Gardening Fun at Denver Plant a Row Kickoff

Denver’s Plant a Row for the Hungry campaign had a successful launch on Saturday at the CSU Extension Plant-A-Palooza Plant Sale. The weather cooperated as shoppers enjoyed browsing and buying vegetable plants, annuals, perennials, master gardener-grown containers and many other interesting items for the garden.

Over 100 gardeners, including these three future gardeners, enjoyed getting their free Plant a Row garden starter kits at the Saturday kickoff event.

Many others promised to plant extra vegetables in their gardens this summer and donate the produce to a food bank in their neighborhood and everyone agreed Plant a Row is an important effort to help feed the hungry in our community.

It was great to hear so many gardeners tell me that for years they’ve been growing vegetables and donating the produce on their own, in conjunction with another nonprofit agency or through their church.

Plant a Row for the Hungry Reminder

Note: Yesterday’s Name That Plant contest had many gardeners stumped, but there were three who correctly identified the berry-bearing shrub as a Goji. The pictures of the Goji were taken in my mother-in-law’s garden located in the southern part of Colorado.

Just a reminder that Denver’s Plant a Row for the Hungry campaign kickoff is tomorrow, May 15, from 8-3 at the Colorado State University Extension-Denver office at 888 E. Iliff Ave.

I’d like to thank all of the sponsors of the event, who were generous with their donations of seeds and gardening items for the garden starter kits we’re giving away tomorrow:

Food Bank of the Rockies
Botanical Interests seed company
Whole Foods
Osmocote Plus
plant food
Echter’s Nursery & Greenhouse
Tagawa Gardens

Even if you don’t live in this neck of the woods, I hope you’ll keep the Plant a Row for the Hungry effort in mind throughout the gardening season. Simply plant more than you need in your garden and then deliver the fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs to a nearby food agency.

New Green Gardening Show Premieres Soon

A new PBS television series is set to premiere in major markets on Saturday, May 15. Growing a Greener World is what happens when you combine one part eco-friendly living with one part gardening know-how and then mix in recipes for cooking up the harvest.

I’ve been looking forward to seeing the premiere of a new PBS tv show called Growing a Greener World since I first heard about it last year.

This new show is hosted by Joe Gardener (Joe Lamp’l) and Garden Girl Patti Moreno with help from celebrity chef  Nathan Lyon.

I think it’s the right show at the right time for the right audience.

I met both Joe and Patti at a symposium last September and have a feeling they’re going to be terrific, down-to-earth hosts for this series.

Vegetable Gardening for the Hungry

Rows of vegetable plants, including these hanging tomato planters at Echter’s Nursery and Greenhouse, are ready for gardeners who want to participate in Denver’s Plant a Row for the Hungry effort. Echter’s, located in Arvada, Colo., is one of the sponsors of Denver’s Plant a Row campaign.

Denver’s Plant a Row for the Hungry campaign kicks off Saturday, May 15, and garden centers across the Metro area are ready.

Gardeners here–and everywhere–are encouraged to plant extra fruit, vegetables and herbs while gardening to donate to their local food pantries and soup kitchens.

Yesterday I was out and about picking up supplies for the free garden starter kits for the kickoff.

First, I stopped by Echter’s Nursery and Greenhouse, met Krystal Keistler, annuals manager, who gave me a stack of special vegetable plant coupons for the starter kits.

Plant a Row for the Hungry Gardening Event

The Plant a Row for the Hungry campaign in the Denver Metro area kicks off on Saturday, May 15 with free starter kits for gardeners.

Gardeners, farmers and other growers have a long tradition of sharing their harvest with others.

Perhaps you’ve been on the receiving end of a bag of home-grown tomatoes from a co-worker or an armful of squash from a neighbor. Maybe you were invited to glean after an end-of-season harvest at a nearby community garden.

Since 1995 the Garden Writers Association Foundation has organized a people-helping-people program called Plant a Row for the Hungry (PAR). Plant a Row encourages home gardeners across the country to plant extra produce and donate it to food agencies in their communities.

This year I’ve volunteered to coordinate a Plant a Row effort in Denver as part of the Denver master gardeners’ annual Plant-A-Palooza plant sale.

