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Happy Halloween! We hope that you have a safe and happy holiday. This year has been crazy and this weekend is no different! A full moon, turning clocks back and Halloween! All on the same weekend. Plus, we're working like crazy on cleaning up the garden for the upcoming winter. In fact, in
this week's show we give you some timely tips for your outside vegetable garden and some more useful information on your indoor garden as well! We even feature a local company that uses a lot local produce in their wonderful pasta product!
As we pass Halloween we are moving back indoors. As we do, make sure that you do the other chores to get your home ready for winter, including weatherizing your home, inside and out. Check out our November issue of Garden Time magazine, coming out tomorrow for a list of tips. If you
haven't already, you can sign up to receive your free copy here.
This week we featured...
Prepping Your Garden for Next Season
The vegetable growing season is coming to a close for most gardeners. Though there are some winter vegetable crops still in the ground for some, the rest of are trying to put our garden to bed, so to speak, for
the season and get ready for next spring. To get some tips for what to do this fall we stopped by Blooming Junction (503-681-4646) to talk with Justin about what they do on their farm. He had 5 tips for all vegetable gardeners.
Tip 1 - Clean up your garden after your last vegetable harvest. That mean removing all the vegetation from your garden. If you have some pest or disease problems he recommends burning that foliage, if you can in your area, or putting that foliage in your curbside yard debris.
Tip 2 - Clean up weeds and control late season pests. Get out and get those weeds. He recommends that you pull them by hand if possible to get all the roots too. If you are hoeing you should do that on a dry day so the weeds dry out and don't re-root themselves. Getting the weeds out now will prevent them from growing and seeding, creating future problems. You should also bait for slugs so they don't lay eggs for next spring. Few slugs now, a lot fewer next spring. Keep an eye out for cutworms too and get rid of them!
Tip 3 - Do a soil test and amend your soil if needed. This is the only way you can find out what is going on in your soil. By testing you can narrow down the amendments that you need and you can possibly even cut back on extra fertilizer and create a healthier soil for your plants next year.
Tip 4 - Top dress with compost or manure. Now that you have all the weeds out, now you can top dress with compost or manure. By using either of these you are 'feeding the soil' which will help feed your plants in the future. A good layer of top dressing will also help suppress new weed growth, making the job easier for you next spring. The layer of good compost or manure can also help with water retention too.
Tip 5 - Take notes on past performance and plan for the future. This is a great way of improving your garden and avoiding making the same mistakes again. If you can write down what worked and what didn't. Did you plant too many cherry tomatoes? Did you want more zucchini? Were the peppers getting enough sun to ripen? All of these notes will help you next season to be a better gardener and get a bigger yield!
If your garden is done, but you are still craving some great fresh produce, stop by Blooming Junction for a wide selection of fresh, late season veggies for your table. They have all your favorites, including some of the best seasonal vegetables and squash, for your holiday dinners.
We are moving from outdoor gardening to indoor gardening and that means people are looking for a great group of plants to try inside. The calathea family of plants have enough variety to keep any houseplant fan
happy! We stopped by Tsugawa Nursery (877-658-0566) in Woodland to chat with Karlene about her favorite members of this plant family. We started with one that a lot of people know about, the
Prayer plant or Green Maranta. It is a good place to start, but there are other to consider if you don't want the larger leaf of the Green Maranta. The next plant had a little darker pattern on a smaller leaf. That one was the Makoyana or Peacock plant. It is also called cathedral windows due to the striking pattern on the leaves. The third one was Calathea 'Freddie'. This native of Brazil actually moves its leaves up for light during the day and returns to a resting position for the night. The next one was Calathea ctenanthe 'Burle Marx', and it's Karlene's favorite. This one does great in the store and it is exposed to all kinds of conditions including different light levels and drafts. If it does well there, it will do well in your home. The plant on the front of the tray was a Calathea vittate. This one is a new variety at the store and has striking white stripes on the dark green foliage! Very cool! The final plant was a larger leafed Calathea orbifolia. Very subtle variegation on those larger leaves make for a nice plant to add to your collection!
These plants want indirect sunlight and can handle low light conditions. They like to be watered, but not soaking wet. Karlene recommended a watering every week to 10 days. If you have a little humidity, they love that too. Of course, these are just a few of the selections in the store at Tsugawa's. They have a huge selection of plants to choose from and a great staff to get you started.
