Gardening Tips

For mole control, go underground

By Denise Ruttan

Mole emergingHave moles or gophers attacked your yard or garden? Maybe you sympathize with Bill Murray’s travails in the movie, "Caddyshack."
But Chip Bubl, a horticulturist with the OSU Extension Service, has a soft spot for moles.
"I've caught a few moles by the tail [with traps]," Bubl said. "Because I admire them, I put them in a bucket and take them to a canyon area on my property and release them."
Moles leave a trail of destruction in the Willamette Valley, the coast and the St. Helens area where Bubl lives. But how much do you really know about them?

Oregon tree names keep people guessing

By Judy Scott

Douglas fir coneDouglas-fir cones have pitchfork-shaped bracts that are longer than the scales.

Many people are aware that despite its name, Douglas-fir is not a true fir. It's also not a pine, not a spruce and not a hemlock. Outside of the United States, it is often called Oregon pine, also a misnomer.
What is a Douglas-fir, then?
It's a unique species, in a class by itself, according to the newly revised Oregon State University publication, "Understanding Names of Oregon Trees," (EC 1502).

 

No space for vegetables?

Try vertical gardening.

By Denise Ruttan
Hankering for fresh tomatoes this summer but don’t have space for a vegetable garden?
Save room by training your veggies to grow up. Literally.  

Leaves in compostBy Denise Ruttan

Photo by Tamara Hill-Tanquist
Leaves are one material that can be used in the "brown layer" of a lasagna garden.

Unlike its name suggests, "lasagna gardening" is not about pasta.
Also known as sheet mulching, it's a no-till, no-dig gardening method that turns materials like kitchen waste, straw and newspapers into rich, healthy compost.

 

Asparagus berriesBy Judy Scott
Growing asparagus requires patience – from planting to harvest takes two to three years, but the wait is well worth the reward.
Homegrown asparagus is one of the earliest vegetables of the spring. Its quality is much better than store-bought spears, and it is less expensive. Once established, it is easy to grow and in a well-prepared garden patch can last for decades.

Compost in a wheelbarrowCompost pile from student organic club
Photo credit: Tiffany Woods

Q: What process is used in the winter to enable composting to continue outside and in very low temperatures, some below freezing?
- Josephine County, Oregon

 

By Denise Ruttan

Growing hops at OSU

Photo by Lynn Ketchum
Oregon State University's hops breeder, Shaun Townsend, prepares hops for drying at OSU's hop yard in Corvallis.

With craft beer and home brewing becoming more popular, interest is fermenting among gardeners in backyard hops.
Oregon State University's hops breeder, Shaun Townsend, said he regularly fields questions from the public about growing hops. He also teaches workshops on "hops growing 101" to prospective hops farmers and gardeners.

 

By Denise Ruttan

A greenhouse in NewportJudie Rickus' greenhouse in Newport. (Photo by Judie Rickus)

Do Oregon's short, dark winter days have you dreaming of the sunshine of exotic lands? Jazz up your windowsill with glamorous orchids.

 

 

By Denise Ruttan

Rain gardenPhoto by Derek Godwin
Rain gardens feature hardy, drought-resistant plants in a landscaping design with a purpose.
Oregon's winters are a good time to observe how water flows on your property so you can later create a rain garden.

Snow & Woody Plants

 

Trees broken by snow"Snow is both friend and foe to trees and shrubs," says Tchukki Andersen, staff arborist with the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA). "Snow causes its share of damage, as we all know, but in many cases it also protects plants and their roots against extreme fluctuations in temperature that could damage or even kill them."

Pages

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.