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Master Gardeners WANT YOU! on the JCMGA Board

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Master Gardeners WANT YOU! on the JCMGA Board

 

We are looking for new, and experienced member Master Gardeners to serve on our JCMGA Board of Directors for 2021. Could that be YOU, or someone you could recommend?

Please consider becoming a board member. The board is the governing body of the association. It adopts the budget, sets policy, and generally oversees the present and future direction of JCMGA. Meetings are held the second Friday of each month. Most board members also sit on one or several of the association’s working groups and are among the first to volunteer when jobs need to be done!

 Vice-president/president-elect, treasurer and assistant treasurer, recording secretary, membership secretary, archivist, OMGA representative,  and five members-at-large.  Nominees must be members of JCMGA in good standing, and be willing to serve if elected.If you have questions, contact Vice President Lynn Kunstman at kunlynn52@gmail.com

Deadline for nominations is SEPTEMBER 1!

 

Jackson  County  Master  Gardener  Association Board  of  Directors Executive Committee  Meeting

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Jackson  County  Master  Gardener  Association

Board  of  Directors Executive Committee  Meeting

July 10, 2020

 

Announcements

At the June meeting, the board approved getting a ZOOM subscription. However, Ronnie learned it has to be in the name of one person who has to arrange every meeting which defeats the intended purpose. It was decided to use the subscriptions that many of our board members have unless/until they prove inadequate.

The OMGA quarterly meeting was held via ZOOM. Barbara Davidson was unable to attend, but Ronnie Budge and Lynn Kunstman observed. Both expressed gratitude for Barbara being willing to be our representative.

Updates on

Master Gardener program

Erika Szonntag was unable to attend the meeting. The Master Gardener Program updates are in her board report on Dropbox. The June report was inadvertently headed as May. It will be changed. The meaning of “Growing Gardeners” was asked. It was suggested the meaning might be to encourage more diversity and clarification will be requested. Erika will be asked to invite Gail Langellotto and the new OSU Outreach Coordinator to attend the August board meeting to discuss how JCMGA can best utilize the services of the new Outreach Coordinator.

Updates from

Gardens Working Group

  • ✴Janine Salvatti reported the Enhancements Committee has evaluated the gardens and thank the GEMs and volunteers who have been making remarkable progress on cleaning them up. They have decided they will concentrate on clearing the pathways. They will also repaint the tables and chairs in the Kitchen Garden. Jane Moyer will contact GEMs who have not yet come to the gardens.
  • ✴Only a few of the new plantings around the SOREC sign have been lost. Erika will be asking the mowers to keep the foxtails out of the planted area around the sign. Lynn Kunstman suggested seasonal cover crops be planted to crowd out the weeds.
  • ✴Lynn Kunstman asked about cutting the Himalayan blackberries along the Weyerhauser fence line. Janine will bring it to the Gardens Working Group.
  • ✴A Gardens Working Group ZOOM meeting has been scheduled for July 20.

Updates from

Fundraising Working Group

Sandy Hammond reported that a community group will be holding a yard sale the last weekend of August. The organizers say they plan to donate the proceeds to JCMGA.

Updates from Community Outreach Working Group

  • attendees. Attendees will be asked to send questions in advance, if possible.
  • ✴Lynn Kunstman reported that the July 14th Community Education Class will be presented online.
  • ✴It was suggested a donation button be included for all online presentations.
  • ✴Jim Buck reported Sherri Morgan is working on an online tour of local native plant gardens (8-10 gardens) two weeks after Spring Garden Fair (mid-May). Volunteer helpers will be needed.
  • Patrice Kaska seconded. Unanimous approval. Séan Cawley volunteered to work with Jim.

Updates from Communications Working Group

Ronnie Budge read a report from Kate Hassen.

