The Green Thumb


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.


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

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

Preparing Fruit Plants For The Winter

Oct 20, 2020

Now it is time to begin preparing fruit plants to survive the winters cold. A few simple steps can make the difference between success and failure.

October is kind of the end of the gardening season here in northern Utah. You may have experienced a frost in some of the higher mountain valleys. While in southern Utah things are still pretty good and you might have some time to enjoy the plants that are still there.

Tips For Planting A Late Fall Garden

Oct 2, 2020

This time of year, things are starting to mature from our late garden like beans, corn, pumpkins. It's also a good time to begin to think about planting a late fall garden. The air temperatures are cool, but the soil temperatures are warm.

Preparing Fruit Trees For The Cold Weather

Sep 15, 2020

At long last, the temperatures are beginning to cool in northern Utah. Some locations have already experienced black frosts. During September the last of the peaches and apples will be harvested. At the end of the season, it's time to begin preparing fruit trees for the cold weather that will surely come. The idea is to not do things that encourage growth. Here are some ideas to consider.

As September progresses, temperatures begin to cool, and the possibility of frosty weather increases. If your garden is like mine, there's a lot of produce left in it. So pay attention to the weather.

Tips On Removing Spider Mites

Sep 15, 2020

Now that we're into the real heat of summer, and a lot of our garden veggies are really producing, one of the common pests that you tend to see this time of year is spider mites. Mites are relatives of spiders and ticks. There are many types of mites, some will harm humans and livestock, others are important in breaking down organic matter in the soil.

How Close Is Too Close To Wildlife?

Sep 15, 2020

In recent weeks curious but misguided wildlife watchers and national parks have unfortunate encounters with wildlife. The Wildlife watchers were using their smartphones to video and photograph wildlife.

Knowing When Your Melons Are Ripe

Aug 17, 2020

August is starting as hot and dry as July. That means keeping up with your garden irrigation. As more crops mature and the fruit ripens, keep those plants healthy and productive by making sure that you continue to apply about one and a half inches of water per week.

Tips For Having A Healthy Lawn

Jul 13, 2020

  With July, we have experienced already some pretty extreme temperatures. With northern Utah experiencing high 90’s, St. George has been 100 degrees, Moab has been 100 or will be very short.

A Look At The Short Life Cycle Of A Cicada

Jul 13, 2020

Cicadas are medium-sized insects with large compound eyes and large membranous wings. They have piercing-sucking mouthparts that feed on the sap of the roots of woody plants such as trees and shrubs.

Tips For Growing New Trees

Jun 12, 2020

Every year Utah farmers and gardeners plant new fruit trees. Some are planted as bare root trees and others were planted from pots. Hopefully, by now your small tree has leaked out and is showing good signs of life. Following our six precautions to take with your tender new fruit trees.

Asian Giant Hornet: What You Should Know

Jun 1, 2020
Gilles San Martin/ flickr

Today's topic is the Asian Giant Hornet or what some people are calling the Murder Hornet. You may have heard of this insect; it is a large hornet or wasp. It is one and a half to two inches long- so about the size of a matchbox.  

Baby Wildlife

May 29, 2020

“Daddy can I keep him?” There's something about this phrase and its companion phrase, “Mama Can I keep him?” which can melt the heart of any parent. When accompanied by a child's woeful pleading, loving stare and followed up with “he followed me home where I found them all alone under a tree, rock, or bush” will almost certainly assure that him or her whether it be a puppy, kitten, or baby wildlife will find a new home.

Fertilizing Fruit Trees

May 29, 2020

The most important food for plants is water, sunlight and carbon dioxide. About 94% of plant dry weight consists of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, derived from the process of photosynthesis. The remaining 6% is composed of 13 essential mineral elements, the largest portion of which is nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. All these mineral nutrients are important for plant growth, they cannot make up for insufficient water or sunlight.

USU Extension Online Gardening Tips

May 15, 2020



May brings many things to do in the garden. And if you've been to one of our garden centers here in Utah lately, you'll notice that there's a lot of people there buying plants-- lots of garden plants in particular.

USU Extension


After the earthquake in Utah on Wednesday morning, Utah State University Extension family andconsumer sciences educator Teresa Hunsaker provided the following tips. Hunsaker is a regular contributor to the  Utah Public Radio program "The Green Thumb."

With the recent earthquake near Salt Lake City, many people are wondering how they can be prepared if there are more to come.


Mar 4, 2020

The topic for today are fireflies. Fireflies are very interesting insects. Most people know them as lightning bugs, but they're actually neither flies nor bugs. They're truly beetles. fireflies are in the beetle family  Lampyrdae, and there are approximately 200 species of fireflies in North America. 

The Impact Of Ravens And Feral Cats

Feb 24, 2020

“Silent Spring” is an environmental science book written by Rachel Carson and originally published in 1962 as a warning to society about the effects of indiscriminate use of pesticides on birds.

Soil Testing And Spring Planting Preparations

Feb 24, 2020

One of the things that would be important for people to do this time of year, particularly in southwest Utah, where I'm located, is to do some soil testing.

The reason I think a soil test is important this time of year, this would be particularly for people who have a brand new garden, or maybe they've moved to a new home or a location where they haven’t had a garden before, the soil test can tell them, given them basically kind of a bench line, of what their soil is like, maybe what it's lacking.

Starting Seeds And Planting Planning

Feb 24, 2020

It’s really February out there today-- a bit of snow coming down. But there's a lot of things that we need to start thinking about.

First of all, February is a time to start planting your seed purchases. I've also been checking what I have in seed stocks at home, looking them over and then running some germination tests on them to make sure that the seed is working as it's supposed to be. No point in buying too much seed and no point in letting that seed that you purchase that works well go to waste.

On Eating Bugs

Feb 3, 2020

Today's topic is entomophagy. It's about eating insects.

Today I'm going to tell you about an article that was recently published in entomology today. It was written by Andrew Porterfield.

The idea of eating insects has progressed from schoolyard days to a very real solution to maintain and secure global food supply.


This program is a rebroadcast for Feburary 8, 2019.

As you know, your credit report and your credit score play a pretty critical role in any of us getting a loan. I think the thing that is most important for us to understand, though, is that there are now a number of different reports and scores available. Where we used to refer to this traditional FICO score now has become a consumer score but is doesn’t have quite as many protections to it.

Wild Animals Are Not Pets

Jan 29, 2020

A five year old boy in Texas was hospitalized after being mauled by a pet mountain lion kept by his aunt.

A Pennsylvania woman died after being attacked by her pet 350-pound black bear that she had raised from a cub.

A red fox pup was turned into a shelter by a family that had kept it in captivity. The fox became blind because it was not being properly fed.

A young boy in Utah who was attacked by his pet raccoon, required medical attention.

Tips For Growing Sprouts

Jan 14, 2020

Last month, if you remember, I talked to you about growing microgreens for use in the home kitchen. This talk will be about growing sprouts. Microgreens usually take one to three weeks, depending on the type of plant you're growing, and you usually grow them in soil media.

Wild Pollinators

Jan 3, 2020
Honey bees crawling over honeycomb.

As you may know, many vegetable and fruit producers place honey bee hives in their fields to ensure adequate pollination. A study in Pennsylvania pumpkin fields, published in a recent issue of the Journal of Entomology, found that wild bees can do the job for free.