Know when it’s time to harvest apples and pears

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. “It’s much […]

Take precautions when wildfire ash falls on fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables in the garden that have been showered with ash from wildfires should be safe to consume, according to Oregon State University Extension Service experts. Rinsing the produce outside and then again in the kitchen sink will help remove ash and the particulates that accompany it, according to Brooke Edmunds, associate professor and […]

Roll up your sleeves: Use multiple strategies to control invasive weeds

They float in the wind, get shaken off pets and wildlife, travel the world stuck to luggage or clothes and hitch rides by plane, ship, train, truck and car. Invasive weeds enter backyards in multiple ways and once there can cause havoc.   “With some of these weeds, you have to fight them forever,” said […]

Slime mold looks ugly in the garden but does no harm

It appears overnight and looks like a horror-show blob that’s slithered its way into your garden. The gross-looking substance known as slime mold shows up on mulch and lawns, but is harmless to plants. Instead it feeds on decaying matter, fungi or bacteria, according to Neil Bell, a horticulturist for Oregon State University Extension Service. […]

Butterflies wing their way into the garden with the proper room and board

Fragile, beautiful and fascinating, butterflies flutter their way into our gardens and seem to just as quickly wing their way out. It isn’t because they necessarily want to leave, said Heather Stoven, an entomologist with the Oregon State University Extension Service. Rather they don’t find what they need to park themselves permanently. As detailed in […]

When it’s time to say goodbye to lawn, uproot it first

Grass lawns are the default for most yards, but some people want other options, like edible or ornamental landscaping, mulch or low-maintenance groundcover. “Maybe you have a lawn full of difficult-to-control weeds like annual bluegrass or rough bluegrass and you want to start over,” said Alec Kowalewski, turfgrass specialist with the Oregon State University Extension […]

Tomato lovers: Grow the best by recognizing and solving common problems

Knowing the hows and whys of tomato diseases gives gardeners a leg up for successfully growing the most-treasured of vegetables. Brooke Edmunds, a horticulturist with Oregon State University Extension Service, troubleshoots the following common problems that might afflict your tomatoes as the season goes on. Blossom drop: It’s usually caused by dry soil and dry […]

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