By Mitzi Davis
CSU Extension Master Gardener in Larimer County
The nursery trade is looking for alternatives to plastic pots and trays that end up in landfills. More items are becoming available that are made from organic materials like rice hulls, bamboo pulp, sugar cane residue and feather waste from poultry farms. There are also “cow pots” made from composted manure. Nutrients in the pots improve seedling growth and the pots dissolve in the soil about a month after planting.
Achieve a natural look with stone by choosing rocks that occur naturally in your yard or in native areas nearby. Avoid scattering rocks across the landscape or setting them in straight rows. Mound soil around the bottom of each rock and fill the spaces between with soil to create planting pockets.
A properly placed arbor, covered with vines, can block the view from the 2nd story windows of your neighbors or from one window to another across a small side yard. Use hops or scarlet runner beans for fast growing cover.
Place hoops or stakes around perennials like asters, Oriental poppies, peonies, Shasta daisies and phlox that get tall and tend to flop over. Insert them into the ground when the plants are 6” to 8” tall and they will grow up through the supports.
The author has received training through Colorado State University Extension’s Master Gardener program and is a Master Gardener volunteer for Larimer County.