Gardening Tips

Vegetable scraps make good compost. (Photo by Chris LaBelle)
Three solutions to common compost problems
As you recycle autumn leaves into compost this fall, consider the science that transforms waste into "black gold" for your soil.
Carla Albright's garden. (Photo by Carla Albright)
Coastal gardening brings challenges and rewards
Gardening on the often-extreme Oregon coast might seem intimidating and risky. But Carla Albright, a Master Gardener trained by the Oregon State University Extension Service who lives just north of Tillamook, wants to reassure you that it is possible to grow a wonderful garden — even if you live next door to the wild Pacific.
Herbs grow in a container. (Photo by Weston Miller)
Start an herb garden on your kitchen windowsill this fall
It's a good time of year from early August through mid-October to plant perennial herbs in containers, Miller said. Any type of well-drained container and regular potting soil will do.
Daffodils bloom in early spring. (Photo by Betsy Hartley)
Six attractive plants to brighten winter days in western Oregon
Fall is a good time to plant shrubs and trees that will cheer up western Oregon's often gloomy winter days.
Fescue grass seed field. (Photo by Lynn Ketchum)
Pick a low-maintenance grass lawn this September
Lawn looking lackluster? Mid-August to early October is a sweet spot in the calendar year to sow fresh grass seed or replace an existing lawn throughout the state, according to Alec Kowalewski, turfgrass specialist for the Oregon State University Extension Service.
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.