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Kurt Berning, left, talks about the oak habitat projects he is running on his family’s property just outside of Mount Angel to a tour group. James Day

Enviro tinkering – Learning lessons on oak habitat in Mount Angel

By James Day Kurt Berning is a born experimenter. In another era you would have seen him in greasy jeans with his head under the hood of an old Packard. Or at another time, perhaps, in his garage with a fellow tech geek developing a home computer with a four-inch screen. Instead, we find him in 2023 in his laboratory: […]

Poison hemlock. © aga7ta / 123rf.com

It’s pretty, but… Poison hemlock packs a punch

By Melissa Wagoner It may look like a carrot, parsley, parsnips or Queen Anne’s lace but gardeners and foragers should be wary because what might look like a tasty treat may in fact be poison hemlock. “This plant is very poisonous and can be fatal if ingested,” Brooke Edmunds, an OSU Extension Service Community Horticulturist, said. “Even contacting the sap […]

New Gardenripe owner, Melissa Pylipow (right) greets customer Regan Schultz at Silverton Farmers Market. Brenna Wiegand

Passing the baton – Seasoned farmhand embraces Gardenripe ownership

By Brenna Wiegand As he considered retirement, Bill Schiedler, founder of Gardenripe Produce in Silverton, hated the thought of closing the business he’d nurtured for 23 years. The answer came unexpectedly in the form of Melissa Pylipow, one of many WWOOFers in the program known as Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms. In it, farmers open their land to people who […]

Your Garden: Taking care of pollinators

We’re in for sunny weather and people are planting. Some are putting in vegetable gardens, others are hitting the nurseries and plant sales for flowers and anything you can plant that kills the winter doldrums. If the forecast calls for cooler nights, tender plants should be kept moist during the dry days and have a plan for protection… protection from […]

Your Garden: 100 years of community gardening

By Mary Owen The Turner Community Garden and Flower Club will celebrate 100 years of gardening by hosting a flower show at the upcoming Marion County Lamb and Wool Show.  The annual show will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on June 3 in the Turner Elementary School gymnasium.  “At 11 a.m., we will ride and walk in […]

Your Garden: OSU Gardener’s June Chores

Fruit Crops First week: Spray cherry trees for cherry fruit fly, as necessary, if fruit is ripening. Spray for codling moth in apple and pear trees as necessary. Continue use of pheromone traps for insect pest detection. After normal fruit drop in June, consider thinning the remainder to produce a larger crop of fruit. Pick ripe strawberries regularly to avoid […]

Your Garden: Slugging it out in the garden

By Diane Hyde, OSU Linn County Master Gardener Temperatures are warming and there are sunny days to do some yard and garden cleanup. As we pick up wind-blown debris and pull up weeds clusters of slug eggs are found. Some species of slugs bury the eggs underground so they are not found until the little slime-makers emerge. Slugs live under […]

Your Garden: Tomato Tip #1 – WAIT!

Have you seen the tiny tomato plants in the garden stores? They are a tempting impulse buy for folks longing for sunshine and the taste of fresh home-grown tomatoes, especially plant addicts. But nights are still cold. They have no chance of survival. Anyone who can’t resist is going to have to nurture and care for them, and for the […]

Your Garden: TLC for Tools

If you neglected properly cleaning and storing your garden tools last year, it’s not too late. Halt corrosion, dry, splintery handles and dullness by taking a little time to care for these faithful gardening friends. Remove all soil from metal surfaces: after a stream of water from the hose, remove small soil particles and rust spots with sandpaper, steel wool… […]

Your Garden: OSU Gardener’s May Chores

PLAN & PREPARE Prepare and prime irrigation system for summer.  Place pheromone traps in apple trees to detect presence of codling moth. Plan a control program of sprays, baits, or predators if found. If needed, fertilize rhododendrons and azaleas with acid-type fertilizer. If established and healthy, their nutrient needs should be minimal. Remove spent blossoms.  PLANT Plant dahlias, gladioli, and […]

Your Garden: How the Terrarium Changed the World

By Gregg Harris Don’t you just love all the wonderful plants we have available to us today? It hasn’t always been like this. In the 1820s there was a 95% failure rate whenever you tried to transport a live plant across the ocean. Salt spray, temperature and lack of light in the hold of the ship would cause nine out […]

Birds, bees… and other pollinators – Sustainable Silverton partners with Oregon Garden for educational series

By Melissa Wagoner This spring Sustainable Silverton’s Urban Natural Resources Action Team is enlisting the help of local experts to hold an educational series about birds, bees and butterflies at The Oregon Garden. “It aligns with our mission statement and Action Team goals and the need to find a way to create more awareness about preserving or maintaining natural resources,” […]

Your Garden: Becoming a Gardener

Do you consider yourself a gardener? What kind of gardener are you? Are you a person who appreciates the visual, culinary or functional gardening that nature and plant people provide, or are you one of the plant people? Studies all around the world reveal that people who garden generally live longer than those who do not. Gardeners develop a healthy […]

