Saturday, May 16, 2015

Edible Flowers by Betty Cahill

Photo courtesy
Nothing sparks an "oh, my, how lovely" response more than beautiful, edible flowers in, on, or around food. It's a splendid presentation! Kids think it's cool to eat flowers (but only the ones you plant).

Monday, May 11, 2015

Gardening Power to the People: Growing Tomatoes in a Container

Did you know you can grow great tomatoes in containers? This video will show you how.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Successful Strawberries by Rebecca Anderson

Photo courtesy PlantTalk Colorado
Fresh strawberries are a sure sign that summer has arrived. Strawberries (Fragaria ananassa) do well along the Front Range, even at higher elevations, making them a crop that can be rewarding for home gardeners. When establishing a new strawberry bed, try to pick a site that has not had raspberries, cherries, tomatoes, potatoes or eggplants growing in the past 5 years. These plants carry diseases that can infect and decrease the productivity of the strawberries. Select a site that gets at least 8 hours of sun during the summer. A soil test prior to planting is ideal so the soil can be amended according to the pants' needs, but if not possible, work one to two inches of compost into the bed one month before planting. 

There are many strawberries varieties to choose from. They all fall in one of three categories: June bearing, ever bearing and day neutral. June bearers produce the earliest fruit that is the largest and some say the sweetest.  However, they bloom the earliest and are prone to blossom damage from our late frosts. Ever bearers are considered the hardiest for the Front Range. They produce a spring crop and a fall crop and a few berries in between main crops during the summer months. The day neutral varieties produce berries for 6 week intervals 3 times during the summer. For gardeners who are going to pick one variety, ever bearers are recommended. Varieties that do well here are Ogallala and Fort Laramie. Some gardeners like to plant a few of each type to hedge against any failures of a specific variety. June bearing strawberries recommended for this area include Guardian and Honeoye. Tristar and Tribute are recommended varieties of day neutral strawberries. 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Hardening Off Seedlings by CJ Clawson

Photo by Judy Sedbrook, CSU
Most of us are in Colorado because we love the sunny days but the cloudy, overcast weather in our current forecast is really a gift for gardeners at this time of year because it's the perfect time for hardening off.  This is the process of acclimating your seedlings to the outdoors - an important step in gardening success.

You spent hours looking at seed catalogues and carefully selecting the vegetable varieties you wanted to grow.  You've babied your seedlings with the best possible care and now they are beautiful!  Please don't skip hardening off!  

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Onion Decision Tree by Rebecca Anderson

Photo courtesy PlantTalk Colorado

Onions are a good crop to plant when the weather is still cool and the garden is calling for some sort of action. Take a tour of any garden center or seed catalog and you will find a plethora of onion selections. How does a gardener decide which is best for a Front Range garden?

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Plant a Perennial for Mom by Audrey Stokes

Coral Baby Penstemon photo Plant Select©
Mother’s Day is May 10 this year -- just around the corner!  All moms like to be given flowers on their special day. This year why not give a gift that “keeps on giving” and plant a perennial for Mom? Perennials may not have as great a visual impact in the container or immediately after planting as traditional horticultural species. Over time, however, they will reward Mom with their natural beauty.
A few of the many reasons native perennials are the ideal choice for a home landscape are:
  • they are naturally adapted to Colorado’s climates, soils and environmental conditions. 
  • they require less external inputs such as watering, fertilizing and other cultural factors when the planting site mimics the plant’s native habitat. 
  • they create habitat and attract a variety of wildlife including mammals, birds, butterflies and other native pollinators.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Spring Pruning of Roses by Donna Duffy

Hybrid Tea Peace Rose before pruning

Sharpen your pruners and grab your gloves – it’s finally time to prune the roses! In Colorado, the best time to prune roses is around the end of April, after the danger of frost. By now, the roses have broken dormancy, and have lots of green growth.