Milwaukie Farmer’s Market

The merry month of May brings a wide variety of volunteer service and continuing education opportunities for Metro-area Master Gardeners.  Both Farmers Markets and Master Gardener hotlines are starting to buzz with lots of activity and questions from the gardening public. There are still openings for a few of the Hands-on Workshops, and many more volunteer opportunities abound with our “partner” community demonstration gardens.

Dig-in as a garden educator volunteer, it’s the season!








Farmer’s Markets are sprouting up around the tri-county area.  Master Gardeners are hosting clinic tables at the following markets this month.

Beaverton  –  Gresham –  Hillsdale –  King – Lake Oswego

Milwaukie  –  Oregon City –  Sherwood – Tigard

Sign up for a shift on CERVIS or contact the clinic coordinator, Jordis, or Marcia for assistance signing up.

Multnomah Phone Clinic

Master Gardener Hotlines It’s amazing what you can learn educating others and that opportunity is there for all who volunteer at the Master Gardener phone clinics!  Research and collaborate with fellow MGs while educating the gardening public.   Sign-up on CERVIS or contact a phone coordinator.

Clackamas County, Janet Hohman, 503-655-8631
Multnomah County, Susan Marcus, 503-703-4937
Washington County, David Butt, 503-645-5769



Keep an eye out!  Special Volunteer Events.  Special volunteer events arise throughout the season so be sure to watch for email announcements from MG program staff or postings on CERVIS to snag a slot at one of the many special volunteer opportunities.

Get Volunteering! CERVIS will get you there!

All of the OSU Sponsored volunteer activities are available for sign-up on CERVIS, our online volunteer registration system. Look for the “CERVIS volunteer event registration” link on the right side of our main website: .

When logging into CERVIS for the first time, enter your email and click on “Don’t Know password/ Reset password” to get a temporary password.

Please only sign up for events that you know you can attend. If you need to cancel an event, please contact the clinic coordinator for a list of other volunteers interested in a particular activity. It is your responsibility to find a backup!

Remember “Partner” activities and some “Program” activities added at the last minute are not listed on CERVIS. So be sure to keep an eye out for special email and newsletter announcements.

Students at End of the Oregon Trail Garden
Photo courtesy of Sharon Andrews

Lending a Hand and Learning at a Demonstration Garden!

Hands-on learning in any of our ‘Partner’ demonstration gardens is rewarding.  Each garden offers unique active, relevant, learning opportunities.  Contact a coordinator and dig in!

Clackamas County has the following hands-on volunteer opportunities:

  • End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center – Check in to see how you can join the fun!
    Sharon Andrews 503-577-7493


  • Hopkins Demonstration Forest – Tend native plantscapes – in a beautiful forest setting!
    Frank Wille


  • Grow-An-Extra-Row and Learning Garden’ Project at Clackamas Community College –
    Help to grow food for those experiencing food insecurity.
    Nancy Muir 503-789-6970

Guy Weigold at Community Demonstration Garden

Multnomah County Master Gardeners Community Demonstration Garden in Southeast Portland. Join them as they expand into a new Annex garden!
Contact: Heidi Nichols at  or
Nancy Fine or










MGs at Jenkins Estate Open House
MGs at Jenkins Estate Learning Garden Open House. Photo: Sue Ryburn

Washington County Master Gardeners have two wonderful demonstration garden locations and they are breaking ground at their new PCC Rock Creek Education Garden on June 6th!  See details for the special PCC Rock Creek Garden Ground Breaking Ceremony on our Partner Events page.





  • Washington County Fairplex Join in the fun tending this great garden!
    Bill Klug 503-681-0143


  • Learning Garden at Jenkins Estate – Lend a hand in this beautiful landscape.
    Sandy Japely at 503-531-8482.


  • PCC Rock Creek – be part of the exciting beginnings of a fabulous community garden partnership!
    Sue Ryburn at

Hands-on Workshops a few slots remain for our 2018 training workshops.  Use the links you were sent earlier in the year to sign-up for the workshops.  The following workshops still have openings as of the composition of this newsletter.

