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

  • Western Oregon: Do not walk on lawns until frost has melted.

  • Check stored flower bulbs, fresh vegetables, and fruits for rot and fungus problems. Discard any showing signs of rot.

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

Gardening Tips

Poinsettia
Start soon to fool poinsettias into color and bloom this winter
Late September is the time to start thinking about coaxing potted poinsettia plants back into color and bloom for December.
Yellow Jackets
Life's a picnic for yellow jackets
Yellow jackets buzzing around pop cans, hamburgers and fruit salad can ruin barbecues. And, because their sting can be life-threatening for some people, it might be necessary to destroy nests found near human activity.
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Be on the lookout for symptoms of tomato late blight
Late blight, a fungal disease that infects tomatoes, usually shows up in Oregon gardens as weather turns wet and humid, and it’s dispersed by the wind and rain.
sunflower
Let annuals go to seed in the fall
Good seed setters include sweet peas, sunflowers, calendula, borage, nasturtiums and annual delphiniums.
Deadheading a rhododendron
Should you deadhead your flowers?
Deadheading makes sense for repeat bloomers and highly modified annuals, but for most other plants it is a matter of appearance and the personal taste of the gardener.

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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