Gardening Tips

Plant gallsBy Peg Herring
Oregon State University plans to use a $3 million grant to study two groups of bacteria that result in millions of dollars in losses annually to the nation’s nursery industry.
Researchers will study Agrobacterium tumefaciens and Rhodococcus fascians, which deform hundreds of common landscape plants, including hostas, Shasta daisies, petunias and pansies.

PearsBy Kym Pokorny
Face next season’s fruit tree disease and pest problems by making a preventative strategy now.
Since late winter is a good time to plant bareroot trees, the first line of defense is to choose a resistant variety. Otherwise, look to sanitation and low-toxicity sprays such as dormant oil and copper to keep trees healthy.

TulipsBy Kym Pokorny

Paperwhite narcissus bulbs, because of their fragrance, are popular to grow in pots indoors, but nearly all bulbs sold in the fall work well in pots that stay outdoors. “It’s easy to create a stunning display that begins to grow in the fall or middle of winter, then bursts into bloom in the spring or early summer,” said Heather Stoven, Oregon State University Extension horticulturist. “In fact, if you choose the right plants, you can create a bulb display that extends through the seasons.

Cherry DropsBy Kym Pokorny

Once a week from June 14 to mid-September, Harry Olson and Tobie Habeck commuted from Salem to Silverton to tend a U-shaped plot at The Oregon Garden. As they weeded and watered, the duo would hear docents tell their trams full of visitors about the little-known grafted vegetables overflowing from the raised beds and spilling onto the mulched aisles.

salad greensBy Kym Pokorny
October is a perfect time to sow salad greens for harvest throughout the fall and winter months.
"If you live in the warmer, wetter regions of the state, you can plant lettuce and other greens now," said Oregon State University vegetable breeder Jim Myers. "In the colder areas of the state, a cold frame or cloche can help lengthen the harvest season into winter."
If you harvest through the winter, protect your greens from late fall and winter downpours. Leafy greens tend to rot.

HebesBy Daniel Robison
If you like to prolong color in your landscapes through the summer and into the fall, consider planting evergreen shrubs called Hebes (pronounced HEE-bees) for vivid color in both flowers and foliage during summer and fall.
“Most Hebes flower in the summer, but others bloom in late fall,” said Neil Bell, consumer horticulturalist with the Oregon State University Extension Service.

TomatoesBy Daniel Robison

Late blight, a fungal disease that infects tomatoes, usually shows up in Oregon gardens as weather turns wet and humid, and it’s dispersed by the wind and rain.

This devastating disease kills tomato and potato plants, as well as peppers and eggplant, and usually does not arrive until mid-August or September.

Sweet peasBy Tiffany Woods

As fall approaches, consider letting some of your annuals go to seed. If the winter isn't too harsh, they may pop up next spring.

Annual plants are inherently programmed to set seed and die in one year. During the summer, you can keep them blooming and postpone seed development by deadheading and fertilizing them, said Brooke Edmunds, a horticulturist with Oregon State University's Extension Service.

DeadheadingBy Tiffany Woods
Deadheading is a gardening chore that many people find pleasant – by pinching off fading flowers, you can beautify your landscape and keep some plants blooming longer. But is it necessary?

SpinachPlant fall and winter vegetables now
By Daniel Robison
In mild parts of western Oregon and along most of the coast, it is possible to grow a succession of garden vegetables throughout most of the year. Gardeners can extend the season well into fall in many parts of the Pacific Northwest with a little knowledge and protection of their plants from the elements.
When space becomes available after harvesting the last spring-planted peas or greens, keep those veggies coming.

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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.