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The Skinny on Soil Testing

Here at the Salt Lake County Extension office, we get oodles of questions on soil testing – how to, why do, and um what am I supposed to decipher from these results!  I like to stress that soil testing does not give you all the answers, but is important baseline information for properly managing soils…

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Your Guide to Garden Harvest!

Hello all, we are in the midst of garden harvest season and getting lots of questions on how to harvest and store your garden bounty.  Shawn Olsen, Dan Drost and Teresa Hunsaker put together an excellent fact sheet on the harvest and storage of commonly grown vegetables and fruits.  You can access it here– and don’t…

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A Labor of Love!

Love is in the air!  This holiday weekend we celebrate giving back to our seniors while beneficial insects give back to us in our garden – curious, check out this recent video from KUED’s The Modern Gardener!  Have a fruitful and safe holiday weekend! Companion Planting with USU Extension

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What’s Troubling My Tomatoes?

Many gardeners have waited all summer to eat fresh tomatoes. Sometimes though, as the first tomatoes mature, they may be deformed, cracked or have other problems. In this case, the weather, not microorganisms, is usually to blame. Four conditions are especially common. These include sunscald, cat-facing, cracking and blossom end rot. Consider this information. Sunscald appears…

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Meet Me at the Fair!

Come see our Master Gardeners at the 2018 Salt Lake County Fair Family FarmFest August 9, 10 and 11 at the Salt Lake County Equestrian Park and Fairgrounds in South Jordan, Utah.  For more details and the daily schedule click here. Also come and see us at the 2018 Party in the Park hosted by Jordan…

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Butterfly Wings Among Other Things

Butterflies are so unbelievably cool – and quite complicated!  For example, did you know butterfly wings are made up of hundreds of tiny ‘scales’?  It turns out genes are responsible for forming the wing patterns of butterflies.  Check out this recent article on the Utah Pests website about recent research that has helped unlock this miraculous mystery.

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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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