Gardening Tips

Bucket trapBy Denise Ruttan
Trap to monitor for the invasive Asian vinegar fly known as spotted wing Drosophila. Photo by Amy Dreves
As backyard fruit ripens, it's time for gardeners to trap spotted wing drosophila. A new, easy-to-make trap design, based on recent research, will help gardeners monitor the invasive vinegar fly's presence in their backyards.
The tiny spotted wing drosophila resembles other small fruit flies but is distinctive for its yellowish-brown body, red eyes and dark unbroken bands encircling its abdomen.

Bucket trapBy Denise Ruttan
Trap to monitor for the invasive Asian vinegar fly known as spotted wing Drosophila. Photo by Amy Dreves
As backyard fruit ripens, it's time for gardeners to trap spotted wing drosophila. A new, easy-to-make trap design, based on recent research, will help gardeners monitor the invasive vinegar fly's presence in their backyards.
The tiny spotted wing drosophila resembles other small fruit flies but is distinctive for its yellowish-brown body, red eyes and dark unbroken bands encircling its abdomen.

Canada thistleBy Carol Savonen
Weed seeds can survive in the soil for years before they germinate and grow, according to Jed Colquhoun, weed specialist with the Oregon State University Extension Service.
Why should home gardeners care?
"If you combine the longevity of seeds in the soil with the fact that weeds such as common lambsquarters can produce over 500,000 seeds per plant, the incentive to hand weed your garden becomes much greater," said Colquhoun.

Pile of wood chipsBy Denise Ruttan
Many people enjoy traditional grass lawns. But others are thinking of getting rid of grass and choosing low-maintenance landscaping for their yards.
One option involves spreading mulch over ground you don't intend to plant.

CrabgrassBy Denise Ruttan
Crab grass is a common summer annual weed that disturbs Oregon vegetable gardens. Photo by Ed Peachey.
Vegetable gardeners declare war on weeds every summer.        
Knowing more about weeds can give gardeners a leg up in the fight, said Ed Peachey, a weed specialist for the Oregon State University Extension Service.

Enrich soil and recycle waste

worm castingsBy Judy Scott
Table scraps plus wiggly worms equal vermicompost. Photo by Michael Noack and Sally Noack
Although compost worm bins and their "red wiggly" worms are known for their ability to turn worm castings into rich compost, in the process they also recycle food waste otherwise destined for the landfill.

Purple tomatoBy Judy Scott
Photo by Tiffany Woods. Indigo Rose, a truly purple tomato, from OSU's program to breed for high levels of antioxidants.
The "Indigo Rose" tomato is the first "really" purple variety to come from a program at Oregon State University that is seeking to breed tomatoes with high levels of antioxidants.

Fava beansBy Denise Ruttan
Photo by Chris LaBelle. Nitrogen-rich fava beans make a great cover crop to help build the health and structure of garden soils during the winter.
Think cover crops are just for farmers?
Gardeners can also make use of these inexpensive soil protectors, according to Daniel McGrath, a vegetable crops specialist for the Oregon State University Extension Service.

Tree rustBy Denise Ruttan
Photo by Jay Pscheidt. An orange-colored rust known as Gymnosporangium libocedri infects a serviceberry plant. The fungus can devastate fruit and cedar trees in gardens in which incense cedar trees are planted close to orchards.

By Judy Scott
Buckwheat fieldPhoto by Alex Stone, OSU
Farmers and home gardeners are finding buckwheat to be a good "green manure.

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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.