Friday, December 14, 2018

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

The Joy of Gardening Moves Indoors

December is the month to enjoy your winter garden, a warm cup of tea, and the new seed catalogs that grace your mailbox among the many holiday cards and catalogs.
Onion, Leek, Shallot, Chives - Flowers are edible too!

Consider starting members of the onion (Allium) family 
         like chives, leeks, onions, scallions (Garlic is usually best planted in October though.) 
or members of the rose family 
         like alpine strawberries

Alpine Strawberry

indoors with added light and heat so they will be ready to plant outside in early spring.

Or maybe you decide to start some slower-growing annuals like 
geraniums, snapdragons, yarrow, or violas
to transplant under a cloche in late March.  Get creative with this - antique or reproduction glasswork cloches are beautiful, but clear plastic bins are economical and readily available.  

Hardy geraniums

Invite Wildlife into your Garden

Provide water not only for birds, but also for predatory insects.  A shallow bowl with rocks in it helps both birds and insects get a sip.  In the winter, check the water every morning and thaw it out with warm water if it freezes.

Provide shelter for wildlife.  Bird houses are lovely, but a rotten log, stump, or snag can be a home for birds and insects, too.  Don’t clean everything out of your garden over the winter; a bit of grass, a pile of rocks can be a home for insects.

Provide habitat.  Plant natives in your garden along with vegetables, herbs, and flowers.  This provides a habitat for both birds and insects.  As a bonus, the birds help you out in summer by eating pest insects.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Corvallis Urban Forestry Free Street Tree Program

Do you need a street tree?
The City of Corvallis Urban Forestry staff is excited to work with homeowners to carefully select the most appropriate tree for your adjacent public right of way. If you are interested in getting a street tree at no cost to you, there’s still time! For more information, or to see if you are eligible for a street tree, contact Jennifer at 541-740-3186. Planting will take place in February-March 2019.

Why plant a street tree? 
When planted in the right location, a mature tree can:  
·     Save money on your home heating and cooling costs
·     Beautify your home and improve property values
·     Provide habitat for birds and other beneficial wildlife
·     Help to intercept and distribute rainwater which lessens erosion and recharges groundwater
·     Dampen noise and block unwanted views

Winter Tips and Holiday Greetings from the Evening Garden Club

Winter Tips and Holiday Greetings from the Evening Garden Club
Pyracantha ‘Yukon Belle’

*Visit local nurseries over the winter months to see plants which will add winter color and interest to your garden.  Don’t miss evergreen ferns and native groundcovers – you’ll be surprised! 
*Check that frost has not lifted ground around newly planted shrubs and trees.  If it has, stamp ground down firmly.
*Check that wind has not rocked newly planted evergreens – they are more susceptible than deciduous trees.
* Don’t leave heavy mulch or evergreen boughs over emerging bulb foliage.
Hellebore “Gold Collection” ‘Snow Fever’ 
    Pyracantha ‘Yukon Belle’
*Roses still blooming? They need to go dormant to thrive next year.  Prune lightly and remove all foliage. Allow buds and hips to form.
*Lime soil where dahlias will be planted next year – 5lbs:100 square feet, every three years.
*Add a thorough CARE tag to any plant you give as a holiday gift. There’s nothing sadder than killing a plant you’ve been given by a loved one.
*Read January garden magazines and look at websites now for the newest annual flower and vegetable introductions.
*If you want to use and plant a live Christmas tree:
--Acclimate it in an unheated garage both before and after its time in the house.
--Don’t keep it in the house more than a week.
-- Keep root ball moist but not sopping and coat needles with an anti-dessicant spray.
-- Plant ASAP in an appropriate full sun location with plenty of space to reach its potential.

*Great garden book for a gift: Month-by-Month Gardening in Washington & Oregonby Mary Robson with Christina Pfeiffer – many of these tips originated there!

*Attend the Evening Garden Club’s Annual Greens’ Party, 7:00 pm December 3, 2018!  Bring greens and plant material to share and learn to make wreaths and decorations.  Shepherd of the Valley Church.
more at

What to do in the Garden in December

Maintenance/Clean up-
·     Rake leaves to mulch flower or vegetable beds, adding extra layers over marginally tender plants.  Leaves naturally decompose to return nutrients and improve the soil.  If they are taken away yearly, soil is gradually depleted and impoverished.

·     Clearing weeds and mulch a few inches around tree trunks prevents rodent and rot problems.
·     Hoe, pull, or (best) thickly mulch winter weeds.  
·      Protect newly planted trees from wind with windbreaks or guying. Use stretchabletree chain, arbor tie, or even old bicycle inner-tubes to tieon the windward side.  Be sure to loosen them in spring to allow for more growth and movement. The swaying of the trunk makes it grow stronger. Trees should never be tied in place longer than one year. 

·     Protect nutrients in compost pile from heavy rains with tarps or structures.

·     It’s still a good time to plant trees and shrubs to establish before summer drought hits!
·     Check that seeds are sealed up in a cool area.

·     Consider adding rain gardens and bioswales to your landscape to capture rainwater.  Check out the Oregon Rain Garden Guide for ideas and plant lists.  

Monday, November 12, 2018

Bee-gin Planning for Next Year’s Garden

November is a month to look back to this year’s garden harvest and give thanks that so many things went well.
The weather cooperated this year so the vegetables grew abundantly.  Your millions of soil workers (micro-organisms) were busy underground supplying food to your vegetables’ roots.  If you were lucky, not too many critters decided that your garden was their supermarket! 

November is also a month to start planning what you
want to do differently next year.  Your vegetables need lots of different kind of pollinators to visit your garden through the season – bees, butterflies, even wasps.  Have you considered adding native flowers to attract native beesto your garden? They love to pollinate your vegetable flowers as well as native flowers.

Now is the time to plant the natives that they love so that the rains will naturally water the seeds in.  Consider planting the following:  Globe Gillia, Common Madia, Douglas’ Aster, California Poppy, Goldenrod, Varied-Leaf Phacelia, and Farewell-to-Spring.  You can also plant them in early spring, but why wait?

Share your Harvest
(list continued 
from last month)

Philomath Food Bank
541-929-2499 ext. 4 

Philomath Community Gleaners

St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry
501 NW 25th St., Corvallis.  Call ahead to donate 541-286-4193, please leave message 

South Corvallis Food Bank
1798 SW 3rd Street (behind Corvallis Furniture)

Stone Soup Corvallis
Weekdays, drop off at St. Mary’s Church
501 NW 25th St. 
Weekends, drop off at First Christian Church, 
602 SW Madison St.
Susan Dunham • 541-757-9725 

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Two New NPKs are up -- perhaps in a Neighborhood near You!

Many thanks to Diana for catching a few shots of the installation process for us to share!  We work hard to bring a little color and garden news to the streets, but it's worth it.  This one is just south of the north co-op.

Digging the hole takes by far the most muscle.  Thanks a bunch Rich!

Trimming the post to the right height.  I never knew sawdust could look so pretty in the sunlight!

What a charming garden and home!

We also installed a new NPK in the east part of the Grand Oaks area, so keep an eye out if you're walking around there.  We hope you all enjoy learning and gardening with us!