Planting Veggies in July!

In Southern Oregon’s Rogue Valley, you can plant the following veggies in July and August for fall & winter harvesting:

agriculture biology close up color

Photo by Fancycrave on Pexels.com

Brussels sprouts – all month through August
Chinese Cabbage – Until August 10th (later is better to help mitigate cabbage maggot damage)
Late (purple) broccoli-  To over-winter and harvest in March/April

Direct Seed:
Winter beets – after 7/15 through 8/15, plant in 1-2 week intervals
Late broccoli (purple) – Can be direct seeded, too.
Chinese Cabbage – all month to 8/15 (later is better to help mitigate cabbage maggot damage)
Kale – 7/15 through 9/20 for October and winter harvest
Turnips- August all month for late September-October harvest
Bush Beans –  For September – October harvest
Winter variety carrots – 7/15 – 7/31 – harvest in October and all winter ( not Nantes )
Cauliflower –  to 7/15
Mid-season Leaf Lettuce – all month
Parsnips– to 7/15 to dig after hard frost and all winter
Enation-resistant Peas – all month, mulch to keep plants roots cool
Rutabaga – all month, for September harvest
Scallions – to 7/15 to pull all winter.

Transplant:
Fall Broccoli – 7/15 -8/10
Late Cabbage– 7/15 – 8/31
Late Cauliflower – 7/15 to 7/21

Information from: Gardening Year ‘Round , Month by Month in the Rouge Valley, A guide to Family Food Production by the Jackson County Master Gardeners Association

Advertisements

April Gardening Tasks

April 14th is National Garden Day!

  • Use a soil thermometer to help you know when to plant vegetables. Some cool Pansy_Redseason crops (onions, kale, lettuce, and spinach) can be planted when the soil is consistently at or above 40°F.
  • Spread compost over garden and landscape areas.
  • Prune gooseberries and currants; fertilize with manure or a complete fertilizer.
  • Fertilize evergreen shrubs and trees, only if needed. If established and healthy, their nutrient needs should be minimal.
  • If needed, fertilize rhododendrons, camellias, azaleas with acid-type fertilizer. If established and healthy, their nutrient needs should be minimal.
  • Prune spring-flowering shrubs after blossoms fade. Early-spring bloomers, such as lilac, forsythia, and rhododendron, bear flowers on wood formed the previous year. The best time to prune them is late spring — immediately after they finish blooming. If pruned later in the growing season or during winter, the flower buds will be removed and spring bloom will be decreased.
  • Fertilize cane berries (broadcast or band a complete fertilizer or manure).
  • Remove spent flowers of large-flowered bulbs, such as tulips and daffodils, as soon as they fade. This  channels the plants’ energy into forming large bulbs and offsets rather than into setting seeds. Allow foliage of spring-flowering bulbs to brown and die down before removing.  Do not remove bulb foliage while it is green; the green leaves nourish the bulb and next year’s flower buds, which form during summer. Cut or pull off leaves only after they yellow. Do not braid leaves to get them out of the way. Braiding reduces the amount of sunlight the leaves get and hinders growth.  Allow smaller bulbs (like: muscari and puschkinia) to set seed, so they self-sow and form ever-larger drifts.
  • Cut back ornamental grasses to a few inches above the ground, in early spring.
  • Prune and shape or thin spring-blooming shrubs and trees after blossoms fade.
  • Plant gladiolus and hardy transplants of alyssum, phlox, and marigolds, if weather and soil conditions permit.
  • Fertilize Lawns. Apply 1-pound nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of lawn. Reduce risks of run-off into local waterways by not fertilizing just prior to rain. Also do not over-irrigate and cause water runs off of lawn and onto sidewalk or street.
  • April is a good time to dethatch and renovate lawns. If moss was a problem, scratch surface prior to seeding with perennial ryegrass.
  • If necessary, spray apples and pears when buds appear for scab. And spray stone fruits, such as cherries, plums, peaches, and apricots for brown rot blossom blight.
  • Plant balled-and-burlapped, container, and bare-root fruit trees.
  • Plant container and bare-root roses.
  • Prepare garden soil for spring planting. Incorporate generous amounts of organic materials and other amendments.
  • Divide and replant spring-blooming perennials after bloom.
  • Plant fall-blooming bulbs.

Article by:
Terra Gardens Nursery & Bark
Salem, OR

Home Grown Potatoes

Growing your own potatoes is an easy and rewarding gardening experience.growing potatoes
Plant starts in early spring, as soon as the soil can be worked.
Potato plants can withstand a light frost, but protect against a hard frost.
Potato plants need at least 6 hours of sunlight a day to produce.
Harvest potatoes in 2-4 months; this depends on your area’s growing season.
Purchase good quality seed potatoes to insure a healthy crop.

