Spring is coming to a close and it looks like the end of spring will be a wet one. The new plants and vegetables we have planted in the last couple of weeks are certainly getting well watered! We are sure looking forward to seeing the warmer weather return shortly.
If you are out and about this Saturday (June 9th), you may want to stop by Heirloom Roses for their annual Rose Days celebration. William and Judy will be there from 11 to 3pm on Saturday to greet viewers and give out samples of Black Gold fertilizer (while supplies last) and have drawings for Dramm gardening tools. Hope to see you there!
This week we featured...
We definitely get a lot of rain here in Oregon. Capturing that rain for other uses can be tough though, unless you have a rain barrel in your garden. A lot of people think that setting up and using a rain barrel is bulky and can’t hold enough water to do anything. To learn the truth we stopped by Portland Purple Water (503-922-3583) and chatted with owner Jason Garvey. He told us that a rain barrel is easy to use and people just need to think about it differently. Think about it as a 55 gallon savings account. You make deposits and withdrawals of rain and you just keep dong it over and over. The more you re-use this savings account to more water and money you will save. The key is to find uses for the water that you have stored. If you keep the water in good condition you can use it for many purposes from washing cars and pets to watering hanging baskets and containers. If you have more room or larger needs you can also get a larger system for your home. You can even, with the right equipment, convert the water into potable drinking water. If you have any questions at all, you can call or stop by the Portland Purple Water store in Beaverton.
Early Summer Tree Problems
The health of your trees is critical for their long term survival. But there are problems that can be avoided and even prevented with the right care. We met with Terrill Collier of Collier Arbor Care (503-72ARBOR) to talk about a couple of conditions that he has noticed recently. The first stop took us to a business park near I-5. The old oak trees there had been ‘saved’ when the buildings were constructed and were in strategic locations around the parking lot. Over time the encroachment of the pavement and the addition of soil and mulch have caused the base of the trunk to start to rot. This is a good lesson for the homeowner. You should never pile soil or mulch up against the base of your trees or woody shrubs. The bark needs to breath and this layer of soil and mulch will kill your tree.
We then moved to a neighborhood close by. The trees in this neighborhood have their leaves back and they are starting to show some problems that could have been avoided with easy spring care. The trees we were looking at were pears with really bad blight disease called pear scab. This problem can show up more often during our wet and rainy springs, but it can be avoided with an early spring spraying schedule to prevent the blight. This type of problem happens to a lot of our fruiting and ornamental trees. The key is early diagnosis by a tree professional. If you think you have a problem with a tree you can always call the experts at Collier Arbor Care, or any certified arborist. Remember a lot of these trees have been there for decades and with good care they can be there for many more!
When people want privacy, they will often use a row of plants to do the job. It creates texture and it is cheap to install. The problem is the same old choices that people use in their plantings, arborvitae, photinia, and laurel. Lee Powell from Garland Nursery (1-800-296-6601) found a few other choices that people can consider. He showed us some really different choices for the home gardener which included English boxwood ‘Green Tower’, Euonymus ‘Green Spire’, Waxleaf Privet, Arbutus (Strawberry Tree) ‘Compacta’, Japanese Holly ‘Sky Pencil’, Ceonothus (California Lilac) ‘Victoria’ and Pacific Wax Myrtle ‘Californica’. All of these will grow into great hedges but there is a trade off, it’s patience versus dollars. You can plant a few plants, save some money but end up waiting for a few years for it to fill in, OR you can spend the money and get more plants, plant them closer together and then your hedge will fill in faster. There are some precautions too. Make sure you know where your property line is located before you plant and check to make sure there are not any local covenants for your neighborhood that would prevent certain types of plants. If you are looking to create a hedge, check out something different before you plant. You will find a lot of these plants at your local independent garden center and of course, at Garland Nursery.
Heirloom Rose Days
We paid a visit to Heirloom Roses (503-538-1576) for their annual Rose Days event. Heirloom not only grows roses, they also hybridize new varieties and this weekend you can get a sneak peak at some of the 1000’s they have growing for the future. In addition to the roses, you can catch seminars from local gardening experts, enjoy the gift shop and stroll the huge display gardens. You can also sample wine and buy a nice BBQ meal. Other vendors include N&M nursery, one of the leading perennial growers in our area, Barron-Wahl wines and even Rio Con Brio, a great musical duo. If your roses are struggling to recover from the winter, they will help you give them a jump start with some tips and information. They will even cover rose pests and how to control them. The biggest damage to their roses was from the local deer. Deer love to munch on roses and Heirloom has a recipe that you can spray on your roses to deter the deer from snacking. If you want to learn more about pests or need the recipe give them a call. And don’t forget to stop by and say hi to William and Judy on Saturday and sign up to win some great prizes from Dramm Tools! While supplies last, we will also be giving away samples of Black Gold fertilizer! Now is a great time to stop by and see (and smell) the best roses in the state!
Kindergarden-Shish ka bob Pot
Most dads love to grill and with Father’s Day a week away it is time for a gift he can use. Our Kindergarden segment combines gardening and grilling. Our young volunteers together with Amy Bigej of Al’s Garden Center (503-981-1245) put together a pot that contains all the essentials for creating a tasty, mouth watering shish ka bob. Peppers, cherry tomatoes, onions and zucchini are all planted in one pot and even includes a Rosemary spear to cook them on. It’s a perfect gift for the dad who grills and a great way for fathers to do a little gardening with their sons and daughters. We found everything we needed at Al’s Garden Center in Woodburn, but you can find the same plants at your local independent garden center.
Pest Patrol – Azalea Pests
The mild winter this year has really brought out the pests. Normally the cold days of winter will help control pests by killing them off before spring. This year one of the biggest problems of the spring has been with 2 separate pests that are attacking azaleas. To learn more about these pests we stopped by to see Red Cavender from the Portland Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society. The first one is Lace Bug. This bug will get under a leaf and it sucks out the chlorophyll from the leaf. This one is controlled with a spray but it is hard to get at since it lives on the underside of the leaves. The second bug is a caterpillar that is attacking deciduous azalea leaves. It is stripping the foliage clean. This pest can be controlled with an all natural control called BT. If you think you have either of these pests you can go to the OSU Extension website or the OSU integrated Pest Management site. You can also bring a sample of your plants (include stems and leaves) in a sealed plastic bag to your local garden center.