Ahhh… now this is more like it! The sun has made its grand return and the last week has been glorious! It has been fun getting out in the garden and enjoying all the wonderful colors. Plants that were weeks behind in their bloom time are now catching up. It seems like everyone, man AND plant, was waiting for a little heat. So get out this weekend and take a walk through your garden, but catch this week’s episode first!
This week we featured...
Jan’s May Tips
When we visited with Jan this month there was not too much to talk about. With the continued cold weather over the past month, not much has been happening. One of the thing that she had for us was the appearance of some early pests. She had some lilies that had been munched on by aphids. These little plant suckers climb up your plants and they suck some of the juices out of your plant. They are very hard to find but sometimes the plant will let you know they are there because you will see curled or deformed leaves on the new growth. Jan recommends a spray of some insecticidal soap. This is a relatively safe natural product that kills the bugs on contact with little or no damage to the plant (remember to read and follow all the directions, since it works better on some plants and pest than others), or you can just hit the plants with a blast of water from a hose. The key information that we want to get out is to make sure that you monitor your plants to make sure that you catch problems before they get huge. We then moved on to Jan’s Easter lily. She has decided to place the lily outside in her garden once the blooms have passed. These plants are just like your other garden lilies except they might be a bit more tender in our climate. You will also notice that they don’t bloom on Easter once you move them outside. They will probably skip a year and then they will bloom the same time as your other garden lilies. They are forced for the season by growers.
Jan then talked about Osmocote. This is the coated fertilizer that works as a ‘slow release’ fertilizer in your garden and house plants. What makes it a slow release fertilizer is the soy coating on the little pellets. These coating is broken down over time by water. Jan told us the key to success with of this type of fertilizer is to keep it wet. If you use it on your plants make sure it stays moist! It helps if you work it into the soil when you apply it. This will get it in the soil, near the roots and help to release the fertilizer to the plant. Finally we talked about the 100th anniversary of the OSU Extension Service. OSU Extension not only helps gardeners with research based information from the University, it also has great information about home, food and health issues. Check out their website for more useful home and garden information!
Inviting Vines Tour
We heard about the great garden tour called ‘Inviting Vines’ a couple of years ago and this year we went to find out more from the Goddess of Clematis, Linda Beutler. The tour is a benefit for the The Rogerson Clematis Collection at Luscher Farm in Lake Oswego. We met her in her garden, which will be one of the featured gardens on the tour and she filled us in on the 5 great gardens you will see next week on the 28th from 10am to 4pm. She was getting her garden ready and part of that was her planting of a clematis plant in a pot. We watched and learned some tips for success with clematis in containers. First she found a deep pot. Clematis like to grow downward and so a deep container is a must. You should also make sure that you container is on ‘pot feet’ and not placed directly on the ground. This will help the pot drain well and won’t allow the thick clay soil from plugging up the bottom! You also don’t want to use soil from your garden or a standard potting soil in your container. Linda uses a soil mix that they make at the Clematis gardens and you can pick up a bag or two there. This is designed to drain well and won’t turn into ‘Chocolate Cake’ like some other soils. Linda also cut off the one flower bud that was on the plant. This is to help the plant promote growth in the container and not to stress it out. Once planted the ‘Blue Eyes’ variety will not need to be moved for 3-4 years. If you are a lover of clematis, or gardens in general, next weekend is for you! The Rogerson Clematis Collection will have ‘Inviting Vines IV’, a one day tour of 5 wonderful gardens. One of the featured gardens will be Dulcy Mahar’s. It is a spectacular garden and people have followed its growth through her columns in the Oregonian. If you would like to support the Collection and attend the tour you can find tickets on-line at the Rogerson Clematis Collection site or at these great garden centers: 13th Street Nursery (Salem),Concentrates (SE 7th ave.), Dennis' 7-Dees (Lake Oswego only), Digs (NE Alberta), Farmington Gardens (Aloha), Gardener's Choice (Tigard), Garden Fever! (NE Fremont), Joy Creek Nursery (Scappoose), Magnolia Manor Boutique Nursery (Lake Oswego) and Portland Nursery on Stark!
Gardens to Go
One of the groups that are devoted to the education of local gardeners is the Portland Garden Club. This group of devoted gardeners is rabid about everything ‘plants’ and they help the local garden community by providing scholarships to aspiring horticulturists and by hosting free gardening seminars. To help cover the costs of these and many other programs that they do, they are having their wonderful ‘Gardens to Go’ event today, Saturday May 21st, from 10am -1pm at their clubhouse at 1132 SW Vista Ave in Portland. There are oodles of containers that will be for sale during this time and Garden Time was happy to be one of the groups that donated a container for the event. We had a couple of our great clients donate the supplies for our container. Bauman’s Farm and Garden and Al’s Garden Center donated the sedums. Black Gold donated the soil and Portland Nursery on Stark gave us the pot. This event is a great way to support a great group and take home a beautiful container at the same time. Check out their website for more details.
Spring Equipment Maintenance
Now is the time to take care of those lawn equipment service problems so you can head into spring with ‘working’ equipment. Bobby from Stark Street Lawn and Garden (503-255-5393) walked us through some of the issues you may be dealing with and how to fix them. If your mower is acting up you can take care of the problem by changing the fuel and oil filters, changing the oil, spark plug and sharpening the blade. We recommend you get a professional to sharpen and balance your blade though. The same is true for all your lawn and garden equipment. Filters and fuel can be the 2 leading causes of problems when you fire stuff up in the spring. Old fuel is weak and will cause your equipment to sputter and not start and filters may become clogged after setting all winter. All of your other equipment should also be checked right now. Make sure your string trimmer has new line and that all the pieces are tight and oiled (if they need it) If you have a job you don’t think you can handle, give the guys at Stark Street a call or find a reputable repair shop. Always remember to have your model number and brand written down for the technician when you call so they can have the parts you need available. Stark Street is also carries a full line of electric powered lawn and garden equipment so you can cut down the amount of exhaust you create in the garden. Check out the new equipment at any of their 5 locations!
Grilled Short Ribs
You have spent all spring getting your garden ready for summer, now it is time to set up the grill, have a cold drink and relax. Memorial Day is here and to get us ready to grill we dropped by to see Jerry Yost from Gartner’s Meats (503-252-7801). Everyone seems to grill hamburgers and hotdogs during the summer. Jerry showed us how easy it is to impress people by trying something different, Grilled Marinated Short-ribs. These ribs are the most popular item that Gartner’s sells during the summer holidays. In less than 10 minutes you can have a real mouth-watering treat, and a great start to the summer grilling season! Not only do they have a great selection of meats for the grill, you can also fill the rest of your dinner table with goodies. They have a wide selection of side salads, bread, twice baked potatoes and even marinade-to-go so you can prepare your own special recipe. You can also have a chance to win a $100 gift card for Fathers Day. Just text the word ‘meat’ to 27299 and you will be entered into the drawing. Plus, by texting Gartner’s you will also receive future coupons, recipes and other specials throughout the year!