Gardening Tips

By Denise Ruttan
The Arctic blast that recently chilled much of Oregon might make you worried about your plants.
Ross Penhallegon, a horticulturist with the Oregon State University Extension Service, advises several ways to protect your landscape from frigid conditions.

Fruit treesThe OSU Extension Service and the Lane Small Business Development Center are partnering to offer a class in Eugene titled All about Fruit Trees.   
The Willamette Valley is a great place to grow tree fruits, but some fruit trees are more difficult to grow than others.

Maple and hedgeAs the fall colors begin to fade across Oregon cities, this is a good time for homeowners to pay some attention to the trees in their yards.  Collectively, the trees around us make up the urban forest - a place where 68 percent of all Oregonians live.

By Denise Ruttan
TomatillosIf the thought of green chile salsa makes your mouth water, consider designing a salsa garden for next summer.
Kimberly Culbertson, who volunteers in dual roles as a Master Gardener and Master Food Preserver trained by the Oregon State University Extension Service, dishes up suggestions for a garden blueprint starring short-season tomatoes, peppers and tomatillos. The three are cousins in the same family.

Mountain mahoganyBy Denise Ruttan
On your next hike, instead of puzzling over the name of that large upright shrub with tiny white flowers and small red fruits, reach for the new field guide "Shrubs to Know in Pacific Northwest Forests" to quickly identify it as the native red elderberry.

FlowerboxBy Denise Ruttan

It is good to cultivate a container of fresh herbs indoors in the fall. Picture this: You take garden potatoes from storage, lay them in a roasting pan and dab them with olive oil.

DaffodilBy Denise Ruttan
Photo by Betsy Hartley. Daffodils bloom in early spring.
Daffodils are one of the first flowers to bloom in the early spring.
Fall is a good time to plant shrubs and trees that will cheer up western Oregon's often gloomy winter days.
"Fall is often a better time of year to plant trees and shrubs because the soil is still warm and plantings can get their roots established," said Barb Fick, a horticulturist with the Oregon State University Extension Service.

HoneybeeBy Daniel Robison
Photo by Lynn Ketchum
Sensor data will eventually inform the design of horticultural landscapes that attract bumblebees to crops that depend on pollination to produce fruits and vegetables.

Oregon State University will design miniature wireless sensors to attach to bumblebees that will provide real-time data on their intriguing behavior.
Many aspects of bumblebees' daily conduct are unknown because of their small size, rapid flight speeds, and hidden underground nests.

Purple grapeBy Judy Scott
If you're looking for a colorful climbing vine and a non-invasive ground cover, Purpurea (Vitis vinifera), a purple-leaf relative of wine grapes, has both. Unlike its agricultural relatives, its fruit has an unpleasant taste.
"Purple leaf grape is a real show-off in the fall, when its leaves turn a deep reddish purple," said Linda McMahan, horticulturist with Oregon State University Extension.

Winter vegetablesBy Denise Ruttan
Not ready to hang up your gloves and spade just yet?
The fearless gardener still has a chance to plant some cold-hardy vegetables to harvest next spring, said Jim Myers, plant breeder and researcher at Oregon State University. But don't dawdle.

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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.