  • June 2 – Summer Fruit Tree Care
  • July 27 – Advanced Vegetable Gardening

A big shout out of thanks to our workshop instructors for their time and inspiration!

Jen Aron
Margaret Bayne
Jane Collier
Monica Maggio

Multnomah Co. MG Propagation Team:

Judy Battles
Gloria Bennett
Sally Campbell
June Davidek
Marilyn Frankel
Linda Goldser
Pete Jacobsen
Heidi Nichols

Washington Co. MG Propagation Team:

Helen Dorbolo
Marian Ewell
Jackie Lindquist
Sally McCulloch
Jim Kronenberg
Ardis Schroeder
Marilynn Turner

Advanced Training Webinars Updates

Photo credit: Aaron Anderson, Oregon State University

There are some great additions to the online Advanced Training Webinar series brought to you by Brooke Edmunds, Oregon State Extension and the OSU Master Gardener Program.  These webinars each count for 1 hour continuing garden education/recertification credit.  A wonderful way to expand your gardening knowledge in the comfort of your own home or sitting in a lovely garden watching on the electronic device of your choice.

Upcoming Live Webinars

5/31 at 11am PST Dealing with Darling Dastardly Deer presented by Dr. Dana Sanchez

6/28 at 11am PST Practical Food Safety in the Garden presented by Sara Runkel

7/26 at 11am PST Meet the New Neighbors: Emerging Pest Issues in Oregon presented by Robin Rosetta

8/30 at 11am PST The Latest Research on Bees in the Garden: Results from the OSU Garden Ecology Lab presented by Dr. Gail Langellotto

For more information and to view recordings of past webinars go to:


How do I log my volunteer hours?
To maintain an ‘active’ Master Gardener status or to complete your Master Gardener training you need to log your volunteer and education hours on a 2018 Volunteer log sheet and submit them to the MG program office by September 30, 2018.

You can download the log sheets at the Metro MG Program Volunteer Portal.  Just click the ‘Volunteer hour reporting and forms’ link.  There you can choose between a Word Doc or Excel sheet.

Does CERVIS track my hours?  Yes, CERVIS does track your volunteer hours, BUT you need to transfer those hours onto your Volunteer Log sheet and submit them along with your other volunteer hours.  To access your history log into CERVIS and go to “Report Management”, then click “View or Print Volunteer Activity History” and transfer those hours to your log sheet.

What hours do I log?

  • Interns – log your volunteer hours and the Hands-on workshops that you attended
  • Veterans – log your volunteer hours and the continuing garden education/recertification hours you attended

Then simply submit all volunteer and education hours to the MG program office by September 30, 2018.

Plant Sale Nirvana!
The Clackamas Co. and Multnomah Co. Master Gardeners provide plant sale ‘Nirvana’ for all garden enthusiasts the first weekend in May.

  • May 5th and 6th the iconic Spring Garden Fair will satisfy anyone’s plant lust! Perennials, annuals, natives, ornamentals, veggie, fruit, herbs, and more!  Clackamas County Event Center, Clackamas








  • May 5th the Incredible Edibles Plant Sale a community celebration for home-grown goodness – organic veggie, fruit and herb starts will get you growing!  1624 NE Hancock Street, Portland







With a little judicious planning you can shop for plants all weekend!







Photo: Linda Brewer, © Oregon State University

Mulch – What, Why and Wherefore?

Have you ever been confused about using mulch in your garden or advising clients?  Master Gardener Chip Greening made a great presentation to the MG Study Group last month where he laid out the nitty-gritty research on mulch.  Chip is kindly sharing his presentation handout outlining what mulch is, how using mulch effects the garden and how to choose the appropriate type of mulch.  Check out his ‘Mulch – What, Why and Wherefore’










Did You Hear the Exciting News?

