Saturday, April 30, 2016

Bee Swarms, Vertical Gardening and More!

April 30, 2016 Denver Post Punch List 

Honey bees are social insects - living in large colonies (10,000 and up), all with key roles in the hive.  There is one fertile "queen" bee, thousands of infertile female "worker" bees and a few hundred male bees, called "drones" that mate with the queen.  Continue reading...


Saturday, April 23, 2016

Punch List Mid-April Must Dos!

Photo from GreenTeamInc.WordPress
April 23, 2016 Denver Post Punch List

The mowing season has officially begun. Plant your vegetable garden, are you rotating your crops from year to year?  Are you growing columbine, a practically perfect plant?  Continue reading...

REMEMBRANCE® columbine from Plant Select®

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Sun's Out...What's Next?

From year to year there rarely seems to be a consistent spring weather pattern in the Denver area, and maybe anywhere in America. Nope, I take that back. I assume it's eighty pleasant degrees-give or take in Maui year round. But we don't garden in Maui. No complaints with me, we can always use the moisture...who coined that phrase?  Probably Willard Scott or Karen Carpenter...on a Monday.  Sound the rimshot

Here are some easy garden chores to get done while waiting for the landscape to dry.

  • If you're a vegetable garden and haven't planted cool-season crops in cold frames or under tunnels, warm up your beds by covering them with clear or black plastic.  Anchor the plastic with weight like bricks or wood, even fence posts will work.
  • Start cleaning and sterilizing containers and plant supports if not done last fall after use. I like to use a one to ten water/bleach solution or lysol in the can (can get expensive if you have several cages).  Plant diseases can stick around on surfaces, so take no chances and sterilize everything that has grown or touched vegetables, especially tomatoes, peppers and eggplant.  
  • Mix up a spray and coat the container or plant cage surface, wait at least five minutes, then rinse well.  I do this on my driveway so that there's no soil contact.  Obviously you can't sterilize in-ground garden soil, the next best thing is to pick up any left-over leaf, tissue or root litter from last year's crops.  Get it out of there and start with a clean bed this season. 
  • Put up your yellow jacket traps if they plague your yard (they love my yard for some reason, so I put up at least three traps every growing season). 
  • Clean your bird baths, water features and patio furniture, anything that sits outside or stored in the garage is probably dusty and dirty and needs attention. 
  • The regular outdoor grilling season will be here soon, so focus on cleaning the grill both outside and inside.  It's probably one of the least favorite chores to do so pay your and any teenager to tackle the job. Be sure to use the proper cleaning materials and techniques on your particular type of grill.  Click here for Weber cleaning tips. And if you would rather pay for this service there are places that will clean your grill, check around.
  • Sharpen your garden tools if needed or not done in awhile.  I'm often asked where to take them for quality sharpening. Try your local hardware store like an Ace.  My favorite place in Denver is Power at Hand on Colfax.  If you bring in several tools (ask your friends), they'll give you a discount. If you know of other places that do quality tool sharpening, please let me know.  
  • Shop for cool-season vegetables if you didn't grow them indoors under lights.  Harden off and plant as soon as your soil reaches at least forty degrees.  That should happen soon if covered in plastic. Temperatures are getting warm quickly so you may be able to plant next week. Just have cover materials on hand for frosty nights in the 30s or low 40s. 
  • Also shop for the basics if your current supplies are needing replacement - garden gloves, pruners, hoses, you know what you need.  
  • The fun begins when you check out the plants and warm-season vegetables arriving almost daily at garden centers.  It's okay to purchase as long as you can keep them growing and healthy at your house before they are ready for planting.  Cool-season pansies, and snap dragons can go in the ground or containers now.  

What are the odds we'll have more snow or severe weather before or on Mother's Day? You know the answer, we all know the answer. 


Saturday, April 16, 2016

Waiting for the Sun

In spring, move plants that are in the wrong place or divide
April 16, 2016 Denver Post Punch List

Weather in the garden doesn't look like it is going to cooperate this weekend, but here are some things you can be doing in the garden when the sun shines again...continue reading.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Time to Get Moving for Garden Clean-up...

April 9, 2016 Denver Post Punch List 
Time to move...get outside for an all-out garden clean-up. Warm up your winter dormant muscles by taking a few brisk walking laps a round the yard while moving your arms.  Comfortable clothes, a hat, gloves, and sunscreen are a must.  Take hourly water breaks. Continue reading...

Spring Lawn Aeration


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

What's a SymROSEium?

The SymROSEium is the catchy new name for the Denver Rose Society's annual educational event.  One of our member's husband coined the word at last year's symposium and the name stuck.  Please join us this year for a fun educational morning.  The garden camaraderie is tops!

It will take place this Saturday, April 9th from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm in Mitchell Hall at Denver Botanic Gardens.  The cost is FREE, but if you're not a member of the Denver Rose Society (DRS) or Denver Botanic Gardens, then you will have to pay the entrance fee to get into DBG.  DRS members need to check in with the member/guest desk located inside the gift shop to the right or north as you enter.  If you're a Denver Botanic Gardens member, just show your card and come right in.

Martha and a Happy Customer!

This year's SymROSEium is not to be missed (skiers have a pass since the spring snow is said to be awesome). Our keynote speaker (for two talks) is Mr. Roger Heins, former Vice-President of Sales and Genetics for Jackson and Perkins Roses and Co-Founder/Sr. V.P. of Etera Gardens.  He currently hybridizes roses and provides consulting services to gardeners and the green industry.  He is a member of the American and Denver Rose Societies, a Colorado Master Gardener, and recent judge of All American Rose Selection test gardens. He continues to judge international rose trials.  Roger co-authored the CSU Fact Sheet update on "Selecting and Planting Roses." Roger will be presenting two programs - "Roses R Us" about hybridizing and his time spent at Jackson and Perkins.  His second talk is "Tips and Myth Busters for Growing Great Roses."

In addition to hearing from Roger, we'll have mini-talks on the most asked about rose growing questions - planting, pruning, pests, diseases and fertilizing.  Bailey Roses has provided outstanding quality bare root roses that will be sold for only $20.00, a steal if you check around on line for prices (plus, hardy ones are hard to find locally).  DRS members will explain you all you need to know about planting and caring for them.

We always have wonderful drawings and new this year is a Silent Auction.  Mile-Hi Rose Feed will be available for purchase and DRS memberships. 
2015 SymROSEium
The Denver Rose Society has been an organized non-profit plant group since 1947, and is one of several societies around the country affiliated with the American Rose Society.  The mission of the group is to spread the love of roses, which means sharing the ones that grow best in our area, how to plant and how to care for roses. My favorite part is stopping to smell them and snip a few for bouquets. 

For additional information check out our website at Denver Rose Society. See you on Saturday! 

Ask and get answers to all your rose questions 

photos in this blog by Gordon Holmes

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Don't Dig Yet...

Remove or prune jagged broken tree limbs from recent storms

April 2, 2016 Denver Post Punch List

We’re ready to garden outside, but recent storms mean wet soils - so no digging until they dry out.  There are plenty of other enjoyable early-spring planning and chores to tackle...continue reading.