Saturday, November 13, 2021

A FEW RANDOM TIPS from one gardener to another

A tip to keep handy come spring that will help conserve water. Before you throw out a sizeable nursery pot repurpose it into a water ring. Cut off the top 4 to 5 inches of a pot creating a wide ring of plastic. Place the ring around a plant, working it in an inch or two into the ground. When it's time to water, fill the ring and enjoy watching the water soak directly into the root zone.

The tall bamboo stakes serve many purposes between the greenhouse and the garden.  I keep them stored in a 5 gallon bucket in the garden shed.  I need to put into practice a hint I saved.  The gardener stored her bamboo stakes in a tree trunk wrap.  The rigid plastic protector keeps all the stakes together and would be far more convenient to carry the bundle than carrying the 5 gallon bucket with the stakes flopping around.

One fall job still on my list is to wax the wooden handles of my wheel-barrow, several rakes, and a shovel.  Yes, I still have wooden handled garden tools.  I use Minwax, but I am sure there are many wood waxes available. 

Reuse the hanging wire baskets that you'd normally fill with a liner and soil as a low-cost holiday light feature.  Years ago creative folks at the Fernwood Botanical Garden in Niles, Michigan filled a wire hanging basket with Christmas lights and hung the basket in a pergola.  Or, adopting that idea it could be part of a front porch or patio decoration; much easier and safer than stringing lights following the roof line.

I am still toying with the idea of using an upside-down tomato cage as an outdoor Christmas tree.  The dream tree I cut out years ago featured the cages wrapped in woven grapevine and honeysuckle pruning's.  The tree was designed by a gardener in Eugene which explains the  bountiful grapevine cuttings.  Suggestions also included flexible  pruning's of redtwig or yellowtwig dogwood, willow, wisteria or woody clematis.  Lights are woven around and between the branches to twinkle at the front entry at night.  I think it will probably have to remain my dream tree and I will go to idea #2 which is to follow the instructions to create a whimsical tree using wide wired craft ribbon in holiday colors wound in and around the form and scattered here and there with a holiday bobble, plus lights, of course. 

An early November newsletter posting from OSU horticulture department advised using wood ashes in the garden.  That is a definite NO for Central Oregon gardeners.  Our native soil composition is based on a high percentage of volcanic ash.  That was one of the first lectures when the Master Gardener program was introduced to Central Oregon in 1982-83.  It was a time when most everyone had a wood burning stove so it was an important first lecture in how to be a successful gardener in C.O.  I decided I had better recheck my facts 38 years later and the NO still stands.  Please keep in mind that we need to follow the guidelines of Central Oregon Master Gardener studies that are appropriate to our area.

Mark your calendar for Gardening: Get Good at it "The Winter Landscape Garden" segment on Tues. Nov. 16 on KPOV 88.9 FM between 9-9:30 a.m.

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