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!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Roses Flower In The Fall Landscape!

When the cooler weather of September and October arrives, the roses go back into action.  Regular dead-heading (snipping off the spent flowers) will keep them blooming right up until the first hard freeze.  As the summer annuals and perennials are finishing up for the season, the roses don't stop.  There is nothing better than a fragrant bouquet of roses in October!
the roses are still blooming in October!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Fall Color In Mountains Of Utah!

The Wasatch Mountains are bursting with fall color right now.  If you get a chance to hike or drive in  the mountains of Northern Utah, you will see amazing trees with vibrant leaves.  Some of the wild  native trees and shrubs that paint our mountainsides and canyons are quaking aspens, rocky mountain maples, box elders, cottonwoods, water birch, scrub oak and three-leaf sumac.  I hope you find an opportunity to go to the high country this week - before it's over!
Fall Color in Utah Mountains

Quaking Aspens in Fall - Pure Gold!

Hiking in Utah in October

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Tomato Harvest 2017! Time for pico de gallo!

September is here and the tomato harvest is ON.  This year I only grew one tomato plant, but it just keeps cranking out big ripe tomatoes!  A friend gave me a bunch of heirloom tomatoes, too.  I'll be making my favorite salsa today:

Pico de Gallo:

chopped fresh tomatoes
chopped onion
chopped cilantro
chopped jalapeno (and serano, if you like it hot)
lime juice and salt

  Maybe the super hot summer made for a bumper crop this year!
heirloom tomatoes - Utah harvest!

Utah tomato harvest - 2017

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Will Hydrangeas Grow In Utah?

Yes, they will!  Hardy Hydrangeas are excellent summer-flowering shrubs.  They do best in part shade or afternoon shade and they like rich soil - lots of compost.  Add a new layer of compost and mulch every year.  One of the best choices for our area is the Oak Leaf Hydrangea and it comes in several varieties - several flower colors.  Here's a nice Oakleaf Hydrangea I spotted last summer in the Salt Lake area:
Oak Leaf Hydrangea grows in Utah!

  I have noticed other Hydrangeas around the Salt Lake City area that are well established, blooming and looking awesome.  Unfortunately, it's difficult to know the exact varieties.  Yesterday,  I was driving around the east side of salt lake and I saw this long hedge of pink and blue flowering Hydrangeas.  It was absolutely stunning:
Hydrangeas grow in Utah!