Gardening columns


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Colorado Master Gardeners: Composting in the Yampa Valley

Composting in rural Colorado — a region robust with wildlife and challenged by severe weather — can be tricky, but it can be done.

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Colorado Master Gardeners: Managing whitetop

Have you noticed that the hillsides in Routt County have turned white again? No, Old Man Winter has not returned. What you’re seeing is the bloom of hoary cress, or ‘whitetop,’ one of Routt County’s most aggressive noxious weeds.

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Colorado Master Gardeners: Vole control

When the snow melts in the spring, you may notice tunneling throughout your lawn and damage to the bark of your trees and shrubs. This damage is likely caused by voles.

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Colorado Master Gardeners: CSU Master Gardeners here for you

If, as a gardener, you are looking for advice, information or just camaraderie, look no further. CSU Master Gardener volunteers will be available from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Thursday beginning May 19 and continuing through late August to answer your gardening questions.

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Colorado Master Gardeners: Junior Master Gardener program returns this summer

In collaboration with Routt County Master Gardeners, the Yampa River Botanic Park last summer hosted four Junior Master Gardening workshops for third through fifth graders, and the program is set to return this summer.

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Colorado Master Gardener: Season extenders bring freshies to spring plates

Sick of wilted boxed salad greens and bunches of kale that are past their prime? One of the many things Yampa Valley gardeners have going for us is our cool climate — perfect for cool-season crops and especially greens of all kinds.

Gardening with Deb: Proper care extends life of garden tools

Before you hang up your spades and rakes and put a tarp over your mower, prepare them for winter. You'll extend the life and the utility of your tools by caring for them properly.

Gardening with Deb: Appreciation for the lowly potato

Potatoes have roots going back 7,000 years to the Andean Mountains in South America. Back then, farmers admired the ruggedness, nutritional value and storage attributes of this tuber. It wasn’t until the late 1500s that this vegetable made it over to Europe, but it wasn’t as highly prized there, mainly being fed to hospital inmates.

Gardening with Deb Babcock: Botanic names are a better way to identify your plants

Plant common names can be confusing, so that's why you're more likely to obtain the exact plant you want when you use the botanic, or scientific, name for it.

Gardening with Deb: Bring outdoor plants indoors before frost

With autumn upon us, it’s time to bring indoors some of your more tender garden plants before the frost kills them off. This includes favorite annuals that bring color to your home during the gray Steamboat winter: geraniums, begonias, coleus, fuchsia, impatiens, etc.

Gardening with Deb: Lawn care for fall

Now that the days are getting shorter and the temperatures are becoming cooler, it’s a pretty good bet we’ll experience some snowfall before long. So before winter kicks in and you lose the opportunity to give your lawn a head start on next spring’s growth, take time to care for your lawn this fall.

Gardening with Deb: Perennials for large spaces

Garden centers are starting to put their plant stock on sale, so fall is an economical time to fill in some of the spaces in your garden.

Gardening with Deb: Grace your garden with ornamental grasses

Another plant to consider in your Steamboat Springs-area garden is one of the ornamental grasses that grow well here.

Gardening with Deb: Plants that handle foot traffic

Of the many beautiful gardens in Routt County, my favorites feature meandering pathways that lead you through the beds of plants. For plants that are intended to be trodden upon, gardeners should look for a ground cover plant that is low growing, spreads easily and is dense enough to inhibit weeds.

Gardening with Deb: Phone apps for plant identification

When I go hiking, I usually take a wildflower book with me to aid in plant identification. When I recently looked into some phone apps that help identify plants, I thought, “what a great idea: Save the weight of a book and maybe save some time flipping through the pages to find the flower.” Unfortunately, the two I used and others I looked into have several drawbacks here in the mountains of Colorado.