High Desert Gardening I S S U E 4 6 F E B R U A R Y / M A R C H 2 0 0 9 INSIDE THIS Plant ProfileISSUE: Homegrown in 2 By Amy Jo Detweilerthe City Beneficial 3 Growing chives is not only Beetles fun and tasty, but adds beauty to your garden. Spring Frosts & 4 These perennial herbs do Snows well in the high desert and look attractive as edging. Orchids 4 Exposure: Full sun to par‐Calendar of 6 tial shade. Events Water: Moderate to low Favorite Seed 6 water use plant. Catalogs Soil: Choose a moist, well‐Garden Tips 7 drained site. How to start: Can be grown from seed, but eas‐ ier to start with a small clump (four to six bulbs). 3893 SW Flower: An attractive lav‐ Allium schoenoprasum AIRPORT WAY ender‐pink, globe‐shaped REDMOND, OR Chive flower. 97756 USDA Hardiness Zone: 3‐5 Foliage: Medium to dark 541.548.6088 Height: 8‐10” green, hollow leaves. Native to Europe, Asia, North America Growth Habit: Clump‐like form. Division: Divide clumps in The Good: Works well in fall, every three to four containers and has few years. insects or disease. Harvesting: Can be har‐ The Bad: Will reseed if you vested as soon as the tops do not remove the seed grow to 6 inches. Cut heads. leaves approximately 2 inches above ground.
PAGE 2 Homegrown in the City Cucum‐ eting gas prices and in‐ tainers to keep rabbits bers are creasing food costs at from eating the plants. cool and the grocery store are Gardening in containers peppers pinching our wallets. gives Vicki greater flexi‐ are hot bility too. Vicki moves Food‐borne illnesses and as many safety issues make us the containers to take people unsure about the food advantage of the chang‐ are we buy and where it ing sunlight throughout showing comes from. Concern the seasons and finds renewed about the environment is they are great for filling interest forcing us to look at how in the empty garden in grow‐ best to use our natural spaces after a crop has ing their resources. been harvested. Flowers own are planted among the vegetables. Today’s Vicki Nowicki of Downers vegetables for the color vegetable gardens come Grove, Illinois, a gar‐ they add to the land‐ in a variety of sizes, dener for more than 25 scape and the beneficial shapes and styles, and years, loves to grow her insects they attract for a can be found in a back‐ own vegetables because healthier garden. yard, on a patio, even on “I can just walk outside “I can just walk a rooftop. my door and pick my In addition to tending outside my door vegetables.” Vicki says her own garden, Vicki A national survey from she doesn’t have to use supports a national and pick my the Garden Writers Asso‐ gasoline or pollute the movement to create Lib‐ ciation Foundation found air driving to the store erty Gardens as a way to vegetables” that vegetable or fruit and the vegetables are grow delicious, organic plants are second on the ready to eat at their peak food that nourishes both list of plants gardeners of freshness. Better vari‐ the family and the land. plan to purchase this ety and flavor are other This may be one of the spring – up from fourth reasons. “I can grow answers to today’s eco‐ place just a year ago. what I want to grow and nomic uncertainty, just Thirty‐nine percent not be limited to the few as the World War II Vic‐ (39%) of consumers plan “tastes” you find in a tory Gardens were 65 on buying vegetable or grocery store.” She finds years ago when fuel ra‐ fruit plants, behind lawn homegrown food to be tioning made it difficult and grass (54%) but fresher, healthier, higher to harvest fruits and ahead of both annual in nutrition, and feels it vegetables and transport (35%) and perennial simply tastes better than them from the farms to flowers (31%), as well as store‐bought produce. the city. Back during that trees and shrubs (35%). time almost 20 million While many of her vege‐ people, many of whom There may be several tables are planted in the had no idea how to plant reasons for this in‐ ground, others including seeds or use a hoe, grew creased interest in vege‐ herbs, lettuce and pep‐ a Victory Garden. It is table gardening. Skyrock‐ pers are growing in con‐ (Continued on page 5)HIGH DESERT GARDENING
