Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Hidden from View by Nancy Shepard

Photo: Nancy Shepard

Whether we are beginner gardeners or those with years of experience, the one thing we all share in common are the things we don’t want others to see. While I’ve never tried to achieve the look of Martha Stewart’s potting shed prepped for photos in her magazine, I am mortified by how my side yard looks:

Monday, June 29, 2020

My Square Foot Garden Venture by Belinda Ostermiller

Photo: Belinda Ostermiller
Inspired by recent Colorado Master Gardener classes, I decided now is a good time to try my hand at vegetable gardening - not that I haven't grown the odd tomato or lettuce before. This time something a little more adventurous was in order.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Is that flower pollinated? CSU Native Bee Watch

CSU - Native Bee Watch
"Bees are pollinating flowers only when they are visiting the reproductive flower parts. If the bee is on the petals, leaves, or stem, the bee is not pollinating. Look inside a flower to see the anthers and the stigma. Note the pollen on the anthers. That pollen needs to be transferred to another flower of the same species or the same plant."

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Supporting Your Pollinators by Kimberly Sheahan

Photo: Kimberly Sheahan

Late spring is a wonderful time in Colorado - gardens are beginning to hit their stride and show off their magnificent blooms and the pollinators are hard at work.  A wonderful way to support pollinators and beneficial insects that you've attracted to your garden is to provide them their own water source separate from birds.  Typically, a bird bath is too deep for pollinators as well as potentially putting them near predators.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Fruit Pollinators by Steven White

Courtesy Wikipedia 
As your Victory Garden expands into planting Fruit Trees, one of the questions you will run into is ‘do I have enough space’.  Trees are obviously larger and may need another tree variety for pollination. Fruit trees are divided into two categories, self-fruitful (does not need a pollinator to set fruit) and self-unfruitful (needs a pollinator of another variety to set fruit).  The fruits below will aid in determining what you plant. 

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Summer Solstice by Vicky Spelman

Courtesy Pixabay
Hello Summer and the longest day of the year! 

Summer Solstice 2020 in the Northern Hemisphere will be at 3:43 PM on Saturday, June 20th.

Summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere occurs on June 20, 21 or 22, when the sun reaches its most northerly point, directly overhead at the Tropic of Cancer (23 degrees 27 minutes north latitude). The summer solstice is the longest day of the year and marks the beginning of summer.

A solstice is different from an equinox, the two times each year when the sun is directly above the Earth's equator and day and night are of equal length. Equinoxes mark the beginning of spring (March) and fall (September).
Solstice loosely translated in Latin is "sun stands still". For several days before and after each solstice the sun appears to stand still in the sky, i.e., its noontime elevation does not seem to change from day to day.

Cultures around the world have held celebrations in conjunction with the solstice for hundreds of years. Among these is Midsummer, which is celebrated on June 24 in Scandinavia and other northern European countries. 

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Quick Guide to Growing Cucumbers-2020 Victory Garden by Dorianne Bautista

Courtesy Pixabay

Delicious eaten fresh or pickled, here is your quick guide to growing cucumbers!

Monday, June 15, 2020

Are Your Lilacs Blossoms Looking “Rusty’? Time to Prune By Joyce D’Agostino

Photo Joyce D'Agostino
For those who love lilacs, having those wonderful blooms and fragrance is a welcome end of the long winter. Lilacs now come in various shades of purple, lavender, pink and white. 
But now that the season for lilac blooming is over, you may notice that those lovely flower heads are replaced with unsightly rusty colored heads. This is normal for your lilac and not an indication of a decline in the shrub or a disease. However now that the blooms are done and before the lilac prepares for next season, you have a window of time now in June to do some removal of those old flowers as well as some pruning.  

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Pine Needle Mulch by Jon K. Fitzgerald

Jon K. Fitzgerald
Mulching your landscape with pine needles.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Growing Strawberries in Your Victory Garden – National Garden Bureau

National Garden Bureau

Strawberries are a fun addition that can easily be grown in gardens, containers, and window boxes! Think strawberry shortcake, strawberry pie, or eaten straight from the garden! Any way you eat them, it’s a major “YUM!”  Are you growing strawberries?

Monday, June 8, 2020

Growing (and Buying) Produce in the age of COVID-19 by John Porter, Nebraska Extension

University of Nebraska Extension - John Porter's Article

Growing (and Buying) Produce in the age of COVID-19 (and reducing fear with facts) by John Porter, Nebraska Extension (published The Garden Professors May-15-2020)

<<First off, we have to remember that SARS-CoV-2, which is the virus that causes COVID-19, is not a food borne illness.  This means that it is not spread through the consumption of contaminated food like E. coli and Salmonella.  I’ve seen many instances of people spreading fear about food online, with many suggesting using soap or bleach on food to minimize risk.  Those steps are both unnecessary and actually pose a poisoning risk.  There is currently no evidence to suggest that COVID-19 is transmittable by food or food packaging.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Staying at Home and Still Successfully Gardening by Nancy Shepard

Pixabay - Salvia May Night

With the stay-at-home order, the nurseries were closed and I couldn’t go plant shopping. Yet my garden was fully awake and starting to give its best spring show. Last year I had re-landscaped my front yard and was still filling it in with perennials last fall.  As I toured the backyard and saw the masses of plants developing, it occurred to me that I already had new perennials for the front yard if I just used what the backyard already had.

Monday, June 1, 2020

Try Gardening for Mental Health While Quarantined by Carol Russell

Photo: Carol Russell

People react differently to stressful situations, and the outbreak of the Coronavirus Disease 2019, or COVID-19, has caused feelings ranging from concern or worry to anxiety or anger. When we’re wounded in body, mind, or spirit, we’re often drawn to the natural world as a place to heal. For some, it’s a hike in the mountains or along the shore of a lake – both difficult to do if you are quarantined or are under a “stay at home order”.  It is much easier to have our home or community victory garden as our place of healing. Personally, I simply remember my favorite things in the garden and then I don’t feel so bad.

In addition, the recent COVID-19 stay-at-home requirement is providing more free time to pursue our interests. Gardening is a way for people to turn their feelings of helplessness into something nourishing – vegetables.  Garden plants and practices offer unique lessons and opportunities to clients in a horticultural-therapy program described in Horticulture-The Art and Science of Smart Gardening May/June 2020. A Supportive Nature.  The victory garden may actually save lives by helping to alleviate mental health issues resulting from the COVID – 19 Virus. 

Furthermore, a recent article in Psychology Today, titled ”10 Mental Health Benefits of Gardening” listed numerous activities that we practice while gardening that provide major health benefits such as: acceptance, overcoming perfectionism, a growth mindset, connecting with others and your world, being present, exercise, stress reduction, and heathy eating.  PsychologyToday  
Gardening is a way for people to turn their feelings of helplessness into something nourishing. This year, a vegetable garden may also provide one thing we seem to be lacking at the moment: control over our lives. It includes the satisfaction of raising nutritious and delicious food, exercising outdoors while socially distancing, relieving pressure on the nation’s food supply system, passing essential knowledge on to our children and growing extra to share with others. Where to begin to start your own garden? CSU-Grow&Give