In fall, gardeners settle bulbs under a blanket of soil and wait for spring to watch them flaunt their beauty. “It’s easy to create a stunning display that bursts into bloom in the spring or early summer,” said Heather Stoven, an Oregon State University Extension horticulturist. “But bulbs don’t have to be in the ground
Kris LaMar and Barb Cary live at opposite ends of the state and have never met, but they’ve got a lot in common. Both women are up to their trowels as Master Gardeners. A shade under 3,000 Oregonians join the two women who went through the intensive two- to three-month course that covers everything from
Garden jargon can leave a smart person feeling dumb, and let’s not even talk about Latin botanical names. Really, let’s not. Instead, we’ll concentrate on common terms used as if everyone should know them. Like what’s a cover crop or cold composting? What’s a hardiness zone? And what, for goodness sake, is an open-pollinated plant?
Rhododendrons say spring as loudly as football says fall. Both have fervent fans and enemies staring them down. The teams that feed on rhododendrons – called black root weevils – are tiny compared to the helmeted players at each end of a football field, but the damage they do aggravates gardeners who can’t figure out
As the gardening season winds down and you pick the season’s last vegetables, consider letting some plants go to seed and harvest them for planting next year. “Saving seed can be really fun and is a great way to learn about plants,” said Weston Miller, a horticulturist with Oregon State University Extension Service. “If you choose
As more people pick up a hoe to grow their own produce, food safety becomes a concern. “Most people can’t believe that their own habits could possibly be the source of problems and are not aware what habits can cause risk,” said Jeanne Brandt, a family and community health expert with Oregon State University Extension
As they climb up trellises and trees unfurling large, lusciously colored flowers, clematis put on a special show in the garden. These garden favorites need a little special handling at the start but once established clematis (clem-ah-tis or cla-mat-is) grow and flower year after year. Clematis vines have three main requirements to thrive – sunlight
Help steward your favorite natural area park by volunteering with Portland Parks & Recreation! Help by removing invasive plants, planting native shrubs and trees, and beautifying our parks for wildlife and communities. All ages are welcome to attend; young children must be supervised by an adult. Don’t forget about No Ivy Day coming up this October!
Andony Melathopoulos is out to bust some myths about the 500 species of bees living in Oregon, most notably that most don’t sting. “I’ve been covered in 30,000 honey bees and didn’t get stung and I’m nobody special,” said Melathopoulos, a bee expert with Oregon State University Extension Service. “The key message is that most
How plants and animals react when skies turn black during the total eclipse Aug. 21 is mostly a mystery, but a horticulture expert with Oregon State University Extension Service has some educated guesses. The most likely scenario is that temperatures drop by 10 to 15 degrees, wind speeds decrease, birds and insects quiet down and
As the heat ratchets up so does water use, costing homeowners money and doing no favors for the environment. Homeowners can learn to save water and money, however, with help from Oregon WaterWise Gardening, a statewide program of the Oregon State University Extension Service. Its website includes profiles of water-efficient plants. Amy Jo Detweiler, a horticulturist
It’s a simple equation: If you want to grow better plants, you first need to understand the soil. “The texture of a soil is its proportion of sand, silt and clay,” said James Cassidy, a soils instructor at Oregon State University. “Texture determines all kinds of things like drainage, aeration, the amount of water the