ISSUE 46 PAGE 3Bank on beneficial beetles to reduce pesticide use in the garden"Beetle banks" might not sound World War II, many of the old kinds of native perennial grasses like something you especially hedgerows were removed and fields that arent invasive, monitoring want in your garden. On the were enlarged. Habitat for beneficial temperatures and counting insects other hand, like many gardeners beetles, other insects and spiders to see which plants are the most these days, you may be looking was lost, and what was left was far‐ effective. While his research is still for ways to cut back on the use of ther from crops. in its early stages, he says there is chemical insecticides, so incorpo‐ reason to believe that bunch rating habitat for beneficial in‐ By the1980s, British farmers realized grasses provide better habitat sects is a sustainable practice that by leaving banks of soil at inter‐ than sod. that can help. vals between the rows in their fields, perennial Rather than spraying wholesale grasses could establish and Photo by Gwendolyn Ellen to rid your garden of pests such provide habitat where as aphids, caterpillars, spider beneficial insects and spi‐mites, mealy bugs, larvae and ders could find shelter and thrips, try letting their natural survive the winter. enemies do the work for you. Ground beetles and rove Mike Russell, a graduate student beetles are two important in the Department of Horticul‐ beneficial beetle families ture at Oregon State University, that mostly walk rather is researching the use of beetle than fly. During the grow‐banks – an agricultural practice ing season, having beetle begun in England and designed to banks close by makes it A beetle bank amidst a native bunch grass variety encourage populations of benefi‐ easier for these small slow‐ trial at OSUs Hyslop farm serves as habitat for cial insects. Beetle banks are moving beetles to reach all predacious ground beetles. These beneficial in‐mounds, or "banks" of soil areas of a large field. sects are helpful in controlling crop pests. planted with grasses and other non‐crop plants where beetles, With recent interest in sustainable Leaving some areas uncultivated other beneficial insects, and spi‐ farming, the use of beetle banks has also provides shelter for beneficial ders can establish healthy popu‐ spread beyond Great Britain. Russell insects that fly, like wasps and lations in agricultural fields. says a few farmers in the Willamette hornets. Valley have begun incorporating the Traditionally, before large trac‐ technique. Adult insects need a supply of nec‐tors became common, European tar for food every day, says Rus‐and British farm fields were For agricultural use, beetle banks sell. Without a food supply, the plowed by a horse and farmer are typically four to six feet wide flying insects will quickly find their and were consequently small by and the length of the field. For home way to more welcoming gardens. todays standards. They were gardens, something smaller, like So its necessary to have some‐usually bordered by hedgerows, "beetle bumps," might be more ap‐ thing blooming throughout the dense rows of trees, shrubs, per‐ propriate, said Russell. growing season. ennials and annuals that pro‐ vided habitat for small animals Russell suggests leaving some per‐ Summer‐long bloom isnt difficult and insects. ennial grasses, preferably bunch to manage in flower beds, but in a grass, to overwinter here and there. vegetable garden its not the usual As tractors displaced horses after Hes experimenting with various (Continued on page 7)
PAGE 4 Spring frosts & snows Orchid: Cymbidium When snow falls late in the spring, Cymbidium orchids are native to tropical Asia and Gardeners often worry about the Australia. They are best known for their incredibly effects it will have on their early thick petals that are hard and waxy. The blossom spring flowers. Actually, snow is a size and number of flowers vary by variety, ranging great insulator and may protect from an inch to five inches in diameter, and from a hardy flowers from frosty tempera‐ few flowers to more than 20 per flowering stem. tures. They come in all colors except blue and true red. In their native habitat, they are epiphytes, or they Tolerance to freezing temperatures grow in trees without soil supporting their roots. depends on the plant. Spring bulbs, All cymbidiums have short, bulbous pseudobulbs, such as tulips, crocus and daffodils, or thickened stems, which store water and bear tolerate a light frost or temperatures multiple, strap‐like, arching leaves. of 29 degrees Fahrenheit and above. Flowers are susceptible to hard frost Cymbidium orchids perform best in very high light when temperatures drop below 28 and must re‐ degrees. Plants located close to the ceive strong “Snow is a great house may receive some protection. light to pro‐ Bulbs located on the south side of duce healthy insulator and buildings and south‐facing slopes are growth and more at risk, because these areas flower well. may protect warm up earlier in the spring. They need a potting mix hardy flowers” Perennials that emerge early in the that drains well spring are rather cold hardy, and and made up tolerate light frost. Pansies, snap‐ of redwood bark