The Clackamas County commissioners voted unanimously to approve plans for a new OSU Extension Education Center!  Woo-hoo! This new home for the Master Gardener program will support our outreach and service to the citizens of Clackamas County and beyond!  Read all about the exciting news!

New OSU Extension Education Center in Clackamas County

Natter’s Notes 

Update: Japanese Beetle

Jean R. Natter, OSU Master Gardener

No Japanese Beetle logo
Image courtesy of the Oregon Department of Agriculture

The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) has an extensive website with information about their continuing efforts to eradicate the invasive Japanese beetles (JBs) from Washington County, Oregon, which is expected to require 5 consecutive years of treatment. (Treatments began in 2017..) For a history and overview of the project, including all public updates beginning with March 2017, see ODA’s website at

ODA advises that adult Japanese beetles (JBs) found within the designated treatment area should be disposed of in soapy water. If JB adults are observed outside the treatment area, capture it/them and, then, promptly notify ODA by email at or phone 1-800-525-0137.

The following is the full text of the most recent Oregon Department of Agriculture update (April 16, 2018) for the ongoing eradication effort of the Japanese beetle in Washington County:

– – – –

The Oregon Department of Agriculture has begun treatment operations of residences in Washington County as part of the second year of Japanese beetle eradication. Oregon Department of Agriculture has contracted General Tree Service to perform the applications of the larvicide. General Tree Service (GTS) worked with ODA during the first year of the project, and has worked with ODA on past eradication projects for Japanese beetle in Oregon in years prior.

The treatment area in Washington County for 2018 is approximately 2000 acres containing an estimated 6500 residences. As of Friday, April 13, ODA and GTS had treated 2,049 properties for Japanese beetle. Four application crews consisting of one ODA team lead and two General Tree Service applicators and staff meet each morning at 7:30am to prepare the day’s plans. Treatment begins at around 8:15 am when the ODA team member visits each home to inform the resident of the treatment, inspects the property for hazards or areas to avoid application, and flags the property to let the crew know it’s ok to treat. Residents are notified about treatment schedules the week before.

– JB life cycle – Adult Japanese beetles are active only during a brief window during the summer months but are capable to doing considerable damage to numerous ornamentals. Credit: Lifecycle illustration by Oregon Department of Agriculture, Thomas Shahan

There have been some delays due to weather, but mostly treatment has been able to be completed as scheduled. This is due in large part to the hard work being done by the seemingly tireless application crews and crew leads who are working long days, rain or shine, to make sure treatment is correctly and done on time. Operations are expected to continue until mid-May, with some applications planned in Douglas County and at the Portland International Airport.







Support from resident in the area has been very positive. Before treatment, we’d received over 5,000 responses from residents allowing ODA and their staff to treat the properties, including 30 Home Owners Associations allowing treatment in common areas. Tualatin Hills Parks and Recreation Department and the Beaverton School District are also supporting the project and allowing treatment to parks and school fields. Applicator crews have said that residents in the area are expressing their support for the project, with many “Thank yous” and “Get those beetles!”

Containment will begin ramping up soon, with the yard debris quarantine still in effect and expanding in 2018. Residences will receive electronic notices from Oregon Department of Agriculture this week, along with other communications planned throughout the summer.

– Chris Hedstrom, Japanese Beetle Project Coordinator

(Click the link below for PDF containing the above text and all the images.)

