Gardening Tips

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.

Raised gardenBy Melinda Myers
Didn’t get enough gardening in this season? Don’t worry there is still time to grow garden-fresh vegetables and herbs this fall and winter.

SlugBy Denise Rutan
Stymied by slugs that can plod through your chard and cabbage, leaving a slimy trail of destruction?
Put away that salt shaker, advises Robin Rosetta, an entomologist for the Oregon State University Extension Service. Table salt can build up in the soil over time and damage plants.

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.

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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.