Lawn care…core aerate, overseed and fertilize.
Trees and shrubs…prune broken branches and keep watering through winter.
Vegetable Garden…clean up garden debris, turn soil in the garden, plant cool-season crops (like kale, other leafy greens, radishes, carrots, beets, parsnips, broccoli, cabbage).
Flower Garden…clip back spent flowers and diseased or damaged foliage, add mulch, plant chrysanthemums, asters and cool-season ornamental grasses, plant perennials (like Oriental Poppies).
Think Spring!…plant spring blooming bulbs of different varieties, sizes, colors and bloom times (like crocus, daffodil, tulips, grape hyacinths, miniature iris, Dutch Iris and ornamental onions).
Think Summer!…plant garlic before the ground freezes and mulch. Keep soil moist in the spring and harvest garlic in July.
Pierre-Auguste Renoir painted his “Fruits of the Midi” in 1881 and I recreated it from my garden this year.
The last time I was in Chicago, I had just enough time to take a brisk walk through the Art Institute of Chicago (AIC). I made it a point to put my eyeballs on some of the famous paintings there like Grant Wood’s American Gothic and Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks.
But I spent the majority of my limited time in the galleries that featured the artists of the impressionist period.
It was there that I stopped in front of Renoir’s still life called Fruits of the Midi. I admired everything about it, from the variety of colorful fruits to the way they were arranged on the platter. I loved the way he captured the essence of each piece of fruit and how the eggplant, peppers and tomatoes spilled onto the table.
The results of the 4th Annual Weird Veggie and Funny Fruit contest are in!
I enjoy growing quality produce, but I also have an affinity for crazy-looking fruits and vegetables. That’s why I sponsor an annual gardening contest that gives gardeners a chance to show off their surprising finds. This year’s contest included entries from as far away as Perth, Australia.
Geri Koncilja, our intrepid gardening aficionado, wrote riddles to commemorate each of the top entries this year. I’m sure you’ll enjoy them as much as I did.
The contest winner for 2012 is Angel Lime grown by Jason Wold of Campbell, Calif.
Q: What did the bartender say to the lime angel sitting on the rim of a margarita glass?
A: Hallelujah and pass the salt!
Second place goes to Emma May Hunter of Tellico Plains, Tenn., for her Eggplant with Ears.
‘Cayennetta’ is an All-America Selections vegetable winner for 2012 and a blue-ribbon winner for me.
I entered 5 different produce competitions and came home with 5 blue ribbons. Here’s to beginner’s luck!
At the Denver County Fair, my ‘Cayennetta’ entry of two fire-engine red peppers must have gained the judge’s attention. These were the only red peppers in the category that included large green jalapenos, purple jalapenos, Spanish ‘Padron’ and even a plate of Naga-Bih Jolokia ‘Ghost’ peppers.
‘Cayennetta’ is a new pepper variety and was selected by AAS as a top vegetable for 2012. AAS is a non-profit organization dedicated to testing new garden seed varieties, selecting the very best as “winners” and then introducing them to gardeners to grow in their own gardens.
Please join us on Friday, August 10, at the Denver County Fair for an organic vegetable gardening event featuring Jane Shellenberger. Jane will present her program starting at 4:00 p.m. on the Farm and Garden Pavilion Stage and at 5:00 p.m. sign copies of her new book “Organic Gardener’s Companion: Growing Vegetables in the West” at the WesternGardeners.com booth.
To get you in the mood for Jane’s presentation, here’s a glimpse into the pages of her book:
If you’ve tried to grow an organic vegetable garden in our region of the country, you know that gardening is difficult here. Lean soils, little precipitation, low humidity, harsh winds, and inopportune freezing weather make vegetable gardening an extreme undertaking.
If it’s August, it’s time for the 4th Annual WesternGardeners.com Weird Veggie & Funny Fruit gardening contest.
But if you have a raspberry shaped like a heart, enter it in the 4th annual Weird Veggie & Funny Fruit Contest.
Once again, I’m calling on gardeners across the country to submit their digital photos of crazy carrots, wacky watermelons and odd-ball eggplants.
I started this kooky contest in 2009 to celebrate writing my 100th blog post. Well, that was quite a few blog posts ago, but the contest is still going strong.
In fact, I started hearing from gardeners early in the year asking about it.
The contest rules are simple:
There’s something for everyone at the second annual Denver County Fair, August 10-12, at the National Western Complex.
That’s what’s happening with the Denver County Fair.
This one-of-a-kind county fair is a little bit urban, a little bit country and a lot of everything else. Plan on more than 275 events on 13 stages in 3 days!
Just think…a fair that’s entirely indoors, carnival and all. In addition to all of the pavilions the fair featured last year, a Geek Pavilion will be part of the fun at this year’s event.
Other new offerings at the fair include more local food vendors, a food truck roundup, a Colorado Beer Garden, more live competitions, a Freak Show featuring the Enigma, and a Zombie Dance party.
Today’s post is from Deb Courtner, a landscape designer, garden writer and speaker who creates low-maintenance landscapes for busy homeowners. She owns and operates Blossoms & Blueprints, LLC, a landscape design and consulting firm in Denver, Colo. She also shares this image of “creative bindweed use.” Visit her blog for more helpful landscaping tips.
Summertiiiiime and the livin’ is crazy . . . forest fires, Stage 1 drought, weeds galore, plants wilting left and right.
What’s a gardener to do?
These tips may help you cope with hot, dry weather:
Go long on grass. If you have Kentucky bluegrass, don’t mow your lawn any lower than 3 inches. Taller grass blades shade the soil and help conserve moisture. They also reduce weeds.
Another way to celebrate National Pollinator Week on Saturday, June 23, is to join the Ute Trail Community Garden for its annual Outreach Festival.
This community event is an opportunity to see the beautiful gardens, learn from some local garden gurus, and have some fun in the sun.
The garden is located at 13130 W. Jewell Avenue, Lakewood, Colo. (80228) with the entrance just west of the Jewell and Yale intersection.
Festivities begin at 9:00 a.m. and will end around 3:00 p.m.
Some of the free activities include organic gardening classes taught by Denver Urban Gardens Master Gardeners, electronics recycling, vegetable and herb seed giveaway, and garden tours.
Special guests will include award-winning children’s author, Susie Shride, Councilmen Dave Wiechman and Adam Paul, the West Metro Fire Department, and a variety of local groups promoting environmental sustainability.
It’s been another busy gardening and writing season around here. Because my vegetable garden is finally planted, it’s time for a breather. I thought it might be fun to look back at some of my favorite subjects I’ve written about this season.
On the Lowe’s Creative Ideas website, I’ve been blogging about all kinds of gardening projects for Mountain Region gardeners. One of the recent posts, planting an herb garden in a strawberry pot, was also featured in the June issue of the Corona Tools newsletter.
Of course, this is the time of year when my writing for VegetableGardener.com is at the peak of the season.