Monday, January 25, 2016
Thompson Park, Julesburg, CO. Photo Credit: CSU Extension, Linda Langelo, Horticulture Program Associate
Whether it is the year of the begonia or the year of the delphinium, the next gardening season is around the corner to challenge even the most experienced gardeners. Come and be educated on some of the latest gardening issues.
A native grass exhibit will be on display.
Friday, January 22, 2016
- The first picture is the end result of ponderosa pines about 40 years old that succumbed to girdling roots left around the base of the tree. This tree was buried slightly deeper than it should have been. A strong wind of 50 miles an hour pushed this tree over.
- In the second picture it shows the root ball in the planting hole with burlap and twine still enclosed in the wire basket. Both the burlap and wire basket need to have the top third removed to allow the roots to spread. Roots generally go out and slightly up toward ground level. In some cases, Maples and Colorado Blue Spruce are shallow rooted trees.
- What causes burlap not to decompose quickly? Burlap does not decompose quickly here in many locations on the eastern plains of Colorado because of improper water levels in the soil, too high or too low pH, lack of proper oxygen, lack of available nitrogen, higher levels of aluminum or manganese. In turn the microbes, particularly bacteria are responsible for decomposition is lessened due to the stress placed on them by the poor environment of our soils.
- There are other living organisms in our soils besides bacteria in the following descending order:
- another group of bacteria called actinomycetes providing valuable antibiotics,
- fungi provide soil stability with their threadlike filament structures,
- algae and cyanobacteria are photosynthetic microbes which can add small amounts of carbon to soil and
- protozoa which make nutrients available by mineralizing them for plants and animals.
- Other than those mentioned above, there are more soil animals such as nematodes, microarthropods such as mites and springtails and larger animals such as earthworms and burrowing insects like dung beetles.
|Photo Credit: Linda Langelo, CSU Horticulture Program Associate|
In times of great human need we rescue each other and at other times we may be called to rescue our animals or livestock. So why not rescue food that is going to be wasted? According to the Environmental Protection Agency we waste up to 40% of the food we produce. This translates into an even bigger number of $165 billion dollar loss with 805 million people going hungry according to the Colorado Springs Food Rescue.
Nonprofits have popped up all over the country because of the Federal Law the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1996. The Federal Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act protects the donor and the recipient agency against liability, excepting only gross negligence and/or intentional misconduct. Since 1996, many states have passed their own Good Samaritan Laws.
Established nonprofits can collect food from any distributor to any recipients. This leaves the field wide open to supplementing food shortages. This means that restaurants don't have to add left over food to their trash which lowers their waste collection costs. This is a win-win for all involved. A homeless family or a family that has a low-income gets the benefit of a variety of food which was previously unattainable. Think about what your nonprofit can do? Go to the link: http://www.coloradospringsfoodrescue.org/ and read about how Colorado Springs Food Rescue operates.
Thursday, January 14, 2016
Wednesday, January 6, 2016
But, oh the fragrance of these takes your memory back to the fragrance of sweet pea flowering vine. Even the flowers seem to match in their structure. That is because they are related both being in the Legume Family. If you were to take a blindfold test, would you know if you were sitting next to a sweet pea or a wisteria vine?
If you are interested in the non-native types, Silky wisteria, Wisteria venusta repels deer, but attracts butterflies. It has a short 6 inch white racemes blooming in May and June which grows to about 32 feet.
The wisteria with a number of cultivated varieties in a number of colored options such as white, lavender, blue and deep purple is the Japanese wisteria, Wisteria floribunda. Anyone living in zones 5 through 9 can enjoy this type with the longest of all the flower racemes reaching up to 3 feet and blooming in May and June. As much as we sell color blends of tulips, annuals, perennials why not blend two or even all three different colors into the appropriate landscape theme.
Last but not least, there is the Chinese wisteria, Wisteria sinensis, with mauve or lilac colored racemes reaching 9 to 12 inches with the exception of one variety, Cooke's Special of 20 inch length racemes. This type will bloom in May and June.
All of these types need full-sun with well-drained soil to grow and an acid to neutral soil pH.
