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The heat returns and with it, a warning! The Garden Time crew wants everyone to be safe this weekend. If you are going to go out and work in the garden, or do anything outside, please do it in the morning and drink lots of water. It will be much cooler in the morning hours. Here at our house we turn all the fans on in the morning to blow in the cooler air and then shut everything down for the rest of the day. Shades are closed and fans run indoors to circulate the cooler air. It is not air conditioning, but it is much cooler than outside.
Please take care of yourself.
This week we featured...
Jan’s August Tips
This month we joined Jan in her garden once again to see what we should be doing in the garden. The summer may be here, but there is a lot that still needs addressing in the garden. We started with the ‘famous’ lemon in her garden. We saw that she was down to one lemon maturing and 5 more just starting to grow. Exciting times! We then talked about the summer heat and the importance of setting your mower higher when you cut your grass. This longer grass will keep the roots cooler and allow for less watering and a healthier lawn. The summer also bring a return to the dreaded pantry moth, or Indian Meal Moth. This little moth gets inside your home and attacks the grain and bread stuffs in your kitchen and pantry. You can put a brake on this feeding activity by putting out some pheromone traps. These little traps, when left out for a couple weeks, attract the males so they can’t reproduce and thus, your moth problem is taken care of. Once the pests are gone, look at improving your storage containers of those tasty moth treats.
We returned to the garden to talk about bolting plants. When the weather gets hotter, like this coming week, some of your plants will bolt. That means that they accelerate their growing and seeding. You will see seed heads starting to form on plants like basil, cilantro, lettuce and spinach. If you cut off the seed head the plant will continue to grow and produce foliage for you to harvest. For some of these plants you can even use the seed head in your cooking and salads. Speaking of seeds, Jan has also done some reseeding in her vegetable garden. She has planted new crops of beets, kale, lettuce and carrots. Now is a great time to do that as the ground is warm and the seeds get a jump start on the fall growing season. Soon she will be harvesting some fresh new crops for her fall dinners. We also saw that she is already harvesting some of her rosemary. This is bundled together and she will use the dried leaves in her cooking for the next couple of months. What isn’t used can be stored and used for months to come.
The final thing we saw was Jan’s walker. This is a little assistant to help her with walking as she gets ready for a new knee! (spoiler alert!! Surgery was a success!!!) She promised that she will be ready in a month for our September tips of the month! For more tips and garden hints you can check out her face book page or the OSU Extension website.
Portland Nursery Sunflowers
One of the most overlooked annual in the summer garden is the Sunflower. The newer varieties of sunflowers are amazing and are not anything like the old standbys you used to find in your garden, but there are more to sunflowers than a pretty face! They are a part of the Asteraceae, or daisy, family. Laura at Portland Nursery (503-231-5050) on Stark told us about some of the members of this bright and cheerful family. Laura told us that the newer plants come in all different sizes and styles. We started with a basic introduction of the structure of the bloom, with ray flower as the large petals and tube flowers on the inside. This creates a bloom that has a large landing pad for pollinators.
The first plant that we talked about was the Maximilian Sunflower, which is a perennial and so you won’t lose this one when the winter comes. The next plant was the bachelor button, or Mountain Bluet, ‘Amethyst Dream’. This has a smaller bloom, but it is a pollinator favorite and has great purple blooms! Echinacea are a big part of the aster family and the shorter ‘Sombrero Sangrita’ is a showy member of that family. Deep red blooms signal to pollinators, ‘stop here’! Surprisingly the Rudbeckias are also a large member of the family. ‘Little Goldstar’ is one that stay short as well and really pops in the garden. Known also be the name Black eye Susan’s, they are all bright spots and a popular stop for butterflies and bees. Another Rudbeckia that has a much larger bloom is the ‘Toto Rustic’. These are called fuzzy leafed Rudbeckias. These are hardy for our area, but they like a well-drained soil to thrive. Another popular member of the family is the coreopsis, or tickseed. The one we saw was the ‘Uptick Gold and Bronze’. These have a very long bloom season and will keep performing if you cut off the dead blooms. The last one was a surprise for us and a lot of gardeners. Zinnias are also a member of the family. We had a member of the Swizzle collection on our table. This one was called Scarlet & Yellow’. The zinnias are almost all ray flowers with very few tube flowers, but still stunning in the garden.
