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INDEX Weeds ................................................. 3 Rising to the task ............................... 4 Backyard chickens ............................. 5 Seeding & fertilizing schedule........... 7 Pruning trees & shrubs ..................... 8 Berthoud Clean-up day .................... 10 Emerald Ash Borer .......................... 11 Spruce up for spring ........................ 13 Gardening tips.................................. 14 Garden websites ............................... 16 The Dish ........................................... 17 Garden-inspired decor ..................... 18 Sustainable gardening tips .............. 19 InsideOut 2015© is published in Berthoud, Colo., by the Berthoud Weekly Surveyor. The publishers reserve the right to edit, classify or reject any advertising or news copy. Liability for any newspaper error in an advertisement shall not exceed the cost of space occupied by error. The publishers assume no liability for any advertising which is not published for any cause. The publishers assume absolutely no obligation or responsibility for subject matter in copy placed by its advertisers or their agents. It is also understood that the advertiser and the agency placing such advertising jointly and severally agree to indemnify Berthoud Weekly Surveyor, LLC against all expense, loss or damage sustained by reason of printing such copy.
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Weeds — how to handle the pesky plants Special to the Surveyor Homeowners who take pride in their lawns and gardens know just how problematic weeds can be. Weeds can make otherwise well-manicured and thriving lawns and gardens appear unhealthy and ill-kempt. But homeowners don’t have to sit back and accept weeds as an inevitable byproduct of warm weather. The following are a handful of ways homeowners can handle weed growth so all their hard work is not masked by unwelcome weeds. • Pull weeds after watering. It might seem odd to water weeds, but watering weeds can actually make it easier to pull them out so they never return. When you pull weeds from soggy soil, you can more easily pull weeds’ entire root system from the ground. That means you aren’t just pulling the stems and leaves, but the entire weed from the ground. • Lay mulch. Mulch can benefit a garden in many ways, not the least of which is helping to prevent the growth of weeds. Mulch prevents sunlight from reaching weed seeds, helping to prevent the growth of weeds before they even appear to cause you headaches. In addition, mulch helps
soil retain moisture, which benefits plants as summer temperatures rise. • Lay landscape fabric. Homeowners who want to do more than mulch can lay landscape fabric in their gardens as well. Landscape fabric will work in much the same way as mulch, blocking sunlight from reaching weed seeds and therefore preventing the weed seeds from germinating. When laying landscape fabric, simply cut holes in the fabric where the plants will be, lay the fabric down and then cover the fabric with mulch. • Plant strategically. How you plant also can help defeat weeds before they ever appear. Speak with your landscaper or a local lawn and garden professional before planting,
asking if it’s possible to plant particular plants close together to prevent weed growth. Plants that are planted in close proximity to one another will block sunlight from reaching the soil, which will make it more difficult for weed seeds to germinate. Weeds are a formidable and unwelcome foe to homeowners who take pride in their lawns and gardens. But there are several ways to combat existing weed infestations and prevent their return in the future.
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Rising to the task By Bob McDonnell The Surveyor Cracking concrete is everywhere; sidewalks, driveways, front porches or backyard patios, we’ve all noticed a crack, or sinking slab around the house. But what to do? What to do? Expansive soil is common in Colorado. Many homeowners are well aware of this when their house foundation or patio starts to crack, shift or drop. Expansive soil or bentonite is described as clay soil composed of very fine particles according to homebuildersanswers.com. Bentonite absorbs moisture during rain or snowfall, and subsequently the soil expands. This expansion causes pressure on anything above it, like patios or foundations. “The leading cause of foundation damage in this type of soil is uneven moisture, “according to inspection-perfection. com. Many homeowners choose to use a technique called mudjacking to remedy these problems at their homes. The alternative is to do a “rip and replace” of the basement floor, driveway, patio, porches or sidewalk. Mudjacking, which also goes by the name
“slabjacking” or “pressure grouting,” costs less and is much quicker than replacing an area of concrete. Colorado Mudjacking, Inc., located in Loveland, offers mudjacking services in Northern Colorado. Business owner, Daryl Phillips, along with his son Jeff, has been in business for 13 years. Phillips describes the specialized concrete repair process of mudjacking, stating that the first step is drill-
Photo by Bob McDonnell
Left: Bill Weeks of Colorado Mudjacking drills a hole in a patio in preparation for raising it. Jeff Phillips directs Weeks as water, dirt and sand mixture flows into the ground.
ing a hole or holes (depending on the size of the job) 1 ½ inches in diameter in the concrete. A mixture of 50 percent topsoil and 50 percent masonry sand mixed with water is forced, via a hose, into the drilled hole at 400 psi. The mixture fills the void under the concrete, forcing the slab to rise. When it levels, the hose is removed. Filling the drilled holes with readymix concrete completes the task.
