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

April 2019

Photo: University Connecticut

Corn gluten meal did not prevent weeds from germinating in OSU study. (Tom Cook, OSU)

A gardener’s primer to cold hardiness, part 2 (see part 1 in last month’s MG newsletter-Horticultural Updates) (Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott, WSU)

Insect Apocalypse?The underlying science does not indicate that a global “insect apocalypse” is anywhere near imminent.”  Read what the Entomological Society says about the recent media reports of the demise of insects. (

You are what you eat: A color-changing insect modifies diet to become distasteful. “Lanternflies change diet and color to become distasteful and signal distastefulness.”

Seed Oddities: Vivipary-The type of vivipary discussed is quite rare, occurring in only a handful of species and prevalent in a select number of environments. (

Individual lichens can have up to three fungiaccording to new research from an international team of researchers. This evidence provides new insight into another recent discovery that showed lichen are made up of more than a single fungus and alga, overturning the prevailing theory of more than 150 years.” (University of Alberta, via

Extracellular DNA, in plant health and hardship. “…in plants, there’s no blood or specialized immune cells to retaliate against pathogens.”  Learn now plants ensure a speedy return to health. (Sophia Swartz,

Winter leaf Marcescence– learn why some trees hold onto last year’s leaves longer in the spring than other trees. (Joey Williamson, Clemson U)

Arborvitae stands tall as a low-maintenance hedge. (Neil Bell, via Kym Pokorny, OSU)

3-D Scans Reveal Caterpillars Turning Into Butterflies-Amazing video! (Ed Yong,

Feel the Heat: Temperature and Germination- “Thinking of it this way, seeds and germination are just like Goldilocks and her porridge – there’s too hot, too cold, and “just” right.  Seeds are the same way – there’s a “just right” temperature for germination. The seeds of each species has a different optimal temperature for germination with a range of minimum and maximum temperatures for the process.”  Learn more from an expert. (John Porter,

How the humble marigold outsmarts a devastating tomato pest.  “Researchers carried out a study to prove what gardeners around the world have known for generations — marigolds repel tomato whiteflies.” (Newcastle University, via

Infographic: Plants Deploy Exosomes to Stop Alien Invaders.  “A growing branch of research on how plants use exosomes to interact with their environment is opening up a new field of plant biology.” (Amanda Keener,

Desert bacteria give plants an edge over high salinity soils. (Sterlingadmin,

Retreating ice exposes Arctic landscape unseen for 120,000 years. (Stephanie Pappas,

Greener childhood associated with happier adulthood. (Johnathan Lambert,

Photo: NPIC – Oregon State University

Garden use of treated lumber.This fact sheet explains the most widely used method for treating wood, examines the possible risks from gardening uses of treated lumber, and makes recommendations for reducing any such risks.” (Richard Stehouwer, Penn State U)

A tasty Florida butterfly turns sour. “A 15-year study by entomologists found that, when living apart from the unsavory bug it mimics, the viceroy butterfly becomes yucky, making biologists rethink old theories about animal mimicry.” (University of Arizona, via

Inside the Spittlebug’s bubble homeThose foamy eruptions on garden plants protect a slow and steady sap drinker that is growing into a froghopper. But it has to stick its hind end out to breathe.” (James Gorman,

Weird new Tarantula species discovered with bizarre “horn” on its back. “Details of a new tarantula previously unknown to science have been revealed by researchers working in Angola. The spider has a very peculiar feature, unlike any other related species we have encountered so far.” (Alfredo Carpineti,

Bizarre Video Shows A Frozen Tree Melting From The Inside- “a coat of ice has slightly peeled away from the trunk and branches, allowing a steady stream of water to trickle down the bark under the icy top layer as it melts.”  Cool! (Tom Hale,

Fruit flies don’t need sleep like other animals to survive, study suggests. (Kristy Hamilton,

Honeybees’ waggle dance no longer useful in some cultivated landscapes. (R. I’Anson Price, et al; via Johannes Gutenburg Universitat, Mainz)

Understanding mysteries of plant diseases: Diagnosis and Detection (Part 2 of 3 in this blog series) (Jim Downer,

Rediscovering Wallace’s Giant Bee: In Search Of Raja Ofu, The King Of Bees (Clay Bolt, Lost Species News via

Snowdrop basics.  “The sight of snowdrop shoots poking up through snow-covered ground is one of the first signs that spring is near. It was once thought that their leaves were thermogenic, producing their own heat in order to melt through the snow. However, it is more likely a thermal effect of sunlight heating the tips of the leaves warmer than the surrounding snow.” (Linda Hagen,

Photo: Oregon State University

Planting a garden soon?  Find out which vegetables were hits or misses from OSU’s 2017 research. (Brooke Edmunds, et al; OSU)