  • ✴Jane Moyer will be writing an article for The Garden Beet August edition on the Grange rewards program.
  • ✴Jack Ivers, editor of The Garden Beet, sent a style sheet to the writers.
  • ✴An effort will be made to have more ads posted in the classified section in the members section of the JCMGA website.
  • ✴The format of the JCMGA online directory is being updated to make it more user friendly.

      

Updates from Spring Garden Fair Working Group

  • ✴Plan A (SGF at the Expo) and Plan B (SGF online) are being developed.

Updates from Member Services Working Group

  • ✴New members are being added to the directory.
  • ✴Rules for the photo contest will be in the August Garden Beet.

Donate practicum plants to community garage sale

  • ✴Lynn Kunstman moved that plants carried over by the Practicum be donated to the community yard sale. Janine Salvatti seconded. Unanimous approval.

OSU scholarship

Barbara Davidson moved that JCMGA support distribution of funds from JCMGA’s OSU Endowment Scholarship Fund in the amount of $2,500 each, provided our requirement qualifications are met, to Student #1 (senior horticulture student wanting to continue his family nursery business) and Student #2 (senior horticulture and agriculture major wanting to work in either food production or greenhouse production). We also request that OSU provide the recipients with the following information and ask that recipients let us know when they receive the scholarships: (Jackson County Master Gardener Association, 569 Hanley Road, Central Point OR 97502, Attn: Barbara Davidson, JCMGA Scholarship Chair.) Second by Kathy Apple. Unanimous approval.

Ideas for celebrating winners of OMGA awards

Winners of the 2020 OMGA Awards were announced:

  • ✴OMGA Master Gardener of the Year: Barbara Davidson
  • ✴JCMGA Master Gardener of the Year: Steve Hassen, Doug Kirby, Bill Elliott, and John Kobal jointly.

JCMGA Behind the Scenes Master Gardener of the Year: Dee Copley

Usually the OMGA Awards are given at the August picnic. Due to Oregon COVID-19 restrictions, there will be no picnic this year. Ideas for how to present the awards were brainstormed. Lynn Kunstman will investigate the possibilities.

Ideas for reaching out to 2020 students

Board members expressed concern over keeping the 2020 students involved in JCMGA activities. Lynn Kunstman and Jane Moyer will compose an email to students to reiterate the process for working in the gardens to earn volunteer hours. A list of the GEMs’ email addresses will be included so students can contact those for the garden(s) they want to work in. Jane will contact the Practicum mentors asking that they reach out to students in their session to encourage continued participation. Lynn will contact Gina Velando to ask that she do the same with the Garden Buds. Patrice Kaska and Jane Moyer will send spreadsheets of member interests to Barbara Davidson as she searches for members interested in working with OMGA. Lynn volunteered to arrange ZOOM meetings to facilitate these efforts.

Next meeting: Friday, Aug. 14, 2020, 9:30-11:30 a.m.

 

Directory photo contest begins

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Directory photo contest begins

 

By Patrice Kaska

Master Gardener 2016

Will your photograph be on the cover of next year’s JCMGA Chapter Directory?

The JCMGA Member Services Working Group is now accepting photo submissions for its first annual Photo Contest.  The winning photograph will appear on the cover of the 2021 JCMGA Chapter Directory — and don’t your tireless efforts of spring and summer deserve to be admired by us all?

Information and guidelines include the following:

  • ✦The 2020 JCMGA Photo Contest is open to all current Jackson County Master Gardener Association members.
  • ✦Photos may be submitted from Aug. 1 through Aug. 31, 2020.
    We are able to accept one (1) photo from each member, so send us your very best!
  • ✦Photographs are limited to those taken in the Master Gardener’s own home garden and are limited to flora (no fauna, please).
  • ✦All photographs must be at least 1500 x 1575 pixels (5”x5-1/2” at 300 dpi) and all submitted photos become the property of JCMGA.

Email your entry to: jcmgmembership@gmail.com.  Please include your name, phone number, email address, and a short description of the flora pictured.  Identifying information will be removed and the contest will be judged by members of the Member Services Working Group and the editor of the Garden Beet.

