Gardening Tips

Pear fungusBy Denise Ruttan
As the blossoms fade in your apple and pear trees this spring, keep an eye out for a fungus that flourishes in warm, wet weather, cautions the Oregon State University Extension Service.
"The longer this spring stays wet and the warmer it gets, there are more chances that we'll see problems with apple and pear scab in our fruit-growing areas such as the Willamette Valley,

Vege startsBy Denise Ruttan
When the first daffodils bloom to let us know that spring is around the corner, it is time to start vegetable seeds indoors or in the greenhouse.
It's best to start cool-season crops such as lettuce, cabbage, kale and chard in late February to early March in western Oregon, said Weston Miller, a horticulturist with the Oregon State University Extension Service.

OSU tomatoesBy Denise Ruttan
As you pore over seed catalogs in these cold winter months, you'll likely include tomatoes in your vegetable garden dreams.
Oregon State University's vegetable breeding program has developed several varieties over the past 40 years that are now mainstays in many Pacific Northwest gardens.

BlackberriesBy Denise Ruttan
When you're planning this year's garden, don't overlook one of the unsung heroes of the fruit world – the blackberry.
"Many people don't want to plant blackberries in their yard because they think it's an invasive weed," said Bernadine Strik, a berry crops specialist with the Oregon State University Extension Service. “But they're actually thinking of the Himalaya blackberry,

Mummy berriesBy Denise Ruttan
Watch your blueberries this spring for a type of fungus that has zombie-like qualities.
A fungus called Monilina vaccinii-corymbosi can infect blueberry fruit with a disease called mummy berry. Fruit falls on the ground and withers into shriveled-up berries that seem deceased.

Winter plantsBy Denise Ruttan
When you think ornamentals, flowers may immediately come to mind. But consider shrubs with vibrant leaves to add interest to your landscape all year.
"Always look for different textures," said Barb Fick, horticulturist with the Oregon State University Extension Service.

By Denise Ruttan
Your trees may still need attention even in the coldest days of winter.
In the life cycle of a tree, winter is the time when trees go dormant and growth slows down, said Paul Ries, an urban forester with the Oregon State University Extension Service. The strongest parts of a tree are its trunk, branches and roots, so they normally survive winter weather quite well.

LettuceBy Denise Ruttan
Is this dry winter making you anxious to dig in the dirt again? There's some good news if you garden in western Oregon and are an optimist.

Riparian replantingBy Judy Scott
The health of fish and wildlife and the quality of the water they call home depend in large measure on the trees and shrubs that grow in riparian areas along streams and riverbanks.
Although the task is not easy, riparian areas that are damaged can be replanted.

Lawn mossBy Denise Ruttan
With the rainy season in full swing, it's time to count yourself in one of two camps: You either love or hate the moss that invades Pacific Northwest lawns.
But if moss is your nemesis every winter, there are some things you can do to combat this ancient plant, according to Alec Kowalewski, turfgrass specialist for the Oregon State University Extension Service.

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McKenzie River Reflections is the weekly newspaper serving Oregon's McKenzie River Valley. Available by mail for $23/yr in Lane County, $29/yr outside Lane. Digital subscriptions are $23/yr. Subscribe at: http://mckenzieriverreflectionsnewspaper.com/catalog/subscriptions-0. Purchase copies online at: http://mckenzieriverreflectionsnewspaper.com/catalog/back-issues-0. Read about area communities including Cedar Flat, Walterville, Camp Creek, Leaburg, Vida, Nimrod, Finn Rock, Blue River, Rainbow and McKenzie Bridge.