Homegrown Horticulture podcast helps solve your gardening dilemmas with a focus on growing plants in the Intermountain West. We offer tips on everything from great heirloom tomatoes to awesome trees and shrubs for the yard that do well in our unique climate. For the latest researched based information relevant to you, listen to the Homegrown Horticulture Podcast, a production of Utah State University Extension.
Saving Water During a Drought and Problems With A Kwanzan Cherry
Taun Beddes 0:01
Hello everyone and welcome back to the Homegrown Horticulture podcast.
On today's episode we talk about what's wrong with Kwanzan Cherry. Then also we have two interviews from Savannah Peterson, a horticulturist with the Central Utah Water Conservancy District. She talks about irrigation and programs to get money back for re-landscaping your yard.
I was recently called to look at flowering Kwanzan Cherry at a neighbor's house. The tree was 78 years old and in the past has looked relatively healthy. And when it bloomed in the spring was quite pretty. But this spring, only about half the tree flowered. And once it was done flowering, it only had a couple of healthy branches. And so when I look at a tree or a shrub or another plant, I have a rough checklist I go through to help me narrow down what might be wrong with whatever I'm looking at. Oftentimes, just look at the yard in its entirety. How well is it maintained? How green is the grass? Are there weeds everywhere? This can give me some clues as to what might be going on. The first thing I noticed is that the grass is very green as compared to the neighbor's. It was recently fertilized but I don't think this has much to do with why the cherry is struggling. The next thing I noticed is that there's dandelions in the lawn, and so they haven't used a lawn weed killer. This can be important because a lot of times we see problems with trees and lawns where a weed and feed or another lawn weed killer has been applied. The next thing I checked was irrigation. The lawn is very green, and when I knelt down by the tree trunk, both of my knees were wet. This could indicate that the tree is getting too much water. When that happens, the water penetrates into the soil and drives oxygen and atmosphere out. This is bad for roots and can make the tree unhealthy and more susceptible to a number of root diseases. I next looked at the overall health of the trunk and branches. The first thing I noticed was that there was a lot of Southwest winter injury. This is where the sun heats the trunk up on the south and west side of the tree in the winter. As the bark heats up, it causes sap flow and at night the sap freezes and bursts the cells in the conductive tissue and over time the bark will start to slough off. Even though the bark hadn't fallen off yet, I noticed that when I cut some of the bark off that the conductive tissue underneath was in fact dead. I also cut some of the bark off at a very shallow angle on a couple of different spots in the tree. In both cases, the conductive tissue was either brown or light green, which wasn't a good indication that the tree was really healthy. With how many branches that had not leafed out, the Southwest winter injury, and the condition of the conductive tissue underneath the bark, I recommended to the homeowners that they might give it another couple of weeks to see if it forms any more leaves. I really don't think it will. But if it doesn't form any leaves, the silver lining is that fruit wood, especially cherry wood, makes great wood for smoking meat. And so the next best use for the tree will be smoking some meat for the summer so that the neighbors can enjoy it. I recommended to the homeowners that they dial back their irrigation a bit, especially since we're in a drought. Should they want to replant the tree, there are many species that would work. But some off the top of my head included many varieties and cultivars of crab apples because they're so adapted to our soils and they bloom so beautifully, and newer ones actually don't produce a lot of fruit. Or hawthorns because they have the same characteristics in being very strong trees. Thanks for listening, and I hope we do it again sometime.
And there's certain things you recommend that people do so that they can be successful. And the first one starts with the sprinkler clock.
One term is sprinkler clock. Another term that more people might
Gardening with drought restrictions and preventing injury while working in the yard
Hi all, there's been a lot of concerns about water restrictions coming this summer and I think most people are going to see them at least along the Wasatch Front. And if it's going to be possible to actually grow a garden with severe water restrictions. I know that Weber Basin water has announced you will only be watering once a week, and that includes both your lawn and your garden. In a garden situation, you can't just water once a week, once you put your vegetables in, because they need a month to six weeks to get established. What I would recommend doing is on the day of the week that you water, that's the day you plan to and you get some containers whether they're Rubbermaid containers, five gallon buckets, or even something bigger like a rain barrel, if you can find them, and fill those up on the day that it's your turn for irrigation. Those seeds a new plants that you just put in can be hand watered then on the days that is not your turn for irrigation. new plants actually don't require a lot of water to get established where something like a new pepper or a new tomato would be fine being watered three or maybe four days a week with around three or four cups of water. And over a period of a month or six weeks as the roots expand into the soil, you will need to water less often and things like tomatoes, and peppers, especially with use of some mulch of some sort will only need to be watered about once a week in most soils. I wanted to talk briefly about how to use mulch in the garden, you can put it around the plants and in between the rows and it not only helps hold water in the soil, but it actually does a great job of holding down weeds. Now the best free mulch I have ever seen are actually my grass clippings, I'll put two to three inches of fresh cut grass down on the soil and over a week or so at browns out and then it seems to compact just a bit. And it's a great barrier for most weeds. With the exception of something like maybe field bindweed which you're going to have to hand pull, the mulch that you put in will benefit the soil as it breaks down. And as I mentioned earlier, hold water in. And so with the use of mulch like grass clippings or bark, then you can get away with watering once or twice a week and your garden will actually be in really good shape. And that's assuming that it's established. I wanted to give a brief mention to what's called plastic mulch. And this is where you see gardeners putting down drip irrigation or drip hose stretching plastic over a row. And then they will go ahead and grow their plants up through the plastic by putting holes in it and then putting the seeds or transplants in there. The black plastic is very available from local hardware stores and box stores. You just want to make sure that is UV resistant. You also made need some landscape staples to help peg the hose down that you put under the plastic and to help hold the plastic in place. After I get the plastic placed. What I will do is then put soil on the sides of the plastic to hold it down. Now some concerns about plastic mulches.
There are a few concerns about plastic mulch one is is that the plastic is not recyclable, and so you do need to send it to the landfill at the end of the season. The other concern is irrigation. Let's say you have drip hose underneath your plastic mulch but you need to water more than once a week. In that situation, you'd have to have that saved water in your rain barrels or five gallon buckets or whatever. And you'd have to be able to water through the plastic and so you might need to make a bigger hole and even then make some sort of a basin around the plant. So as you carefully poured water in during the period, you can't irrigate, it's just a little bit more difficult to do. My other concern with plastic molter in the areas such as Sandy in the Leighton bench that have really sandy soils, this would include Clearfield and that little portion of West Point also, I would
Sharpening Tools and Growing Buttercups in Cold Climates
In today's show we have Michael Caron and Samantha Hansen. Both are experienced horticulturists. Mike talks about maintaining gardening tools, and Samantha growing ranunculus (Buttercups).
Uh Oh, I still Need To Buy Gifts For My Gardener
Hi all, I hope you have a happy holiday.
Why Are My Tomatoes Not Ripening, and Billbugs
Elm Seed Bugs and A Follow Up on Watering During Drought
00:09 Elm Seed Bug
08:43 Dr. Kelly Kopp on Lawn Watering
Elm Seed Bug
Timely, concise and no ads!
I love these podcasts. They are highly informative and provide essential information for gardening in our unique climate. I especially appreciate there is no chattiness making them unnecessarily long, and the audio is clear and easy to understand.
Best garden podcast period!
Love the podcast
I just found this podcast and I’m really enjoying it. I have a suggestion though- when you talk about, or suggest a plant, please include the zone where it will grow. I live in Huntsville (zone4), and many things don’t do well here.