If you have questions, please email Patrice Kaska, Membership Secretary, at forpatricek@icloud.com.

The winning photograph will appear on the cover of the 2021 JCMGA Chapter Directory, and four runners-up will have their photographs featured in the Garden Beet.  Winners will be announced in the October Garden Beet.

Whether your garden consists of several acres or a single plant in a hanging basket, we’d love the opportunity to honor the beauty you have created and nurtured.

 

Getting back in the Demonstration Gardens is a delight

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Getting back in the Demonstration Gardens is a delight

President

Ronnie Budge

Master Gardener

2011

 

It has been a joy for me to be back working in the demonstration gardens over the past few weeks. Because I was a mentor in the Practicum last spring, where I and my students started some of the native plants from seeds or cuttings, I chose to volunteer in the native plant nursery. We are trying to catch up with moving each seedling or cutting into bigger pots before they die from overcrowding. But besides the satisfaction of saving all those plants, there is delight in catching up with old friends and making new ones, while still observing COVID-19 protocols like social distancing.

Volunteer Susan Koenig noted that it seemed quiet at Extension compared with previous years, because we are limited to 20 persons on campus at a time rather than everyone showing up on Wednesday mornings. Nonetheless, she and Margaret Saydah were glad to get their hands dirty in the wheelbarrows of transplant mix under the direction of GEM Lynn Kunstman. (GEM means Garden Education Mentor. They guide and assist each of the volunteers who work in “their” gardens.)

For the 2020 students, working in the Demonstration Gardens is the first chance they’ve had (other than the Practicum) for some hands-on application of what they learned in their Wednesday (or on-line) classes. Romina Ramos said she loves learning about bees and butterflies from Lynn. We watched Lynn rescue a swallowtail butterfly that had flown into Greenhouse 2 where it was sure to die from the heat. Lynn used her cap in place of a net to capture it and return it to the outdoors.

Barbara Low is learning about daylilies with GEM Marsha Waite. She said the book learning was fine, and the class speakers were really good, but that it’s been hard not to put that learning to practical use, and especially not being able to work in the Plant Clinic. Her sister Linda Lowe is working with GEM Jane Sawall in the Dahlia Garden. Putting a positive spin on it, they’ve learned which dahlia bulbs are the survivors.

Frank Larson, who moved to the Rogue Valley from Bend, was glad to be earning volunteer hours towards graduation. He thinks the social aspects of working in the Demonstration Gardens are really important too, as he chatted with GEMs Jane Moyer and Marcie Katz in the Wanda Hauser Garden, where they did a lot of weed pulling. Marcie’s usual garden is Birds, Bees, and Butterflies right next to Greenhouse 1. On her first day back she discovered that the plantings there had grown so dense between March and July that the weeds were crowded out.

Another with few weeds was the Perennials Garden, which GEM Doug Kirby had mulched 3” deep last summer and fall. A lesson for all of us: mulch, mulch, mulch. His assistant Char McKee, who was happily pruning and dead-heading, said that getting out and working with plants makes her day. There were gorgeous blooms throughout the Perennials Garden, but Doug said he missed seeing the early spring blossoms.

Two of the gardens where the weeds had grown thick and tall were the Orchard and the Rose Garden. Sean Cawley, another 2020 student, noted that the Orchard “needs help” and was glad to assist Joe Alvord to get the irrigation system going again.

I’m told that the weeds in the Rose Garden had grown 7’ tall while we were closed. Randy Costello said that on her first day back she kept saying “ow, ow, ow” and went home with her hands shredded and bloody because the rose bushes were so overgrown. Diane Reiling said it was like “going after big game.” But by the time I visited, most of the weeds had been removed and rose lovers Linda Moran and Ann Sloan said they were really enjoying themselves pruning the shrubs into shape, and that it was wonderful to be back.

