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Banking on Beetles

Wanna control slugs and snails naturally?  One idea is to build a beetle bank!  According to Gwendolyn Ellen from Oregon State University Integrated Plant Protection Center, “beetle banks are permanent habitat for predacious ground beetles” and predacious ground beetles, with their giant mandibles, prey on large soft bodied insect pests like slugs and snails.  Raised…

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Salty Soils – Saline Secrets

Soil salinity secrets are once again dissolved thanks to Dr. Grant Cardon, our USU Extension Soil Specialist.  Grant digs deep into plant tolerances of soil salinity in his most recent edition of Dirt Diggers Digest.  Here is his post and stay hydrated out there – it’s hot! Plant Tolerance to Soil Salinity In my December…

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Secrets of Soil Solarization

If you haven’t noticed, it’s hot outside – like really hot – but it’s amazing how the weeds still continue to grow!  Soil solarization is sometimes considered the ‘holy grail’ of organic weed control since it does not require herbicides to work and because it is currently so hot outside, it’s the perfect time of…

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July 4th Weekend Explodes with Color!

If you are staying in town this 4th of July weekend, there is absolutely NO EXCUSE to not take some time to check out our amazing state in peak bloom.  The mountains are bursting in color – red, white and blue….and yellow and pink and purple and orange blooms EVERYWHERE!  It just goes to show…

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The Dirt on ‘Soil Health’

So we’ve all heard it a million times – ‘healthy soil’.  But what does good soil health really mean?  Once again, our Extension Soil Specialist, Dr. Grant Cardon has come to the rescue to help us make sense of the phrase ‘healthy soil’ – dig in to discover more below.  For archived Dirt Diggers Digest…

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Don’t Bug Out on Pest Control this Year!

Alert, alert – tree fruit owners!  Right now is a critical time for pest management for fruit trees.  See the recent tree fruit pest advisory from the Utah Pests Team for spray intervals and other pest management tips.  Click here to view the advisory. I also received an announcement today about an upcoming fruit and vegetable field…

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Aphid Devastation – Part 2!

You don’t have to look hard to see guts and gore in your garden – if fact, I often tell gardeners to be glad you are as big as you are in your garden because if you were tiny, many things would want to eat you!  Due to their abundance and tasty attributes, aphids are…

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Aphid Infestation – Part 1!

Say the A-word and you are bound to hear moans and groans from gardeners – yep, aphids – sigh!  Such a common pest but maybe not as “pesty” to the insect world as you may have thought.  Aphids (moan) are like sugar drops to many insect predators.  Aphids (groan) are sap feeding insects that insert…

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Weeds to Watch!

Ahhh Spring, birds chirping, lawn mowers running, blooms a bounty, pollen a’ flying, and weeds growing faster than bread can rise!  Many gardeners ask me, what is the key for effective weed control?  Well, lots of herbicides help as does lots of digging and pulling, but the real key for most weed problems is to…

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Save the Date!

Ahhhh!  What a wonderful date – May 13th, 2018!  First off, to all our glorious gardening moms, Happy Mother’s Day!  To all our glorious gardening gurus (and gurus in training) happy average last frost in Salt Lake City date!  And to all our fruit tree fans, the first generation coddling moth control dates have been…

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Dig Into The Latest Edition of Dirt Diggers Digest!

Have you ever wondered what it really means when people say we have ‘alkaline soil’ here in Utah?  Well, become the authority on soil alkalinity by reading April’s edition of the Dirt Diggers Digest written by our one and only USU Soil Extension Specialist Dr. Grant Cardon! Why are my soils so alkaline?  Can I…

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Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, Here We Grow!

Warm sunny days are here to stay (at least I hope) and USU Extension Master Gardeners are ready to cover some ground (get it, cover some ground) setting roots in this years’ Meals Plus Harvest Garden!  Here in Salt Lake County, our fabulous volunteers grow garden fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs for seniors at Salt…

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2018 Urban Homestead Expo

Thank you to all of you that came and participated in this year’s Urban Homestead Expo!  As promised, I uploaded my presentation notes for your reference.  We hope you had a great time, learned something and plan to join us again next year! Organic Gardening 2017 Urban Homesteading Expo – Basic Organic Gardening [Compatibility Mode]…

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April Showers Bring May Flowers!

Spring is officially right around the corner and with Mother’s Day just shy of a month away, our last spring frost for 2018 is almost history!  It’s time to hit the garden shoveling, pulling, planting, fertilizing, composting or whatever else lands you in your happy place.  Personally, I’m excited about some new raised bed gardens…

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Two Words that Pair Perfectly – Soil+Structure

Check out the most recent post of the Dirt Diggers Digest authored our very own USU Extension Soil Specialist – Dr. Grant Cardon.  Grant tackles a very popular spring gardening topic – soil amendments!  Thanks Grant for filling our brains with ‘black gold’! IT’S ALL ABOUT SOIL STRUCTURE! – Dr. Grant Cardon, USU Extension Soil…

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No Fooling Around – I Fly By the Night!

If you ever thought the life of an Extension agent was dull – think again!  Wheeler Farm just inherited about 100,000 new mini-livestock!  The Salt Lake County Jail Horticulture Program has decided to discontinue honey production at their field site and was gracious enough to donate their beekeeping equipment to Wheeler Historic Farm to support…

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How to Grow Gorgeous Garden Onions!

Spring gardening fever has set in for thousands of gardeners along the Wasatch Front.  I can hardly wait to share my own excitement over our newly delivered ‘babies’, also known as Walla Walla onion sets, destined to be planted at Wheeler Historic Farm for our 2018 Senior Center Farmers’ Markets!  Onions can be grown from…

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