Taking Root #47

Taking Root
Got Garden Problems? Get Answers Aug. 31
By Gini Bramlett

This has been a heck-of-a-gardening season. Starting with a less-than-normal spring giving us little rain but lots of sunshine, the typically summer temperatures were perfect for getting those veggies up and running in record time. This made us avid gardeners very happy, indeed.

Following that came early production for almost everything including strawberries in May instead of June, raspberries in June instead of July, and my brother tells me his pumpkins are already turning orange, more than a month early. Some short-season berries came so early, that in fact, some people missed them altogether.
Until now, this gardening season has been a smashing success with bountiful fruit and vegetable productions. But, all is not ideal in the edens of the Willamette Valley.
We have contended with record-breaking heat, and these scorchers have put a tremendous strain on plants if we haven’t bumped up our watering schedules. I have resorted to watering every other day instead of twice weekly, and it seriously pains me to use that much water when our annual rainfalls over the last couple of years has been below normal.
This is where soaker hoses and drip systems come in. These methods, and those like them, deposit water only where its needed rather than where it isn’t. Overhead watering is one of the wasteful ways to water vegetable gardens there is. But, if you must, always, always use a mulch of some kind to cover bare ground to prevent evaporation. Also, in the future consider planting double rows and closer together rather than single rows.

Most importantly, watering in the very early mornings prevents less evaporation than when watering when the sun is high. Evening watering isn’t usually recommended by the experts for our region due to our higher humidity which can cause all sorts of disease and fungal problems. But, contrary to their recommendations, I’ll go out on a limb here and share that with this recent atypical high heat and low humidity (15%), I have taken the liberty of watering in the evening on occasion. This has resulted in a deeper water penetration before the heat of sun does its dirty work the next day.

Pest and Disease Workshop

Are the bugs enjoying the fruits of your labor more than you are? Are your cucumber leaves turning white and disintegrating before your very eyes? If you are wondering about what to do about these and other garden problems, come to the community garden for answers on Wednesday, August 31 at 3pm.

OSU Extension Horticulturist, Brooke Edmunds and local Master Gardeners are offering a free one-hour workshop on vegetable garden problems and solutions. Brooke will tour the garden pointing out insect and disease problems and discuss solutions and good gardening practices to avoid future problems.

If you have a particular pest or problem, bring a fresh speciman of the affected plant for Brooke and the team to identify. If time allows, we’ll discuss winter gardening and preparing for the spring garden.

The Brownsville Community Garden is located between the old elementary school and Hwy 228. To get there, turn south on Faust directly off Hwy 228, then take an immediate right into the parking lot.

Farmer’s Market Held Thursday Morning This Week

After a week off due to over 100 degree temperatures , the market will be open from 9-noon this week due to another 100 degree day predicted for Thursday.
Come and shop to help support growers in our local communities, and to eat healthy, mostly organic freshly harvested produce. The market is located at the corner of Main and Park streets.
This week: Regular and French green beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, carrots, beets, peppers, pepper jellies, berry jams, local honey, fresh salsa, home baked goods, locally produced homemade hand, bath and laundry soaps and more.

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