|Utah Botanical Center Will Grow Community Garden
by David Anderson, Utah Botanical Center
Living in Cache Valley has many advantages, but I
don't consider this time of year to be one of them. I'm tired of lots of gray
snow, gray skies, and red air days! I look forward to the spring, when the
earth awakens, and so does our neighborhood. All the slumbering hibernators
seem to come out of their dens. It's nice.
I'm really looking forward to spring this year.
My friend said, "Spring arriving is something we can count on even when we
can't count on much these days." I think my friend is absolutely right. I think
getting out in the yard will be rejuvenating and contemplative (and cheaper
During other difficult times, Victory Gardens
were developed as a means of reducing pressure on the public food supply. These
gardens were also considered patriotic and a civil morale booster - helping
people feel empowered by their contributions of labor and rewarded by the
produce grown. I'm happy to announce that the UBC will be growing a large
produce garden this year. This garden will assist local food banks, and provide
some unique varieties for our Farmer's Market this summer. We invite you, your
friends and family to participate with us in this meaningful endeavor. We also
invite you to get out and visit the gardens. Get some air, watch the birds
return, take a class, do some volunteer work. We have a great schedule of activities
and events in the coming months. So shrug off the winter doldrums and combat
that Nature Deficit Disorder - you'll
by Jerry Goodspeed
that wonderful time of the year when we get to pull out our pruners, loppers,
ladders, and chainsaws, sharpen a few blades, lubricate some hinges, flex our
muscles, and then stand for two hours in the yard gawking at our stupid
overgrown fruit tree wondering what to cut. For some, pruning can be a real frustration; for others, like me, it is
enjoyable and even therapeutic. I believe the
trick is to simply have some confidence in what you are doing with
that sharp cutting instrument in your hands.
basically consists of directing the growth of the tree. Each pruning cut signals the tree to grow
somewhere. This is why pruning cuts are
made back to another growth point (a bud, a branch or a trunk). When pruning a fruit tree, it is important to
remember a couple of things. First, know
where the fruit is found; second, know the desired direction you want the tree
to grow; and third, remember that light needs to penetrate into the entire
canopy. It is also important to understand
that pruning will not kill a tree. (The
exception would be one pruning cut with a chain saw right at the base.)
it is difficult to explain how to prune in writing, we hold numerous pruning demonstrations
each spring to help those who are frustrated with this spring activity. These demonstrations along with other classes
and workshops are listed on our calendar.
Also, for more written information, go to http://extension.usu.edu/boxelder/files/uploads/hg363.pdf.
Scale on Fruit Trees
by Jerry Goodspeed
you ever noticed how clever some insects are at disguising themselves? They can take on the shape of a twig, appear
to be a leaf or part of the soil, or even look like a teenager...no wait,
that's a different kind of pest. Anyway,
one insect that covers itself with a hard "shell" for its disguise is the San
Jose scale. This is probably the most
common scale insect on apples and other fruit trees. This hard-armor covering, which looks like a
small raised bump on the twig, protects the insects from predators and even
insecticide sprays. These lazy "lumps"
are immobile for most of the year, sucking vital fluids from their host. They can also be found on some fruits,
leaving a small red halo behind when they drop off.
easiest to control in the early spring when they are active and crawling about - the only time in their life
cycle. Good delayed dormant oil will
control most scale problems. Delayed
dormant oils are applied just as the buds are starting to show a little color
on their tips. For more information see http://extension.usu.edu/files/publications/factsheet/home-orchard-guide.pdf.
by JayDee Gunnell
Type: Fruiting tree
Zone: 3-8 (-30-40°F)
Size: 15-30 feet tall
10-25 feet wide
Description: In light of the current economic
trend, people are beginning to rethink the importance of
self-reliance and the value of growing their own food. Planting fruit trees in the backyard is one
way to offer "healthy" returns to conscientious consumers. The king of all fruit trees would have to be
the apple. Apples have been cultivated for over 8,000
years. The popularity of the apple can be attributed to the fact that they
store well (some up to 6-8 months) and have multiple uses, whether it is for
fresh eating, apple sauce, or cider and juices.
Even though nearly half of the apples produced in the United States come from the
state of Washington, Utah's climate is well suited for growing this noble
fruit. Most apples are self-unfruitful,
which means they need a different variety or cultivar to cross-pollinate. Ornamental crabapples can be used as
pollinizers as long as they bloom simultaneously with the apple that is to be
pollinated. There are over 100 common
apple varieties, which makes recommendations difficult. Some of my favorites include Honeycrisp,
Golden Delicious, Gala, Cameo, and Mutsu.
by Richard Anderson
Size: 1 foot
tall and wide
Description: What comes to mind when you envision spring
flowers? I would imagine that for many of you, the first thoughts are tulips,
daffodils, and crocus. That's fine - but, if you want to try something this year that is new
and exciting that can be interplanted with the crocus or mixed in with early daffodils to create
pizzazz in the perennial border, let me
introduce you to the delectable, underutilized, Eastern
pasqueflower. Pulsatilla patens, as
it is known in the botanical realm, is dynamite throughout its entire life
cycle, which ranges between March and April here at the Utah Botanical Center.
