Wednesday, January 30, 2019

The Impact of Wind Chill on Plants

Photo by Donna Duffy
Excerpted from Wind Chill Doesn’t Really Matter to a Plant, Mark Longstroth, Michigan State University Extension

In a typical Colorado winter, it isn’t uncommon to experience several days with wind chill between -10 to -20 degrees Fahrenheit. But what exactly is wind chill? Wind chill measures a combination of wind speed and temperature. In calm conditions, there is a fine layer of air called the boundary layer that insulates us from the cold. As the wind blows, it blows away this boundary layer and the cold wind can carry away heat from our bodies faster because there is no air insulating us. The faster the wind blows the more heat it can carry away. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

What to do with a Tree Stump?

Several years ago, I had a huge elm tree removed from a corner of my yard. I was left with a tree stump about 2 feet tall, sprouting like crazy. I wasn't sure what to do with this stump, so I turned to CSU Extension for information. 

Saturday, January 26, 2019

January Word of the Month: Winter Quiescence

Photo courtesy Donna Duffy
Have you ever wondered what's going on with your tree roots underneath all that winter snow? Michael Snyder, Chittenden (Vermont) County Forester, explains the concept of winter quiescence - a state in which tree roots are resting, but ready.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Does Your Landscape Have Winter Interest?

Red hips on Rosa glauca (Redleaf Rose)

It's pretty easy to have an interesting garden from May through October while flowers, trees and shrubs are growing and colorful. Winter? That's a different challenge. If your winter interest consists of some outdoor lighting and evergreens, you can do better! The American Society of Landscape Architects offers these suggestions to add interest to your winter garden.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

How Honeybees Survive Winter by Audrey Stokes

Photo courtesy
When winter rolls around, bears hibernate and birds fly south, but what about the bees? Like every other creature on earth, bees have their own unique ways of coping with cold temperatures during the winter season. One way bees prepare for the winter is by gathering a winter reserve of honey.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Become a Citizen Scientist!

Rain gauge, photo courtesy

Citizen science is the involvement of the public in scientific research – whether community-driven research or global investigations. The Citizen Science Association unites expertise from educators, scientists, data managers, and others to power citizen science. By becoming part of a citizen science project, you can help speed innovation by sharing insights across disciplines. Following are two citizen projects that might be interesting to Jefferson County gardeners.

Monday, January 14, 2019

How Insects Overwinter by Mary Small

Bees Huddling to Keep Warm, photo courtesy CSU Extension

All insects have developed strategies for surviving the winter.  Some migrate to warmer climates, but most stick around.  How do they do it? 

Honeybees really do huddle together…in a ball, with those on the outside of the ball (acting as insulators) gradually exchanging places with the bees on the inside of the ball. The bees on the inside of the ball generate heat through shivering. No helmets or jerseys, though.

Friday, January 11, 2019

House Plant Problems: Rosemary and Powdery Mildew by Carol King

I received a nice little rosemary Christmas tree as a gift.  I was cooking chicken and decided to add some when I noticed it was covered with some white powdery dust.  It seems that my little tree had powdery mildew.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Houseplant Problems: Fungus Gnats

Photo courtesy Organic Gardening
What are those annoying tiny black insects that hang out in your houseplants and fly around when disturbed? Most likely, you have fungus gnats.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Houseplant Problems: Mealy Bugs

Photo courtesy
If you are noticing small, white puff balls on your houseplants, you may have the dreaded Mealy bug. Mealy bugs are white, soft-bodied insects that suck plant juices, causing leaves to turn yellow and drop. You’ll normally find them along leaf veins, or where the leaf joins the stem.