The results are in… Fall is here. Ok, so there was not any vote on that, but it has arrived none the less. The cooler night time temps are changing the colors of the trees and the spiders are out in force! That is one of the things that drive people crazy during the fall, spiders. They are making their webs and trying to get their eggs ready for the winter. They are also looking for warmer places to stay, along with all of their insect friends. Be on the lookout for these various bugs trying to get into your house in the next few weeks.
This week we featured...
Milwaukie Hospital Garden
It is great when you see how gardening can make a community better. It really is more impressive when you see a business getting involved, and when that business is a hospital it is even more impressive. We found out about a garden at the Providence Milwaukie Hospital that is feeding those in need around the community. The hospital had a home next to the site that burned down. The staff got together and wanted to do something productive with this empty lot. Someone noticed that there were local members of the community that didn’t have enough money for food so they decided to plant some raised beds to grow food to donate. The food that was raised went to 2 local groups, Hillside Manor and Ester’s Pantry. Every department has their own garden area that they take care of and what started out as 12 beds is now grown to 25 raised beds, 12 dwarf fruit tree, 2 rows of raspberries and a row of blueberries. So far this year they have donated over 1,000 pounds of food! The garden was built using donations from the staff and the local Rotary club. It shows you what can happen when you get a bunch of gardeners together for a good cause!
Bringing Plants Indoors
A lot of people take their indoor plants outside during the summer months. It is good to get them some sun and fresh air, but now is the time to bring them indoors for the coming winter. We had some tips that will help keep them healthy and happy. First, start adjusting them for the reduced light and watering they may encounter indoors. Next, prune off the old, dead or diseased leaves and limbs. Finally, get those bugs! Hit your plants with a stream of water from the hose. This will clean them up and get rid of most of your bad bugs that are on the plant. Next you will want to spray your plant with an insecticide or you can add a granular systemic product that will work for 6 months or more. You can use one of the commercially available products out there. If you are concerned about chemicals or you have a citrus (or other edible plant) you can choose an insecticidal soap or Neem Oil product. The insecticides will kill the sucking insects, the natural products smother them. Once you bring your plants in you will want to protect the floor around them. Use a drip tray or saucer under your plants to catch the water. Also, you want to place your larger plants on a plant caddie so you can roll them around easily. Check with your local independent garden centers for more tips.
Fall Rhody Care
We recently received an e-mail from a viewer about pruning her rhododendrons during the fall. They have gotten a little long and overgrown, but she was wondering if she could do it in the fall. To get the answer to those questions we paid a visit to Dick Cavender from Red’s Rhodies. Dick told us that you can easily prune your rhodies and azaleas now, but if you do they will not bloom on the branches that you cut off. It is better to prune them in the spring as they are blooming or right after. During the summer months they are building the bud for next year’s blooms. Also, when you prune in the spring they will get lots of new leaf growth which will make a healthier plant. Rhododendrons are very hardy in our area. In fact we have seen some plants cut nearly to the ground and they have come back to bloom within a couple of years. If you would like to learn more about pruning your rhododendrons and azaleas, check out this article from Plant Amnesty on our How-to page. PDF • PAGE 1PAGE 2
No Ivy League
For some, the beauty of ivy is a must in the garden, but for others it has become a big problem. We met with Rachel Felice from Portland Parks and Recreation, and also the ‘No Ivy League’, to talk about how this little plant has become such a huge problem in the Northwest. English ivy (Hedera helix) is an aggressive, invasive, introduced species. Native to Europe it was introduced to the Northwest where no natural controls exist. The temperate climate creates an atmosphere where it can grow and thrive. Once it escapes into our forests and natural areas it quickly takes over. Once it gets a foothold it will smother the ground wiping out native plants and animal habitats. In the mature form it will start to climb the trees where it can fruit and spread by seed. It will get big enough to either smother the tree or create so much weight that it can topple a tree. The ‘No Ivy League’ was created years ago to help try and remove this plant, and other invasive species from our urban forests, like Forest Park in Portland. You can be part of the removal process and help restore the native habitat during many of the removal work parties that happen monthly. There is also the upcoming big ‘No Ivy Day 2012’ happening October 13th. Check the ‘No Ivy League’ website for complete details on how to get involved.
Smith Baked Apples
This is the season of the apple. There are lots of apple type festivals happening in the next few weeks, but what can you do with all these apples? To get a couple of ideas for baked apples we stopped by Smith Berry Barn(503-628-2172) and met Joelle in the kitchen. Smith Berry Barn sells a ton of different apples that they grow on the property and Joelle has become an expert on how to prepare them. Today she was showing us 2 different recipes that you could use. The first one was a baked apple standing on end. This one was pretty easy. First you core your apple and stand it on its end with the cored hole on top in a baking dish. Then you mix a traditional ‘apple crisp’ topping together in a bowl. This combines butter, flour, brown sugar, oatmeal, chopped hazelnuts, ground cinnamon, salt and some freshly grated nutmeg together in a bowl. Once mixed you simply fill the center core with this mixture until it overflows. Then add some of apple cider to the bottom of the dish, until it covers the bottom with a ¼ to ½ inch of cider. Then bake for 35-45 minutes until the apple can be pierced with a fork.
The other recipe was even easier. This one starts with a cored apple sliced in half. Lay them in your baking dish with the cored side up. Place a teaspoon of fruit jam in the center of the apple, we used Smith Berry Barn’s own raspberry jam. Then sprinkle the crisp topping on top of that, add the apple cider as before, and bake. Serve both with a nice helping of vanilla ice cream!
These are just a couple of the recipes that you will find on the Smith Barry Barn website. Also on the website you will find a daily update on what they have fresh at the farm, so you will know what is ripe before you head out the door! Check them out during October for all the fresh apples and other farm produce!