No much for me to say at the garden level, sorry, I have to grow plants on the deck at my apartment. But I can say that the late frosts have killed my second set of all my spices and climbers except the dill and fennel. If the weather being so decidedly less warm than expected is due to climate change, then even I can tell.
I start all my plants indoors on the window sill, transplanting them when I expect them to get growing. Usually the first set is too early (first week of March). The second just went out last week, but the frost yesterday got some and the ice this morning got the rest.
The rest of the plants we normally put out wait just a bit longer anyway, and I don't expect to change them for what I understand the weather will be any time soon.
It has certainly been cold, and the cover crop of clover that I optimistically planted in February has been struggling...
One issue I wanted to bring up for the show is the possibility of a shifting pattern of invasive species as the warming trend continues. I have heard that some of the ornamental grasses - especially that tall one with the brush-like top - could become invasive as the Oregon climate begins to resemble its home climate.
I have found that by gardening indoors you can take complete control over the environment - and benefit the local economy as well.
Interesting to see the link between gardening and global warming.
It turns out that there is good evidence we can link our gardening and decreasing our carbon foot print.
We are currently getting ready to put in a plant here in Halfway, Oregon to start what is called a biochar plant. It relates to a simple concept discovered in the Amazon about 5000 years ago. It turns out the early Amazon people discovered that rather than burning when they cleared land if they made charcoal and incorporated it into the soil it made there land much more fertile. (over time actually 9 times a fertile)
If you put charcoal into your soil it holds fertility available to plants, requires about 10% less water, reduces pollution (Nutrient run off), increases microbial action and of course sequesters carbon for thousands of years.
We hope to start this plant in the next year or so and sell much of the charcoal we make to gardeners and farmers in Oregon.
Interestingly there is another part of this process that will help in fighting climate change. We turn the smoke that used to come off during making charcoal in to heating oil. It is called bio-oil which replaces fossil fuels and in part also helping reduce our local need to import fuel.
We will also reduce the CO2 released into the air by burning because this is made from fuels (wood chips) that would have to be burned in forest fire fuels reduction projects.
Hopefully it will also be a good way to create a new viable economy in small rural towns in Oregon.
According to this webpage, today's topic looks like a fine, albeit not terribly important, subject to discuss. And Kezel Levine is certainly an enjoyable person to hear on the radio.
However, I have been deeply disturbed by the way today's program has been promoted on the radio -- w/ references to the possible "benefits of global warming/climate change to the region", as if we are not losing anything, but simply gaining the ability to grow more and to do more here.
But even in the realm of gardening and plant life alone, the Portland area might be losing the very qualities that have most characterized our area. Our lush, green growth, including our wild ferns, might just be replaced by the sort of scruffy plant life and dry terrain we have previously associated with places like Bend, or even Ashland.
But more importantly, I believe that the "hidden benefits of climate change" angle is profoundly irresponsible. I cannot imagine that OPB would produce shows or promote shows around themes like "how racism and a culture of white supremacy actually provide hidden benefits for all Oregonians" or "how 'man-boy' love actually helps youngsters" or "how species extinctions actually improves our lives" or "how AIDS helps the world by reducing population and spurring medical progress." Well, you probably get my point.
And if you do not get my point, then, at least when it comes to global warming (or climate change), you simply do not know what you're talking about. Because any responsible and informed discussion on this topic must confront the fact that the status quo is leading us toward a global catastrophe that could threaten the existence of human civilization itself.
If we do not cut our greenhouse gas emissions by about 80% in the next 40-50 years, then the current climate change might spiral out of control, becoming unstoppable, and continuing to accelerate.
This is not the time for us to be sticking our heads in the dirt.
As professionals in the field of landscape gardening, I'd like to add into the conversation regarding residential use of herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers. We do not use these professional -- and we would like to NOT see petrochemical fertilizers available for sale over the counter to the residential public customers. Our experience is that it is the residential public with over uses products such as Roundup on weeds that could easily be pulled by hand. And, that if a fertilizer says use 1/4 cup to 10 gallons of water; they'll use 1/2 cup.
Overuse of these products pollute groundwater. Building soils with composting is much better.
Also -- this conversation can continue today at The Better Living Show at the Expo Center! They have a Conversation Cafe on sustainable living.
This is where I'll be and we'll be talking about sustainable gardening at the show all weekend.
