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High Desert Gardening I S S U E 5 2 A P R I L / M A Y 2 0 1 0 Plant ProfileINSIDE THIS ISSUE: By Amy Jo DetweilerBeneficial Insects 2 Is this the year you start a temperatures for vegetable garden? If so, germinating leaf Tips for First‐ why not plant one of the lettuce seeds is Time Gardeners 3 easiest plants to grow in a between 40‐ garden, one of the many 80oF. You can Fertilizing Fruit varieties of leaf lettuce. take the Trees 4 temperature of Exposure: Full sun to part the soil at the 3‐Calendar of shade. They do not like 4 inch deep soil Events 6 real hot weather so partial level using a soil shade can be helpful. thermometer. Be Favorite Seed sure the soil Water: Keep them well‐ temperature is Catalogs 6 watered as they grow. Do remaining in the Garden Tips 7 not allow them to dry out, optimum range Lactuca sativa especially in hot weather. for several days Loose‐leaf Lettuce before sowing Soil: Adaptable to most your seed. Soil Height: varies’ Spread: varies organic moist soils. Can be thermometers The variety above is Merlot planted in the ground or in can be containers. purchased where 3893 SW the season local garden supplies are AIRPORT WAY found. You can also start REDMOND, OR seeds indoors if necessary. Varieties to consider: 97756 • Flashy Butter Oak 541.548.6088 A Few More Tips for • Royal Oak Leaf Growing Leaf Lettuce: • Red Deer Tongue Give them lots of water in • Simpson Elite hot weather to prevent • Black Seeded Simpson them from bolting and • Merlot going to seed. • Red Sails Sow seeds gradually • Salad Bowl When to plant: Direct sow instead of all at once to • Tango the seeds once the soil maintain a continuous • Pom Pom begins to warm. The steady harvest throughout • Lollo Rossa optimum soil
PAGE 2 Beneficial insects Source: Liz Douville Planting for the encouragement of beneficial insects should be more of a priority with all homeowners not just gardeners. By encouraging beneficial insects we just may be able to reduce the usage of toxic chemicals. When in the progress of mankind did Photo: Ric Bessin, U. Kentucky we learn to shiver and shake every time we see an insect? Maybe this is the year to start learning the difference between the good guys and the bad guys and educate our families as well. "We need to We are fortunate in Central Oregon that we don’t have severe landscape Pictured is a ladybug larva feeding on learn to damage from insects, but nevertheless aphids. unknowingly reaching in and cutting an identify the aphid ridden stem is hardly a pleasant garden experience. The quick solution mealybugs and spider mites to name just a beneficial is to control the aphids with a sharp few of the problems we could encounter. stream of cold water. The better, more In many cases it is the larvae and nymph long lasting solution is to encourage the stages as well as the adult stage that aids insects and insects that help control the aphid in the control. population. It would be great if we plant a could just hang out a sign “Beneficial Many gardeners roll their eyes when Insects Wanted, Free Food & Lodging” yarrow is mentioned but it is probably one banquet table Since that won’t work we need to learn of the most efficient host plants in enticing to identify the beneficial insects and beneficials into the garden. Golden to keep them plant a banquet table to keep them marguerite, also known as dyers interested. chamomile is another workhorse. Even interested” the lowly dandelion serves its purpose by Ralph Berry, Professor Emeritus‐ drawing in lacewings and ladybugs. Entomology, Oregon State University in his publication Insect Facts: Plants That Destructive insects often locate their food Attract Beneficial Insects describes the by smell. Many plants, especially culinary life cycle of some of the beneficial herbs, produce strong scents which may insects along with a list of host plants confuse insect pests looking for a host to to attract these insects. feed on. Garden vegetable plants such as garlic, onions, chives; herbs such as catnip, Lacewings, ladybugs, hoverflies, lemon balm, wormwood, mints, lavender parasitic wasps, tachinid flies and and cutting garden flowers such as damsel bugs work hard in our cosmos, zinnias, white sweet alyssum, landscape controlling aphids, scales, (Continued on page 5)HIGH DESERT GARDENING