Oregon Territorial Seed company in Cottage Grove, Oregon offers some interesting  seed potato varieties:  http://www.territorialseed.com/

  • Dark Red Norland Potatoes
  • Blue Potatoes (Late-season 110-135 days)
  • Yukon Gem Potatoes
  • Desiree Potatoes
  • German Butterball Potatoes
  • Mountain Rose Potatoes
  • Purple Majesty Potatoes

The Rogue Valley Grange Co-ops may have some of these varieties available, too.

Seed Prep:  Seed potatoes are tubers which can be planted whole, but you will get more plants if you cut seed potatoes into sections. Each cut section should contain one or two sprouts; these sprouts are called  eyes.  Each section should have enough potato “meat” around each eye for successful growing.  Therefore,  cut seed potatoes into 2 to 3 inch chunks, with 1-2 eyes in each chunk.  Set these pieces on a protective surface like newspaper to allow cut edges to dry before planting,  usually 24-48 hours.

Planting:
In the ground – Dig a trench 8 inches deep. Plant each seed potato section, 1 inch deep and 12 inches apart. Planting rows should be spaced 3 feet apart.  Place the seed potato cut side down with eye(s) pointing up.  As the plants grow, and when leaves are just starting to break the soil’s surface,  mound another 2 inches of soil on top of the plants.  Repeat this step until the trench is filled with soil,  continue filling until the trench is mounded .    Note:  If your space is limited,  or  if you want only baby potatoes,  you can decrease the spacing between the plants to 7 inches.

Planting in Containers – Note: Containers must be able to drain.
Growing in containers is the same principal as growing in the ground.  Place  6 inches of moistened soil in the bottom of a container.  Plant prepped seed potatoes cut side down with eyes up.  Cover with 2-3 inches of soil. As the potato plants grow keep adding 2-3 inches of soil over the plants.   Repeat this step until the container is full of soil.  You can even stack additional containers on top of the original container, filling those with soil in steps.  The height limit is approximately 3 feet.

Planting in Straw
With this method you don’t have to dig potatoes, you simply pull them out of the straw. Because straw starts to break down as the growing season progresses,  you will need to add straw to maintain a consistent straw depth. In short: Top off your potato bed with straw during the growing season.

Prep potatoes as described above.  Lay out a loose layer of straw 6-inches deep, and place seed potatoes in the straw, cut side down, eyes up.  Cover with 2 inches of straw. When you see the leaves peaking out of the straw, cover them with 2 inches of straw. Then, repeat this until you reached your desired height.

Care:

  • Potatoes should be watered regularly, but do not over water.
  • Keeping tubers covered prevents greening. Potatoes exposed to sunlight turn green, causing the flesh to taste bitter.
  • Feed potato plants regularly throughout the season with a liquid fertilizer.

Harvesting:

  • New potatoes can be picked when foliage is 1-foot high.
  • All potatoes are harvested after plant foliage dies.

The Beauty of Leaf Mold

Instead of carting off your tree leaves to the landfill, or recycling them in a yard debris bin, why not improve your soil by making leaf mold?  Leaf mold is made from decayed tree leaves;  it’s easy to make, it’s free and it improves your soil!leaf mold bin

How Leaf mold helps:

  1. Adds trace minerals to the soil
  2. Reduces rainwater runoff, and evaporation
  3. Retains moisture. Leaf mold hold 50% of it’s own weight in water
  4. Loosens compacted soils
  5. Cools roots and foliage during hot weather
  6. Improves habitat for soil dwellers, such as earthworms & beneficial bacteria
  7. As mulch it helps control weeds
  8. Saves you money by using less fertilizer and less water

Methods:

Build a 3-4 foot tall wire-fence enclosure, fill it up with leaves, add water, cover with cardboard, mix occasionally if you want to, but it’s not necessary and in two years the leaves break down into a rich brown weed-free mulch.

To speed up the process:  Place your wire bin in a semi-shaded area, shred your leaves, add some nitrogen like grass clippings, coffee grounds, or a 1/2 cup of high nitrogen fertilizer, like urea, then cover leaves with a piece of cardboard.
Note: If you don’t own a leaf shredder, then make a pile of leaves and run over them with your lawnmower several times. You should have leaf mold in 9-12 months.

You can also make leaf mold using large plastic bags. Fill large bags half full with leaves, add two cups of coffee grounds, or a ¼ cup urea fertilizer.  Wet leaves thoroughly.  Tie the top,  poke holes in the sides for lots of air flow.  Stack bags in warm location, shake occasionally to mix. You could have leaf mold as soon as 2 months.

After leaves have decomposed, incorporate your leaf mold directly into the garden soil, and/or mulch around your plants. You can also mix it with potting soil to use in container gardens.

Note: Do not use these Walnut, Eucalyptus, or Camphor Laurel leaves for leaf mold. They contain growth-inhibitors, and are toxic to other plants.

Oak leaves take longer to break down, so it’s best to shred them.

Composting guide:  http://compostguide.com/using-leaves-for-composting/

Step-by-Step Guide to Making Leaf Mold : http://making-mulch-from-leaves

Article by : Carlotta Lucas