Colorado Master Gardeners: Spring kick-off |

Colorado Master Gardeners: Spring kick-off

Colorado Master Gardeners of Routt County spend the day volunteering at the Denver Botanical Garden. Pictured from left are Donna Segale, Georgianne Nelson, Estella Heitman, Susan Scott, Carol Iverson, Todd Hagenbuch, Festus Hagins, Gail Reed, Holly Rogers and Barbara Walker.
Courtesy photo

Colorado Master Gardeners, who volunteer many hours to help educate our community each year, are people who not only have years of experience gardening in the Yampa Valley, but also have knowledge of the science and research that explains so many gardening challenges. Moreover, they love to share that knowledge.

Besides providing the community information through this weekly column, Master Gardeners also do site visits, provide gardening classes to the public, and staff a Q & A desk at the Colorado State University Extension Office from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Thursday.

The desk has already seen some interesting things come through the door this season. The following are some of the issues they’ve handled over the past couple of weeks that may be impacting you, too.

Insects are coming out. We’ve seen our first boxelder bugs, and they’ll be in people’s homes moving forward. Western conifer seed bugs have started to come out, too.

However, the most interesting thing to come in was a vial of several Rocky Mountain wood ticks that were found in a backpack that had been set on the ground. This is a great time to remember that we live in a world full of insects, and although mostly harmless, some may cause concern. If you don’t know what an insect is, call us or bring in a sample, and we’ll do our best to identify it.

The varmints had a great winter. Excellent snowfall this winter provided a blanket of protection for voles and pocket gophers. If you have runways on your lawn, you probably have voles, and you might be seeing your favorite perennials and woody plants (shrubs and bushes) dying off as a result of their damage.

For more
Colorado State University Master Gardeners are available to answer questions from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursdays through the gardening season at the CSU Extension Office, 136 Sixth St. in Steamboat Springs. Contact 970-870-5241 or with questions or to schedule a site visit.

If you have areas of raised earth running through your property, you probably have pocket gophers.  Bring in photos of your issue, and we’ll help you determine which one you have.

Weeds are on their way.  Whitetop, houndstongue, thistle and all of our usual suspects are popping out of the ground. If you need help with identifying whether a plant is a friend or a foe, bring it in, and we’ll help you figure it out. We can also help you figure out which control measures will work best for each weed and each situation. 

As the gardening season progresses, we’ll have many other issues come into the office. We’ll try to keep the public updated about what’s going on and entertain you with stories from our own experiences. If you have an idea for an article, or think you have questions that others have, let us know and we’ll try to write an article about it. We look forward to hearing from you.

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