CORVALLIS, Ore. – From the 70th anniversary of the top-selling “Trees to Know in Oregon and Washington” to gardening problems caused by the heat dome to a giant hornet, Oregon State University Extension Service brought practical and inspirational stories to readers in 2021. A dozen brought more comments and questions than others.
“Trees to Know” turns 70. The most popular publication in the Oregon State University Extension Service catalog, the well-loved “Trees to Know in Oregon and Washington” came out in a new edition by author Ed Jensen.
Asian giant hornet found in Washington. Though only found in northern Washington, this dangerous pest could migrate to Oregon. To help the public identify and learn more about the invasive insect, the Oregon State University Extension Service has produced the publication “Asian Giant Hornet: A potential threat to honeybee colonies in Oregon.”
Slugs and snails love bread dough. Brand-new research by Rory Mc Donnell, OSU Extension gastropod specialist, determined that slugs and snails, perhaps home gardeners worse plague, are strongly attracted to bread dough. In one instance, over 18,000 snails were trapped in 48 hours in an agricultural field. Mc Donnell’s study didn’t test a solution in a home garden, but he recommends burying a plastic yogurt or margarine container almost to the rim and place bread dough inside. Empty dead slugs daily.
Worms jump into Oregon. Jumping worms, a not-so-nice pest that arrived in the United States in the 1920s as fishing bait and as hitchhikers on imported plants and soils, have vaulted into gardens and nurseries up and down the Willamette Valley corridor.
Arborvitae stands tall. This ubiquitous, easy-care hedge got the full treatment in this article except for one thing: Arborvitae are extremely fire prone and should be planted at least 30 feet from a structure.
Dahlias dazzle. Readers loved this article about Julie Huynh Moore, OSU Extension Master Gardener and small nursery owner, who grows hundreds of dahlias. She shared in-depth tips for growing the colorful plants.
Burgeoning begonia breeding brings new versions. These stunning plants come with leaves that are flat, pebbled, shiny, hairy, fuzzy or spiraled. Flowers come in many colors and grow as tiny single blossoms to foot-wide clusters to giant double blossoms 10 inches or more in diameter. It’s no wonder they are so popular.
New purple tomato debuts. A new OSU-developed tomato – Midnight Roma – follows in the steps of 10-year-old Indigo Rose, the first antioxidant-rich purple tomato available on the market from OSU plant breeder Jim Myers. Midnight Roma is the result of crossing Oregon Star, a big, fleshy tomato good for slicing or paste with excellent flavor, and Indigo Rose, a dark purple tomato that contains anthocyanins, the same healthy antioxidants found in blueberries.
Gardening in extreme heat. Two articles addressed how to help plants during the heat dome. One story concentrated on gardening during extreme heat events. The other considers what to do with damaged plants.
Best bet: Don’t handle baby birds. After hatching in spring, baby birds sometimes end up on the ground, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they need help. It depends on how old they are, how long they’ve been on the ground and whether they are injured.
Help the planet while saving money. In a world of increasing climate change and the invasion of more exotic insects and pests, sustainable gardening is more important than ever. We can all do our part to help by changing our practices – often just by a bit, depending on the methods you’ve already put in place.
About the OSU Extension Service: The Oregon State University Extension Service shares research-based knowledge with people and communities in Oregon’s 36 counties. OSU Extension addresses issues that matter to urban and rural Oregonians. OSU Extension’s partnerships and programs contribute to a healthy, prosperous and sustainable future for Oregon.
By Kym Pokorny, 541-737-3380, [email protected]
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