I know it has been awhile since we checked in with all of you. These past few weeks have been hectic.
We are busy trying to get everything cleaned up in the yard and garden. It seems like we had everything done earlier this fall, but now we keep finding little projects that need to be taken care of while it is relatively warm. We Hope that your holidays were fun and relaxing.
We are proud to announce that the kick off for the regular season of Garden Time will be the 3rd of March so you only have a couple more weeks to wait for your weekly fix of gardening information!
While you wait, enjoy these past stories from our archives.
Winter Insect Control
Some spring and summer plant problems can be avoided if you take a few preventative measures. Pre-season spraying can take care of things like scale, mites, leaf curl and other problems. William talked about checking your indoor plants. Look in all the hidden places including leaf joints or nodes and under leaves for signs of disease or pests. You can then use some safe products like insecticidal soaps and other organic materials to treat the problems. Then Judy talked about dormant spraying and some of the ways you can tackle that. Dormant spraying is when you treat plants during their dormant phase, when they are not actively growing. This especially refers to fruit trees. They respond well if you apply preventative measures before the new buds break in the early spring. Judy mentioned hose end sprayers as a way to apply chemicals. These fit on the end of your hose and usually have a regulator that measures the amount of spray that you can apply. If the job is small there are also pump sprayers you can use. Check with your local garden center to diagnose your plant problems and help select the right treatments you can use.
Winter Indoor Plants
The cold and wet weather may be keeping you out of the garden, but you can still enjoy wonderful unique plants indoors! We stopped by Portland Nursery on Division (503-788-9000) to see a few of the special plants they have for gardeners trapped indoors. We started with a very unusual plant, the pitcher plant. This one traps insects in its cup shaped pitchers and then absorbs the nutrients from the decomposing insect. Remember, the pitcher plant loves a nice warm and humid place to grow. Next was a Pineapple plant. This will grow an actual pineapple that you can eat though it may be smaller than the ones you find at the grocery store. Another tropic loving plant is the Vanilla Orchid. This plant has the ability to grow a vanilla type bean, but you really need to provide more heat and humidity than most homes have. Still it is a great house plant. Next was a beautiful color plant, the Rose Pine Cone. This plant has a wonderful multicolored bloom that has shades of pink, red and purple. Plus it blooms all year long! Finally we found the Chinese evergreen. This is a foliage plant with huge mottled leaves than is very easy to grow. If you are feeling like you need a plant boost during these dreary winter months, try some indoor plants!
Winter Tree Prep
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 (www.collierarbor.com, 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.