Articles written by Abby Perry

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  • Common Yard Calls

    Abby Perry|Mar 25, 2020

    One of my favorite parts of being a University of Wyoming Extension Educator is going on yard calls. Residents from around the county will call the office and ask questions about things that are giving them fits in their landscape: yellow patches in grasses, odd-shaped holes in leaves, funny insects marching up and down the bark and so forth. Sometimes people stop in the office with a sample; sometimes they bring pictures. If I can’t figure out the problem from the sample or the picture, I travel to the property and take a look in person. In r...

  • Picking the right wildflower

    Abby Perry|Mar 25, 2020

    Wildflowers can be a great addition to a landscape. The cottage look is just what many gardeners are seeking. Additionally, when we hear wildflowers, we tend to think about flowers that are easy to grow, require little maintenance, and maybe even require less water than some of the other plants in the garden. However, there are a few things to keep in mind. The term “wildflower” implies the flowers have not been cultivated and are not hybrids; the flowers should not differ from their native flower counterparts. Wildflowers are not, and can...

  • Weather variability

    Abby Perry, University of Wyoming Extension Carbon County Office|Aug 31, 2016

    As a University of Wyoming Extension Educator, I enjoy the opportunity to travel throughout our state during every season of the year. We have beautiful, wide-open space; albeit some of it appears desolate. However, the space itself is filled with life: trees, grasses, shrubs, and animals. Water is what sustains it all. This past year, as I traveled, I became more observant and began to detect nature’s nuances. Small details were of particular interest to me. Of course, I noted lush, verdant grasses in some parts of the state and withered, b... Full story

  • Giving insects a closer look

    Abby Perry, University of Wyoming Extension Carbon County Office|Jul 6, 2016

    A couple years ago my husband enrolled in some entomology classes at the University of Wyoming. He would come home and say things such as, “All these years we’ve been calling ladybugs by the wrong name; they were actually ladybird beetles,” and “All bugs are insects, but not all insects are bugs. At first, I thought he was a little loopy, but the more he talked, the more interested I became. For class assignments, he was supposed to collect insects to aid in identification and classification. We started collecting insects on “little dates” walk... Full story

  • Hand-Pulling Weeds: Effective or more work?

    Abby Perry and Callie Kettner, University of Wyoming Extension Carbon County Office|Jun 29, 2016

    The ground is thawing, birds are chirping, and gardeners are hittin’ the flower beds. Little green guys push through the dirt surface; some are keepers and some have to go, but how? Is pulling unwanted weeds really the way to go, or will pulling them be a waste of time and simply increase the infestation? Understanding the weed’s growth cycle is important to understand how the weeds will respond to hand-pulling pressure. Annual plants complete their growth cycle in one year. Biennials complete their growth cycle in two years. The first yea... Full story

  • Spring Fever

    Abby Perry|Mar 16, 2016

    It is that time of year when the teasing begins. It’s 60 degrees one day and 20 degrees the next. Wyoming weather tends to taunt us this time of year, trying to convince us backyard BBQs and flourishing gardens are just around the corner. We get antsy with anticipation of the beautiful days to come. There is not a lot we can do to force those beautiful days to come more quickly, but there are a few options to extend the growing season so we can get in the soil and do some digging a little earlier. There are a variety of ways to extend the seaso... Full story

  • Taking note

    Abby Perry|Mar 16, 2016

    Keeping records enables land owners to answer all kinds of questions about their operation. Without records noting choices made, when they’re made, how much they cost and so forth, operators are unable to determine if what they are doing is effective and efficient. By keeping records land owners are able to answer questions like, “Should I keep spending money on my weed management plan?” Records can also provide insight into the operation and help identify meaningful patterns. The following is a step-by-step example of how to address a quest... Full story

  • Getting your Greenery Winter-Ready

    Abby Perry|Oct 21, 2015

    This time of year the air is beginning to cool and pumpkin spice flavoring is hitting the shelves. It’s time to think about how to give your yard and garden the care they need to get through the winter months. It is important to water trees and shrubs throughout the winter months, especially if there isn’t good snow cover. Water on days with little to no wind when temps are above 40 degrees and when the ground is not frozen. The combination of these circumstances probably equates to about once a month. Winter watering is important for soil moi...

  • Mama Sage

    Abby Perry|Sep 23, 2015

    Sagebrush ecosystems make up a vast portion of lands in the arid mountain west; the cold desert. To passersby the land may look devoid of life, dry, and lacking productivity. In reality, sagebrush provide lodging and food to small and big game animals, rodents, reptiles, birds, and others. In fact, sagebrush is such an important ecosystem element, there is a sign just west of Carbon County at the Waltman Rest Area that describes sagebrush. The first line on the sign reads like a poem, “Oh! Mama Sage. It seems endless, the sage: the rolling s...

  • Harvesting the Bounty

    Abby Perry and Callie Kettner, University of Wyoming Extension Carbon County Office|Aug 19, 2015

    After all the spring rain, the sun has finally decided to shine and garden plants are flourishing. Now it’s time to start thinking about how to harvest those garden fruits, vegetables, and herbs. There are four main preservation methods to consider to determine what works best for you and your family to enjoy during the fall and winter seasons. Canning and freezing are the most common preservation techniques. Canning requires extra equipment which can be costly. There are also precise specifications to follow regarding temperature and d...

  • 2015: International Year of Soils

    Abby Perry|Jul 22, 2015

    The 68th UN General Assembly declared 2015 the International Year of Soils with specific objectives to raise awareness of the importance of soil for human life and interactions, promote and support sustainable ecosystem practices and promote soil monitoring and data collection. Healthy soils provide the foundation for food, fiber, fuel and medicinal production. Soils also help mitigate pollution and the effects of extreme weather events. Plants that provide us with fuel, clothing, building materials and food grow in the soil. One element of soi...

  • Weeds: A concern for everyone

    Abby Perry|Jun 24, 2015

    Weeds are simply undesirable plants. Anyone who manages land (home owners, gardeners, ranchers, farmers) deals with weeds. A weed might be a poisonous plant you do not want in your pasture because of livestock grazing, or it could be something like mint that has simply taken over the garden. Most weeds are fighters. They are resilient and do not readily succumb to the stresses that overtake other desirable plants, which is why the best weed control tool is prevention. There are several weed invaders in the state of Wyoming that have yet to...

  • Growing with the Season

    Abby Perry, University of Wyoming Extension|Jun 3, 2015

    Gardening and harvesting can be therapeutic and rewarding. Gardeners often enjoy the satisfaction of growing the fruits and vegetables they eat. However growing anything successfully in Wyoming can be challenging. Aside from fierce wind and the dry climate, the short growing season can be a major limiting factor. In order to plan a garden and pick appropriate plants for the space, it is important to know approximately how many consecutive frost free days to expect. The National Climatic Data Center has spring and all freeze hazard table...