Fall is in the air! I know that there is a week left in the ‘summer’ season and we have had some truly beautiful days, but the morning chill in the air has sent the message that the fall season is on the way. Still there are lots of things left to do in the garden. We are still harvesting crops from the garden and for a lot of gardeners we are trying to preserve the harvest by canning, drying and freezing our fruits and veggies. In this week’s show, Jan McNeilan talks about just a few ways of preserving your bounty. Plus to give you a preview of the fall season, we visit with Bob Denman of Red Pig tools and talk about rakes, including the best ones for raking those fall leaves.
We are also one week away from the new Fall GardenPalooza. This year we are bringing the fall event to one location, Fir Point Farms. We will have over 25 different garden vendors, lots of kid friendly activities and farm fresh produce to offer everyone. We will also have wine and beer tasting, with some well known local wineries like, Hip Chicks do Wine, Seufert’s and William Rose winery. It should be a great day! Check out the GardenPalooza website for more details.
This week we featured...
Garland Fall Event
This weekend our friends at Garland Nursery (1-800-296-6601) are having their Celebrity Fall Gardening Weekend, and William and Judy are part of it! Today, Sept. 15th at 1pm they will be showing you how to build some vibrant fall containers. They will also be showing off some of the fall containers that the Garland staff has put together as well. This is a great time to learn how make your garden beautiful again for the fall and winter months ahead. So many people think that their gardening days are numbered once the cool days of fall arrive, but there is still lots of color you can add in a container that won’t take much time or money!
Then, on Sunday, Randy Richie of Malibu compost will be at the nursery to talk about Biodynamic Soil. If you have noticed that your flower and vegetable garden are getting tired and the plants don’t seem to have the same size or color, then your soil may be in need of some help. Just like you, your soil can get tired from being over-worked. Randy will talk about how you can rejuvenate your dirt! You will also learn about Bu, the spokescow for Malibu. It should be a fun weekend!
Fall Clematis Open House
Clematis is one of the coolest plants in the garden. The variety of this plant boggles the mind. You can get large flower or small; climbers, ground covers or shrubs; once bloomers or continuous bloomers. They are as varied as the gardeners that plant them. Still, a lot of people are afraid of this plant because they don’t know how to plant one. We stopped by Luscher Farm in Lake Oswego to chat with Linda Beutler who is the curator for the Rogerson Clematis Collection (503-638-0376) to get some tips for planting. She was planting a small flowered variety called ‘Dark Dancer’ and these are ones that will do well in gravelly soil and don’t like the clay soil that we have here in the Northwest. This type of plant also likes to be planted level with the soil around it. The large flowered hybrids can be buried a little deeper than the small flowered varieties. Linda had prepared the hole and filled it with water and let that drain out naturally. Then she mixed some garden mulch with a tiny bit of rose and flower food into the hole. We then placed the plant in the hole. She backfilled with the soil gravel mixture around the hole to finish it off. Keep it moist for the next few weeks until the fall rains return and it should thrive!
If you have questions about clematis, this weekend is for you. This weekend is the Luscher Farm Partner Open House. Today, September 15th from 10am to 3pm you can come by the farm and enjoy a day full of activities. In addition to the open house they are having a plant sale. 7 garden vendors and wholesalers including Xera Plants, Gossler Farms, Fancy Fronds and Heavy Petal Nursery are offering some great plants for sale. If you need parking, head to Christian City Church on Stafford road and hop on the shuttle.
Red Pig Rakes
Fall is just around the corner and that means it is time to start thinking about raking fallen leaves. Whenever we are looking for tools we head to Red Pig Tools (503-663-9404) and talk to Bob Denman. Bob not only knows tools, he makes them too! He told us that a lot of gardeners are using the wrong tool for raking and that could mean more work! He then walked us through all the different types of rakes on the market. The first one we saw was the precursor to many of the rakes we use today; this one was a flat wood rake with wooden pegs. This was meant to be used in the field for harvesting hay and pulling it into rows for drying. Next were a bunch of steel head rakes. These are general purpose garden rakes and used for moving dirt and breaking it up in the garden. Most of them had curved tines, but Bob liked the flat tine rake for the uniformity it provided. Next we moved to thatching rakes. These are used to remove thatch from your lawn. Thatch is a dense layer of living and dead organic matter on the soil surface. Finally we moved to the leaf rakes and there were a bunch of different types of these rakes. Bob recommends that you look for 3 curves in a leaf rake. First the tines. Make sure that they are slightly curved at the ends to scoop the leaves as you work. The second curve is at the end of the tines. The forward edge should curve with the center of the curve right in the middle of the tines. This is to prevent the leaves from sneaking out on the sides while you are raking. And the third curve should be the bow curve across the back of the rake. When you set the rake down on the ground, while in a standing position, you may notice that some rakes will have contact with the soil only in the center and the tines at the very end are not making contact with the ground, this means that you will lose leaves out the sides unless you push down really hard. The tines should make contact on the outside first and so when you pull back these will grab the leaves and the center tines will then make contact with the ground.
If you think you might be in the market for a rake, or any tool for that matter, you should check out Red Pig tools and chat with Bob so you get the right tool for the job! Red Pig Tools will be at GardenPalooza next weekend, the 22nd at Fir Point Farms. Stop by and check them out!
Jan’s September Tips
Harvest time is here. Late summer and early fall are the times for picking all those great fruits and vegetables from your garden. It is also the time to preserve that same bounty for those winter months ahead. OSU has been a leader in helping Oregonians can, dry and preserve their garden crops for over 100 years. To cover just a few ways of preserving we stopped by Jan McNeilan’s house to see what she does to save her crops. First she showed us her apple press. This is one of the wooden models of a press. You simply chop up the apples, throw them in the canvas bag and then squeeze the juice out with the press. It is wonderful! Then we moved to her smoker. Recently her grandkids each caught a salmon and she used a brine solution and then smoked it in a consumer model of smoker. This will help preserve the salmon and it can be stored longer than fresh salmon. You can also smoke certain hard cheese in the same way. Jan then showed us her food mill. She makes apple sauce and it is easy with a food mill. She uses an apple peeler/corer to get the apples ready and then uses the food mill to squish the sauce through the grate. It works slick! Then she can freeze it or can it to make it last longer. Jan also has a food sealer and she uses that to seal certain foods in a freezer bag and then stores it. The sealer allows you to reduce the amount of air in the bag and that cuts down on freezer burn. We then saw the food dehydrator. This is a great tool if you like dried foods or want to make prunes or raisins. She even had an attachment to make fruit leather, also known as fruit roll-ups.
There is one problem with dried foods. If they are not sealed in an air tight container they might get ‘Indian Meal Moth’. This is a little cream colored moth that can infest your foods and ruin all your hard work. Jan recommends a pheromone trap to capture the male moths before they can breed and ruin your dried foods. You can find the trap at most home and garden centers.
We ran out of time before we could even talk about canning! We are going to save that for another show. If you have any questions about food preservation you can check out the OSU Extension website at http://extension.oregonstate.edu or you can call the Food Safety and Preservation Hotline at 1-800-354-7319.