Your Garden: A handy web tool to identify, learn about plants

By Diane Hyde, OSU Master Gardener Wondering what plants to add to your garden landscape?  There is an Oregon State University Botany and Plant Pathology website (and books) that lists all known Oregon plants. It is tied into the herbarium at OSU and herbarium across the nation to provide complete information about plants in an easy-to-search format: oregonflora.org. There is […]

Your Garden: OSU Gardener’s April Chores

Planning Write in your garden journal throughout the growing season. Prepare garden soil for spring planting. Incorporate generous amounts of organic materials and other amendments, using the results of a soil analysis as a guide. Prepare raised beds in areas where cold soils and poor drainage are a continuing problem. Incorporate generous amounts (at least 2 inches) of organic materials. […]

Your Garden: How Climate Change… Impacts a garden

By Diane Hyde, OSU Master Gardener “Why hasn’t my tree recovered from last year’s heat wave?” For some damaged or traumatized trees and shrubs is takes years to die, just like a neglected cactus plant.  Our plant hardiness zones have changed. Our minimum extreme temperatures have risen over the last 30-year average.  There are not many studies to determine heat […]

Emerald ash borer – Pest threatens Oregon’s ash trees, ecosystems

By James Day The emerald ash borer (EAB), a forest pest that has been targeting ash trees in the United States since 2002, has been found in Oregon. An infestation discovered June 30 in Forest Grove means that concerns of state and local officials about the ash borer’s impact on urban forests, wetlands and streams has gone from the hypothetical […]

‘Citizen science’ – ODA enlists help to combat invasive pests

By Melissa Wagoner When it comes to keeping invasive pests from spreading, Beth Myers-Shenai – a specialist in Noxious Weed Control for the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) – knows observation is key. So, when it came time to design a method for keeping the incredibly invasive spotted lanternfly, a destructive insect currently spreading throughout the East Coast, out of […]

Old-world goodies – Silverton Hills farm raises, preserves chestnut trees

By Brenna Wiegand Paul’la Allen used to accompany her husband Jack to the cemeteries where he conducted graveside services. Jack Allen, a mortician and owner of Pearson-Allen-Caldwell Funeral Home in Portland, traveled around to small community cemeteries where headstones go back hundreds of years. Paul’la and young daughter Julie were never bored on these trips. “While Jack was doing the […]

‘Sudden Oak Death’ – Not so sudden… Not infecting oaks

By Melissa Wagoner The term Sudden Oak Death (SOD) is really a bit of a misnomer,  according to Sarah Navarro, the Regional Sudden Oak Death Pathologist for the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). “Tanoak is the tree species most affected because it’s readily killed,” Navarro said. Noting that unlike the white oak – a true oak – tanoaks are a part of the broadleaf family. “And in terms […]

What to plant for a fire-resistant landscape

This is a good time to look at rearranging the landscape for future fire resistance in the urban/forest boundary. Fire-resistant plants often have supple leaves without waxy or resinous surfaces, are higher in moisture content, low in oils and/or they wear thick barks that do not ignite easily, and are often drought-resistant as well. Such plants may be damaged or killed by fire, but their foliage […]

ODA Kicks off Statewide Tree-of-Heaven Tally

 The Oregon Department of Agriculture’s Noxious Weed, and Insect Pest Prevention and Management programs are kicking off a six-month statewide tally of invasive tree-of-heaven locations thanks to funding from the U.S. Forest Service. To help with the tally join the iNaturalist project at https://www. inaturalist.org/projects/oregon-treeof-heaven-tally. There is a mobile app that makes it easy to capture treeof- heaven locations. Participants will be able to follow the progress of the tally on the project […]

Working in soggy soil

It’s been raining a lot lately. It’s not unusual for late spring, and we need the water for an expected dry summer that will eventually happen. The soil is soggy and cold, though. Seeds are slow to grow and, in some gardens, are simply rotting. Soil care and amendment will help the drainage, row covers can soften the blow of rain and hail, and planting strategies could mitigate […]

Some plants like to be in shade

  Our sunny growing season is barely long enough for tomatoes to ripen, but there are plenty of things we can grow and enjoy while waiting for tomato time. Flowers usually require warmth of the sun to open and bear fruit. There are many plants that will give us colorful foliage and flowers in the shade. Some of the best shade perennial plants for landscapes are heuchera (coral […]

OSU Gardener’s June Chores

First week: Spray cherry trees for cherry fruit fly and brown rot if fruit is ripening. Spray for codling moth and scab in apple and pear trees. Continue use of pheromone traps for insect pest detection. Apples and crabapples that are susceptible to scab disease will begin dropping leaves as weather warms. Rake and destroy fallen leaves; spray with summer-strength lime sulfur, wettable sulfur, Immunox or Captan. […]