It's been a season of summer lovin'! But now the weather is starting to turn. Fall is officially just a few days away and the garden seems to know it. So do the garden centers, as they are starting to pack in the pumpkins and late season plants, but as you'll see in this week's show, there are still lots of great plants for you to pick up for your garden!
This week we featured...
Jan's September Tips
This month we get ready to enter fall by meeting with Jan McNeilan for her tips of the month in her garden again. The days are getting cooler and that is triggering a lot of people to start thinking about getting ready for the upcoming season. The first thing Jan brought to our attention was a problem with grapes. Specifically, the grape erineum mite. This little guy burrows into the underside of the grape leaf. The grape tries to protect itself by creating a hairy scab over the mite and that makes little hairy spots under the leaf and bumps on the top side. You can't really treat for it at this point in the season. This very tiny pest must be addressed in the late winter or early spring with sprays of horticultural oils and/or sulfur applications.
This is also the time of year when you need to start bringing your indoor plants back inside if you had taken them out for the summer. You need to clean up all the dead foliage and remove the debris from the top of the pots. You can also remove the top 1 to 2 inches of old soil and replace it with new soil. This will help get rid of the possibility of insect eggs in that old soil. If you are really concerned you can also spray for pests by using a horticultural oil. Don't forget to clean under the pot for any little critters down there.
As far as the vegetable garden, enjoy the harvest now, though Jan did have a tomato plant that seemed to be dying prematurely. Since all the other plants in that same garden bed were fine she thinks that it might have been moles or mice burrowing under the plant, destroying feeder roots and allowing too much air exposure to the tender roots that remained. Jan is also cleaning up her cane berries. The old shoots for last season are gone and the current producing canes are being taken care of. The non-fruiting canes, which will be next year's crop bearing canes, are trained neatly on the ground. You should also stop pruning heavily right now. Pruning now encourages new growth which might not have time to 'harden off' before winter. That new growth could get winter burn and damage the plant.
Jan also talked about summer stress. Plants that have not been taken care of during the summer and are stressed now will not be strong enough for the coming months. When it's summer and heat stresses plants, they do not have the hair roots and feeder roots to take up the water and don't grow new roots. Thus: A plant can die of root rot in the summer and can die of drought stress in the winter. Look for those signs of stress and address them now. For more information on fall garden chores you can always check out the OSU Extension website.
Late Summer Perennials
The summer garden is not done! Fall is right around the corner, but there are a lot of summer performers that are still putting on a show. We stopped by Blooming Junction (503-681-4646) to see what Ron has pulled out of the nursery for us to look at. Boy, did he find some winners!
We started with tall sedums. Thundercloud and Elsie's Gold were featured and they were just getting ready to bloom. These blooms are huge and are honey bee magnets! Elsie's Gold also has a cool variegated leaf. The next one was a goldenrod called 'Fireworks' and it is true to its name. A late summer bloomer, it has golden blooms that are like fireworks! It will stay short too. We then moved to two grasses that are a can't miss in your garden. The first one was a Blue Grama Grass named 'Blonde Ambition' with bright seed heads that are at a weird angle to the stems, and then there was pennisetum 'Burgundy Bunny' with little 'bunny tail' seed heads. Next was coreopsis called 'lightning bug'. This one was loaded with fall colored blooms of reddish-orange. A taller plant for your garden is Joe-pye Weed 'Gateway'. It is great for the back of the border with purple blooms and great structure. That went well with the helenium 'Ruby Dwarf'. Another fall colored plant, with deep red blooms. Another great complimentary plant to the Joe-pye weed was heliopsis 'Sunstruck'. This one had bright yellow blooms and cool leaf variegation, for color all season long.
Another wonderful plant that is often overlooked is the Russian Sage. This sage has a lot of varieties at different heights with long spikes of purple blooms, and if you brush by it and touch the foliage, you get a great fragrance too! If blue is not your color, there is the monarda (Bee Balm) 'Pink Lace'. Bee balm, like the name suggests, is a bee magnet and the blooms come in waves. One of the most unique blooms in the garden came next, Eucomis (pineapple lily) 'Sparkling Burgundy'. The name is from the pineapple like leaves at the top of the bloom stalk. The bloom itself is incredible. We have one in our garden and it is spectacular when it arrives every year. Next we moved to a very familiar plant in the garden, Echinacea or coneflower. There were so many varieties that have been introduced in the recent past that have not done so well in the garden, but these 3 have bucked that trend. Sombrero Salsa Red, Magnus, Now Cheesier are proven winners in any garden. You plant any of these in your garden and prepare for wildlife to visit since they are loved by bees and butterflies. Our final bloom to behold was the hibiscus. Summer Storm is an incredible pink bloom on a dark leafed plant that will disappear during the winter, only to appear in the summer next year to thrill you again!
If you would like to see these, and more, stop by this weekend and on Saturday and you can enjoy their Harvest Hoedown from 11-4pm. Not only will they have plants, but you can enjoy music, great food, wine tasting and lots of family friendly events!
Sara's Favorite Plants
We like heading out to Portland Nursery (503-231-5050) to see what great plants Sara Ori has to share with us. This time we asked her to pull together her favorite plants to share with our viewers. Sara and her husband have just moved into a new home and so she is looking for plants that will look good at various times of the year. That means not just bloom color but also foliage texture too. We started with a couple of dark foliage plants, a cotinus (smokebush) and a physocarpus (ninebark). These are great plants but can get pretty big if you aren't careful. The best part of these plants is that they really handle pruning well. If you are looking to control the 'smoky' blooms on the cotinus or the possible mildew problems on the physocarpus, then pruning at the right time will help control those issues. If you pair these plants up with a nice green or chartreuse ornamental grass then it really pops! Another one of Sara's favorites is the camellia. These are great plants because they have wonderful glossy foliage and then in the late winter and early spring they have vibrant blooms!
Finally we ended up with hebes. These little jewels are wonderful because of their incredible variety. They are the definition of a texture plant. There are so many leaf variations to choose from. Sara also recommended that you look for some seasonal annual color too. The right annual plant will make the difference in your landscape and will help all these wonderful plants look even better.
Next time you are at either location of Portland Nursery, keep your eyes open for some of Sara's favorites.
Building a Tiny House
For the last few weeks we have been following the building and furnishing of a new 'tiny house' with our friends from Garden Gallery Iron Works (800-452-5266). This week we traveled to Keizer to check in on the construction of Sheri's tiny house at Daystar Tiny Homes. It was just in the beginning stages of construction, but you could already see that it was going to be a major downsize from her current home. To learn more about tiny homes we talked with Jim Ash, the owner of Daystar. First we found out that a tiny home is generally under 400 square feet. It is just a home on a smaller scale, it's not an RV. This type of home is not for everyone, but there are some people that find it the right size for them. In the past these included the old 'mother-in-law' home; a small home added to a larger property for elderly parents, guests or college students. Now there are lots of people that are getting into tiny homes. Families that don't want something huge or are saving for a future home, single people looking for something smaller to live simply, and retired people who don't want to maintain a large home or property.
These tiny homes are not short on amenities. There are lots of options since they are all custom builds. There are lofts, second stories, and even rooftop decks that can be added. Jim is even making adjustments to Sheri's home to reflect her requirements and needs.
If you are looking for a tiny home, or just have questions about them, feel free to give Jim a call. Plus, keep watching as we get closer to the grand unveiling of the new home. Next time we will look at the interior décor and how they are outfitting this home with a little 'farmhouse style'!