Thank you! We would like to say thank you to all our wonderful garden friends who came to the 14th annual GardenPalooza last weekend. It was truly a great day! We gave away a lot of garden gifts and saw lots of plants going home to new gardens, all under lots of sunshine. We will see you all next year at Fir Point Farms, or maybe this coming May 21st at Subaru Garden Dayz!
This week we are relishing the warm weather. Most areas in the state have reached the mid 70s, if not 80, this week and that means summer is closing in. It also means that a lot of plants are maturing much faster than they normally would. We are seeing that in some of our stories. We revisit the tulip festival at Wooden Shoe to see the peak bloom. We also visit the Camellia Festival in Newberg to see the plants in full bloom there. While we have this wonderful sunshine, get out and enjoy it!
This week we featured...
Pruning Japanese Maples
Japanese maples are a very popular plant for the home gardener. Most of these varieties are pretty small and they are pretty care free when it comes to maintenance. The one thing that scares most people is the pruning of these wonderful little trees. To get some tips we visited with Lyle from Collier’s Arbor Care, a division of Bartlett Tree Experts (503-722-7267). Lyle had a client with a couple of Japanese maples in their yard and he brought in a crew to show us how easy it is to trim these trees back. There are 2 main tips for pruning your maple. #1, always trim out the dead and diseased wood from the tree. #2, remove overlapping branches and create space while doing that. Doing those 2 things will go a long way in getting you started. Once those 2 main items are taken care of you can go to work doing some light thinning. Try to create an ‘open’ look by thinning throughout the tree. Think of a 3 dimensional puzzle and make even cuts all around the plant that creates a layered appearance. This will help to make your tree appear less ‘chopped’ and more stylish. It will also keep your tree from looking like Cousin It. If you make a mistake don’t worry. These trees are very forgiving and will grow back to cover your mistakes. If you feel like you are still in over your head, give the pros at Collier Arbor Care/Bartlett Tree Experts a call and they will prune it for you. They can also assess all your trees to make sure they are healthy.
Fuchsia Planting – Freddy’s Planting Day
Fuchsias are one of the most beautiful plants in the summer garden and they are easy to get started in a planter or hanging basket. To show you how easy they are to plant, we visited with Donna of Black Gold/ SunGro to pot up a couple of baskets. We started with a layer of Black Gold All Purpose. We used the Black Gold product because it has Multicoat fertilizer so we don’t have to worry about fertilizing for a while. Then we placed a large blooming fuchsia in the center for immediate color and then squeezed in more, non-blooming plants around the edges. When you are planting new plants remember to break up the roots a little bit to stimulate new growth. This planter will give us waves of color through the summer. Fuchsias are also one of the easiest to winter over on your deck or patio. We’ve found some in the past that were a little tight in their pots and we decided to clean it up a little bit. For the older plants you want to cut back the branches to the strong new growth. Look for healthy canes and new leaves. Cut above the new leaves to promote new branching. You will also want to break up the roots and shake off the old soil. Use a new potting soil to replant them. If you are scared about planting new plants you can stop by any Fred Meyer store on Saturday April 9th from 7am-4pm to have them plant up your plants for you. Just buy the plants and the pot at Freddy’s and they will plant it with free Black Gold for you.
With the end of winter and the storm season coming to a close we have seen a bunch of damaged trees around town. A lot of these trees have bent or broken limbs from the wind, rain and snow. To help you take care of the small branches and to preserve the health of your trees we decided to share the technique called ‘3-cut pruning’. This technique should be used if the branch is on the lower part of the tree and smaller than the size of your arm. Anything bigger or higher in the tree should be tackled by a certified arborist. We started by cutting off most of the small branches from the end of the broken limb. This reduces the weight of the limb to reduce the risk of injury when you are cutting it off. Next go to the trunk of the tree and, on the underside of the broken limb make a cut of about 2-3 inches deep. Then go to the top side of the limb and go further out on the limb and cut through the limb. The limb should start to fall, but the cut on the underside of the limb will keep the bark from pealing back into the trunk and the good bark that the tree will need to heal. Make sure to be careful when you get to the end of the cut so the limb doesn’t fall on you or your feet. Finally, you will now have a small piece of wood to cut off to finish the project. Around the base of the limb where it meets the trunk you will notice a wrinkled ‘collar’. This is important to keep when you cut off the final piece of wood. Cut the last part of the limb off as close to the collar as you can without cutting this collar. Once the limb is gone the tree will start to grow over the wound where the limb once was. If you notice rotten wood in this cut area, call an arborist, it could be a sign of deeper damage. In a few short years your wound area will be covered with new bark and your tree will continue to grow in your yard for years to come. If the job seems too big for you and you are looking for a certified arborist, check out our friends at Collier’s Arbor Care, a division of Bartlett Tree Experts (503-722-7267).