Colorado Mudjacking employee Bill Weeks says a driveway repaired in this manner is ready to be driven on immediately. Phillips’ company uses a compact portable unit to inject the sand and dirt mixture into the ground. It can easily get near places needing a concrete repair. Colorado Mudjacking, Inc. can be reached at 667-3755.
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The lowdown on backyard chickens By Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer The Surveyor
The country’s obsession with chickens hasn’t been this big since 1890. There are even several magazines devoted entirely to raising backyard chickens and they are more popular than ever. “Backyard Poultry,” a division of Countryside Publications, has more than 200,000 followers on Facebook and their posts garner thousands of likes and hundreds of shares. However, raising chickens isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be; it’s a lot of hard work. We spoke to three Northern Colorado chicken owners to get their take on backyard chickens. Charlie and Corey Radman of Fort Collins have owned chickens for two years. It wasn’t Corey’s idea, but her husband convinced her to give it a try. After extensive research, Charlie hand built a beautiful coop for their six hens. In the summer, when it’s warm, the hens produce about three to four eggs a day. “Eggs were the number one reason I agreed to the chickens,” said Corey. “And second was the idea that my kids would get a better understanding of food and where it comes from.” On most days the Radman’s chickens run free in the backyard. During
the summer they’re Corey’s little yard helpers; digging through weed root clumps for bugs is one of their favorite activities. The biggest challenge for the Radmans is not knowing what to do when a chicken gets sick. “They aren’t exactly pets and there aren’t poultry veterinarians around,” said Corey. “So in those instances it’s a tough thing to figure this out for yourself, but you have to.” Corey believes that the number one thing people should know before they buy backyard chickens is that the chickens don’t lay eggs year round, which was a surprise to her when the Radmans got their flock. “You’re probably going to pay way more for these awesome eggs than you would if you went to a farm and bought them,” she said. “You should know that you don’t do this to save money, you do it because you like chickens.” Jason Brooks and Bobbi Covert also have backyard chickens. When they bought their Berthoud home in 2004, it came with a chicken coop, so they thought, why not? They’ve been chicken owners ever since and they happily eat eggs every day. Jason and Bobbi like to keep an array of chicken breeds, and since they
have two dogs, the chickens generally stay in an 8 x 20 run that Brooks built for them in the backyard. “I think the challenge associated with chickens is the daily routine fresh water, food, keeping their hen house in good working order,” said Brooks. “Then in the winter, while they are hardy birds they can still get frostbite. You have to make sure their living environment isn’t too cold.” Brooks has discovered that chickens are fascinating, and that he enjoys their company. “I never thought I was a bird person,” said Brooks. “But just hanging out and watching the chickens is actually kind of nice.” Chris and Pam Jessen own Lovable Little Ones, a miniature cow farm north of Berthoud. They have a large flock of free range chickens that roam their property. This spring they have 25 roosters and hens and ten chicks. “I think the biggest challenge is egg production, even though that’s also the greatest benefit of chickens,” said Pam. “You aren’t guaranteed that every hen is going to lay an egg every single day.” Keeping the coop clean is an important factor, says Pam. And, fresh bedding is a must. She notes that these are domesticated animals and they can’t take care of themselves. They depend on their owners for fresh water, food and a clean place to live. They can also get mites, which can be treated simply, but needs to be addressed when it occurs. “Also, if you have a garden, the chickens will eat all the fresh pickins,” said Pam. “And people need to realize that they poop everywhere all the time.” One of the true joys of chicken ownership, Courtesy photos according Homemade chicken to Pam, is coop. Made by Charlie that they Radman of Fort Collins. are a social and friendly animal. In fact, the Jessen’s ten new chicks have taken a shining to Maddi, the couple’s threeyear-old daughter. They follow her everywhere, which doesn’t surprise her parents who call her “the chicken whisperer.” “People romanticize owning chickens, but they really need to educate themselves before getting backyard
Maddi Jessen and Sweetie.
chickens,” said Pam. She recommends reading a book or talking to other chicken owners, before taking the leap. If you would like to learn more about chicken ownership, on May 17, the Sustainable Living Association will host it’s 8th Annual Tour de Coop in Fort Collins. The Radmans went on this tour before purchasing their hens, and they highly recommend the outing. The day includes a 6-to-8 mile bike ride from coop to coop in and around Fort Collins. Attendees can see a variety of urban backyard chickens and learn about chickens from experienced backyard chicken owners. It’s $25 to attend and this fee includes lunch. Go to www.sustainablelivingassociation. org/event/tour-de-coop/ to register.
