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Happy Fall!
I hope you and your garden endured the cold snap last week! The probability that we will have a temperatures below 32 degrees in mid-September is only 10%. On average, the first frost of the season occurs between October 1st and 10th according to the CSU extension service. All probability aside, I covered my basil last week, but it still has black spots from the frost. The garden made it through Thursday night, but Friday night I lost the pumpkins and the cucumbers completely and the zucchini had significant frost damage. I'm pleased and surprised my coleus and impatiens didn't freeze, but they're in containers near the house.

Didn't I say it would be colder on Friday night? I'm apparently not good at taking my own advice! On the bright side, my battle with powdery mildew which had infested the pumpkins has ended for the year and the tomatoes should have a few more weeks to ripen.

When the weather turns cold again, you can expect to get another frost warning email from me.
Fall Clean-up Service    
Although I believe we'll have a few more weeks of pleasant weather, I want to remind you that I offer a fall clean up service to clean out and protect your containers for the winter. When you are ready to have your containers cleared up, contact me or give me a call at (970) 988-3808 to schedule.
 
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Field-Bindweed
Weed: Field Bindweed
If I could award one plant my “most-hated-weed” award it would be Field Bindweed. This nasty weed has two botanical aliases: Convolvulus arvensis or Calystegia sepium and sometimes goes by the common name Morning Glory. A perennial vine, it tends to “bind” and damage shrubs or trees it climbs or form a dense ground cover mat which prohibits competing plants and turf grass. The roots can be as long and intertwined as the vine above and are difficult to remove. Bees like the pink or white trumpet shaped flowers covering this vine which can reach 9 feet or more in length. Field Bindweed is amazingly adaptable – it will grow at elevations of up to 10,000 feet, the root system can penetrate to 20 feet deep, and seeds remain viable for 50 years. Since it is listed as a noxious weed by the US Dept. of Agriculture, please join me in trying to eradicate this annoying weed. Persistent hand pulling to remove the herbaceous portion and starve the roots is required. Herbicides seem to only irritate Bindweed slightly. There are two natural enemies of  Bindweed: an eriophyid mite and the Bindweed Moth. Unfortunately, USDA studies show these natural controls are only effective in large field situations and may require up to 3 years before the Bindweed dies.
 
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Wildflower: Morning Glory
Ivyleaf or Tall Morning Glory is also a long vine plant with trumpet shaped flowers which vary from whitish to blue to purple. An annual plant, it reseeds itself easily and can grow up to 15’ in length in one season. Ivyleaf Morning Glory (Ipomea nil) is appropriately named as it has 3-lobed leaves resembling ivy. Tall Morning Glory (Ipomea purpurea) has heart-shaped leaves. A relative of Sweet Potato Vine, Morning Glories are found growing in wild areas and are cultivated as ornamentals. If you like this plant’s trumpet flowers, just be careful not to let it spread invasively!

The top photo is Ivyleaf Morning Glory, the bottom is Tall Morning Glory - notice it has heart-shaped leaves.







 

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Want to know more about weeds? Here are my sources:
 
Gift, Nancy, and Sheila Rodgers. Good Weed, Bad Weed: Who's Who, What to Do, and Why Some Deserve a Second Chance (all You Need to Know about the Weeds in Your Yard). Pittsburgh, PA: St. Lynns, 2011. Print.
 
 Whitson, Tom D., and L. C. Burrill. Weeds of the West. Laramie, WY: Western Society of Weed Science in Cooperation with the Western United States Land Grant Universities Cooperative Extension Services and the University of Wyoming, 2009. Print.


"Planttalk Colorado - Bindweed Mites." Planttalk Colorado - Bindweed Mites. CSU Extension Service, 24 Feb. 2014. Web. 28 Apr. 2014. <http://www.ext.colostate.edu/ptlk/1493.html>.