Thursday, April 28, 2011

Master Gardener Weed & Feed Day

Master Gardener in action
We decided to change the name of our Master Gardener Clean-Up Day to "Weed & Feed."  We would love to have all our wonderful Master Gardeners come and help us weed and do other tasks at the gardens and then we will feed your bodies and minds.  During a delicious lunch you will be able to listen to guest speakers as they talk about various gardening topics.  Last month Mark Standing did an "outstanding" job teaching us about composting, so we've decided to continue having the classes throughout the year.

Mark Standing teaching about compost last month
The "Weed & Feed" will be the first Tuesday of each month from 9am-2:30pm, so we hope to see everyone out this upcoming Tuesday, May 3rd.  We'll be spreading bark for our garden paths and around tree rings.  Please bring gloves, a scoop shovel, a rake, and a wheelbarrow to haul the bark from the parking lot.
Bark path through the Oriental Garden
For lunch we'll celebrate Cinco de Mayo with sweet pork burritos.  Please call Kathy at (801) 399-8201 to sign up for a small food assignment.
While we are eating lunch Dan Wheelwright, a certified arborist and Master Gardener, will be talking about the importance of trees in the landscape.  It will be a very informative presentation, so we hope to see everyone on Tuesday, May 3rd at the "Weed & Feed".
Thanks again for all your help at the gardens.  We couldn't make the gardens as beautiful without your help and support!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Reminder: Sign up for the Irrigation Basics Class

This is the first time we have offered this class to the public.  During this hands-on class you will learn how to improve the performance of your existing sprinkler system, reduce water consumption, save money and time, and promote a healthier and happier landscape. 
When:  This Saturday, April 30th   10am-Noon
Where:  Ogden Botanical Gardens, 1750 Monroe Blvd., Ogden
Instructor:  Brandon Cooper, Irrigation Specialist, Master Gardener
Please register for the class here.
Cost:  $5 Members, $10 Public 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Studio 5: Ogden Botanical Gardens Black Roses

If you missed seeing your favorite horticulturist on KSL's Studio 5--now is your chance to see Jerry.  He explains how we lost all our roses in our beloved rose garden this past winter.  We are hoping that through your generous donations we can plant new roses to replaces the ones that died.  If you are interested in donating please contact us here or call Kathy at (801) 399-8201.  Thanks so much for your continuing support of our beautiful Ogden Botanical Gardens.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Prevent This From Happening in Your Yard

Do the leaves on your plants look like this in the summer?
Iron chlorosis on a silver maple leaf
If they do, then your plant might be suffering from iron chlorosis and spring is the time to treat this problem.  According to Michael Kuhns, USU Extension Forestry Specialist,  iron chlorosis is a yellowing of plant leaves caused by iron deficiency, usually in high pH soils (pH above 7.0).  The leaves turn yellow while the veins remain green. Some trees and shrubs are more suspectible to iron chlorosis than others, such as Silver Maple, Pin Oak, Japanese Maple, Aspen, and Burning Bush.
A container of iron chelate
One of the most effective, yet expensive treatments for iron chlorosis is by applying an chelated iron to the soil.  There are many different brands of chelated iron to choose from.  Just make sure that you do not apply Ironite--this is the wrong type of iron.  Iron chelate can be applied to soil each spring before the plants leaf out.   Last week we applied chelated iron to our Bald Cypress, Japanese Maples, Tanyosho Pines, and Easter White Pine at the botanical gardens.  We followed the label and mixed the chelated iron powder to 1-2 gallons of water.  The dark, red mixture was then poured around the base of each tree. 
Pour the chelated iron mixture around the base of the tree

If applied each year chelated iron treatments can prevent iron chlorosis from happening to your plants.  For more information about iron chlorosis please read this article put out USU Extension Service.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Spring Check List

Stop them before they take over the world!
Lawns:  Now is the time to apply pre-emergent herbicides to control annual weed seeds such as crabgrass, spurge, and dandelions.  When the forsythias are in bloom will help you remember for years to come.  We recommend that it be applied now and again in June for weed control all summer-long. 
Fruit tree buds
Fruit Trees:  Apply a dormant oil on all fruit trees to control soft bodied insects such as aphids and scale.  Remember to spray the dormant oil when you start to see color in the buds.  If you apply once the buds have opened you risk burning the foliage/flowers with the oil.
Cut back ornamental grasses, butterfly bush, and other perennials.
Flower Beds:  Cut back and remove all of the dead foliage from last year's plants.  Most perennials can be cut off to ground level with the exception being lavender and Russian sage.   Butterfly bush can be cut back to 18" to help promote more flowers this summer. 

Various cool-season crops
Vegetable Gardens:  If you can get to your garden without sinking up to your ankles in mud then now is the time to plant cool season crops such radishes, peas, potatoes, onions, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kolrabi, lettuce, and spinach--just to name a few.

Fruit Tree Grafting Workshop

When:  Thursday, April 16th 6-7:30pm
Where: Ogden Botanical Gardens (1750 Monroe Blvd., Ogden)
Cost:  $25 members/$35 Public
Instructor:  Mike Pace, Box Elder Extension Agent
Register here for the Thursday or Saturday class.  Questions call Stacie at (801) 593-8969
Last Year's Grafting Class

Find out how to perpetuate that perfect fruit tree.  This hands-on workshop will reveal the techniques behind grafting.  Participants will receive two apple trees to take home. This is one of our most popular classes and everyone who comes loves it!
There will also be another class on Saturday, April 16th at 9-10:30am at the Utah Botanical Center in Kaysville.

