Sunday, September 23, 2018

Did you get new spring bulbs at the CBUF booth at Fall Festival?

CBUF guide to planting spring flowering bulbs

(Below this guide you will find photos of the bulbs sold at last year's Fall Festival to help you identify your new plants.  Most of this year's bulbs will be very similar to last year's bulbs.)

1.     Plant bulbs where they won’t stand in water all winter. The top of a mounded bed is better than at the bottom. If bulbs sit in wet soil all winter they will perform poorly and may rot.
2.     In the Willamette valley, plant spring flowering bulbs any time from late-October to mid-December. 
3.     Planting depth varies with the size of the bulb. Large bulbs should be planted deeper than small bulbs. The following diagram shows the optimum depth for several common bulbs. Depth refers to where the bulb rests at the bottom of the hole.  A common rule of thumb is, “plant bulbs at a depth 2-3 times the height of the bulb from tip to base”. Note: Anemone tubers should be planted no more than one inch deep.
4.     Plant bulbs so the tip is pointing up and the root plate rests on the base of the hole.  If you can’t tell which end is up, lucky for you, most bulbs will right themselves no matter how you place them in the hole. 
5.     Dig the planting hole deeper than needed and then mix a teaspoon or so of bonemeal or other high phosphorus fertilizer into the soil before setting out the bulbs. Backfill the hole and place a marker stake where you planted so you don’t forget where the bulbs are during late winter garden clean up. 
6.     When spring arrives and bulbs are blooming take some photos and plan to buy more bulbs next fall at the CBUF bulb sale!


Tuesday, September 4, 2018

What to do in the Garden in September

Maintenance and Clean Up
- Harvest potatoes when the tops die down.  Store in cool dark place.
- Mulch carrot, parsnip, and beets for winter     harvesting
- Harvest potatoes when the tops die down and store in a dark location.
- If you haven’t already, stop irrigating lawns to suppress European crane fly.

- Fall is the best time to plant trees and shrubs. Rain and warm soil help them establish easily.
- Plant spring blooming bulbs.  Larger  bulbs will produce larger flowers.

- Plant cover crops such as annual rye & winter pea

Pest Monitoring and Management 
- Control slugs as necessary. Least toxic options are barriers and traps. Iron phosphate is the safest bait available.
- Watch for Late Blight on tomatoes and potatoes. Click this link to find out more.

- Watch for bitter pit on apples.  Apply lime to acid soil. Click this link to find out more. 

Photo courtesy of PNW Handbook

Monday, August 27, 2018

Tips for the NW Garden from the Evening Garden Club

The garden is a bit discouraging as we hurtle towards Labor Day.  We’ve worked hard, but heat, smoke and no water for months have taken their toll. The garden feels drab and tired.
Tip #1  Photograph your garden NOWto identify blank spots and to see what IS BLOOMING.  After the rain comes, dig and divide these blooming clumps (in my garden: asters, alstroemerias, obedient plant and surprises like some heathers) to fill those spots.  Note what else does well this time of year – hardy fuschias, gaura, geraniums – and add more when you can.

Tip #2  Spring bulbs (daffodils, crocus, tulips, fritillaries, hyacinths and native bulbs such as camas) will come on the market now.  Treat them like eggs – don’t leave in a hot car for long.  Store in a cool place.  At planting time (mid-Sept- early Nov) the ground may still be very dry. Expose a planting area of at least a square foot and soak the ground at the depth you’ll be planting.  The bulbs need to put down roots before winter and they can’t start in dry ground.  
Tip #3  Cheap chrysanthemums (left) will be coming into stores now.  Pot up in larger pots to grow on for a long fall display and then plant out in the garden after they’ve finished, but before the freeze.  They’ll establish in your garden as perennials and bloom around now for many years. 
Tip #5   Don’t be too tidy with fall clean-up.  Seed heads left on, and detritus on the ground provide food and winter protection for birds and other wildlife. Leave decaying leaves in place under trees and bushes –natural mulch. Slugs lay most eggs in the fall, so keep an eye out for eggs.
Tip #6  Fall is a good time to renew your lawn, starting with aerating it.  Be careful to do this after the lawn has had some rain so that it has good weather to recover in.

Finally– Note to self: Labor Day should remind us to take time to RESTfrom our labors and actually enjoy the garden!  Have a BBQat the table you built, listening to that fountain you finally installed, eating the tomatoes and plums your garden produced.  
Happy Labor Day from the EGC!!!

Monday, August 20, 2018

Civic Beautification and Urban Forestry Commission (CBUF): What Do We Do?

