Gardening as a renter

Gardening as a renter is a challenge … and finding space is the first concern. Apartment dwellers may have only a small balcony or sunny window with room for a few small pots. Condominium dwellers might have a patio, but they may be limited by covenants, shade from trees and other restrictions. Renting a house or duplex may offer more room, but renters may need to convince their landlord to allow them to maintain a garden.

To convince a reluctant landlord, mention gardening classes you have taken, show photos of past gardens, and offer to put an agreement in writing. Include details about what you will plant and how you will maintain it. You’ll also want to be clear that you will bear the financial responsibility. Promise to plant an easily maintained garden and to restore it to its original condition if you move. Avoid water gardens, invasive groundcovers, vines and exotic, hard-to-maintain plants.

Container gardening often is the easiest solution for renters. Pots and planter boxes come in many shapes and sizes, take up little space, and are movable and easily maintained. Check container gardening books for ideas. If container gardening isn’t appealing or you’re unable to convince your landlord to let you maintain a garden, you might consider other options. For example, check out our community garden — contact Margaret at 264-2143 — offer your gardening skills to an elderly homeowner, or volunteer your time to the local gardening club. Mountain High Gardeners meet at the Extension Office the third Wednesday of each month. Indeed, there are many ways to realize the benefits of gardening for yourself and others!

Seed potatoes

The Archuleta County Extension Office is now taking orders for seed potatoes. There will be two kinds available, Sangre (red) and Yukon Gold (white). Currently we are charging forty cents per pound for both species. Those of you who are just starting out and are experimenting, it is our suggestion that you order two to three pounds of each species instead of ordering a whole lot of them. This way you can experiment and see if you like them and then order more next year. When orders arrive in at the Extension Office each person will be contacted to pick up their order. If you are interested in ordering seed potatoes please call 264-2388, e-mail us at archuleta@ ext.colostate.edu or stop by the Extension Office. Orders should be available the second week of May.

Calendar

April 16 — 10 a.m., Gardening Class — Gettin’ Your Hands Dirty.

April 16 — 4 p.m., Leathercraft project.

April 16 — 6 p.m., Gardening Class — Gettin’ Your Hands Dirty.

April 16 — 7 p.m., Shady Pine Club meeting.

April 17 — 2 p.m., Rabbit project.

April 17 — 3 p.m., Turkey project.

April 17 — 3:45 p.m., Poultry project.

April 17 — 4 p.m., Cookie Dough money due.

April 17 — 6 p.m., 4-H Council Fun Night at The Spa Motel (R.S.V.P.).

April 18 — 10 a.m., Dog Obedience project.

April 18 — 11 a.m., Dog Agility project.

April 19 — TBA, County Fair Royalty interviews.

April 20 — 4 p.m., Sewing project.

April 20 — 4 p.m., Leaders Appreciation Committee meeting.

April 20 — 6:30 p.m., Back Country Horsemen.

April 21 — 4 p.m., Entomology.

April 22 — 4 p.m., Sportsfishing.