The city of Provo is considering support for a community garden, even though it has had bad experiences with cooperative gardens before. The Provo Herald has details in this article.
The city is asking residents to voice their opinions via a survey on the city website.
Previous attempts at community gardens have not worked well in Provo. Here's a quote from the article:
"It was a disaster because they didn't have enough supervision of it," he said, noting water was left on, and there were problems with vandalism and weeds. "The parks department had not had a good experience."
But the trend of community gardens around Utah is on the rise, and it is time for Provo to consider another go at it, he said.
(Editor's Note: These tips were provided by McCord's Garden Center)
If you didn't prune your roses in March do it now. Cut out all dead and damaged canes and remove those canes that are growing toward the center of the plant. You want your canes to be growing into a vase shape (pointing out from the center of the plant.)
The time to feed your bulbs is when they are just pushing up green leaf shoots.
If you dug up your canna and dahlias and other summer flowering bulbs that aren't hardy through the winter here, now is the time to get them out and pot them up inside for a headstart before putting them in the ground after danger of frost.
Remember, don't prune your spring-flowering shrubs like lilacs, forsythia and quince until AFTER they have bloomed. It's not too late to prune summer bloomers like spirea, potentilla or leptodermis.
There's still time to plant one more crop of peas and radishes before the heat sets in and you can continue to plant greens like spinach, chard and lettuces. Broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cabbages and artichokes can be planted now. It's still too early for tomatoes and peppers unless you plant them in a water wrap or cover them with frost cloth. If you're going to start your own tomatoes and peppers from seed indoors, now is the time. Most of them are best started 6 weeks before frost danger is over and here in Utah County that date is May 15.
Bare-root plants should be planted while it is still cool. We have lots of raspberries bare-root or potted up already and they should be planted now.
April is the perfect time to be planting trees, shrubs and perennials. They love the cool nights and their roots will grow faster in cool nights and warm days. While you are waiting for the weather to be warm enough to set out your favorite annuals, take a look around and see where you might enhance your yard with a new tree or shrub. Planting perennials pays off because they come back bigger and more beautiful every year and you only have to plant them once:) We have lots of ornamental perennial grasses this year and they can really put a sparkle in your landscape.
Stay on the paths in your yard while you are working to avoid compacting the soggy soil. Soil compaction turns soil into concrete (or at least it will feel like it!) and kills tender roots. Wait until the soil dries before walking into beds or on grass.
Summer and fall-blooming perennials can be divided now but wait until after bloom to dig your spring-flowering perennials.
Most years here in Utah County you shouldn't be watering yet unless you are planting but we had a dry winter and our trees, lawns and other plants need a good deep watering. Don't over-water though. One good watering now and then keep an eye on the weather and hopefully Mother Nature will fill in until it warms up.
We have a bounty of beautiful bleeding hearts, hostas and spring-flowering perennials that you should be enjoying in your yard right now. And the peonies are leafing out and showing big, fat buds. The fruit trees are blossoming and so are some of the ornamental trees, too. It's pretty exciting here at the garden center!
The Salt Lake Tribune has this good article about how to plan your garden. Here’s an excerpt:
“List your plants from largest to smallest and then draw them, to scale, on your garden map. As a general rule of thumb, you will want to place the tallest, widest plants at the northernmost end of your garden bed, and the smallest, squattest plants at the southernmost end. This way, the tall plants won’t shade the small plants as the sun makes its way across the sky.”
In the article Growing Sugar Snap Peas in a Container, I commented on the variety I selected being cold tolerant down to 28 degrees. I inadvertently tested that claim. I have the peas growing in 12" x 18" grow-boxes on the patio. I cover them with gardening fabric at night. Well, I took off for the evening without covering the peas. A fast moving snow storm rolled in and dumped three inches of snow on the ground - including my patio. The peas sat in the dark under that cold blanket of snow for four hours before I got home. I looked at the snow covered peas and was sure it was colder than 28 degrees and that I had killed them. I quickly brushed the snow off the peas and covered them for the night - hoping for the best and fearing the worst. Well, the new day dawned bright but cold. After a few hours the patio had warmed up to 38 degrees. So, I took the cover off the peas to find them tall, perky and no worse for having been smothered in snow. It's wonderful to grow a vegetable plant tough enough to survive my neglect.
