Cheyenne Botanic Gardens : Gardening Tips


Accidental melons in Cheyenne

We recently received this note from a supporter: CheyenneMelonsA Accidental melons in Cheyenne
“Last year we bought an electric composter and it really works great. We put virtually everything in it and spread the compost in the garden this spring. Naturally, we had also put all of our cantaloupe and honeydew melon seeds in it too. (more…)

Dehydrating tomatoes

DriedTomatoes2 Dehydrating tomatoesThis year has been a banner year for tomatoes on the high plains and front range due much in part to the warm weather. If you are finding yourself with a surplus of tomatoes either from the garden, the store or farmers’ markets, you can consider a variety of methods for storing them. Among the options are canning, freezing and drying. By far the most simple is to dry your tomatoes. It is hard to believe that something so juicy can be dehydrated, but it can. (more…)

Artichokes in the garden

artichokeflower2 700x525 Artichokes in the garden

Artichoke in flower

Because most of the commercial artichokes come from California, people assume that they won’t grow in our shorter season areas. Actually you can grow edible artichokes here. They are not heavy producers and take up a bit of space but they are still not hard to grow and a fresh artichoke is always tastier than store bought.

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A tough broadleaf evergreen

nm privet foresteria n 3 250x187 A tough broadleaf evergreen

New Mexico Privet is a drought tolerant, large shrub native to the Rockies. It requires little in the way of water or care and thrives on the High Plains if you don’t over-​​water the plant. It is treasured for its white bark. With some base pruning to expose the bark it can have a similar look to aspen.

Hail Forecaster

CheyenneHailstone 250x186 Hail ForecasterThis is a great site for a quick glance at our chance for hail each day. This is the time of year hail is frequent and devastating. Click here for some strategies for dealing with hail.

Click here to view short video of one of two devastating hail storms in 2011.

Vining honeysuckle

lonicera dropmore honeysuckle1 Vining honeysuckleThere is a vining honeysuckle (relative to the shrub) that is showy, hardy and blooms much of the summer. It needs a sunny spot, rich soil, regular water and a trellis or even a chain-​​link fence. It produces red, yellow or cream colored blooms. “Halls” is the hardiest variety.

grape honeysuckle medium Vining honeysuckle

Kintzley’s Ghost

Kintzley’s ghost vining honeysuckle isn’t much for flowers but it produces showy, large saucer-​​shaped silvery bracts that look like silver dollars. Avoid the fragrant Japanese honeysuckle at altitudes above 5,500′ as it is the least hardy.

Solar lights for potted plants

solarlighting Solar lights for potted plantsIf you are like many gardeners, you have some flowering plants on your porch, deck or entryway. These pots usually have colorful annual flowers that bloom every day. Unfortunately, when night comes, they too go dark. Light your pots up with a low-​​cost solar light. Solar lights can cost as little as $3.00 each, and all you have to do is simply place one in the center of your pot or hanging basket. Voila! Now you have easy, instant, cheap, colorful night lighting!

Photographing your garden

P1030241 700x525 Photographing your gardenThe best time to take photos of your garden is in the early morning or the late afternoon (including right after sunset). It is important to avoid the harsh light that is especially impactful during the middle of the day. Overcast days tend to be better than sunny days. Your garden will shine a bit more if you lightly spray your plants, soil and walkways with water before you start shooting pictures.

Don’t ignore houseplants changing summer needs

220px Snake plant Dont ignore houseplants changing summer needsDon’t forget to fertilize your houseplants in the summer months. In addition, houseplants need slightly more water when it gets warm outside. This is a great time to take your larger plants outside where you can hose off the accumulated dust from the past year. Of course, only use a nozzle with a gentle spray. This will maintain your plants’ health and keep the bugs down.

Drop the lawn clippings

lawn2 700x854 Drop the lawn clippingsTurf experts all agree, if you regularly mow your lawn, you should let your clippings drop back to the ground. Because clippings are 90% water they readily break down into organic matter that feeds the soil and improves soil texture. (more…)

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