Friday, January 12, 2018

Girdling Roots

Photo Credit: Linda Langelo
Photo Credit: Linda Langelo
What are girdling roots?  Lateral roots that restrict the flow of nutrients and water to the tree.  These lateral roots are usually slightly below or at ground level.  
Any girdling root must be removed to minimize the damage to the trunk cambium of the tree below the root.  This should be left to a certified arborist. 
How does this happen to a tree?   In transplanting the tree, this occurs when the hole is not wide or deep enough.  This can also happen with any type of obstruction in the soil.  Soil compaction can cause girdling roots. But these are not the only reasons.   There are unknown factors that can cause girdling roots according to Bruce R. Fraedrich, Ph. D., Plant Pathologist from Bartlett Tree Experts.

Hardy Boy Label

Do you know where and how the Hardy Boy Plant Label originated?  Right here in Colorado!  The CEO of Welby Gardens, Al Gerace thought up the label.

Why?  In 1976, Denver was in drought year.  High water-salinity issues plagued the Front Range of Colorado.  They were producing hardy plants.  Since there were six boys in the family ranging from ages two to ten at the time.  The label Hardy Boy Plants was born.  Plants that landscapers and retailers could rely on for their toughness.  These plants would survive. 

Photo Credit: Welby Gardens

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Winter Lawn Care Tip

Photo Credit:  Linda Langelo

Lawn Tip:

During warmer winters with less snow, it is important to water you lawn lightly so that the crown has sufficient water.  Winter watering can be essential for preventing winter injury or death.  The recipe for disaster is warm, sunny, windy and dry days with low humidity.  The turf isn’t mulched so you cannot give it extra protection especially when there is no snow cover.  Pay particular attention to the south and west facing areas of your lawn.  They will dry out faster.  New sod that is not well established will need some extra water as well. 


Monday, January 8, 2018

Snow Geese

Photo Credit: Wikipedia
Have you noticed recently any of these birds migrating?  Right before the cold weather was ushered in a couple of days before Christmas, these snow geese decided to go south or do they?  They spend their summers on the drier arctic tundra about five miles from the coast.  These are also common breeding grounds. 
According to National Audubon, during migration and winter the snow geese are found in coastal marshes, estuaries, freshwater marshes, and agricultural country. Greater Snow Goose often nests in higher and drier tundra, and in migration and winter is more often in saltwater habitats than Lesser Snow.

Feeding sources differ from summer to winter.  In the summer, the adult geese feed on roots, leaves and wild grasses such as sedges, bulrushes and horsetail. The goslings feed on larvae.  In the winter, the geese feed on berries and waste grain in the agricultural fields.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Photo Credit: Linda Langelo
Are you seeds ordered?  It is a bit early.  But you can start lots of seed 4 to 6 weeks in advance before the average frost-free date in your area.  The average frost-free date in Northeast Colorado seems to be between May 21 and May 31. 
You have plenty of time to start peppers, tomatoes and many more seeds inside.  Starting with the date of May 21 and back up to the first week in April.   I might back that up just a bit more to the last week in March.  Give the seeds time if you transplant from a seed tray rather than directly into pots.  And then give the plants more time to harden off before you just take them out and put them in the garden. 
So get ready.  Order those seeds.  Make sure you have a plan for your garden.  Make sure you are rotating as best you can.  In a small garden space, there is less area to rotate the crops around.  However, you can get used containers and plant some of the crops such as peppers or eggplant in the container.  You could even do carrots or beets in deep containers.  Small spaces do not allow for a lot of successive planting. 
You could get old pallets and raise some of the vining crops by growing them vertically.  Get inventive.  Everybody's vegetable selections differ.  Be sure there is enough space for all your needs. Happy seeding! 

Thursday, December 28, 2017


Photo Credit: Linda Langelo
Vineyards are not very popular in eastern Colorado.  However, a crop of grapes would do very well here.  Grapes are tolerant of drought.  The vines are perennial and can last up to 100 years.  After the first three to four years the vines start producing.  Lots of labor is needed twice a year.  Once for pruning and again when the grapes are ready to harvest.  There are several options before choosing the vines you want.  Grapevines can offer a different product depending upon the variety such as table grapes, juice, jams and jellies and/or raisins.  For more information on grapevines and their care go to Colorado Grape Growers Guide.

Trees In RV Parks

Photo Credit: Linda Langelo
As in the previous post on trees one of the beneficial aspects is providing shade.  In Stratton, Colorado off of I-70 there is a small RV park that provides rest from a long drive.  Each RV site has trees on its island surrounding the hookups. 
This is just one example outside of lining a city street with trees where trees can provide calm to people.  This site helps people reduce the stress of driving.  Being around trees and/or observing a tree lowers a person's heart rate.  The next time you are on the road on a long drive find a place with a lot of trees to refresh yourself.  

Wednesday, December 27, 2017


Photo Credit: Linda Langelo
Wouldn't this be a great place to be right now?  Our weather over the last couple of days has been a high of 18 and 11 with lows of minus temperatures.  A study conducted at the University of Michigan by Dr. Berman says taking a 55 minute walk through a park or city streets lined with trees increases our cognitive ability such as memory and attention.   Naturally a 55 minute walk is in itself healthy.  But just what is it about a tree that enables us to be better mentally.  Also in Dr. Berman's study is walking certainly helps those with clinical depression.  Those who have this issue are better to walk at the end of everyday, than at the beginning. 

The act of walking grounds and centers people.  It is also a way to increase circulation and lose weight.  Having a park nearby helps to encourage walking to add getting to the goal of 10,000 steps a day. 

Trees in general have so many more benefits.  Here are a few more:

  • Provide shade
  • Provide shelter for wildlife such as birds, squirrels and insects.
  • Healing faster for patients in a hospital with a view of a tree
  • Reduce stress by lowering heart rates
  • Increase property value when houses are surrounded by trees up to 25% higher values
  • Provide oxygen
  • Utilizes CO2
  • Shopping districts with trees are where shoppers stay longer and are willing to pay more for products purchased at these shopping districts

Yuma Jail Garden

Photo Credit: Linda Langelo

Yuma Jail Garden in Wray, Colorado is a 40 bed moderate facility with short term inmates.  Those earning the right get the opportunity to help raise their own food for the facility.  They have raised tomatoes, peppers, dried beans, green beans, potatoes and as you see in the picture above some flowers. 

At the end of this year's season, they have had a harvest dinner.  This season the garden had fewer inmates than the first year, but it can be challenging with this moderate facility.  Doing this for Yuma Jail is a first of its kind.  Their goal is to move forward with doing a greenhouse.  The greenhouse can be a training ground for inmates to learn useful job skills while giving their life purpose in the moment. 

Christmas Main Street Pot Decorating Competition

Technically, Christmas Day is considered the first day of Christmas.  There are twelve and that would take us to January.  So there is still time to share these pots on our main street in Julesburg, Colorado.  This is an old tradition that was rekindled last year.  In the second year in a row, the creativity which the different businesses have shown is spectacular.  Enjoy!