The Green Thumb

Every Friday at 4:48 p.m.

Utah State University Extension specialists offer timely advice and gardening tips for all seasons from caring for your summer lawn to keeping your indoor plants thriving during the winter months.

Tune in Fridays during All Things Considered for The Green Thumb

How To Help Honey Bees Survive The Winter

Feb 1, 2019

As many people know we’ve had challenges with supporting good populations of honey bees in North America in recent years. And a big part of this factor is overwinter survival. So many of the bees are dying off during the winter and then colonies are low in bee populations the following spring.


Knock-knock! Who’s there? Recently, some Utah homeowners who live near wooded areas have awakened to mysterious knocking sounds in their walls. The source of the knocking has been identified as a species of bird known as a woodpecker. Those who may choose to ignore the knocking might be in for a surprise this spring when they find that the woodpecker has taken up residency within the wall.

How Can You Improve Your Environmental Footprint In 2019?

Jan 11, 2019

As we kick off 2019 it’s a great time to start thinking about how can we improve our environmental footprint this year. And a lot of people associate sustainability with loss but actually, there’s a lot to be gained by engaging in sustainable behaviors.

Gardening In January

Jan 11, 2019

It’s January. The snow is on the ground, it’s cold outside and you’re probably thinking what can I do in the garden at this time of year. Here are a couple of things that I like to do in January.


Now that we are truly in the winter as you look through your seed catalogs you might want to start planning next year’s garden with your past pest problems in mind.

When Is Enough Enough?

Dec 23, 2018

You know, it seems like this time of year, it’s maybe time to ask the question, much more intently, When is enough enough?

Ode To A Christmas Mouse

Dec 23, 2018

Tis the night before Christmas when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. These are the opening lines of the poem entitled, The Night Before Christmas. Charles Moore wrote the poem for his family on Christmas Eve in 1822.

By now winter has set in. The snow is blowing in Logan and if you haven’t got your soil samples done you’re probably too late. But if you did send that in by now you should have your report back from the soil testing lab.

Today let’s talk about houseplant pests. It’s a big concern this time of year as you’re moving plants indoors for the winter. You want to look for signs of infestation as you move plants indoors so they don’t spread to other plants.

Four Tips For Preparing Your Garden For Winter

Nov 23, 2018

November is quite a quiet month in the vegetable garden.  If the weather is still good, I’d recommend you go out and finish your garden cleanup.  Pull up the stakes, remove the garden cages, pick up any dead residue, work up the soil as best you can, try and get that thing cleaned up for next year. 

The Wild Utah Turkey

Nov 16, 2018

Soon families and friends will gather to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. The most common table faire on the table will no doubt be a Thanksgiving turkey. Unlike the adage that one can never have too much of a good thing, that wasn’t exactly the case for our native wild turkeys.

A Little Bit About Pumpkins

Nov 15, 2018

After Halloween, we typically have maybe a few pumpkins still laying around and I want to make a clarification on a couple of things. Sometimes people think that your jack-o-lantern pumpkins are the very same as what we would use for making pies. 

'Tis The Season For Everything Pumpkin

Nov 2, 2018


1 lb. fresh or canned pumpkin chunks
2 medium potatoes, peeled
3 cups chicken broth
3 cups milk
¾ teaspoon salt
Sprinkle each of: pepper, nutmeg and ginger
½ cup sour cream


Fall is the time to bring those winter-sensitive plants indoors and sometimes pests are brought along with them. There are three main groups of pests that tend to show up on houseplants.


Halloween’s scariest animals. Bats are mammals that fly. But it was Bram Stokers “Dracula” that forever linked bats to vampires on Halloween. 

The First Killing Frost Of The Season

Oct 19, 2018

It won’t be too long until we experience the first killing frost and that will end the 2018 gardening season.

Hi! This is Dan Drost, Utah State University Extension Vegetable Specialist. I hope 2018 was a good gardening year for you. Some of the things that I recommend you do now is to review the successes that you’ve had.

What Is Killing Our Utah Fir Trees?

Oct 5, 2018

Today’s topic has to do with something that is going on in our high elevation mountains. This is a concern because some of our native trees, in particular, the sub alpine fir and the white fir, so these are the true firs, are having some problems with an insect infestation. 

This year, we are getting more and more calls about individuals reporting mice in their neighborhood.  Most times mice can be found living far away from humans but with the onset of colder weather plus periods of unseasonably warm weather, it will promote individuals to move into structures as they search both for food and for cover.  

Gardening In September

Sep 11, 2018

Hi! This is Dan Drost, Utah State University Extension Vegetable specialist talking to you this fall about gardening and the things that you should do and the things that you have to finish up.

Spiders: The Beneficial Predator

Sep 11, 2018

Hello! This is Diane Alston, I’m an extension entomologist at Utah State University. And today I want to talk with you about spiders. Late summer and early fall is a peak time for spider activity. They are mating and laying eggs and getting ready to survive the winter.

In Utah, we have several wildlife species that have been implicated in attacks on humans, livestock and pets. Negative interaction with large ungulates is becoming more common. Although there are risks associated with the outdoors by following simple rules and applying common sense you can mitigate that risk. 

Tips On How To Pick The Perfect Melon

Aug 10, 2018

August is melon month. The biggest problem that many gardeners get is how do you select a good melon. So I’m going to give you a few tips today. 

Late Summer Control Measures For Weeds

Aug 8, 2018

As summer and family reunions begin to wind down this year your lawn may be showing signs of stress due to the heat we’ve been having. The off-color you may be seeing is normal for our grasses this time of year as they enter dormancy.  But please be patient and continue to irrigate as conservatively as possible. 

The Nuisance Of The Elm Seed Bug

Aug 8, 2018

As you know July is a time of year when the insects can be very abundant. Anyone who knows that grasshoppers and bees are very active outside this time year, think about the dragonflies.

However, there is another there is another insect I want to mention today. Another one of these invasives that came to us from Europe via Idaho and now it is in northern Utah. And it is called the elm seed bug.