Kitchen & Orchard
• Strawberry runners? Check out Stan Mapolski’s article on propagation in this issue to harvest them for a new patch.
• To prevent plant disease, keep your garden clean of dead leaves and overripe fruit. Water the soil, not the leaves, early in the day. Top tomatoes, peppers, vining squash and eggplants to speed ripening of already set fruit. Harvest fruit as it ripens and many plants will keep producing until frost.
• Winter garden plants include broccoli, peas, arugula, kale and other greens. Plant a cover crop if you aren’t going to have a winter garden. Fava beans are a good winter crop that fixes nitrogen in the soil and provides meaty beans in the spring.
• Keep attention on fungus control; clean up and dispose of diseased leaves, like roses with black spot or hollyhock with rust. Leave roses on the bush in plants that produce hips. They provide great winter interest.
• Nurseries have new shipments of interesting plants. If you have empty vegetable beds, buy small starts and overwinter young ornamentals with your veggies. Transplant to permanent locations before plants break dormancy in spring.
• Toward the end of the month replace summer annuals with winter hardy plants like pansies and dusty miller, or cover planting bed with mulch or compost to protect the soil.
• Monitor watering needs according to the weather, but figure on adding about 1 inch per week this month. Lawns may benefit from a feeding now, but not during hot spells.
• Check for thatch—tough, fibrous plant growth above the surface of the soil that’s a nursery for plant disease. Two inches or more thick and it should definitely be removed. This is also a good time to aerate lawns and rake in about ½ inch of compost. Then be sure to water more deeply in the future so roots penetrate the soil.
• Beginning mid-month and through October, bare spots in the lawn can be seeded. Scratch seeds into the surface and keep the area moist until seeds sprout. Don’t let the area dry out until the start of winter rains.
• Jackson County Master Gardeners is offering a class on dividing perennials. Fall is the best time to split daylilies, iris and a host of other plants. Class is 7 to 9 p.m., Sept. 9 at the Oregon State University Extension Center located at 569 Hanley Road, Central Point. Fee is $5. Call 776-7371.
• Learn about gardens at North Mountain Park in a tour of their butterfly, amphibian-reptile gardens, and native plant, herb and heirloom gardens. Tour starts at 9:30 a.m., Sept. 10 and 27. Must be at least age 10 to participate. Register online at http://ashlandparks.recware.com or call the Nature Center at 488-6606.
• Learn basic composting from Master Gardener Denny Morelli in a class sponsored by the City of Ashland Conservation Commission. Receive a free compost bin (one per household) and some great information. Offered 10 to noon, Sept. 27 at the Ashland recycling station; no pre-registration required but you should call 482-1471 to get more information.