Monday, June 26, 2017

It’s Time to Arm Yourself Against Yellow Jackets - An Update By Joyce D’Agostino


Photo courtesy CSU 
Update: Recently I assisted another Master Garden at an information table at a public event. One of the people attending the event stopped by our table and saw materials about bees. She stated that she didn’t like bees and wanted none of them in her garden. One of her friends told her she was very mistaken, we all need bees to help with pollinating our gardens. This person insisted that the “bees” were very bothersome and she was concerned she could get stung. After talking with her for a few moments and asking her to describe what she was seeing, her description matched the Western Yellowjacket. Despite me telling her it wasn’t a bee, she still felt that it was part of the “bee family” and she wanted no part of any bees around her garden.
It may explain why people do mistake these aggressive hornets with our friendly honey bees and bumble bees and why so many of the beneficial insects are sprayed with insecticide. 
We are repeating this blog from April to help you see what a Yellow Jacket looks like compared to honey bees and bumble bees. Trying to control them earlier in the season is the best way to reduce or eliminate the Yellow Jacket population but proper identification will help so that you don’t use insecticides on the bees visiting your garden. If you have any questions about bees and yellow jackets, contact your local Extension Service office.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Growing Healthy Tomatoes by Joyce D'Agostino



Photo courtesy Old Farmer's Almanac

Tomatoes are one of the most often grown garden vegetables. For the most part, tomatoes can be easy to grow and give you a nice bounty of fresh tomatoes for eating and cooking.

But occasionally problems can occur such as disease, insect issues or growth problems. Having some tips early on may help you avoid problems so you can enjoy your tomato crop throughout the season. Tomatoes benefit from being spaced so that there is good air circulation.  Giving your plants some room and not touching each other if possible helps to avoid the foliage staying damp or transferring diseases. Remember when you plant a small tomato, it can grow into a much larger plant, so refer to the seed packet or the information included if you bought a plant to know how far to space your plants.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Summer Solstice 2017 by Carol King

Happy Summer Solstice!


Welcome to the longest day of the year! Sumer Solstice is June 20, 2017 in the northern hemisphere and in Jefferson County, Colorado, arrives at 10:24 p.m. MDT.

The Summer Solstice is an astronomical event that happens when the sun is directly above the Tropic of Cancer. This day has more hours of daylight than any other day of the year. In the Northern Hemisphere, Solstices occur on June 20th or 21st each year.

It is also known as Midsumer’s Day as it occurs in the middle of our summer. Summer Solstice is considered to be halfway throught the growing season for gardeners above the Equator. It marks the 1st day of summer and is celebrated by various cultures, and customs around the world.

Celebrating Summer Solstice dates backs thousands of years. It was celebrated by the Ancient Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, and the Celts. Summer Solstice is associated it with good harvests and fertility, and abundance in your garden.

Happy Summer Solstice to one an all and here’s to an abundant harvest!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Monday, June 12, 2017

Save Our Pollinators Day!


Thursday, June 8, 2017

Spittlebugs in the Garden by Carol King

Image Purdue University
While weeding near my bee balm (Monarda), I saw several patches of  a frothy white substance on the leaves.  Upon further study, I discovered that I have a small infestation of the spittlebug (Cercopidae: spp)  Aptly named, the white froth is what the immature spittlebug or nymphs surround themselves with as they feed on plant tissue.  Adult spittlebugs are inconspicuous, often greenish or brownish insects, about 0.25 inch long. 

While spittlebugs suck plant juices and can distort plant tissue and slow plant growth, they do not seriously harm plants. As they don’t cause significant damage, just wash them off with water if their appearance bothers you.  Otherwise, enjoy yet another fascinating bug in action!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Pollinator of the Week: Monarch Butterflies by Caroline Reardon

Monarch migration, photo courtesy worldwildlife.org
In mid March, the Monarch butterflies, Danaus plexippus, who’ve overwintered in temperate central Mexico and southern California, mate and then begin their migration northward. Most fly either on a Midwest/Eastern path or along the Pacific coast, but some “strays” do fly through Colorado.