Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Buyer Beware of Quickgreen Grass

This is what every homeowner dreams about -- the perfect lawn! When you see ads that guarantee a quickgreen grass that germinates in 5 days, grows like crazy, withstands cold, drought, disease and heavy traffic: beware. The miracle grass is an annual ryegrass, Lolium multiflorum. According to Tony Koski, CSU specialist it has a lousy color and texture, and shreds horribly when mowed with a rotary mower and is an annual here in Colorado. Being an annual it will winterkill. As Tony puts it what remains will become an ugly weed.

So we need to look for greener pastures elsewhere. There is nothing that can be a panacea for homeowners on having the perfect lawn. Lawns are high maintenance. Like any other plant each different type has a different cultural practice. If you want the best lawn, you follow the appropriate cultural practices.

Information on turf grass can be found at http://csuturf.colostate.edu .

Friday, April 17, 2009

Vegetable Winners

In the April issue of Organic Gardening listed several vegetable varieties tested from their different testing garden locations throughout the country. And the winners are as follows:

Cherry Tomato 'Smarty' was a disease resistant variety. It grows to about four feet. Seeds can be obtained from johnnyseeds.com.

Tomato 'Ramapo' healthy plants with the best tasting tomato. Seeds can be obtained by njfarmfresh.rutgers.edu/JerseryTomato.html.

Carrot 'Yaya' grows 4 to 6 inches long gives good taste and uniform size. Seeds can be obtained from highmowingseeds.com.

'Honey Nut' Winter Squash needs plenty of space, but delivers with sweetness and yield. Seeds can be obtained at highmowingseeds.com.

'Dancer' Eggplant performs well all summer by staying healthy and robust and has a second wind in October. Seeds can be found at johnnyseeds.com.

'Mustard Lime Streaked' Mizuna has no flea beetle troubles. It is fast-growing and regrows rapidly after each shearing. Seeds can be found at kitchengardenseeds.com.

'Lambkin' Melon gets good marks for taste and ripening quickly. Seeds can be obtained at territorialseed.com.

'Trombetta' Climbing Italian Summer Squash with a sweet mild flavor is attacked by squash bugs, but is a heavy producer. So you do not need many seeds. This grows well in Eastern Colorado. The Holyoke Community Garden had great success with it last year and it did not get attacked by squash bugs. Seeds can be obtained at reneesgarden.com.

'Oasis' Turnip is a white turnip that is sweet and juicy. Seeds germinate reliably and roots fatten up almost as quickly as radishes. These can be planted in the spring and fall. Seeds can be obtained from fedcoseeds.com.

'Flexum' Hybrid Sweet Pepper has thicker than expected flesh and nonstop production. Seeds can be obtained at jungseed.com.

'Multy' Lettuce both tasty and ornamental. Seeds can be obtained at kitchengardenseeds.com.

So get going and growing. For April you can plant potatoes, radishes, onions, lettuce, swiss chard and peas for starters.