This Month in the Garden

October starts the gardener’s quiet season. Winter approaches and the intensity of growing and harvesting wanes.  We suggest that as the garden settles in for winter, you might like to try cold season activities such as outdoor winter gardening, setting up an indoor growing station, or investigating what plants might be grown and/or displayed as unusual decorations and conversation pieces during the coming holidays. In any case, it’s a great time to break out the landscaping books and magazines, seed or flower catalogues, graph paper and such to educate yourself and make a plan for next year’s gardening fun.

September--Fall Arrives!

The harvest continues, and with temperatures five to ten degrees lower than August, our gardens become an even more wonderful place to sit and enjoy their natural beauty. If you have not yet designed a resting place in your garden plan, even if it is only a spot for a couple of comfortable chairs, now is the time to make that plan.  As we transition from this year’s garden to next year’s effort, it is a natural time to think about what went well and what we might change or add as old plantings give way to the new. September can be bittersweet as we say farewell to summer and prepare for winter. What better way to weather the storms than to find moments to dwell on our gardening preferences and projects.  Perhaps you have yet to try cold season activities such as outdoor winter gardening, setting up an indoor growing station, or investigating what plants might be grown and/or displayed as unusual decorations and conversation pieces during the coming holidays.

After some produce treats in June and July, it is now time to start thinking that wonderful word “harvest” in earnest. While it means double work in a sense, as we spend more time harvesting (and perhaps preserving) our produce, while at the same time tending our fully developed gardens, the rewards are tasty and immediate.  What’s better than fruits and berries, corn, tomatoes, cabbage, squash, carrots, lettuce and other greens, peas, beans…taken straight from garden to kitchen to patio table.

As in July, the tending continues as we watch our plants produce, adjust our watering (add mulch), and protect our garden from various threats. As you watch over your plants, take time to notice bugs, discoloration, wilt, etc. and research the possible problems and solutions. One particular bug that can be hard to spot is the spider mite, so small it appears as a tiny moving dot if visible at all. Root weevils can damage ornamental shrubs and flowers.

July in Your Garden

The garden is very busy and so are we! Do you get to bed early with the anticipation of sunrise in the garden when you wake, tending to your precious plants, or are you watching your neighbor be the one enjoying this ritual?  Nothing makes the coming work day seem manageable like garden time and exercise before that reality sets in.

We are already harvesting  the benefits of our work so far—strawberries, lettuce, some early tomatoes, squash, peas. The tending continues as we watch developing plants and their produce, adjust watering, and protect our garden from various threats. As you watch over your plants, take time to notice bugs, discoloration, wilt, etc. and research the possible problems and solutions. Immediate expert plant help for our region is available from the Master Gardener Plant Clinic by phone @ 541-776-7371, ext. 204. Of course, our website is here for you to ask questions in the forums and your fellow Rogue Valley Gardeners can respond; we will do our best to find answers to your questions as well.

Ah, sweet summer! Let the maddening crowds head for the lakes and campgrounds; we'll hang out in our garden patches. Just take time to enjoy the beauty of your garden...coffee and muffins out on the deck to start the day, anyone?

June's a busy month in the garden, but all the work is well worth it when cucumbers and tomatoes and other garden goodies start ripening in a few short weeks.
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