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Seeding and fertilizing schedule Special to the Surveyor
Restoring lawns and gardens back to their pre-winter glory is high on many a homeowner’s landscaping to-do list. In much of the country, the best times to tackle lawn projects are when temperatures are moderate, like in spring and fall. These seasons also mark the best time to seed and fertilize. Planting and fertilizing new grass seed should be done when frost is no longer a concern and before frost arrives if you are planting in autumn. According to Roger Cook, a landscape contractor and contributor to This Old House magazine, sowing lawn seed should be done when the soil is warm, the daytime temperatures are moderate and you can keep the new seeds quite moist at all times. While grass seed can be applied in the summer, it is more challenging to get the seeds to take root and thrive at this time, as water is more likely to evaporate under the hot sun. Also, many weeds germinate in the heat of summer. As a result, the weeds can infiltrate areas of the lawn where you planted, compromising the look of your lawn. The process of reseeding and fertilizing your lawn is relatively similar if you decide to do so in late spring or early fall. • Rake the parts of the lawn you plan
to seed and remove any debris or rocks. • Apply fertilizer to the cleared planting area. Use a rake or tiller to break up the soil and distribute the fertilizer to a depth of roughly two to four inches. Speak with a landscaper about which type of fertilizer you will need depending on where you live. Many fertilizers contain extra phosphorous to stimulate root growth in the lawn. • Moisten the prepared area and let the soil settle. You want the soil damp but not so wet that it causes the newly applied fertilizer to run off. • Begin to sow the grass seed according to the rate indicated on the seed bag for the type of grass you will be growing. Choose a grass seed that will thrive in your climate. Certain seeds are more tolerant of drought and sunlight, while other species are better for shady areas or damper climates. Again, if you have any questions, consult with a lawn and garden center. • Spread the seed with a broadcast spreader. Some lawn experts recommend spreading the seed in parallel rows and then repeating the process again in rows set at a right angle to the first series of rows for the best chances of seed coverage. The seeds then can be raked into the soil, covered with a little more soil and patted down. • Water to keep the seeds damp. This may require watering twice or more per
day until the seeds begin to germinate. Covering the seeds with about 1/4 inch of straw also can help keep the seeds moist, deter seed scavengers and prevent soil erosion. Remove the straw once the grass begins to grow. • Roughly four weeks after the seeds have started to grow, apply another round of fertilizer to replenish the top layer of soil with nutrients that may have washed away from the constant watering. Homeowners can employ a similar process to overseed a lawn in the hopes of producing a thicker, more attractive landscape. Any thatch and debris should be raked away, and the top layer of the lawn surface can be gently aerated. Top dress the lawn with a very thin layer of new soil and compost. Broadcast the seed over the prepared lawn and lightly rake the new seeds to help them settle into the soil. Apply fertilizer and water the lawn frequently to keep the new seeds moist. Once the seed has established itself, you can water the lawn for longer periods and less frequently to help develop strong roots. Wait for the lawn to reach a height of three to four inches before the first cut of the season. Many homeowners like to take on the challenge of seeding and preparing their lawns. But some may find the task is best left to the professionals.
Seed and fertilize when temperatures are moderate and soil is warm. Remember to keep new grass seed moist with frequent watering.
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Strategies for proper pruning trees & shrubs
Special to the Surveyor As the leaves fall off the trees and greenery thins out for the season, exposing branches and undergrowth along the way, homeowners may be tempted to prune their trees and shrubs. But while autumn pruning may seem like a good idea, many gardening experts say it is often best for homeowners to wait until winter or early spring before pruning. Although pruning does thin out branches and tame spent blooms, which can be eyesores, pruning also stimulates new growth. Pruning in the autumn, when plants are naturally preparing to go dormant, can weaken the plants considerably. This can compromise their chances of surviving into the next growing season. Fall temperatures also can be deceiving. While it may be warm during the day when the sun is shining, temperatures can quickly drop overnight. Pruning during the warmth of day, when the sap has risen in the plants, may deplete energy from the plant. When the mercury drops at night, the plant can suffer. If you must spend time in the yard in the fall, tend to the leaves and debris that have already fallen to the
Fall pruning can stimulate growth in plants preparing for winter dormancy, threatening their ability to return next spring and summer.
