Peel off the layers of growing artichokes

With deeply lobed silver leaves and a 3-foot stature, the artichoke unfolds as much mystery in the garden as it does on the dinner table. Used to set off any color in a perennial border, as a striking specimen plant or the flagship of a vegetable garden, the artichoke has much to recommend it to […]

Boxwood blight

Western Oregon homeowners with boxwood shrubs should keep their eyes peeled in early spring for signs of a disease that’s been making gradual headway in the state. Boxwood blight first showed up in nurseries in Oregon in 2011, and has continued to make inroads in the Portland area, according to Jay W. Pscheidt, a plant pathology […]

No need for tears if you plant onions soon

Get onions in the ground in spring and avoid heartbreak when it comes time to harvest big, beautiful bulbs this summer. Plant as soon as the soil is dry enough to work, said Jim Myers, a plant breeder at Oregon State University. March and April are prime times. Most onions grown in Oregon are long-day […]

Go miniature with a glass terrarium

If you don’t have space for a garden – or even if you do – a terrarium may be in your future. “Terrariums are an easy way to have some greenery,” said Brooke Edmunds, a horticulturist with Oregon State University Extension Service. “And they’re fun to make.” Not only that, a terrarium can take on […]

Arborvitae stands tall as a low-maintenance hedge

For a hedge, arborvitae has a place. It’s tall, skinny, evergreen, low-maintenance and cheap. “Some people look down on arborvitae, but it fits in places that other things can’t,” said Neil Bell, a horticulturist for Oregon State University Extension Service. “And it’s about as low-maintenance a plant as anything you can buy, if it’s sited […]

Give seeds a test for A+ performance

Will they or won’t they? That’s the perennial question when you nestle seeds into the soil each spring and wait for sprouts to make an appearance. Whether you’ve selected and saved seeds from the garden, ordered from a catalog or bought off the rack, they can be a disappointment. But there is a way to […]

Identify the problem before treating a struggling plant

When you’ve got a plant that looks a little – or a lot – in distress, don’t start trying to fix it until you know the problem. It could be a simple glitch like not giving it enough water or putting a sun-loving plant in the shade, said Neil Bell, horticulturist with Oregon State University […]

Educate yourself before using organic pesticides

Reaching for a pesticide – even an organic one – should be a thoughtful act. Nothing used to kill pests is risk-free. First decide if you need pesticides at all by practicing Integrated Pest Management or IPM, said Kaci Buhl, Statewide Pesticide Safety Education Program coordinator for Oregon State University Extension Service. Buhl defines IPM […]

Six stellar shrubs to brighten the winter garden

In January and February the flowers of winter arrive, blooming as cheerfully as the showoffs of spring. “One of the coolest things about gardening in the Pacific Northwest is winter gardens,” said Neil Bell, a horticulturist with Oregon State University’s Extension Service. “Spring is overwhelming with flowers, but in winter it’s surprising. It’s nice to […]

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