Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Safe Alternative for Removing Weeds in Colorado Lawns by Carol King

Want to control weeds in your landscape but hesitate using herbicides?  There are ways to control weeds without harming your children and pets.  This video with Carol O'Meara, Extension Agent from Boulder County and Dr. Tony Koski, CSU Extension Turf Specialist, gives us some safe, alternative methods for ridding our lawns of weeds.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Summer Vacation for Houseplants; Tips for Moving Them Outside by Rebecca Anderson

Oxalis Plant photo by Rebecca Anderson
Many houseplants will get a boost from being outdoors during the warm summer months. Increased sunlight exposure will let them recover from the low light levels inside most homes. Since most houseplant originate from tropical areas, they should not be moved outdoors until night time temperatures are above 55 degrees. Place them in an area with partial shade and good wind protection. Ideal locations would include a covered porch or under a tree. After a few days, sun-loving plants such as jade (Crassula ovata), poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) and hibiscus (Hibiscus sp.) can be moved to a full-sun location. Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera sp.), umbrella trees (Schefflera arboticola) and citrus plants prefer to stay in the shade. Exposing a houseplant to excessive sun before it has been hardened off will cause photo oxidization, or a yellowing of the leaves. This process is the plant version of a sunburn. 

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Memorial Day and Poppies by Carol King

Photo by Tina Negus
The Memorial Day Organization tells us that Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service.  Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No.11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.
In 1915, inspired by the poem "In Flanders Fields", Moina Michael conceived of an idea to wear red poppies on Memorial day in honor of those who died serving the nation during war. She was the first to wear one, and sold poppies to her friends and co-workers with the money going to benefit servicemen in need. Thus a tradition was born.

In Flanders Fields
John McCrae, 1915.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Why not plant a poppy bed in honor of Memorial Day?     Poppies are easy to grow in Colorado.  They are drought and pest resistant.  Many varieties grow easily from seed.

Here's an article that will help you have success with your planting. 

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Low Water Stresses Urban Trees

Hot Wings Tatarian Maple, photo courtesy Denver Post

Information excerpted from: Lack of Water is Key Stressor for Urban Trees, North Carolina State University. Click on the link for the article in its entirety.

A recent study found that urban trees can survive increased heat and insect pests fairly well - unless they are thirsty. Insufficient water not only harms trees, but allows other problems to have an outsized effect on trees in urban environments.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Gardening Power to the People: Insect Hotels Pt. 2: More Details (Video)

Here is part two for making your very own insect hotel. Here's a link to part one:

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Gardening Power to the People: Insect Hotels Pt. 1-Getting Started (Video)

Insect hotels are all the rage in gardening now. Do you want to make one? Jefferson County CSU Extension Colorado Master gardeners show you how! Here's a link to part two:

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Raised Bed Gardening in Colorado: (Video)

Explore the advantages of elevated, or raised bed, gardening. See if this gardening method might be best for your garden.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Japanese Beetle Facts and Resources

Japanese beetle on roses, photo courtesy Whitney Cranshaw, CSU
For close to a century, the Japanese beetle (Popillia japonica) has been one of the most seriously damaging insect pests of both turfgrass and landscape plants over a broad area of the eastern US. Recently, there have become a few permanent, reproducing populations in some communities along the Front Range of Colorado. 

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Carnation, The First Mother's Day Flower by Carol King

Photo Colorado State University
Carnations were the very first Mother’s Day flower given when Anna Jarvis, Mother’s Day founder, distributed her mother’s favorite flowers, white carnations in 1907, during the first Mother’s Day memorial service.

"The Carnation Gold Rush" is a term used by Denver locals, historians and preservationists to represent the period between the 1880s and 1930s when the floriculture industry developed and thrived in Colorado.  Denver was once called The Carnation Capitol of the World, there were so many grown here!

Here are some interesting links about the carnation connection to Colorado history:

Carnations are members of the dianthus family and there are several hardy periennal varieties that work well in Colorado. They also called “pinks” from the Latin word pinct, which means pinked or scalloped, referring to the jagged edges of the flower petals. Here is a fact sheet on growing the “Darling Dianthus.”

