Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween!!

Jefferson County CSU Extension Master Gardener bloggers wish you all a very Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Gardening Power to the People: Insect Puddles Video

Here is the third in our series about attracting pollinators into the garden, produced by our JeffCo Gardener Video Team.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Gardening Power to the People: Insect Hotels Video Part 2

Here is the second in the series about bringing pollinators into your garden presented by the JeffCo Gardener Video Team.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Gardening Power to the People: Insect Hotels Video Part 1

Here is the first in a series of three new videos from our JeffCo Gardener Video Team about making your garden pollinator friendly.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Plant Amaryllis Now for Holiday Blooms by Donna Duffy

Amaryllis is one of the easiest bulbs to grow and will generally bloom 6-10 weeks after planting. Bloom time varies a bit among varieties, so be sure to check the label on the bulb you are considering. If you want a blooming Amaryllis for Thanksgiving, now is the time to plant!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Five Tips for Fall Lawn Care by Donna Duffy

Don’t let this warm October weather fool you – winter is just around the corner. Here are five actions you can take to get your lawn in top shape for spring.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Recording Your Yearly Garden Notes By Joyce D’Agostino

Photo Joyce D'Agostino
You don’t have to be a skilled writer to benefit from the practice of keeping good garden notes. I found that recording important information about your garden each year helps a great deal to learn which varieties are ones you enjoy to grow and work best in your garden. 
Start in the spring and begin recording basic information such as the weather, which seeds you are starting, which seeds emerged first and then eventually which plants were the hardiest and produced the best. Make it a point to regularly go to your journal and add notes as the season goes on. You can also print out articles or blogs that contain information that you want to try next year too.
If this is your first year to record notes and you didn’t start in the spring, there is still time to record your notes. Begin now and add as you think of other information to add so you have recorded as much important information as possible.
If you enjoy computer programs, there are also programs designed just for your garden note information. If you keep your notes on your computer, be sure to print out a copy from time to time or save it to disc so you have a backed up copy in the event of a computer problem. You don’t want to spend hours recording important data and then have it lost. You can also buy a bound journal or even a spiral notebook and record your information as you go along. 

You will find that doing this is a great practice to help you remember both the successes and the things you want to change for your next seasonal garden. I also keep dated pictures of much of what I grow each year. Not only is it fun to view the pictures, but it also can help you get an idea of when a fruit or vegetable is likely to be ready for harvest.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Benefits of Planting a Fall Cover Crop by Jennifer Verprauskus

Hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth)  photo from Texas A&M  Extension

When Fall rolls around and everyone starts to put their gardens to bed, there are a few things to consider before you say good bye to the garden until next spring. It’s during this time of year that we have the choice to either plant a Fall garden or a Fall cover crop. 
The Fall Garden is typically started at the end of July or early August but it can be planted into September and October. In early to mid-October, we can replant Spinach, Cilantro, Arugula, Asian Greens, Kale, and other fast growing semi-cold hardy crops. However, when I plan on planting this late into the Fall, I think about using a season extender, which is a structure that captures heat from solar radiation and warms the plants and soil inside the covering, such as low hoops, heavy weight Reemay, Cold Frames and much more. 
If you don’t feel like messing with season extenders or a Fall garden but still want to do something that you can benefit from, a Fall cover crop might just be the way to go. Unlike the Fall garden that will be harvested into the early winter, cover crops will work your soil all winter long and most can be easily turned into the soil at the beginning of the spring. A cover crop is basically a high numbers of plants, grasses and/or legumes, which grow and cover a soil surface. 

Friday, October 9, 2015

Fall Cleanup Tips – Chapter III – Perennials – Trees, Woody Shrubs and Tender Plantings by Peter Drake

To both the dedicated perennial landscape gardener, and the more casual observer of trees, shrubs and groundcovers, it has shown itself to be a very hard, strange season for perennial plantings here in Colorado.
First, there was the November, 2014 freeze that struck at our Front Range landscapes before trees and shrubs had a chance to harden off fully for the winter.  Following this, another sudden freeze on Mother’s Day, 2015 interrupted the budding stages of a number of plants; and then, there was a cooler, wetter-than-normal spring period.  This was followed by a period of intense, dry heat through July and most of August.
These climatic factors conduce to intense plant stress.  Whole trees, woody shrubs and tender perennials, or significant sections of them, have shown signs of withering and browning much earlier in the season than usual—or have not leafed out, or otherwise bloomed, at all, presenting bare patches along the borders of house lots, and in the trees lining local streets.
The good news is that all of this can be managed proactively, and gradually repaired.  

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Roasting Sunflower Seeds by Donna Duffy

All around town the sunflower heads are nodding, heavy with seeds ready to harvest. If you've managed to rescue your seeds from the birds and squirrels, here's a recipe for roasting seeds in the shell from the National Sunflower Association.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Spiders in the House by Donna Duffy

Photo courtesy
You’ve probably noticed an increase in spiders in the house. I know I have – I’m greeted most mornings by a spider trapped on the shower floor or in the sink. Spiders start wandering indoors in the early fall when cooler outdoor temperatures force them to find shelter. Before you panic, remember that most Colorado spiders are harmless.