ISSUE 52 PAGE 3 Tips for first-time gardeners If youre completely new to vegetable Langellotto said. gardening and want to enjoy your own • Get a soil test. Soil supplies 13 homegrown tomatoes and summer squash essential plant nutrients, primarily this year, the Oregon State University nitrogen, phosphorous and Extension Service can potassium. A soil test provide the information you will tell you if your soil need to get started. has deficiencies and if it is too acidic or alkaline. Gail Langellotto, an OSU See OSU Extension horticulturist and statewide publications EM 8677 coordinator of the Master for testing laboratories Gardener program, says serving Oregon . there are several things “Choose novices can do to make • Build organic their foray into gardening matter with compost to easy-to-grow more successful. correct many Also, "Growing Your Own," deficiencies. Start a a practical guide to compost heap with two vegetables gardening with more parts "brown" materials details, is on the OSU – leaves, straw, paper, that your Extension Service website: sawdust – to one part http:// "green" materials such family likes… extension.oregonstate.edu/ as vegetable scraps, catalog/html/grow/grow/. coffee grounds, grass clippings and choose high fresh manure from cows, horses or Among Langellotto’s tips: poultry. quality • Choose raised beds, containers and An easy way to start a new garden seeds” mounds, Langellotto recommends, if you spot, while improving soil structure live in the Willamette Valley, where clay and fertility, is called sheet or soils do not drain well and remain cold "lasagna" mulching. Wet soil into the spring. If you use containers, thoroughly and add a layer each of which can be just about any size and as overlapping cardboard, compost and casual as old tires, you can garden in any six to eight inches of mulch (leaves location and move the containers for and grass clippings). In about seven optimal conditions. months the soil will be ready for planting. • Choose a site where your garden will get at least eight hours of light, preferably • Choose easy‐to‐grow vegetables sunshine. "Air drainage can be a problem. that your family likes, adding others in If you live on a slope, be sure to avoid cold following years as tastes mature, air drainage in low spots and wind," (Continued on page 5)
PAGE 4 Fertilizing fruit trees Source: Planttalk Colorado Fruit trees require nutrients to develop eighth pound for every one inch of properly, so work phosphorus and trunk diameter. Take the trunk‐ potassium into the soil before you plant. diameter measurement one foot The amounts you apply should be based above ground level. With apples or on a soil‐test report. Keep in mind that pears, apply one‐tenth pound of these nutrients move very little in soil. nitrogen for every one inch of trunk Applying phosphorus and potassium to the diameter. soil surface around fruit trees, rather The amount of than into the soil nitrogen itself, seldom needed is corrects determined by deficiencies of the previous “Nitrogen these nutrients. years growth. If more growth can be However, you can is needed, apply nitrogen to increase the the soil surface amount of applied in because it moves nitrogen. If too down to the roots where its needed. much growth occurred, its best to late fall or Nitrogen can be applied late in fall or early reduce or eliminate nitrogen. Also, its spring. In spring, nitrogen should be important to keep records of how early spring” applied before bud break. The amount much of a specific nutrient you apply applied depends on the type of fruit tree each year. and its growth status. Trees should be fertilized with enough nitrogen to Fruit trees in lawn areas may get promote optimal, annual shoot growth. adequate nitrogen from applications of lawn fertilizer. In some cases, fruit For non‐bearing apple trees, shoot growth trees grow too much as a result of should be between 24 to 36 inches; for excess water and fertilizer they pears, 12 to 26 inches; and for peaches, 16 receive from lawns. Do not apply to 24 inches. In fruit‐producing apple "weed‐and‐feed" products because trees, shoot growth should be between 12 they contain herbicides that may be to 24 inches; for pears, 6 to 12 inches; and harmful to fruit trees. If fruit for peaches, 10 to 18 inches. production is desired in these instances, reduce the frequency of Growth at less than the recommended watering and the amount of fertilizer rates results in reduced fruiting wood and applied to the lawn. less fruit production. If youre starting a fertilizer program for stone fruits such as Excessive pruning also will stimulate peaches or apricots, apply nitrogen to the shoot growth and should be avoided. soil around the trees at the rate of one‐HIGH DESERT
ISSUE 52 PAGE 5 Beneficial Insects Tips for first-time gardeners (Continued from page 2) (Continued from page 3) Lemon Gem marigold all seem to produce scents Langellotto said. She recommends five which seem to repel insects or mask the scents vegetables that like cool conditions: radishes, which attract insects. Dill, parsley and parsnip peas, leaf lettuce, carrots and spinach. Heat‐ feature flat topped clusters of small flowers that loving veggies that should be planted in warm have strong fragrances. They also seem to attract soil are bush beans, summer squash and large numbers of beneficial insects, particularly tomatoes. predatory wasps and flies. Other easy crops are kale and kohlrabi, beets, A certain level of insect protection can be achieved onions, garlic and annual herbs such as basil, by carefully interplanting some of these as fennel and parsley. Vegetables and fruits that companions to vegetables or just incorporating them do well in in the general landscape. Learn to know thy friends containers and avoid killing them inadvertently and