An early March snow storm reminded be of why I love container gardening. The last week of February I planted sugar snap peas in 5 1/2" x 12" x 18" ceder grow-boxes. I chose a variety of sugar snap peas that grow 24" tall, doesn't need to be supported and is cold tolerant down to 28 degrees. The seed package indicated the seeds would sprout in 7 to 14 days. I was hoping to do better than that so I placed two of the grow-boxes on a heated seed starting mat. I put a third grow-box on a shelf in front of a south facing window. Using the seed sprouting mat the peas were up and going in 4 days. The grow-box in the window had peas up and going in 6 days. The grow-boxes are small enough they are easy to move if necessary. Now that the peas are about 4" tall, I'll leave them outdoors and just cover them at night with gardening fabric. If we get more snow I'll move the grow-boxes onto a covered porch. I hope to be eating fresh garden peas by the middle of April.
Mother Earth News has an interesting and strightforward article on composting. Per the article "Composting mimics and intensifies nature’s recycling plan. A compost pile starts out as a diverse pile of kitchen and garden “waste.” Left alone, any of these materials would eventually decompose. But when a variety of materials are mixed together and kept moist and aerated, the process accelerates. Compost matures into what soil scientists call active organic matter: a dark, crumbly soil amendment that’s rich with beneficial fungi, bacteria and earthworms, as well as the enzymes and acids these life-forms release as they multiply."
"Adding compost to garden soil increases its water-holding capacity, invigorates the soil food web and provides a buffet of plant nutrients. Compost also contains substances that enhance plants’ ability to respond to challenges from insects and diseases."
The article cleared up many misconceptions I had about composting - laying out the information in the following 10 facts.
1. Balancing ingredients is optional.
2. Good compost can be either hot or cold.
3. Small or large - any size pile will work just fine.
4. Turning compost is optional.
5. You can gauge the moisture level of your compost pile by its fragrance.
6. Compost need not be a secret.
7. You can compost diseased or weedy plants.
8. With a worm bin, you can even compost indoors.
9. You can safely compost livestock manure.
10. There are good uses for immature compost.
(Note: Robyn W works at McCoard's Garden Center in Provo, Utah)
It's not too early to get started with the 2012 gardening year. Take a walk around your yard and check to see if there is any winter kill or breakage that needs to be pruned out. Broken branches are easy to spot now without leaf growth. You can also prune out any branches that are growing into each other or into the center of the tree or shrub.
You can prune flowering shrubs now but be careful to know when they flower. Spring flowering shrubs should be pruned AFTER they bloom. If you prune them now, you are pruning off the flowering buds. This won't hurt the health of the plant however.
Shrubs that bloom in the summer of fall can be pruned now without sacrificing bloom. Prune for shape and to renew the growth of the shrub.
Now, while shrubs, trees, and perennials are still dormant, is the ideal time to transplant. If you must move a plant, dig up as much of the rootball as you can and carefully move to it's new planting hole. The plant must be completely watered in in its new location. Waiting to move the plant while it is in its active growth cycle will greatly increase the likelihood of plant distress.
Perennials that have become overgrown can be safely dug and divided now. Make sure you water them in when they are replanted.
If any of your plants have heaved (been lifted out of the ground by repeated freezing and thawing) now is the time to carefully push them back down and tuck them in with extra soil.
This is a very good time to rake away the dry leaves and dead foliage and twigs that cover your perennials. I leave most of this on my beds in the winter to protect the crowns of the plants from cold but now that the weather is warming, it is time to remove this cover both to clean up the beds and to get rid of potential hiding places for pests.
Go ahead and plant your peas now. You can also plant hostas, daylilies and bleeding heart now.
Have a fabulous 2012 gardening year!
That's a pretty nice looking sandwich, even if I did make it myself. Ham and cheese and fresh greens from my window box garden. I planted mixed greens about a month ago and now I have abundant greens ready to harvest. They are tasty and it is fun harvesting garden produce in the middle of February.
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