Happy May Day! The tradition of May Day was to sneak up to your neighbors and drop off little gifts of flowers on their doorstep. It is hard to do that under the current conditions, but the opportunity is still there. Recently Wooden Shoe did that with sponsored flowers going to Care Facilities, retirement centers, and to first responders. Now with tulips finishing up we found out that you can have iris stems delivered locally by Schreiner’s Iris Gardens. Check out their website to see how you can get flowers delivered to your mom or another special person in your life. The deadline is May 6th to order.
The stay at home order is still in effect for most of the west coast and gardeners are taking the opportunity to get the yard work done now so everyone can have a relaxing summer. In this week’s show we even tell you how to clean your patio furniture and deck. Get those jobs done and let’s have a wonderful late spring and summer.
This week we featured...
Wavra Spring Color
It seems like the colors are just brighter in the spring, and if you are looking for a blast of color you need to stop at Wavra Farms and Nursery (503-364-9879) just east of Salem. Diane always has a ton of color in bedding plants and in her hanging baskets. We joined her by Zoom to see some of her great plants. She started with a new geranium from the Americana series of plants. If you have geraniums in your garden every year, you will want to try these. The flower heads are huge! The new ‘Rose Ice’ and the ‘Violet Ice’ are going to get big so you need a larger planter for them, but like all geraniums you will have blooms all summer long if you fertilize them and deadhead them regularly. The next plant is one that you will want to put in an area that you can see from your deck or patio. Cuphia ‘Vermillionaire’ has bright orangey/red tubular flowers that hummingbirds go crazy for! You plant it close to your deck and sit back to enjoy the show. The third plant was a new impatiens called ‘Compact Pink’ from the SunPatiens line of plants. This one likes sun unlike its temperamental cousins. It has large colorful blooms and will fill in those bare spots in your baskets or landscape. We looked at a couple of shade plants next. Browallia ‘Endless Flirtation’(white blooms) and ‘Endless Illumination’ (blue blooms) are great in those shady spots that are aching for color. If you combine them together with a shade coleus, and its great foliage color, you are sure to brighten up any dark spot in your landscape. That led us to the coleus that Diane had on her table. The first one was ‘French Quarter’. This one had fantastic foliage with multi-colored leaves. Pink centers that changed into dark purple and ended with dark green edges. A real show of color. The next coleus was the ‘Main Street River Walk’. A long name but a plant with big bright colorful leaves. This lemony green plant can either go in full sun or full shade to add a bright spot anywhere your garden needs it. We also had a strawflower in her plant mix. Even though they look like bright dried flowers, they need a healthy drink of water to perform well. This is NOT a drought tolerant plant, but it will reward you with lots of bright blooms. The one we saw was Bracteantha ‘Mohave Yellow’.
Flowers and bright colors are not the only thing you will find at Wavra Farms and Nursery. Diane also has a ton of great vegetable starts for your vegetable garden. 32 different varieties of tomatoes is just the start to the wide selection of vegetable plants you will find. Plus shopping is easy and safe. Since it is a farm, there is lots of room for social distancing. They also wipe down carts and keypads constantly to keep everything clean and safe. Stop by and pick up some color or call to get your plant questions answered!
Bonide Indoor Plant Care
Indoor plants are a hot item for gardeners and homeowners, but they can have problems like any of your other garden plants. To learn how to take care of those problems we stopped by the Houseplant section at Terra Gardens in Salem and met with Tom Combs from Bonide. Tom had a few products that will keep your indoor plants happy and healthy all year long. We started with a great product that can tackle a lot of your indoor plant problems, Bon-Neem. This product has natural ingredients which you can tell by the ‘tan’ corner of the label and it also can take care of fungus, mites and insects naturally! The next product was Insecticidal soap. This is a topical product. It coats the plant with a soapy mixture and essentially ‘drowns’ the pest. Because it can be washed away, you might need to reapply this product a few times. The third product was a systemic solution. This product is a synthetic chemical and, once you apply it to the soil surface, it trans-locates throughout the plant from the roots to kill all those sucking insects that can feed on your plant.
The health of your plants is not just about getting rid of the pests and diseases, you also need to fertilize and feed those plants. For that Bonide has a wide range of plant foods for you to use. Tom had the African Violet food to show us. These products will get your plant the nutrients to thrive, even if you neglect them a little. For a full range of plant products check out the Bonide website, and for a great selection of indoor (and outdoor) plants stop by Terra Gardens in east Salem.
Bonide – Feeding America
As you just saw in the story about indoor plant products, Bonide has you covered. Now they are stepping up even further to help the communities they serve. Bonide is partnering with Feeding America to help raise funds to deal with hunger in the US. Until the end of May when you buy a Bonide product 100 percent of the price (not a percentage) will go to Feeding America’s Covid-19 Response Fund, up to $100,000. All you have to do is scan or photograph your receipt and register it at the Bonide website to help out your friends and neighbors! You can find all the information under the ‘Bonide Lends a Helping Hand’ link on their website.
If you are looking for outstanding late summer color you can’t beat dahlias. Now is the time to plant dahlias to get that late summer ‘pop’ of color. We stopped by Swan Island Dahlias (800-410-6540) to get some planting tips for having a great crop of color later this summer! With his crew busy planting in the fields, Nick Gitts from Swan Island walked us through the planting process. First you want a good healthy tuber, nice and firm with no rot or soft spots. Next you will want a well worked soil to plant them in. The loose soil will ensure that they don’t have to fight their way to the surface. You will want a well-drained area since they can rot if they are setting in water. To plant them, dig down about 6 inches and mix some bulb fertilizer into the soil at the bottom of the hole. Place the tuber in the bottom of the hole and loosely fill in the soil. In a couple of weeks you will start to see the new growth breaking through the top of the soil. Flowers will soon follow!
