This issue of PawPrint News heralds the end of one era and the beginning of a new one. Biggs and Emma, well known to long time subscribers, have both left their physical bodies. Emma recently “pawed over” the mantle of PawPrint News to her “sister-friend” Gracie (the tech-savvy millennial pictured below). The youngest wolfhound to helm the PawPrint News, Gracie brings a fresh view to things. Be sure to send us questions if there’s anything you’d like to know about Gracie (like how we ransomed her!)

What’s In This Issue?

In this issue, Gracie wanted to brag about Momma Sandy’s TV appearances coming up this Friday and Sunday. She also wanted to give you some tips on things you can do in the next few weeks to revitalize and renew your yard and gardens!

  1. Take advantage of Colorado’s two-cycle gardening season
  2. Revitalize your garden beds without a major renovation
  3. Muddy mess? Sod it all!
  4. Fall Pot Ideas – hearty choices and a splash of color
  5. Helpful Herb Harvest Hits (Gracie’s version of 4-H)
  6. Product of the month: Pet Friendly Pond Clarifier
  7. Watch Sandy on Channel 9 Denver! Dates and Times this week

Hey, you! Got any treats? Gracie here. I’m new to this whole hang out at the house thing. And I find landscapes fascinating. Guess I picked the perfect forever home, eh? So many pots, plants with fun fruit, a lush lawn and pretty flowers. It’s a dream come true. And it just keeps growing and growing. Kind of like how Momma Sandy got me to grow! I wanted to share some of her best advice with you in this newsletter, so plop down next to me (it’s good if you have a hand free to pet me while you read) and let’s dive in.

1. Take advantage of Colorado’s two-cycle gardening season.

Momma Sandy didn’t give me a single taste of that Cherokee Purple heirloom tomato last week, but just the smell had my mouth watering. Sandy says people constantly tell her they wished they had thought ahead and planted a garden so they could have lush tomatoes and fresh herbs to pick. 

She says the best way to give yourself a head start on Spring gardening is to take advantage of the two-cycle planting season. Now’s the perfect time to plant cool season veggies. Stuff like kale, cabbage, spinach, lettuces – those things that bolt during the summer heat faster than me chasing a rabbit. It’s also a great time to plant root veggies, like beets, radishes, carrots, turnips, parsnips and kohlrabi.

Doing a cool season planting now gives you another advantage – because you’ll have your garden ready to go for spring planting next year! Not keen on getting to ground level? You can save wear and tear on your knees 2 ways.

  • Put in raised garden beds. They give you a place to sit while you’re harvesting or weeding.
  • Invite Sandy’s crew to pick and weed and put a basket of fresh produce at your back door for you when we do maintenance.

Don’t have a current vegetable garden or want help getting the cool plants in the ground? Sandy and her crew can design, install, plant and set up irrigation for any garden area you want. She’s a pro at mixing perennials and vegetables in a single bed if you want your garden to be both beautiful and functional. She’ll even share her top secret kale salad recipe. I’ve learned that if you sit pretty, she’ll share most anything!

2: Revitalize your garden beds without a major renovation

True confession (and I do promise it’s relevant to the story here). I am in love with my mailman, Ed. He’s in love with me too. And he gave me a gift last week. He took a video of a hummingbird who is enamored with the new front garden bed Momma Sandy created. I’m sharing the video with you on our Facebook page

See all the cool grasses and those enticing red flowers that captured the hummingbird’s heart? That’s the ONLY thing different in this entire bed. By moving some stones, putting down new fabric with growing room, Sandy transformed the front yard AND created a hummingbird habitat. 

Even little tasks as simple as dividing and replanting your irises (next up on our front yard face lift) can change the look of your garden beds. Look for ways you can revitalize rather than replace – it’s a low-cost solution with high value. This works great for gardens that have filled in over the years. Not sure what to look for? Momma Sandy offers garden consultations where she’ll rattle off her best suggestions for things you can do yourself to create your dream yard. Call and schedule a consultation (303-808-7706). But not too early in the morning – that’s when she and I have our marketing meeting walk. 

