Cheyenne Botanic Gardens : Gardening Tips


New choice peas

A garnish is a palette cleansing green (often a sprig of parsley) added to a dinner plate. While rare in today’s restaurants, it is making a comeback in a new form: pea tendrils and blossoms. These are varieties not grown for their peas, but instead produce mostly edible tendrils and flowers. Look in catalogs for these varieties: “tendril pea,” “dwarf grey sugar pea,” and “feisty.” (more…)

Weather forecast accuracy

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Gardeners watch the weather more closely than most. With the advent of computers and smart phones there are numerous apps that will give you both short and long-​​term forecasts.

Have you ever wondered which app is the most accurate? People have their favorites like Weather Bug, Weather​.com and Weather Underground. Now there is a web site that tracks the accuracies of these forecast sites. It is called “Forecast Adviser.Click here to view how accurate the forecasts are for Cheyenne. You might want to change your weather app after you see how accurate they really are, or you might just want to flip a coin.

End of season chores

What are some of the last outdoor chores we need to do before everything is totally frozen?
• Clean chimney– important if you burn wood or pellets. You can either do this yourself by purchasing a sweep or hire it out.
• Put away hoses– or at the very least get them out of direct sun.
• Put insulating caps over your outdoor water spigots or, if you can, turn them off from inside.
• Put fuel preservative in your gas lawn mowers, place trash bag over the mowers engine.
• Clean gutters– use a blower to make the job less messy.
• Clear debris away from house to prevent mice entry
• Rake the last of the leaves
• Check around doors and windows for air leaks and then seal with caulk
• Make sure you have a carbon monoxide detector now that it is heating season.
• Reverse the direction of your ceiling fans. In winter, set it for a clockwise rotation. This pushes the warm air near your ceilings down into your living spaces. This is particularly important for homes with very high ceilings. Set to slow.
• If you’re not using your fireplace, check to be sure your damper is closed. Leaving it open is equivalent to leaving a window wide open.

What you need to know about leaf blowers

Leaf blowers are a great help with autumn cleanup, and double as driveway sweepers or even snow blowers (when the snow is light and dry).

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Old Farmer’s Almanac winter weather forcast

We are on the line of cold and dry and mild and dry.
Click here to see.

Garden tools winter prep.

This is the time of year when we need to put away our garden tools and get out the snow shovels. Be sure and clean dirt and debris off your tools. Use a wire brush to remove any of the rust. It’s also great to sharpen the edges of your trowels and shovels with a file. Wooden handled tools can benefit from an application of oil. Linseed oil is the best, but you can also use cooking oil.

Tips for Farmers Market shopping

farmers market2The Cheyenne Botanic Garden brought the first Farmers’ Market to Cheyenne in 1980. It was the first such market in the state of Wyoming. We have since helped many other communities get their market off the ground. In 1987, we spun the downtown market off to Community Action of Laramie County who runs it today.

Farmers’ Markets provide your best chance at fresh produce. If you are lucky you may be paying a lower price but that is not always true. So, really it is about the quality and freshness of the produce.
Below are some tips for shopping at a Farmers Market. (more…)

End of season lawn mower care

lawnWe are approaching the last mowings of the season (whew!). By doing a few things this fall you can keep your gas lawn mower working well next spring.

First, consider sharping the blades now to get that chore out of the way for next season. You can either do it yourself or take it in to a specialist. (more…)

Use crickets to tell the temperature

 

This is the time of year when we hear crickets in our yards chirping rhythmically. They make this summer sound by rubbing their wings together. But this sound can also be a reliable predictor of temperature.

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Make your own hollyhock dolls

Hollyhock9Hollyhocks are either biennials or short lived perennials. They create an old fashioned look with blooms on top of 8-​​foot-​​tall flower spikes which provide a nice backdrop to the perennial garden. They readily reseed and come in most every color. Hollyhocks thrive in full sun and average to poor soil, and require little care other than to enjoy the blooms. (more…)

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