If you’d like to volunteer in the Demonstration Gardens, I’m told there are still opportunities on Monday and Thursday mornings. The first step is to contact the GEM for the garden where you’d like to work. For a list of the gardens and GEMs, see page 36 of the 2020 JCMGA Directory.

What did you do during quarantine?

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What did you do during quarantine?

By Marcie Katz

Master Gardener 2019

I have found that as gardeners, we seldom sit still, always looking for that stray weed, plants that need extra care, a branch that needs pruning and all the other myriad of things that a garden requires. Only then can we sit back and enjoy the fruits of our labor and the serenity created in our beautiful gardens large and small!

If you’re like me, after 4 months in captivity (during the stay at home rule, LOL), on those days too hot to be outside, you found the desire to open closets, drawers and even that scary garage and tool shed, and said to self, “Why do I have so much stuff?” and “What do I do with it?”

Or, maybe it’s just time to downsize, because realistically, you know your kids really do not want all those wonderful things we treasure and accumulate, and do we want to place that burden on them when the time comes? 

Well, I have a solution for you, Community Yard Sale! Yes, you can take all that good stuff you have purged from your life and donate it to a great cause! 

Roberta Heinz is graciously offering her property for a Community Yard Sale on Saturday, Aug. 29 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

All proceeds will go toward supporting gardening education here in the Rogue Valley. 

So gather all your stuff and drop it off on Friday, Aug. 28 between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. at 3939 Tami Lane, Central Point. 

We ask that NO CLOTHING, BOOKS, ELECTRONICS, BROKEN or NON-WORKING items please! 

If you have an excess of plants as well, we will be accepting those in containers with labels for the native and non-native plant sale that will run in conjunction to the yard sale. 

Please contact Marcie Katz by email or call 541-301-8464 if you have folding tables (to loan) and/or a truck or trailer to help move items or wish to volunteer. All remaining inventory will be donated to non-profits after the sale.

 

This Rad is a Dish

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This Rad is a Dish

Sydney Jordan Brown MG 2000

Nothing will dazzle your dinner salad or your dining guests like the ruby-fleshed root of the watermelon (also known as Beauty Heart or Red Meat) winter radish.

Although Raphanus sativus, the radish, is broadly distributed throughout the world, the winter variety may not yet have graced your garden and table.

Despite tentative speculations on this radish’s origins, the only true wild forms of this root are, well, rooted in Southeast Asia – as central China, Central Asia, and India seem secondary centers, given their differing-developed forms.

Even though radishes are recorded in the third century BC and detailed as crops by Greek and Roman agriculturists of the first century AD, they weren’t introduced here until the arrival of European immigrants.

The first varieties to reach our soils were likely familiar mild spring radishes. So it’s no wonder many people have never had the pleasure of sampling the red-fleshed winter radish.

There are spring radishes and then there are those spectacular winter  varieties. They are in a whole other realm that evolved to enormous diameters, with dense interiors of the sweetest-crisp flesh in a profusion of color.

Like a watermelon, you’ll find sublimely sweet, but with a pleasant bite of heat. Greenish shoulders melt into white around a center that is saturated with a fluorescent shade of crimson. It also grows to a miraculous 4-5” in diameter, so there’s plenty to share to spice up any salad, stir fry, or appetizer offering.

Bright with flavor, this bold radish flourishes on the edge between summer’s last hurrah and the nip of Jack Frost’s first bite. It’s also loaded with antioxidants within those rosy interiors, vitamin C, fiber and almost no carbs if you’re counting such things.

So what’s the secret for this scarlet-fleshed radish’s stardom? It’s all in the setting. By building up the soil exuberantly with compost, this latent-maturing radish will rise to its finest performance.

Sow your seeds by selecting, if possible, a day below 90°F. That’s not always easy to do, but we who work the ground must watch the weather for cues on when to grow.

A thick blanket of fine mulch will be greatly appreciated by the plants and assist in keeping conditions consistently moist to encourage more rapid sprouting.

