Anticipation of ripe pears and apples peaks in fall as fruits hang heavily from branches and begin their gravity-aided trip to the ground. But how do you know when it’s prime picking time? According to Steve Castagnoli, a horticulturist with Oregon State University’s Extension Service, the signs are different for apples and pears.
For most gardeners it’s been a normal or above-average year for the country’s most popular vegetable. “It was a fairly decent season for tomatoes,” said Brooke Edmunds, horticulturist with Oregon State University Extension Service. “We got warm enough and didn’t have any early cold spells. If you were irrigating, you probably had a pretty good
Conifers in Oregon are getting hit hard by several years of drought, to the point that many are dying. “Beginning in 2013-14, we started to see significant impact on Doug-firs in western Oregon, particularly in the south end of the state,” said Dave Shaw, a forest health specialist with Oregon State University Extension Service. “Now
If you treat them right, microscopic critters in soil will do your bidding and turn garden and kitchen debris into black gold for the garden. “There are more microorganisms in a teaspoon of topsoil than there are people on planet Earth,” said Nick Andrews, small farms specialist and compost expert for the Oregon State
Lawns languish in the heat of summer unless showered with the water they require to thrive. But not to worry, the grass isn’t dead. Come fall when the rains start again, grass greens up quickly, said Alec Kowalewski, turf specialist for Oregon State University’s Extension Service. While letting your lawn go dormant in
Yellowjackets zeroing in on your steak and fruit salad as you dine al fresco can be irritating, but don’t get out the pesticide yet. “Yellowjackets have their place. Although they can be seen as pests due to their attraction to our food when we are dining outdoors, in typical scenarios they are beneficial insects, feeding
No one wants to go through the winter with no clothes, not even the soil that grows our plants. So jacket up the soil in cover crops. If you’re not acquainted with cover crops, here’s the rundown: These hardworking plants can add organic matter and aerate the soil, protect it from compaction caused by rain,
Impressed by compost’s contribution to the soil, gardeners conferred on it the nickname “black gold.” Even more beneficial worm castings could take the title “black diamonds.” Just ask true believer Larry Steele, an Oregon State University Extension Service master gardener who commends the rich nutrition of red-worm manure, also known as castings. “I started with
– A voracious insect – the bronze birch borer – is picking off beloved birch trees throughout Oregon. Common for many years in Eastern Oregon, the hard-to-control beetle first showed up west of the Cascades in 2003 in Portland, where it has killed hundreds of trees. It slowly migrated and is now found in abundance
No matter the stereotype, summers are dry in Oregon and gardens need to be watered regularly, especially in times of drought as the forecast calls for this year. Information is available from the Oregon State University Extension Service publication, “Growing Your Own,” a practical guide to gardening for first-time gardeners that can be accessed online.
In a perfect world, garden plants would feed themselves. As it is, we’ve got to help them along sometimes. Plants take up nutrients from the soil but when those nutrients are missing, it’s time for fertilizer. “Plants pull out nutrients as they grow,” said Weston Miller, a horticulturist with Oregon State University Extension Service. “Unless
Stellar speakers, inspiration and new friends await gardeners attending the Growing Gardens conference July 13-14 at Linfield College in McMinnville. The event, presented by the Oregon Master Gardner Association in cooperation with Oregon State University Extension Service, was formerly known as Mini College. A wide range of speakers are in store, including Thursday’s keynote speaker