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E-News for Northwest Gardeners, April 2011 (volume 10, no. 4)

April 29th, 2011

The April 2011 issue of Oregon State University’s E-News for Northwest Gardeners is now online at http://extension.oregonstate.edu/gardening/enews.

You can forward the subscription to gardening friends. Ask them to send an email to: gardeners-subscribe@lists.oregonstate.edu. It’s free and easy

Additionally, you can find weekly gardening information from OSU on Twitter at http://twitter.com/OSUgardeners.


Is it time to plant vegetables? Ask your soil thermometer Soil temperature is the best indicator of when to plant vegetables, said Annie Chozinski, OSU vegetable researcher.


Add organic matter to improve garden soils Any composted material that has been reduced to humus is a good soil amendment.


Slow, cool composting is the easy way

Slow composting is often the best method for people who do not have time to tend a hot compost pile.


Harness the sun to kill weeds, plant diseases and pests Put transparent plastic sheeting over moist tilled soil during the warmest and sunniest months of the year.


Create vegetable beds with ‘lasagna’ mulching Sheet composting is an easy way to start or expand a garden with a minimum amount of equipment, material and time.


So many cabbages, so little time

You can buy cabbages but if you grow your own, you can try many more varieties, even red and purple ones.


WHEN IN ROME — More natives for your garden

Native groundcovers are great for home landscapes Groundcovers are even more effective if they are native to the area. OSU horticulturist Linda McMahan has suggestions.


Plant native Oregon shrubs now

Many native shrubs provide good color and blooms, are drought tolerant and draw wildlife.


Water wise plants are beautiful and efficient Many plants native to Oregon qualify as water wise. Oregon iris (Iris tenax) is a good choice.


Planting dates and regions for growing Oregon vegetables OSU Extension Service has information on how to garden successfully in all four state zones.



Potential to become invasive provokes need for sterile shrubs Bushes and plants that are considered to be invasive could eventually be replaced with their sterile offspring, thanks to an OSU breeding program.


Unmanned aircraft aims to simplify inventory for Oregon nurseries A team of researchers from OSU will test a new remote sensing system in three Oregon nurseries using an unmanned multi-rotor aircraft.



Gardening tips from OSU Extension’s radio archive. Turn on your speakers and visit the links below:

Soil thermometer


Row covers to warm veggie plants



Things to do in your garden this month.


Note to media outlets: Each month, we send out these timely garden and natural resource articles as OSU Extension’s monthly electronic “Northwest Gardeners e-News” magazine, which can be accessed online at: http://extension.oregonstate.edu/gardening/enews/.

Also, the OSU Extension Service sends out one new “Lawn and Garden Notes” article every week. To receive this weekly OSU gardening article, e-mail your request to: Karen.Zimmermann@oregonstate.edu

You may also want to bookmark the OSU Extension Service’s gardening webpage. From one spot, you can link to hundreds of OSU garden articles; publications; online guides to weed, pest and disease control; garden calendars; radio programs; the OSU Extension Master Gardener Program; local county Extension offices; and urban entomology websites.


Feel free to contact Peg Herring or Judy Scott with questions or feedback. They can be reached by mail at Extension and Experiment Station Communications, Oregon State University, 422 Kerr Admin. Bldg., Corvallis, OR 97331-2119, by telephone at 541-737-3311, and by e-mail at Peg.Herring@oregonstate.edu or Judy.Scott@oregonstate.edu

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