Judy Alleruzzo


 Episode 85
May 10, 2008



William McClenathan

It is spring and that means we have color galore.  The Mother’s day weekend has a ton of stuff happening every year and this year is no exception.  The lilacs, rhododendrons, and even late tulips are all still in bloom.  Get out and enjoy the color while it is still popping.

This week we featured...

VaVaVa Bloom

Flowers are the fashion this spring!  That is the theme for the VaVaVa Bloom event happening this weekend at the Bridgeport Village in Tigard right off of I-5.  This is the 2nd annual event and they have a bunch of stuff planned for the gardener.  Spring brings a lot of questions to the gardener.  Well, you can get your questions answered by William and Judy; they will be there from 10-1 on Saturday.  Also, there will be a fashion show at 1:30.  If you are looking for ideas to use in your garden, there will be experts from 7 different garden designers at the Village to answer your questions as well.  Many of the merchants will be offering Mother’s Day specials as well, so stop on by. 

Planting Tomatoes

Now is the time to plant your tomatoes and there are a few things you can do to ensure a bountiful fall crop. One thing you can do is to plant your tomato deep! Tomatoes will grow roots along their main stem as long as you leave a portion of the leaves above ground. Also, by adding a small amount of garden lime to the soil you can avoid ‘blossom end rot’, a condition that causes a brown spot at the end of your tomato.  It is still a little early so you may want to protect your new plants with a cover, like a cloche, or use a product like a Wall-o-Water.  Don’t forget to set your tomato cages up as well.  Use a couple of these tips now and you will have a great harvest this fall.


Overseeding Your Lawn

If you lawn is looking a little thin, now is a good time to overseed.  A recent USA Today survey found that 64% of us think that our neighbors’ lawn looks better than our own.  You can turn that around by using these tips from Micha at JB Instant Lawn and Nursery (800-527-1439).  First, treat for moss and weeds in your lawn.  Then use a de-thatcher to clean-up the dead moss and weeds.  Then use a quality seed that is right for your conditions.  The sun varieties will have a combination of rye grasses; the shade selections will contain a mix of rye and fescue.  Make sure the weed content is close to zero (you don’t want new weeds when overseed).  Then cover with peat moss or a good garden compost to ¼ inch depth, we used a compost delivered by Grimm’s fuel.   You then have to keep the seed moist and don’t let it dry out.  A fine mist of water a couple of time a day for about a week should do it.  You should start to see germination in about 7 days.  Don’t mow until the new grass gets a couple of inches long.

The Hulda Klager Lilac Festival '08

We took the short trip up I-5 to Woodland, Washington to check out the lilacs at the Hulda Klager Lilac Festival (360-225-8996).  The 2008 Lilac Festival has been extended this year due to the cold wet spring we have had.  The good news is that the lilacs will hit their peak this weekend.  It is a great time to see some of the different varieties and what they might look like in your yard.  Ruth showed us the following varieties; ‘Agincourt Beauty’, ‘Krasavitsa Moskvy’, ‘Wedgewood Blue’, ‘Congo’, ‘Dappled Dawn’, and the spectacular ’lacianata’ or split-leaf lilac.  Hulda hybridized many lilacs and became known as the ‘Lilac Lady’ in the Woodland area.  She opened her garden to the public for an open house in the spring during the 20’s.  She passed away in 1960.  The Hulda Klager Lilac Society now runs the garden and opens it every year for this festival.  They charge a small $2 fee during the festival.  That, and the proceeds from the gift shop, keeps this garden going all year long.  Take the time and visit it when you get a chance, it is spectacular!

Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden

We went to see the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden for their big Portland Rhododendron Show and Plant Sale that happens every year on Mother’s Day weekend.  Dick Cavender talked to Judy about the events happening at the garden this weekend.  He also covered some care issues dealing with rhodies and walked us through the details on pruning your rhododendrons.  The garden is maintained by volunteers and the plant sale that the Rhododendron Society is conducting helps to raise funds for the garden.  For more information check out the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden website, or call 503-771-8386.

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