Gardening columns


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.

Gardening with Deb: Assessing tree problems

Because trees are among the most expensive and most loved of the plants in our landscapes, we tend to pay particular attention to their health. If you think your trees may be experiencing problems, there are steps to help determine the problem and efficiently deal with it.

Gardening with Deb: Raised garden beds: A versatile way to plant

Last week, a group of Master Gardeners and friends visited seven gardens in the Steamboat area, learning about the different ways local gardeners organize and maintain their flower and vegetable gardens. One common technique employed in many of these gardens was the use of raised beds.

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Gardening with Deb: Daylilies: A good choice for Routt County gardens

Although they are not true lilies, daylilies are a wonderful garden plant for borders, patio containers and ground cover that crowds out weeds and offers long-lasting color. Many daylily varieties flourish in our mountain climate.

Gardening with Deb: Buzz off!

With the wet spring and now some July rains, the ground is saturated in places, with standing water in low spots, which combine to form a great breeding grounds for mosquitos. A number of products are now available to ward off mosquitoes, but your first line of defense is to remove their nearby breeding grounds.

Gardening with Deb: Top six reasons your seeds didn't grow

It's so disappointing to prepare your garden, plant the seeds and wait in vain for the flowers or the vegetables that should and usually do come up pretty quickly.

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Gardening with Deb Babcock: The Yampa plant and other edible natives

Last week I wrote about some of the poisonous plants of the area that you surely never want to ingest. This week, I'll tell you about a few of the edible natives that grow in Routt County forests and meadows.