Nothing smells as sweet in the garden as lavender. The smell takes me back to Europe every time I smell it! As we walked the streets of Paris there were shops filled with lavender and the smell was overpowering, but delightful! This weekend is the big lavender farm tour. You can get out and enjoy lavender farms all over the state of Oregon. Be sure to check out our story on the show.
We are also in the middle of summer right now. That means fresh fruit and vegetables! Check out some of our great sponsors for the freshest product in our area. Bauman’s, Smith Berry Barn, Blooming Junction and French Prairie Gardens are all full of great produce. Stop by and get something fresh for dinner!
This week we featured...
Summer Pruning Clematis
The spring blooming clematis are done and have gone to seed. Did you know that if you prune them back now, you could possibly get a second flush of blooms? To learn how to do that we paid a visit to the Rogerson Clematis Garden and Collection at Luscher Farms to chat with the curator there, Linda Beutler. Before we got to the clematis though, we stopped by a plant that looked like parts were dying. The problem, voles! We all may be familiar with moles in the garden, they just eat bugs and grubs underground. Voles go for the tender roots at the base of your plants. You will notice holes and trails at the surface of the ground around your plants and that is what we found here. One of the products that they use at the Garden is Mole Max from Bonide. They put a couple of spoonfuls in the holes and then water it down. The smell and taste chases the voles away. Now, if you are not seeing the holes and trails and your clematis are still dying, check for notches at the bottom of the stems near the soil. That is the sign of slug damage and you’ll need to bait for slugs to solve that problem.
Then we had a chance to move to the pruning of another plant. Linda found Clematis Manchuria that has finished its showy bloom season and now was forming seed heads. Linda went to the base of the plant and made her cut. It will now regrow and give a second round of blooms later this summer, on a much shorter bush! After the cut she used an organic rose and flower fertilizer around the base of the plant to help it jump start the new growth. The 3 numbers on the fertilizer should all be below 10. This method is great for a lot of your clematis in your garden. To learn more about clematis or the Rogerson collection you can check out their website. You can also find a list of classes and seminars listed on the site, so you too can become a clematis expert!
Jan’s July Tips
The summer garden is not as laid back as you think. The garden is still full of projects and chores. We joined Jan in her greenhouse to talk about things she is working on right now. First we got an update on her sick citrus. It is still healthy and thriving. No sign of fruit yet! Next we talked about ‘June Drop’. This happens to fruit trees this time of year. The fruit that has incomplete pollination will drop from the trees. Jan demonstrated this for us by cutting some apples open that had fallen. There were no seeds in the middle and so the tree drops that fruit. The tree does a little ‘self-thinning’. Next we talked about the Ask an Expert page on the OSU Extension website. If you have a home or garden question you can just send those questions, along with up to 3 pictures, to OSU Extension and then n OSU agent or a Master Gardener will get back to you with the answer. It’s a great service. Finally, we talked about summer seeds. Jan found some seeds in her greenhouse for some short season crops. She checked and they were still viable. Now is the time to get those seeds or plants which mature in a short season, into the ground. You will still get a chance to harvest those veggies when they mature in early fall!
The middle of July is a time for lavender to shine! The second weekend on July is also a time for you to tour some of the amazing lavender farms and gardens around our great state. We stopped by one of our favorites, Barn Owl Nursery, to visit with Chris for more information about the Oregon Lavender Associations Farm Tour. This tour showcases lavender growers and shops around the state and features events for the lavender lover of all ages! Chris also took time to show William how to cut back your lavender if it has gotten too woody and floppy. Normally you should cut back your lavender to the base of the newest growth, leaving a few leaves and a little green, but she told us how you should look at the base of the plant and if you see new shoots or a few leaves you can cut your plants back even more! If you would like more tips on lavender care, this weekend you can ask any of the experts around the state during the farm tour. Check them out!
A lot of us have areas in our garden that we would like to improve. For some it is an easy fix, but for others it calls for major construction. A friend of the show Marietta found that the slope in her front yard was becoming a problem. Her husband George couldn’t handle the mowing and just getting up and down this slope was becoming more and more treacherous. They found the solution at The Wall (503-735-9255)! David from The Wall came out and they cut back the slope and installed a retaining wall made from recycled concrete. Marietta loves it! The recycled concrete gives the wall a rustic look that still looks polished and finished. David also told us that this is not all that they do. As we have shown in the past, they also build patios, chimneys and do all sorts of brick work and even stamped concrete. If you have one of those areas in your garden that could do with a little improvement, and we all do, check with the experts at The Wall!
Little Baja History
30 years is a long time! For Little Baja (503-236-8834), achieving over 30 years is just a testament to great products and taking care of their customers! William stopped by and had a chance to chat with Wayne about how it all began. He told us how he was looking at starting a business and during a tour to Mexico he stumbled onto pottery. The pottery he found was not mass produced stuff, but was hand made by families who had been doing pottery for years. Their methods and materials were the best, and judging by the response of people in Oregon, it is top of the line! Wayne is still working with those same families to this day. He has since expanded to terra cotta faces, pińatas, statuary and even now concrete planters. Through it all Little Baja has maintained a high level of quality and craftsmanship. Stop by and check them out! I’m sure you will agree that they are set for at least another 30 years!