Thanks for joining the last Garden Walk for June at the Oak Creek Center for Urban Horticulture!

Our guest speaker was Charlotte Epps with the Intercultural Learning Garden or ILC. Charlotte shared the backstory on the garden and successes from their first year. Can’t wait to see how the sweetpotato trial turns out and to watch this student-run garden grow.

Master Gardener volunteers and Charlotte Epps inside a hoophouse looking over sweetpotatoes planted into plastic covered bed.
Charlotte Epps in the back sharing on her sweetpotato research project.

We finished up the garden walk with a few plant problems and questions similar to what may come through a Master Gardener plant clinic.

First up was aphids on lupine. Two biocontrols were present (lady beetles and parasitic wasps-check out those cool aphid mummies!) Did you know that there are even parasites of the aphid parasites??? Check out this fact sheet on hyperparasites of aphid parasitic wasps. I’m not sure if these hyperparasites are present in Oregon but will update when I find out.

Next up was a plant ID. This is Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’ commonly known as Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick or contorted hazelnut. The genetic twisting of the stems also extends to the leaves giving them an uneven appearance. (The first time I thought this was a plant ‘problem’ not knowing that this was this cultivars normal appearance!)

Then we were wowed by the large, soft leaves and impressive floral display of the catalpa (I think this is Catalpa speciosa, what do you think? What additional pictures and info would you need to determine which Catalpa species this is?).

AND the bee-eating skunk was spotted before we left!

Thanks for coming out to the Oak Creek Center for Urban Horticulture!

On 6/2 we had a tour hosted by Jen and Steph both students with the OSU Organic Growers Club. We ran into Amy Garrett (OSU Extension Small Farms) and Katherine (volunteer gardener) who kindly shared about their plots, too. Here’s info on tomato grafting from a previous MG webinar.

On 6/7 our guest speakers were Gail Langellotto (Dept. of Horticulture) and Jen Hayes (graduate student) with the OSU Garden Ecology Lab. Here’s more details on the gophers & camas story that Jen shared. Jen and other students from the Garden Ecology Lab shared their research projects in a virtual field day last year.

Thanks also to Nick C. with the annual flowers trial. We caught him out watering in plants and he shared a little about the set up of the Proven Winners trial that he’s running. Learn more in his short video from last year’s virtual field day.

Thank you for coming out to the Oak Creek Center for Urban Horticulture!

Here’s some notes and recap from our tour on 5/28. The guest speakers were Al Shay and Cody Buckman. They shared gardening philosophy and on the ‘Urban Garden Row ‘which contains dense urban plantings, a central American inspired garden and a mini-meadow installation. We also saw several different irrigation systems and discussed the pros & cons for gardens. Drip, misters, hand watering, sprinklers, microspray systems-what’s your preference?

Al Shay & Cody Buckman sharing on irrigation strategies.

Here’s a video on how to burn perfect circles into weed barrier. Note: not an OSU video & the video quality is little shaky but shows the method well!

We learned about the ~9-10 year old hedge row installation that incorporates natives and cultivated varieties. This planting provides dense habitat for birds and pollinators. Learn more in the OSU Extension publication, ‘A Guide to Hedgerows: Plantings that Enhance Biodiversity, Sustainability, and Functionality.’ Fun fact: over 86 bird species have been identified at OCCUH.

Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius) in the hedgerow installation

Al & Cody touched on Amy Garrett’s dry farming demonstration (just planted with tomatoes, zucchini, and buckwheat cover crop. Learn more on her Small Farms Dry Farming website. Also check in with the Benton County Demonstration Garden. They hosted a small plot and may have insights on using this technique in gardens.

False Lupine (Thermopsis rhombifolia); easy to grow from seed but also spreads easily. Bumble bees loved it!

We wrapped up the tour with a glimpse at the Organic Growers Club CSA packing shed. The 2021 shares are sold out but you can still get a cool SOIL t-shirt or make a donation to support the students.

And here’s some tips on enjoying Cody’s favorite veggie: Kohlrabi!