Episode 262 • October 13, 2012


The rains have returned and the garden is happy again. If you have been in your garden recently you may have noticed what we did. No matter how much you water, you can’t keep all your plants happy and healthy. The long dry stretch has the garden looking pretty sad. This rain will be welcomed by the plants even if it isn’t welcomed by most people. This will help some of those new plants get established before the really cold weather of winter returns. Fall is the time for planting new plants and this rain will help them get established. In fact in this week’s show we tell you the reasons why fall is a great time for building your dream garden for next year.

This week we featured...

Jan’s Tips

Jan's Tips

This month we met Jan McNeilan at a local coffee shop for our tips of the month. This wasn’t your normal coffee shop. This shop is called Driftwood Coffee (4604 SW Vermont, Portland, OR 97219, 503-246-4706) and is owned by Jan’s daughter, Cara. It is a nice little place with great coffee, and with good coffee you will get lots of coffee grounds! That is why we were meeting there. We met up with OSU Master Gardener Dick McCollom, who also owns a landscape maintenance service. He answered the age old question about using coffee grounds in the garden. A lot of people are concerned about using coffee grounds, it is believed that they are too acidic in the garden and can actually damage your plants. That is not the case. They lose a lot of their acidity just from the brewing process. If you use them lightly as a top dressing around your plants, or combine them with your garden soil or other garden debris they are fine and can help your soil.

Jan also talked about some other things you should be doing in your garden right now. Even with the return of the rain you should make sure that you keep your containers watered. Also, keep an eye on plants that are under the eaves of your home. These plants are in a dangerous area since they are protected from the rain and could stay dry even in a downpour.

Finally, keep an eye out for critters. You may have noticed that you are seeing more bugs and spiders in your home right now. They are just like us; they are looking for warmth and protection. Just brush them back outside and release them in the garden. They are great at catching other bothersome bugs and will make your fall garden more enjoyable to be in. For more information about what you should do in the garden right now, check out the OSU extension website,

Portland Nursery 25th Annual Apple Tasting

Portland Nursery 25th Annual Apple Tasting

Be prepared for a celebration!!! A is for apple and you will find a ton of apples at Portland Nursery’s (503-231-5050) 25th Annual Apple tasting at the Stark Street location. This landmark celebration features over 50 different varieties of apples and pears available to taste. There is a kid’s area with face painting and balloon creations. Plus you can stop by on Friday the 19th for ‘Elementary School Field Trip Day’ which is loaded with kid’s activities. Cooking demonstrations, an apple press and live music are also on the list of activities. Another reason for stopping by is to get a chance to vote for the best scarecrow. Plus, as an added bonus this year, you can enter a name for the NATCO 87 apple. If your name for this new variety is chosen you will win a $100 Portland Nursery gift card. Fellow shoppers have entered their best scarecrows for the chance to win prizes. You can also shop from a variety of local vendors that will be offering local honey, mustard, jam and a whole lot more. Special events include a special ‘Senior Day’ with discounts for seniors, and everyday discounts on apple prices. Now is the time to also take advantage of all the wonderful fall perennials available at both locations of Portland Nursery. Come see these and a bunch more at the tasting!

Winter Tree Prep

Milwaukie Hospital Garden

The wind, rain and possible snow of the coming winter can mean trouble for your large landscape trees. How can you tell if your trees are healthy enough for all that mother natural has to offer? We sought out our favorite ‘Certified Arborist’ Terrill Collier from Collier Arbor Care (503-72ARBOR) and asked him for some signs we can look for. Terrill took us to an area near Wilsonville for our first stop to show us a multiple trunked tree that could lose one of its trunks due to rot and decay at its base. That is just one of the 8 signs that you should look for in a dangerous tree. Other signs included weakly attached branches, cracks in the branches of the trunk, pealing bark and signs of decay or rot. These are the most obvious of signs, but if you are unsure of the safety of your trees you can contact Collier Arbor Care or a certified arborist. Collier’s even has a brochure that can tell you what else to look for. Terrill emphasizes that you insist on a certified arborist. They are trained to look for the damaged spots and are trained (insured and bonded) to remove the weak tree safely.

Garden Photo Tips

Garden Photo Tips

Capturing the beauty of your garden guarantees that you can keep those colors all year long! To get some tips on getting the best pictures, William met up with our daughter Hannah, who is a photographer who took the cover photo for a national magazine that William was featured in a couple of years ago. She joined William in a Corvallis rose garden to give him some tips for taking award-winning photos. Everyone can take great garden pictures, if they follow some simple rules. The basics… watch the lighting; don’t look for a bright sunny day, overcast days will eliminate the hard shadows and provide a more even light. Wait for a calm wind; this will give you a crisp, clear picture and not a blurry one. Use a tripod and take your time; stability and patience are the most important items for the garden photographer. You will be rewarded with some great shots if you follow these simple tips. Also, don’t worry about your camera. These days you can even capture some great pictures with your camera phone. Hannah uses a Nikon and has everything she needs before she heads out the door. Having all your gear with you is a must. If you are organized then waiting for the right shot becomes easier. Hannah keeps everything she needs in a Fastpack 350 bag by Lowepro. Hannah has more tips on her webpage: check them out and then head out to the garden!

Pumpkin Planters

Pumpkin Planters

Halloween is almost here and it is time to put out the decorations. If you are looking for something that can decorate your doorstep for Halloween and beyond, you need to check out this project. Donna Wright from Black Gold came up with this one and it is easy to do! Simply go to your local dollar or thrift store and pick up one of those plastic pumpkin ‘trick or treat’ buckets. Drill a hole or two in the bottom and then plant it with grasses, flowers and even little decorations. Use Black Gold Natural and Organic potting soil so the plants will thrive through the season. Give it a good watering and then just put it by your door step to scare the kids and delight the neighbors.

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