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

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

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

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

Gardening Tips

A more tolerant approach to moss, lichen and algae
Modern approach to managing lichen, moss and algae is more tolerant than traditional.
Safety important when preserving homemade salsa
Homemade salsa needs to be canned properly to prevent botulism, a severe type of food-borne illness.
Gift plant care through the winter
Sometimes people give landscape plants as holiday gifts. When is the right time to plant that new shrub or tree?
These houseplants flower all year and make great gifts
Extension horticulturist Ross Penhallegon suggests flowering houseplants.
There are alternatives to the dangers of mothballs
Mothballs are a pesticide that can be harmful to people and animals, but alternatives exist.

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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