Changes… as gardeners we sometimes look forward to changes in our gardens. The constant change of the seasons can be welcomed with anticipation. Unfortunately Garden Time is going through some changes right now that have some of you distressed. Due to CBS children’s programming rules our station in Portland, KOIN-6, has had to move our program out of the normal 8:30 am location. For the rest of our year until the end of November we will be seen at 4:30am and 5pm every Saturday. Now we know that the 8:30 time slot was perfect for a lot of people and it may take a few weeks for people to find us, but we think it will be a ‘positive’ for many reasons. First of all, people can now have 2 different opportunities to see the show. That means we will be able to reach more local gardeners with great garden information! Second, people who record the show won’t have to wait to see the show. Once they have it recorded (from the 4:30am slot) they can watch it sooner than 8:30 if they want. Finally, everyone can sleep in, or not, the choice is yours!
Thanks for everyone’s understanding and patience!
Also, just a reminder that the Fall GardenPalooza event is taking place next weekend, September 20th from 9-4, at Fir Point Farms. 28 vendors, beer and wine tasting, drawings for garden prizes, need I say more? Check out www.GardenPalooza.com for more details!
This week we featured...
Collier’s Beneficial Bugs
Bad bugs can take over a garden and if you have bad bugs in your trees it can not only destroy the look of your garden it can create an unsafe danger as well. A dead or dying tree is a big problem. To avoid the problem you can be proactive in looking out for your tree’s health. We do that by calling Collier Arbor Care (503-72-ARBOR). Recently we were able to meet up with Logan Collier to learn how they are tackling the bug problem in a new safe and effective way, with beneficial bugs. That’s right, you get rid of the bad bugs, with some good bugs! We met with Logan at McMenamins Edgefield in Troutdale to see how they help the horticultural staff control problems. McMenamins is known for the natural and organic way that they manage their garden and so beneficials are the way to go for them. Logan brought out 3 different ‘good’ bugs that they use in the gardens. The first one was a green lace wing larvae. These are called the ‘Aphid Lion’ because they eat so many different bad bugs, in fact they even eat each other if there is nothing else around to eat. They have to be stored in a cardboard honeycomb to keep them separated until they are released. The second good bug was a Neoseiulus predatory mite. These are microscopic in size but they have a huge appetite! These small spiders actually eat other spiders and when the bad bugs are gone they hang around for a while and will tackle the problem again if the bad bugs return. To distribute these little guys, it was almost like shaking salt out in your garden. The final bug was the Aphid Eating Midge. This was Logan’s favorite beneficial bug. As adults they fly into the trees and lay eggs next to aphids then the little orange larvae will inject a toxin into the legs of the aphids to paralyze them. It will do this to more aphids than it can eat so you get a lot of coverage from just a few beneficial larvae. If you would like to learn more about the way Collier uses beneficial bugs to control problems give them a call or check out their website!
Jan’s September Tips
Fall is just around the corner and so we stopped by to check in with Jan McNeilan to get her tips for September. She started by talking about stress, plant stress. This stress has taken its toll this summer as the heat has been ‘on’ all summer long with little or no rain. Sometimes all it takes is a day in this heat for a plant to dry out and die. We saw what happened to a zinnia in a small pot that was too far gone to revive, but the same is true for all your garden plants. If they are stressed they can become more susceptible to bugs and diseases. We saw a rhododendron that was watered all summer long and it still was suffering from drought and that left it weak, the rhododendron lace bug was eating away at it. Also, now is the time to enjoy all the spoils from your season of vegetable growing. We saw how the tomatoes in Jan’s pots were still producing. They will continue to produce until those first cold evenings of fall arrive. The best part of Jan having her tomatoes in pots is that she can move them near her house if she wants and give them a little protection under the eaves for 4-5 extra days of production before the cold weather gets them! We also talked about the importance of planting in the fall. The warm soil and, soon to arrive, rains will help the plant establish roots for a burst of growth next year. Finally, Jan talked about relaxing. You have spent the spring and summer growing and maintaining your garden, take some time and squeeze a little more free time out in the garden before the winter arrives and this nice weather is just a memory! For more garden tips check out the OSU Extension website (http://extension.oregonstate.edu/gardening).
