Ashland Firewise Clean-Up Day

Ashland Firewise Clean-Up Day
The Wildfire Mitigation Commission, Recology Ashland and Ashland Fire & Rescue are proud to announce the fifth annual Firewise Clean-Up Day! 

“Protect Your Home, Protect Your Community”

Create a Firewise yard before fire season starts by removing the “fuel“ from a potential wildfire. Ashland residents are invited to drop-off their yard debris free of charge!

When: Saturday, April 30th, 2016 from 9 AM to 3 PM
Where: Valley View Transfer Station 3000 N. Valley View Rd.
Who: Sponsored by Ashland Fire & Rescue, the Ashland Wildfire Mitigation Commission, Recology Ashland, and the National Fire Protection Association
Why: To prevent the spread of wildfire within the City of Ashland
How: Remove leaves, pine needles, small branches, brush & other yard debris and drop off free of charge

Bring with you:

  • ID that shows your name and Ashland address (driver’s license, utility bill, etc.)
  • Green debris that meets guidelines

Horticulture Report: Rhododendrons & Azaleas


Rhododendrons are native to Asia, North America, Europe and Australia, with the highest


Black Magic Rhododendron

species diversity in the Himalayas. There are over 1,000 species of rhododendron, woody plants in the Heath family that may be evergreen or deciduous. Azaleas make up 2 subgenera of the rhododendron family.

Some species are poisonous, both the pollen and nectar, yet we have observed honey being sold specifically from bees feeding on rhododendrons.

Growing Conditions:
After over 48 years experience growing both rhododendrons and azaleas in diverse conditions in the U.S., I believe these plants are much tougher than most people appreciate.

Among the false assumptions:
Rhododendrons and azaleas are best grown where summers are cool and moist—not so!
Azaleas are mostly deciduous—not so!

There are two conditions that are critical to success in growing these acid loving plants whose fine roots are primarily at the soil surface:

>>Good Drainage
>> Cool Roots

Whether your soil is clay or decomposed granite, it can be amended to meet the plants needs.

Clay Soil:
With clay there are two approaches, the easiest is to amend the existing soil with good acid compost to loosen it up and allow for drainage. As long as the planting site is elevated from the surrounding soil, you can plant directly into the soil. Another approach is to build a raised area about one foot above the existing soil level using river rock or another material and fill with good soil mulched with acid compost.

Decomposed Granite:
Typically decomposed granite drains rapidly so the addition of a good amount of acid compost will help it retain sufficient moisture to support plant growth.

Keeping Roots Cool:  In Southern Oregon it is very easy to keep plant roots cool as we have easy access to conifer forest detritus. Although fir trees are the dominate locally, we have pine trees which serve as the ideal mulch for azaleas and rhododendrons. Unlike compost, which can get soggy and compacted, pine needles piled around the base of the plants provide a cool, moist environment with good air circulation. As the pine needles breakdown, they help maintain soil acidity.

Selecting Plants



A factor to consider in purchasing rhododendrons and azaleas, is how the plant will fit into your landscape scheme. If you desire the tall lacy feel of rhododendrons reaching for the sky, then look for plants that exhibit an 8 to 10 inch or greater annual growth rate. In contrast, there are many species which grow in a dense, bush-like growth habit or , with the deciduous species, they retain a shrub like height, but exhibit a lacy open growth habit.

Spring is the ideal time to purchase these plants as they are in full bloom, giving you good color selection and an appreciation of some of the perfumed varieties. The disadvantage is often nursery suppliers push the plants causing the roots of some of them to be so compacted that they cannot be pulled a part. Under these conditions the plant will never perform well and I would suggest returning the plant to the nursery.

Submitted by:
Donna Rhee, AGC President

Can’t-Fail Rose Diet

Rose Diet: An Aggressive Feeding Program For
Established Rosebushes

Plants should be well mulched with blends of organic materials such as compost, wood shavings and aged manure (chicken and turkey are best, but steer will do). Mulch is not only nutritious on its own, it provides the perfect medium over which concentrated fertilizers should be applied.

Suggested feeding schedule is for modern roses only – those that repeat their bloom.


Apply Chelated Iron in early Spring

1st week – Apply One of the following water-soluble fertilizer concentrated in nitrogen along drip line:

31-0-0 ( slow-release formula)

33.5-0-0 (ammonium nitrate),

21-0- 0 (ammonium sulfate)

15.5-0-0 (calcium nitrate).

3rd week – Apply 2/3 cup Epsom Salts (Magnesium Sulfate) per bush

Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) are activators for plant enzymes essential to the growth process.


1st week apply granular, water-soluble, balanced fertilizers – 10-10-10 or 20-20-20 fertilizer

3rd week apply ½ cup Epsom Salts (Magnesium Sulfate) per bush


1st week apply granular, water-soluble 20-20-20 fertilizer

3rd week apply fish emulsion- 1 teaspoon per gallon. RATE: 2 gals per bush


1st week apply granular, water-soluble 0-10-10 fertilizer

3rd week apply fish emulsion- 1 teaspoon per gallon. RATE: 2 gals per bush

Don’t apply anything after Halloween.


Summarized from an Article by Rose authority: Rayford Reddell, owner of Garden Valley Ranch Nursery Petaluma CA., Article 2003, San Francisco Chronicle

Read full article here: