Bring a little sunshine to your door with a blooming plant. Hardy primroses in a low planter add color and scent. Camellias with daisy-like blooms are sure to bring a smile. Choose one that meets the sun/shade conditions at your front door.
Leave snow on plants unless it is heavy and wet and bending or breaking branches. Snow will protect your evergreen plants from low temperatures. Think of it as an igloo for your shrubbery.
Kitchen and Orchard
The best selection of seeds is available now. Get the best variety by checking Oregon State University Extension's seed lists. Call the Master Gardeners on Tuesday or Thursday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. or search online at http://extension.oregonstate.edu for information on seed choices, planting dates and site selection. Buy only as much seed as you can plant within three years.
Orchard trees need attention now. The freeze-thaw cycle may be damaging bark and creating crevices for bugs and disease to take hold. Wrap trunks with burlap or paint the lower trunk with white exterior latex paint. This minimizes sun scald and splitting. Mix the paint 1-to-1 with water. Also, use dormant spray on orchard trees to smother insect eggs. Check with the OSU Extension for spray schedules for specific fruit varieties.
Winter bird care includes clean feeders and regular water supply. Anna's hummingbirds need sugar water, especially during freezes. Bring your feeder in overnight and put it back out in the morning. The formula is one cup sugar to four cups water, and don't use any sugar substitutes. They are not safe for birds.
Make sure to check pond filtration systems to keep water moving. Fish will stay in hibernation until water temperature rises above 50 degrees.
Clean up leaves to prevent them from causing bare spots.
Winter hours for the plant clinic at the Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center are Tuesdays and Thursdays between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at 569 Hanley Road, Central Point. Call 541-776-7371 for information.
Grape pruning, led by Chris Hubert, Quail Run Vineyard. The emphasis of this class will be growing grapes in the home garden especially how, when and where to prune. Participants will learn terminology that applies to growing grapes, care of grapes and solutions for common grape problems in the home garden. The class will conclude with an outdoor demonstration in pruning grapes so dress for the weather. Qualifies for Master Gardener recertification. Saturday, Feb. 13, 9 a.m. to noon. $5 fee.
Fruit-tree pruning, led by Terry Helfrich, professional orchardist. The emphasis of this class will be growing fruit trees in the home garden — especially how, when and where to prune. Selection of trees and planting site, tree structure, planting requirements, spacing and tree training will also be discussed, with the goal of producing more fruit. The class will conclude with an outdoor demonstration in pruning fruit trees, so dress for the weather. Qualifies for Master Gardener recertification. Saturday, Feb. 20, 9 a.m. to noon. $5 fee.
Classes are at the Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center, 569 Hanley Road, Central Point. Call 541-776-7371 for details. For additional information about Master Gardener programs, check online at http://extension.oregonstate.edu/sorec/mg
North Mountain Park Nature Center has several garden-related classes this month:
- If you are just beginning your vegetable gardening adventure, join Louisa Lenz-Porter at Pioneer Hall, 73 Winburn Way, Ashland, at 10 a.m. on Jan. 23 for a four-hour immersion course in bio-intensive gardening. The $35 fee is an investment in getting the most of your garden space, including planning, planting and selection, especially if you want to get most of your food from your garden.
- If you have been saving seeds, a free program Jan. 27 will provide a chance to mix with others who've been doing the same and to buy seed harvested at the nature center. You can save money, grow plants that are adapted to our local climate and exchange information with other gardeners. This free program, 7-8 p.m. is held at the nature center, 629 N. Mountain Ave., Ashland.
- "Reclaim the Rain," taught by Pam Lott, will help you set up a rain-collection system at your place. It's better for plants and saves water. The class will run from 7 to 8:30 p.m., Jan. 13, at the center. Registration is required. The fee is $10.
To learn about other interesting classes at the nature center this month, see the Web site www.NorthMountainPark.org or call 541-488-6606.
Ashland Garden Club, 541-482-5946 or 541-482-6951
On Monday, Jan. 4, Myrl Bishop will give a presentation called "First Lady of Wildflowers: Lady Bird Johnson." Call for time and location.
Central Point Garden Club, 541-830-8951
The meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 5, will focus on houseplants. Call for time and location.
Jacksonville Garden Club, 541-899-6994
Peggy Peffley will talk about gardening in the Italian and English styles on Friday, Jan. 21. Call for time and location.
Medford Garden Club, 541-774-3930
On Friday, Jan. 15, Ken Goddard will talk about forensics at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Lab. Call for time and location.