Once these babies have sprouted, they’ll need to be thinned to about 4-6” apart so they’ll have ample space to expand. Given their spicy temperament, these guys are little bothered with fly-by insect feasters.

Around October, you should be able to start sampling your first roots. The beauty of these radishes is their resistance to light frosts so you can leave them in the ground and enjoy them even through December in a milder year.

What a treat to taste such beauties long after the garden has been put to bed for the winter.

So if you’re looking for sighs of surprise, as well a splash of splendor for the eyes, set out for the prize of the red-flesh winter radish.

 

Seed Sources:

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

www.rareseeds.com

Pinetree Garden Seeds

www.superseeds.com

Johnny’s Select Seeds

www.johnnyseeds.com

 

Recipe: Winter Radish Salad

Vinaigrette

Juice and zest from 1 organic Valencia orange

1/4 cup organic cider vinegar

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 peeled cloves garlic, pressed

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced fine

1/8 teaspoon each fresh ground pepper and sea salt

Put all ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake well to blend. Best made 24 hours ahead and can be refrigerated for about two weeks.

 

Salad

Vinaigrette

Juice and zest from 1 organic Valencia orange

1/4 cup organic cider vinegar

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 peeled cloves garlic, pressed

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced fine

1/8 teaspoons each fresh ground pepper and sea salt

Put all ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake well to blend. Best made 24 hours ahead and can be refrigerated for about two weeks.

Salad

8 cups arugula, washed and drained

1 4” or 2 smaller, red meat radishes, washed and peeled then sliced paper thin (a mandoline is useful for this or thinnest slicing blade on food processor)

2 organic blood oranges, peeled and cut in lengthwise wedges then each cut in half again

4 fresh scallions, washed and cut in thin slices

8 pitted Kalamata olives, sliced

1/3 cup pistachio nuts

4 oz goat cheese

Put all ingredients (except goat cheese and nuts) in a large salad bowl, add about half vinaigrette then gently mix to coat everything. Sprinkle goat cheese and nuts over each serving. Serve immediately to 4-6 eager recipients.

 

Master Gardener(s) of the Year

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By Lynn Kunstman

Master Gardener 2012

This year, we have chosen a team of FOUR individuals to be our JCMGA MG of the Year.  Steve Hassen, Bill Elliot, Doug Kirby and John Kobal have worked tirelessly to make our campus and greenhouses the best in the state.

We LOVE them, and wanted to honor all of them.

 

 

 

Steve Hassen developed the Spring Garden Fair layout plan and has organized the laying out of all the booths for multiple years.  Besides being a Practicum mentor, Steve helped develop the Greenhouse Monitoring and Mitigation Plan, rewrote and expanded greenhouse hygiene lessons, and led the Herculean  effort to upgrade the Practicum greenhouses.  He helped with repairing and upgrading the well pump and irrigation system for the gardens, led the effort to move and rebuild the Compost Garden shed, helped build new bins for bulk garden

 supplies, and helped rebuild fences in two gardens.

Bill Elliot has maintained all three greenhouses for several years, allowing the Practicum to do its work of growing plants. He installed an automatic watering system in Greenhouse 1 and keeps the heat at the proper temperatures in all three locations. He is on call whenever we need him to adjust something. He attends weekly mentors meetings so he can be aware of and respond to problems. At nearly every meeting he’s the first one to say “I’ll take care of that” when a volunteer is needed for almost anything.

 

 

Doug Kirby: In addition to assisting with all the above projects, Doug is in charge of the Perennials Demonstration Gardens at Jackson County Extension, as well as being in charge of all the grounds and irrigation for those gardens.  His efforts, in collaboration with our program coordinator, to keep the gardens alive during the Covid shutdown, have been indispensable.