The "Joys" of Raised Bed Gardening

When:  Thursday, April 14th noon-1pm
Where:  Ogden Botanical Gardens (1750 Monroe Blvd., Ogden)
Cost:  Free, come early for a good seat
Joy Bossi

We are so excited to have Joy Bossi teaching a class at the Ogden Botanical Gardens.  Don't you just love her and her radio show every Saturday morning and her appearances on Good Things Utah?  I know that every time I listen to her either at a class or on the radio I learn something new!
Ogden Botanical Gardens Raised Beds
Joy will be showing the advantages of growing vegetable and herb using the raised bed method.  Even if you don't currently use this system, we hope to make you believers of how much time, space, money, and water you can save while enjoying your bountiful harvest.
Joy will also have her book "Joy in Your Garden," available to purchase and will also autograph your personal copy.  Please come and experience how to have a little bit more "Joy" in your garden this Thursday! 
Karen Bastow and Joy Bossi
If you can't make it on Thursday, please come to our Saturday, April 16th class at 11am- noon at the Utah Botanical Center where Karen Bastow will be teaching.

Monday, April 4, 2011

New: Irrigation Basics Class

{This is a new class that we are adding to our schedule.  If you have ever wanted to learn how to improve your existing sprinkler system this is the class for you.  It will be a hands-on class and you will receive irrigation supplies to take home.} 
Ogden Botanical Gardens
Saturday, April 30th 10am-Noon
Brandon Cooper, Irrigation Specialist, Master Gardener
$5 members/$10  public
How to become a member?  Click here to get more information.
If you are one of the many that spend your summer frustrated as you struggle with an inefficient or improperly functioning irrigation system, then join us as we discuss concepts and techniques that will help you improve the performance of your system,  reduce your water consumption, save money and time, and promote a healthier and happier landscape. This is a hands-on class and printed materials provided for participants.
Either register here or  call Kathy at (801) 399-8201

Friday, April 1, 2011

Black Roses by Jerry Goodspeed

                For years hybridizers have tried to create the elusive, truly black rose.  The idea was to be the first to develop this highly sought after flower, which would earn that fortunate person enough money to purchase a small island in the Pacific (something about the size of Australia).  There is a dark-purple rose that some people (who may be slightly color blind) have called black; but, in reality, nothing even comes close.
                That is until now!  I discovered this rare rose recently, and I didn’t even have to do any weird hybridizing stuff.  I simply walked out to the Rose Garden at the Ogden Botanical Gardens, and “poof”, there it was.  In fact, just about every rose we have has turned into a black rose.  Wait, we are talking about the stems being black aren’t we?   What?  You mean the color of the blossom is black?  Never mind….
                As several people have noticed, many roses in our area became bored with the normal green canes, and decided to try a new look…black.  Although the canes have a decidedly different appearance, the bad news is they probably won’t bloom very well this year.  Okay, I think…no, I am pretty sure they are dead.   (The idea was to soft peddle this news by throwing in a little humor.   I must admit it is, indeed, little, especially when we are talking about our beloved roses.)
Sad as it may seem, many roses throughout northern Utah have fallen victim to a northern Utah fall weather “special”.  Late last November through early December, just as we were recovering from our Thanksgiving feast, the weather went from a nice balmy 60+ degrees to about -178 degrees F.  Well, actually, it may have felt that cold, but it did dip down to almost 0 degrees in a matter of a couple of days, which made many roses extremely unhappy.
As all rose growers know, this is not the smartest plant in the landscape.  Beautiful, yes, but pretty dumb on the plant intelligence scale (I think in rates about a minus 7).  Most plants figure out when it is getting cold, begin dropping their leaves, and progress into dormancy about mid to late October.  Roses, however, forget winter follows this cold spell, and continue growing and trying to look pretty until about January.
Most years, this is not a problem.  But, when the temperature drops quickly from a nice growing temperature to well below freezing, like it did this past fall, the roses do not have enough time to acclimate.  Plants need a slow cooling process of about two to six weeks to prepare for winter.  They drop their leaves, move water and energy out of the stems and into the roots.  As the water leaves the cells in the stems they harden, and are ready for cold temperatures.  This explanation simplifies the process, but, basically, it’s too much cold too fast which equals dead roses.
When we get deep, freezing temperatures before the plant is ready, it compromises the integrity of the cells.  This is similar to putting fresh strawberries in the freezer.  They are nice and firm going in, but the freezing action of expanding water (ice) punctures the cell walls, and all the guts and important stuff leaks out.  In other words, the strawberry dies just like our roses did.
I wish there was something we could do about it now, but, in reality, it’s too late.  If the cane is black clear to the ground, the roots may still be alive, but the good part of the rose is dead.  You will get growth, but it will not be the pretty rose you remember because the rose’s rootstock will take over.  Bite the bullet and just replace it.  If any green remains at the base of the rose, say about 4 to 6 inches high on the cane, the rose will eventually recover and should be fine.
Regardless, remove all the blackened canes which may include removing the whole rose.  The good news in all this is we now have an opportunity to plant some of the cool new roses in our landscapes.   I might recommend avoiding the black varieties…
Here at the Ogden Botanical Gardens we also lost roses.  In fact, we figure about 300 are gone.  Sadly, the roses are a major focal point of the Gardens, and a source of beauty and pride for the city.  Because we are a non-profit organization, this puts a huge financial burden on us.  With this in mind, we are setting up a fund to buy and replant our beautiful rose garden.  We calculate it will cost us about $10,000 to bring the Rose Garden back to its pre-freeze condition.  If you would like to help, please contact us at either the Ogden Botanical Gardens (1750 Monroe Boulevard in Ogden at 801-399-8080, Tuesday or Thursday, 12:30-3:30), or the Weber County Utah State University Extension Office (1181 North Fairgrounds Drive, in Ogden at 801-399-8201).  Thanks for your help.