Gardening Tips

Flowering currantBy Denise Ruttan
If you don't have much space to plant shrubs, you'll want to keep an eye out for Oregon Snowflake, a new flowering currant developed by Oregon State University that is smaller than other currants.   
This low-growing shrub is the first cultivar to come out of OSU's new ornamental plant breeding program, according to Ryan Contreras, a plant breeder and assistant professor in OSU's Department of Horticulture.

HoneybeeBy Denise Ruttan
Consider adding some flower power to your landscape to bring in the buzz of pollinators to your garden.  
"Floral abundance is one of the strongest ways to promote bee diversity in gardens," said Gail Langellotto, the statewide coordinator for the Oregon State University Extension Service's Master Gardener program.

Big pumpkinBy Denise Ruttan
Halloween may be months away but if you are hoping to grow monster pumpkins, now is the time to start planting.
The world record monster pumpkin of 2013 weighed in at 2,032 pounds, according to the New York Botanical Garden.

BlueberriesBy Denise Ruttan
Plant blueberries now for a great crop of sweet, healthful fruit in the future.
Three categories of blueberry plants are best-suited for Oregon climates: Northern highbush varieties, rabbiteye varieties and half-high varieties, according to Bernadine Strik, a berry specialist with the Oregon State University Extension Service.

Pear fungusBy Denise Ruttan
As the blossoms fade in your apple and pear trees this spring, keep an eye out for a fungus that flourishes in warm, wet weather, cautions the Oregon State University Extension Service.
"The longer this spring stays wet and the warmer it gets, there are more chances that we'll see problems with apple and pear scab in our fruit-growing areas such as the Willamette Valley,

Vege startsBy Denise Ruttan
When the first daffodils bloom to let us know that spring is around the corner, it is time to start vegetable seeds indoors or in the greenhouse.
It's best to start cool-season crops such as lettuce, cabbage, kale and chard in late February to early March in western Oregon, said Weston Miller, a horticulturist with the Oregon State University Extension Service.

OSU tomatoesBy Denise Ruttan
As you pore over seed catalogs in these cold winter months, you'll likely include tomatoes in your vegetable garden dreams.
Oregon State University's vegetable breeding program has developed several varieties over the past 40 years that are now mainstays in many Pacific Northwest gardens.

BlackberriesBy Denise Ruttan
When you're planning this year's garden, don't overlook one of the unsung heroes of the fruit world – the blackberry.
"Many people don't want to plant blackberries in their yard because they think it's an invasive weed," said Bernadine Strik, a berry crops specialist with the Oregon State University Extension Service. “But they're actually thinking of the Himalaya blackberry,

Mummy berriesBy Denise Ruttan
Watch your blueberries this spring for a type of fungus that has zombie-like qualities.
A fungus called Monilina vaccinii-corymbosi can infect blueberry fruit with a disease called mummy berry. Fruit falls on the ground and withers into shriveled-up berries that seem deceased.

Winter plantsBy Denise Ruttan
When you think ornamentals, flowers may immediately come to mind. But consider shrubs with vibrant leaves to add interest to your landscape all year.
"Always look for different textures," said Barb Fick, horticulturist with the Oregon State University Extension Service.

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McKenzie River Reflections is the weekly newspaper serving Oregon's McKenzie River Valley. Available by mail for $23/yr in Lane County, $29/yr outside Lane. Digital subscriptions are $23/yr. Subscribe at: http://mckenzieriverreflectionsnewspaper.com/catalog/subscriptions-0. Purchase copies online at: http://mckenzieriverreflectionsnewspaper.com/catalog/back-issues-0. Read about area communities including Cedar Flat, Walterville, Camp Creek, Leaburg, Vida, Nimrod, Finn Rock, Blue River, Rainbow and McKenzie Bridge.