Saturday, April 30, 2016

History of the Tomato by Cherie Luke

Photo courtesy
The best way to get a delicious tomato is to grow it yourself! And many of us must be doing just that: according to the US Department of Agriculture, 93% of home gardens grow tomatoes, making it the most popular vegetable to grow. With 25,000 varieties to choose from, it’s no wonder we are enamored with our tomato plants.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Planting Trees in Colorado for Arbor Day by Carol King

Photos by Carol King

Happy Arbor Day, an annual observance that celebrates the role of trees in our lives and promotes tree planting and care. What better way to celebrate than to plant a tree! Spring is typically tree and shrub planting time in Colorado.  The garden centers and big box stores are offering a huge assortment to choose from.  How does one know which tree to choose?  Choosing the right tree is essential to tree health and success. Don’t just go to the garden center and take whatever you can find.  Put some study into it.  

Ask yourself some questions. What is growing well in your neighborhood? What varieties are suited to Front Range Colorado and are most resistant to common insect and disease pests? What is the purpose of my tree?  Shade? Fruit? Windbreak?  This can be a daunting decision so here are some resources to help:

Front Range Tree Recommendation List, from Colorado Nursery Grower's Association, American Society of Landscape Architects Colorado, the Colorado Tree Coalition, and Colorado State UniversityExtension.
Recommended Trees for Colorado Front Range Communities, from Colorado State Forest Service,
Read more: Colorado tough: Great trees for your Western garden - The Denver Post 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Jefferson County Master Gardeners in Service: Community Garden Coaching by Nancy O’Brien

Community Garden Coaching, photo by Nancy O'Brien

You might be wondering, “what is a garden coach, anyway?” A garden coach provides specialized gardening information to manage garden problems. Jefferson County Master Gardeners are available to provide coaching for neighborhood associations, fraternal organizations, schools, businesses or church groups that have or sponsor a community garden. For example, a Master Gardener coach could come to a community garden and work individually with each plot owner to figure out how to get maximum harvest from their space.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Celebrate Earth Day by Audrey Stokes

Each year, Earth Day marks the anniversary of what many consider the birth of the modern environmental movement which began in 1970. At the time, Americans were slurping leaded gas through massive V8 sedans. Industry belched out smoke and sludge with little fear of legal consequences or bad press. Air pollution was commonly accepted as the smell of prosperity. “Environment” was a word that appeared more often in spelling bees than on the evening news.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Growing Great Celery Video

Thinking about growing celery this year?  This video will help you succeed.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Honey Bee Swarm Season is Here! By Rebecca Anderson

Bee swarm, photo by Beckie Anderson
Spring means honey bee swarm season.  A swarm occurs when an existing hive gets too full and the bees are feeling crowded.  The queen bee produces a couple of princess bees as her replacement.  Then the queen gathers half of the worker bees to move out of the hive with her.  This results in a ball of bees hanging from a tree branch, eave or fence, peacefully humming to themselves.  

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Starting Those Hard to Grow Seeds: Stratification and Scarification By Brooke Colburn

Spring is creeping upon us here in the Front Range, and if you plan to start any of your flowering, perennial, native, or woody plants from seed, they may require some special treatment to overcome dormancy and germinate. There are two general types of seed dormancy: mechanical and chemical. Mechanical dormancy refers to a seed coat that is impermeable to water and or air, and it must be broken by a process called scarification. Chemical dormancy involves chemicals in the seed that must be leached away or broken down by a method called stratification.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Jefferson County Master Gardeners in Service: Call Center for Your Horticulture Questions by Amy Norwood

 Master Gardener Amy Norwood staffing the Call Center
If you are a Colorado gardener, chances are you’ve asked yourself questions like these:

  • What is the best time of year to prune my apple tree?
  • When I mow my lawn, what should I do with the clippings?
  • What type of light does my indoor fern plant require?

You aren’t alone: questions about outdoor landscapes and indoor plantscapes arise 52 weeks a year.  Jefferson County Master Gardeners answer these questions year-round via the Master Gardener Call Center.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Starting Seeds Outdoors Video

Starting seeds outdoors is not as easy as tossing them on to the ground. Learn how to warm the soil, keep it warm and choose cold season veggie seeds.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Jefferson County Master Gardeners in Service: The Courage Garden by Lorrie Redman

Weeping Crabapple in bloom at The Courage Garden, photo by Loretta Simms

Every day, we are surrounded by stories of violent crime. Rather than forgetting these horrific events, communities strive to bring people together to honor the victims and seek solutions. In Jefferson County, a Courage Garden was created in 1995 to help individuals remember loved ones and to remind community members that there is still work to be done. The garden provides a peaceful setting for reflection and solace.