Gardening

Using sustainable and research-based techniques, learn how to grow your own vegetables, connect with other gardeners, or use Ask an Expert to seek gardening advice. Watch a video about the OSU Master Gardener program in Newport, Oregon.

Things to do in December

  • Yard sanitation: rake leaves, cut and remove withered stalks of perennial flowers, mulch flowerbeds, and hoe or pull winter weeds.

  • Monitor houseplants for adequate water and fertilizer. Water and fertilizer requirements generally are less in winter.

  • Avoid mounding mulching materials around the bases of trees and shrubs. The mulch might provide cover for rodents.

Gardening Tips

Gardening story
Extend vegetable crop through fall by planting now
Cool-season plants don't mind chilly nights
Gardening story
Brew your own beer? Why not grow your own hops?
Tips give home gardeners a good start on growing hops
gardening story
Ten low-water, high-impact perennials to beat the heat
Drought-tolerant plants thrive during dry summers
gardening
Ten all-around great shrubs for water-wise gardens
Low-water plants save money, time and help the environment
Espaliered fruit trees
Training a fruit tree into an espalier takes a good dash of dedication
Turn a tree into a space-saving specimen with some tips from an OSU Extension expert

Gardening Courses

Master Gardener Online

Learn the art and science of growing and caring for plants, and even become a Master Gardener, through this two-option online course.

Become a water-wise gardener

Plant an economical and environmentally friendly and garden with the help of the WaterWise Gardening online course series.

Popular Publications

A new publication from OSU Extension shows a full-circle approach to gardening on school grounds
Use this self-guided learning module to find information on grapevine nutrient needs and how to diagnose problems with disease, insects, drought, sunburn, and herbicides.
Learn how to create a "cloche" that can be used to protect your plants from cold weather.
If you lack space for a garden, consider raising vegetables in containers.
Making a poor garden better often begins with the soil. If your garden soil is poor, consider giving it some help.
Strategies to to keep the bugs out of your garden.
Improve your soil by adding organic matter and creating raised beds.
Basic instructions on how to prune your trees.

Question of the Week

I'm an urban rental dweller--West Portland--whose elderly landlords would rather deal with issues with the house rather than the yard, on which grass seed that I've bought does not grow; the soil is depleted and I can't really afford to pay for bag after bag of compost or fertilizer (it's a pretty big lot). So after a little research I read about the endangered Oregon Kinkaid's Lupine and am wondering if that could be planted here for a few years to enrich the soil and grow harvestable seeds for others to grow. I doubt the landlords nor the neighbors would object, given that the yard is mostly moss and dandelions now. Any merit to the idea?  

Upcoming Events

Dec. 16, 2016 (all day)
Apply now for the 2017 Polk County Master Gardener training class! Application deadline is December …
Dec. 19, 2016 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Jan. 02, 2017 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Benton County Master Gardener board meeting
Jan. 05, 2017 10:30am - 11:30am
Jan. 23, 2017 (all day)
The online Master Gardener course is being revised, and will relaunch in January of 2017.  …
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