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Dear Reader ,

Thank you so much for following agrowpedia these last few months and being a supporter for what we are trying to do.  You may have seen a post recently where I mentioned an eventual move to a new WordPress and Facebook site due to securing a new domain name, www.agrowpedia.com and the wish to align all our sites properly.  Well, that day is today.  We would ask that, starting today, you change your likes and bookmarks to https://www.facebook.com/Agrowpedia and http://agrowpedia.wordpress.com/, respectively.  Thank you again for your continued support and we look forward to sharing this upcoming Summer growing season together.  Happy Gardening!

Thanks,

The Management

www.agrowpedia.com

How to Pick Lettuce

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Did you know there are a number of methods of growing and approaches to picking lettuce?  Well, there are.  And the folks below will show us a couple of different approaches.  Also, don’t forget to get that lettuce in some cold water and the fridge ASAP if you want it to keep and not wilt.  Most handpicked lettuce at home lasts roughly a week although some varieties like butter lettuce will last a day or two longer.

Jared Man from StoneSoup Farms @ stonesoupfarm.googlepages.com shows us how to harvest and store our lettuce:

Scott from the Rodgers Forge Farm Initiative (theforgefarm.blogspot.com/) explains how to pick the lettuce in your garden:

FREEZE ALERT!

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Bend and many other parts of Central Oregon are forecast to be in the low 30’/upper 20’s tonight and tomorrow night! 

Please utilize cover or otherwise move non hardy plants you’d like to keep indoors to frost damage. 

We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming…

Gardening Pests Series: Slugs

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First in a series of posts on common gardening and farming pests. Next post in the series: Deer.

Slugs are a common gardening pest no matter what environment you live in, but I am going to share some information with you that may help you keep the pesky little buggers from homing in on succulent lettuce leaves, hostas, and generally causing havoc in your otherwise serene garden.  Whether you live in Willamette Valley, the High Desert, or the Mid-Atlantic, they are everywhere. In fact, I’ve had two friends in the span of a week ask me about what they could do about them.  So to help you guys and gals do battle against them, I’m re-posting this guide courtesy of gardensalive.com:

Thirteen Ways to Stop Slugs

1)    Beer. Yes, it really does work. It’s also the best non-personal way to confirm that overnight damage is due to the slimy beasts. Just don’t use the often-cited “stale beer”, which slugs like about as much as you and I do. Place commercial traps or old margarine tubs on top of the soil close to the damaged plants, wait until dusk and then fill them with the cheapest—but freshest—beer you can find. The next morning, they should be filled with dead drunken slugs. Dump this defeated debris nearby (where it will attract their cannibalistic pals) and repeat every evening.
2)     Coffee. New research has found caffeine to be very effective at dispatching slugs. Save your dregs and spray them full strength directly on the beasts in the evening. Surround plants under attack with a mulch of used coffee grounds to deter slugs and feed the plants.
3)    Iron phosphate. Turns out that iron is very bad for a slug’s digestion. Like deadly bad. So a new generation of products with brand names like “Sluggo” and “Escar-Go!” wrap iron in a slug-attracting bait. You simply scatter the pellets around plants in peril to wipe out the pests without poisons. (And a little extra iron is good for your garden soil.)
4)    Copper. Slugs get shocked when they touch this shiny metal. You can buy ready-made copper plant guards or just adorn your raised bed frames with copper flashing. Hot-glue rings of pennies around the tops of your containers. Drop captured slugs into a jar of pennies and watch ‘em spark!
5)    Diatomaceous earth. Available at garden centers, ‘DE’ is the mined fossilized remains of dinosaur-era, sea-going creatures called diatoms. It looks like white flour, but is incredibly sharp on a microscopic level, dehydrating slugs on contact. Surround plants under attack with protective rings of DE (be sure to wear a dust mask); freshen them up if they get wet.
6)    Boards. Lay some old planks between your garden beds. The vampiric slugs will crawl underneath to hide from the sun. Come morning, lift the boards and scrape the slugs into a bucket with a flat piece of metal. Then do with them what you will. Hey—got any pennies?
7)    Human hair. Surround your plants with a protective barrier of hair. The slugs will get all tangled up in it and strangle (hey—it was them or the hostas!); and the hair will eventually add plant-feeding nitrogen to the soil.
8)    Citrus. Leave lemon, orange and grapefruit rinds out overnight near slug prone plants, and then collect and trash them—covered with slugs—first thing the next morning. Old lettuce leaves work well too.
9)    Vinegar. A spray bottle filled with plain white vinegar is a great cure for slugs that aren’t on plants. An extremely effective mollusk dissolver, vinegar is also an herbicide—so don’t spritz the salvia.
10)    Toads. Avoid all pesticides, provide water low to the ground and a damp shady spot for them to hide during the heat of the day, and these wonderful nocturnal predators will eat lots of slugs for you.
11)    Rove beetles. These big black bugs don’t bother plants, but do eat LOTS of slugs and their eggs. So don’t hurt them!
12)    Lightning bugs. The larval form of these summertime entertainers, the fascinating “glowworm,” eats slugs and their eggs. To encourage adults to breed nearby, turn off outdoor lights at night, allow a small area of your garden to stay moist and a little weedy, and don’t use pesticides.
13)    Ducks! Just turn a few loose in the garden—these feathered friends (and natural fertilizer providers) are among nature’s FINEST slug-eaters! And all together now: “We can always use the eggs”. Thank you.

You Bet Your Garden   Question of the Week ©2005 Mike McGrath

FREEZE ALERT!

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Bend is forecast to be in the low 20’s tonight and tomorrow night! 

Please utilize cover or otherwise move non hardy plants you’d like to keep indoors.

Every Central Oregon Gardner needs several frostblankets or water-filled plant protectors due to unpredictable weather and late/early frosts like tonight…I

In Memoriam of Esther Yackley Anderson

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In honor of my Grandmother, Esther Anderson, whose funeral was this past weekend, I would like to share with you one of her  very favorite plants.  She loved living in Oregon with her husband of more than 70 years, Nels Anderson (above), and having our large family clan come stay at “Mom’s” or “Grandma’s” or “Great-Grandma’s”.  She also shared a passion for gardening with my Grandpa (who still has a little patch of dirt of his own up at the Dallas Retirement Home now that he has relocated to an apartment there) that she passed down to many of us.  That, and the appreciation of homegrown food and healthy eating.   She also loved flowers, she had many pink roses but Esther was especially fond of one particular flower, a Pacific Northwest forest native, the gorgeous azalea.

When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say, “I used everything You gave me.” – Erma Bombeck

 

Pacific Northwest Gardener, Yolanda Vanveen:

Stan Defreitas, “Mr. Green Thumb”:

Spring Hill Nurseries, America’s Oldest Mail Catalog Nursery:


Primer for a Peck of Perfect Peppers

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A co-worker of mine told me the other day that she was thinking about planting some peppers this year but wasn’t sure how or what variety of pepper to plant.  Well, hopefully this series of  videos scoured from the very depths of YouTube helps you both choose your peppers for the Summer and help them grow strong and bountiful as well.

vadiiv1 from Richmond, VA instructs us on the different general types of peppers and how to care for them:

Stan DeFreita, “Mr. GreenThumb”  brings us several videos on peppers:

Yellow Hungarian Wax Peppers

Bell Pepper

Medusa Pepper:

Jon Traunfeld, University of Maryland Extension brings us Pepper Pinching to help us increase our yields:

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