All of these require lots of sun and if you have a well-drained soil that will benefit them as well. For these and other members of the aster/daisy family, check out the selection at either location of Portland Nursery.
TOW – Rehydrating Your Baskets
The summer heat is here and if you forgot about watering your hanging baskets, they may have taken a huge hit! Baskets dry out quicker than your other containers and when they do they have a harder time recovering from that heat. When they dry out the soil shrinks and the root ball gets tight. When you try to water that dry ball the water runs around the ball and out the bottom of the container. To remedy this you can just fill up a tub of water and let your plant container soak for an hour or so. Then push the soil back out towards the edge of your container so the water won’t leak around that root ball. Hang it back up and make sure that is stays well-watered for the rest of the summer and you should be good!
Ever wonder how they pick all those blueberries that you find on the shelves of your local grocery store? We did too, so we headed out to North Plains to a blueberry farm and met with Alfred Dinsdale. We know Alfred from his other company, Dinsdale Landscaping, but he also grows blueberries. Judy found him on top of one of the harvesters that they use to ‘pick’ the berries in the field. They need a harvester to cover the 75 acres of berries they need to pick multiple times a season. First, hand pickers go through the fields to get the best berries for the packets that you see in your local markets. Then they bring the harvester through to pick the bushes by shaking the branches with plastic bars. These berries fall onto a conveyor belt that takes them to the top of the harvester and into a crate. These crates go into a refrigerated truck and then off to market. The blueberry handles the harvesting well and so it doesn’t get mushy and can be transported easily. Some of these berries end up in the stores and other go into jams, sauces and used as flavorings for other dishes. They harvest berries for up to 2 months. They can do this by using different varieties of berries that ripen at different times. You can do this as a home gardener too. They have 5 different varieties that they grow. Duke is the earliest, followed by Rica and Legacy. They can harvest berries for weeks and so can you!
Not only do they grow berries, but they are good stewards of the land as well. They worked with various groups to make sure that they are growing and harvesting responsibly. That includes wildlife habitat, native plantings, streamside buffer, groundcovers, drip irrigation and raptor roosting poles. So not only are they harvesting the best fruit, they are doing it the right way! Alfred’s landscape company also grows and sells the plants to local garden centers too. So if you are thinking about blueberries and growing them, check with your local garden center, or if you want a taste of something great, stop by your local market and buy some fresh berries. Chances are that they came from Alfred’s fields!
We returned to the Swan Island Dahlia (800-410-6540) fields to check out the flowers but found ourselves in the gift shop! Swan Island has one of the largest selections of dahlia themed gifts. If you have a dahlia lover in your family, this is the place to come. In fact, any lover of flowers will find something special to take home. They have unique items, but also a great assortment of garden supplies and tools. Plus, you can also get fresh cut flowers from their self-serve booth. If you want to order flower tubers for next season you can do that online and get a discount too.
Remember that the annual festival has been cancelled for this season, but the fields are open until the end of September. You can stop by 6 days a week, except Wednesdays, and walk the fields and get an eyeful of color! Don’t miss the nearly 40 acres of blooms. Check out their website for more information and other growing tips.
Spray and Walk Away
We have featured the family of 30 Seconds Cleaners before on the show and have always been impressed with the quality and effectiveness of their products. This week we stopped by to learn about their best kept secret. The late summer and fall is for cleaning everything up for the coming season, and the Spray and Walk Away product is great for this time of year. James, the owner, met with Ryan to explain just how easy it is to use. James explained that this product is one of the easiest to use. You just spray it on and walk away. Over the coming months the product works to break down the lichen, moss and algae on your deck, roof, patio, driveway and concrete. It is safe around your pets and kids too. If you are looking to use the Spray and Walk Away product you can find the closest retailer on the 30 Seconds Cleaners website. You can tackle one of your biggest spring chores this winter while you sit in front of a fireplace and enjoy the winter season.
James also told us about the newest product to the family of 30 Second Cleaners, the Indoor Cleaner. This will do to your kitchen and other rooms, what the other 30 Second products do to your outside landscape, clean it like never before! Be sure to check your local retailer to find these great products. You can also check out their website for a dealer near you.