Winter Gardening Chores

Here are a few thing you can do in the garden while waiting for spring to arrive….

  1. Check yard for damaged plants
  2. Check newly planted and newly staked trees to see if they are still stable
  3. Sharpen gardening tools
  4. Organize & clean greenhouse and/or garden shed
  5. Recycle pots you are not going to use in the spring (see AGC’s article on where to recycle pots in the Rogue Valley)
  6. Clean bird feeders and continue feeding wild birds
  7. Check stored fruits and vegetables
  8. Spray stone-fruit trees with copper or lime-sulfur
  9. Check yard and garden for drainage issues
  10. Check house, yard (and autos) for rodent activity
  11. Read gardening books
  12. Shop seed catalogs, and order your seeds for spring, summer, fall and winter planting
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Pear Pleasure

Dessert pears, eating pears, large or small….pears are popular around the world and the Rogue Valley’s climate is perfect for growing pears.  The Rogue Valley was once covered in pear trees and many varieties of extra fancy pears were grown for Harry and David Inc. to ship gourmet fruit baskets nationwide.  So why not grow your own?

In fruit tree catalogs you’ll find European pears,  Heirloom pears,  Asian Pears,  Keeper Pears and pears that are better for espalier.  Dwarf and semi-dwarf varieties of pear trees make it easy for an urban gardener to fit a pear tree into their backyard; some are even small enough grow in a large container.   Pear trees need a pollinator, another pear tree that blooms at the same time to cross-pollinate and bear fruit.  Mostly likely there is a pear tree somewhere in your neighborhood to pollinate your tree, but if not and you only have space for one tree, you can create a combo pear tree by grafting a scionwood branch from another variety onto your tree, or purchase a combo pear tree from a nursery.  Bare-root fruit trees will be arriving at local nurseries soon, so look for fruit trees with healthy grafts, well-balanced branches, and  well-established root systems.

Below are a few heirloom varieties to consider:

Seseckel-pear.jpgckel (Sugar Pear) – American cultivar introduced in 1790. Easy to grow.  Small chubby round pears are small with reddish brown skin,  fine-textured flesh that is sweet richly flavored and juicy. Tolerant of most pear diseases.

 

 Bosc PearBosc – Originated in France or Belgium, discovered in Europe in the 1800’s, then came to America in 1833.  A large pear with a russet skin and high sugar content, slightly fibrous texture and a spicy sweet flavor.

 

ComComice pearice –  Originated in France 1848.  A large pear with greenish yellow skin, buttery tender texture, aromatic and very juicy.  A traditional gift fruit.

 

Green AnjouGreen Anjou – (Beurré d’ Anjou)  Originated in Belgium, introduced to America 1842.  A large conical pear with a short neck stem, it has pale green skin, even when ripe.  Excellent storage pear with smooth texture, lemony flavor, but it’s not very sweet. Good for baking, poaching, roasting, grilling,  and salads.

 

Red AnjouRed Anjou– Originated as a naturally occurring bud sport on a Green Anjou.  It has all the traits of the Green Anjou, except it’s red.   (Wikipedia: Bud sport is part of a plant that shows morphological differences from the rest of the plant)

Winter Magic!

Are you longing for flowers during winter’s dark days? Try forcing flowering tree branches to bloom Forsythiaindoors.

Cut branches from spring-flowering trees such as forsythia, dogwood, and crabapple and place them in container of warm water for an hour to bring them out of dormancy.  Then re-cut their stems to enhance their water absorption and arrange them in a vase which has warm water in it with a drop of bleach added.  Set the vase in a sunny window and before you know it,  Alakazam, flowers appear!

 

Dreaming of Spring

New Annuals  for 2018
from  Proven Winner

Golden Butterfly™ Marguerite Daisy Argyranthemumhttps://goo.gl/wQpsCMargyranthemum_golden_butterfly_tag
Plant Type:  Annual
Flowers: Golden yellow
Exposure: Sun to Part sun.
Height: 18-36 “
Attributes:  Blooms continuously  into late fall,  Self-cleaning, Heat tolerant.
Uses:  landscape, Containers, Mass plantings.
USDA Zones:  10a-11b

Lady Godiva™ Orange Calendula https://goo.gl/4koUjU
Plant Type:  Annualcalendula_lady_godiva_orange_tag_
Flowers:  Orange with darker centers
Exposure: Sun to Part sun.
Height: 10-16 “
Attributes:  Large cut flowers, Blooms until a hard frost,  No deadheading,  Heat tolerant.
Uses:  Containers, flower gardens, Cut flower garden.
USDA Zones:  7a-11b

Hippo™ Red Polka Dot Planthttps://goo.gl/h1JqLi
Plant Type:  Annualhypoestes_hippo_red_tag
Flowers:  none-  grown for foliage
Exposure:  Morning  Sun, Afternoon shade.
Height: 16-22 “
Attributes:  Interesting foliage.
Uses:  Landscape, Containers, Mass plantings, Filler plant.
USDA Zones:  10a-11b

Dahlightful® Tupelo Honey Dahliahttps://goo.gl/UmCqey
Plant Type:  Annualdahlightful_tupelo_honey_tag
Flowers:  Yellow flowers with amber tones.  Semi-double.
Exposure: Morning sun, afternoon shade.  Heat tolerate but does not like hot afternoon sun.
Height:  24 – 30” tall,
Attributes: Does not form tubers (*see note) . Blooms early & continuously into late fall. Chocolate foliage. Resistant to powdery mildew.
Notes: *Breed to not form tubers, but it can form tubers. Dig tubers and store in the fall like other Dahlias.
Uses:  Attracts Butterflies , Containers,  Flower garden,  Specimen plant.
USDA Zones:  8a-11b

Rockin’™ Deep Purple Salviahttps://goo.gl/7cpchr
Plant Type:  Annualsalvia_rockin_deep_purple_tag
Flowers:  Purple & Black
Exposure: Sun to Partial Sun
Height:  30 – 40”
Attributes:  Excellent plant for pollinators. Deer Resistant.  Heat tolerant.
Uses: Containers,  Flower garden, Border plant, Mass Plantings.
USDA Zones:  10a-11b

 

Watch a Proven Winner new 2018 annuals introduction video at Garden Answers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2oRyDfTqkw

Photos by: Proven Winner