Gardening Tips

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."

By Denise Ruttan
PoinsettiasPoinsettias make popular holiday gifts. When you bring one indoors, keep a consistent temperature for the heat-loving plant. (Photo by Hannah O'Leary.)

A traditional holiday centerpiece, bright poinsettias bring cheer to many homes in the short, dark days of winter.
But should you put the south-of-the-border plant in the ground after the holidays?

 

Interior tree decayTree failure is a major cause of residential property damage, as well as the leading cause of power outages nationwide. An ice storm can overload all the branches on a tree, a hurricane or high wind can blow down a tree if its roots are compromised, or a cracked tree can fail under its own weight.

Spruce up your Christmas tree with these tips

By Denise Ruttan

Christmas tree needlesChristmas tree needles - Look for trees with firm needles that bounce back when you bend them. (Photo by Lynn Ketchum.)

After Thanksgiving, most tree lots are busy welcoming the crowds for a festive annual tradition – choosing the Christmas tree that will warm your home this December.

Tree Pruning 101

Illustration of tree pruningThe objective of pruning is to produce strong, healthy, attractive plants. By understanding how, when and why to prune, and by following a few simple principles, this objective can be achieved.

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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.