Saturday, August 24, 2019


When bad things happen in the gardens of our friends it affects all of us.  The gardens of my friends in Tumalo and Culver have been foremost in my thoughts these past 2 weeks.

The months of tending to vegetables and looking forward to produce---all gone.

Perfectly color coordinated annual flower plantings---all gone
July Shasta Daisies
Favorite container plantings---all gone.

Perennials prone to the ground.  Fruit trees and deciduous trees were stripped bare.  Juniper needles and berries are inches thick on the ground.

Hearing the sadness in their voices and the disbelief of what remains gave me an inkling of what it must be like to suffer the losses of a wildfire.

The question now is what to do?  It's not one of the problems you can ask google.  How would you phrase it?  "Plant damage caused by 6 inches of hail in August in the High Desert: edu sites only."

A conversation at the Extension Office offered the following thoughts.

Looking at the calendar, August is the time that perennials and landscape materials are starting to shutdown.  Their roots systems have probably absorbed all the nutrients needed to go into the dormant season.

Fertilizing trees and shrubs would push them into a new growth cycle.  You know what can happen in the unpredictable weather cycle of Central Oregon--we could have a damaging frost next week.

It is best to move into a triage  process determining what is the severity of damage and can something be done.  Limbs that were broken should be pruned in the appropriate manner.  Otherwise, let nature take its course.

Perennials should be cleaned up removing any broken stems.  Would staking or adding a cage be of value in helping the plant recuperate?

There won't be time for a new crop of tomatoes to develop even if you have been left with some blossoms.  If you're determined, you could revert to the early spring practices of using row covers, plus a dose of a tomato food.

Shasta Daisies After August Hailstorm
There's a strong possibility that the cabbages will produce off shoots after the main head has been removed and broccoli usually continues to produce florets after the main stalk is removed.

The encouraging news is that you can do some fall plantings of cold hardy vegetables like carrots, beets and fall mixed salad greens and don't forget it is getting time to plant garlic.  I planted beets on August 5 and they germinated starting August 11.  They germinated so quickly because the soil temperature has reached and maintained a warmer temperature than the spring planting.  In the spring they seem to take forever.

If you lost some herbs that you had intended to dry, call Don Schnack at 541-389-4440.  Don is offering FREE herb cuttings (not plants) at his property in the Plainview area between Bend and Sisters.  Herbs that need cutting are mints, anise hyssop, basil, parsley, chives and tarragon.  Bring scissors and bags.  Call Don for more information.

Don't forget to check out the Gardening: Get Good At It segment on Tuesday August 27 on KPOV 88.9 FM "The Point between 9-9:30 am.

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