OSU Extension

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.

Tree rustBy Denise Ruttan
Photo by Jay Pscheidt. An orange-colored rust known as Gymnosporangium libocedri infects a serviceberry plant. The fungus can devastate fruit and cedar trees in gardens in which incense cedar trees are planted close to orchards.

By Judy Scott
Buckwheat fieldPhoto by Alex Stone, OSU
Farmers and home gardeners are finding buckwheat to be a good "green manure.

Lewis mock orangeBy Denise Ruttan
Photo by Linda McMahan - Philadelphus lewisii, also known as Lewis's mock-orange, is a hardy shrub that is native to western North America. It is a good choice for a water-efficient landscape design.
Flowering shrubs can add beauty to your landscape. Choosing the right shrubs can help save money on your water bill, too.

Purple coneflowerBy Denise Ruttan
Photo by Linda McMahan
Purple coneflower, or Echincea purpurea, is a popular water-efficient plant. Choose drought-tolerant plants for your landscape to conserve water.

In a dry year, use water wisely, the Oregon State University Extension Service advises.
"We're in the midpoint of one of the driest years from January to this point that we've had in 50 to 60 years," said Steve Renquist, a horticulturist with the OSU Extension Service who is based in Roseburg.

Learn from a post-mortem analysis

SurgeonBy Judy Scott
Often we discover in the spring that a tree or shrub just didn't make it through the winter. There are many reasons for a woody plant to succumb and a "post-mortem" analysis can point out clues.

 

By Denise Ruttan
 

Spotted wing drosophilaPhoto by Lynn Ketchum
Spotted wing drosophila is studied at OSU's Mid-Columbia Agricultural Research Center.

The latest research-based guidelines for managing insect pests, plant diseases and weeds in the Pacific Northwest are available through three newly updated, comprehensive guides, which were developed by the Extension Services of Oregon State University, the University of Idaho and Washington State University.

Haggard-looking conifers result of 2012 dry spell

Drought struck treeSome Douglas-firs and other conifers in northwestern Oregon look noticeably

By Tiffany Woods
CabbagesPhoto by Lynn Ketchum
Too much water can cause cabbage heads to crack.

Are the vegetables in your garden so freakishly crooked that they need a chiropractor? Or maybe they're so immature that they would make a teenager look like a centenarian?

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?

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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.