ground rather than focusing energy on fall pruning. If you have been diligent during the spring and summer, your shrubs and other plants likely won’t need pruning at this time of year. Wait until winter before taking out the shears. At this point, the woody parts of many plants are dormant and
will not be harmed or primed to grow by the pruning. Chances are you won’t prune too much as well, as chilly temperatures will keep you from spending too much time outdoors. When it’s time to prune, consider these other pointers. • Keep tools clean and in good
working order. You risk injury if your tools are dull and in poor shape overall. Spend time sharpening pruners and keep manual tools oiled and clean. Debris can lodge itself in clippers, making it more difficult to open and shut them. Wash and dry tools after use, especially when dealing with diseased plants. Otherwise you risk spreading disease to healthy plants. • Cut back stems completely. It’s usually a good idea to prune branches back to the main stem. Leaving a portion sticking out can catch on people or animals and produce a gathering spot for bacteria and insects. Take out thinner, smaller shoots first before moving on to any dead or dying branches. • Prune dry branches. Do not prune when plants are wet. Pruning damp plants encourages the growth of microbes that can infiltrate the plant. This is not as significant a problem in the winter, when microbes have already been killed. • Ask an expert: If you are unsure of how and when to prune particular plants, consult with an expert at a nursery or wherever you buy your plants.
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DID YOU KNOW? While it might be tempting to lower mower blades when summer temperatures reach their hottest, it is possible to cut grass too short. Homeowners who want to cut back on the time they spend mowing their lawns under the hot summer sun should avoid lowering their mower blades too low, as doing so can cause significant damage to the lawn. Lawns that have been cut too low are less capable of surviving drought and are unlikely to thrive. When grass is cut too short, the stem tissue from the grass is exposed, and that exposure
can lead to unsightly grass that turns yellow or brown. Grass that is cut too short also may suffer from weaker roots, which in turn makes the grass weaker and less likely to grow in strong. In addition, weaker grass is more susceptible to weed growth, which can be both a nuisance and an eyesore. When mowing, homeowners should remove no more than one-third of the grass blade. Mowing at this height will promote strong roots and protect the grass when theweather gets especially hot in the summer.
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Many options to consider when dealing with the Emerald Ash Borer Special to the Surveyor
As the weather warms and Colorado’s trees begin to leaf out, insects living within these trees also will begin to stir. And with the invasive, tree-killing emerald ash borer (EAB) set to emerge later this spring, now is the time for those living in or near Boulder County to determine what, if anything, they want to do about any ash trees on their property. EAB, a non-native pest responsible for the death of millions of ash trees in 25 states, was confirmed in the City of Boulder in September 2013. The exotic pest has become a concern for communities all over Colorado, because an estimated 15 percent or more of all urban and community trees in the state are ash (genus Fraxinus). Although EAB has not been detected in the state outside the City of Boulder, each year the insects can fly up to a halfmile from where they emerge to infest new trees. Also, there is the ever-present risk of EAB relocating via human transport of wood — especially within the existing quarantine established for Boulder County and surrounding areas. In November 2014, the Town of Berthoud conducted EAB branch sampling in a six-mile radius around Berthoud city limits in conjunction with Boulder County officials; all samples were negative for EAB. The Colorado Department of Agriculture recommends chemically treating ash trees only if there is a confirmed infestation within five miles. Dan West, forest entomologist for the Colorado State Forest Service, says that while there are effective insecticides available to protect ash trees from EAB, other management strategies also exist for dealing with the pest. These include monitoring trees for the presence of EAB, removing or replacing ash trees before EAB’s ar-
rival, and planting diverse new tree species in an effort to get them established now. “The decision about whether to chemically treat your ash trees is a personal preference. The closer any ash trees are to the known infestation, the higher the risk that they will become infested by EAB,” said West, who also is an entomologist on the interagency Colorado EAB Response Team. He says that the first step is for landowners to determine if they actually have any ash trees on their property. If they do, they should examine the tree for general health and signs of EAB, including D-shaped exit holes 1/8-inch wide, serpentine tunnels under the bark and new sprouts on the lower trunk. He also warns that it is possible for EAB to infest an ash tree for up to four years before visible signs of decline in the tree occur. “Consider the overall health and value of each tree, and talk to a professional forester or arborist before applying any treatment,” West says. For an updated map showing where EAB has been detected in Colorado, and for more information about ash tree identification, the symptoms of EAB and treatment options, visit: www.eabcolorado.com. The Colorado EAB Response Team is comprised of members from the following agencies/organizations: Boulder County, City of Boulder, Colorado Department of Agriculture, Colorado State Forest Service, Colorado State University Extension, Colorado Tree Coalition, Green Industries of Colorado, University of Colorado and USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. At this time, Berthoud forestry staff and tree advisory committee are working to continually update the EAB plan. Watch for future community meetings with the Berthoud forestry staff and tree advisory committee. Additional
