I know that wind is merely “air in motion,” but why does it have to be in such a hurry?

Here in Colorado, the wind has been blowing for weeks now—and not just gentle breezes, but howling gales that topple trees and suck every drop of moisture from already desiccated soil. First a dry winter, now this ceaseless wind.

As a gardener, there are times when I’m totally frustrated by too much wind. It stunts the growth of tender new shoots (I’m not trying to create bonsai tomatoes, but sometimes that’s what I get) and makes working in the garden a miserable experience.

Gardeners from other parts of the country suggest growing vine crops vertically to save space and reduce soil contact. That just doesn’t work well here. When it comes to cucumbers and squash, I choose bush varieties with their low profile. (more…)

A quick tip for veggie gardeners who are using Wall o’ Waters (or similar products) to get an early start on warm season vegetables. When it is windy (which, as you may have noticed, it is today), these handy protectors can occasionally topple over in a really strong gust. There is nothing more pitiful than the sight of your tomato being squished under a flattened Wall o’ Water. Go ahead and refill it by setting it off to the side around a bucket and adding water to the tubes again. Then pick it up and place it back over your plant (an assistant can be helpful). If needed prop up or even stake your poor dazed plant. Then, sink one or two bamboo stakes inside each of your Wall o’ Waters to help stabilize them. And if they do get blown or disturbed and lose water, at least they won’t flatten your precious plant! This is a step I seem to forget every year until I discover a flattened Wall o’ Water in my garden one morning (often this is due to a curious squirrel rather than the wind).

And finally, on these warmer days, don’t give in to the temptation to remove your Wall o’ Waters or other protectors just yet. We’re still getting down into the 40’s and sometimes 30’s at night. Instead, fill the tubes all the way up so that the protector has a wider opening at the top. This will provide more ventilation and still provide needed warmth at night.

Contributed by Carey Harrington, Colorado Master Gardener