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Garden Updates 2012

Garden Updates 2011

Garden Updates 2010

Garden Updates 2009

Garden Updates 2008

Garden Updates 2007

 

2009

12/01/09 - Poinsettia Do's and Don'ts

11/13/09 - Clean Bird Feeders for Healthy Birding

11/02/09 - Deer Feeding - More Harm Than Good

10/11/09 - Aspen Leaves Changing Color

10/08/09 - Fall and Ornamental Grasses

9/28/09 - Trees and Shrubs Need a Deep Watering

9/20/09 - Are Your Pine Trees Dropping Needles?

9/17/09 - Why Do Leaves Change Color in the Fall?

9/15/09 - Cloud Cover

9/09/09 - End of Year Sale

9/01/09 - Fall Bulbs

8/28/09 - Wild Plum Trees

8/24/09 - Boss is Away Sale

8/04/09 - Western Days at L & S Gardens

8/01/09 - Tomato Problems and Plants on Sale

7/27/09 - Cutter Bees in the Garden

7/19/09 - Events in the Nursery

3/09/09 - Pruning Deciduous Trees and Shrubs

1/29/09 - Planting Ideas and Tree Pruning

 

Garden Updates 2008

Garden Updates 2007

 

12/01/09 - Poinsettia Do's and Don'ts

First of all the Poinsettia is NOT poisonous. This plant is not intended for human or animal consumption and certain individuals may experience an allergic reaction to the poinsettias. In fact, in 1992, the poinsettia was included on the list of houseplants most helpful in removing pollutants from indoor air. So, not only is the poinsettia a safe and beautiful addition to your holiday decor, it can even help keep your indoor air clean. You live in Cold Climate Country and need to take some precautions when purchasing your plant. Many of you will be purchasing your plants the month of December.

  • Don't take the plant from the store without added protection. Poinsettias do not like temperatures below 50 degrees. Have the sales person put your plant in a bag and then another one over the top of your plant. Trust me, you will see damage if the plant is taken out in freezing temperatures and cold winds. Make sure your vehicle is warm when transporting the plant.
  • Do not leave it in the vehicle while you do other shopping as the vehicle temperature will drop.
  • Don't place plants near cold drafts or excessive heat. Avoid placing plants near appliances, fireplaces or ventilating ducts.
  • Do place your plant in indirect sunlight for at least six hours per day. If direct sun can't be avoided, diffuse the light with a shade or sheer curtain.
  • Don't over water your plant, or allow it to sit in standing water. Always remove a plant from the decorative foil or container before watering, and always allow the water to drain completely.
  • Do water your plant when the soil feels dry to the touch.
  • Don't fertilize your plant when it is blooming. Fertilize after the blooming season with a balanced, all-purpose fertilizer.
  • Do water your plant when the soil feels dry to the touch.
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    11/13/09 - Clean Bird Feeders for Healthy Birding

    Cleaning bird feeders is not the most enjoyable part of backyard birding, but it very important. If you are taking the time and expense of feeding our fine feathered friends then you must take the responsibility to keep the feeders clean.
    A clean bird feeder looks good, but most importantly, it provides a clean environment for the wild bird seed, healthier back yard birds and less risk of disease. Fungi such as Aspergillus fumigatus, a fungus which causes respiratory infections in birds, can grow on the feeders.
    Another benefit to clean bird feeders is more wild birds! Given a choice, wild birds prefer clean, fresh seed to moldy seed. So, if your bird feeders are filled with moldy seed and your neighbor has clean, fresh bird seed in their feeders- guess who gets more wild birds visiting the feeders?
    Cleaning the feeders should be done as often as needed and that will depend on how much traffic you have at your feeders. Each time I fill my feeders I do a quick inspection. I look to see if there are seeds stuck to the bottom of the feeder and if their are any droppings around the seed. Be sure to empty your feeders each time you fill them. Don't keep adding new seed on top of moldy seed - yuk. If there are any seeds stuck to the bottom I take a putty knife and scrape them out. This is very important if we get rain or snow.
    Give those feeders a bath at least four times a year. Obtain a tub big enough to hold your bird feeder, a scrub brush and/or paint brush, gloves, scent free liquid soap or detergent and white distilled vinegar. Place your feeder in the tub with warm water and a squirt of liquid soap or detergent. Wearing gloves, scrub the feeder and rinse thoroughly. Empty the tub and fill with clean water and 4 cups of vinegar. Let the feeder soak for about an hour. Rinse thoroughly.
    Also, make sure you call wildlife officials immediately if you notice that the birds in your vicinity seem sick.
    Be Responsible - If you are going to feed the birds take the responsibility of keeping their feeders clean- you wouldn't appreciate a dirty dinner plate and neither do our fine feathered friends.

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    11/2/09 - Deer Feeding - More Harm Than Good

    Feeding the deer sounds like a good thing to do..WRONG!

    Deer are ruminants, similar to cows, and have complex digestive processes. They have multi-chambered stomachs and rely upon micro-organisms, instead of digestive juices to break down food so that nutrients can be absorbed. The types and concentrations of the micro-organisms are specific for various food types. What might work well to digest woody browse will not digest supplemental foods such as corn or other grains. If there are any changes in a deer's diet, it can take up to several weeks for the culture of the micro-organisms to adjust to the newly introduced foods. Deer may readily consume new foods, but in fact receive little nutrition for an extended period of time.

    People mean well but do not realize the damage they are doing. The availability of commercial so-called "deer feed" does NOT make it OK to feed the deer. The Fish and Game Commission urges landowners to NOT provide supplemental food to deer, because the practice can actually cause more harm than good. Not only is the supplemental feed not good for the deer but there are other problems also. One of the most serious drawbacks to feeding deer is that feed sites lure them away from their natural wintering areas. If deer continually go to feed sites instead of natural deer wintering areas, then young deer may never learn to find their traditional winter habitat.

    "If you care about deer, leave them alone - let them be wild, and find natural foods and appropriate winter shelter on their own. The bottom line is this...please don't feed the deer, and please discourage your neighbors and friends from engaging in this harmful activity."

    10/11/09 - Aspen Leaves Changing Color

    Living in Central Oregon, you never know what the weather is going to be like from one day to the next. This year we have seen some very early cold nighttime temperatures.When this happens there is little you can do to promote the vivid golden yellow fall foliage. Cool weather is what causes the leaves to turn yellow. When you get early freezes like we have had, it kills the green leaves, causing then to shrivel and usually stay attached to the tree. You may even notice that your Flame maples and burning bushes don't take on the vivid red colors of fall when we have these drastic early drops in temperature.

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    10/08/09 - Fall and Ornamental Grasses

    Ornamental Grasses have become very popular over the last couple of years. What I like about them is the movement of the foliage and the pretty seed heads that form in the late summer and carry through to winter. Even though the grasses are a perennial plant, I do NOT cut mine back in the fall. I let them stand through fall and winter. When spring comes I cut them back so that they can start their cycle over again. The grasses, especially the the numerous varieties in the Feather Reed Grass category range in height from 2 feet tall to 4 feet tall. Some have a consistent green leaf and others have a variegated leaf. A couple of my favorites are Karl Forrester, which has a solid green leaf, and Over Dam, which has a variegated leaf. If you do not have any planted in your perennial beds you might want to think about adding a few to next year's garden plans.

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    9/28/09 - Trees and Shrubs Need a Deep Watering

    As fall and cool weather are fast approaching, you want to make sure that all of your trees, shrubs and perennials go into the winter with damp roots. You will lose a tree, shrub or perennial if the roots are left to dry out. Many of our October days can be very warm with cool evenings. Don't let the cool nights fool you into thinking your plants don't need water. You may only water once a week or once every other week but until we get a good hard ground freeze you should continue to water. I realize that you will be shutting down your irrigation systems, so get out those hoses. During the winter, if we have very little moisture, you may want to pack a 5 gallon bucket of water to your newly planted trees and shrubs.

    It is about time to have your irrigation systems blown out for the winter. If this is something you can't or would rather not do yourself, then I would recommend that you call Greg Broxson at Twin Pine Landscape. Cell is 541-610-5285, he is licensed and bonded.

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    9/20/09 - Are Your Pine Trees Dropping Needles?

    Contrary to popular belief, evergreen foliage does not remain attached indefinitely. Older, inner needles discolor and drop-off after several years, depending on the species. In late summer and throughout the fall, many of you notice the browning of the needles and fear that some insect or disease has affected the tree. Don't be alarmed, this is a natural occurrence. Evergreen shrubs and trees remain green throughout the year because they do not lose all of their foliage at one time. Usually needle drop goes unnoticed because new needles conceal the old, inside needles. Each species of evergreens is different. Jack Pine and Ponderosa Pine usually drop their needles every 2 years, Austrian and Scotch Pine retain their needles for 3 years. Remember this...if you are seeing brown needles to the inside of the branches you are just seeing a normal drop of old needles, if you are seeing needles dropping from the tip of the branch, then you have a problem. If you feel that you are having a problem with your evergreen, bring me a sample and I will take a look.

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    9/17/09 - Why Do Leaves Change Color in the Fall?

    We all enjoy the color of autumn leaves. Problem with the area that we live in is that when the summer weather takes a nose dive over night to 20 degrees in the garden like I had last week, it changes things dramatically. Leaves need a gradual change from summer to fall in order for the colors to emerge. When the temperature drops quickly there is no time for color change. Within a matter of three days my leaves went from a beautiful green to yellow..

    Leaves are natures food factories. Plants take water from the ground through roots. They take a gas called carbon dioxide from the air. Plants use sunlight to turn water and carbon dioxide into glucose. Glucose is a kind of sugar. Plants use glucose as food for energy and as a building block for growing. The way plants turn water and carbon dioxide into sugar is called photosynthesis. That means "putting together with light." A chemical called chlorophyll helps make photosynthesis happen. Chlorophyll is what gives plants that green color. As summer ends and autumn comes, the days get shorter and shorter. This is how the trees "know" to begin getting ready for winter. During winter there is not enough light or water for photosynthesis. The trees will rest, and live off the food they stored during the summer. They begin to shut down their food making factories. The green disappears from the leaves. As the bright green fades away, we begin to see yellow and orange colors. Small amounts of these colors have been in the leaves all along. In some trees like the maples, sunlight and cool nights of autumn cause the leaves to turn this glucose into a red color. The brown color of trees like the oaks is made from wastes left in the leaves. Now you know more than you ever wanted to know about leaves turning red.

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    9/15/09 - Cloud Cover

    We really haven't had many clouds lately, but there is a product that I want to tell you about called Cloud Cover.
    With fall here and winter on it's way we need to take a few precautionary steps in the garden to insure spring success.
    Cloud Cover is a ready to use plant protector. It seals in moisture to protect the plant from our cold winter temperatures and cold winds. What I want you to use this product on is your Oregon Grape, Rhododendrons and other evergreen plants. One of the reasons Rhododendrons do not do well in our area is the fact that our cold winds literally pulls the moisture right out of the plant. This product is a clear, flexible polymer coating that holds moisture in plants and reduces stress caused by temperature extremes.
    Bringing a live or cut Christmas tree into your home this winter? You know how fast these dry out. Many of the Christmas Tree sellers recommend that you spray your tree with this product to help retain moisture. A one quart spray bottle will cost you about $11.99. I do carry this product but will be closing the end of this month so if you want to give it a try, come see me.

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    9/1/09 - Fall Bulbs

    I was out and about yesterday and noticed that the box stores are starting to display their fall bulbs.
    It is too early to plant bulbs, you want to wait until we get our first good freeze, usually about end of September or first of October.
    Remember that the cheapest bulbs are NOT usually the best bulbs. You want to purchase #1 grade bulbs that are firm, not spongy to the touch. You are only going to get big beautiful spring flowers by purchasing quality bulbs. Those bulbs that you see 5 for $1.00 usually only produce small flowers. As the saying goes "you get what you pay for".
    I recommend that you look for the packages that say "late blooming" for our central Oregon area. That means that they will bloom a bit later than other bulbs and won't get hit by that heavy freeze we get in February and March.
    You want to plant in an area where the soil has been amended with a good garden compost, full sun and work bone meal or bulb food in around the bulbs when you plant.
    I saw some nice assortments at Costco and Fred Myers. I took my hands and pressed on the packages and the bulbs seemed nice and firm and of good quality. Be sure to inspect before you buy. And, deer do NOT eat daffodils. They love tulips. There are many varieties of daffodils on the market, colors ranging from cream to a light pink and the popular yellow. I'm sure that their are other stores selling good quality bulbs, I just didn't get everywhere to check. I do not sell bulbs because we close the nursery at the end of September.

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    8/28/09 - Wild Plum Trees

    Every once in awhile there will be a plant in the nursery that doesn't show its self well but makes a terrific plant in the garden when it grows up. Actually in this e-newsletter I'm talking about Prunus Americana or better known as a Wild Plum Tree. I have 12 of them in the nursery and no one wants to give them a home. I love this little tree. You can see one in my yard directly in front of our car port. The tree, or you might consider it a large shrub, grows to a height of about 15 feet. It has a very fragrant white flower in mid-spring and YES, I have had mine produce a few plums. The thing about the wild plum is that the fruit is tart, but it makes a great salsa or jam. You will see this tree growing from Summer Lake to the Madras area here in central Oregon.
    True, the little trees don't look their best in the pots, they need a home in your yard. Regular price on these small trees is $26.99. Tomorrow, Saturday, August 29 I'm going to put them on sale at 50% off. That makes them $13.50 and trust me, you will love them. They like full sun, good amended soil and twice a year, starting in spring and then again in August, they like a shot of granular fertilizer, a 16-16-16 would be perfect.
    OOPS, forgot to tell you - be sure to tell the girls that "Linda sent me to purchase a Wild Plum Tree at 50% off. I did not tell them when they left this afternoon that we would be doing this sale - SURPRISE !!
    We really appreciate you returning our containers. You will find our recycle bin on the left side of the driveway just as you come in. Didn't purchase that shrub or tree from us? That's O.K. we will take the containers.

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    8/24/09 - Boss is Away Sale

    I'm heading out to a trade show in the morning and I want the girls to stay busy while I'm gone.
    So here is the deal !!
    Unadvertised sale on all of our perennials Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Tell the girls "Linda said to take 40% off your perennial purchases". Pass this on to all your friends that might not get my e-newsletters.
    On another note: All of our trees and shrubs are 40% off and our annuals are 75% off.

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    8/04/09 - Western Days at L & S Gardens

    This is the event you have all been waiting for - Western Days, Saturday, August 8 from 9-5.
    You will find an Authentic Mountain Man Lodge with all the trimmings and a historian to walk you through the workings of the lodge.
    All of our perennials will be 20% off marked prices, annuals on sale at 30% off.
    The Dutch oven cooks will be selling samples of their cooked dishes 6 for $5 from 11:30 to 2:30 or until food is gone.
    Root beer floats $1.50 and free ice cream cones for kids under 10 years of age.
    Vendors set up throughout the nursery + a garage sale in the back of the nursery.
    Live music
    No parking in the nursery, walk in only. Please park across the street or behind the nursery, there will be lots of signs.
    Take highway 97 into La Pine and look for the Sugar Pine Cafe on the east side of the highway. Turn at the Sugar Pine and then take a sharp right behind the Sugar Pine, proceed 1 and 3/4 miles. Just follow all of the signs-you can't miss us !!

    SEE YOU ON SATURDAY - Linda

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    8/1/09 - Tomato Problems

    This time of year I get lots of questions regarding tomato problems. One of the biggest concerns is Blossom End Rot. This appears as a large, dark brown, soft spot at the bottom of the tomato just as it is beginning to ripen. You can not save a tomato once it is affected. The ruined fruit can be added to the compost pile. Blossom end rot is caused by a calcium deficiency, which is usually the result of an uneven water supply. Tomato plants need a steady supply of water to absorb the necessary calcium from the soil.
    Water deeply and thoroughly to encourage a deep root.
    Agricultural lime contains calcium, working a little lime into the soil will help.Lime will also help to correct a pH problem if the soil is too acidic.
    Be watching for insects on the tomatoes. There are many organic insect sprays on the market.
    Blossom Drop
    This condition is usually caused by low night temperatures. You want to maintain a temperature of 55 degrees. If you lose blossoms, maintain the temperature and it will re-bloom. You will have a later crop.

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    7/27/09 - Cutter Bees in the Garden

    We are seeing lots of bugs in the gardens, some good and some not so good. One of the big questions this week is "what type of bug is making large holes in the leaves of my plants and trees"? Do the holes in the leaves look like someone has actually taken a hole punch and cut out a perfect circle or even a half circle? If so, your yard is being visited by the CUTTER BEE. At this time of year this bee is making nests. Your trees and plants might look bad but don't worry, it does not usually kill the tree or plant. Using an insect spray on the affected plant or tree is usually a waste of time and product. You will rarely see the culprit. I say let it BEE !!
    Another garden pest that will devastate your garden is the spider mite. Here on the high desert we see these mites more than in some areas that get more moisture. You have to look real close to see fine webbing and mites the size of a pin head. A regular insect spray will NOT kill these mites. You will need to use a product specifically for mites that says MITICIDE.
    If you are having a plant or tree problem bring me a sample in a baggie and let me take a look. I can not tell you what you have eating your garden with a phone call.
    REMINDER... Western Days is August 8. The Dutch oven cooking group will be selling samples 6 for $5 from 11:30 to 2:30 or until they run out of food. Proceeds from this event will go to the La Pine Christmas Basket Association. Vendors will be set up throughout the nursery selling lots of fun stuff, garage sale behind the nursery and don't forget to try one of our Root Beer Floats.

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    7/19/09 - Events in the Nursery

    3/9/09 - Pruning Deciduous Trees and Shrubs

    Deciduous trees respond best to pruning just before waking up from dormancy in late winter or early spring. Pruning at either of these times makes it easier to clearly see the form of the tree. You can also see any broken limbs and stems that will need to be pruned off. Prune just before the buds start to swell.
    Early flowering shrubs should be pruned AFTER they bloom. Early flowering shrubs form their flower buds on the previous year's growth, and removing any stems before they bloom means you're removing potential blossoms. But don't wait too long after the shrub has flowered because these shrubs need sufficient time before autumn to fully develop next year's flower buds. A few examples would be lilacs, forsythia, ninebark and the rugosa roses.
    Late flowering shrubs should be pruned before spring growth begins. So prune them anytime from late fall until just before growth begins in the spring. A few examples would be potentilla and spirea.

    When pruning trees and shrubs, always make an angled cut just above and sloping away from a viable bud, or if the plant is dormant and leafless, above where the leaf was once attached. Be careful not to cut too close to the bud, causing it to dry out and die - leaving a dead stub. And don't cut too far above a bud, because the stub that remains will eventually die, rot away, and provide a possible entryway for disease.

    Does your tree have unwanted suckers coming up from the root? The best way to remove suckers is to get them while they're young (less than 1/4 inch in diameter) and during the early part of the growing season. Cut the suckers off as close to the growing point as possible. If a sucker is not removed all the way back to its growing point, new suckers will grow from the base of the old one.

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    1/29/09 - Planting Ideas and Tree Pruning

    Can you believe that we have been growing plants for Central Oregon gardens for over 18 years? Over the years I have had many of you ask if I would come to your yards and give you some ideas on what and where to plant. Of course time is always a factor, but I have decided to get out and about a bit this spring. Remember - I am NOT a landscaper. I do know what grows in our area and have a good knowledge as to what location plants, trees and shrubs should be planted in. I do NOT plant but can give you some ideas for the do it yourself gardener.
    So here is the deal - I will visit your yard and give you some planting ideas. Or you may have some problem areas that we can figure out a solution for. I will not work up a landscape blueprint, you can take notes as to my suggestions. The number of yards I can visit will be limited, so if you are interested please e-mail me. We will have to wait until the snow is melted, but I can get you on my list. There will be an hourly charge for this service with a minimum of 1 hour. Get your ideas together and let's talk !!
    The best time to prune most leaf trees is during the winter. Do your research for trees that have showy blooms, so you aren't removing the flower buds set for this coming spring. Pruning in winter generally invigorates a tree, while pruning in summer, generally slows growth over time.
    Tree Pruning
    The three reasons to prune are safety, health, and aesthetics. For major pruning, and especially if it requires trimming of overhead branches, hire a properly licensed and insured certified arborist.
    Pruning for safety can involve removing branches that could break and cause injury or property damage, removing branches that are blocking driveway views or removing branches that hang over roofs. Do not attempt to remove branches in electric lines. Call the electric company before trying to handle the job yourself.
    Pruning for health would include removing diseased or insect infested branches, thinning out branches to allow more air movement (which can reduce fungal growth), pruning broken branches and removing crossing and rubbing branches.
    Pruning for aesthetics may include anything from trying to improve flower production, by allowing more light into the center of the tree, to enhancing the tree's form or natural characteristics. Prune to retain the tree's natural form, instead of trying to make it look like some other kind of tree.
    Pruning tools should be clean and sharp. To sanitize tools to avoid transmission of disease organisms, use 70% alcohol or a solution of one part bleach to nine parts water. The tool should be immersed in the solution for one to two minutes. If you use bleach, rinse afterward with soap and water to avoid corrosion.

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    L & S Gardens
    “28 Years in Business and Still Growing”
    lsgarden@uci.net
    541-536-2049


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