November 14, 2015

Burning Poinsettias for Display

Our Tip of the Week this week is about preserving your cut and broken stems of poinsettias. Last year we broke off a couple of stems of poinsettias when we were transplanting them and we found a tip on-line that told us to burn the broken/cut end of the stem. This effectively seals the end of the stem and preserves the flower. After you seal it you can place it in a vase with water and it will last a long time We were able to have ours on display for a couple of weeks. It’s a great way to save those broken stems and still use them to decorate your home.

October 3, 2015

Coffee Grounds for Plants

If you are looking for a simple way to help give your acid loving plants a boost, look no further than your coffee maker. Rhododendrons, azaleas and blueberries all like a slightly acidic soil to grow and prosper. By simply using your used coffee grounds lightly around the base of your plants about once a month, you will help them get the pH conditions they love and make them a happier, healthier plant in your landscape.


September 5, 2015, 2015

Measuring Tools

Our tip of the week is about making your tools do double duty. When you buy a plant or plant seeds a lot of the tags will tell you to keep the new plants separated by a distance to make sure they have room to grow. Most of us don’t carry around a measuring tape to make sure we keep those distances, so why not make your long handled tools be the measuring tape? Simply make marks on your handle at 6 inches intervals and then all you have to do is lay your tool down to measure the distance and you can plant without worries!

August 29, 2015

Veggie Water for Plants

Our tip for this week is about water and containers! We recently steamed some vegetables for dinner and when we were through we decided to share the leftover water with our thirsty container plants. We let the water cool down and then poured it on our plants. This water contains some of the nutrients from our steamed vegetables and helps keep our container plants happy and healthy.


August 8, 2015

Pear Ripening

Bringing fruit into the backyard garden is something we are all trying to do and with the abundance of small and dwarf varieties it is easier than ever. But with some fruit, like pears, it is hard to know when to pick the fruit. This week we gave you a few tips on ripening pears that we picked up from a flyer we got from the OSU Extension Service. Look for a slight tenderness at the top of the pear where the stem is located. If there is a little ‘give’ pick the pear and then store it in your refrigerator (the time in the refrigerator depends on the variety of pear). Pears tend to ripen from the inside out and this will help even out the overall ripening of the fruit. If you follow a few simple rules you can have a sweet luscious pear that won’t be mealy or gritty!


August 1, 2015

Pool Plants

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 18, 2015

Little Baja Tree Watering

Our tip of the week is from our friends at Little Baja (503-236-8834). Little Baja are the experts in containers. They sell terra cotta, concrete and glazed containers for the home gardener. One of the biggest questions they get this time of year is how do I keep my plants from dying. Wayne told us that the problem is water. When a tree or large shrub is in a container they are reliant on you to keep then watered. They cannot pull water from an extensive root system in the ground. Plus, when you water them, they need LOTS of water. A little bit on the top won’t make it to the roots. You have to give a large tree about 1-2 gallons of water every day during the heat of summer. This is especially true if you have a tender tree like a maple. An evergreen tree with needles will dry out slower and can make it by if you miss a day, but a maple if left alone can be damaged permanently.

Also, it does make a difference on the type of container you use in the garden. Concrete and glazed pots help to seal in the moisture, but a terra cotta pot breathes. That is what makes them so great for your plants (they stay healthier in Terra Cotta), but that also means that they can lose moisture faster too. The key is to pay attention and make sure your plants stay well hydrated. If you have any other questions about pottery, or statuary, stop by and ask our friends at Little Baja.

July 4, 2015

TOW – July 4th Prep

Our tip of the week is about getting your home and garden ready for the fireworks of the 4th of July. The days leading up to the event you should clean all the dried leaves and debris from your roof and gutters so there is nothing to catch on fire if a stray firework makes it up to your roof. The afternoon of the 4th you should water your yard and garden for the same reason. The additional moisture will help prevent fires from flaring up. If you have acreage or a larger lot, make sure that you create a ‘defensible’ area around your home in case of wildfire. Check out the FEMA website for more helpful information.

June 20, 2015

Pinching Basil

For our tip of the week we had a simple one for you. This one is all about extending your harvest of your basil well into the season. If your basil is starting to get a flower stem you need to pinch it off. This will promote new leaf growth which is what you use for your pestos and salads. It will also give you a stronger and healthier plant and extend your harvest season.


June 6, 2015

June Drop

If you are new to growing fruit you may have noticed that your fruit trees are dropping a bunch of small fruit right now. This is called ‘June Drop’ and it is normal. At this time of year the immature fruit on the trees is dropped by the plant to make room for the fully pollinated fruit. It is the plant concentrating the energy into viable fruit. You may also notice a drop later in the season as the plant once again drops fruit to make more room before the harvest. In fact, if the plant doesn’t do it, you may want to thin out the fruit later in the season. Keep your fruit clusters to 2 or less. This will give you bigger, healthier fruit.

