Bee City: Ashland Food Bank

The Ashland Emergency Food Bank has Ashland’s first pollinator garden recognized by Bee City USA Ashland. It’s in bloom now at 560 Clover Lane. You can see it M-F,  9:00am-12:30, and get ideas for your own garden. Plant list is available.
Do you want to get your Ashland garden recognized? Visit the City’s website to learn more.
by: John Love

Composting Dos & Don’ts

Alternate layers of nitrogen-rich greens & carbon-rich browns.

Greens:

• Vegetable peelings
• Rotten fruit & Fruit Peelings
• Leaves & Grass ( green & dry)
• Coffee grounds &  Tea leaves
• Manure from vegetarian pets: rabbits, gerbils, guinea pigs, sheep, horses,cows, llamas, etc.

Browns:

• Dry leaves, grass and plant stalks
• Shredded newsprint (non-toxic inks only),
• Shredded Brown Paper bags,
• Unbleached paper towels, napkins, wet is okay, greasy no!
• Cardboard ( small pieces)
• Corncobs
• Straw
 
You can also add:
• Rinsed, crushed eggshells
• Pet hair, to help discourage rodents
• Dryer lint
• Wood ash

Tips:

• Select a level, partially-shaded spot for your bin with good water drainage. Be sure it is at least 8 in – 12 in away from walls, fences, bushes, doors and windows.
• Cut kitchen scraps up into smaller pieces – faster decomposition.
• Whenever you add any food layer, top it off with brown material. Keep a pile of dry browns near the bin to sprinkle on top each time you add kitchen scraps.
• The beneficial microorganisms in your pile need oxygen. If too compacted (like in a landfill), they produce methane as they decompose, which is a greenhouse gas. Leave lots of air space in your bin and mix the contents every week or two with an aerator tool, or an old broom handle.
• Collect dry leaves and grass in a separate, dry container. Then you can use them year-round.
• Compost is generally ready to use after two or three months but aging the pile another one to two months before putting it on lawns or garden will improve it.
 

DON’Ts:

WHY? They attract rodents & other pests and cause odor problems.
 
AVOID ADDING THESE TO YOUR COMPOST:
    • Grease, oils or fats.
    • Bread or bread products
    • Rice
    • Pastas
    • Salad dressings or sauces
    • Dairy products
    • Nuts or nut butters
    • Fish
    • Meat
    • Bones
    • Dog or cat feces, kitty litter, human waste – Meat-eating animals, including humans,  carry diseases, and kitty litter may contain chemicals.
    • Ash from barbecues or coal Contains harmful chemicals.
   • Weeds with mature seeds. When you spread the compost, you’ll spread those weeds, to your garden.
    • Treated wood products May contain harmful chemicals.
 

Troubleshooting:

SYMPTOM DIAGNOSIS TREATMENT
Compost is attracting pests: dogs, rodents, raccoons. Improper materials added. Use a pest-resistant bin.
Put kitchen scraps in the center of the pile and cover with soil.
 
Compost pile is wet and stinky, too much green material. Add brown material. Turn pile. Insufficient covering.
Put scraps at the center of the pile.
 
Pile is dry too much brown material. Not enough water.
Add fresh kitchen scraps. Moisten with water.
Cover pile to reduce evaporation.
 
Pile is cold Lack of nitrogen. Add green materials such as
grass clippings, kitchen scraps.
 
Compost is attracting flies. Food scraps are exposed. Cover green material with browns. Avoid adding grease, oils, meats, breads, etc (see checklist above). Cover food scraps with soil or brown material. Put kitchen scraps in the center of the pile.

DIY: Aphid Spray

Make your own insecticidal soap: Aphids attacking a rode bud and stopping it from opening

Mix 5 tablespoons of all-natural liquid soap with 1 gallon water. 

Using a hand sprayer apply soap mixture directly on the aphids. Wait an hour then spray the roses with a garden hose to remove any soap residue and the dead aphids.

Repeat as needed.

Garden on the Month: July 2016

160 Scenic Drive

On a hot July day, what could be as cooling as the sight and sound of running water in the garden?  The garden of Cheryl Briggs’ home at 160 Scenic Drive is the Ashland Garden Club’s July 2016 Garden of the Month, and it has water features in two places among a small forest of shady trees.  Previous owners installed the recirculating waterfalls, stream, and ponds on a steep lot.

LR 7-16 5

Briggs has owned the home for five years, and she added the steps, walkways, and driveway with design help from Jeanine Strum of The Seasons Color.  Briggs has weekly maintenance help from Carol’s Colors.  A major project in the recent past removed ivy from the slope leading from the street.  There is a stunning view of the valley and hills to the East, from a deck that has huge pots with masterful combinations of small plants.

Rhododendrons and azaleas abound in the shady areas.  Also featured are Japanese maples and camellias.  The major trees are Douglas fir and cedar.  A photinia hedge lines the street.  Elsewhere in the garden are a Cecile Bruner and Lady Banks roses, dogwood, wisteria, magnolia, and madrone.

Garden of the Month: June 2016

 Geneva Park Townhomes  –  961-999 B Street, Ashland Oregon

Open Garden (for all of Ashland!) 11:00-1:00, Saturday, June 25, 2016

PIC  (3)

The Ashland Garden Club’s June 2016 Garden of the Month is the common areas of the Geneva Park Townhomes at 961-999 B Street. Built in stages, with the first sections completed in 2003, the complex encompasses 16 units, including a completely rebuilt farmhouse in front, at 961, and two one-story units immediately behind it that were originally outbuildings for the apple orchard that once stood on the land. Three apple trees that were part of the orchard remain as part of the landscape. This is a flag lot that opens up toward the back to allow a concentration of two-story units around the waterfall and pond.

PIC  (2)The original landscape design was by Karen Marshall of Naturescape Designs in Medford. All of the hardscape, including a lap pool and recirculating waterfall and pond, the mature trees, and long-established plants were part of Marshall’s plan. Among the most eye-catching examples is a beautiful combination of four conifers, near the pond, that emphasizes differences of color and texture.

PIC  (1)Since the original plan, a number of changes have been made, most recently a small project that takes advantage of the City of Ashland’s lawn replacement program. All of the recent changes have resulted in considerable savings in both water usage and labor to replace seasonal plantings. All of this has been accomplished through the guidance of Sherry Zalabak who chairs the homeowners’ association landscape committee and is the volunteer caretaker. A dedicated gardener, Zalabak now devotes an average of ten hours a week to the grounds. She plans carefully, to provide color year-round with perennials rather than annuals, and to enhance the variety of textures. Zalabak transformed one area with the beautiful combination of barberry and blue oat grass. Smoke tree, dogwood, and other dramatic plants have been added for contrast.  As the gardens had been neglected for some years, Zalabak devoted over 1000 hours to their improvement over her first two years in residence, starting in 2012. Promak Landscape provides routine maintenance twice a month.PIC  4

The Geneva Park Homeowners’ Association cordially invites Ashland residents and guests to come see the grounds on Saturday, June 25, from 11:00 to 1:00. The Blades of Grass trio will provide music. Limited parking is available on site.PIC  5