• Last spring my garden is alive after along winter sleep. Plenty of work to be done. Planted many vegetable seedlings grown in the greenhouse. Lettuce, carrot (sowed direct into the ground), collard, kale, Swiss chard, corn, pumpkin, potato, beet, summer squash, tomato and leek. The garden is doing great. Just yesterday I harvested several zuccinni. Right away I made zuccinni chocolate cake. It is always a joy to be able to harvest from your own garden and cook with the vegetable that you grow yourself. Gardening is an excellent exercise for body and mind. Regardless how big or small your garden is.
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Spring is almost here

The sound of tree frogs croaking in the distant meant spring is almost here.  Time to think of gardening.

As usual every morning I would visit the greenhouse to look if the seedlings need watering.  While busy looking around, I notice a tree frog not far from the peat moss container.  It unusual to see one so close.  I let the frog out into the garden.

Tree frogs are only about an inch long.  Which makes them hard to see even where they are plentiful.  Ponds and wetlands where they can be heard croaking on wet nights especially if temperature is above 40F.  Although they are excellent climbers they are rarely found in trees.

The frogs can be found at night with flashlight by quietly following the sound to the source, although they will quit calling when searches get close.  During the day they can often be found under boards or other corner in or near wetlands.  Just about any wetland habitat with shallow standing water that does not dry up before June is good place to hear and find these frogs.

 
                                       Photo courtesy Chris Carney stock.xchng

Gardening Calendar In The Month Of June

Woo hoo, finally the rain stopped.  I thought spring will never leave Oregon and today is the first day of summer.  The long-range forecast is for good weather, so I will take the opportunity to do some yard work.  More transplanting vegetable seedlings,  pruning the flower shrubs, mowing the lawn, etc.  I found by following a to do list is quite helpful.  Here it is…..

  • Apply fertilizer to lawns
  • Control root weevils in rhododendrons, azaleas, primroses, and other ornamentals.  Use beneficial nematodes if soil temperature is above 55F.
  • Remove seed pods after blooms have dropped from rhododendron, azaleas.
  • Prune lilacs, forsythia, rhododendrons, and azaleas after blooming.
  • Use an inch or two of organic mulches or sawdust or composted leaves to conserve soil moisture.
  • Pick ripe strawberries regularly to avoid fruit rotting diseases.
  • Control garden weeds by pulling, hoeing or mulching.
  • Thin apples, pears, and peaches when fruit is as big around as nickle.  Expect normal June drop of fruit not pollinated.
  • Late this month, began to monitor for late blight on tomatoes.
  • If  indicated, spray cherries at a weekly intervals for fruit fly.
  • Move houseplants outside for cleaning, grooming, repotting and summer growth.
  • Make sure raised beds receive enough water for plants to stay free of drought stress.
  • Learn to identify beneficial insects such as, ladybugs, ground beetles, rove beetles, spiders and wasps.
  • Blossoms on squash and cucumbers begin to drop, nothing to worry about.

Happy Gardening

April Gardening In Oregon

Fertilize the lawn and let spring rains carry the fertilizer into the soil.

Bait for slugs, clean up hiding places for slugs, sowbugs and millipedes.

Do not cut foliage of spring flowering bulbs for bouquet.

Prune and shape spring blooming shrubs and trees after blossoms fade.

Prepare garden soil for spring planting.  Mix generous amount of organic materials and other amendments.

Apply commercial fertilizers, manure or compost to cane and trailing berries.

Control rose diseases such as black spot and powdery mildew.  Prune ornamentals for air circulation.

Cut and remove weeds from near the garden to remove sources of plant virus diseases.

Spray for apple scab, cherry brown rot.

Prepare raised beds in areas where cold soils and poor drainage are a continuing problem.

Plant these vegetables, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, chard, leeks, peas, radishes, rhubarb, spinach turnips.

Night Blooming Cereus

I inherited this beautiful plant from the previous owner.  It did not bloom for several years.  I repotted and give it some tender loving care, finally my hard work paid off.  Since then it has been giving me joy over the year with its delightful fragrance and flowers.

Latin name Epiphyllum Oxypetalum (night blooming Cereus).  Bloom only once late at night, stay open until morning.  The fragrance would lingered for awhile.  A magnificent creation by nature leaves us in awe by this wonderful Epiphyllum.  A member of orchid cactus family, it needs period of dryness and cool time temperature in the winter to ensure summer bloom.

Happy Gardening…….
 

CANADA GEESE NOT ON OUR LAWN

     

Canada geese are not welcome on our lawn.  They are a menace, heavy feeder, especially on dark green healthy grass.  They leave droppings everywhere on the lawn that created a burn like circle.  I believe this come from nitrogen in their droppings.  The lawn slope to the water edge.  So my husband decided to install a yard guard (portable fence) that comes in 50 feet rolls, 4 feet in hight.  That did the trick, no more geese foraging on our lawn.  They are lazy bird, rather ambling to the lawn than fly over it.  Watching them on the water is quite a sight .  When they sense danger, bobbing up and down their head making a clucking noise.  Signalling they are ready to fly out.  The clucking noise went into a crescendo, their web feet start to run on the water, wings spread wide,  flapping furiously and slowly they lift off.  Flying along the McKenzie river to find another grass field for foraging.    

Did you know that the gander wingspread is as much as 5 feet and his weight approaches 14 pounds, wow that is heavy.  The gander is also a fierce defender of his mate and offsprings. Their habitats are ponds, lakes rivers, freshwater, salt marshes, and grain fields.  The nest is a hollow lined with plant matter and down.  Eggs 2-12, white, incubation 25-30 days, by female only.  Gosling leave nest soon after hatching, they will stay with their parents until next spring.  Their foods are aquatic plants, grass, and grain.      

From spring to fall often I look up in the sky geese flying in their V formation males and females honking greeting each other.  A beautiful sight to be hold in spite their annoying habit of ruining our lawn with their droppings.     

Happy Gardening……    

Canada geese resting on the edge of the lawn.

 

Wild Birds Frolicking In The Snow

 

 

These wild birds (Juncos and Towhees) were lucky enough to find food in a snow storm.  Oregon covered in snow for several days .  A winter wonderland seldom seen in the Pacific Northwest, except, of course in higher altitude.  Rain is common here.  I captured this photo from the kitchen window with a telephoto lens.  It was a joy to watched these birds enjoying their winter feast.