Microclimates Matter

nga-app-planting-guideThe link promised to tell me when I should start my vegetable garden—when to sow seeds indoors, and when to sow or transplant outdoors. Just type in my zip code, and I’d have information customized for my area, courtesy of the National Gardening Association. I rarely click on ads, but I’ve found the NGA to be helpful in the past. Besides, I was curious. I have 24 years of records telling me when to plant in my area—how would their site measure up?

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Available Now: Aiken Audubon’s 2014 Calendar

Calender coverIn light of their successful 2013 calendar, Aiken Audubon is offering a “Birds of Colorado” calendar for 2014. They sell for a suggested donation of $12. Any profits over the cost of printing go toward the chapter’s education fund, used primarily to pay high-caliber speakers for their free monthly programs. It’s a great calendar for a good cause.

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Sowing Lunacy?

MoonMagazines are full of articles, the Farmer’s Almanac publishes a yearly calendar to guide you, and my niece swears it works. What is it that’s so popular in the garden world? It’s the age-old practice of planting according to the phases of the moon.

I’ve pretty much ignored moon planting charts, at least until now. It’s hard enough to find time to plant my garden without consulting a lunar calendar. With our Colorado weather, odds are that the “correct” planting date will either be too hot, too cold, too wet, or too windy—or I’d be getting pelted with hailstones, dodging lightning bolts, or brushing off snow… or all of the above!

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The 2013 Aiken Calendars Are Coming!

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Are you a Colorado birder? Do you know a Colorado birder? Do you just like birds? The Aiken Audubon Society of the Colorado Springs area has created a gorgeous 12-month 2013 calendar to raise funds for education, field trips, and conservation. Printed in full-color, the photographs are of birds found in state, and I’m pretty pleased to say that more than half the shots are mine!

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Scheduling Seed Starting

seeds-in-baggies_lah_6137If you ordered your seeds from a catalog, chances are those seed packets are beginning to arrive at your house—an entire garden, in one padded envelope! After you’ve opened the package and checked to make sure they included everything you ordered, (or if you’ve bought your seeds at your local garden center), what should you do with those seeds?

I used to just toss the packets into my seed-holding shoebox and hope I would remember to start them at the right time. Now I take a little time to get organized before spring planting really gets underway.

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When Is the Last Frost?

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This last week of gorgeous spring weather has certainly brought out the crowds at the garden centers and home improvement stores. When I visited last weekend, carts full of geraniums, tomatoes, and other tender annuals were lined up at the checkout.

Today, the forecast is for snow. It was 30 degrees when I got up this morning. There was frost on the parked cars. As I type, big flakes are softly landing on the freshly turned soil out my window. I wondered how many of the people I’d seen at the store had gone home and planted their flowers, only to find them blackened after the sub-freezing night.

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