John Kobal was the lead MG on our greenhouse sanitation efforts last year – developing curriculum and protocols for pest management and greenhouse hygiene.  He has been a mentor in the Practicum for several years.  John is also in charge of educational presentations at our Spring Garden Fair and is a speaker with our speakers bureau, doing ongoing outreach to our larger community.

When you see these guys on campus, be sure to congratulate and thank them for their outstanding efforts!

 

 

Giving our finances a boost

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Grange graphicBy Jane Moyer

Master Gardener 2005

WAIT! Before you decide you’re not interested in reading an article about finances, stop and ask yourself some what-if questions. What if the Jackson County Master Gardener Association ceased to exist? What if you could contribute to its continued existence with absolutely no cost to you in either time or money? Has your interest been piqued? Keep reading!

As you probably can guess, the main source of income for JCMGA is the Spring Garden Fair. Other sources include the Winter Dreams Summer Gardens Symposium, sale of Garden Guide for the Rogue Valley (two volumes), the yard sale, pop-up plant sales, the Holiday Gala, collection and redemption of eligible cans and bottles, numerous other once-a-year endeavors, and member dues. With the current COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 income has been reduced to the sales of Garden Guide for the Rogue Valley, member dues, and the collection of redeemable cans and bottles. (Reminder: the funds collected from students for the Master Gardener class tuition supports the OSU Master Gardener Program, not JCMGA.)

What does JCMGA do with the funds collected each year? Since the main purpose of the association is education, the bulk of the annual budget goes to the Practicum (Reminder: Practicum is a function of JCMGA to supplement the Jackson County Master Gardener program and receives no financial support from other sources, including OSU or SOREC,), Demonstration Gardens, school grants (pre-K to 12th grade), plant related scholarship(s) at OSU, community garden grants, Plant Clinic, Community Education classes (Reminder: the funds collected for these classes go to the OSU Master Gardener Program, not JCMGA.), Speakers Bureau, and the costs of running our association of volunteers (no salaries).

In March, when the pandemic started, the Board of Directors voted to freeze all but the most essential 2020 expenses. However, some costs had already been incurred and some simply could not be skipped this year, for example a broken underground pipe in Greenhouse #1 had to be repaired. So, while the usual amount is not being spent, looking forward to 2021 and beyond, the usual carryover will be greatly diminished.

Which brings us back to the first question: what can each of us do to support JCMGA financially with no cost in time or money? We will be reviewing the current fundraising options one at a time each month with the hope we will all make use of the many ways we can contribute. This month we will look at the Grange rewards program.

The Grange gives a rebate credit to members who spend over $500 in any year. Many of us shop at the Grange, but how many of us are not members or spend less than $500 in a year? Instead of letting a reward go unused, we can ask that our purchases be credited to the Jackson County Master Gardener Association. Since the Grange has stores in other counties, these exact words have to be used: “Please credit this to the Jackson County Master Gardener Association.

Just in case your cashier is unsure how to do this, asking to have your purchase credited to account #15333 is the surefire way to accomplish it.

The Grange rewards will be used toward materials used by the Practicum, the Demonstration Gardens, the JCMGA booths at the Spring Garden Fair, and any other activities that require gardening supplies.

 

The garden checklist for a hot August

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Garden Guide

by Janine Salvatti 

Master Gardener 2019

It’s August and like the song says, it’s going to be Hot-Hot-Hot! Here are a few things to keep your garden in shape.

Order unique bulbs for your Spring garden.

Gardens talk! This is prime time to listen, observe, and assess what is working, what is not, and note what changes we want to make. Plan the best time to divide, remove, or move plants as their season ends or they go dormant.

Vacancies? Some of your annuals have faded and left holes in the landscape. Fill these with late-summer heat-loving blooming annuals for end-of-season color and overall garden pick-me-up. Keep these well hydrated to cope with extreme heat.

We need to keep pinching and deadheading our flowering plants in containers and in the ground. Deep water camellias to develop flower buds for next spring. Protect ornamentals and garden plants from extreme heat with mulch 2” to 4” deep. Stay on top of irrigation needs.

