OSU Extension Service

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.

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.

Mason beeBy Denise Ruttan        
Photo by George Hoffman
A blue orchard mason bee perches atop a blossoming meadowfoam flower. The native pollinators are active during wet and cold conditions in early spring.

Concerned about the decline of honeybees, one of the hardest-working food crop pollinators? Don't overlook the importance of a native pollinator of your fruit trees – the blue orchard mason bee.

Ross PenhallegonRoss Penhallegon will share his over 40 years of gardening experience and expertise at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Blue River on Saturday, May 4th, at 10 a.m. Everyone is welcome to attend this free event.

By Denise Ruttan
Image of a rosePhoto by Lynn Ketchum
March is a good time to plant roses in western Oregon.

Roses have such fanciful names and alluring colors, so how do you choose which ones to plant?
"If I'm going to grow roses I tend to grow roses that have fragrance," said Barb Fick, a horticulturist with the Oregon State University Extension Service. “Some people go for color. I also go for disease-resistance.”
Fick advises buying roses that are immune to the fungal threats of rust, powdery mildew and black spot.

By Judy Scott
pH meterPhoto by Michael Allen Smith
Some meters and methods are more accurate than others.

Soil pH can make a big difference to the plants in your garden. To understand how, you must "think" like a plant.

By Denise Ruttan

Hood River Japenese gardenTucked away in a corner of a public garden in Hood River, the Japanese Heritage Garden offers an unexpected place of quiet reflection.
The site, maintained by Master Gardeners who were trained by the Oregon State University Extension Service, incorporates the scenic vistas of hills and orchards, which were worked by the first generation of Japanese immigrants to the Hood River Valley in the early 1900s.
An old Norway spruce tree surrounded by raked gravel forms a centerpiece. A six-foot Nishinoya-style lantern sits at the entrance. Benches and stone-paved pathways guide visitors.

Bird feeder image
By Denise Ruttan
Photo by Betsy Hartley
As you're welcoming wild birds into your yard this winter, be sure to keep your bird feeder clean and keep an eye on the health of your feathered diners.

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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.