Time for Tulips

100_6254We had a blast of cold winds, snow and freezing temperatures a few weeks ago that raked havoc on my massive blooms of daffodils.  Lucky for me the weather is more spring like now and the tulips are just goregous.  One of my particular favorite is “Golden Charm Tulip”

The reason I like it so much is that it is dependable, long lasting and puts on a spectacular show.  An additionally attribute is that its size.  It only gets to five inches tall.  With the winds we receive around here that is a blessing.  Alot of my taller tulips take a beating when the wind begins to howl.  This dainty darling hugs the ground and rolls with the punches. Continue reading

Gardening Jobs for April

th_100_6246-112So far April has been a roller-coaster of a month.  We have had warm and freezing temperatures, rain and very wet snow.  Now the weatherman is telling us we could get rain, thunderstorms, hail and more snow. 

If you are a seasoned Colorado gardener you just take it in stride.  For those of you who are new to Colorado or new to gardening it can be mayhem. 

No matter what the weather is doing we cannot neglect chores or forget to prepare for this year’s growing season.  So here are some gardening jobs for April:

  • If your vegetable beds are ready for planting, you can go ahead and plant your lettuce, onions, peas, spinach, and turnips  seeds now. 
  • If you haven’t started your warm season crops such as tomatoes, peppers and eggplant now is the time.
  • Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and celery transplants can also be planted.
  • Fertilize spring flowering bulbs.
  • Aerate your lawn to help with compaction.
  • Spray your fruit trees as soon as the flowers fade to control insects early.
  • Now is the time to spray your spruce trees to prevent Cooley Spruce Gall. http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/insect/05534.html
  • Apply a good pre-emergent to kill those early weeds. 
  • Keep those bird feeders full and cleaned.  The birds not only eat the seeds you put out, but also the insects that attack your plants.
  • Continue your cleaning around and pruning your perennials.
  • Many perennials can be planted in the garden now, such as Shasta Daisies, Lupines and Columbines.

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Elton John Rocking Colorado Springs

th_100_6215-11Yesterday was a cold, blustery and snowy day, not a day for gardening.  The best thing my wife and I thought to do was go to a concert.  Actually, we had planned the concert for awhile, but after being cooped up in the house it was perfect.  Going to see Elton John perform was perfect medicine to help us out of our bored and dreary mood.

The show started at 8:00 Pm and ended around 10:45 Pm and Sir Elton John did not disappoint us and the rest of the sold out crowd at the World Area.  When we first arrived all we saw on stage was just his piano.  I thought to myself, no back up band?  I had not seen Elton John before, and I found out immediately he did not need a back up band.  From his instrumentals to his well known ballads he displayed the extraordinary talents that landed him in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Continue reading

Thousand Canker Disease of Black Walnut and Walnut Twig Beetle

50240851The title sounds like something straight out of SCI-FI, but it is a deadly disease.  I was asked by Whitney Cranshaw, Professor of Entomology, Colorado State University if I would mention it in one of my blogs.  The subject came up in one of our Master Gardener Courses and how important it is to disseminate the word on this serious disease.

In the past decade there has been an increasingly number of Black Walnut (Juglans nigra) falling prey to the Thousand Canker Disease.  The Walnut Twig Beetle, though native to North America, is ususally connected with the Arizona walnut tree.  The Walnut Twig Beetle, though not harmful to the Arizona walnut tree, is exceedingly harmful to the black walnut trees in the eastern half of the United States.  An infestation of the Walnut Twig Beetle in the East, where the tree is native, would be a tremendous blow to the lumber and black walnut nut industry. Continue reading