Now’s the time to watch for invasive species in your garden. These are more than just “weeds,” they are noxious weeds. These plants earn this deprecated status because they interfere with important wildland habitat or have invaded and interfered with agricultural lands. Because one plant produces so many seeds, it’s important to have lots of folks on the bandwagon in order to rout them from Southern Oregon. To get photos of the invaders and report sightings go to: http://oregoninvasiveshotline.org/ Additional information is available through: http://www.opb.org/programs/invasives/index.php
Pay careful attention to watering needs and signs of pests. The earlier you detect insect damage, the less you need to do to eliminate the problem.
Birding by ear: Wouldn’t it be cool to recognize birds by their calls? North Mountain Park Nature Center is running a class that can help you do just that. Taught by Klamath Bird Observatory’s Ashley Dayer, the class will explore bird songs and calls through sound recordings, mnemonic devices, sonagrams, drawings and other devices. The one-evening workshop will incorporate lecture, images, guided listening and participation. Held 7 to 8:30 p.m., June 11. Fee $5. For more information and to register for the field trip please call 541-201-0866 or register online at http://ashlandparks.recware.com.
If pie is more your summer speed, learn about using Clear-Jel to create fool-proof pie fillings, sauces, puddings, casseroles and a wealth of other dishes in no time with Oregon State University food education volunteers on June 26, at 7 to 9 p.m. at the Jackson County Extension Center, 569 Hanley Road, Central Point. A $5 materials fee is payable the day of the class. Call Sheila at 776-7371 to register.
Area garden club meetings resume in September.
For long-lasting blooms in the vase, add cut flower food or 2 tablespoons of both sugar and white vinegar. To prevent bacterial build-up, change the water and cut soggy bottoms off the stems.
Make sure to give birdseed feeders a thorough monthly cleaning to prevent disease in wild bird populations. Use 10:1 water to bleach. Hummingbird feeders should be cleaned every three days in warm weather. Ditto for bird baths.
Kitchen garden and orchard
New transplants planted in full sun need shadecloth as the weather warms. Bamboo hoops make an excellent structure for draped shade cloth. Use clothespins to attach the polyfiber fabric. This setup works for growing bolt-resistant lettuce and greens that might wilt under summer’s fiercer sun.
Vegetables to plant by seed include beans, corn, scallions, basil, and okra. See our article on corn in this issue for more planting suggestions.
Thin the fruit setting on apple, pear and peach trees. This produces bigger fruits and ensures good fruit production in subsequent years. (Fruiting is hard work, and exhausts trees.) Leave one or two apples and pears in each cluster and only one Asian pear per cluster. Peaches should be about 6 inches apart, plums 1 to 3 inches apart, and apricots 5 to 6 inches apart.
Raise your lawn mower height to 2 1/2 inches so grass plants can shade their own roots.
Turn up your watering to provide about an inch of water a week and do extra watering during hot spells. Watering in early morning is best for lawns and water conservation. Avoid fertilizing during hot weather.
Clay soils benefit when you deliver two waterings with a rest period of about an hour in-between. Your lawn’s requirements may differ based on amount of sun and soil composition.