Tuesday, December 22, 2015
For flower lovers in zones 3b and 4, there are some choices for winter flowers for the landscape. Bulbs are the answer.
- Winter Aconite, Eranthus hyemalis - the more common of the aconites which originated from Europe with lemon-yellow flowers and are great planted as borders or under shrubs or trees. Definitely best used in large numbers. By late January or early February, these will be blooming.
- Winter Aconite, Eranthus cilicica - is not as common as E. hyemalis. These bulbs are originally from Turkey with yellow flowers with smaller yellow-bronze leaves.
Aconites are easy to grow. As long as aconites have even moisture, they will survive in full-sun and/or partial shade. For Colorado with our alkaline soils, these bulbs do well in alkaline soil. They thrive in zones 4 through 7.
The second type of winter flower bulb is as follows:
- Snowdrops, Galanthus nivalis 'Flora Pleno' - a bulb with double white flowering petals originating from northern Europe.
- Snowdrops, Galanthus elwesii - is a bulb with giant honey scented snowdrops.
Snowdrops need to be planted in the fall. They require full-sun with moist soil. They will do well in zones 2 through 4. The best feature is they bloom after Christmas. These bulbs need to be planted in large numbers as they are used to naturalize an area, or a border.
Thursday, December 10, 2015
|Photo Credit: Wikipedia|
We think of oaks as stately, slow growing and large trees. With a new introduction 'JFS-WK3' Urban Pinnacle Oak, it is a narrow, pyramidal form growing 55 feet tall and 25 feet wide. This oak will fit in most urban front or backyard landscapes. One of its best features is its resistance to powdery mildew and anthracnose.
As with other oaks, it is still a slow growing tree. Urban Pinnacle has a strong central leader. Another great characteristic is its tolerance for heat and drought. Here on the eastern plains of Colorado, trees benefit greatly by having those characteristics. So if you are looking for a narrow tree which will live a long time for your landscape, you might want to try Urban Pinnacle.
Tuesday, November 24, 2015
|Photo by Linda Langelo|
This plant is from the Asteraceae Family. There are 51 species of Bidens. There are other species such as Bidens pilosa which is an annual flowering all summer into fall.
Bidens has many common names such as beggarticks, black jack, burr marigolds, cobbler's pegs, Spanish needles, stickseeds and tickseeds. WOW! No wonder it is confused. Comparing Bidens to Ratibida columnifera or Prairie Coneflower which is a hardy perennial in eastern Colorado, the Ratibida has stopped blooming.
Monday, November 23, 2015
- Woodward columnar juniper
Juniperus scopulorum 'Woodward'—4 feet wide by 20 feet tall- very columnar and very well adapted to our environment.
- Pinyon pine - Pinus edulis -- 20 feet wide by 30 feet tall; needing very little regular water; very drought tolerant.
- Hot Wings Tatarian Maple-- Acer tataricum 'GarAnn' PP 15,023 – is deciduous and grows to 18 feet tall and 18 wide. It is not pH sensitive like most maples and deals well with drought once established. Take a look at the photos below.
|Photo by Plant Select|
|Photo by Plant Select|
Beyond these selections there are many other possibilities to our cemeteries looking nice. Listed below are a couple of other selections for the eastern plains of Colorado:
- Little Leaf Mahogany or Cerocarpus intricatus would make a nice addition to any windbreak. It has flowers that turn into attractive feathery seed pods. This is a smaller shrub growing to 5 feet by 4 feet wide.
- Russian Hawthorn or Crataegus ambigua would have very showy white flowers in spring. It is a hardy plant and tolerates the extreme weather conditions of the plains. It grows to 16 feet wide and 20 feet tall.
- Seven-Son Flower or Heptacodium miconioides would have many attractive features including an exfoliating bark. This is a late season flowering shrub with white flowers. The sepals which cover the flower petals are also an attractive red color before the petals open.
- Smith's Buckthorn or Rhamnus smithii is a shrub which can be placed to line the windbreak with a sold green deciduous plant material. After it flowers there will be black berries. The flowers are insignificant. It is very drought tolerant and can withstand the extreme weather conditions on the plains.