Greenhouse Gardening with Jean Gallagher

This edition of Garden Clippings features guest blogger Jean Gallagher, publisher of, a resource for the avid greenhouse gardener. Jean has gardened in her own outdoor greenhouses, in climates both temperate and extreme, and works to help other gardeners consider their gardening needs before investing in a greenhouse of their own.

When growing plants in a greenhouse, creativity is a must to use the space efficiently. Whether you are using a small lean-to greenhouse or one of the fancy large Victorian greenhouses the proper placement of your plants will increase your yield. Being organized doesn’t mean boring though, so use the ideas below as a guide before using your own imagination.

Using different size and shape containers enables you to adjust the type of soil nutrients and additives as well as moisture in the soil. You can increase the bounty of your harvest  by using separate containers to cater to each plant’s special needs.

Vegetable Gardening Made Easy

Vegetable gardeners in the Rocky Mountain states will find gardening can be a little easier and a lot more enjoyable with a new book from Cool Springs Press.

If you garden anywhere in Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Utah or Wyoming, you have to get your hands on a copy of Guide to Rocky Mountain Vegetable Growing by Robert Gough & Cheryl Moore-Gough.

But that’s only if you want to have a successful vegetable garden this season.

My brand-new review copy of the book is already marked up, dog-eared and broken in.

Whether you’re an experienced vegetable gardener or you’re just getting ready to take your first tentative steps toward the garden bed, the Goughs have some advice for you. They wrote this book because it’s the resource they wanted to have when they first started gardening in such a challenging region.

New Tomato Growing Guide Now Available

The Get Growing Guide to Tomatoes is a new, 23-page eBook loaded with tips for growing a garden filled with America’s  favorite “vegetable.”

Although technically a fruit, tomatoes are the most popular vegetable grown in home gardens. That’s why some gardeners prefer to call them “love apples.”

Tomatoes aren’t that difficult to grow, but they can be a little tricky. That’s why I wrote this guide, to help other gardeners have tomato-growing success. The guide explains how to amend the soil, gives seed starting instructions and provides methods to keep plants insect and disease free.

One of the first gardening articles I wrote for The Denver Post was a “how to grow” tomatoes article for those interested in entering their tastiest tomatoes in the annual NatureSweet Homegrown Tomato Challenge.

I had my own methods for sowing and growing great tomatoes, but for that article I also interviewed gardeners from across the Metro area, including the Homegrown Tomato Challenge winner from the previous season. He won with his Goliath Hybrid and a special “tomato toddy” he mixed for each planting hole.

Grocery Gardening with Jean Ann Van Krevelen

Jean Ann Van Krevelen is continuing the long tradition of sharing gardening tips and home-grown recipes with her new book called “Grocery Gardening.”

It may be difficult to decide where to keep your copy of the new “Grocery Gardening” book. Some of you will certainly want to keep it with your other gardening resources, but others will want to keep it handy in the kitchen.

Maybe you need to buy two copies.

Edible gardening is in fashion again and there are more new gardeners planting seeds and growing gardens than ever before.

“We’ve seen a resurgence of interest in edible gardening, but many new gardeners aren’t sure what to do with their bounty,” says author Jean Ann Van Krevelen.

“It’s very different to grow a couple of zucchini vines and harvest the squash than it is to pick up two at the store.”

New Botanical Interests Gardening Catalog

For the first time, Botanical Interests has produced a print catalog that features all of its seed offerings with its signature botanic illustrations.

I’ve been keeping up with new developments at Botanical Interests by following @BotanicalSeeds on Twitter. And I’m so glad I did.

If I hadn’t been following along, I wouldn’t have known the Broomfield, Colo., online seed company produced its first print catalog this year.

The catalog arrived in the mail this week, and I have to say it’s one of the prettiest catalogs I’ve ever seen. Each of the catalog’s 28 pages is filled with full-color botanical illustrations–the same ones the company uses for its one-of-a-kind seed packets.

A new line of seeds being introduced this year is called “The Botanic Gardens Series Seed Packet” line. Botanical Interests is working with botanic gardens throughout the country to protect native North American species that are rare and potentially endangered. The seeds from this new line will help prevent plant species from being lost to us forever.

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