information about EAB will be in May’s “In Focus” newsletter sent to Berthoud utility customers and available online at Berthoud.org. Fast facts — Learn how to identify ash trees, and signs of EAB infestation in ash trees: • Thinning of leaves and upper branches and twigs • Serpentine tunnels produced by larvae under the bark • D-shaped exit holes 1/8-inch wide • New sprouts on the lower trunk or lower branches • Vertical splits in the bark • Increased woodpecker activity Multiple EAB management strategies exist for homeowners and communities, including monitoring trees for the early presence of the pest, removing and/or replacing ash trees, protecting trees with insecticides and planting new trees nearby in an effort to get them established before the arrival of EAB. The closer ash trees are to an area of known EAB infestation, the higher the risk that they will become infested. If hiring someone to apply pesticide treatments to protect ash trees, the applicator must be licensed by the Colorado Department of Agriculture as a Commercial Pesticide Applicator. Never transport firewood or other products from ash trees, as this is the most likely method of accidental spread. A quarantine is now in place in Boulder County and surrounding areas to try and prevent the humanassisted spread of EAB. For current information about EAB in Colorado, including the current quarantine in Boulder County and surrounding areas, go to www.eabcolorado.com. If you think you have EAB in your ash trees, please contact the Colorado Department of Agriculture at 888-248-5535 or email CAPS.firstname.lastname@example.org. Information provided by the Colorado State Forest Service and the Town of Berthoud.
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Spruce up your house and patio for spring
By Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer The Surveyor
An easy way to spruce up the interior of your home this spring is by replacing small accessories and working in some of the current trends such as
Got spring fever? What better way to embrace the changing season than a face lift to your home’s living spaces; indoors and outdoors. We sat down with interior designer, Tennille Wood, owner of Beautiful Habitat in Westminster, Colo. to learn what’s hot this spring. Wood, who has been in the interior design industry for nearly a decade, has watched a lot of trends come and go, and a lot of trends stick around too. Texture is a major trend right now, according to Wood, who believes it’s a response to the early 2000s tendencies towards sleek and modern finishes. “Texture is everywhere. We are seeing everything from three-dimensional tiles with a lot of texture, to cabinet knobs and pulls with texture and patterns,” said Wood. Photos courtesy of interior designer, Tennille Wood Gray has been tremendously popular over the last several years, and Wood doesn’t see The ‘Ruch Kitchen’ design includes texture and depth in the backsplash tiles. Gray bathroom with this trend going away. Base color trends, like the current gray and black fad, tend to red accents. stick around for longer periods of time than gold and brass. Wood says that gold and the seasonal colors that come and go. Wood thinks the gray/black trend is going to continue for several brass are definitely back and there are a ways to utilize metals without evoking more years. thoughts of the eighties. If you’d like to utilize gray in your home, but “A lot of the gold today has a brushed finish, don’t want it to appear drab, Wood recommends acwhich makes it more updated and that’s bringing centing the room with warm colors. in the texture element that’s hot right now,” said “Gray paired with an orange or a yellow is so Wood. beautiful,” she said.
Try adding gold to light fixtures. Jonathan Adler, a Denver interior design store has several fun and playful light fixtures with gold accents available. “We’re not talking gold carpets of the seventies or harvest gold appliances,” said Wood. “It’s not being used as the theme color, but as an accent.” Another color that’s trending is blush pink. Adding some pale pink glass pieces or throw pillows to your home is a quick way to lighten and brighten a room. This light pink craze also works well with the black/gray trend. An easy way to liven up your patio for the summer is to add splashes of color. “One of my favorite things to do on the exterior is to get some inexpensive flower pots and spray paint them the color that you want,” said Wood. “I’ve done this in my yard and it adds color throughout the year.” She advises matching the pot color to the color of the outdoor fabric that may be on your patio furniture. Or, if your patio furniture has boring fabric colors, adding some colorful outdoor throw pillows may help refresh the space.
