Test Your Gardening IQ

Winter seems to linger in Wyoming far longer than other areas. It’s far too easy for a gardener to put off thinking about the gardening season. Yet the reality is nature is waking up and chances are you’re not ready, both physically and mentally! So let’s start the gardening season now by testing your gardening IQ.

Get all five questions right, you’re ready for the season to begin; get three or less right, stop by the Wyoming Plant Company for some great gardening advice!

1. The first weeds of the season will emerge from the ground beginning:

  • A. End of February
  • B. End of March
  • C. End of April

Answer: B.
In Central Wyoming we see the first weeds of the season germinate as early as the end of February. These are weeds that take advantage of melting snow and our intense sunlight to create microclimates to get a jump start and they have adapted to handle the thawing and freezing that lies ahead. Different weeds germinate at different soil temperatures so expect new weeds to emerge every month from February thru October.

2. Water hoses should be:

  • A. Coiled in a circular pattern when not in use
  • B. coiled in a figure eight pattern.

Answer: B.
Traditional rubber hoses will get twists and kinks in them when unraveled from a circular pattern because the coils are all going one way, but when a gardener uses a figure eight pattern the hose does not get twists because for every one coil there is an opposite coil, thus keeping twists and kinks neutralized.

3. Placement of your veggie garden is important. Usually that means getting the most bang for your sunlight buck. The veggie garden should be positioned towards which exposure?

  • A. North
  • B. East
  • C. West
  • D. South

Answer: D.
A southern exposure gives you the most sunlight. We all know the sun rises in the east and sets in the west but for the entire day a southern exposure will give you the maximum amount of sun from sunup to sundown. In Casper that’s easy enough to figure because Casper Mountain is due south, so place your garden where it can see the mountain.

4. For overall health of your lawn, it should be mowed to what consistent height?

  • A. one inch
  • B. two inches
  • C. three plus inches

Answer: C.
There is a direct relationship to the height of the grass above ground to the depth of the root system below ground. A lawn that is mowed at a higher height will develop a more robust and deeper root system than one cut shorter and be stronger and better able to handle periods of drought and heat.

5. Which fertilizer is better for your plants?

  • A. Man-made
  • B. Organic
  • C. Neither

Answer: C.
The plants don’t care! They can only use fertilizer when it breaks down to a form the plant can use. Usually man made fertilizers become available in a form the plant can use faster than organic fertilizers, whereas organic fertilizers usually become available slowly over time but stay available to the plant for longer periods of time.

This article appeared in the February 24th, 2017 edition of the Wyoming Plant Company News sent to subscribers. You can subscribe to the newsletter to get these articles in your inbox by using the form on the sidebar.