Thursday, April 30, 2015

Help for Lawn and Garden Problems by Donna Duffy

It’s starting to be that time of year – our yards can be a delight or a headache. Does your lawn look lousy? Are you bugged by bugs? Are your perennials puny? The good news is that help is just a phone call or click away. Here are five great resources to help you solve your home yard and gardening challenges.

Plant Diagnostic Clinic
Jefferson County is fortunate to be one of only three counties in Colorado with a Plant Diagnostic Clinic. The clinic serves homeowners, landscape professionals, arborists and garden centers in the entire metro area. Staff at the clinic can help identify causes of your lawn, plant, and tree problems, and identify insect problems. Once the problem is diagnosed, they will recommend safe and effective control measures and help you save money by avoiding unnecessary treatments. Bring plant and turf samples M - F, 8:30 to 4:30 p.m. to the clinic at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds in Golden.  Diagnosis of plant problems and insect identification services costs $7 for Jefferson County residents. Plant identification services cost $3. Non-residents pay a slightly higher fee. Additional services and testing have additional fees.

Colorado Master Gardeners

Colorado Master Gardener volunteers staff phone lines and assist walk-ins with home garden diagnostic problems as well as provide information at the Farmers Markets and other venues. To talk with a Colorado Master Gardener about home gardening problems, call the Jeffco CSU Extension Office at 303-271-6620.

Most of us experience lawn problems at some point during the growing season. CSU LawnCheck provides onsite assessment of lawns with recommendations for improving the lawn and solving insect, disease and other lawn problems. Although diagnosis of lawn problems can sometimes be accomplished by looking at small lawn samples, lawn diagnosis is better done and more accurate when the total situation, including irrigation coverage, is examined during a site visit. For fees and to schedule a LawnCheck, call Jefferson County CSU Extension at 303-271-6620.

Soil Testing
Colorado has 30-40 different classes of soil, and soils can vary immensely even in the same neighborhood. Before you start planting, take time to get a soil test. Colorado State University will analyze your soil sample for pH, soluble salts, organic matter, nitrate nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, iron, copper, manganese, lime and soil texture. The report will include suggestions that relate your results to fertilizer and soil management. There is a cost for this service, but in the long run, it will save you time and money as you create your landscape. Click here for a list of locations where you can pick up a soil test kit.

Jeffco Gardener Blog
You've already found this dynamic blog written by Jefferson County Master Gardeners! Check back often for all kinds of relevant, local information to help you be a successful Jefferson County gardener.