2015 Garden Symposium

2015 Garden Symposium
Click here to register for our 2015 Gardening Symposium

Friday, January 23, 2015

Use De-icing Salts With Care by Donna Duffy

Winter is in full swing in Jefferson County! In addition to shoveling all that snow, many people also apply de-icing salts to make the walkways safe and passable. While these products can certainly help ensure safe footing in treacherous conditions, they can also damage the landscape plantings that they contact. So – what to do? Protect your footing or protect your plants? It’s possible to do both.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Starting Seeds Indoors by Donna Duffy

Photo courtesy gardeningknowhow.com
Starting seeds indoors gives you earlier vegetables and flowers, and your cultivar choices will be endless. Relax, the  task of seed planting is reassuringly simple. Just take it step-by-step, and you’ll soon be marveling over a healthy crop of seedlings. Planttalk Colorado offers the following tips for successful seed starting.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Houseplant Problems: Spider Mites by Donna Duffy

Two-spotted spider mite, photo courtesy Iowa State University
Spider mites are among the most serious houseplant pests. Left untreated they can multiply rapidly, causing injury, defoliation and plant death. They’re not true insects, but are more closely related to spiders and ticks. The University of Minnesota Extension provides the following information to identify and manage these pesky mites.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

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.  Rosemary grown indoors is very prone to this and the little Christmas trees especially so.  I investigated the cure and found that potassium bicarbonate products and neem oils can be used  to control this disease.  However, I was cautioned to make sure the product of choice can be used both indoors and on edible crops. Read the directions on the label and follow them perfectly since it is being used for cooking. There has been some success reported with baking soda and water: spray with a solution of 1 tablespoon baking soda dissolved in 1 quart of water.  Repeat if necessary.  Here's a link to the Missouri Botanic Gardens helpful information. 
I personally  just tossed the plant in the dust bin and put it out of its misery!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Houseplant Problems: Fungus Gnats by Donna Duffy

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.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Houseplant Problems: Mealy Bugs by Donna Duffy

Photo courtesy Gardencorner.net
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.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

What are Seed Libraries and why do we need them? by Ed Powers

A seed library is a depository of seeds where seeds are leant or shared with its members. It is distinguished from a seed bank in that the main purpose is not to store or hold germplasm or seeds against possible destruction, but to disseminate them to the public which preserves the shared plant varieties through propagation and further sharing of seed. 

Members come to the library and borrow seed for their garden.  They grow the plants in their garden and at the end of the season; they let a few plants ‘go to seed.’  From those plants, they collect seeds and return the same amount of seed (or more) as they borrowed at the beginning of the growing season.  Seeds are free to members.

The library is both a collection of seeds and a community of gardeners.  Since seed is a living thing, it must be renewed each year somewhere by someone or unique varietals can become extinct.  Even growing one seed and returning it to the library is a valuable contribution.  Seed Libraries may also operate as pure charity operations intent on serving gardeners and farmers.
A common attribute of many seed libraries is to preserve agricultural biodiversity. by focusing on rare, local, and heirloom seed varieties.
Seed libraries use varied methods for sharing seeds, primarily by:
  1. Seed swaps otherwise known as seed exchanges, in which library members or the public meet and exchange seeds.
  2. Seed "lending," in which people check out seed from the library's collection, grow them, save the seed, and return seed from the propagated plants to the library.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Organic Gardening Class at 2015 Symposium by Sharon Tanaka

Photo Oakland Nursery
Take your vegetable garden to the next level.   Increase the health of your family and the earth by growing organic vegetables.  By eliminating the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, you are reducing the amount of toxins that your family consumes while at the same time reducing the amount of poisons that enter your soil, the water system, and the birds and beneficial insects that frequent your backyard.

Organic gardening is a sustainable approach that produces long-term results.  When you use synthetic fertilizers and pesticides you initially have great results and then after a couple of years those results will begin to deteriorate.  With this long-term approach, your results will just continue to improve over the years.

This class will teach you how to make the change to organic vegetable gardening.  You will learn techniques that will improve your soil, attract beneficial insects and pollinators to your yard, conserve water, and produce healthy vegetables for years to come.  You will learn what to do now, in the wintertime, to plan for a successful garden in the spring.  Plus, when planting season arrives, you will have all the information you need to start your new organic garden. 

One of the best ways to be sustainable with your food is to eat local, and you cannot get more local than eating food grown in your own backyard.  Learn more about this and other valuable gardening topics at the Jefferson County CSU Extension Colorado Master Gardeners 2015 Gardening Symposium “Improve Your Garden, Improve Your Life” January 24, 2015. Call the CMG Hot Line at 303-271-6632 for more details or register online at www.sprgardsymp2015.eventbrite.com

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Christmas Tree Recycling by Donna Duffy

That lovely, fragrant cut tree you bought weeks ago has probably seen better days by now. It’s time to get it out of the house! Following are some options for recycling the tree once you’ve removed all of the decorations and tinsel. One caution: don’t burn the tree in your fireplace – the pitch content in the bark and needles can cause them to burst into flames from the intense heat.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!

Best wishes for happy and successful gardening in 2015!
Photo courtesy of therunninggarlic

Friday, December 26, 2014

Protecting Trees From Heavy Snow by Donna Duffy

Winter is officially here! We just had our first major snowstorm. Here are some suggestions for tree protection from heavy snow from Curtis Utley, Jefferson County CSU Extension Research Associate.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

May your garden be Merry and Bright!! Happy Holidays