Roses: Winter Care

Most modern hybrid roses need some winter protection because their parents are of subtropical origin. If roses have grown excessively, they may be subject to snow and wind damage. In November, prune all tall plants by one-third of their height. Otherwise, mid-April is best. In December, remove all leaves and debris from the ground. This…

Time to Start Planting!

Let’s get planting! At last, spring really is just around the corner and it’s about time to plant the first seeds of this year’s garden.     Depending on the altitude and whether you have a warm southern exposure, you could get outside and plant this weekend.  Here’s what you need: Soil that’s warm enough…

Why Prune Shade Trees

Trees in the Rocky Mountain region must be pruned properly to thrive. Shade trees should be pruned to keep them healthy, to control insects and disease, for safety and to reduce their canopy. Pruning a tree can be thought of as cleaning; broken, dead or diseased branches should be removed. These branches are like open…

Wound Dressing

Research from the 1970’s proves that wound dressings applied after branch removal do not prevent decay in woody plants. Some even delay development of callus tissue or “woundwood”. The apparent function of wound dressings is cosmetic, perhaps driven by the perception that tree wounds should be treated like human wounds. Some asphalt-based “sealers” are used…

Top Invasive Ornamentals in Colorado

Invasive ornamental weeds, because they are so much more attractive than some of the other noxious weeds, are less likely to be seen as problematic plants. “But they are so pretty,” people cry. Perhaps, but these pretty plants are just as destructive to native ecosystems as their uglier friends There are at least fifteen plants…

Seeding Vegetables

Success at starting vegetables from seed outdoors begins with proper soil preparation. After organic material is mixed into the soil, level the surface and remove large clods for a fine bed. There should be no cracks in the surface of the soil where small vegetable seeds can be buried. A rule of thumb is that…

Starting Vegetable Seeds Indoors

Starting vegetable and flower seeds indoors is easy if these steps are followed.   The first is seed selection. Make sure they are high-quality and free from weed seeds. Hybrid seeds generally cost more than non-hybrid cultivars but may have increased vigor, better uniformity, larger yields, resistance to some diseases and other desirable qualities. If…

Raised Beds vs. Rows

To choose the best method of setting up a home Garden, consider the type of soil in the Garden plot. Native top soils in the west can range from light, sandy soils to heavier clays, or to adobe types that dry like concrete. These soils are commonly found in new housing developments, where all the…