First, let’s count our blessings: the cool and wet spring has been great for plant growth (and of course, weeds galore!). The profusion of wildflowers this spring has been glorious, the foothills are still green going into July, and conditions for gardening are now quite pleasant. And we will have fruit on most of our fruit trees! Don’t forget to thin them to keep branches and trunks from breaking.
Colorado is well known for surprising weather events, but this year has been exceptional and, in some cases, record-breaking.
These extremes have resulted in some gardening problems. Those of us with clay soils had to wait to work our soil this spring because it was so wet. Conditions have been very favorable to fungal diseases, which are now showing up in many plants. Fire blight is very bad this year for some of us. Our website offers 3 articles about managing and avoiding fire blight.
The pandemic and other factors have had very far-reaching effects on supplies in every sector of life. For example, Nolo Bait for grasshoppers is not available this year. Corporate take-overs haven’t been kind to the gardening public either, so the non-toxic fungicide, Green Cure, is no longer available. Also, the very safe and very effective Pharm brand non-toxic pest-management supplies are no longer available in home-owner quantities. We are on the hunt for alternatives for these products.
We do have Neem oil products and other non-toxic insect pest sprays.
The freeze in February froze and broke pipes at our Boulder County Extension office in Longmont. The resulting flood damage was extensive, and the service may not open again until September. It is unclear whether Boulder County Extension is answering questions etc. Consequently, we in Boulder County should send our plant samples for insect and disease identification to the Jefferson County Plant Diagnostic Clinic. There is a $10 fee for non-residents of Jefferson County. You can also email questions and photos to the Clinic at PlantClinic@nullJeffCo.us . Visit the Jeff CO Horticulture Program webpage for additional resources that they offer.