Friday, December 29, 2017

New Years Resolutions For The Home Garden 2018

Here are my New Year's Gardening Resolutions for 2018!  What are yours?

1.  I'm going to try harder to make sure things are harvested and used and that nothing goes to waste.

2.  I'm going to experiment with new ways to preserve the harvest.

3.  I'm not going to stress out about the weeding and upkeep of the garden.  Stressing out takes up energy that could be better spent on weeding and upkeep of the garden.

4.  I'm going to grow something that I have never grown before.

5.  I'm going to grow more flowers!

Happy New Year!  Here's to an excellent 2018!!

I'm going to grow more flowers in 2018!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Can I Grow Blueberries In Utah?

Sorry.  You cannot.  Blueberry plants have some specific needs that our soil and climate cannot provide.  You can try and there are nurseries that will sell you the blueberry plants and tell you  "yes, you can grow blueberries in Utah".
But you cannot.
Here is an article explaining the science behind why you cannot grow blueberries in Utah from Utah State University.  They don't come right out and say you can't.  But when you read about the lengths to which you would need to go in order to grow blueberries in Utah . . . ya, no.  It's way too involved.
Your time, money, effort and garden space will be put to better use growing things that do well here.  Raspberries, strawberries and blackberries can all be grown in Utah.
raspberries will grow in utah

Friday, December 22, 2017

Here's A Great Idea - A Free Gardening Coloring Book!

Our friends at Botanical Interests Seed Catalog have a free gardening coloring book available to download from their website.  What a great way to spend a cold winter afternoon - combining gardening themes with artistic expression.  Fun for the whole family!
free gardening coloring book from Botanical Interests

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Top 5 Last-Minute Holiday Gifts For Gardeners

The Holidays are upon us!  If you have gardeners in your life then you know they love to receive gifts related to their favorite hobby.  The options are endless but I have picked out 5 top last-minute gifts for gardeners for this 2017 Holiday Season.  Here we go!

1.  Gift Certificates - for plants from your local independent garden center:  If you purchase a gift certificate for your gardener, you will automatically extend the Holidays into next spring.  Because every gardener will agree that going to the local nursery to buy plants is a little bit like Christmas Morning.  You can't go wrong here and supporting your independent garden center (during December when their revenue is low) is always a good thing to do.

2.  Long Tail t-shirts from Duluth Trading Co:  Ok, these shirts are awesome because they are a little longer so when you are kneeling or squatting (which you do a lot when gardening) the back doesn't come untucked.  Check out their website for more excellent gardening and work clothes.

3.  Organic Mushroom Farm from Back to the Roots:  This groovy company sells cool things to keep gardeners busy with inside gardening projects like mushroom kits, a water garden and herbs that grow in cans.

4.  Books, Catalogues and Magazines:  During the gardening season, gardeners have things to carry around with them;  tools, bags of mulch, trays of plants, harvested vegetables, etc.   During the winter months, gardeners like to carry around reading material . . . about gardening.  Here are some lists of items you might consider getting to keep you gardener's mind active during the dormant months:

Magazine Subscriptions:
Fine Gardening Magazine
Horticulture Magazine
Rodale's Organic Life

Free Catalogues:
Baker Creek Whole Seed Catalogue
Botanical Interests

Here is a big list of gardening catalogues (with links).

5.  Gardening Tools!  Every gardener loves tools:  pruners, loppers, shovels, pitchforks, etc.  And if you want to go big, there are power tools:  mowers, edgers, hedgers, chainsaws.  My favorite power tool for gardening is a sawzall - reciprocating saw.  It is designed for demolition - cutting things like wallboard and framing.  But I use it for pruning shrubs.  It's perfect for small branches that are too big for the loppers.  I have been known to get a little carried away with the sawzall and cause some garden "demolition".  I think the electric reciprocating saws are better because they have more power so you might want to get a long extension chord to go with it.  Gardening tools can be easily found at your local hardware store.
gardening tools make great gifts!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

When Should I Cut Down Asparagus Plants In Utah?

After you have harvested some asparagus spears in the spring (careful not to cut them all from one plant),  you need to stop harvesting in early or mid June.  Let the plants grow up from the late spears and they will turn into huge green ferny things.  These large asparagus plants will nurture and feed the crowns from which they grew.  In the fall, after the ferny parts have turned yellow and sent their energy back into the crowns and roots, you can cut them to the ground.  But not before they turn yellow.  In Utah, this happens sometime in October.  After you cut the asparagus plants to the ground, it's a good time to put two or three inches of rich compost on top of the asparagus crowns.
asparagus plants can be cut back after they turn yellow and die back

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Is It Too Late To Plant Spring Bulbs In November?

In Utah, we usually plant spring flowering bulbs in the fall - late September through October.  You are not too late if you plant them in November or December.  The problem can be that you will be planting in frozen ground or through the snow.  Been there, done that . . . and it can be a nightmare.  So, if the weather is still nice and the group has not frozen and you can still get spring bulbs from your local independent garden center, then you can plant them right up until the snow flies.  Also, if you can still get some garlic, it's not too late to get it in the ground.
Planting Spring-Flowering Bulbs In November

Friday, November 10, 2017

Lazy Fall Clean-Up . . . Leave It For The Birds!

I didn't get around to deadheading or cutting back one of my perennial beds this fall.  I have noticed a lot of birds hanging around in there . . .  in the now-dried-out seed heads of the echinacea, agastache, larkspur, lavender, jupiter's beard and veronica.  They also seem to enjoy gathering in the butterfly bush nearby.  So I have decided to leave it all for the spring - let the birds have it as a source of food and shelter this winter.
The Habitat Network is promoting this idea of providing habitat for wildlife in our backyards.  You can visit their website and take the pledge to be a lazy gardener!
Echinacea Seed Heads - food for the birds!