Friday, January 3, 2014

Looks Like We Made It: Top 10 Blogs from 2013

Posted by: Alison O'Connor, Larimer County

Yes, it looks like we made it. Not that I’m stealing Barry Manilow’s lyrics (though I am a Fanilow), but we’re approaching the one-year anniversary of our blog.  To date, we’ve posted 100 blogs and have had over 23,100 hits from our faithful readers.  Thanks for reading and for your comments.  I thought it would be interesting to see what specific blogs were in the top 10 for readership this year.  I don’t know how it’s possible, but that dang turf specialist, Tony Koski, takes the top notch for his “Lawn Tonics” blog.  I guess we all have Jerry Baker, “America’s Master Gardener”, to thank for this crazy concoction that doesn’t work.

In second place, Tony again has the blog of choice, with “Muck on Turf”, following a frenzy of questions from concerned homeowners after the devastating floods in northern Colorado in September.  Let us know—did your turf recover from the muck deposits, or do you have to resod/reseed this spring?

Coming in third was former Douglas County horticulture agent Andrea Cummins' blog on “Crazy Colorado Weather.”  It was a strange spring, that’s for sure.  It was a very dry fall and winter, followed by plentiful rainfall and snow in April/May and that early May cold snap that damaged some of our plants as they came out of dormancy.

Fourth place goes to Tony (again!).  Ok, it’s getting old with the turf stuff.  Anyway, his article on “Roundup is Roundup, Right?” garnered a bunch of attention.  Good stuff was included too.  And to answer the question, no—Roundup comes in many formulations, so use the one for your needs and read the label thoroughly. 

The Jefferson County Plant Diagnostic Clinic folks secured fifth place with “The Mid-summer Leaf Drop Blues” in response to all those trees that were shedding leaves left and right.  It’s a great article on what drought stress can do to mature trees and what trees do in response to handle stress.
The sixth place article was “Is that Your Ascochyta or Mine?”  This common turf disease is prevalent in summer and can be most likely traced to drought stress or skips in your irrigation system.  And  yeah, Tony wrote that one too.  Seriously, this is like having Taylor Swift win every award at the Grammy's.   

Seventh place is awarded to Linda McMulkin’s article on “School Gardens Get a Jump on the Growing Season.”  They are doing some excellent education down in Pueblo County, working with children and showing them some easy ways to start plants in cold frames.  Cold frames are inexpensive and easy to make…and you can grow lettuce and other cool season crops so much earlier in the spring (and later into the fall). 

Next up was my article on “Seriously Cool Science: Estimating the Carbon Cost of Producing Trees in the Nursery.”  This timely article from the University of Kentucky and Texas A&M looked at the carbon “cost” of producing a redbud from the nursery to landscape.  Incredibly interesting research.

Coming in for ninth place was Eric Hammond’s article on “Plant This, Not That: Arborvitae Edition.”  Remember that cold snap in May that Andrea mentioned?  Well, it all but nuked nearly every arborvitae in the immediate Front Range area.  This was proof that these evergreens, while popular and easily available, may not be the best choice for Colorado’s unpredictable weather. 

Finally, to wrap up our Top Ten list, Alexis Alvey’s “Demystifying the Organic Food Controversy” secured our final spot.  Alexis tackled the 18-page article that was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, which looked at the safety and nutrition of organic foods.  The general conclusion?  More studies need to be done on the subject.   But the study did report that organic food had a 30% lower chance of having detectable pesticide residues compared to conventionally-produced foods.  A good reminder from our food safety specialists: always wash your all fruits and vegetables before eating!

A couple of notables were Irene Shonle’s “Rainwater Collecting” blog which really explains how you can (legally) harvest rainwater, and Carol O'Meara's "Growing Veggies in a Dry Land." 

We are interested in hearing what you want more of, or topics we should cover. There’s so much to discuss and we’re only on the tip of the iceberg. Let us know and we’ll see which blogger would be best to cover that subject. Thanks for reading!


  1. Although I have never posted a comment, I have read and enjoyed most of the blogs so cleverly written. There could be "millions" like me who do not post a comment, so take that into consideration and know we would love to see any continuing articles. Thank you all for the gift you give to us in the quiet gallery.

  2. Thank you, "Anonymous", for reading and for your kind comments! We appreciate you following our blog and hope to continue to entertain (and educate) you in 2014.

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