Friday, June 14

The Crestone Eagle is a nonprofit monthly newspaper serving Crestone and the San Luis Valley

Garden Guru

Garden Guru: Starting right with fruit trees

By Matie Belle Lakish. Climate is a huge factor when considering the growing of fruit, especially the tree fruits. Although the San Luis Valley (SLV) is not known for its orchards, like the Delta and Hotchkiss area, it is feasible to grow many types of fruit trees in the Crestone area. However, our altitude, at 8,000 feet, presents a challenge, as the low winter and nighttime temperatures can seriously affect what types of fruits one can grow, and also the varieties that will succeed. Two of the major challenges to consider when deciding what trees to plant: can the tree...

Garden Guru: Building next year’s soil

By Matie Belle Lakish. Soil, the base for all we gardeners do. Now, I hear that there are lots of choices for those who want to garden, including soilless gardening. I’m seeing references to huge greenhouse operations that use a water-based nutrient mix to grow all sorts of plants. I understand that the technique is becoming more widespread among commercial vegetable growers. If this is the wave of the future, why do we care about soil?  For me, there is something both satisfying and healing about running my fingers through soil—AKA dirt. Often, during the gardening season, my fingers get cracks...

Garden Guru: Springtime in the Rockies

By Matie Belle Lakish. Spring has sprung! It’s the most exciting time of year for many gardeners, including me. Freezing times should be behind us and flowers are beginning to bloom. It is probably safe to plant out all those little plants that have been hovering in the greenhouse or on shelves in garden stores. The earliest spring flowers are blooming, including the bleeding hearts, daffodils and tulips. Anticipation is high. Will we have a good fruit crop? Will the bulbs planted in the fall come up and bloom this year? Will the early-planted seeds give us the flowers and...

Garden Guru: Can hemp save us from COVID?

COVID-19 comes up almost daily, in almost everyone’s conversations, and many people in our community I have been impacted personally by this virus. For that reason, I was heartened to learn that new research by Oregon State University and affiliates has found that our old friend, hemp, may offer some protection from infection by the virus, if preliminary research leads to future treatment protocols. Colorado is one of the growing number of states that allow gardeners to grow up to six plants of the Cannabis genus for medicine or recreation. Can our plant friends also protect us from COVID? According...

Garden Guru: Giving Thanks

I’m feeling very blessed. November is here, and Thanksgiving on the way. I just watched the full moon rise slowly above the mountains, with a tip of a craggy point slowly receding as the face of the moon rose above it. Magical!  So far, most of my family and close friends have avoided the curse of COVID, and for that I am very grateful. There is a lot of controversy over vaccinations, possibly because it all happened so fast. Before we even knew much about the disease, new vaccination strategies were being pushed, and many people rejected the vaccine model,...

Garden Guru: Tending Our Roots

It’s official, summer is over. Tomatoes, squashes, beans and corn have seen their day. It’s time to tend to our roots—root crops, that is. Carrots, beets, parsnips, turnips, garlic and onions may still be with us for a while and will offer themselves for storage into the winter. Thanks, roots. Let’s start with garlic. You may have harvested the garlic already—it’s typically ready in August or early September, but dig it now if you haven’t already. The cloves that were planted last fall will be mature now, and it’s time to replant for next year. If you haven’t grown garlic...

Garden Guru: Encouraging Bird Life in the Garden

by Matie Belle Lakish. It is winter. Our gardens are hibernating. But it isn’t too early to plan for next year’s garden, and the seed catalogs are beginning to arrive. Last year I enjoyed the birds who came to my garden, and I want to do more for birds this coming year.   I love Robins. I truly do. They are among the first to come in the spring, and they sit on my fence, cock their heads to the side so as to see me better with their side-wise eyes, scope out the local cats, and then descend to the...

Garden Guru: Blessed Brassicas

by Matie Belle Lakish. My outside thermometer shows the temperature at 10.8°F.  The inside of my storm door is icy, and my car starts reluctantly. I walk in the garden, and the kale leaves break under my feet. The remaining Romanesco broccoli heads are frozen solid. Will they survive to grace my table? Remarkably, they do. When I come back in the early evening, they are still mostly ice, but I cut them, steam them, and delight in the sweetness they have developed, with no apparent loss of texture or flavor.  Brassicas, also known as cruciferous vegetables, are truly a...

Garden Guru: Building next year’s soil

By Matie Belle Lakish. Soil, the base for all we gardeners do. Now, I hear...

Garden Guru: Springtime in the Rockies

By Matie Belle Lakish. Spring has sprung! It’s the most exciting time of year for...

Garden Guru: Can hemp save us from COVID?

COVID-19 comes up almost daily, in almost everyone’s conversations, and many people in our...

Garden Guru: Giving Thanks

I’m feeling very blessed. November is here, and Thanksgiving on the way. I just...

Garden Guru: Tending Our Roots

It’s official, summer is over. Tomatoes, squashes, beans and corn have seen their day....

Garden Guru: Encouraging Bird Life in the Garden

by Matie Belle Lakish. It is winter. Our gardens are hibernating. But it isn’t too...

Garden Guru: Blessed Brassicas

by Matie Belle Lakish. My outside thermometer shows the temperature at 10.8°F.  The inside...
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