Tyrannosaurus rex ate meat but also accidentally planted fruit.  “T-Rex is famous for being a deadly carnivore, was likely assisting in the widespread dispersal of fruit seeds. A recent report in New Scientist suggests that T Rex was inadvertently planting fruits across the landscape in its droppings after devouring plant-eating animals.” (Chrissy Sexton,

This beetle bites an ant’s waist and pretends to be it butt.  “It takes an unusual strategy to survive nature’s most destructive swarms.” (Ed Yong,

Insect identification: Experts and guides to ID that bug you found. (

Pollen sleuths: Tracking pesticides in honey bee pollen to their source plant. (Kimberly Stoner, Richard Cowles, and Brian Eitzer,

Genetically modified super-charged Cassava could help stamp out malnourishment in Africa, (Tom Hale,

100-million-year-old amber fossil suggests Mosquitoes carried Malaria when dinosaurs walked the Earth. (Rachel Baxter,

Downy Mildew resistant Impatiens may be available soon! Syngenta to launch IDM-Resistant Impatiens at Spring Trials. (Chris Beytes,



Spring has returned.  The Earth is like a child that knows poems. 
–  Rainer Maria Rilke


Master Gardeners Grow!

Our gardens are bursting forth with color and new growth and the Metro-area Master Gardener program is growing too!  This past month, nearly 190 Master Gardener trainees finished their in-person classes, online modules, and final exam, and they are now venturing out and joining-in to serve as garden educators in the OSU Master Gardener program.

Class of 2019 Master Gardener Interns Dig In!

A warm welcome and congratulations to our 2019 class of Master Gardener Interns.  Now that you have completed the in-person class and final exam, you have the opportunity to dig deeper to expand your gardening knowledge during hands-on workshops and in your role as a volunteer garden educator.  Your volunteer service offers opportunities to learn in an active, hands-on format.  We hope you will try a variety of volunteer opportunities…Master Gardener office or market clinics, Chapter demonstration gardens or one of our many partner events.  Trying a variety of volunteer opportunities will help you to discover the wealth of knowledge available to you as an OSU Master Gardener!  We hope you enjoy your educational journey!

Message to Perennial Master Gardeners

Hearty spring greetings and ‘welcome back’!  As the growing season and the Master Gardener program gets it’s jump-start we look to you for your steadfast dedication to educating the gardening public.  We also rely on you to welcome our new class of Master Gardeners.  Do you remember how you felt during your first volunteer shifts?  Perhaps excited, nervous, apprehensive, unsure?  When you volunteer in the next few months take extra time to welcome and assist Intern Master Gardeners.  Provide a welcoming environment, orient Intern MGs regarding procedures, and guide them towards our OSU information resources.  The Interns are coming fresh from MG training – and so they also have knowledge and experience they can share.  It is an opportunity to learn and support each other.

We look forward to seeing you this gardening season and remain grateful for your continued, generous, dedicated service.  Thank you!

Office Orientations OPEN on CERVIS!

Orientations for Master Gardener office hotlines are open for Interns or Perennial Master Gardeners. Office orientations are a great way to learn or be reacquainted with our 3 metro-area Master Gardener office hotlines.  Openings remain for all three locations: Beaverton, Oregon City and Portland.

Learn more about the ins and outs of answering home gardening questions in the Master Gardener offices.  A Perennial Master Gardener will lead a brief tour of the office, review basic procedures and answer your questions.  Sign-up for office orientations on CERVIS.

The “Volunteer Portal”

Located on our Metro Master Gardeners website the Volunteer Portal leads metro-area Master Gardeners to valuable information. Once there you can read the monthly Metro MG newsletter; review how to maintain your active MG status, sign-up for volunteer shifts on CERVIS, check out the events calendar and more!


Oregon Zoo Education Center Orientations

Photo: courtesy of Metro

Volunteer at the Oregon Zoo Education Center answering gardening questions, while working closely with Metro education specialists. Interact with both adults and children.  Highlights include features for winged wildlife and wise-water use. Master Gardeners provide the Zoo visitors with garden guides on natural gardening, native plantings, and composting (including a live demo on worm bins).

Attendance at one of the orientations is required for all volunteers at the Oregon Zoo.

Sign up for an orientation on CERVIS.

  • Saturday, April 13, 9:30am to 1:30pm
  • Friday, April 19, 10:00am to 2:00pm

Volunteer shifts for the Oregon Zoo Education Center will be made available to those who complete an orientation.  Sign-up will be open following the April 19th orientation.


Workshop Series OPENS for Perennial Master Gardeners!

We have opened the metro-area Master Gardener Hands-on Workshop Series for all current, certified Perennial Master Gardeners!  We have a stellar line-up this year with over 15 workshops.