Find the Garden Time Subaru
We seem to have misplaced something… our Garden Time Subaru. Since getting the Subaru Outback from Capitol Auto Group in Salem, we have taken it everywhere. Of course, while we were out and about, the car had to have a selfie! Now is your chance to see where we have been. Go to the Garden Time Subaru page and take a look at the picture we have posted. Read the clue below the picture and then enter your guess. One lucky winner will be chosen each month from all the correct answers. Check out the website today and help us find the Subaru!
When late summer arrives it is time to harvest most of your fresh vegetables, but one of the hardest to harvest is the potato. To get some tips on harvesting your potatoes we stopped by Rossi Farms (503-253-5571) in East Portland and talked to Gabrielle about how they harvest their 18 different kinds of heirloom potatoes. Fort the home gardener it can be hard to tell when their potatoes are ready to harvest because you can’t see the vegetable since it is underground. For some people they wait until the vines die and that is a good indication, but what if your vines are still growing? Gabrielle told us that you can make sure your potatoes are ready by cutting off the vines even if they are still growing. This late in the season the plant is pretty much done producing your potatoes. When you cut the vines off you are telling the plant that it should harden off the potato for the coming winter. If you don’t allow this process to happen the skin will remain flaky and won’t ‘harden off’. If you are looking for fresh potatoes for dinner you can still use the flaky skins, but it is better for storage if you let them harden up a bit. As far as storage, you can keep your potatoes in the ground until you need them. They will remain fine in the ground for months. Of course if you leave them in the ground through spring they will sprout and start to grow again for next year. If you do dig them all up you should leave them unwashed and store them in a cool and dark place in your garage or basement. If they are exposed to light they may start to turn green. If you have green spots on your potato you should peal those off. The green part of the potato can make you a little sick if you eat it. If the potato is green over a major part of it, go ahead and compost it. Who knows maybe you’ll have potatoes in your compost bin next year! Right before you prepare your potato, give it a good wash and make sure it doesn’t have any rotten spots on it and you should be good to go! Stop by the family farm off 122nd, near Parkrose High School, or at any of the multiple farmers markets in the area where they have a booth, including the Beaverton Farmers Market (http://www.beavertonfarmersmarket.com).
Ferguson’s GardenPalooza Plants
We are a week away from the Fall GardenPalooza event at Fir Point Farms. This year over 28 different vendors will be there with plants, supplies and garden art for you to look at and buy. One of the best vendors at the sale will be Dani Ferguson from Ferguson’s Fragrant Nursery (503-633-4585). We stopped by her nursery to see what plants she will be bringing to Fir Point Farms. William started by noticing the wonderful fall hanging baskets she had. These baskets look great now, but they will continue to grow through the cold winter months and will look great for the whole winter. Then we started to move down the cart full of plants that she had brought out. There were crape myrtles, heucheras, scabiosas, coneflowers (echinaceas), fall color ferns, a beautiful hardy hibiscus, a bright barberry, a veronica and finally incredibly fragrant evergreen star jasmine vine. If you would like to see these plants and many others. Stop by GardenPalooza this coming weekend, September 20th from 9-4. We will see you there!
Quick and Easy Garden Pasta
A few weeks ago we met with Pati Harris from Garden Thyme Nursery (503-551-1875) in Silverton to talk to her about her new business at making pasta called Esotico. She and her husband George started this company with their good friends, Wayne and Julie Huisman. In the last story George walked us through the process of making the pasta from scratch. This time Pati put together a simple recipe with fresh stuff from the garden. The pasta that she chose was a Lake Labish Onion. Lake Labish is an onion growing area near Brooks and Salem that is known for their flavorful onions. Esotico makes all of their pastas from locally sourced ingredients so you know they are fresh. For the recipe she decided to make a spicy mint sauce that didn’t require cooking. She started with a cup of mint leaves. Then she added a cup of cilantro, 3 jalapenos, which had their tops and seeds removed, some garlic, some lemon juice and a quarter cup of olive oil. There was a light sprinkling of cumin, fennel and salt. Then it was blended in the food processor for about 1 minute and it was done. Just mix it in with your pasta and enjoy. If you would like to try some of the Esotico pastas you can check out their website for a list of local stores and farmers markets where you can buy it or you can stop by the Fall GardenPalooza event. Pati will be there along with some of their great plants from their nursery as well. Stop by and say hi. Your taste buds won’t regret it!