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

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

  • Monitor landscape plants for problems. Don't treat unless a problem is identified.

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

Gardening Tips

Garden story
Set seeds on the right path with homemade soil mixture
Plant for spring vegetable garden by making seed-starting medium
Garden story
Soil tests unveil the mysteries beneath the surface
Getting a professional analysis measures nutrients and offers recommendations
Gardening story
Five berry-bearing shrubs to feed birds in winter
Keep our feathered friends in fine fettle in cold weather
Gardening story
Tip of the hat to top gardening stories of 2015
Growing hops, mason bees and drought-tolerant perennials land in top 3
Gardening story
Give seeds a test for A+ performance
Check for germination viability to avoid frustration when planting next spring

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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