Welcome back to Garden Time! We are so happy to be back for season 3, bringing you the newest plants, videos, tools and tips to help make you a successful gardener (and have fun doing it). We have become the #1 garden show in the Pacific Northwest and people all through Oregon and Washington are the reason why! We have a ton of new stories ready for you this season. Are you ready to garden!?
This week we featured...
Portland Nursery Small Fruits
Adding fruits to your garden gets easier every year. We stopped by Portland Nursery on Stark Street (503-231-5050) to see some of the different varieties they have in stock. Ken, the assistant manager walked Judy through some of the plants. First we saw some grapes. When choosing a grape you need to remember that they are a vine and will need a little bit of room to grow. You will also have to figure out whether you want a table or a wine grape. Grapes should also be cut back pretty far this time of year. If it is warm you may notice that the cuts will ‘bleed’. Don’t worry, this is a natural thing and they will stop after a while. Next we talked about blueberries and the new dwarf varieties that are now available. Blueberries love acidic soils so they may not be a good choice around other fruits. They will be right at home around azaleas and rhodies, and other acid lovers. These shorter varieties also make great landscape plants. Other plants you can consider are strawberries, kiwi, olives, and Pawpaw’s. Check out the selection at your local independent garden center.
Spring Rose Pruning
If you follow the traditional rules, your roses should have been pruned a couple of weeks ago, but with roses you can break a few rules. We went to the experts at Heirloom Roses (503-538-1576) to see how they tackle the chore of pruning. Louise Clements was out in the fields pruning away some of the old winter canes and prepping the plants for a full season of bloom. Roses are very forgiving, but we tend to treat them gingerly when it comes time to cut them back. Louise showed us the tools she uses and then showed us how to cut them back and even how to remove some of the older canes to promote that new growth. Of course now is also a good time to get new plants in the ground. If you have any rose questions you can call Heirloom, or better yet, sign up for one of the Saturday Academies where you can learn in a ‘hands-on’ setting.
Espalier Fruit Trees
Sometimes finding small trees for small spaces can be very difficult, but one of the recent trends in fruit trees features smaller trees with multiple varieties on one trunk. We saw William and Judy show us how easy it is to trellis or espalier a small pear tree on a wire between a couple of posts. By training a tree on a fence, wall or posts, you gain the benefit of the fruit production without the tree taking over your garden. Another way of growing fresh fruit is to try a columnar apple tree. These are trees that are a single trunk or shoot that produces apples without branching. Check your local garden center to see the many different varieties of dwarf fruiting trees.
Starting Seeds Indoors
Now is the time to start some of your seeds indoors in anticipation of the coming spring and summer. Judy was joined by Sue Berg of New Dimension Seeds to show you how to plant your seeds and what types you can plant now to get a head start on the season. The basic rules for success include starting with a quality soil and fresh seeds. Sue also mentioned that you may want to remember the size of the pot that you use. She moves and thins her small plant seedlings to bigger pots to give them the best start before they go in her garden. Check out your local garden center for a great selection of seeds. For a copy of Sue's tips on planting seeds, click here.
KinderGarden – Easter Grass
There is nothing like ‘REAL’ grass in your Easter basket. In this Kindergarden segment we saw how easy it is to grow grass for your Easter (or spring) baskets. All you need is weed fabric, potting soil, any type of grass seed (rye grass works well), and water. First you line the basket with the fabric. Remember the fabric will allow the water to drain so make sure it is a basket that can get wet. Next put in the potting soil and keep it an inch or so below the edge of the basket. Then sprinkle grass seed in the soil. Don’t go too light on the seed; you want it to be really full looking! Mix the seed into the soil and water lightly. The seed should start growing in a week to 10 days. Keep the soil moist until the seed germinates and it will be ready by Easter morning!
Early Spring Spraying
If you have fruit trees now is the last time you can dormant spray before the end of winter. Dormant spraying will help control insects and diseases during the coming growing season. William and Judy showed you the two main types of sprays you can use. William had Lime-Sulfur spray. This spray is made for fruits that have seeds. It also has a special oil in it that will help smother the eggs of some of the harmful pests. Judy used a liquid copper spray. This is used for fruits that have pits. Both of these sprays are safe for the environment once they are applied, but you should always use protective gear like gloves, a mask and eye protection when applying them. Remember to make sure that you don’t apply them after the buds start to open, that will smother the flowers and harm the bees that are pollinating your flowers. If you have any questions about spraying and what to use you can contact your local garden center.