Opportunistic rats find food and shelter in urban homes and landscapes

An uptick in urban rats has homeowners frantically trying to figure out ways to thwart infestations. “It is a bad year for rats,” said Dana Sanchez, wildlife specialist for Oregon State University Extension Service. “Eugene and parts of Portland are experiencing a noticeable increase. It could mean there are more rats or it could be […]

Get a leg up on fruit tree problems with dormant oils

Just when you’re ready for a long winter’s nap, it’s time to tend your fruit trees. If you don’t, chances are they’ll struggle in the coming season. Giving them attention now helps ward off insects and diseases, said Steve Renquist, a horticulturist for Oregon State University Extension Service who has taught hundreds of gardeners the […]

Specialty nurseries highlight what’s unique

Many gardeners are familiar with garden centers, where they can get annuals, supplies, fertilizers, gloves and other items. These are usually found in well-populated areas and carry a wide variety of annuals, perennials and woody plants. But for something a little bit different, gardeners can also turn to specialty nurseries. These nurseries offer an unparalleled […]

Brewing beer? Go a step further and grow your own hops

As craft beer and home brewing continue to rise, interest in growing hops ferments among home gardeners. Shaun Townsend, Oregon State University’s hops breeder, said he regularly fields questions from the public about growing hops. “Typical questions are: ‘How do I fertilize, water and harvest? What sort of diseases and pests do I need to […]

6 winter-blooming plants brighten gardens in dark days

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 […]

Control moss in the lawn by keeping grass healthy

Many homeowners struggle with moss that invades lawns as winter rains provide just the right conditions for its growth. “The most frequent winter time question I receive regarding lawn maintenance is, ‘How do I get rid of moss?’” said Alec Kowalewski, turf grass specialist for Oregon State University Extension Service. To answer that question, Kowalewski […]

Give charming winter-blooming plants as holiday gifts

Winter-blooming indoor plants are a welcome way to take the edge off the chill and gloom of winter and many are ready to give as holiday gifts.The choices go beyond traditional poinsettias and amaryllis. Colorful African violets, gloxinia, cyclamen, orchids, ornamental peppers and Christmas cactus are blooming and readily available. Dress them up with bows […]

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