The Boulder County Extension office is home to two demonstration gardens. The Plant Select Demonstration Garden, located on the south side of our building, is a showcase for plants in the Plant Select program. This program is an attempt, spearheaded by the C.S.U. Horticulture Department and the Denver Botanic Gardens, to recognize landscape plants of exceptional merit that perform well in our region. In most cases, these plants are very well suited to xeric (low-water) plantings. The garden can be accessed by the public at any time. For more information on the Plant Select program, including the complete list of selected plants and where to find other Plant Select demonstration gardens around the state, visit the website: http://www.plantselect.org/
Mixed Berry Demo Garden
Installed in 2008 and 2009, this 1300 square foot trial plot contains a variety of fruits including; raspberries, blueberries, gooseberries, blackberries, and currants. The purpose of this fruit research is to determine viable species for the Front Range area and climate. This information can then be translated to large scale operations or to individual plants in a homeowner’s yard.
High-Density Apple Tree Demo Plot
Installed in 2013, this high-density apple trellis trial implements the tall spindle planting system for dwarf apple trees designed to maximize profitability through early yield, improved fruit quality, reduced spraying, pruning, and training costs. This system also allows the producer or homeowner to fit more trees into a smaller space, thereby creating higher yields without requiring the larger space normally required for fruit tree production. The varieties being tested in this trial are Honey crisp, Sansa, and Sweet 16, all on fully dwarfing root stock.
Colorado Heirloom Apple Tree Demo Plot
Pending installation in 2015, this Colorado heirloom trial was developed after the combined interest of apple enthusiasts, and apple producers in Colorado for Colorado’s fruit related history particularly into replanting and establishing fruit tree varieties known to have grown in the state since its establishment. The varieties being installed include, ‘Grimes Golden’, ‘Ben Davis’, ‘Jonalicious’, ‘Yellow Bellflower’, ‘Maiden Blush’, and ‘Anjou’ (pear). All will be on dwarf or semi-dwarf rootstock.
Hops Demo Plot
This hops trial plot was developed and planted in 2014 in response to the growing micro-brewery industry and community interest in growing hops. The trial includes six varieties of hops with three (Crystal, Chinook, Cascade) from a local Colorado hop producer and three (Centennial, Golding, Nugget) coming from Washington State. Within this trial, we hope to determine the varieties that grow best in our region and climate by measuring hop yields and monitoring plant growth throughout the year.
Pictured below, the Chinook variety won 1st place in its class and Reserved Grand Champion overall in the 2016 Boulder County Fair Crop Show.