Gardening Basics
Got blackberries? Got control? Himalayan blackberry is a noxious weed in Oregon. Cut back canes to help manage their spread. Done repeatedly and over a several year period, this method has a chance of eliminating unwanted blackberry patches. Mulch the debris in place, then re-plant the area with desirable natives to keep other noxious weeds out and to replace cover and food sources for wildlife. Check with the Oregon State University Extension Service, 776-7371, for information.

Vegetable Gardens
Plant greens like arugula, kale, chard, lettuces, and spinach by seeding directly into the soil. Also, roots like carrot, beet and radish seeds can go in, along with starts of cool-season vegetables like broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower.

January's cold spell should pay off in fewer bugs and slugs this garden season. Still, it won't hurt to bait for slugs. Use "safe" baits safe for pets, wildlife and children--deadly to slugs.

Fertilize ever-bearing strawberries and established raspberries, now.

Prune grapes and fertilize mid-month.

Ornamental Gardens
You'd likely have blooms in your garden now, if you included hellebores among your perennials. Check at garden centers for these low-growing, evergreen bloomers, commonly known as Christmas rose, or Lenten rose, depending on bloom time. Want your blooms at eye-level? Larger early bloomers include camellias (shrub) and flowering plum (small tree).

Treat now for anthracnose, a fungus, which affects dogwoods, maples, sycamores and Modesto ash. The leaves of sick trees fall off, or have rosy purple or brown spots or edges. Treat according to package directions using dormant oil with lime sulfur. When the tree is in leaf, use a copper spray with a spreader sticker.

Prune and fertilize roses. Dig and divide summer-blooming perennials.

Give ponds attention before the water warms. Clean out organic debris so it doesn't contribute to algae blooms later in the season.

Weather permitting, this month and next are the best times to thatch, aerate, seed and fertilize your lawn. Choose the right seed for your specific location: mixtures for sun, shade and heavy use are available.

Ready to turn lawn into a garden bed? Soft soil is easier to remove. Dig up the sod in squares or rectangles, flip them on their backs, stack and cover. Keep the pile moist to compost all summer.

Learn the basics of rock gardening with passionate rock gardener Phyllis Gustafson. Plants, soil, rock types and containers will be covered. 7-9 p.m., Mar. 8 at the Southern Oregon Extension Center auditorium, 569 Hanley Road, Central Point. $5 fee; call 776-7371.

What to do with the lovely hops you've been growing in your garden? Make your own personal beer. Learn about methods, ingredients, equipment, and the pleasures of brewing your own beer, including a demonstration of the process and a taste of some home brews. Held 9 a.m. noon, March 10 at the Extension Center auditorium. $5 materials fee. Call 776-7371 to pre-register.

Garden Clubs
ASHLAND (482-5634)
Monday, Mar. 5
Seven considerations for Landscape Design
Bonnie Bayard

CENTRAL POINT (664-1726)
Wednesday, Mar. 7

Thursday, Mar. 15
Designing for Show
Grace Emori, Ruth Root

MEDFORD (779-7650)
Friday, Mar. 16
Starting a Rock Garden
Janet Crawford, Rock Garden Society