chips, coarse charcoal or perlite, dragons, pinks and dusty miller are supplemented with unmilled sphagnum moss or examples of spring bedding plants coarse peat moss to enhance water retention. that tolerate cold. Most new trans‐ plants, however, dont tolerate frost. They need typical household temperatures; 65 to Young petunias will tolerate some 70 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 58 to 60 frost. But impatiens and tomatoes degrees at night. In addition, standard cymbi‐ wont tolerate any. In fact, they diums, or the large‐flowered varieties, require a six wont even tolerate cool weather. to eight week cool period in the fall when night temperatures are at least 45 to 50 degrees Fahren‐ You may need to cover hardy peren‐ heit, or even down to freezing, to form buds. Mod‐ nials and bulbs on unusually cold ern miniature hybrids do not require such low nights when a hard frost occurs. To temperatures to induce flower buds; a low tem‐ delay spring growth, mulch peren‐ perature of 60 degrees is adequate. nial and bulb flower beds in the fall after the ground freezes. These plants thrive in 50 to 80 percent relative humidity. To increase humidity, run a room hu‐ Source: Planttalk Colorado midifier or place the pot on a tray filled with peb‐ (Continued on page 7)HIGH DESERT GARDENING
ISSUE 46 PAGE 5Homegrown in the City ited income, find that garden provide important there. Start small, have fresh vegetables and areas for wildlife inhabit‐ fun and enjoy all the (Continued from page 2) fruits become unafford‐ ing urban areas. benefits of growing your estimated these gardens able. Community gardens produced an amazing 8 own, healthy and flavorful not only provide fresh, Help Feed the Hungry million tons of food repre‐ nutritious produce for fresh vegetables. We hope all successful senting 40 percent of all nearby residents, they gardeners will consider the vegetables that were offer a place for the donating excess garden consumed. By Janis Keift neighborhood to come fruits and vegetables to together and interact, and Plant a Row for the Hun‐Urban Gardens bring a sense of pride and A new and often extreme ownership to the commu‐approach to vegetable nity. Some community gardening is occurring in gardens are specifically cities across the U.S. and for children to help them Canada. Urbanites are understand the impor‐replacing lawns, even en‐ tance of where their food tire front yards, with comes from, ecology and vegetable gardens. Sup‐ to make a connection porters of these “mini‐ with nature; while others farms” feel growing food use the garden as a way is a better use of land and for kids to earn money by water resources than cul‐ selling the fresh vegeta‐tivating an expanse of bles they have grown. grass. In addition to grow‐ing vegetables for per‐ Benefits of Gardening in An example of some of the garden plots at Hollinshead sonal consumption, many the City Community Garden in Bend, Oregon. of these urban farmers Whether it’s a small back‐are generating income by yard garden, containers gry (PAR), an excellent selling their produce at on a rooftop or a large program based on the farmers markets or to community garden, urban simple concept of people Interested in having a restaurants. However, gardens contribute to the helping people. If every plot at Hollinshead these front yard gardens community in many ways. gardener plants one extra Community Garden? are not without contro‐ The green space adds to row of vegetables and versy as neighbors and the quality of life in the donates their surplus to If so contact OSU homeowner’s associa‐ city and can contribute to local food banks and soup Master Gardener, tions may oppose them increased property values. kitchens, a significant im‐ Jacquie at 593‐9305. saying the vegetable gar‐ It is estimated that green pact can be made on re‐ dens detract from the vegetation reflects as ducing hunger. Food Hollinshead general appearance of the much as 25% of the sun’s agencies will have access Community Garden is neighborhood. radiation, reducing the to fresh produce and the located on Jones /12th heat island effect found in hungry of America will Street in Bend at Community Gardens cities. Gardens also pro‐ have more and better Hollinshead Park. Community gardens offer vide areas for rain runoff, food than is presently many city dwellers access minimizing soil erosion as available. Opening day is to land where they can well as recycling water May 2nd, 2009 grow their own produc‐ back into the environ‐ Urban areas offer as tive garden. As food costs ment. The open space, Cost is $20 to rent a many ways to garden as rise, families, especially food and water found in a plot. those with a low or lim‐ there are people who live
