The return of March is happening this week, but instead of Ďin like a lion and out like a lambí, we are getting a dose of the reverse this October (including a tornado in Longview). The last few days are really pushing our gardens to the edge. No more 80 degree days, thatís for sure. With the rapid change in the weather we are now in the mindset for the up-coming winter. We will be trying to get outside and moving plants under cover and into our greenhouse for the even colder weather to come. The greenhouse is a plus for extending our gardening season, in fact, check out our story about greenhouses in this weekís show. The weather also has us thinking about those other tender plants that canít be moved indoors. Take a walk around your garden and look for those plants that might need a little bit of protection and then add some mulch to keep them safe.
This week we featured...
Solar Gem Greenhouses
Extending your growing season is not that hard especially if you have a greenhouse. We recently paid a visit to Little Baja to learn more about greenhouses. I know that you think that Little Baja (503-236-8834) is only known for their excellent selection of pottery and fountains, but they are also now carrying the Solar Gem line of greenhouses. We met with the representative, Pat Hurley, who filled us in on the unique traits of the Solar Gem greenhouse. For starters this is an Ďeasyí greenhouse. There are no special tools, foundations or prep for this greenhouse. You just find a spot in your garden and they deliver it. It is also a one-piece unit. There are no pieces to assemble or maintain. That means there are no seams that will leak out warm air or let in cold air. Your greenhouse will hold and maintain the heat so your plants will thrive. It is a very functional greenhouse. Pat told us about an owner in Montana who grows and uses most of her fresh vegetables in the greenhouse during the winter months. Sounds delicious! If you are interested in the Solar Gem greenhouse they are available at Little Baja. If you are in the Woodland area, they can also be found at Tsugawa Nursery. For more information, just stop by and check it out.
Baumanís Last Fall Weekend
The last full weekend in October means the end of the fall festivals. Baumanís Farm and Garden (503-792-3524) is no exception. But donít worry they are going out with a bang! Baumanís has always been known for their great festival and Brian Bauman let us know that they are pulling out all the stops to finish this season on a high note. You can still find all the great family friendly activities at the farm this weekend, but they are also offering some extras for Rewards Club members. One of those offers included a Ďbuy one, get one freeí on all their great mums! These are a signature flower for the fall and the upcoming holidays, and you can get 2 of them for you holiday decorating. Brian then showed us a little secret on how you can keep those mums looking great for the holiday season. He had a can of floral spray paint. When your flowers start to take a turn for the worse, you can just give them a shot of this special spray paint to give them a burst of color. The floral paint can be found at any craft store and it doesnít harm the plant. It isnít too early to start thinking about the Thanksgiving holiday as well. Brian reminded us about the fresh vegetables that are coming into the store every day. They have squash, Brussel sprouts, apples, cabbage, cauliflower and many other farm fresh treats that are coming in from the fields and that doesnít even include the fresh baked goods that they have as well. If you are looking for a great wrap up to your fall season, stop by Baumanís this weekend.
Janís October Tips
As we have mentioned before, fall is here. And that means it is time to get your garden into shape for the upcoming winter. Jan McNeilan, our retired OSU extension expert, met us in her backyard to cover some of the tips for the late fall garden that everyone needs to be aware of. We start with her box of bulbs! Jan ordered a bunch of spring blooming bulbs for her garden but instead of planting them in her front yard she has decided to layer them in pots and containers for her patio. She even downloaded a chart from the internet to help her determine the best depth for planting. This spring when they start to bloom she can move them to her front porch and enjoy the blooms, but when they start to fade she can move them out in her garden. That is the beauty of having your spring bulbs in pots. Next we moved to the dahlias that she had recently dug up from her garden. Some people like to dig their dahlias and store them in their garage over the winter. This is great and ensures that you will not lose them to the cold and the wet. If you want to keep them in the ground you can do that too but you will want to protect them. First cut them back, leaving a short piece of stem exposed. Over this exposed stem you can place newspaper and mulch. This will keep the stem from filling with water and rotting the dahlia tuber. We then moved over to a tastier root, horseradish. This is the time of year to harvest your horseradish and make some paste with the roots. Jan uses the pencil sized roots when she makes hers. First she peels the root and cuts it up into small chunks. She blends this in a food processor with cider vinegar, mayonnaise, a little sugar and a little water. This makes a great tasty treat for your roasts and prime rib.
Fall is the time to bring in some plants too. Jan was moving a gardenia inside but before she did she had to do a little clean up on it. She removed the top 1-2 inches of soil from the container. This top layer of soil has all the pests and insect eggs in it. By removing it and replacing it with fresh, clean potting soil she is not bringing any insect problems inside with the plant. Finally we checked out the remaining tomatoes in her garden. The recent rains have started to turn some of her tomatoes to mush, but there are still some she can save to use on her salads. She picked all the green tomatoes off her plants. The ones that are a light translucent color (not the hard, dark green ones) could possibly ripen in her kitchen counter if they are given a little time to ripen. It is worth a try and if it works she will be enjoying tomatoes one last time this fall.
For more fall gardening tips you can check out the OSU Extension website at, http://extension.oregonstate.edu/gardening.
Lonesomeville Tomato Bird Cages
The tomatoes in the garden have seen better days! They are suffering from the cold and wet weather and it is time to put the cages away, or is it? Fall is also the time to start thinking about the birds and placing your feeders out in the garden. But how do you feed the birds and not the pesky squirrels? To get a unique way of doing that we stopped by Lonesomeville Pottery (503-774-5387) to see what they do with their old tomato cages. Lonesomeville is known for their beautiful and unique pottery, but also have a wonderful garden that they love to share with the local wildlife. Part of that is attracting birds to their garden. One way of doing that is to create some fun feeders for the local feathered population. Wayne met us in the garden where he was in the process of cutting up the old tomato cages. Once he had cut a section off the cage, he used a pair of pliers to twist the end into curly Qs. These curls, his vine tendrils as he called them, were where he hung his feeders. These feeders he hung in the trees with long pieces of wire. The squirrels couldnít reach the feeders and, with the wire, they couldnít pull them up either! A great idea for reusing an old cage.
If you would like to see these feeders in action today, Saturday the 25th, would be the best time. Lonesomeville is having their annual fall sale and open garden from 5pm to 8pm. It is a great time to pick up some of their great art and check out the wonderful garden all dressed up for Halloween!
Dramm Tools and Products
You know Dramm for the wonderful watering tools that they have for the home gardener. But did you know that they also have a full line of other garden tools and products. With fall here it is time to cut back some of your favorite garden plants and get them ready for the upcoming winter. Jessica from Dramm joined William in the garden to show him the newest pruners and loppers that they have available. The loppers have extending handles so you can get more leverage when cutting back you plants. That means less work for you because the tools is doing the job. The little hand pruners work the same way, only they are designed to relieve the stress because of their design that fits your hands better. Dramm also makes a great line of fertilizers for your yard and garden. They are all natural and OMRI listed so they are safe around children and pets. They also use recycled fish remains which makes a great plant food for the garden. They even make a wonderful gardening apron to hold all your tools while you are working. Check out the great assortment of Dramm gardening tools at your local independent garden center. Look for their bright colored display!