Slugs eat small holes in the leaves and feed mainly at night. Slug damage can disfigure a plant fast. They tend to be happiest in the overwatered garden. Besides cutting back on water, there is a slug solution in your laundry room: dryer lint. Slugs will not crawl over dryer lint. Simply remove the lint from the dryer and roll it into a rope and circle it around the plants that are more prone to slug damage for simple, organic protection. Besides slug control you can save your drier lint year-round for your summer garden for use as a mulch or add to your compost pile.
Don’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.
Carrots will not produce edible roots if they are grown too closely together. Each plant needs a minimum of an inch between seedlings. One of the best ways to thin carrots is to use a small set of scissors rather than pulling them out. Simply snip the unwanted carrots at the soil line leaving one plant every inch. By being ruthless now, you can insure an abundant supply of homegrown, sweet carrots at the end of the season. (more…)
Most garden centers sell lawn seed mixtures formulated just for shade. These are selections of grasses composed of shade tolerant “fine fescues” which are combinations of sheep’s fescue, red fescue, chewings fescue and other special varieties.
Now is a good time to sow lawn seed. Lightly rake the seed in for good soil contact. Keep the area moist until you see germination. It may take up to three weeks before you see a lot of green.
2012 winners announced
Each year, the Plant Select® program chooses a selection of plants that are worthy of promoting because of their adaptability, uniqueness, performance and durability for western gardens and landscapes.
Some are completely new to horticulture, others are simply underused and deserving of more recognition. A variety of perennials, groundcovers, trees, vines and shrubs are considered for trialing, and each summer the winners are chosen by invited evaluators.
You can build them out of recycled materials including old windows, plastic and used lumber. The frames must be relatively airtight but have openings for ventilation. There are also many easy to setup cold frame kits available commercially and vary greatly in price.
Cold frames are great for starting transplants or growing longer season crops that require more heat. Start seedlings for the outside garden in your cold frame in late February through early April.
For salad greens simply sow your seeds in late February or early March and you be picking your harvest from early April into May. They can also be used to allow for late season salads for over a month past the first fall frost.
The trickiest thing about growing in a cold frame is overheating. Be sure to allow for ventilation on sunny days. This can be as simple as propping a window up or open in the morning and shutting it in the evening. There are also heat triggered openers that require no electricity and automatically open cold frame windows as the temperatures rise.
Q. The seed racks are already out in the stores selling a wide variety of seeds. Are these seeds O.K. for growing in our short growing climate?
Most leafy and root crops are fine. But where possible go for the early varieties that seed racks and catalogs offer. This is especially important for seed for tomatoes, peppers, cucumber, eggplant and pumpkins and other winter squash.
Q. I have seen some Pansies for sale in some stores for planting outside. Can they really go out now?
A. Yes they can but keep a watch on the weather. If we dip into the teens you might want to pile some straw, pine needles or a plastic cover over them. They will bloom quite well until the real hot weather starts and are a great addition to a front planter or tub to add a lot of early season color.
Q. What is snow mold on lawns and how can it be prevented or cured?
A. Remember where the snowdrifts sat last winter? The lawn under a snowdrift is more susceptible to a grass fungus disease called “snow mold.” This area sometimes develops into mats of dead grass. To help prevent this, now is a good time to core aerate and rake this area. Go lighter with fertilizer where the snow sat as fertilizer can encourage fungus growth and cause dead patches. In bare spots consider re-seeding with a quality grass seed or take grass from areas where it is invading a flower bed and transplant it into the dead spots.
Gardeners like to keep track of the weather. In Cheyenne, the wind is something we are very much in touch. Could it have something to do with being the 4th windiest city in the nation?
Now there is an amazing new graphical representation of the daily wind direction and speed. It almost resembles dog hair moving and changing. You won’t believe it until you see it here.