The gardening season has began, and also you’ve received questions. Flip to Ask an Skilled, a web-based question-and-answer device from Oregon State College’s Extension Service. OSU Extension school and Grasp Gardeners reply to queries inside two enterprise days, normally much less. To ask a query, merely go to the OSU Extension website and kind it in, and embody the county the place you reside. Listed below are some questions requested by different gardeners. What’s yours?
Q: I’ve three giant rhododendrons planted close to each other that now have brown spots alongside or close to the leaf edges. The brown has appeared within the final month. Since final fall, one of many rhodies has misplaced many of the leaves close to the tops of its stems. At a consequence the stems now seem like spikes. I’ve hooked up a photograph of this rhody that reveals each the brown spots on its leaves and the spiky stems. The rhody subsequent to this primary one has the brown leaf spots, although fewer, and is starting to lose leaves on the tops of its stems. – Lane County
A: These brown spots on the leaves may very well be winter harm and final 12 months’s shoots would look inexperienced and vigorous apart from the lacking leaves. If this have been a fungal illness, I might anticipate to see brown shoots, curled leaves and wilting stems, and also you don’t seem to have insect harm. As a substitute, the mature leaves are usually not wilted or chlorotic – they’re simply wholesome inexperienced and hanging in there. Have you ever had any excessive climate, or are these crops in an uncovered scenario? The stems are exceptionally lengthy – is that this plant extra shaded than its neighbor?
If it’s not truly sick, it’s not glad and will have some environmental challenges. Learn extra here. Preserve watching out for different signs as the brand new buds develop this spring. – Stephen Oldfield, OSU Extension Grasp Gardener
Q: I’m wanting so as to add a construction for solitary bees in my yard. My yard is just not giant (60′ x 40′) and we even have three chook containers on the again fence. Though I discovered your pamphlet on Nurturing Mason Bees, which can be useful, I’m looking for out how far-off ought to our bee home be from the chook containers? Advice? – Linn County
A: Birds generally is a actual supply of predation for mason bees. Location of the nest field in a small property is vital. As you realize, the block ought to be dealing with the place it will get morning solar. Fastening a hen wire grid a number of inches from the nest will preserve the bees within the nest secure, however clearly gained’t cut back bees being eaten whereas they’re away from the nest.
So, to sum this up, discover the very best location for the bees, put some hen wire to exclude the birds, and simply know you’re going to lose a number of bees to birds – which occurs even when you don’t have chook containers in your yard. – Andony Melathopoulos, OSU Extension pollinator specialist
Q: We purchased a bunch of skinny onion begins and planted about two to a few weeks in the past. Since then, lots of the suggestions have turned pale or white. Is that this merely the trauma of being planted or is there an issue? What do you advise? – Multnomah County
A: Mine did the identical factor. I consider it’s because of the freezing climate we had. Don’t fear, they’ll come again. I’ve had this almost yearly as a result of the corporate I order from sends them out too early and I’m going forward and plant them. They do effective when the climate warms up. In the event that they don’t come again, take some extra photos, dig one up and have a look at the roots and we’ll see if there are different issues happening. – Rhonda Frick-Wright, OSU Extension Grasp Gardener
Q: I’m questioning what’s affecting my blueberry crops in my dwelling backyard. It’s a type of canker on the stems. It has affected my Earliblue and Bluecrop crops. I’ve new Ivanhoe, Jersey, and Elliot crops this 12 months however don’t know but in the event that they’re affected. I examined my soil and added sulfur so as to add acidity, and have been fertilizing with a rhododendron fertilizer in April, Could, and June on established crops.
The principal issues I’ve observed embody cankerous lesions on stems unfold via the plant, with some stem ends dying. Ultimately a complete stem can be affected.
I wish to take a look at the stems to see what it’s so I can see if it’s one thing I can deal with. Is there a facility close to Portland that may take a look at crops? Thanks – Multnomah County
A: After I have a look at your photos, I see good bud break for the floral and vegetative buds. They appear to be rising effective. One shoot appears to have some dieback however I believe it’s a floral truss from final 12 months that we might anticipate to do this. I do see the discolored patches on the stems that I believe are your fundamental concern. We frequently get questions on these, that are simply regular growth of the bark.
You would possibly examine two issues:
- Do the patches develop first on the sun-exposed aspect of the plant?
- And, utilizing a knife or thumb nail, when you make a shallow lower on the affected areas are they inexperienced beneath?
Sure, to all means blueberry stem. If you’re nonetheless eager to examine for canker ailments, we’ve a Plant Clinic at OSU that may assist. Glad to listen to you’re checking the pH as they need to proceed to develop properly when the pH is between 4.5 and 5.5 – Jay Pschiedt, OSU Extension plant pathologist
Q: My beds for my tomatoes had blight within the soil. How do I cease this for this 12 months’s crop? They have been small and deformed. – Washington County
A: Tomatoes can fall sufferer to plenty of totally different ailments together with Early Blight and Late Blight. Right here’s a useful resource you could look through to determine what may have affected your plants final 12 months in case certainly one of these types of blight wasn’t the issue. It’s doable that it wasn’t attributable to a illness in any respect, however by low temperature or another cultural situation. Normally, it’s best to comply with good cultural practices in your backyard to keep away from illness. Be sure that to wash up all particles within the surrounding space, and don’t put previous tomato crops or trimmings in your compost pile when you have one. Don’t plant in the identical house as tomatoes, peppers, eggplants or potatoes have been within the final three years if doable, and eliminate any volunteer tomato or potato crops you discover in your backyard. You possibly can strive planting your tomatoes in containers with recent soil when you don’t have sufficient in-ground house for good rotation. Plant your tomatoes the place they’ll obtain at the least seven hours of direct solar per day and house and prune them appropriately in order that they’ve good airflow, disinfecting your instruments between crops. Stake them so the leaves and fruit aren’t in touch with the soil and whenever you water, accomplish that at floor stage to keep away from wetting the leaves. Tomatoes are heavy feeders, so be sure to offer them the right amount of vitamins all through the rising season.
Search for varieties which can be illness resistant. You continue to have time to start out your personal crops from seed in order for you, supplying you with a better alternative between varieties. Don’t put transplants out within the backyard too early or earlier than hardening them off.
Right here’s a hyperlink to OSU’s guide on growing your own tomatoes for extra detailed data on all the above recommendation.
There are chemical controls for tomato ailments, nevertheless it’s finest to find out which illness is affecting your crops earlier than selecting and making use of herbicides. – Larina Hoffbeck, OSU Extension Grasp Gardener
Q: I’ve six artichoke crops between 1 and three years previous. They didn’t freeze again this 12 months and are already large. Ought to I lower them again or is it too late? – Marion County
A: When you didn’t lower them again within the fall, I wouldn’t lower them again now. Here is extra details about artichokes. – Heather Stoven, OSU Extension horticulturist
Q: Can blueberries and potatoes be planted side-by-side? – Yamhill County.
A: Blueberries require such acidic soil (4.5 to five.5 pH), that they’re finest grown by themselves. Right here’s extra data from OSU, “Growing Blueberries in Your Home Garden”. Because the title suggests, this publication covers every part you could know to efficiently develop blueberries in western Oregon.
Potatoes develop finest between 6.0 and 6.5 pH. The numbers don’t appear that a lot totally different, however vitamins wanted for progress are usually not obtainable at decrease pH or there’s an excessive amount of of one thing else that hampers their progress. Right here’s a hyperlink to Growing Potatoes in Home Gardens, which covers every part about profitable potato rising. – Anna Ashby, OSU Extension Grasp Gardener