Perennial Master Gardeners can sign-up for one workshop.  To register for a workshop go to CERVIS.

For Master Gardener Volunteer Educator Interns (Options 1 and 3), if you haven’t already – you can enroll in up to two workshops, which are included in your tuition.  You are required to complete one workshop to complete your Master Gardener training. For Certificate of Home Horticulture students (Option 2), you can enroll in up to three workshops, which are included in your tuition.

IMPORTANT: If you have registered for more than your allotted number of workshops (see paragraph above) please un-register for any above the allowed maximum to allow those who were unable to register for any workshops.

WORKSHOP FULL?  If you find the workshop you are interested in attending is full – be sure to sign-up on the waiting list.

Utmost Thanks to Our Stellar Instructors!

Margaret and Jane teaching Plant Diagnostics class

Our Master Gardener training offers the best in solid research-based horticulture curriculum due to the knowledge and generosity of our instructors!  We extend immense thanks to all of our instructors for educating and inspiring our 2019 Master Gardener trainees and those Master Gardeners who attended training to keep their diagnostic skills sharp.  We are grateful to our instructors for the time they spent preparing, teaching and engaging all who attended the classes.  Thank you!

  • Margaret Bayne
  • Nick Bezzerides
  • Chip Bubl
  • Sally Campbell
  • Jane Collier
  • Claudia Groth
  • Monica Maggio
  • Jean Natter
  • Rachel Suits
  • Ron Spendal
  • Heather Stoven


 Extending Immense Thanks to Our Class Coordinators!

“Wisdom is knowing what to do next; virtue is doing it.”  – David Starr Jordan

Hillsboro MG class coordinators Louise and Marti compile Sustainable Gardening Handbooks

There is no doubt we have a wise and virtuous team of volunteer coordinators for our three Master Gardener training venues!  Our lead volunteer coordinators:  Louise Gomez-Burgess and Marti Farris (Hillsboro class), Cindy Manselle (Oregon City class), and Beven Peters and Rich Becker (Portland class); along with their supportive team of volunteer’s displayed beyond measure dedication that made for a very successful Master Gardener training!

Each volunteer team attended to the biggest and tiniest details to ensure a successful training and a welcoming venue for the new trainees.  Thanks for compiling, hauling, setting up, attending to AV needs, announcing, assisting Interns, spreading out the hospitality table, and cleaning up the last crumb before turning off the lights.  We are grateful for your time, assistance and attentiveness!

Special thanks to Marilyn Frankel and Jane and Mike Collier for lifting and hauling PNW books and supplies across the tri-counties far and wide!

Kudos Metro-area Chapters!

Thank you to the Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington County Chapters for their financial support of the Metro MG training classes.  The facility, hospitality and parking fees would prohibit training happening in such great venues.  Thank you for your constant and generous support of the OSU Metro Master Gardener training program.  Your contributions make such positive and vital difference to the Master Gardener program!


Plant Sales Galore!

Get ready!  April brings the start of our 3 supporting Chapter’s as they roll out a series of three fantastic fundraising plant sales.

Mark your calendars, save the dates and get ready to volunteer and shop-till-you-drop!  These are extremely fun events to attend and most especially fun to serve as a volunteer.  Don’t miss out!

Washington County MG’s Gardenfest Plant Sale – April 27th

A successful fundraising tradition emerges as the Washington Co. Master Gardener’s hold their first annual Gardenfest Plant Sale.  A fundraising plant sale that guides home gardeners in creating beautiful gardens that thrive!  Perennials, shrubs, vegetables, annuals, herbs, and garden tools!  Classes that support successful gardening!  Find ideas that inspire as you tour the Washington Co. Master Gardener’s new Education Garden. PCC Rock Creek Campus, Portland 17705 NW Springville Rd, Portland, OR 97229

Clackamas County MG’s Spring Garden Fair – May 4th and 5th

The iconic Spring Garden Fair will satisfy anyone’s plant lust! Perennials, annuals, natives, ornamentals, veggie, fruit, herbs, garden art and garden supplies!  10-minute University classes, Soil pH testing, New Plant Introductions, fabulous raffle and more! Clackamas County Event Center, Canby.

Volunteer opportunities, see…
For Spring Garden Fair details, see…

Multnomah MG’s Incredible Edibles Sale – May 11th
To volunteer email
Event details

The Incredible Edibles Plant Sale is a community celebration for home-grown goodness – organic veggie, fruit and herb starts will get you growing!  In addition, find a great selection of garden tools, garden art, classes filled with tips and tricks for gardening and cooking up your harvest! Live music! Kids Grow tent! Raffle! Fun for all ages!  1624 NE Hancock Street, Portland






Thumbs Up for 2019 Master Gardener Training!