Time is running outÖ Yeah, it is true. We are just one week away from our final episode of Garden Time for 2014. As we usually do, we are going away for the next 3 months for our winter hiatus (hibernation?) The good news is that you still can get fresh gardening information through our other outlets. For one, we will be posting new stories during the off-season on our website at www.GardenTime.tv. They may not be weekly updates, but they will provide you with lots of information to keep you going when it is cold and wet outside. We may even post some stuff from our Garden Time tour to Costa Rica in January.
You can also sign up for the Garden Time Magazine which will bring you fresh gardening news every month. Donít forget Facebook! We are also on Facebook and we constantly update that page with gardening news and events that you can attend.
So enjoy these last 2 weeks of Garden Time and start making plans for your spring gardening when we return in March of 2015 for our tenth season!
This week we featured...
Fine Foliage Book
As gardeners we seem to be constantly attracted to color and fragrance. We are drawn to blooms and flowers, sometimes forgetting that foliage can be just as attractive and dramatic as blooms when it comes to creating your garden palate. One of the most recent award winning garden books that has appeared on the market is called ĎFine Foliageí and recently we had a chance to talk to the author, Christina Salwitz when she was in town. She talked about the desire of gardeners for 4-season, full color gardens and that can only be done if you focus on foliage as well as color. The backbone of the garden has to be foliage and then you add color. The book is set up with a large picture showing how to use foliage in a setting, either a garden or a container, and then that is followed by descriptions of individual plants and design elements. This book is not just for the northwest gardener either. It contains design elements for all different kinds of gardens, from tropical to forest natives. If you would like to pick up a copy of this book you can check out the website, www.Fine-foliage.com. On that website you will also find a blog that is constantly updated with fresh foliage ideas and also information on upcoming events and appearances.
When you first look at an air plant you may wonder if it is still alive. Air Plants, also known as Tillandsia, are very unique plants that collect most of their moisture and nutrients from the air and rain. To learn more about these plants we stopped by Little Prince of Oregon, a local grower and plant wholesaler, to talk to Ryan. He told us how these plants are the perfect plant for the indoor winter garden. The first reason for this is that they can grow just about anywhere. You donít need a container full of soil. They can be perched on any surface or in any container. The only thing that they require is a little bit of water every once in a while. You can water them 2 ways. The first way is to give them a misting every other day or so. Ryan told us that this may not be enough for some of the varieties. He recommends that you immerse the air plant in a glass of water about once a week for about a half hour. If you are lucky you may get a bloom, but most people are just happy with the cool and unusual foliage these plant have and where they can be placed around your home. If you would like to try to grow one of these cool plants you can find them at most of your independent garden centers that carry Little Prince plants. For a list of retailers you can check out their website.
Janís November Tips
Winter is just a few weeks away and that means it is time to put your garden to bed. To get us started we stopped by and visited with Jan McNeilan, retired OSU Extension Agent. Jan always gives us some great information and this month was no different. We found her by the side of her house with a small shovel in her hand. She told Judy she was there pulling the leaves away from her foundation and the bottom of her siding. She recommends doing this to help keep the moisture from rotting the siding and to keep pests like the damp wood termites from invading your home. She told us that 3-4 inches of clearance should be enough. We also talked about protecting your outdoor faucets and hoses from the freezing weather of winter. You should disconnect your hoses, drain them, and place them inside your garage or garden shed. This will extend the life of your hose for many seasons. You should also drain your hose bibs. These should then be covered with a foam covering or as Jan does with large pieces of carpet filled with leaves. You should also do something similar to your outdoor fountains and water features. Either let them run through the winter or remove the pump, drain it and put in away until spring. Standing water in anything outdoors will freeze and may cause it to expand and break pipes and hoses.
One other thing that Jan talked about was fighting the urge to cut back your garden and clean it up. You can use the leaves that have fallen as a mulch by raking them into your garden beds. Then in the spring you can remove the leaves and compost them. Also, leave the seed heads on plants around your garden. Birds and other wildlife will feed on these seeds and it will help them get through the cold months ahead. If you love gardening Jan also pointed out that a lot of counties around the state are in the process of signing up people for master gardener classes. A lot of these classes kick off in January. If you would like to become a master gardener, or would like a few more fall and winter garden tips you can always check out the OSU Extension website at, http://extension.oregonstate.edu/gardening.
Parr Gift Ideas
Sometimes the gardener in the family can be a hard person to shop for when it comes to Christmas gifts. It seems like most gardeners have everything they need and if they donít, they have already bought it for themselves. To get some ideas for the Ďhard to shop forí gardener and do-it-yourselfer we stopped by Parr Lumber (866-214-7277) and talked to Amber. We started with outdoor cooking! She showed us a Traeger Grill. The best part about Traeger grills is that they not only cook your meal, they can also be used as a smoker! They also have a ton of different rubs and sauces. We then had a few gifts for the U of O and OSU fans. First were some footballs the orange and green, then we saw some very lightweight shovels that were orange and yellow (no way of losing those in the garden!) and we finished with some outdoor outerwear. Parr carries a lot of OSU and U of O sweaters and jackets. One of the coolest jackets looked pretty ordinary, but when you got them wet, they revealed the logos of the respective schools on the material! We then moved to the gifts for the gardener, namely boots! There are so many boots on the market but Parr carries some of the best out there including Muck and Bogs. With these you will never have wet feet. If you are out in the garage or the greenhouse you will probably need a heater and they have those too, including a propane one that is safe to use indoors! If you have the heater you really should have a fire extinguisher as well. Other ideas include a variety of flashlights, work pants and power tools! We finished with a portable BBQ and smoker that can be operated through a blue-tooth function! As you can see there are a ton of ideas at your local Parr Lumber. Stop by any of their locations for more ideas for those difficult people on your gift list!
Gartnerís Game Birds
If it is the end of the season for Garden Time that means we must be getting close to the holidays, and holidays for most families means lots of food with family and friends. And the place to start for all your holiday meals is Gartnerís Country Meats (503-252-7801). Every year since we have been on the air Garden Time has dropped by Jerry and Deb Yostís house to share some tips for making the holidays much easier for your family. On the days that we shoot we can see how this message is put into action. Deb is working on side dishes in the kitchen and Jerry is working on the meat and other dishes outside on the grill. When we tell you that cooking outside on the grill in the garden relieves the stress of cooking for the holidays, it really works!
This year Jerry not only had a smoked turkey on the grill, he also brought out something that is perfect for the smaller family get-togethers too. This year he had a couple of stuffed game hens. These were placed in a pan and covered with a cream of mushroom soup (you can also use a cream of chicken) and then placed in the grill at 350 degrees for about an hour, covered with foil until the internal temperature was about 165 degrees. Then we moved to the big bird! Jerry then told us about the smoked turkey on the grill. This one was cooked at 10 minutes per pound at 350, until it also reached an internal temp of 165. These smoked birds are already cooked so you are just looking to warm them up throughout the bird. But what size of bird should you get? Jerry recommends about a pound for each adult eater. 18 people at your gathering; an 18 pound bird should work for you.
Staying with the Ďeasyí theme, Gartnerís carries everything you need for the meal. There are combinations of 8 different salads, rice dishes, gravies, breads, twice baked potatoes and even desserts! You can make one stop and have the whole meal taken care of! If you donít have a taste for turkey or game birds, remember they also have prime ribs, boneless hams, crown roasts and even all-natural, unbasted fresh turkeys which are only available this time of year. Though it is too late to order over the phone, there are plenty of choices for meal options that they can help you with at the store. Stop by and let Gartnerís make your Thanksgiving REALLY special!