Everything from the unusual buds to the heavily dissected leaves, the
over-sized, cupping flowers and the whimsical Seuss-like seed heads will tantalize
your every sense. The species is distributed widely across the alpine West and
will grow with ease here on the valley floor and foothills. Its relative,
European pasqueflower (Pulsatilla
vulgaris), is also widely adaptable to western gardens and is available at
nurseries in a plethora of colors. (Photo
Credits: Richard M. Anderson 3/17/2005)
Down and Dirty Question:
How do I test my soil?
by Shawn Olsen, USU Extension Agent
If you have moved to a new property or if your plants are
not doing well, a soil test may be beneficial.
The USU Analytical Lab
provides a routine soil test with localized fertilizer recommendations for
$14. This includes pH, salinity,
texture, phosphorus, and potassium. Nitrogen recommendations are made based on the crop being grown. Pre-addressed sample boxes, forms, and soil sampling
probes are available at county Extension offices. To collect a representative soil sample, take 10 samples from different parts of the yard and mix together to get one pint
of soil to submit for analysis. The
samples should be taken from the surface down to 12 inches deep.
|Upcoming Programs and Events
Open Public Classes
· Energy Conservation Tips:
Thursday, April 2, 7 to 8 p.m. at the Utah House; Cost: $5
Featured speaker: Michael Dietz, Ph.D., Utah State University
We all use energy every day. Come to this workshop to learn about
some of the unseen impacts of our daily lives and how you can make small
changes to make a difference. Information will be provided on how to
reduce energy use and save money in your home, through your transportation
habits, food choices, and through your consumer purchasing. For
registration information visit: http://utahbotanicalcenter.org/htm/education/adults/green-building-workshops
· "Pruning Classes: How to Prune Fruit Trees, Ornamental Shrubs, and Roses"
March 28, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Utah Botanical Center
March 28 - 9 a.m. to noon at the Ogden Botanical Gardens
Free and open
to the public, participants can rotate through the classes they are interested
in each half hour. No pre-registration or notification is required.
Learn to prune roses, shrubs, ornamental trees, and
fruits. (Dress appropriate for the weather.)
· FIRST (monthly)
"Dessert First" Grafting Class with Mike Pace
April 17, 12 to 1 p.m. at OBG
One root stock and
apple scion wood will be provided for each participant, which you will take
home. Plan to bring your lunch to eat earlier, then before class starts, as the name implies, we will provide dessert.
Landscape Design Short Course
March 19, 26, April 2, 9, 1 to 3 p.m. at OBG
This four-session course teaches the basics of
design. Participants will learn how to create a plot plan, develop ideas,
basic design elements, maintenance shortcuts, and how to develop a beautiful
master plan. Fundamental drafting supplies will be provided, and
participants take home a master plan for their own landscape. Fee:
$75/OBG member; $100/non-member.
Thursdays, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.; Cost: Members $25, Public $30
· "Fill, Thrill, and
Spill: Learn About Making & Using a Plant Trough"
April 2 at OBG, April 9 at UBC
will learn how to build their own trough, fill it with plants to thrill the
senses as they spill over the sides and enhance any landscape. Participants take home a plan, plants, and some materials.
· Aggie Adventure Camps
Registration begins March 2, at UBC
Come explore the wonderful, slimy, wet,
magic and beautiful world of nature at the Utah Botanical Center this
summer! Each summer camp in our series is designed for a particular age group
and is full of fun, hands-on experiments for investigating the world in which
we live. For more information visit: http://utahbotanicalcenter.org/htm/education/youth/summercamps
· Spring Series Merit Badge Classes:
Make a solar oven s'more, explore the nature of energy or learn how to
design with plants. The merit badge classes offered at the Utah Botanical
Center teach boys about the world around them as they earn badges through fun,
hands-on activities. Most badge requirements are completed in the 4 to 5 hour
Environmental Science - March 21 at UBC
Landscape Architecture - April 4 at UBC
Bird Study - April 18 at UBC
For more information, visit: http://utahbotanicalcenter.org/htm/education/youth/scouts
Click here for a complete list of events at the Utah Botanical Center
Click here for a complete list of events at the Ogden Botanical Gardens
► Prune fruit trees, grapes and berries. (Attend the Pruning Workshops at
Utah Botanical Center and Ogden Botanical Gardens. *See calendar of
► Plant pansies and primrose for early color, if you didn't get them in last
► Plant cool season vegetables (peas, broccoli, cole crops, beets, spinach,
onions, radishes) once the soil dries.
► Improve the soil in the garden and annual beds by tilling in organic matter.
Apply a dormant-oil spray to fruit trees when the first tip of color appears on
the ends of the buds.
► Plant bare-root fruit trees and berries.
Attend the Standard-Examiner Home & Garden Show in Weber County, March
13-15 at the Weber County Fairgrounds.
UTAH STATE UNIVERSITY IS AN AFFIRMATIVE ACTION/EQUAL OPPORTUNITY INSTITUTION