The Green Thumb

Knowing When To Pick The Best Apples

Aug 20, 2021
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As the heat of summer gives way to the cooler temperatures of fall, apples are maturing, and gardeners are wondering when the best time is to harvest apples. 

Bats Beware: Avoiding Rabies From Bats

Aug 13, 2021
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In 2020, a colony of bats made an unscheduled appearance at an NBA basketball game.  Bats descended from the rafters of Dallas Mavericks stadium and flittered above and among an unsuspecting crowd and players. Officials suspended game and tried to net and remove the animals. 

Managing Your Tree's Cold Dieback

Aug 6, 2021
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I have observed and seen reports from many locations in northern Utah of fruit and nut trees dying back in the shoot tips. The ends of branches in the tops of trees are dead, while shoots lower on the tree grow normally. Some young trees have been killed outright. What conditions brought about this injury?

Preparing For July And August In Your Garden

Aug 3, 2021
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Prepare yourself for a bit more heat in July and August, which are often Utah's hottest months. My garden made it through June quite well, and I had to do some extra hand watering to supplement the more programmed watering schedule I use.

Managing Your Garden During The Midsummer Heat

Jul 6, 2021
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With the midsummer heat upon us, we are beginning to see a few storms. This rain is good, of course, because this brings some badly needed moisture.

Home Gardener Pest Management 101

Jun 25, 2021
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What are some of the basic steps you can take to reduce insect and plant disease problems in your home Landscape and Garden?

Coexisting With Wildlife During A Drought

Jun 23, 2021

Just as humans must learn to adapt to changes in water availability during a drought, so must wildlife. Less water means less available habitat for wildlife, and since Utah is home to a sizable number of wildlife species, prolonged drought can create a perfect storm for human-wildlife conflict at the urban-wildland interface. 

Problem Solving With Your Fruit Trees

Jun 19, 2021
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Did your fruit trees flower and set fruit this spring? If not, what can you do to encourage flowering and fruit sets? In this segment, we'll explore some common problems and how to mitigate them. 

Ways To Beat The Heat In Your Garden

Jun 4, 2021
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June is a great month for the garden. By now, your early planting should start to come into production. I've already been harvesting lettuce and radishes, and kale. My early peas are flowering, and I should have snap peas next week- all those things look really good. 

Bee City USA

May 28, 2021
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Bee City and Bee Campus USA, is an initiative of the Xerces Society, a nonprofit organization that promotes enhancement and conservation of pollinators. Its goal is to bring together communities to sustain pollinators.

Being Efficient While Watering Your Lawn

May 21, 2021

Here are a few tips for you on how to irrigate your lawn more efficiently. 

Planting New Fruit Trees In Your Yard

May 14, 2021
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Spring is the best time to plant fruit trees. Nurseries and garden centers have both bare root and potted trees ready to plant. Either type of tree is equally good, but bare root trees are typically less expensive to purchase. For apple trees, choose trees that are on a dwarfing rootstock.

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I hope you had some time to get your cool-season vegetables into the garden in April. The weather was good, and that late rain in the month helped things move along nicely. 

There Is Still Time To Prune Your Fruit Trees

Apr 30, 2021
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It is still not too late to prune fruit trees for 2021. However, this is a task that should be done very soon. Use clean, sharp tools that are meant for pruning. Here are some principles to keep in mind while pruning fruit trees. 

Taking A Look At Cicadas

Apr 28, 2021
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Spring is a time to explore and learn about many kinds of insects as they emerge from their overwintering states and habitats. Cicadas are an interesting group of insects for multiple reasons. They are prehistoric-looking insects and spend the majority of their lives underground feeding on plant roots, especially trees and shrubs. This occurs in their immature or nymphal stage. 

Tips For April Vegetables

Apr 12, 2021
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If you're one of those who have already planted your tender vegetables, let me give you a few tips.

Tips For Preparing Your Trees And Shrubs

Mar 12, 2021
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It is March. This is the time of year that many people are shopping for their landscape trees, shrubs, and fruit trees. Here are some tips for preparing your trees and shrubs.

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Today's topic is how to put up a no vacancy sign for the Douglas-fir beetles. Most people are aware of the destruction to large swaths of forest trees brought about by a tiny insect group called bark beetles.

Tips For Choosing Fruit Trees

Feb 28, 2021
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As we get into February, we start thinking a little bit about spring. I wanted to give you a few tips on choosing fruit trees. Let's talk for a minute about what grows well in Utah.

Starting To Plan For Your Garden

Feb 27, 2021
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I'm in shock. It's already February. I did get my asparagus seeds planted last month, and they're just coming up. My leftover seeds from 2020 have also been inventory. And I'm going to run germination tests on those starting this weekend.

Mold Can Affect Your Lawn Too

Jan 29, 2021

The term mold describes several fungal species that have a fuzzy appearance, especially when found on that loaf of bread in the back of the pantry that you forgot about.

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We are aware that climate change has ushered in an era of more frequent and extreme droughts, which constrain agricultural water supplies and stress crops. In response, agricultural companies have been developing many varieties of drought-tolerant corn and other plants. These drought-tolerant plants may come with an added benefit, resistance to mites and other pests. 

COVID-19, Backyard Chicken Ranching, And Rodents

Jan 16, 2021
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COVID-19 has caused all to change and adapt to new social distancing guidelines to mitigate the effects of the pandemic on their lives and communities.  In response to social distancing guidelines, innovative Utahns have engaged in new activities that still allow for family contact and explore new adventures. These activities have included increased participation in outdoor recreation and backyard agriculture to include gardening and chicken.

Making Seed Choices For Your 2021 Garden

Jan 8, 2021
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Well, if you would like me, your mail has probably been inundated with those gardening catalogs that come this time of year. I actually enjoy sitting down and going through those making choices to what I want to grow in the coming gardening season. One of the reasons I enjoy doing this is because I always look for new varieties. I look for something that I haven't tried before, something that's become highly recommended by a friend, or possibly by one of the gardening associations. 

Preparing For Your 2021 Garden

Jan 1, 2021
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I kind of like January; you can see the sun rising on the horizon and begin to imagine the days getting longer. Here in northern Utah, there are a couple of things you need to do to get ready for the 2021 gardening season. 

Be Aware Of Wildlife This Winter Season

Dec 22, 2020
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Winter is a time of reduced food supplies and covers for most wildlife. Just as we humans prepare for winter, so must Utah's wildlife. To survive winter wildlife must either hibernate, migrate or adapt.

Caring For Your Citris Plants During The Winter Months

Dec 14, 2020
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This is Rick Heflebower,  Horticulture Extension Agent for Utah State University located in Washington County.

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Have you been perusing nursery catalogs to purchase apple trees of your favorite varieties that you're finding in the grocery store? I'm talking about new favorites like Pink Lady, Opal, Jazz, Envy, Kanzi, and Cosmic Crisp. Unfortunately, you won't find any of these at mailorder nurseries or local garden centers.

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Wow, October and November have been quite this fall for us. They've been a real bonus here in northern Utah. So if your garden needs some attention, hopefully, you got things put to bed this year.

Living with Cougars in Utah

Oct 23, 2020
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In recent weeks, reports of cougar sightings have increased across Utah.

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