November 15
, 2008

The number one question that Bauman Farms receives this time of year is ‘How can I tell when my squash is ripe?’   Brian Bauman from Bauman Farms (503-792-3524) joined us to share the answer for our ‘tip of the week’.  There are 2 things you should look for if you are wonder if your gourd is ripe.  First, look to see if the foliage is dying back.  If the foliage is brown and crispy, then check the spot where the squash is in contact with the ground.  The spot should not be white.  If it has changed color to a cream or orange color then it is ready to harvest.

November 8
, 2008

We always get questions this time of year about the mushrooms in lawns. Are they dangerous? William talked about the conditions that cause the mushrooms. They are caused by decomposing matter in your yard and that there is no way to remove the mushrooms from a lawn. They will continue to occur where organic matter exists. To be on the safe side they should be removed if you have small children or pets, they could be poisonous. If you don’t have pets or small children, you can choose to let them be and enjoy nature at work!

September 27, 2008

A few minutes now will lead to a flavorful future. Judy gave us tips for planting garlic for the fall. Planting now will allow the bulbs to create the roots that will make for a bountiful harvest next fall. First dig a trench about 4 inches deep. Get some garlic from your local garden store. Don’t use the garlic from your local grocery store; it is treated to keep from sprouting. Break apart the cloves and plant the individual parts about 3-4 inches apart. Top dress with a bulb food and water well. Garlic is one of the easiest bulbs to grow, so this could be the start of a successful garden for next year.

August 2, 2008

With the warm days of the late summer the mosquito population can become unbearable.  One way to help control these flying pests is to eliminate the standing water in your yard.  If you have anything in your garden where water is allowed to set, mosquitoes will lay their eggs.  Our tip for this week is to add a mosquito dunk to the water.  The dunks contain Bacillus thuringiensis, which kills the larvae before they hatch into adults.  Because it is a bacterium that targets the larvae it is safe to plants, fish, people or wildlife.  Another tip, if the water is moving, like in a fountain or bubbler, they can’t land to lay their eggs so the dunk is not necessary.

July 26, 2008

The heat makes us all thirsty! Our garden tip of the week helps quench the thirst of your hanging baskets and small container gardens. We found a small ‘kiddie’ pool, filled it ˝ full of water and set our driest plants in the water. During those days that have excessive heat, the plants really like the extra water and we don’t have to worry about constant watering. There are a couple of precautions you have to follow. Don’t leave them in there for more than a day or two; they can get too much of a good thing and that may create mold, fungus or disease problems. And don’t over fill the pool. Allowing the plant to take what it needs from the pool is good, drowning it is not!

July 19, 2008

By now most of your roses have seen their first flush of blooms. That means it is time to give them a haircut! By pruning your roses now you will ensure a quicker and more prolific second bloom. Christine Williams from Heirloom Roses (503-538-1576) gave us some pointers for getting the job done. After the rose has finished blooming, follow the stem down past the second 5-leaf set. At the base of that set, make a 45 degree cut. This will force the plant to send up a new flower stalk and within 6-8 weeks you should have second flush of blooms. At that time you can choose to make the cut again and see if you get a THIRD flush. If you have any questions, feel free to call or visit Heirloom Roses for more tips.

June 21, 2008

With the recent hot weather your bird bath may be starting to attract more wildlife than birds. Bacteria and algae may be starting to build up and that can cause health problems for the local bird populations. Judy walked us through the steps for keeping your bird bath nice and clean. It starts with a good scrubbing with a 10-1, water to bleach, solution. Once you have scrubbed out the bird bath, rinse it a couple of times to remove all the bleach, and then add about a teaspoon of ProTec water treatment. That will keep it nice and clean and your local birds healthy!

June 14, 2008

If you grow peonies in your garden you probably have seen the ants that accompany them. Ants are attracted to the sugary sap that forms on the buds. Even though they make great cut flowers, you may be hesitant to bring a bouquet inside your home because of these little critters. The problem is easily solved by washing them in a bucket of water. Just swish the blooms in the water for a couple of seconds and then take them inside and enjoy the wonderful color for a week or more! For more peony tips check with the experts at Adelmans.

June 7, 2008

A painful blister on the hand of Producer Jeff brings us the tip of the week.  If you ever get blisters from working with your garden tools you may want to try this tip.  We recommend that you wear double gloves when you are working.  First put on a pair of latex surgical gloves and then put your garden gloves over the top.  The friction that causes the blister between your glove and your skin now happens between the 2 sets of gloves.  This will prevent blisters and will make your gardening much less painful.

May 24, 2008

Our tip of the week is one designed to keep you healthy.  When you are mixing any garden product or chemical always use a separate set of measuring spoons.  No matter how hard you wash a set, it may contain residue.  Keep that separate set around and mark it well.  It is better to be safe than sorry.

May 10, 2008

Now is the time to deadhead your early spring blooming plants.  By removing the seed heads, you are telling the plant to send the energy to the bulb or tuber to make it stronger for next years bloom.  Don’t cut back the foliage yet! That part of the plant is putting the ‘gas’ in next years engine.  When the foliage dies back in a couple of weeks you can just pick it up and clean up your garden bed then.

April 12, 2008

Our tip of the week involves seeds. You can pick up a cole crop seed right now and start your garden early. Cole crops include vegetables like lettuce, radishes, peas, kale and cabbage. Then in August you can plant these same crops again and enjoy a second harvest because they can handle the cooler temperatures of late fall.

March 29, 2008

We all respond to a friendly touch.  Your plants will do the same.  We go this week’s tip from Fran at Stepables.  She rubs her ground covers every spring!  This helps remove the old dead parts of the plants and the stimulation triggers the plant to start new growth.  Her plants bounce back sooner and are healthier during the growing season.  It also helps her check out the plants to see if they are doing well and whether she needs to replace them.  Get out and get in touch with your garden!

March 22, 2008

Getting rid of weeds is tough.  It becomes nearly impossible when that weed appears entwined inside one of your favorite plants.  How can you get rid of the pest without damaging your favorite plant?  Our tip takes care of the problem.  We use a paint brush to brush the weed control directly on the weed with out touching the plant.  It is pin-point application without waste and worry.  Remember to use gloves and follow all label instructions.

March 15, 2008

Our tip of the week takes us back to Gartner’s Meats.  Jerry Yost reminded us to tune-up our grills and outdoor cooking equipment for the coming season.  Check your burners and grill for rust and weakness.  If you have a gas grill you also want to check on the gas lines for weakness and make sure your tank is ready for the first cookout of the season.  You want to make sure that everything is in order so you don’t end up with ‘marinade’ on your face when your guests are there!

We also saw a selection of some of the great meats you can try on your grill (or even in your oven).  Remember to try something different on your grill this year and impress your guests.  If you have questions you can always get great instructions and helpful tips from the experts at Gartner’s.

March 8, 2008

As pesticides and herbicides get older they tend to lose their effectiveness.  The spring is a good time to check your garden chemicals to make sure they are not too old.  It is also a good time to review their safe use.  If you buy a new chemical product, use a marker to date it so you can easily see when you bought it.  If you need to dispose of an old bottle, check with your local garbage hauler to learn how to dispose of it safely.

March 1, 2008

With all the rain, cold and wind your plants could get pretty beat up.  But before you grab your pruners take a moment and look for new growth.  A lot of plants will look like they are goners and then they start sending up new shoots and buds.  So before you start cutting make sure your plants need it.

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