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true plants from the past. Another option is to copy a magazine, CSU or city planting. A third is to select unusual plants for an experimental planting. When planning this year, why not pick option three and go for something a bit risky to expand your creativity and challenge your talents? Working with color, form and texture there are many plant combinations to stimulate creative garBy Craig Seymour dening whether in a container or a portion of the Colorado State University Extension Master Gardener garden. An example would be an “alma mater” garden in Larimer County highlighting your school colors, such as a CSU planting of green and yellow accented with Aggie orange. Be creative by mixing anYellow crocus blooming in February is more nuals, perennials, vegetables and even small than a sign of an unusually warm winter. It is shrubs and trees. Your imagination is the also represents a microclimate, the climate in a only limit. small space that is different than surrounding The author has received training through area’s climate, and its effect on plants in the Colorado State University Extension’s Masgarden. The crocus in the photo are six feet from ter Gardener program and is a Master Gara light colored south facing brick wall which dener volunteer for Larimer County. warms the area even on a sunny winter day. Larimer County is a county-based outThe crocus are also just twelve feet from a wind reach of Colorado State University Extentunnel that funnels the cold winter winds from sion providing information you can trust a forty foot opening into a twenty foot channel to deal with current issues in agriculture, between two houses as it falls twelve feet in elhorticulture, nutrition and food safety, 4-H, evation. small acreage, money management and The crocuses planted in the windy areas have parenting. For more information about CSU not emerged yet. The microclimate at the wall Extension in Larimer County, call 970-498base is Zone 5 or possibly 6, while the climate 6000 or visit www.larimer.org/ext. in the windy area is a solid Zone 4, thus providLooking for additional gardening informaing different planting options within the same tion? Check out the CSU Extension Hortigarden. Photo by Rudy Hemmann culture Agent blog at www.csuhort.blogspot. The Christmas poinsettia in spite of the best com for timely updates about gardening intentions continues to drop its leaves after the Yellow crocus. around the state. holidays as it struggles with indoor lighting and Visit PlantTalk Colorado ™ for fast answers den is a better option than throwing it in the trash in dry heat. The annual question of “What should be to your gardening questions! www.planttalk.org March. done with a poinsettia when it starts looking shabPlantTalk is a cooperation between Colorado State As gardeners come face to face with spring they by?” persists each year. CSU Extension has an excelUniversity Extension, GreenCo and Denver Botanic are challenged with the proverbial question of “What lent publication on the history and care of poinsetGardens. to plant this year?” The first option are tried and tias at ext.colostate.edu/pubs/poinsettias. By nature poinsettias are difficult to make re-flower for the next Christmas. A committed gardener can accept the re-flowering challenge or an easier option is to plant a properly prepared (pruned back and fertilized in April) poinsettia in the garden after the last frost. Planted in partial shade it will grow into a marvelous green accent plant. Although Mother Nature will take her course in the fall (poinsettias will not survive our winters), enjoying the poinsettia in the summer gar-
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Garden websites that have everything you’re looking for this spring
By Craig Seymour Colorado State University Extension Master Gardener in Larimer County As the sporadic winter temperatures climbed into the 60s and 70s, gardeners’ thoughts couldn’t help but shift to spring and the start of a new season. Yet Coloradans know winter was just on a reprieve and there were many days of winter ahead. To help transition the rest of winter into spring there are some very good websites to view new and interesting plants, gain information for self-improvement or to broaden gardening interest. flowertrials.colostate.edu — Start this site on the home page to view the mission and purpose of the Colorado State University Flower Trial Gardens, one of the most visited summer attractions in Fort Collins and is truly a sight to behold. There are eight categories to explore on the site. A click on “trials” opens to three more categories (annuals, perennials and cool season) to investigate. Another click opens a vast array of photographs and plant
information to enjoy. It is a site to return to again and again. plantselect.org — Plant Select® is a collaborative effort between Colorado State University and The Denver Botanic Gardens. Plant Select® plants are durable, resilient, unique and vibrant selections for western gardens. The website includes outstanding photographs and detailed information to insure a successful planting. Plant Select® plants are identified by their special plant tag and are available at most local nurseries. botanicgarden.org — The Denver Botanic Garden is a treasure in itself. Its website establishes it as a garden, art institute, research engine, education center and supporter of plant development specific to the prairies, Front Range and Rocky Mountains. planttalk.org — PlantTalk Colorado provides reliable and timely information on more than 500 horticultural topics. It is a collaborative program between Colorado State University, The Denver Botanic
Garden and the Green Industries of Colorado. The search categories open topics that can be reaffirming and insightful to gardeners across the spectrum of gardening abilities. It is a website with year-around applications. ext.colostate.edu/pubs — This website is a gateway site to the vast library of CSU Extension publications in any of eight categories. The information is science-based and research proven by agricultural land grant institutions. Information pertaining to the Colorado Master Gardener program, a part of Extension, can also be found under the CMG Garden Note publications. fcgov.com/gardens — The Gardens on Spring Creek is a city of Fort Collins garden. The website features the dynamics of the garden, its activities and is a gateway to the garden itself. perennialgarden.colostate. edu — The CSU Plant Environmental Research Center (PERC) is a garden treasure on the CSU campus along west Lake Street. Once on the
home page a click opens the viewer to annuals, herbaceous perennials or the arboretum. It is both inspirational and educational, as well as a winter escape to summer beauty. greenco.org — The Green Industries of Colorado collaborates with CSU and the Denver Botanic Gardens on plant development, introductions and application to Colorado nurseries and gardens. Their best management practices have extensive application to the unique growing conditions in area gardens. All gardeners know the annual cycle of reviewing last years successes and problems, searching for information to solve issues or to enhance the garden and planning next years new plantings and production improvements. There is not a better time to get started than the late winter months. Searching through computer sites can bring a large trove of beautiful plants and stimulating information into the home and mind.
