Vegetable gardens can be utilitarian or they can be an attractive feature in your back yard. One way to dress up your garden is with a stylish homemade gate and/or trellis. You can construct a gate using recycled and/or upcycled materials. See more ideas for garden gates here.
Peat pots (pots made out of peat moss) are a product that people like because they are told to simply plant the pot with the plant.
In theory, peat pots and other biodegradable pots are a great idea and there are many options similar biodegradable peat pots (pots made out of coconut fiber and even processed cow manure). However, we find that it is a bad idea to simply plop these pots into your garden. The problem is that if the edges of the pot stick up above the soil level and the wind hits the edge above ground, then it has the potential to wick all the moisture out from the whole pot and can kill or stresses the plant.
So, if you want to use a peat pot or other biodegradable pot, be sure that just before you set the plant in the soil you rip off the exposed upper edge above the pots soil line so that the edge is even with the soil line in the pot. This will prevent the moisture from wicking out of the pot. Also be sure that none of the pot is exposed to the air after planting.
Often our alkaline soils slows down the ability of the roots to escape through the pot so it helps to poke some holes in the bottom of the pot to insure the roots can escape from the pot into the surrounding soil.
Rock spirea (Holodiscus dumosus) is a very drought tolerant native shrub reaching 6’ in height and width. It has fragrant leaves (when brushed against) and it produces sprays of small, white flowers at the ends of arching branches. After the flowers fade, the seeds are also ornamental, producing pinkish seed heads. Rock Spirea does best in full sun to half shade and may decline if watered too much.
You can often find it growing in its native habitat in the mountains west of Cheyenne.
There are many different types of basil you can grow. There are varieties with smooth, crinkled or ruffled leaves and some with purple foliage. There is a little leaf, dwarf basil and varieties that smell like cinnamon, clove, lemon, lime and licorice. The most widely grown basil for culinary use is Italian basil such as “Genovese.”
Basil likes it warm so wait to set plants out in early June. Regularly pinch the tips to get a bushy plant and always prune flower stalks. Basil is best used fresh as dried basil loses most of its flavor. It can also be frozen for storage.
Just digitized (Thanks to Bill Lindstrom of Bevara Digital) Historic video/slide show titled “We Grow Things,” about the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens early days (1977 – 1980). Rough quality but great history! View here.
Now is the perfect time to do some important maintenance to your clumps of ornamental grasses. Because these grasses are about to start growing again, it is a good practice to prune each clump down to a height of 10” so that the new growth is not interspersed with the dead brown grass blades from last season.
A fast, easy way to cut the ornamental grass is with a small folding pruning saw . Use the cut grass as a mulch on your perennial bed or add to the compost pile. The most dependable ornamental grasses you can grow on the High Plains include Karl Forester (all types), blue oat grass and blue fescue.
Click here for a great handout on ornamental grasses for our harsh climate.
Starting as of April 1, the Summer City Yard Waste Program will resume for the season. Those residents enrolled in the program will have their yard waste containers picked up the week starting on Monday, March 31. Billing will start on April 1. The program ends mid-November. Program users are reminded only grass, leaves and garden waste are allowed in the yard waste container.
Customers are reminded not to bag the material, and to not place large branches, limbs or brush in the yard waste container because bulky items prevent the container from being emptied. The Yard Waste Program is currently not accepting new customers because staff and equipment limitations.
For more information on the program, call the Sanitation Division at 307−637−6440.