Japanese Beetle Update PDF

By Margaret Bayne, OSU Extension Staff-retired, OSU Master Gardener

May 2018

Residential beekeeping: Best-practice guidelines for nuisance-free beekeeping in Oregon. This publication outlines guidelines for best practices for beekeeping in residential areas. It outlines the steps residential beekeepers can take to operate their bees in nuisance-free manner. (Andony Melathopoulos, Ralph (Mike) Rodia, Jen Holt,  & Ramesh R. Sagili, OSU)

Photo credit: Barb Fick

Give the garden a facelift with 6 shrubs sporting dramatic foliage. “It’s easy to grab the pretty flowers staring back at you from the nursery shelves but try straying from the usual and plant vibrant shrubs to spice up the garden.” (Amy Jo Detweiler, OSU; via Kym Pokorny, OSU)

Got aphids in your greenhouse?As a biological control strategy, banker plants offer a novel non-chemical approach to managing commonly encountered pests in the greenhouse.(Edward Ricciuti,

California Bumblebee decline linked to feral honeybees.  “…honeybees frequently out-compete native pollinators such as for food and nesting sites.” (

This mite’s method of hitchhiking is not recommended…get eaten by a slug. (Yao-Hua Law,

Plant a Geiger counter in your garden. “… Tradescantia, also known as Spiderwort…has special sensitivities: the tri-petal flowers open and close based on the weather and light levels; when it is really hot the flowers close, but on an overcast or rainy day, they seem to glow.  But the most exciting Tradescantia trick is that it will change flower colors when exposed to low levels of radiation, among other pollutants.” (Lisa Burke,

The Gardens of Alcatraz. ”The very name conjures up visions of famous inmates like Al “Scarface” Capone and recalls well-cited facts, such as: “Nobody successfully escaped.” But for all we know about Alcatraz, few people realize that many of its prisoners were also gardeners. (Katie Nanton,

In defense of Wasps.  “Despite their poor public image, wasps are incredibly important for the world’s economy and ecosystems. Without them, the planet would be pest-ridden to biblical proportions, with much reduced biodiversity”. (Seirian Sumner,

Train yourself to observe tree problems. Download this free informative publication.  A correct diagnosis of the problem is the important first step in trying to manage an unhealthy tree. This publication contains guidelines for identifying tree problems. It will help you examine your tree systematically, collect important background information, and find expert assistance, when necessary.” (Lina Rodriguez Salamanca & Laura Jesse Iles, Plant & Insect Diagnostic Clinic, Iowa State University Extension)

Move over, Beetles: The new champions of diversity are Parasitic Wasps. Parasitoid wasps that lay eggs in other creatures may represent more species than any other group of animals.” (Nala Rogers,

Photo credit: Tiffany Woods

Stick a thermometer in the soil before planting vegetables.  “With a thermometer, no guess work is needed. Soil temperature is the best indicator of when to plant each type of vegetable, no matter what climate zone you live in.” (Jim Meyers, OSU; via Kym Pokorny, OSU)

Brushing plants for height control.Theoretically, plants release a small amount of the plant hormone ethylene when they are touched or moved (by people, the wind, etc.). With repeated and frequent plant movement, plants release enough ethylene to inhibit elongation.” (Erik Runckle,



Growing unusual veggies encourages kids to garden! Learn about such fun veggies as Bush Hog Cucumber and Mashed Potato Squash. (Melody Parker,

Three great how-to videos: “Apple Tree Pruning Made Easy.” (U of Minnesota Extension,
Part 1:

Part 2:

Park 3:

Cockroaches’ DNA reveals why they thrive in filthy places. “By identifying which genes are key to the bugs’ survival, scientists hope to find ways to better control them.” (Ian Sample,

Crazy plant ladies through the ages: Women Naturalists, Botanists, and Horticulturists who made history ( blog)

One Orchid…two colors.It’s inflorescence is made up of a dense cluster of flowers. Unlike what we are used to with most flowering plants, the flowers of the elder-flowered orchid come in two distinct color morphs – purple and yellow. They are so drastically different that one could be excused for thinking they were two different species. What’s more, the different color morphs co-occur throughout the species’ range. What could be causing this dimorphism? The answer lies in the flowers themselves.” (

Earwigs take origami to extremes to fold their wings: “The insects’ springy wing joints are inspiring robotics design.”(Laurel Hamers,

All-star spring flowers for your garden.  The best flowering bulbs and perennials for early- to late-spring color: Hellebores, Snowdrops, Daffodils and Tulips. (Anne Balogh,

