Monday, July 16, 2018

Fire Blight

Photo Credit: Joel Schneekloth

This is what fire blight looks like on a pear tree.  The disease is caused by a bacterium Erwinia amylovora, is a common and frequently destructive disease of pome fruit trees and related plants.  The best way to control this is to get more resistant varieties of pome fruit trees and related plants.  The second best way to control this is to prune one foot below the infected area.  Do not use lots of nitrogen fertilizer or prune excessively because this leads to new tender growth that is fertile ground for the bacterium.  There are sprays to also help control.  Contact your Extension Service for a listing and the proper timing on sprays.

Friday, July 13, 2018


Photo Credit: Linda Langelo- Woodland Sunflower

Helianthus divaricatus -Woodland Sunflower is a perennial sunflower needing some afternoon shade.  It can grow from 3 feet to 6 feet tall.  If it is in a more open area other than by a wall in the above picture, it may need some staking.  It can be a vigorous grower.   The sunflowers are 2 inches across. 
I know the range on this plant is eastern United States, Oklahoma and Canada.  However, these are placed in a location with early morning sun and then afternoon shade.  It stays cool and moist once this location gets some rain or irrigation.  

July to September this herbaceous perennial will flower.  If you cut the dead flowers off, it will flower again.  If you have the right location, this can be a great plant to have.   It attracts butterflies.  In the early fall, Painted Ladies visit this sunflower.

Wheel Bug

Wheel Bug  Photo Credit:   

What an odd looking bug with its wheel shaped pronatal armor.  This insect is really a beneficial insect. It is in the same family as the assassin bug.  This insect feeds on sawflies, aphids, beetles, tent caterpillars and even the brown marmorated stink bug. But don't mess around because if you disturb the wheel bug, it can inflict a painful bite.  Some say worse than bees, hornets or wasps.  With the unique look to this insect, I am sure no one will soon forget it.  It is 1.5 inches when it reaches maturity as an adult.

The Wheel bug has a saliva that contains a toxic, paralytic substance to immobilize and kill their prey.  It takes about 15 to 30 seconds.  In flight they are noisy with their membranous wings.  They could be mistaken for a grasshopper in flight.  They are shy and hide in the leaves of sunflowers, locust trees and some fruit trees. 

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Edible Flowers

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Edible Flowers

Most of us know about daylilies, nasturtium and squash blossoms are edible flowers.  But there are is a brief list:

  • Strawberry
  • Marigold
  • Sage
  • Mustard
  • Monarda
  • Hyacinth bean
  • Snapdragon
  • Viola
  • Sunflowers
Why use edible flowers?  Edibles are great for a garnish on cakes or ice cream or just to make a plate colorful.  If you like salads, you can add them to the salad.  Other edibles like monarda or marigolds can be used can spice up a dessert. 

Photo Credit: Wikipedia Coneflower.png

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Julesburg Community Garden

                                                       Photo Credit: Linda Langelo

We collected spinach to go to the Ovid Methodist Food Pantry.  Now still we are taking food next week to the Ovid Methodist Food Pantry.  We have strawberries, peas, swiss chard, another type of spinach that does better in summer - New Zealand Spinach and possibly some zucchini.

With the two inches of rain we had last weekend, we are busy pulling weeds.  Weeds that rob the plants of water and nutrients.  Tomatoes and peppers are looking really good.  I think because of all the rain, we will have a good crop this year on the tomatoes.  Peppers do not like the cool weather we have had over the last couple of weeks. But now we are back in the 90s and today a 102. 

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Tasty Bite #Good Seed  Photo Credit: Linda Langelo
Tasty Bite #Good Seed Spinach Packets Photo Credit: LLangelo

This gardening season, the Julesburg Community Garden is participating in a Tasty Bite #GoodSeed Competition.   We are growing spinach and some lettuce seed to give fresh produce to a local food pantry.  In this case, it would be the Ovid Methodist Church Food Bank.  With each bag of produce, we are giving a recipe for cooking spinach.  We actually have two simple recipes for cooking spinach. 
One of the biggest barriers to people not using certain types of fresh food is no one understands how to properly prepare the food.  Turnips are a good example of this point.  Turnips are a non-starchy vegetable that can be used like a potato.  Look out potato.  It can be used in stews or with any meat/fish dish or in a side dish. 
The garden can bring a variety of other foods to the table.  The more varied your diet and more colorful your plate, the better nutrition for your body.
I will keep you posted on our Tasty Bite #GoodSeed progress this season.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Spring has sprung!

