The cool winds of October are here. Of course we still are getting a couple of nice days in there as well. And those days are great for getting out in the garden or taking a trip to a local fall festival. The weather will only get colder and so protect those plants and then get out and enjoy all that the early fall has to offer!
This week we featured...
Layering Spring Bulbs
As we enter fall we are reminded to plant our spring blooming bulbs in our gardens. Josh from Al’s Garden & Home in Wilsonville (503-855-3527) reminded us that bulbs are great in pots too! You can create waves of color by layering your spring blooming bulbs. He demonstrated that by using different layers of bulbs in a pot you can have color that lasts all spring! He used daffodils, tulips and crocus in 3 different layers. Then he topped it all off with some great fall color plants. When the warm days of spring arrive he will have these bulbs blooming at different times and will have waves of color for months. Don’t worry, the bulbs will find their way up through the plants in the pot. For the best results always remember to start with a quality potting soil, bulb fertilizer and water them in well!
Bauman Harvest Festival
Some things change and some things stay the same, but one thing that keeps getting better year after year is the Harvest Festival (503-792-3524) at Bauman’s Farm and Garden. With dozens of different activities, there is something for everyone. From hay rides, to corn mazes and barnyard animals, they have all the regular things you would expect at a fall festival. But they go beyond that! They also have gem mining, apple cannons, pedal carts, swing lines and an obstacle course, just to name a few. In the last couple of years they have added a laser adventure and a huge jumping pad! A lot of these activities are included in your general admission. They also have a bunch of special activities happening on certain weekends.
This weekend is the giant pumpkin weigh-off and drop. You can see giant pumpkins the size of a car compete for prize money and prestige. Then at 1pm they have the giant pumpkin drop! A 1,000 + pound pumpkin will be dropped into a giant pool of water! Come early so you can get a front row seat. Get there early enough so you can also enjoy all the great festival foods too!
As you can see there is lots going on during the whole month of October. So stop by and check it out. Go to http://baumanshf.com for more details on the Festival!
We usually think of lavenders as a mid-summer bloomer. The annual lavender show covers the last weeks of June and up to the end of July, but a quick trip to Barn Owl Nursery (503-638-0387) taught us how these plants can shine much longer than that! We met with Chris and she showed us her lavender, some of which were in bloom again, and shared some that she would recommend for the fall garden. To get the re-blooming on her plants she did a cutting back in the middle of summer. This type of cutting she is also recommending right now for your lavenders at home. This cutting back of the new growth from this past season will keep the plants short and prevent them from falling over, flopping, and getting bald spots in the middle. Lavender can take this kind of pruning and bounce back nicely.
She also brought out a bunch of plants that she would recommend for the local gardener. Some of these are great for fragrance, or silver foliage color (wonderful in the winter), or for culinary uses. Some of the great varieties she featured were Ana Luisa, Pastor’s Pride, Opal Rain (with pinkish, white flowers), Peter Pan, London Blue, Forever Blue, Mitcham Grey, and Rebecca Kay. If you are considering planting these right now you should prepare the planting hole well. That means a good transplant fertilizer, plenty of water and some good mulch mixed into the hole. You will want to make sure that the plant will have good drainage and planted up to the crown and not buried deep. If you would like to learn more about lavenders you can check out the Barn Owl Nursery website. While there you can schedule an appointment to shop or visit since the nursery is closed for the season and only open by appointment.
A lot of people have noticed the increase in spiders this fall. We have been hearing questions about whether there are more spiders than normal and are they bigger? To get some answers we went to Corvallis and talked to Gail Langellotto, an entomologist with Oregon State University’s Extension Service. She told us that there are not more spiders, nor are they any bigger than in the past. They are just more active in the fall and are either looking for food or a mate and that makes them more visible in the garden. A lot of people have an aversion to spiders, and they do look kind of creepy, but they are great garden helpers! They are a natural pest control for the gardener. They don’t feed on plants, they just catch other bugs and pests. The spiders you see in your garden are not even a threat to us. They only bite infrequently and will usually run away if bugged. Of the 700 to 800 species of spiders in Oregon, only the black widow has the potential to cause serious harm to humans. This spider is found in the drier areas of southern Oregon and east of the Cascades more commonly than in the Willamette Valley. Hobo spiders, research shows, are not poisonous to humans, but their bite may cause pain, redness and itching. Poisonous brown recluse spiders do not live in Oregon, according to Gail. If you would like to keep them at bay here are a few tips.
• Wear gloves, pants and a long-sleeved shirt when handling firewood or stored boxes where spiders may have built funnel-shaped nests.
• Seal holes around doors, windows and outlets for plumbing and wiring where spiders can find entry into the house.
• Sweep webs from corners, rock walls and under eaves. Repeat as necessary.
• Keep porch lights switched off as much as possible to keep from attracting flying insects that make good prey for spiders. Or switch to yellow bulbs, which attract fewer night-flying insects.
• Place simple cardboard sticky traps (without the use of insecticide spray) along baseboards and bed frames where wandering spiders tend to move.
• Keep vegetation near house mowed or trimmed.
You can also contact your local extension office for help in identifying the ones in your garden.
Fall Clematis Event
You clematis are not just for spring and summer. You can now get varieties of clematis that bloom late into fall. We stopped by the Rogerson Clematis Garden at Luscher Farm to see what was blooming in the garden. We met with Kathy and she pointed out a couple of nice varieties that were loaded with blooms. The first was the variety ‘Kryspina’. This light purple clematis was located in their bed of Polish varieties and was looking lovely surrounded by hardy geraniums still in bloom. She also mentioned ‘Allanah’ in the new garden that was a deep red with a bright white center.
You can come out and see these wonderful plants today, Saturday the 5th, during their great plant sale between 9am and 2pm. They will have the garden and greenhouse open so you can get one to take home! If you want to learn more about using perennials and clematis in the garden, they will also have a class between 10am and noon too. This class has a small fee for attending (unless you are a garden member),check out their website for details.
There is no bad time to come visit the Rogerson Clematis Collection, but today is even more special. Stop by and say hi!