Tulip Fest Update
The tulip festival is at peak bloom right now! They gave us a call because it is so spectacular and said we had to go out and see it. We met with Laura Iverson in their new wine tasting room and they were right, it is incredible! The fields are full of waves of color and they will be for the next week or so. You can’t miss it. While you are there you should try some of their wine. The Iverson’s are now growing wine grapes on part of their land and they are bottling a delicious assortment of wines to taste. They are also offering a ‘mini’ wine tour during the festival. You can buy a ticket and they take you around the farm to view the flowers and have wine samples and treats at various locations.
This weekend they are hosting a new event that we think will become a signature event in the next few years, Spark Night! This is where they fire up the antique tractors when it gets dark and load them with wood and hazelnut shells. The tractors then shoot sparks into the night sky. This is happening on Saturday April 9th this year. It is pretty cool! While you are out at the fields you can check out the blooms and order some bulbs for your garden. One of the best blooms, we think, is the new ‘Garden Time’ tulip. This one looks great and has a strong stem, perfect for cutting and bringing inside! Check it out here, http://www.gardentime.tv/store/tulip.htm.
If you are looking for something to do this weekend, jump in the car and head to the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm for a great time.
Pest Patrol – Box Elder Bugs
You have probably seen these little pests on the warm side of your house. The box elder bug is very active right now as it comes out and gets ready to mate. The box elder is relatively safe. They don’t eat the fabric on furniture, but they may stain items with their excrement. We recommend not spraying if you don’t have to. Pesticides will kill some of the beneficial insects along with the box elder bug. We recommend using a large vacuum to remove them or just sweep them off the house or outside if they are in your home. Be careful and use caution if you are going to use a ladder to reach bugs on your eaves. Check with your local garden center if you have more questions. Don’t confuse these with the larger shield looking Stink Bug. If you are not sure of the difference, stop by your local independent garden center.
Spring is the time for gardening! The change in the weather is drawing everyone back outside and into the garden. It is also the time for lots of pollen in the air. For those who suffer from allergies, this is a terrible time to be in the garden. But did you know that there are ways to alleviate your allergy suffering? To learn some tips for making these symptoms tolerable we stopped by Providence St. Vincent Medical Center on the west side of Portland and talked to Dr. Ken Weizer. He told us that more than taking over the counter drugs to feel better, you should take a look at your overall health. Dr. Ken recommended that we start by drinking lots of water. Allergies can dry out your sinuses and that can make matters worse. The fluids in your nose help to flush out the pollen and other allergens. Also remember to wash your hands and face often. You carry a lot of the allergens around on your hands especially after working in the garden. You can help yourself by keeping those hands clean. You can also wear a mask. This creates a physical barrier for allergens to go through. You can also help your sinuses by washing them out with a neti pot. This is a container that you use to pour water through your nose and sinuses to clean them out. When you get home Dr. Ken also recommends that you wash your clothes and bedding often, especially your pillow cases.
Another way to help your allergies is to be selective in your garden plantings. We found a book called ‘The Allergy-Fighting Garden’ by Thomas Leo Ogren, which gives you tips for smart landscaping to help with your allergies, just be aware that there are plants all around that will still be producing pollen, even if you reduce the ones in your garden. Sometimes the pollen is just the last straw for our systems. Some people have a lot of little allergies and once the pollen hits, it is just enough to push us over the edge! Dr. Ken recommends that you contact your doctor to see if there is a way to figure out the other little triggers and see if you can reduce those as well. Providence has lots of resources Including their Integrative Medicine site, and their page on seasonal allergies.
So look up these resources and then get out and enjoy your garden!
