OSU Extension Service

Vege startsBy Denise Ruttan
When the first daffodils bloom to let us know that spring is around the corner, it is time to start vegetable seeds indoors or in the greenhouse.
It's best to start cool-season crops such as lettuce, cabbage, kale and chard in late February to early March in western Oregon, said Weston Miller, a horticulturist with the Oregon State University Extension Service.

OSU tomatoesBy Denise Ruttan
As you pore over seed catalogs in these cold winter months, you'll likely include tomatoes in your vegetable garden dreams.
Oregon State University's vegetable breeding program has developed several varieties over the past 40 years that are now mainstays in many Pacific Northwest gardens.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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.