Water-Wise Gardening

Russian sageThe City of Ashland has created an informational  website to help reduce water usage in yards & gardens.

Click here to visit the site:
Water Wise Landscaping in Ashland

Once you’re at the website click the tabs located at the top of the page to view the following features.

Start with Garden Resources which is the gateway to the site. There you will find the table of contents: Getting Started, Irrigation, Design and Maintenance.

Garden Tours & Garden Gallery showcase local properties and supplies the viewer with visual examples of water-wise plantings.  Within each photo there is a white box; click the box to obtain detailed information regarding the plant.

The Plants is organized by Firewise,  Lawn Alternatives, Drought Tolerant Plants, Ornamental Grass, Deer Resistant Plants, Screens & Hedges. Each category presentsa list of plant suggestions. You can also search for plants based on: plant type, size, color, sun requirements, soil type and blooming season.

The Watering Guide provides watering guidelines, watering tips and common irrigation challenges.

This well designed site contains vast amounts of plant information, check it out and be inspired!

by:Carlotta Lucas

April 2014: Garden of the Month

Karen McClintock says she’s lucky her husband, Mick Smith,never saw a Frontweed he wouldn’t stop to pull out.  Indeed!  Mick also plants and prunes, and last year brought a photinia hedge back to good health from disease.  Their garden at 2790 Diane Street to the left of the walkway reflects the hard work they both put into it.  Right now the Spring blooms and colors are spectacular.

They purchased the house eight years ago.  The previous owner did the bulk of the hardscape and some of the basic planting. Karen and Mick, without any formal training, frequently add and rearrange. front_0129This fall Karen moved all of the iris around to mix, rather than bunch, the colors, and she’s eager to see what emerges in the next few weeks.  They get occasional help (quarterly) from a handyman gardener for the biggest jobs such as pruning the grape vines that fill the side yard.  Among the challenges of gardening onback_2 this property are deer, of course, a street light lamp post and three (count ‘em!) utility boxes in the front garden.  They use bone meal to discourage deer and it also fertilizes the tulips.   To keep everything green they use organic fertilizers sparely.  In the fall they purchased and covered the front garden with wonderful organic mulch from Plant Oregon. In front of the house, in addition to the tulips, daffodils, and grape hyacinth currently putting on a show, are Japanese maple, forsythia (the one to the left of the driveway is currently at the peak of its color, the one to the right of the driveway has gone from yellow to green leaves), manzanita, bayberry, variegated pittosporum, blue fescue, shasta daisies, euphorbia, rosemary, oregano, and sedum.
back2_0138In the back yard a small garden provides privacy and beauty.  It includes a crepe myrtle tree, roses, lilac, lavender, huge red oriental poppies, sweet woodruff, lupine, strawberries, wall flower, azalea, nandina, day lilies, foxglove, and hellebore. They use oyster shells in back to thwart snails–with limited success.  Along the back wall of the property a lovely backdrop of photinia provides the frame for this picture perfect garden.

5 W’s for Fertilizing

                                                                    Article by Kelly Brainard, Owner Ashland Greenhouse

“There are always so many questions about fertilizing.  I would like to go over some of the basics, especially since early spring can be a key time for taking care of fertilizing needs. Always ask yourself:
The type of plant you are focusing on (perennials, annuals, vegetables, ect).
What type of fertilizer to use based on season and the plant(s) you’re fertilizing.
When do you apply fertilizer?  Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter?
Where is the best place to apply fertilizers?  Topically or to the root zone?
Why is this necessary?  What are the benefits of fertilizing?

Since we could write a book on everything mentioned above let’s keep it brief and relevant to what we should focus on in early spring.  This is a great time of year to focus on perennials.  Most perennials prefer a well-balanced or all-purpose fertilizer (all three numbers on the packaging are identical, i.e. 3-3-3 or 16-16-16).  Perennials fed in early spring develop strong root systems which in turn produces larger, healthier plants.  Apply granular fertilizers to the soil around the root zone.

For annuals that are tough enough to be outside early and continue blooming throughout the summer, like petunias and verbena, apply well balanced or slightly higher nitrogen fertilizers. This gives them an extra boost, encouraging growth.  You can successfully use either a granular or foliar fertilizer.  Foliar fertilizers tend to react faster than granules since they are taken up by the plant through the leaves but need re-application more often.  For annuals I like to use granular fertilizer applications in the spring and start using weekly or biweekly applications of liquid fertilizer in the summer. Remember as a rule of thumb – ALWAYS apply fertilizers in the morning. It is less stressful for the plants.

Vegetables are a completely different beast when it comes to fertilizing.  There are numerous techniques when it comes to fertilizing your vegetables.  If it’s grown for leafy greens then apply fertilizers heavier in nitrogen. If it’s grown for the fruit apply fertilizers heavier in phosphorous.  Nitrogen promotes healthy, green foliage and too much of it can discourage fruit development while phosphorous promotes bud and flower growth which encourages more fruit.

When in doubt about fertilizing don’t hesitate to ask a fellow gardener. Some of the best advice is the advice that we share with each other!”

Source: http://AshlandGreenhouses_April2014Newsletter