Bizarre, parasitic ‘Fairy Lantern’ reappears in the rainforest after 151 Years! “A strange plant that needs no sunlight and sucks on underground fungi for nutrients has turned up in Borneo, Malaysia, 151 years after it was first documented.” (Rafi Letzter,

Making the most out of your soil test.  What does soil pH mean for your garden? (Rebecca Finneran & Mary Wilson, Michigan State University Extension)

How to divide perennials. (Richard Jauron, & Willy Klein, Iowa State Extension)

Why leaves don’t leave.  “Deciduous trees typically lose all of their leaves by late autumn. But a stroll through the Arboretum reveals a scattering of deciduous trees and shrubs that still have leaves (albeit dry and brown) clinging tightly to branches. These plants are exhibiting marcescence, the trait of retaining plant parts after they are dead and dry.” (Nancy Rose, ARBlog, Harvard University)

The world’s largest mining operation is run by fungi. “If you sift the mineral particles from conifer forest soil, wash them, and examine them under a microscope, you will discover a startling detail: tiny tunnels.” (Jennifer Frazer,

Photo credit: Pam Zaklan

Practice the good neighbor policy in the garden: Try companion planting. (Pam Zaklan, OSU MG; via Kym Pokorny, OSU)

Royal Jelly-pH and viscosity.  “Scientists are still learning some basic information about honey bees, Apis mellifera.  In a recent paper, the pH of royal jelly was determined to be the deciding factor for keeping the substance viscous.   Honey bee larvae develop into queen bees if they are fed large quantities of a food called royal jelly.  But royal jelly does more than determine whether a larva becomes a queen. It also keeps her safely anchored to the roof of the queen cell in which she develops.” (Julia Kurtz via The Garden Professors Blog, Facebook)

Links to original blog and research paper:

Tree care workers need better training to handle dangers on the job. “…study calls attention to post-storm hazards posed to tree care workers and provides safety recommendations.” By Patti Verbanas, Rutgerstoday)

Is sex necessary? For Dandelions, apparently not. “In the case of most dandelions (i.e., Taraxacum officinale), the embryo in the seed forms without, meiosis, thus the offspring are genetically identical to the parent.”
Note: If an herbicide is ever recommended, MGs only provide OSU recommendations. (Plant Guy,

Stunning microscopic images of seeds. (Keirin,

Flower garden design basics:  “…learn the aesthetic consequences of different strategies. Remember that, in most cases, there is more than one way to arrange plants, and that many of the ‘rules’ of garden design were made to be broken.” (Lee Nelson, Cornell University)

Hardy Plant Society of Oregon’s 30 favorite plants of 2018. (The Pecks,

New butterfly species discovered nearly 60 years after it was first collected. (University of Florida,

Plants, Fungi and Bacteria work together to clean polluted land.  “Microbial interactions help fast growing trees breakdown petrochemical pollutants in the soil. Highly complex interactions among roots, fungi and bacteria underlie the ability of some trees to clean polluted land…” (, Original story from McGill University)

Wild plants and historic archaeology.  With the old homesteads long gone, “…what’s an archaeologist with a camera, pencil, paper, and keen observation skills to do? Read the landscape.” (Carl Feagans, Archaeology Review)

Researchers identify the cells that trigger flowering. “How do plants ‘know’ it is time to flower? A new study uncovers exactly where a key protein forms before it triggers the flowering process in plants.” (Linda B. Glaser & Krishna Ramanujan, Cornell Chronicle)

These beetles use booze-soaked trees to farm their food.  “Ambrosia beetles have a surprising reason for seeking out trees full of ethanol.” (Douglas Main, National Geographic)

Mullerian mimicry and why telling bumble bee species apart by color can be hard. (Briana Ezray with Andony Melathopoulos, OSU; Pollination Podcast, OSU)

Plant salt tolerance: recent research in Biotechnology. (