I am an avid gardener from Underwood WA (for over 11 years now)..... What I have noticed, mostly, in my own gardening habits is planting more drought tolerant species..... I love it when it rains here in the Winter (which most people don't appreciate), because I'm not watering. I am originally from Madison WI, so my gardening tendencies have already gone through a BIG climate change. I am not really noticing any changes in my own garden because of "global warming". In the region I live in, the closer (& lower elevation) you live towards the Columbia River, the milder the climate anyway.
Your guest mentioned a link between climate change and the decline of pollinators. Could she please quote her source for that study? I can find no conclusive studies on the subject. Thanks!
This may be a duplicate post, but since the first one doesn't seem to be showing up. We have maintained a spring to fall veggie garden for the last four years and the attached photo shows just a sampling of what we grow. We also have flower beds around the property that we try to keep as varied as possible. Just about everything we grow are spring to fall bloomers. We are finding that we have to water more as each year goes by than the previous year. I do have a question, when is the best time to plant potatoes? My wife and I have this discussion every year and it would be nice to hear some advice on this. Thanks!
My husband and I have just purchased our new home and we are new gardeners. We have been having a friendly argument about how to kill all the weeds we have. He keeps threatening to go buy Roundup and just get them 'gone.' However, I am interested in something organic and non-toxic. But, I don't know what to use. I'm looking for a recommendation.
I recommend that you don't resort to Roundup where you currently have weeds. While Roundup is considered one of the milder herbicides (when used as indicated), it distances you from the interaction with your soil, land, and existing plants. Start by learning about what is growing. Some of what you call weeds may be native species, and some may be invasive. Some may be overgrown beneficial plants. The "weeds" in your garden, if nothing else, are indicating fertility in your soil - count them as a blessing! You can work with them, crowd them out, or pull them and make compost. Start to learn about your garden and nurture it over time to grow naturally. I recommend a technique like Lazy-Bed gardening so you can develop a garden which over time requires less maintenance, not more. Resorting to chemicals will set you on the path of "chemical dependency," meaning more work, more money, and worst of all, more chemicals.
I wonder if anyone remembers the Canary Island Palms that once graced the southern Oregon coast...in particular around Coos Bay? These and other palms were once commonly planted there...and were killed by an extreme cold front in the 60's that extended to California and also severely damaged eucalyptus trees in Oakland.
Water limitations in the summer are a serious and increasing problem in the Pacific Northwest.
We have lived on Pete's Mt. just south of Lake Oswego for 35 years, gardening the same space that whole time. On 2 acres, we have a large vegetable garden, modest orchard, and several ornamental beds and borders. In recent years, it has become apparent that we are in a water limited area; water levels in the aquifer have dropped causing many of us to worry about long-term sustainability of the area and the impact of overuse of domestic water as well as irrational use of water for irrigating huge lawns and wasteful methods of irrigating other plants. Our community water system, upon which 90 homes depend, is probably the most expensive water system in the state. The water supply on this ridge is further jeopardized by the addition of many additional homes due to an unwelcome proposal of a large subdivision that ballot measure 49 may eventually prevent from being created.
Given these concerns, we installed a rainwater collection system at our home this past summer. We obtained a small grant from the state Watershed Enhancement Board to do this as a demonstration project. We purchased a used 20,000 gallon tank and had it buried on our property. Then we installed a system of collection pipes that receive water from a few of the downspouts on our house and garage. We installed a pump in the tank to supply the collected water to the areas we intend to irrigate. The water lines from the tank go to each of the major planting areas around our property and have timer controls to manage the irrigation in an automated way. The final step we will complete this spring is to lay out drip irrigation lines to all of these vegetable, fruit, and ornamental beds, providing a more predictable and managed (and hopefully more efficient) supply of water on an as needed basis.
The cost of the entire project, even without the grant funds, is far less than the cost of installing a new well and the quality of the water for irrigation purposes is terrific.
We began collecting water in our system at the end of the summer. The tank was completely filled by January 14! We are convinced that this is an approach that many other gardeners should consider as water becomes an even more precious resource and as we all become aware of our needs to be responsible and sustainability-oriented citizens.
Hi I was listening to the program and heard someone say that horticulture charcoal is not available and that it will be another year before we see it available to the public. I work for Black Gold Potting Soil (Sun Gro Horticulture) and we carry horticulture charcoal in a 2 quart bag. We have offered that amendment since I joined the company in 2008. If gardeners show interest in larger size bags to add to their gardens or flower beds then we will offer the product in bigger sizes. Thanks
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