Volunteer Spotlight: Hans Kaufenberg
Colorado Master Gardener℠ (CMG) volunteers are a dedicated group of individuals who are knowledgeable and passionate about sharing gardening, landscape and horticulture education. This month, we are highlighting Hans Kaufenberg!

I joined the Colorado Master Gardener program in 2019 as an Apprentice. I have been interested in the program for many years. I finally joined because I was able to apply the experience toward continuing education hours required for my job.
I chose the Master Gardener volunteer program over the Certification program because I thought I could learn even more through the volunteer experience. And boy did I! 

My favorite activity was volunteering at the Silo Park demonstration garden. I enjoyed tinkering in the garden for a good cause. I also enjoyed the company of the other volunteers. It was a fun group and I hope to do more in 2020. 
The Five B's -
Coming Soon to a Classroom Near You!
By Barb Bolen and Kathleen DeVries,
Colorado Master Gardeners
Photo credit: Sedgwick County Extension, Kansas State University
Barb Bolen and Kathleen DeVries, members of the Youth Education Curriculum Committee, have been developing a new set of activity-based modules for grades P-5. These modules are being designed to meet Colorado Academic Standards focused on Life Science, Earth Systems Science and Physical Science. The programs will include a focus on STEM skills and will be delivered by trained Colorado Master Gardener volunteers.

A survey was sent out to teachers across Arapahoe County. Using the results, five topics were selected for development. They include:

  • Composting
  • Seeds and Life Cycles
  • Plant Needs
  • Pollinators
  • Insect Biodiversity
Turf Mite Damage
By Judy Cale,
Colorado Master Gardener
What is a mite and what can it damage? A mite is a tiny spider. Here in Colorado, we have three common turf mites—banks grass mites, clover mites and brown wheat mites and they can damage lawns by sucking moisture from turf blades and turning them brown. They are tinier than a pinhead, which makes them difficult to detect.
Photo credit: PlantTalk Colorado, turf mite damage on a south/west facing lawn
Why is there an article about spider mites in January? Clover mite and brown wheat mite damage most likely occurs from February to May if there is little natural moisture or if lawns do not receive winter watering. Banks grass mite damage usually takes place in the summer. Spider mite damage may have occurred if most of the turfgrass turns green in the spring, but irregular patches of brown to yellow occur on south or southwestern exposures. 
From the Hort Desk
Looking Forward to 2020

The start of a new year is traditionally a time to not only reflect on the past year but also to start planning for the upcoming year. As I reflect on all that the Arapahoe County Master Gardener and Horticulture program has accomplished, I’m reminded that none of it would be possible without our clients. Throughout the past year, we have assisted clients through phone calls, office walk-ins, emails and Ask an Expert, diagnostic services, landscape site visits (aka turf and tree checks), speaker requests, staffing booths at garden centers, public programs and other events.

And, of course, these services would be much more limited or impossible without our amazing Master Gardener volunteers! Through their efforts, we can expand our capacity so much further.

The year 2020 is going to be a great year. We have big plans for this upcoming season including new programming and projects. 
Lisa Mason
CSU Extension Horticulture Agent
Read more to learn about new initiatives and my personal vermicomposting experience!
Plan to Re-Tool for Spring
By Donnetta Wilhelm, Colorado Master Gardener
Although a snowy day is not the time gardeners are working outdoors, late January and February can be surprisingly balmy when temperatures reach 41° to 51°F. Sunlight also increases to 10 hours and 43 minutes a day, so it can be a good time to prep garden implements for the upcoming season. Follow these whimsical tenets for good results.
Photo credit: Utah State University 
  1. “Preparation time is never wasted time” so avoid the spring rush and take power equipment to the local small engine repair shop. Equipment that benefits from annual tune-ups are lawnmowers, string trimmers, hedge trimmers, chainsaws, blower/vacs and tillers. Properly maintained equipment makes yard work easier on the gardener and better for the landscape and environment.
  2. “If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I would spend the first four hours sharpening the axe” said Abraham Lincoln. Larger tools that should be cleaned, oiled (and sharpened, if applicable) and kept in top shape are axes, shovels, spades, forks, rakes, pruning saws and hoes. One piece of equipment that is overlooked is the wheelbarrow. Clean it well and check the axle and tire pressure. 
Plant a Tree, Plant a Legacy
By Martha Kirk, Colorado Master Gardener
Let’s face it. Trees are a magnificent part of the landscape. They provide shade and cooling, provide habitat for animals, sequester carbon, add value to property, and add important structure and presence to the garden. When you plant a tree, you are planting a legacy for future generations to enjoy.

Research-based resources can help guide you in deciding what tree to plant. The Front Range Tree Recommendation List and fact sheets from CSU are good resources. Recently, another resource has become available, The Rollinger Tree Collection 50-Year Survey Project. 
Photo credit: Paula Szilard
Holiday Cacti
By Paula Szilard, Colorado Master Gardener
If they weren’t so common, we’d all be transfixed by these stunning plants. Thanksgiving and Christmas cacti are rainforest cacti from Brazil in the genus Schlumbergera . These plants are virtually identical, except Thanksgiving cacti bloom earlier. The Easter cactuses are distinct and fall into two different genera. There are over 200 cultivars of holiday cacti in all permutations of pink, purple, red, peach, coral and white and even yellow.
(303) 730-1920


6934 S. Lima St., Suite B
Centennial, CO 80112
CSU Extension programs are available to all without discrimination.