May 30, 2015

Deadheading Iris

The irises are finally blooming and as the first blooms fade you can freshen them up with a little pruning. Just take your pruners and cut off the dead blooms as they get old. Just be careful to not cut off the new blooms that are usually lower on the stem. These blooms will mature and give you great color for weeks to come. If the foliage is looking a little tattered you can cut that back as well. Just remember to leave as much green foliage as possible. This green foliage will feed the roots and result in more blooms next year! If you would like to see some great iris, the Schreiner’s Iris Gardens (1-800-525-2367) are still open this weekend for their final big weekend! Stop by and check out the great color.

May 23, 2015

Using a Sprayer Safely

In the late spring and early summer people start to pull out their sprayers. Whether they are applying weed control, moss control or other chemicals we thought it would great to give people a reminder about sprayer safety. These are good tips to follow even if you are applying an organic spray. First make sure that there is little or no wind. You don’t want drift from your sprayer to get into different areas than where you want it to go. Also, make sure that the temperature is not too hot or too cold. Most chemicals, either organic or synthetic, are most effective in warm weather. Of course you will always want to read the label for application to make sure that you are applying it correctly. When you are applying the product you should walk backwards so you don’t spread the spray on your shoes to other areas in your garden.
As far as attire, you should wear long pants, long sleeves and closed toed shoes. Eye protection, gloves and a mouth cover or respirator round out your clothing choices. Follow these simple rules and you can be sure that the spray will end up right where you want it!

May 16, 2015


People often wonder how they can prune their conifers. It can be hard if your trees and shrubs get away from you and get too big. There is one way you can keep them in check! It is called candling. When your conifer starts showing new growth, those are called candles. You can regulate the growth of your conifers by removing some or all of these candles. It is a great way to avoid unnecessary pruning as your plants get older.


May 9, 2015

Raised Bed Cat Deterrent

We have a great way to exclude cats from your raised beds. One way is to buy bird netting and stretch it over the bed. However, you have to pay attention to when the plants start to grow, because if they get too big, you will tear them up as you take off the netting. So we have another way that's a little bit easier. You just need some push-pins and some kind of line. Put the pins in at intervals on the wood, and stretch it across in a zigzag. You can also use fishing line, which can be reused year after year. Once the plants are big enough that the cats won't bother them, you can remove the line.

May 2, 2015

Double Gloves

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 rubber 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.

April 25, 2015

Tip of the Week - Evergreen Fertilizing

If you have wandered through the tree and shrub section of your garden center you may have noticed that they all have fertilizer in their pots. That reminded us that now is a good time to do the same at your home. Put down a good tree and shrub fertilizer and work it in around the drip-line of the plant. That is the area below the outside edge of the plant. The rain drips from the end of these branches on to the fertilizer and helps it dissolve into the soil.

April 18, 2015

Plant Tag Ring

Our tip of the week is all about memory! If you are like us you have planted wonderful plants in your garden and then forgot what they were. Or, you may have planted the tag at the base of the plant, or put it in an file or envelope on your desk only to lose them when you move things around. This tip tells us to simply punch a hole in the tag with a hole-punch and then string the tag on a wire or string. Then you can hang it up in your garden shed or garage and always have the plant picture, growing instructions and other information at your fingertips! No more trying to remember every plant in your garden!

April 11, 2015

Double Season Seeds

Our tip of the week involves seeds. You can pick up a cool season crop seed right now and start your garden early. Cool season 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.

April 4, 2015

Spring Wasp Prevention

It may seem weird that we are putting out traps for wasps and yellow jackets in the spring, but next to the late summer this is the best time to use them. Our friends at Rescue (they make those cool yellow Wasp, Hornet, and Yellow Jacket traps) told us why it is a good time to put them out now. In the early spring the queens emerge from their winter hibernation and look for places to make their nests for the new season. If you get them now they won’t be around to create a nest of nasty pests to ruin your summer fun. Take down your old traps, clean and refresh them with the pheromone attractant packets available at most of your local garden centers. To make your hunting more effective, place a couple of traps around the perimeter of your yard and garden.

March 7, 2015

Floating Hellebore Blooms

In the late winter leading up to spring it is hard to enjoy the colors of your outdoor plants. To help you enjoy them, bring them indoors. Winter blooming plants like hellebores are even more difficult to enjoy because the flowers sometime face down to the ground. One way to enjoy them is to cut the blooms and float them in a bowl of water. This way the blooms are facing upwards and, because they are in water, you can enjoy their beauty for a week or two.

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