Carol O'Meara - Colorado State University Extension

Carol O’Meara – Colorado State University Extension

The Colorado Garden and Home Show featured hundreds of products for home and landscape improvements.  Gardeners strolling the aisles filled with decks, doors, and sushi making supplies found a few treasures they talked about after the show wrapped up its 2016 displays.

Dog Tuff Grass

In the Colorado State University education booth, Plant Select program’s top attention getter was Dog Tuff grass (Cynodon hybrida), a warm season turfgrass (plantselect.org). This new introduction greens up when the weather warms in late spring, then browns back after frost returns in fall.  Like Buffalo grass, once it’s established it’s a low water lawn.

But first it needs to get established, so plan on planting it in full sun and watering it for the first two to three years. It isn’t available in sod; instead, you plant plugs of the grass throughout the area you want it to cover. As it establishes over the first year, weeding the area is needed. Once Dog Tuff covers the area, though, it crowds out weeds.

This grass is ideal for yards with dogs or lots of foot traffic; it recovers quickly and shrugs off the problems of dog urine. And you really don’t need to mow it unless you want a flat lawn. Left to its own growth, Dog Tuff forms low mounds of soft grass that add a unique look to your yard. If you want to mow it, plan for mowing in July, August, and part of September.

Dog Tuff establishes via runners and if you’re putting it in your yard and want to contain it, add a lawn edger to the tools you need for lawn care. In addition to a lawn mower and weeder, edging along Dog Tuff will clip the runners that want to go explore your neighbor’s yard or your perennial beds. Pick up the severed clumps of turf and pop them back into any thin spots within the planting.

Big Yellow Bag Soil

Another show stopper at the Garden and Home show was a big bag of dirt. The black, crumbly, earthy smelling soil wooed gardeners from the aisles and into the booth at Big Yellow Bag garden soil (bigyellowbag.com). Non-gardeners, puzzled by the effect the siren-like call of a bag of soil had on their green thumbed friends, could only stand patiently while gardener after gardener dipped their hands into the bag.

What they sifted through their fingers is the Holy Grail of gardening, the black gold we seek to plant in. Locally made from sustainable ingredients, Big Yellow Bag soil is comprised of compost, top soil, and peat moss, (the peat moss is Canadian, but everything else in the bag is sourced here on the Front Range).  Each ingredient is tested for rigorous standards of quality, including low salts, then tested again after the product is mixed.

Big Yellow Bag soil is bagged within seven days of delivery to your door, so the microbial life inside is vibrant when it arrives. The price – $169 for an overstuffed cubic yard – includes delivery along the Front Range. What arrives is guaranteed to be like a spa for your plants’ roots.

Amazing Rake

Amazing Rake also captured attention with its labor saving design of both rake and scoop to make the fall chore a snap (amazingrake.com). When its jaws are wide open, the rake gathers leaves or small twigs in close. With a twist of the locking mechanism, the rake converts into a scoop with a clamp to hold leaves and pick them up. 

Check out the Colorado Garden and Home Show website for more vendor information, http://coloradogardenfoundation.org/colorado-garden-home-show .

Colorado State University Extension, together with Boulder County Parks and Open Space, provides unbiased, research-based information about consumer and family issues, horticulture, natural resources, agriculture and 4-H youth development. For more information contact Extension at the Boulder County Fairgrounds, 9595 Nelson Rd., Box B, Longmont, 303.678.6238.