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. ~Marcel Proust

Happy Mother’s Day! 

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Get A Head Start on Yellowjacket Control by Carol King

Yellowjacket photo by Whitney Cranshaw
I noticed wasps are waking up from their winter naps, which made me think of that old meanie, the yellowjacket.  Yellowjackets can be controlled to some extent if we start early, rather than waiting until they are buzzing around our barbecues. The traps will catch the queens before they can find a place to nest.

Whitney Cranshaw, Entomology Professor and Extension Specialist from CSU tells us that the western yellowjacket (V. pensylvanica) is, by far, the most important stinging insect in Colorado. Late in the season, when colonies may include up to 200 individuals, they become serious nuisance pests around outdoor sources of food or garbage. The western yellowjacket is estimated to cause at least 90 percent of the “bee stings” in the state. Yellowjackets (Vespula spp.) are banded yellow or orange and black and are commonly mistaken for honey bees, but they lack the hairy body and are more intensely colored. Yellowjackets typically nest underground using existing hollows. Occasionally nests can be found in dark, enclosed areas of a building, such as crawl spaces or wall voids.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

For the Love of Flowers by Carrie Garczynski

Photo courtesy Carrie Garczynski
Who doesn’t love flowers?! Especially now in spring! The first sign that Mother Nature is dancing in the streets…errr...gardens, parks, flower beds, and tiny little crevices that will grow a seed. Here in Colorado we have many kinds of spring flowers: tulips, iris, daffodil, hyacinth, pansies, snapdragon, and alyssum, to name a few. And the great part is that you can help Mother Nature out a bit by planting your own colorful party. (Of course, keeping in mind, our wonderful critters – large and small – also love our flowers, and you may have to safeguard your plantings with fences, etc.).

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Plant Tags Can Educate Garden Shoppers by Paula Hamm

Photo by Donna Duffy
It’s that time of the year when many of us have the impulse to rush to our favorite garden center.  When you go, take a good look at the plant tags.  Take the time to examine them and learn about the specific requirements of the plants they accompany.  Using symbols and pictures, growers pack many facts and details to help you successfully grow and nurture your plants.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo in the Garden by Carol King

Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for "Fifth of May") is an annual celebration in Mexico held to commemorate the Mexican Army's difficult victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla, on May 5, 1862. In the United States the date has become associated with the celebration of Mexican-American culture. To commemorate this fun holiday, expand your celebration to include Cinco de Mayo gardening!
Here are some ideas for plantings in your Cinco De Mayo garden:

Cinco de Mayo Shrub Rose: (Rosa WEDcobeju’) Flowers are a blend of smoked lavender & rusty red-orange, the festive shrub provides a variety of color in a single bouquet! Its clean, round habit is ideal for use as a hedge or in a border. CSU Fact sheet on planting roses in Colorado: Growing Roses in Colorado

Photo Hosta Photo Library
Guacamole Hosta: (Hosta x ‘Guacamole’) The apple green foliage in the center is bordered by dark green margins creating a dazzling effect. These large hostas grow two feet tall and over four feet across. It has a magnificent fragrance that comes from the large white flowers in late summer. Nebraska Extension Fact sheet for growing hostas: Growing hostas.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Thigmomorphogenesis: May Word of the Month

Wind direction from the right creates an asymmetric hedge, photo courtesy The Garden Professors

Excerpted from: Your new word for the day – thigmomorphogenesis, Linda Chalker-Scott, The Garden Professors

 Thigmomorphogenesis: this is a great word for those who enjoy figuring out word meanings by deciphering the (usually) Greek or Latin roots. (This exercise also helps you figure out how to pronounce it.) We have “thigmo-” which means touch, “-morpho-” which means appearance, and “-genesis” which means beginning. String them all together and you get the phenomenon seen when plants respond to mechanical stimulation by changing their growth pattern and hence the way they look.

You can easily see examples of thigmomorphogenesis in everyday life. Look at a line of hedge plants where the plants on the end are more susceptible to wind movement and brushing by people, animals or vehicles. They are always shorter, aren’t they? Plants subjected to chronic thigmomorphogenic forces are generally shorter than their neighbors and thicker in girth.