We are on the verge of collapse but there is still much to be done in the garden. You may have some questions. For questions, ask an expert from the Oregon State University Extension Service Online Q&A tool. OSU Extension faculty and senior gardeners will answer questions within two business days, usually less. Simply go to ask a question OSU Extension Website, Type and include the province where you live. Here are some questions from other gardeners. What is yours?
Q: I’m having trouble in my garden. I have three high beds. We had a veteran come and cut down some trees and shrubs. The beds have good sunlight, I water them regularly, and I make fertilizer and in early spring I fertilize the soil with organic fertilizer.
On one bed, I even planted winter.
At first the plants were strong and healthy, but then they stopped growing, could not produce, and withered quickly. In mid-summer, I improved the soil with more organic fertilizer. No chance.
My pumpkins are especially dry and dead.
I left this month and dug everything up. I found a strong root system in the raised bed. Do the roots of the trees in the parking lot find my little raised beds and drink all the water before my vegetables get a drink? Or, perhaps, not everything in my soil is roots, but a network of other things?
I guess it may be necessary to change the soil, but is there anything I can do under the bed to lighten the roots of the tree (or whatever)? Obviously, no matter what, he drinks all the water. The soil dried up like dust, and the root system was so strong that it completely controlled the soil. I have included some photos so you can see this solid root system. – Multinoma County
A: Your beds seem to be invaded by roots from neighboring trees or shrubs. If you want to keep your raised beds in place, you will need to put them in a fence.
First, they want to dig all those roots and make sure they are separated from the trees. If you know where the roots are coming from, you may be able to dig a hole through your beds and at least go down and slide a metal or semi-solid plastic root canal between the beds and the trees. Two feet and a little out of your beds to keep the roots from turning. (You can buy stumbling blocks at home improvement stores or some nursery stalls or online.) If the roots of the tree are coming in from all directions, you should do all this around your beds. Keep in mind that the trees can be damaged, especially during the hot and dry summers, especially if they have many roots.
I have the same problem in my bed that I have had for 20 years when my neighbor’s trees have grown over the years (although their roots are not as strong as yours!). I still make many beds away from the trees. If you have space, that is another option. The trees can eventually grow in any gaps or under the dam, which is probably the best option, but if you have nowhere else to put your beds that don’t work.
Apart from removing the trees, the last resort is to grow them in containers rather than in the ground. You can find some large containers and put them in the same place as your beds, but your growing area will be an eclipse as well as the sides. That should keep the roots of the tree out of the beds, although they can still grow under it and absorb some of the water that comes out.
Many vegetables can be successfully grown in containers, but the soil you use will be a little different. Here is a link to an article on container gardening. And here’s the OSU publication on “Growing Your Own” Vegetables. Both sources have information on what soil is used in containers and how large containers should be for different crops.
If you can stumble in the next week or two, you have time to plant some spring vegetables from kindergarten or lettuce, arugula or radish.
Q: Over the past few days, rhododendron leaves have started to turn yellow. I am attaching two pictures, hoping it will help me.
I planted it for about five to six years and I didn’t see this happen. One reason may be that the roots are narrow. I have it planted on a raised bed with some retaining wall material. The raised bed allows up to 3 feet of space at the base of the factory. – Clamas County
Answer: I think your initial analysis is correct as the root system is congested.
Rhododendron has a shallow, fibrous root system that usually extends beyond the branches. If planted in a secluded area, it cannot be expanded, especially around rocks. And, if there is insufficient watering and / or fertilization, yellow is a sign of nitrogen deficiency. (You can look under the leaves to see if there are any small black spots.
I encourage you to think about it:
- Remove the surrounding stones
- Move to an area without tight structures
- Watering after expanding the roots
Apply seasonal or organic fertilizer in early spring and sprinkle with moisture-proof bark, cool the soil and prevent weeds from competing with water and nutrients. – Chris Lamar, OSU Extension Master Gardener
Q: How do you suggest we get rid of yellow jackets? There is a 100-foot outdoor area where you can slide. How can they be eliminated? Is there a state or state agency that can help with this? – Yamil County
A: At this time of year, yellow jackets can be very stressful. The first thing you can do is avoid any sources of food you are interested in. That means cleaning and removing fallen brakes, removing any pet food left out of the house, cleaning the area from dog feces, removing hummingbirds, or using a “beekeeper” ad on site. (Reaching nectar is great for bees and wasps, but perfect for hummingbirds.) You can set up traps for commercial yellow jackets around the area. Simply empty them and wash them again every two weeks. – Anna Ashbi, OSU Extension Master Gardener
Q: My healthy cactus suddenly looks sick. Maybe I drink too much? Maybe it’s too small? – Yamil County
A: Cactus is a common problem because we love too much water. Cactus prefers hot, dry, hot water with a constant flow of water. Try to dry the soil before watering again. Remember, desert cats live in very small areas with very little water.
Q: Is this a Japanese beetle? Or any invasive species? – Lyn County
Answer: You have a ten-line June bug. It can grow up to 1.5 inches in length. He spends most of his time in the soil eating white thorns, such as trees, shrubs, etc. The lifespan of this bug is about three years, and the last part is an adult sample that you encounter in June or around. They come to get married and lay eggs in the ground and then die.
During that time you can eat anything and ruin everything you eat.
I usually meet them around the field in July. They are easy to catch and remove and so far, I have not seen any potential product damage for adults. On very hot summer days, the heat is slow, making them very easy to handle.
The sprouting white thorn can eat any nearby roots. Examine the area where you found it, scraping about 1 inch of soil, and you will find eggs that you can remove.
Here is a link to the June bugs. And here’s another one.
Not all beetles are pests. The June bug is one of hundreds of beetles. Many beetles eat pests and clean our gardens. It is highly recommended that you do not spray pesticides. If I kill an insect, spraying usually kills all insects, all pollen, butterflies and moths.
For Japanese beetles, here is a link that gives you many pictures of these beetles, including the white beetle. You will notice that the beetle’s white gland and the June bug are very similar.
I hope you do not find any Japanese beetles in your garden. They reproduce faster than bed bugs. – Shirley Cassette, OSU Extension Master Gardener