Al's Holiday Containers & Week of Lights
With everyone spending more time at home, people are decorating more and getting ready for the holidays. That includes decorating your deck or patio. To get some ideas on how to do it at your home we stopped by the Sherwood location of Al's Garden & Home (503-726-1162) to talk with Dorothy, an Al's grower and part of the Bigej family. She showed us how you can use some seasonal plants to create a large living container to decorate for the season. It started with a Cyprus, Osmanthus, Heuchera, pansies and cyclamens. These plants can handle the cold and will do well through the next few months. To add some seasonal flavor, we can add mini-lights, holly branches, and other holiday color décor to brighten things up. They can then be removed for the winter, and you still have a wonderful container on your patio. When spring comes you can remove the pansies and cyclamens and use spring annuals for a new color pop! If you don't want to deal with plants, Al's also has a buffet of cut greens and other decorating elements to create an 'all green' display for you home. These containers are called 'Always in Bloom', and you can purchase them already done to make things even easier! If you need help, the wonderful Al's staff can walk you through all the options that they offer.
Dorothy also filled us in on the annual holiday events they have coming up. Loyal Al's customers have marked the beginning of the holiday season with a visit to the Evening of Lights events at all the Al's stores. This year however Al's is expanding the event to the Al's Week of Lights. All the stores will be dressed
up and ready for visitors from November 4th through the 10th. You can stop by during normal business hours to receive 20% off at all stores. If you want to see the lights in the evening, you can register for a special night between 5 and 7pm during those same days. Just go to their website and pick the store nearest you and register for a time to visit. You can also pre-order treats like sugar cookies, cinnamon almonds and a charcuterie to enjoy on your evening visit. During those special events you can enter for prizes, enjoy festival holiday music and do it all in a safe, distanced, atmosphere!
Of course, for more information you can check out their website. Then register and get your holiday shopping off on the right foot!
Winter Indoor Plant Care
The winter is when all your indoor plants could start showing signs of pests and diseases. We stopped by Al's Garden and Home in Wilsonville to get some quick tips for winter plant care for your indoor plants. First you will want to give them a good cleaning. You can mist them with water and wipe them down, or you can use a 'leaf shine' product on the larger leafed plants to knock off the dust and dirt. While you are doing that, check for bugs or diseases. If you notice something you may want to check with your local garden center to narrow down what you find.
For a quick solution to a bug problem, you can use a synthetic approach. Ryan had a product from Bonide , the Systemic Houseplant Insect Control. This product is sprinkled around the base of the plant and is taken up through the 'system' of the plant. This takes care of those critters in the roots and the leaves. Another product you can use is the 'Eight Insect Control'. This is a foliar application so you spray it on the leaves to knock down those nasty bugs.
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. There was one last natural product from Bonide called 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.
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 don't use a product for a problem that isn't 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.
Mudding in Plants
This tip of the week is a technique for planting that reduces the transplant stress when you are moving plants in your garden. After you dig your hole and add amendments, but before you plant your new plant you should fill the hole with water. Then put your plant in the hole. This allows those roots and the entire root ball to get a good soaking. If you just planted the plant in the dry soil it increases the amount of shock the plant goes through. This helps take care of that. After letting the plant sit in the water for a few minutes, feel free to back fill the rest of the soil in the hole and finish by giving your plant one last drink to help settle in the last soil you used. Your plant will thank you and will be off to a better start!
TOW - Cover Crop
If your garden has been kind of weak the last few years it may need the refreshing boost of a cover crop. Over time the soil can lose a lot of the nutrients and that means smaller plants and less yield from your best vegetables and flowers. Cover crops help rejuvenate your soil by fixing nitrogen and putting nutrients back into the ground. By planting these plants (vetch, clover, and peas) we are providing 'green' manure to the soil. Cover crops also help prevent soil compaction caused by the rough winter weather. Planting a cover crop now will help your garden be healthier this coming season! A great selection of cover crop seeds can be found at Portland Nursery. They also have a great in-store and on-line brochure to help you make your decision on what type of seed might work best for you.
Portland has become a foodie paradise and that paradise stretches into the garden as well. A few years ago we found a new product on the market, Esotico Handcrafted Artisan Pasta. Recently the business was taken over by Barry Bronson and with the help of our friends at Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm, he has set up a kitchen at the farm to make all of the 15 different flavors that they sell. Those flavors include Black Bean Chipotle, Cracked Pepper, Curry and Smoked Portobello. Barry even smokes the portobello mushrooms on his Traeger Grill!
Barry has been selling the pasta at various markets around the area and is expanding to even more locations. He sources most of his raw materials for his pasta from growers and manufacturers around the area. The flour comes from Bob's Red Mill in Milwaukee, and whatever is fresh around the area makes its way into the product, including tomatoes, basil and rosemary. One thing that is in the pipeline for a future pasta product is based on a collaboration with Red Barn Hemp. They have done a few tests with CBD infused pasta and it has been wonderful.
For the holiday season Barry is working with the farm to offer gift boxes that would include pasta, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and Wooden Shoe Vineyards wine! Check out their website or drop them a line for more details. We have had this pasta many times and it is wonderful. Pick up some for dinner and help support a local business!