Dutch Master Daffodil Photo Credit: Wikipedia
Daffodils are popping up everywhere.  The trumpet type daffodils in the picture above are the classic flower in all of the daffodil categories.  They are good in landscape beds because of their bold flowers.  The corona (trumpet) is as long or longer than the flower petals. 
Of the ten classifications of daffodils, it is difficult to pick a favorite.  The oldest among the daffodils is King Alfred in the trumpet class of daffodils.  In 1899, King Alfred received a First Class Certificate, the highest award granted by the Royal Horticultural Society.  Created by John Kendall in England, it was quite a sight to see such a large flowering daffodil with such golden coloring.  Today it is still a popular daffodil.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia
This daffodil among all of the classes is one that is known throughout the world.  In fact Dutch Master is said to be the King Alfred Improved.  Breeders claim that the petals can burn more quickly and it doesn't last as long as King Alfred. 
Breeders recommend Golden Harvest which is from the original line of King Alfred. 
Photo Credit: Wikipedia   Golden Harvest
Enjoy spring with these bulbs.  There are ten classifications to choose from with varied features.
A listing of classes:
  • Trumpet
  • Large-Cupped
  • Double
  • Jonquilla
  • Miniature
  • Poeticus
  • Small-Cupped
  • Split-Corona
  • Tazetta
  • Triandus


Friday, February 9, 2018

Art in the Garden

Photo Credit: Linda Langelo - Denver Botanic Garden, Moore Art
Everyone's taste in art is different from modern to classical and anything in between.  Not having a piece of sculpture does not mean your garden lacks an artistic sense.  Statues can be used as focal points in the garden.  In the picture above, a large piece of sculpture was necessary to be in proportion with the open landscape.  It fills the space.
Photo Credit: Linda Langelo - Denver Botanic Gardens, Moore Sculpture
Here is an interesting way to use a sculpture.  The piece is reflected in the pond along with the landscape and a focal piece that is expanded because of its reflection.  Beyond large sculptures, the garden design can draw you down a path. 
Photo Credit: Linda Langelo, Denver Botanic Gardens
Water creates a calming sensation.  With the water jets along this garden wall, it creates a musical quality and a visual quality of dancing water.  Repetition helps unify the design and demonstrate a certain creative expression. 
Photo Credit: Linda Langelo, Denver Botanic Gardens
The picture above is an example of repetition.  The same pots and the same junipers along with the flowers through the entire space.  The flower and shrub colors all complement each other well.
Photo Credit: Linda Langelo, Denver Botanic Gardens
The use of one or two plants can create a dramatic sense of expression in the landscape.  Here in the picture above, ice plants, veronica and ornamental grass are the elements used.  The pots appear as a form of sculpture.  In all these pictures, there is one common thread.  That of simplicity.  Deciding on the type of creative expression for the landscape and following through with it.  

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Participate in Earth Hour 2018

Photo Credit: Wikipedia
Are you participating in Earth Hour on Saturday, March 24, 2018 from 8:30 PM to 9:30 PM? Here is what you need to do.  To show your support for global warming, awareness of climate change and to help the planet, turn off all nonessential lighting for one hour.
From 2007 when World Wildlife Federation started in Sydney, Australia with 2.2 million people participating, Earth Hour has grown to reach 187 countries and territories with 12,000 landmarks and monuments turning off their lights.  The idea is to power a shift to renewables and a more sustainable lifestyle.  We have exceeded our carbon footprint to the point that we are using the resources of 1.7 Earths to meet our energy, shelter and food needs.  This also includes the things we do and the products we purchase.
Beyone participating in Earth Hour, what are some of the things you can do daily to stop climate change?  Here is a brief list below of things to make a positive impact:
  1. Purchase products with a recycled content such as kitchen towels, toilet paper, napkins and handkerchiefs. 
  2. Look for the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) label on timber products such as garden chairs, paper and envelopes.
  3. Purchase energy-efficient appliances and equipment including office equipment.
  4. Purchase biodegradable cleaning products.
  5. Purchase cloth bags for groceries.  Less packaging reduces waste in landfills.  This is a reduction of about 10% for each of us and cuts down on methane gas - a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming.  Of course, buying local and fresh food helps.
  6. Planting natives is a solution to conserving water, stopping the use of pesticides and fertilizers.  Colorado State University has a program called Native Plant Master Program.  Visit the website to learn more about it
  7. Pollinator Highway learn more about that at this link:  Some of you remember Lady Bird Johnson's Scenic Byways achieving some of the same goals as Pollinator Highway.  One of those is a reduction in mowing.  Tensions were high back then and her thoughts were along bringing beauty to the highway medians in part to reduce stress.  Wildflowers and the natural world meant so much to her that she started the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas.
These are just a few tips that you can do along with improving your landscape.  Go to

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

A FireWise Technique

Foundation planting is a thing of the past.  To help save your home from fire, plantings are placed 15 feet from the home's foundation.  Here are a few materials that are more fire-resistive for the foundation:

  • Concrete
  • Gravel beds
  • Cement walls
One note on gravel beds, you need to keep them clean of leaves and weeds.  The picture below shows a terraced garden up against a fairground building.  The beds are gravel mulched and terraced beds could work if they were further from the building.  The plants in these beds are Plant Select Plants.  Some of which are native and fire resistant, not fire proof. 

Photo Credit: Linda Langelo

Here is another example a mulched bed right up against the building.  A fire would move quickly to the top of this bed.  The evergreen trees are very flammable because of their high oil and pitch content and not their water content.  Remove the evergreens and move the bed out to the sidewalk and this would be a safer building.