Cheyenne Botanic Gardens : Past Gardening Tips From our News Page


Grow Tomatillos

Tomatillo, is is an easy to grow garden fruit related to the tomato. Each fruit is surrounded by a green to tan papery husk covering. When the fruit fills the papery husk, it is ready for harvest. Remove the husk before eating. It tastes like a cross between a lemon, pineapple and tomato. Chefs love to highlight the tart-tangy flavor of tomatillos. They are high in vitamin C and antioxidants. (more…)

Last year – warming weather

Check out this New York Times/AccuWeather graphic of exactly how much warmer Cheyenne  was last year compared to normal.
Click here to see.

Grow Cherries

Unfortunately, sweet cherries are not hardy for our climate. Instead, grow the hardier sour (pie) cherries such as North Star, Meteor or Mesabi.

You can also grow shrubs that produce tart cherries such as Nanking cherry.

Even sweeter and quite hardy is the shrub known as sandcherry- (Prunus besseyi) often called “Hanson’s bush cherry.”

Carmine Jewel is a hybrid cherry shrub from Canada and is a cold-hardy cross between sour pie cherries (P. cerasus) and dwarf ground cherry (P. fruiticosa).

Save your lint

We all know that clothes dryers make lint, but did you know that the lint actually has a use? Instead of throwing it in the trash, put it in the garden or compost pile. Lint makes a fine soil amendment.

Beware as lint can also pose a fire and carbon monoxide danger when there is an excessive accumulation in your dryer exhaust pipe. Regularly inspect and clean the dryer exhaust pipe to prevent a clogged vent.

When to up-pot a houseplant

How do you determine when a houseplant is in need of repotting into a larger pot?IMG_6151

You can tell if the plant need repotting when roots emerge through the drainage holes or a network of roots developing on the soil surface. Do not go overboard with a new pot larger than a few more inches, as most plants like to be slightly rootbound. (more…)

Growing amaryllis

The amaryllis houseplant is native to Central and South America and is famous for its large trumpet-like blooms. The amaryllis is a common gift plant during the holidays. Once it blooms, you should snip off the tips anthers (the little stems that come out of the flowers that bear pollen). By doing so, you’ll prolong the bloom show for a few extra days.

Once the amaryllis blooms have faded, cut the flower stalk off at the base and let it continue to grow leaves, give it a well-lit room, and grow as you would most houseplants (normal water, occasional fertilizer). After about 15 months it should bloom again (normally in spring) then it will bloom every spring after that.

What is the correct way to pronounce the word “poinsettia”?

Some people say “point-set-ee-ah” while others say “point-set-ah.” Most dictionaries say that both are acceptable pronunciations, but many experts say that “point-set-ee-ah,” better reflects the spelling of the word.

The plant was named after American diplomat Joel Poinsett who sent the plant back to the US in the early 1800s from Mexico.

Picking out a Christmas Tree

Before you head out to the local Christmas tree lot, first get out a tape measure and check height of ceiling. Add to that measurement the height of your tree stand. With this information you can prevent spending too much money on a tree that is too tall for your room.

Always shop in daylight to really see the quality of the tree. Try bending a few needles, if they are brittle skip that tree. Within two hours of setting the tree up always cut two inches off the bottom of the trunk. If you wait past two hours you may need to re-cut again. This is important for the tree to take up enough water .

Keep the tree well-hydrated. It is in the first few days that they drink the most (up to 1/2 gallon of water a day).

Always locate the tree away from heater vents, television, fireplaces or any other source of heat which could dry out the tree. Avoid leaving the lights on when you are away. The newer LED lights are always safer than the old incandescent tree lights because they run much cooler and you can put more strings into one plug.

Preventing mice in the home

Mice in the home can cause big problems. They populate fast, often having a litter of up to 13 pups every 20 days! Mice can chew through electric wires, eat and pollute your food, and even carry the deadly hantavirus.

Mice can squeak through even the smallest openings. Inspect your home’s exterior perimeter looking for small openings and plug them with caulk, screen or steel wool. Use traps, cats, and baits as needed—but always keep baits away from children and pets.

Never pile firewood, debris, leaves or compost bins or piles adjacent to your home. This will quickly become habitat for mice who will soon find a way in. Sometimes mice walk right into the home through an open door. So, don’t leave your door open on the occasional warm day.

Yard chores before the cold is permanent

•     Before it gets really cold, do a yard-wide roundup of your tools, sprinklers and hoses.
•     Scrape the dirt off the tools and rub vegetable oil on the handles and blades to prevent rust and wood cracks.
•     Clean out your gutters to prevent basement flooding and to alleviate gutter damage and help the snow to dissipate faster.
•     Prepare your lawn mower for winter- remove gas and place the engine in a large trash bag
•     Safely store all fertilizers and pesticides in an area where there is no freezing – especially insecticides.
•     Disconnect your hoses, insulate your hose bibs or disconnect the water supply using an indoor valve (if you have one).
•     Store your pots (clay and plastic) in a place out of the weather
•     Remove all water timers and plastic nozzles– they crack when we get hard frosts.

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