Life is good. The cooler weather has been a welcome respite from the hotter days of just a few weeks ago. I know a lot of people would like it a tad bit hotter and so would the vegetables. A lot of those tomatoes and cucumbers would love a little more heat, but the lettuce and basil would just bolt in the warmer temps! In fact, in this week’s show Jan McNeilan talks about bolting and how you can extend your vegetable harvest by preventing your plants from bolting.
A lot of people were excited to see our show last week from Ireland. We had a great time and saw a ton of plants. Now you can join us for our next trip to Hawaii in February. We are once again traveling with Collette and Time to Travel tours. The price for this tour is $4,149.00, but it comes at the peak season to be on the islands (and it’s cheaper if you use your own miles to get there). When it is cold and wet in Portland, you’ll be touring gardens in a tropical paradise! We will visit wonderful gardens, eat incredible foods and dip our toes in the warm ocean! It is a great deal for a pre-planned, totally organized, garden tour! Check out our Garden Time Tours page for more details. Because this trip is happening in February the deadline will be coming up soon!
This week we featured...
Cornell Estates Rose Planting
The rose festival is not quite over, at least not for us, Cornell Estates and the Royal Rosarians. We recently met all these groups at Cornell Estates (503-640-2884) for the celebration of their local royalty. Cornell has their own celebration of the Rose Festival by crowning their own princesses. These princesses are members of the senior estates and are recognized by popular vote. This year one of the queens was over 100 years old. The queens are crowned and honored during the Hillsboro 4th of July parade. This year they were awarded 1st place in the parade. What a recognition of royalty! The Estates also has their own gardening expert. Arden Sheets, longtime OSU Extension agent, helps direct residents in maintaining garden spaces around the facility. He makes sure that the residents and the gardens both stay in tip-top form.
As part of the facility gardens, the Royal Rosarians chose to honor the queen and her court with a rose planting. We were joined by Royal Gardener, Dwight Terry and Prime Minister Rick Saturn to talk about the planting. Dwight told us that the rose chosen for this year was Day Breaker. The Rosarians do about 50 ceremonial plantings throughout the year. During one day alone, they planted 28 roses! Then the Prime Minister talked about how the Rosarians help promote the rose and the Rose City as official ambassadors of Portland and the Rose Festival. If you would like to learn more about the Royal Rosarians you can check out their website at www.royalrosarians.com.
Oregon Berry Festival
Growing a wide variety of berries is a benefit of living in the Pacific Northwest. Sometimes there are just too many to choose from! To get some help we stopped by Schedeen’s (503-658-4730) and Boring Square Garden Center (503-663-9797) in Boring. Julie Schedeen has been growing berries for nearly 40 years and she knows which ones will perform well in our climate. She not only sells berries but she also advises customers on which ones to grow in their own gardens. Some of her favorites include boysenberries and loganberries. She also really likes the Polana variety of raspberry. Judy also asked her about the canes of certain varieties that seem to go on forever. These types of berries might frighten the home gardener since they seem like they need a lot of room to cultivate. Actually, Julie said that research at OSU by Bernadine Strick says that you can trim the tops off the berries about 5 feet high and they will still produce quite well.
Next we walked over to the fruit stand that Schedeen’s have on the property and talked to Darcy Kochis about the Oregon Berry Festival. The Oregon Berry Festival is celebrating their 6th season and this year promises to be one of the best. The Oregon Berry Festival takes place at the EcoTrust building in Portland, today, July 16th. The festival features everything ‘berry’. You can buy fresh berries direct from the farmer, see cooking demonstrations, view berry themed arts and crafts and the festival is free!
If you have any questions about berries you can stop by the festival or check out Schedeen’s in Boring!
Jan’s July Tips
This month we are talking about summer stress in the garden. I’m not talking about personal stress, I’m talking about plant stress. We met Jan out in her garden and we started this month by looking at her tomato plants. They had experienced some leaf curl. This could be due to a number of factors. It could be environmental from temperatures in the garden. It could also be genetic and the plant is predisposed to curling its leaf to conserve water, or it could be a disease or virus. It could also be herbicide damage. If you water the plant and the leaf curl disappears, then you know you have the problem taken care of. The other causes are not so easy. If it is a disease or virus, the plant could still produce fruit, though the weakening of the plant may produce less of a yield. If it is herbicide damage, that could have come from applying herbicide in your own garden, or it could be from ‘drift’ from your neighbors. Check to see if they have been using any chemicals in their garden to eliminate that possibility. If you still can’t narrow it down, take a sample of the leaf, in a plastic bag to your local extension office. If you are still getting tomatoes on your plant don’t worry about it.
Another thing that people are noticing in their garden are vegetables that are starting to bolt. Bolting is when you plants start to produce flowers and seed heads. Don’t worry, this is a condition of the temperatures and maturity of the plants. Simply cut off the flower heads and then the plant will produce more leaves (and fruit). This can happen to lettuce, basil, cilantro, chard, and bok choy. We also talked about home remedies like insecticidal soaps. A lot of people have read recipes for making your own ‘remedies’ for organic treatments to problems in the garden. Remember that the organic treatments can be as dangerous and harmful as the chemical treatments. Commercially produced products, organic or not, have generally been tested and approved for use in the home garden. You should also be checking out your plants for Powdery Mildew. Jan had a mildew problem on a ninebark last month and it hasn’t gotten worse, but she is going to do a little maintenance to make sure the plant does better in the future. She is increasing the amount of airflow through the plant by doing a little selective pruning. By cutting out some of the interior branches she is going to increase the air flowing through the plant so it stays dryer and is less susceptible to mildew.
Finally we looked at insect traps. Jan showed us how to use tanglefoot on a red ball. This application is to attract the adult apple maggot. When you hang the ball in the tree it looks like a ripe apple and that attracts the apple maggot moth. When you see the moth stuck in the tanglefoot you know that you might have a maggot problem and you can choose to spray for the pest if you want. Jan also used her grandson, Riley, to show us the pantry pest trap to catch the meal moth. The meal moth is a problem in the kitchen and pantry if you have grains or cereals that are not sealed. This trap will help you get rid of the adult so you don’t have a problem in the future. If you want to get more tips for your home and garden, you can always check the OSU Extension website at http://extension.oregonstate.edu/gardening.
Kim’s Garden Sketching
Relaxing in the yard is one of the main reasons for gardening, and one of the best ways of relaxing is to try and capture the beauty of the garden with painting or drawing. Kim Foren of Geranium Lake Flowers (503-228-1920) is one of the most creative people we know. Trained as a fine art painter, Kim shared how to paint in the garden to reduce stress. Focusing on drawing flowers to relieve stress is a great way to find another dimension to enjoying our gardens. Kim starts by not focusing on ‘looking’ at the flowers but capturing the feeling and how we perceive flowers, but not with our eyes. She draws on paper or canvas without looking at the drawing surface. Once she has this ‘rough’ rendition. She fills in the blank spots with color (or shading). This type of drawing actually focuses the mind on the shapes and structure first, and not preconceived images or patterns. It is a great way of seeing your garden in a different light. She brings this same type of artistic ability to her floral arrangements. If you would like to see her creativity, stop by her shop in downtown Portland.