Camellia Festival 2016
We made the short drive out to Newberg to learn about one of the newest of festivals in the Northwest. Newberg, the camellia city, is hosting their Annual Camellia Festival this Saturday, April 9th from 10-4 at the Chehalem Cultural Center. They are partnering with the Oregon Camellia Society who is having their annual show at the Cultural Center. If you love camellias this is the place to be. We started our visit with Kathy Lintault from the camellia society. She had brought in over a dozen different blooms for us to look at. It was amazing to see all the different styles and flower types. We then visited with Erin Padilla to learn about all the activities that they have planned for this weekend. She also told us about the Asian themed events they have happening like the Taiko drummers, a lion dance team and a swing band will be performing at the event. The day starts with a fun run and then people can catch a trolley which will be giving tours of the historic area of Newberg and areas showcasing the camellia, or they can just hang out at the center for a full day of fun. They will have 3 stages full of entertainment all day long. During the festival you can also check out the local art and photography and visit the plant sale. For fans of Hello Kitty, she will be at the festival too. If you are in the Newberg area you really need to stop by and check them out!
Grimm’s Spring Mulch
Now is the time to apply a good layer of mulch to your garden. Jeff Grimm from Grimm’s Fuel (503-636-3623) joined us to talk about the different types of mulches you can get for your garden beds this spring. We were looking to add some mulch to our garden this year and Grimm’s came out and blew a unit of it into our garden beds. No shovels or wheelbarrows for us! Jeff told us about all the different materials they offer. In the spring you can get gravel for pathways, wood chips for under your swing set and bark dust in all different styles and colors. Garden Mulch, which is what we got, is VERY nutritious, protects your top soil, prevents weeds and retains moisture. They also have top soil which will improve your beds and they even have a fine mulch that is great for renewing your lawn when you over-seed. In the fall and winter they can also supply your heating needs with wood for your fireplace or woodstove and heating oil for your furnace. If you need it, Grimm’s has it. Grimm’s has all this and can deliver them in bulk or even blow them in, as we found out, so the work is done and you save your back!
Bauman’s at Fir Point
A lot of people love the plants at Bauman’s Farm and Garden (503-792-3524) but the drive to Woodburn sometimes seems too long (though it is really close). To remedy that Bauman’s along with our friends at Fir Point Farms have teamed up to bring you the best of both worlds. Bauman’s will be selling plants at Fir Point Farms starting this weekend through the 3rd of July. To kick things off Brian told us that they would be offering a pot loaded with tulips at less than $20 a pot (they are normally $40). They also have some cool new plants that are available to the public for the spring. The one that is getting the most excitement is the white strawberry! This variety has a small white berry that some say tastes like a pineapple! If you want to get a treat you can eat, stop by Fir Point Farms, they will have their usual tasty treats available. Then wander back to the greenhouse and pick up a plant or 2 to take home.
The changes are not just at Fir Point though. Bauman’s in Woodburn has made some major changes to their garden center too. They have doubled the amount of plant space at the farm. PLUS, they are now making cider. This cider is made from the apples and berries they grow on the farm. So if you want to make the drive to Woodburn, you can have a cup of cider and wander the garden center. Either location promises to be a blast this weekend!
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.
TOW – Paintbrush Weeds
Getting rid of weeds is tough. It becomes nearly impossible when that weed appears entwined inside one of your favorite plants. How can you get rid of the pest without damaging your favorite plant? Our tip takes care of the problem. We used a paintbrush to brush the weed control directly on the weed without touching the plant. It is pin-point application without waste and worry. Remember to use gloves and follow all label instructions.
30 Seconds Sprayer
Spring is clean up time and sometimes the job is just too much! Every year we have been pulling out the power washer to clean the deck, gutters and sidewalks. It is a time consuming and messy job that takes the better part of a weekend. Half the time it still doesn’t look clean when we are done. Well, we recently found a product that will do the job and does it well! 30 Seconds Cleaner is a locally made outdoor cleaner and we met with James Collier near Gresham where they make this great product. His in-laws came up with the formula in the '70s. It is the same safe, effective, cleaner today and we found out that they now offer a new ‘power’ sprayer. We watched as James sprayed it on a nasty part of an old deck and in a couple of minutes he rinsed it off to show a bright, clean surface. The best news is that it is safe around lawns, pets and plants. It works on algae, mold, mildew, moss and lichens. Pretty much everything we deal with in the Northwest. They have developed a couple other products but this was the original and we can see why it has remained so popular. The Spray and Walk Away product was one of those great products. That one is a slow acting one that works well for roofs, and as the label says, you just ‘Spray and Walk Away’. If you are headed out to do some spring cleaning you have to use 30 Seconds Cleaner.