Spring and warmer weather bring thoughts of salad instead of soup. Here are two salad recipes that use ingredients that are more available in the spring time. Grilled Salmon and Asparagus Salad This is a great recipe for spring because asparagus is plentiful and less expensive. Don’t like asparagus? You could substitute sugar snap peas and still have an amazing and nutritious salad.
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Ingredients: 1 (1 1/2-pound) salmon fillet or 4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets 1 pound asparagus spears 2 tablespoons olive oil Salt Freshly ground black pepper 8 cups arugula 1 pint yellow cherry tomatoes, halved Preparation: 1. Brush salmon and toss asparagus with olive oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill salmon over mediumhigh heat (350° to 400°) for 3 to 5 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Grill asparagus, turning occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes or until tender. 2. Divide arugula evenly among 4 plates; top with flaked salmon, asparagus, and tomatoes. Serve with vinaigrette dressing (below). Creamy Lemon-Shallot Vinaigrette Ingredients: 1 tablespoon minced shallot 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup light olive oil 2 tablespoons crème fraîche or sour cream 1 tablespoon minced Italian parsley 1/2 teaspoon sugar 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper Combine all ingredients in a jar; seal and shake well to blend. From coastalliving.com Rhubarb Salad with Goat Cheese When shopping for rhubarb, look for thin, red, crisp stalks. Floppy stalks indicate the rhubarb was picked too long ago. Ingredients: 3/4 pound rhubarb, cut into 3/4-inch pieces 1/4 cup honey 1/2 cup walnut halves 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (preferably white) Coarse salt and ground pepper 4 bunches arugula (about 1 pound total), tough ends removed 1 fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced crosswise
1/2 cup fresh goat cheese, crumbled Preparation: Preheat oven to 450 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss rhubarb with honey. Roast on upper rack until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet. On another rimmed baking sheet, toast walnuts on lower rack until fragrant, 5 minutes. Let cool, then chop. In a large bowl, whisk together oil and vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Add arugula and fennel and toss to combine. Top with rhubarb, walnuts, and goat cheese. From marthastewart.com
Page 18 April 2, 2015 Berthoud Weekly Surveyor
Garden-inspired decor brightens spaces and mood Special to the Surveyor Many homeowners take up gardening to transform their homes with beautiful ﬂowers and foliage, while others do so to yield fresh fruits and vegetables. But gardening can be more than just a weekend hobby. In fact, it may be especially beneﬁcial for homeowners to surround themselves with more plants and natural decor, whether in the yard or in the home. Studies have indicated that gardening can be good for the mind and body. In addition to improving mood and reducing stress, plant life and gardening also may help people have a more hopeful outlook on life. If reaping the beneﬁt of a beautiful landscape is not reason enough to get into gardening, elevating your mood and coping with depression or illness may be even further motivation to start developing your green thumb. Home-design trends seem to be following suit, offering individuals more opportunities to surround themselves with potentially therapeutic plants. Explore these emerging and established garden décor trends to try in and around your home. • Living wall planters: A living wall planter can add greenery to any décor without taking up ﬂoor or table space. Ideal for outdoor structures, these planters also can be used indoors if you safeguard against leaks and dripping. A living wall planter is a framed device that houses plants in a manner that enables them to be vertically mounted to a wall surface. While there are commercially available models, you can create your own design and paint or stain it to match the existing décor. Use a soil-free potting substrate to avoid the mess that regular soil may create.