3:  Muddy mess? Sod it all!

We used to have a giant playset that took up a huge part of the yard. But when Cooper sprouted over the winter so that he’s almost as tall as Momma Sandy, he and his friends couldn’t fit anymore. (Apparently Sandy’s good at growing everything!) 

Sending the playset to a new home gave me a perfect mud pit. For some reason, though, Momma Sandy nixed the idea, and she turned over the soil and put in sod. 

Before I came to live with Momma Sandy and became part of the StoneWolf Gardens crew, I never had a real lawn. I love laying out in the lush grass and dodging the sprinklers when they come on.

If you already have an irrigation system in your yard, now is the perfect time to get your sod in and get rid of your muddy or browned out lawn areas.

4: Fall Pot Ideas – hearty choices and a splash of color

These cool morning walk meetings I’m having with Sandy are refreshing. She told me to remind you to start thinking about your fall plantings for pots and other beds. What plants warm your heart when you see them in the fall? Some great suggestions are mums, ornamental cabbages – and pansies for a splash of color.

Planting time for fall pots starts in September – and we’re now taking reservations to get on the planting list so call or email to talk through what you want and reserve your spot in the queue! 

5: Helpful Herb Harvest Hits (Gracie’s version of 4-H)

Momma Sandy was kind enough to plant pots on the patio that are filled with tasty herbs. My favorite is the flat leaf parsley, which makes my tummy feel yummy and keeps doggy breath at bay.

You don’t have to stuff all the herbs in your mouth at once before their growing season ends. You can actually preserve them in a variety of ways that will give you fresh herbs all winter long.

Here are my favorites:

1. Make herb butter. Cut up the herbs and then mix them with some grass-fed Kerry Gold butter. They’ll keep in the fridge or freezer.
2. Freeze chopped herbs with a touch of olive oil and pack them into ice cube trays. Once they’re frozen, pop them out into a bag to save space and flavor.
3. Pesto chango! Basil isn’t the only pesto possibility in town. Parsley, cilantro, sage, mint and tarragon make good choices. Even your new cool veggie crops like kale, spinach and arugula make tasty sauces. Here’s a handy link to help you get started making pesto:

6: Product of the month: Pet-Friendly Pond Clarifier 

Momma Sandy’s doing a good job of training me to do things like sit for treats and not bark when people walk past the house. She’s also working on helping me realize that the fountain in our back yard is not a magically refilling water bowl. Although she’s a bit less worried about it, now that she’s found a pond clarifier that’s safe for my puppy tummy. More and more people are asking Momma Sandy about pondless water features, because they have pets. But if you’re more of a pond or fountain person, you can still keep your pets safe with Physan 20.

7. Watch Sandy on Channel 9 Denver! Dates and Times this week 

I’m a proud puppy about the fact that Momma Sandy will be representing the ALCC (Association of Landscape Contractors of Colorado) on TV this week. Set your “DVR” now for Friday and Sunday. Sandy will be featured on Channel 9 news Denver – Friday (4:00pm) when she’ll be sharing her best tips for creating healthy, super-producing vegetable gardens. There’s something magical she does with soil. Maybe that’s why Cooper’s so tall!

Sunday afternoon she’ll be talking about creating healthy and beautiful herb gardens! 

That’s it for me this issue. I’m off to snuggle with my cuddly Raccoon – and plot out how to convince Momma Sandy to get me a couple of puppies.- Gracie 
PS: What’s your most pressing garden question? What’s your dream yard look like? What’s your favorite part of shoveling snow at your house? I’d love to learn more about you since I’m new. And if you’re looking for a healthy way to keep older puppies or underweight puppies well nourished, I’ll gladly share my Australian Puppy Crack recipe with you!