note which are bush plants are attractive to beneficial insects. Write beans, down the combinations that seem to work for pest beets, control and share your findings with others. carrots, cabbage, References: swiss chard, cucumbers, A Pocket Guide: Common leaf lettuce, Natural Enemies of Crop and bell Garden Pests in the Pacific peppers, Northwest squash, tomatoes, dwarf apple trees, blueberries, http:// strawberries, turnips, eggplant, kale and green extension.oregonstate.edu/ onions. catalog/pdf/ec/ec1613‐e.pdf • Choose high‐quality seed for your vegetable garden. Germination rates on the package should be 65 to 80 percent. The package also will tell you when to plant seeds, how long it will take them to germinate, depth of planting and spacing. Although more expensive than growing food from seed, Insect Facts: Plants That bedding plants already sprouted work best for Attract Beneficial Insects, tomatoes, basil, eggplant and peppers. Check Ralph Berry is available for that they are not root bound in the pot and are $6.50. stocky and deep green, not spindly and light Mail check in that green. amount to: "If you run into problems, your OSU county Insect Facts, 18160 extension office is there to help," Langellotto Cottonwood Rd. PMB said. "Master Gardeners are on hand to answer #798, Sunriver, OR 97707 questions." Source: Gail Langellotto
PAGE 6Spring Calendar of eventsGardening Seminar • April 24 ‐ Spring Gardening Seminars in Redmond at the Deschutes Fair and Classes Expo Center presented by the Central Oregon Chapter of OSU Master Gardeners. include: Attend several garden classes and a fun garden market. For more information check our website at: http://extension.oregonstate.edu/deschutes/ • Vegetable Container • May 1st ‐ Opening Day for Hollinshead Community Garden in Bend from 9:00 Gardening am—1:00 pm. Plots are 10 x 10’ or larger in size and rent for $25 for the season. • Greenhouse All available plots are rented on a first come, first serve basis on opening day. For • Perennials more information and to sign up for a plot contact OSU Master Gardener • Conifers • Garden practices volunteer, Jacquie at 593‐9305. • Genetically • Growing Farms...Successful Whole Farm Management Workshop Series modified food presented by OSU Extension Service. Six classes that begin March 30th. For more information go to: http://extension.oregonstate.edu/deschutes/ And several others... Favorite Seed Catalogs In addition to our local garden centers and nurseries, listed below are some additional sources for seeds and plant materials. These favorite seed catalogs have great descriptions, references to cold hardiness, and relevance to seeds or container 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 52 PAGE 7 Garden Tips for April and May APRIL have started from seed. • Prepare garden soil for spring planting In the landscape by adding organic matter including • Prune your deciduous trees and manures and compost or planting a shrubs, using proper pruning cover crop (green manure) such as techniques. Be careful not to ryegrass, buckwheat, or barley. prune your flowering trees and shrubs that bloom on last years MAY growth (old wood), for example your lilacs. Wait until these plants In the landscape are finished blooming and then • Continue to work your compost pile, by prune shortly after the flowers turning, adding materials and keeping it die off. If you are not certain moist. about when to prune your plant • Mid April through May is the best time contact the OSU Extension to dethatch and aerate your lawn. Service or your local garden “Mid-April center to find out. Rent a dethatcher from the rental shop and pull up and remove thatch, follow • Apply a dormant horticultural oil through May to your deciduous trees and with a fertilizer application to stimulate rapid recovery. shrubs with a history of insect is the best • Repair or change your sprinkler system problems, this product will to be more efficient. smother overwintering eggs and time to the crawler stage of many insects • Now is the time to manage your weeds such as aphids, spider mites and when they are small. First identify the dethatch and scale. A lighter horticultural oil weed, then remove by hand, should be used on your mechanically, or chemically. Do not allow them to flower and go to seed. aerate your evergreens and deciduous trees and shrubs after they have leafed Vegetable Gardening lawn” out. • If you haven’t fertilized your • Direct seed your carrots, corn (late bulbs yet, now is a good time. May), chard, kohlrabi, and potatoes. Use a fertilizer high in • Transplant your brussel sprouts, phosphorous (the second number cauliflower, cucumbers (late May), on the fertilizer bag) for example, leeks, or peppers. 0‐46‐0. • Protect your plants and crops from • You may need to get out the frost by using row cover or walls of lawnmower and mow the lawn water. by the middle of April. Vegetable Gardening • Direct seed your beets, lettuce, peas, radish, and spinach. • Transplant your broccoli, cabbage, onions, that you may
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