Saving seed? Let annuals, perennials, and grass seed pods ripen on the plant for seed production. Seeds from hybrids could yield surprises. Propagate more of your favorite plants from seeds, cuttings, divisions.

Pests and diseases: Are we harnessing nature as our first line of defense? Nature, birds, frogs, and good insects will flock to the buffet we provide by interplanting the vegetable garden with an abundance of flowers and herbs. Create bird habitat with bird baths, bird (bat and owl) houses, various feeders, bug hotels, some open soil.

Check out this interesting YouTube video “Managing Squash Bugs & Bad Insects with Nature, Birds, & Good Insects” by Gary Pilarchik of the Rusted Garden.

Now we are harvesting the fruits of our labor – literally. Eat fresh, share, can, freeze, donate to Access. Plant your winter crops. Plant green manure if harvesting leaves open areas.

Fertilize cucumbers, summer squash, and broccoli to maintain production.

Tip: Plan for the inevitable discovery of zucchinis gone wild. You know the enormous zuchs that rival the size of a small dog? Hire a neighbor kid to winch it out of the bed and drag it to the compost pile? Make another 27 zucchini breads?

Prune cherry trees before fall rains to allow callusing in dry weather to minimize the spread of bacterial canker.

Excuse me now while I go visit with my garden and see what cautions and secrets it will share with me today. There are a few ripe strawberries calling my name. My garden remains a haven and a place of respite, an inspiration, a lesson in patience, and a sweet and often brow-furrowing mystery. I wish you the same joy.

Best references for our area:

PNW Handbook on squash bug and eggs:

Garden Guide for the Rogue Valley: Pages 119-123

OSU Extension Service: August Garden Calendar

Erika

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Dear Gardeners,

Can you believe August is already here? I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy while enjoying the beautiful weather. I will outline some program updates below, plus share some of this season’s favorite wildflowers.

While SOREC has moved into Phase II as of late June and is open on a limited basis to the public, we have decided to continue with Virtual Plant Clinic, and not open the Plant Clinic in person until there is a significant drop in cases. The health and safety of you, our volunteers, is of utmost importance.

We reopened the demonstration gardens to work on a limited basis in June, and that has been going really well. Thanks to all the GEMs and volunteers who are coming out – you got the gardens back into shape in no time! Thank you all also for following the protocols set out, and respecting the schedule and participant limit we have in place.

I hope that others have found joy in this year’s truly remarkable wildflower season, amidst the turmoil the world has been facing these last several months. Here are some favorites I have encountered on recent hikes, mostly in the Ashland Watershed and near the Siskiyou Crest (of course while following physical distancing and trail closure guidelines!).

I encountered vast meadows of blooming monument plant (Frasera speciosa) on a hike near Wagner Butte in mid-June. Monument plant is a fascinating member of the Gentian family; it is a monocarpic perennial, meaning that it grows for years, but only flowers once in its lifetime. Monument plants will grow for 22-80 years, flower once, and then die (Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory). This is a mast flowering species, which means there are significant bloom events every 2-7 years, typically following an unusually wet summer 4 years preceding the bloom event (Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory). “Mast seeding, also known as masting, mast flowering, masting behaviour or mast fruiting, is synchronous and highly variable seed production among years by a population of perennial plants (Ims, 1990; Kelly, 1994; Kelly et al ., 2008)” (Pearse et al., 2016).

While mountain biking on a more remote trail in the Ashland watershed, I was lucky enough to come across both phantom orchid (Cephalanthera austiniae) and striped coralroot (Corallorhiza striata) in one day. These are both members of the orchid family, and are myco-heterotrophic, meaning they obtain nutrients from the mycorrhizzal fungi which they parasitize, instead of photosynthesizing.

 Both plants lack chlorophyll, which makes for a truly unique and sometimes ethereal appearance.

Enjoy the rest of your summer, and stay safe!