Thanks! We received a great welcome after our first show of the season last weekend. It feels good to have everyone so happy to have us back. Of course, we are like all of you; the season can’t change quickly enough! We will try to give you all the tools and information to be ready when the weather does change! For those of you in Portland we know we tricked you by being on a little early this week, but it was just because of NCAA basketball. We will return to normal next week!
This week we featured...
If you live in the Northwest you have moss. This is one of the biggest problems facing the homeowner and with the warmer weather around the corner you may have the urge to renovate your lawn for the summer months ahead. But first you have to get rid of the moss. We talked to Norm McCreight of Lilly Miller about moss and why we seem to have so much of it in the Northwest. It is a condition that we get from a lack of care. If you take care of your lawn and help the grass grow, then you can help keep the moss from taking over. Norm gave us some tips on getting rid of the moss and what you should do to keep it from coming back. We also featured the Moss Out product. William started the story by spraying a patch of the lawn and by the time we finished the story the moss was already turning black! We also learned that if you have a moss control that contains iron you should be careful to not let it get on buildings, patio or clothing. The iron will cause a stain. If you want more information about the Moss Out product, check out their website, and BEWARE OF MOSS.
Portland Nursery Small Fruits
Adding fruits to your garden gets easier every year and recently the emphasis has been to grow fruits in containers. We stopped by Portland Nursery on Stark Street (503-231-5050) to see some of the different varieties they have in stock that are great for the small garden or even in a container. Ken, the assistant manager at the Stark Street store, walked Judy through some of the plants he thought would be great for our area. First we saw the ‘Welcome’ variety of the gooseberry. This one supposedly is a less thorny variety but we are not convinced! Ken then pulled out a couple of raspberries. Not all raspberries are red and these are definitely berries of a different color. ‘Anne’ is a golden colored variety and the ‘Black Cap’ variety is a totally different type of berry and if pruned correctly can produce a huge crop of darker colored berries. Ken then pulled out a grape variety, the Pinot Noir ‘Dijon clone 667’ wine grape. This one will have the wine maker in your family happy. It is disease resistant and produces one of the finest varieties of wine grapes available. When choosing a grape you need to remember that they are a vine and will need a little bit of room to grow. You will also have to figure out whether you want a table or a wine grape. Grapes should also be cut back pretty far this time of year. If it is warm you may notice that the cuts will ‘bleed’. Don’t worry, this is a natural thing and they will stop after a while. Strawberries are one of the easiest fruits to grow in a container and Ken told us that now is the time to buy and plant them. Buying them now will let you get a lot with out spending a ton of money and you will have the choice of many different varieties. Finally, we talked about blueberries and the new dwarf varieties that are now available. Blueberries love acidic soils so they may not be a good choice around other fruits. They will be right at home around azaleas and rhodies, and other acid lovers. There were 2 taller varieties that he featured and 2 shorter varieties. The taller of the varieties included the ‘Sunshine Blue’ and ‘Northsky’. The shorter of the varieties included ‘Top Hat’ and the unique variety of ‘Augustifolia’. These shorter varieties also make great landscape plants. Other plants you can consider are kiwi, olives, and Pawpaw’s. Check out the selection at either Portland Nursery location or your local independent garden center.
Pruning Climbing Roses
Climbing roses are unique and can be the best bloomer in your summer garden. But to get the most out of your plant you need to prune it correctly. They are different than your standard hybrid teas. Laurie from Heirloom Roses (503-538-1576) walked us through some of the rules for pruning them correctly. What you can do now is to thin them out. Pick the oldest canes and take them out at the base of the plant. This will promote new cane growth and better plant health. Next you will want to train the longer newer canes on a horizontal fence, wall or trellis. This causes the plant to send flowers up from the entire length of the cane. If you train it vertically it will send all the flower growth to the top of the cane and it won’t be as attractive. If you have specific questions, you can always contact Heirloom Roses or sign up for their Saturday Academy classes. Check the Garden Time events calendar for information on upcoming classes.
This weekend would be a great time to prune your fruit trees. It is getting toward the end of pruning season because soon the new growth will soon cover all the branches and will not allow a clear view of what you need to cut back. Jan and Ray McNeilan gave us some tips to follow as they pruned a neighbor’s dwarf plum tree. The things that they told us to look for included dead, diseased and crossing branches. You will also want to open up the middle of your tree to allow airflow across the middle. This will prevent some of the most common diseases that fruit trees experience. You will also want to remove the old ‘mummified’ fruit that may still be on the tree. The old fruit can promote fungus and other diseases and pests. You will also want to look for areas of new growth and prune that to plan for future fruiting branches. If you think you are getting in over your head you can check with your local garden center or the OSU Extension website for more tips and techniques for success.
Early Spring Spraying
If you have fruit trees, now is the time to dormant spray before they start to flower. Dormant spraying will help control insects and diseases during the coming growing season. William and Judy showed you the 2 main types of sprays you can use. Judy used an All Seasons Horticulture Spray from Bonide. This is a spray that is all natural and will smother insect eggs, preventing problem before they start. You can spray now before the flower buds open. Once the flowers are open you can let the pollinators go to work and get your tree pollinated. Once the fruit has formed you can spray again to prevent any other problems. William had another Bonide product. The Annual Tree and Shrub insect control is a once a year product that works as a systemic. That means it works within the plant to get rid of pests. Just mix it in water and apply it at the base of the plant. Both of these products are available at your local independent garden center. Your local garden center is also where you can get all your pest questions answered.