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

  • Tie limbs of columnar evergreens to prevent snow or ice breakage.

  • Turn the compost pile and protect from heavy rains, if necessary.

  • Monitor spruce trees for spruce aphids. Treat if present in large numbers. Read and follow pesticide label directions.

Gardening Tips

Purple cold-hardy vegetables. (Photo by Jim Myers)
These cold-hardy vegetables may stick it out through winter
The fearless gardener still has a chance to plant some cold-hardy vegetables to harvest next spring, said Jim Myers, plant breeder and researcher at Oregon State University. But don't dawdle.
Slug. (Photo by Robin Rosetta)
Make your garden less inviting to slugs
Stymied by slugs that can plod through your chard and cabbage, leaving a slimy trail of destruction? Put away that salt shaker, advises Robin Rosetta, an entomologist for the Oregon State University Extension Service. Table salt can build up in the soil over time and damage plants.
Hori-hori knife. (Photo by Weston Miller)
Practical tools for the vegetable gardener
Many gardeners rely on a few "go-to" tools that make digging, planting and weeding easier in the vegetable garden. But how do you decide from the bounty of options available in the hardware store?
Trap for spotted wing Drosophila. (Photo by Amy Dreves.)
Keep an eye out for spotted wing drosophila in your yard
As backyard fruit ripens, it's time for gardeners to trap spotted wing drosophila. A new, easy-to-make trap design, based on recent research, will help gardeners monitor the invasive vinegar fly's presence in their backyards.
Wood chips. (Photo by Al Shay)
Pick a good mulch groundcover for your yard
When choosing mulch, "The coarser the better," according to Al Shay, an instructor in the Department of Horticulture at Oregon State University.

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'd like to mix more sand into my soil to help break up the clay. If I collect sand from an ocean beach, should I be worried about too much salt in the sand and it impacting my soil? If I were to use the beach sand for another project like a base for setting paving stones, would I be introducing a large amount of sodium?
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