If you don’t have dahlias in your garden you can also still get some tubers by contacting Swan Island Dahlias now. It is not too late to have some great summer color.
TOW – Deadheading Spring Bulbs
Now is the time to deadhead your early spring blooming plants. By removing the seed heads and flower stalks, you are telling the plant to send the energy to the bulb or tuber to make it stronger for next year’s bloom. Don’t cut back the foliage yet! That part of the plant is putting the ‘gas’ in next year’s engine. When the foliage dies back in a couple of weeks you can just pick it up and clean up your garden bed then.
Cutting Back Your Ornamental Grasses
Judy had a great tips for cutting back your ornamental grasses in your spring garden. Right now they are looking a little tired. The bronzy golden foliage that looked so great in the winter garden needs to go so you can get some new green growth for the summer season. Judy simply took a bungee cord and wrapped it around the base of the grass she was cutting. This keeps the tangled mess together and makes it easier to cut back. Now while she was cutting she was taking a little of the new green shoots with the older grass and that is ok. The plant will quickly recover and soon you won’t even know where you cut it back. Of course, with the bungee cord you can now just walk the whole clump of old dry grass over to your compost bin without leaving a large mess to clean up!
If you like sushi or even spicy and ‘hot’ foods then you are probably a fan of wasabi. For most people this is the green paste that you get with your meal so you can spread it on your meat or fish. But did you know that wasabi is a plant? We stopped by Oregon Coast Wasabi and met with Jennifer, one of the owners, to talk about her company, one of the largest growers of wasabi in North America. The actual name of the plant is Wasabi japonica because it grows natively in shady Japanese streambeds and it is a member of the brassica family. They grow the daruma type of wasabi, though there are 2 commercial varieties (daruma and mazuma) on the market in Japan. This plant loves moist shady conditions and is coveted for the rhizome which develops slowly over 18 to 24 months. This rhizome is then grated to make the paste that you can use on your foods. Here is an interesting fact, most of the wasabi that you find in restaurants is actually made from a mixture of horseradish, mustard and food coloring, and contains no wasabi at all. Actual wasabi starts to lose its flavor within a few minutes after you grate it. It should always be used fresh. It does store well in a refrigerator for a week or so, and can be frozen. Another fact about wasabi, all of the plant is edible. The leaves and stems still have some ‘heat’ but have a much subtler taste. Oregon Coast Wasabi also sells plant starts so you can try to grow these at home as well. You will need to wait awhile for the rhizome, but you can still harvest the leaves and stems for use in salads and cooking. If you are interested in trying the ‘real’ wasabi you can find a store near you at their website. They also sell graters, wasabi powder and seasoning salts on their website. You will also find out more about how to grow this tasty plant and how to get a start of your own.
Bio-tone and New Plantings
When you are planting your new vegetable garden, remember to get it off to the right start. That means helping your plant get the energy it needs from the soil by using a great product like Bio-tone Starter Plus from Espoma. We met with Carla at Garland Nursery in Corvallis to ask her about it. Bio-tone Starter Plus is magic in a bag according to Carla. It has soil microbes, it has mycorrhizae and a starter fertilizer in one bag. You add this to the hole when you plant. It will attach itself to the roots of your plant and help it convert the nutrients in the soil into food for your plant. Once the plant is growing with a nice healthy root system, you can use Garden-tone to keep the plants growing with even more beneficial nutrients. You will have healthy plants with more flowers and fruit later in the season. You can find the great Espoma products at Garland Nursery and many other local garden centers.
30 Seconds Cleaners
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 one of the owners, James Collier through Zoom. His home and production facilities are near Gresham where they make this great local product. Jill’s parents came up with the formula in the 70’s and it is the same safe, effective, cleaner today. James told us how to just spray it on a ‘green’ surface, lightly brush it in and in a couple of minutes just rinse it off to show a bright, clean surface. It tackles mold, mildew, lichens and algae on almost any surface in your yard. Pretty much everything we deal with in the Northwest. Patios, decks, brick, plastic chairs, pots, siding and containers; they are cleaned in just a few minutes. The best news is that it is safe around lawns, pets and plants. They have developed a couple other products but this was the original and we can see why it has remained so popular. We have heard about other products on the market, but none of them come close to the safety and cleaning power of 30 Seconds Cleaners and your surfaces will stay cleaner longer too. If you are headed out to do some spring cleaning you have to use 30 Seconds Cleaner.
Mole Cinch Trap
One of the most common pests in the NW garden is the mole. They can really tear up your flower bed and lawn. There are lots of products out there to deter them. Don Sprague of Don Sprague Sales (1-800-423-0158) has found that most of them don’t work too well. The products that don’t seem to work include the vibrators, the home remedies, and the gases and bombs. And with some of these products you may be doing more harm to your garden than the moles. The problem with getting rid of moles, if you don’t remove them, they will just leave and will return later. The best way of getting rid of moles is to trap them. Don showed us how to use the Cinch Trap. The Cinch Trap is VERY effective. This product will trap them and remove them forever.
Tour of the Hulda Klager Lilac Garden
A few weeks ago the Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens announced that they would be cancelling their annual ‘Lilac Days’ event for April and May. This event was a great time to go and see and smell the great blooms at this signature garden in Woodland. THE GARDEN IS STILL CLOSED, but we thought it would be great to put together a little garden tour for our viewers who miss the Lilac Days. Don’t worry it will be back again next year. This lovely garden is supported by volunteers and they receive most of their funding during the festival. If you would like to support the garden and make a donation, check out their website for contact information and updates on the garden.