useful.

Come join Jennifer and the rest of the team for an evening of the basics of designing or re-designing a flower garden, site selection and how to create fabulous flowering containers. Register now at For further information call Jefferson County CSU Extension at 303-271-6620.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Vole Damage in Front Range Colorado by Carol King

Brown spots are caused by vole damage. photo by Carol King
My neighbor has a large hedge of junipers that spreads the length of his house. He asked me last week what might be causing the dead branches that were sporadic through the hedge.  I was heading to the Jeffco Extension Office so I took a sample with me.  I showed Curtis Utley, Extension Agent, and he did not  hesitate:  “Voles. You have vole damage.”

The CSU Extension web site has a wealth of information.
Voles are small rodents that measure 4 to 8.5 inches long and weigh 0.8 to 3 ounces and vary in color from brown to gray. They are pudgy, with blunt faces and small eyes, small and sometimes inconspicuous ears, short legs, and a short (the long-tailed vole is an exception) and scantily haired tail. They are often called prairie or field mice.
Photo CSU Extension

Monday, April 6, 2015

Planning Your Garden for Seed Saving Classes April 2015

Jefferson County CSU Extension Colorado Master Gardeners announce classes in Seed Saving.

Beginning Seed Saving – Tuesday, April 14 – 6:00-8:00 p.m. Cost $28
Register Now:
Did you know it’s so easy to save the seeds from your vegetable and flower garden? Saving seeds will adapt them to your soil and your care, ultimately making your plants more resistant to the insects and diseases that could possibly threaten their health. 
 This beginning class will start with the five easiest seeds to save and go step-by-step through the process. You will learn how to appropriately take care of the plants, select from your crops the best seeds to save, learn how to identify the best seed, care for them, harvest them and prepare them for saving and storing them. You’ll end up with stronger plants that are adapted to your own landscape. Once you can ensure your seeds are pure and true, than you can swap with others and to contribute to your community seed library.  

Advanced Seed Saving – Wednesday, April 15 – 6:00-8:00 p.m., Cost $28
Register Now:
Perhaps you are skilled at saving seed and you have enough property to practice advanced seed saving skills. You will learn about the distance required to separate similar varieties of plants within the same plant family. We will cover appropriate isolation techniques and the more advanced skills necessary to save seed for squashes, pumpkins, broccoli, for example, or to grow out biennial plants like carrots for saving seed. If you are ready for these steps, you are already a passionate seed saver and this class is for you. 

All classes will be held at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds 15200 E. 6th Avenue Pkwy. , Golden, Co 80401.  For more information, call 303-271-3362.


Gardening Power to the People: Growing Blueberries in Colorado

Growing blueberries in Colorado can be a real challenge.  This video with Patti O'Neal, Horticulture Assistant at Jefferson County CSU Extension, will give you the techniques you need to grow this delicious fruit.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Garden Pest Alert! Warning!

Our Extension friends at Utah State University have identified a garden pest you want to watch out for!  This video will let you know all the ways you can rid the garden of this creature.

And a Happy April Fools' Day to You all!