Back to school… it isn’t just for kids! School is just a couple weeks away and it reminded us about learning. Every year we say we are going to remember where everything is planted... That we will take notes on plants that may need to move during the fall so they will be happier next year. But then we forget! This time of year is good to make those notes for late season garden projects.
This week we featured...
Bambi is cute, except when he is munching on your tasty garden treats. Judy and William have some tips from Gray’s Garden Center (541-345-1569) to help you avoid more damage from deer. First, Judy talked about some deer resistant plants you can try. Most plants are listed as ‘deer resistant’ because they will eat just about anything when they are hungry. Ones that we found in the nursery included Japanese Maples, rhododendrons, spurge, impatiens and lavender. Then William told us how to pick an effective deer spray. You should look for ‘putrescent (rotten) eggs’ or wolf urine on the label. Both of those odors are known to chase the deer away. You can also try the Scarecrow sprinkler. This is a sprinkler that turns on when it senses something in your garden and gives it a squirt of water to scare it away. You can find a list of deer resistant plants and other tips at your local garden center.
Larsen Summer Herb Pots
Are your summer pots looking a little tired? Annuals can start to lose some of their ‘pop’ as the weather gets hotter. Now is a good time to freshen up your containers with some late season herbs and cole crops. We saw some great combinations that were put together at Larsen Farm Nursery (503-640-5599)in Hillsboro by Michele and Kathy. These pots featured themes including jewel tone colors, Tuscany, herbs, fragrance and vegetables. The vegetable pots included cole crops. These are vegetable crops that can thrive in the cooler weather of fall. They include lettuce, kale, cabbage carrots and radishes. They really take off during these warm days and then slow down their growth during late fall so you can enjoy the harvest through the early winter. If you are looking for ideas for your containers you can stop by either location of Larsen Farm in Wilsonville or Hillsboro.
We found a great new product that is a variation on an old idea. Stories about seeds being placed in clay for transportation and storage have been around for years, but now the history has taken the shape of Seed Ballz (800-398-0539). These are little balls of clay and soil that contain different types and varieties of seeds. We met with Alice, who has taken this concept to the next level. Her company packages the different combinations of seeds. They include combinations of wildflowers, sun flowers, cosmos, poppies, black-eyed susans and others as well. All you do is toss them in a pot and keep them watered for a burst of great color. Another interesting side note the Seed Ballz product is hand rolled by people with disabilities in the US. So you can have great flowers and feel good about helping others!
Summer Asian Vegetables
It is the time of the year to harvest the home garden. Most of us usually plant the same vegetables year after year, but we found a couple of Asian varieties that we are going to try. Sue Berg from New Dimension Seed gave us a tour of her garden, where we saw asparagus beans that were over a foot long and a variety of green peppers that mature very quickly, Then, we got to head up to her patio to taste test a few more varieties and learned how to prepare them. Sue also told us how to start our fall and winter garden. If you would like to start a winter garden follow this link to get her tips. You will also find her recipes for the Boiled Soybeans and the marinated Zucchinis. Try a different variety in your garden this fall or next spring.
Irises are known for their great blooms and sweet smells. They are also one of the first plants in the spring garden. Steve Schreiner from Schreiner’s Iris Gardens (1-800-525-2367)told us about some varieties that re-bloom, bringing you color 2 times a year! These varieties are consistent, but not guaranteed to re-bloom, though some varieties are close to 100% re-bloomers for our area. Re-blooming depends on different variables including weather, soil type and watering. Varieties that were featured included Buckwheat, Total Recall, Immortality, Cantina, Rosalie Figgy, Invitation, and Sugar Blues. If you are interested in these varieties or if you have any questions, give Schreiner’s a call.
Jan’s August Tips
The summer is in full swing and it is time to start harvesting your vegetables. Jan’s OSU Extension tips for August took us to her garden. This month she is harvesting her crop of potatoes that she planted in hay bales. These potatoes were easy to harvest and they were incredibly clean! She also told us about fertilizing your rhubarb and strawberries, and about trimming back your old fruiting raspberries. If you ever have any gardening questions you can contact your local OSU Extension office.