• Combining ﬁsh with gardening: Enjoy the best of two relaxing worlds by installing a water feature in your yard. Garden retailers offer ready-made kits that can make fast work of establishing a pond or other water feature in the backyard. Otherwise, there are plenty of water garden companies and installers who can suggest a design and put in your desired water features. Add ﬁsh suitable for outdoor life to your pond. These include koi and certain goldﬁsh varieties. Game ﬁsh are discouraged because they can destroy pond plants. If an outdoor pond is more maintenance than you desire, consider an indoor aquarium with a combination of ﬁsh and live aquarium plants. • Creative furniture designs: Maybe you’re a person who appreciates the unique and whimsical? Tables, benches and chairs can be built with planting channels that enable you to have greenery and garden décor in one piece. Envision a picnic table with a cutout down the center for a thin row of plants or
decorative grasses. This is a project the entire family can get behind, as the more creative ideas the better. • Improved outdoor lighting: People who like to spend time in their gardens and yards may not want to be limited by sunrise and sunset. By incorporating different lighting sources, you can create a retreat that is welcoming at any hour. Although ﬂood lights and overhead lights can illuminate a space, consider ambient and decorative lighting to create the desired ambiance. • Functional ﬁre pits and places: A blazing ﬁre creates a cozy spot to gather on chilly evenings, but ﬁre pits and ﬁreplaces also can be used as impromptu cooking spots for s’mores or frankfurters on a stick. You can purchase a stand-alone ﬁre pit from any number of retailers or build your own with patio pavers and ﬁre bricks to line the interior of the ﬁre pit. Outdoor ﬁreplaces require more work, and you want to hire a mason to ensure proper installation. • Enjoyable yard additions: While plants and seating may take center stage, some people still want to have fun in their yards. There’s an increased demand for yard designs and décor that can put the fun in backyard living. Bocce courts, ring- or horseshoetoss setups, as well as bean bag-toss boards, can be incorporated into landscape designs, giving you yet another reason to spend a few hours in the great outdoors, where you can experience a few healthy laughs in the process. Gardening and spending time outdoors are great hobbies and may even boost your mood. Homeowners can explore the popular trends in garden décor and natural elements that they can enjoy inside and outside of their homes.
Berthoud Weekly Surveyor April 2, 2015 Page 19
Simple sustainable gardening tips Special to the Surveyor Sustainability is a concept that can be applied to many facets of life, and gardening is no exception. Sustainable gardening involves preserving and protecting resources, which can benefit us both in the present and in the future. Sustainability is especially applicable to gardening, and the following are a handful of ways green thumbers can embrace sustainability in their gardens. • Choose to water more effectively. Oscillating sprinklers may harken today’s gardeners back to the carefree days of their childhoods when they would run through the sprinklers in their parents’ yards. But such sprinklers can lose substantial amounts of water to evaporation. When designing an irrigation plan for your lawn and garden, use drip irrigation or soaker hoses to conserve water. If you must use sprinklers, make sure they are not shooting water too high, as wind can blow the water away from the yard where it belongs, and be sure to position them so no water is landing on sidewalks, the driveway or the street. • Add mulch to flower and plant beds. Many a gardener has gone to bed with a beautiful garden only to return in the ensuing days and see flower and plant beds littered with weeds. Mulch is perhaps best known for helping flower and plant beds retain moisture, but mulch also prevents the growth of weeds. Preventing weed growth means your water is going to the plants and flowers you intended it for and not to greedy and unsightly weeds. Preventing weed
growth also reduces your use of potentially harmful pesticides to curtail the growth of weeds. • Develop a compost pile. Compost is made up of decayed organic material, and it can be used as a fertilizer. Gardeners can make their own compost piles at home, providing valuable minerals and nutrients for their lawns, without having to rely on store-bought amendments that need to be produced, packaged and transported before they can make it onto the shelves in your local lawn and garden center. • Choose native plants. A garden filled with exotic plants and flowers may be stunning, but unless those plants are native to where you live, that beauty is coming at a steep price. When choosing plants for your garden, choose native plants that are fully capable of thriving in your local climate. Non-native plants are likely to need excessive watering and other less sustainable attention that native plants do not need. • Plant with a plan. When planting trees around your property, plant them in locations that can reduce your reliance on air conditioning in the warmer months. Plant a tree in a place where it will help to shade common areas inside your home so such rooms are comfortable without the air conditioner cranking all day long. You can go one step further, and plant deciduous trees that will shed their leaves when the weather gets cold, ensuring that sunlight you want to keep out in the summer can get in and warm up the house in the winter, reducing the amount of energy needed to heat your home.
Photo by the National Wildlife
These prairie winecups are among the plants native to Colorado.