Happy Halloween! For some this is a truly scary time of year. It is the time of the fall clean-up! A time of year when plants and patio furniture make their way into garages, shed and homes. For those with plants coming back indoors; we have a segment in this weekís show about products you can use to prevent insects and diseases from making the journey indoors as well. For some of us, we have added more stuff than we had the year before and now comes the chore of figuring out what to move and what to leave outside. At least weíll have nice weather to work in this week. So after youíve done all that moving, reward yourself and enjoy a bag of Halloween candy! Trick or treat!
This week we featured...
Make some room for the shroom! In the Northwest, with all this moisture, we are the home of mushrooms. One group that has embraced that love of mushrooms is the Oregon Mycological Society. We were led on a mushroom and fungus hunt with Leah from the OMS. A lot of people are afraid of mushrooms. They think that all of the mushrooms of the wild are poisonous, but that isnít true. There are lots of tasty varieties out there to try. The key is identification. The day that we joined about 20 hunters, they were collecting everything and after everyone came back to the cars, there was an education session. Leah told everyone there about the good, the bad and the ugly, and a very small percentage were not edible. It is amazing what you can find in the forest!
Your chance to learn more about mushrooms is tomorrow Sunday, the 29th at the World Forestry Center in Miller Hall from noon to 5pm. There will be speakers, cooking demos, vendors and the largest display of mushrooms from around the region! If you are a mushroom lover, this is the show to see!
Believe it or not, it is time for poinsettias. They are starting to make their appearance at local garden centers and other stores. The big push will be in a couple of weeks but you can get some nice plants right now. The big question that we hear is Ďhow do I pick a good oneí and Ďhow can I make it lastí. To find out the answer to these questions we stopped by the growing location for Alís Garden and Home (503-981-1245) in Hubbard and talked to Dorothy. She pulled a few plants out of the greenhouse to show us the different varieties and to explain how they grow them. They start growing them in the middle of summer and use a combination of light, shade, coolness and heat to trick the plants into producing wonderful color!
If you are looking for a good plant; first look for good branching. A single branch plant will not give you the bunches of blooms that you want. And speaking of blooms, the bright colors you see are not the flowers of the poinsettia. The flower is the small center buds that are usually yellow. The bright colors are modified leaves (bracts). As for the blooms you will want small tight buds that are not yellow yet, that means they are early in their bloom cycle. Also look for good healthy green leaves under the brightly colored ones.
Now that you have picked out a good one, how can you make it last? Alís recommends that you treat your plant with tender loving care. Make sure that is doesnít get placed in too hot of a spot, that it doesnít get in too many drafts and keep it in bright non-direct sunlight. You will also want to water it regularly without over watering or having it set in water. Remember to remove the decorative foil sleeve when you are watering it. If you follow these tips it will be around for a couple of months if not longer! You can find a sheet of Ďcare tipsí at all Alís Garden Center locations or on their website.
Also, you can find all of these varieties at the up-coming Alís Evening of Lights event. Mark Bigej joined us to tell us how you can experience a year of preparation for the holiday season at this event. Alís buyers have traveled far and wide to bring you the newest trends and decorating ideas. The event takes place at the Sherwood location on November 2nd from 4-9pm, the Wilsonville location on November 3rd from 4-9pm, the Woodburn location on November 4th from 4-9pm and the Gresham location on November 11th from 3-7pm! If you would like to see how they grow these beauties then you can book your spot on a tour of the Alís growing facilities at the Gresham location on the 11th. There are two tours but you need to reserve your spot to see this behind the scenes look at how they grow poinsettias. Even if you canít make the tour, donít miss the party at your local Alís Garden and Home center.
Grimmís Fall Mulch
Believe it or not, now is the time to start thinking about your summer garden. If your garden is getting tired and needs a boost, then you should be adding garden compost now. It is also the time to add mulch to your garden to protect your plants and add nutrients to the soil. Jeff Grimm from Grimmís Fuel (503-636-3623) showed Judy all the different mulches and composts available and the benefits of each one. You can even use some of them for erosion control. We also found out the differences between all the different barks that are available, plus if you donít want to spend time shoveling, they can even blow it in for you. Now is also the time to get your wood for the coming winter. Grimmís not only has barks and mulches for your garden they also supply wood and heating oil too. Give them a call before itís too late!
Bonide Indoor Plant Care
The fall is a time of transition and that is true for your indoor plants too. We met with Tom from Bonide to talk about that transition. Tom told us that transition from fall to winter is a critical time for your plants. You could be bringing in bugs and diseases if you donít take the right steps. Judy mentioned that her first steps are to acclimate the plants by moving them into your garage or shed for a couple of days to get them used to the temperature change. She also mentioned that you should give them a good spray with a hose to knock down most of the bugs and clean them before you bring them in. Tom then covered a couple of few synthetic and natural products that you could use. For the natural products you could use the Bonide Insecticidal Soap spray. This is a natural product that will smother the eggs and young insects. If you have a problem with mites, you might want to use the Bonide Mite-X product. The last natural product is Bon-Neem. This product is a double hit to bugs. The first effect is a quick knock-down action for the bugs and then the sulfur in the product will help control fungus and mites.
For a quicker and more synthetic approach Tom had the Systemic Houseplant Insect Control. This product is sprinkled around the base of the plant and is taken up through the Ďsystemí of the plant. This takes care of those critters in the roots and the leaves. The final product was the ĎEight Insect Controlí. This is a foliar application so you spray it on the leaves to knock down those nasty bugs.
Of course the difference between the natural product and the chemical product is the times for application. Natural and Organic products have to be applied more often than synthetic and chemical products. Natural and organic products tend to break down quicker in nature than the others.
Always remember that the label is the law! Always follow the label instructions for proper use and donít use a product for a problem that isnít listed on the label. For a Bonide retailer near you, you can always go the Bonide website. We also recommend that you call first so you can be sure they have the product you need before you show up.