CORVALLIS - Oregon's homegrown gardening experts will share their best green-thumb secrets during a new public television gardening show, aptly called "Northwest Gardening."

Oregon State University is developing the show, which is scheduled to air on Oregon Public Broadcasting throughout Oregon on Wednesday, April 14, at 8:30 p.m. The show will repeat Saturday, April 17 at 10:30 a.m. and will air on other public stations in the Northwest region outside of Oregon at other times this spring.

"Gardening conditions are unique in the Pacific Northwest," said Larry Pribyl, co-director of OSU Communications Media Center and executive producer of the show. "We saw a real need for a regional, field-based 'how-to' garden show, especially one backed by university knowledge and expertise.

"Plus, the nursery business is the number one agricultural industry in the state," Pribyl added. "There's so much going on in our region for viewers to see."

Master gardener Carol Savonen, a science writer for OSU Extension and Experiment Station Communications, is associate producer and head writer of the program. The author of a weekly gardening column for the Statesman-Journal newspaper in Salem, Savonen said the program is designed to solve the problems Oregon gardeners find most often.

"The Pacific Northwest has diverse climatic conditions and gardening environments," Savonen said. "We have everything from slugs, moss, rain and clay, to high deserts, alkali flats and (Columbia) Gorge winds to contend with."

April's episode of "Northwest Gardening," hosted by Portland horticulturist Mike Darcy, will focus on "waking up" lawns and gardens for spring. Practical how-to information will be provided on dividing perennials, making European composting raised beds, caring for spring lawns, attracting and feeding hummingbirds, and getting an early start on extending growing seasons.

OSU and Orchard Hill Productions of Corvallis plan to produce more episodes of "Northwest Gardening," if enough private sponsorship is secured.

Future shows would take viewers to far-flung Northwest climates to offer gardening advice for the Pacific Northwest's coastal conditions, wind-blown high deserts and winter-chilled mountains.

They would include tips on growing everything from cabbage-sized roses to planting "invitational" greenery to attract songbirds and butterflies to your back yard.

The program also will serve as a showcase for new flower and plant varieties developed in the Northwest for the greater Pacific Northwestern states of Oregon, Washington, Idaho and northern California.

The show was funded by grants from the OSU Extension Service, the OSU College of Agricultural Sciences and the Benton County Master Gardeners. Sponsors of the pilot show include Nichols Garden Nursery in Albany, Al's Fruit and Shrub in Woodburn, and the OSU Statewide Distance and Continuing Education program

For more information, contact: Larry Pribyl, Co-Director, OSU Communication Media Center, 541-737-3817 or Carol Savonen, Science Communication Specialist, OSU Extension and Station Communications, 541-737-3380.

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Larry Pribyl, 541-737-3817