PAGE 6 Calendar of events • February 11‐12, High Desert Green Industry Conference at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds for Landscape Industry Professionals. Conference includes excellent speakers, master classes, a 2 day trade show, and reception. All welcome. Check out our new interactive website at http://extension.oregonstate.edu/deschutes/ • April 24 & 25th ‐ Spring Gardening Seminars in Redmond at Eagle Crest Resort presented by the Central Oregon Chapter of OSU Master Gardeners. Keynote speaker, Jurgen Hess will speak on natives, Friday night and again on Saturday. On Saturday attend several garden classes and a fun garden market. For more infor‐ mation check our website at: http://extension.oregonstate.edu/deschutes/ • May 2nd ‐ Opening Day for Hollinshead Community Garden in Bend from 9:00 am—1:00 pm. For more information contact Jacquie at 593‐9305. Favorite Seed Catalogs In addition to our local garden centers and nurseries, listed below are some addi‐ tional sources for seeds and plant materials. These favorite seed catalogs have great descriptions, references to cold hardiness, and relevance to seeds or con‐ tainer plants sold for this area. • Territorial Seed Company—vegetables and organic vegetables. www.territorialseed.com/ 1‐800‐626‐0866; 1‐541‐942‐9547 • Nichols Garden Nursery‐herbs and rare seeds. www.nicholsgardennursery.com/ 1‐866‐408‐4851 • Goodwin Creek Gardens‐herbs. www.goodwincreekgardens.com/ 1‐800‐846‐7359 • Johnnys Selected Seeds‐vegetables, annuals, perennials. www.johnnyseeds.com/ 1‐207‐437‐4301 • Charley’s Greenhouse & Garden Supply. www.charleysgreenhouse.com/ 1‐800‐322‐4707 • High Country Gardens‐perennials. www.highcountrygardens.com/ 1‐800‐925‐9387 HIGH DESERT GARDENING
ISSUE 46 PAGE 7Garden Tips for February and MarchIn the Landscape or set out starts check out cauliflower, our website at: http:// cabbage, brus‐• Research and plan to add extension.oregonstate.edu/ sel sprouts perennials, trees, or shrubs deschutes/Horticulture/ to your landscape in late spring GardenPublica‐ • Plant a window‐ tions_000.php, and go to sill container “OSU Publications for Cen‐ garden of herbs • Gather branches of quince, tral Oregon” then scroll forsythia, and other flower‐ down to “vegetables.” Miscellaneous ing ornamentals and bring inside to force early bloom • Purchase/order annual and • Maintain houseplants— “Remember vegetable garden seeds wipe the leaves with a Vegetable Gardening with 65‐80 days to matur‐ damp wet cloth to remove to add 14 ity, remember to add 14 dust • Use a soil thermometer to help you know when to days to the maturity date • Repair, clean, sharpen, and days to the on the packet, this is ap‐ maintain garden equip‐ plant vegetable and flower maturity date proximately how long it will ment seeds; cool season vegeta‐ take for that plant to ma‐ • Clean pruners and other bles that germinate and on the ture here in Central Oregon small garden tools with grow at a soil temperature because we do not have rubbing alcohol, this will packet… in of 40oF or above consis‐ much plant growth at night work to disinfect the tools tently include beets, car‐ on most nights. without causing corrosion Central rots, peas, radishes, let‐ that you may get from a tuce, and spinach to name a few. For more informa‐ • Plant seed flats for cole bleach solution. Oregon” crops including broccoli, tion on when to plant seeds (Beetles—Continued from page 3) (Orchids—Continued from page 4) species or hybrid. Repot these or‐practice. Consider leaving a few bles and water. Keep the water level chids every two to three years when things to bolt and bloom, Russell in the tray below the bottom of the new growth begins, generally in suggests, like lettuce, spinach, aru‐ pot to prevent water wicking into spring. gula, or broccoli. the pot which, over time, may lead to root rot. Mealybugs and scale insects are oc‐To learn more about what OSU is casionally attracted to cymbidiums. doing to encourage growers to Fertilize these orchids frequently They are also susceptible to viral harness beneficial insects for pest when new growth is forming, gener‐ infections and root rot. control, visit IPPCs "Banking on ally from spring through summer, Beetles in Oregon" website at: with a water‐soluble commercial Source: Planttalk Colorado http://www.ipmnet.org/ orchid fertilizer. A 30‐10‐10 formula‐BeetleBank/index.htm tion may be used for orchids grown in pure bark and a 20‐20‐20 formu‐By Dave Richards lation for those in all other mixes. Source: Mike Russell Cymbidiums bloom only once a year and the season of bloom varies by
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