Now that winter is settling in, gardening questions to the Extension office have diminished- but haven’t disappeared completely. After questions about transitioning plants to indoors and overwintering, winter questions are often centered on insects that find their way into homes as outdoor conditions become inhospitable. Often, insects that overwinter as adults seek shelter for the winter, taking advantage of cracks and crevices under shingles, behind siding, and the like, or are brought inside in firewood. In other cases, the environmental change when we bring plants indoors triggers premature egg hatch.
Nicole Sanchez |
Nov 2020 |
Five plants local gardeners are overwintering: Evening temperatures are cooling: a hard freeze is coming soon. For tender plants that won’t survive a freeze, its time to decide whether overwintering is worthwhile. For larger plants, overwintering provides an advantage the following growing season, when larger root systems enable plants to regenerate more quickly. It’s also a way to preserve plants that have special meaning, such as grandma’s favorite geraniums. Often, the plants we overwinter are perennial in warmer climates, but
Five Facts about those Annoying Box Elder Bugs: Are the box elder bugs worse this year, or is 2020 just making everything seem “extra”? Gardeners in Klamath Falls are asking about these annoying home invaders, insects that congregate on and sometimes inside our homes as weather cools in fall.
Five under-used late fall bloomers: Night temperatures have hovered around freezing, but some gardens in the Klamath Basin are still showing signs of life. This late in the season, a few favorite late-blooming garden staples are in the palettes of most gardeners: fall mums, ornamental cabbages and kales, pansies every color of the rainbow and beyond. These tried and true ornamentals are some of the last to check out every garden season, with the kales and pansies often persisting into snow.
Five ways to prepare now for gardening in 2021: Gardening in all forms- from window boxes to major landscape renovations- surged in 2020. Whether for mental peace, food security, or a meaningful “socially distanced pastime”, people turned to gardening this year. Increased interest in all things gardening led to temporary shortages in seeds and plants this year, causing a similar surge in interest in seed banks and seed saving.
Five Facts about those Annoying Box Elder Bugs: Box Elder bugs are a frequent subject of inquiries to the Extension office and plant clinic. For bugs inside the home, the vacuum is the easiest, safest, and most reliable removal method. Many references suggest that removal of Box Elder (Acer Negundo) trees will eliminate the insects: in fact, a tree of the same species in a neighbor’s yard, or even other Maple species close by, can support the insects too. Often, Box Elder bugs cause alarm based on sheer numbers: on sunny fall days they congregate on rocks or the sides of houses in large numbers. They do no real harm to trees or homes.