·     CBUF holds one annual fundraiser – a Bulb Sale at the Fall Festival Sept 22-23 
·     All the funds raised go to beautification projects in town.

Beautification Projects in 2018
Corner planting at 2nd and Washington across from the Downtown Beanery 

Riverfront planting at 1st and Washington across from the Marriot Hotel 

Riverfront planting south of Madison and 1st across from The Flat Tail Brewery 

Supported the Art Center landscape remodel with a grant.

From Civic Beautification and Urban Forestry (CBUF) 
Meetings second Thursday at 9:00 am, at the Parks and Recreation Administrative Office 1310 SW Avery Park Dr

A CBUF* guide to caring for newly planted trees

Water trees regularly

Mulch and weed:

Feel free to contact your Corvallis City Forester if you have any questions or concerns:  
Jon Pywell (541-754-1723), Jonathan

Monday, August 13, 2018

What to do in the Garden in August

Maintenance and Clean Up
   Use mulch to protect plants from hot weather damage. If needed, provide shade.

  Camellias need deep watering to develop flower buds for next spring.

  Prune raspberries and other caneberries after harvest. Check raspberries for holes made by crown borers, near the soil line. Remove infested wood before adults emerge mid-August.
Sunburned raspberries are still a treat

  Plant winter cover crops in vacant space in the vegetable garden

  Plant winter kale, Brussels sprouts, turnips, parsnips, parsley, and Chinese cabbage, spinach, peas.

Pest Monitoring and Management  

Dampwood termites
begin flying. Make sure your home is free of wet wood or contact between wood and soil.

Remove cankered limbs from fruit and nut trees for control. Sterilize tools before each new cut.  Rubbing alcohol is good for that.
Check for weevils in ornamental shrubs and on strawberries; scale insects in camellias, holly and maples.  Remove by hand.
Scale insect

For mite and aphid control, blast off of foliage with a hose.

Check leafy vegetables and pick off caterpillars as they appear. 

Saturday, August 4, 2018

A Warm Summer Welcome to Immigrants!!

U.S. home gardening would be a pretty monotonous place without the immigrants we love.  Evening Garden Club members grow and enjoy some interesting ones!  A member of Chinese descent grows boo choy and napa cabbage which her grandmother used in stir fries.  
Another has a garden full of unusual fruits she knows from the Russian Far East, including black, red and white currants, honeyberries, Korean cherries and this gorgeous Schisandra chinensis or Five- Flavor Berry-- a deciduous woody vine, native to forests of northern China and the Russian Far East.  (It’s available locally at One Green World Nursery.) 
Yours truly grows delectable Tromboncini, a squash which can be enjoyed young as summer squash (firmer textured than zucchini, with a hint of artichoke) or hardened off for a winter keeper. The vines are rampant, growing to 8 ft., but can go on a trellis.
Experimenting with vegetables met on trips to China, another member grows Kailaan, and Choy Sum, both kohl family flowering vegetables like broccoli, where all parts are edible.  She also likes Kobocha - a Japanese winter squash, and long beans, such as Dragon Bean (available from which keep producing vine in the heat.

Speaking of  HEAT…
Many of us need ideas for spinach substitutes which will not bolt. Niki Jabbour, who gardens, cooks and writes about both, has a new book out called Veggie Garden Remix.  She was inspired by her Lebanese mother-in-law (an immigrant to the U.S.) to grow ingredients for Lebanese cooking.  Among them was one of several heat tolerant spinach substitutes, Molokhia,Corchorus olitorius, a Middle Eastern super green.  That led her to investigate over 124 mostly foreign vegetables for our gardens.

Other spinach substitutes in her book include: Magentaspreen Chenopodium gigantium, a quinoa relative, and Orach, Atriplex hortensis (both available from – an Oregon organic grower), Red Leaf Vegetable Amaranth(known as Callaloo in the Caribbean) and New Zealand Spinach,Tetragonia.

The book is full of dozens of those wonderful garden immigrants which remind us so vividly of the rich cultural diversity around us.  Niki Jabbour was recently interviewed (June 4) on a terrific gardening podcast called A Way to Garden with Margaret Roach.  Check out the podcast and all of her garden-related writing and speaking at  Watering is a lot more fun with a podcast to keep you company.

From the Corvallis Evening Garden Club–Meetings: 1stMonday Oct-May, 7 p.m., 
Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, 2650 NW Highland Dr. Corvallis.
 Tours, Holiday Greens Party, Socials.  More at www.Corvalliseveninggardenclub