October 2016

Mason Bee Cocoon Cleaning

Final of our series of classes given by Master Gardener and Native Pollinator Specialist Ron Spendal.

Open to anyone interested in learning about our native, solitary bee but especially helpful to those who want to keep the healthiest and productive nest environment for their mason bees.

Learn how to harvest, clean and care for your mason bee cocoons.  An easy sand cleaning process will be demonstrated. 

Participants are encouraged to bring their mason bee nesting devices for review and processing.  Cocoons needing harvesting and cleaning will be available for this hands-on workshop.

 

 What:   Mason Bee Cocoon Cleaning                               

 When:  November 5th, 2016 @ 11AM

 Where: Farmington Gardens

              21815 SW Farmington Rd, Beaverton 97007

 Cost:     FREE but please Register

 Email:   events@farmingtongardens.com

 Phone:   503.649.4568

There are succulents and there are tender succulents. They look similar but are not alike.

The sempervivem will do fine left outdoors during our Pacific Northwest winter. As long as they have good drainage, they will flesh out come spring. This also applies to some of the hardier cactus.

The huge variety of tender succulents, with their larger sized leaves of different shapes and colors, have been striking additions to your rock gardens, pots, and tabletop displays this summer. They have loved the heat! But the cold is another matter.

They do not like wetness and cold! Most will do fine down to 45 degrees - they will just go into a semi-dormant state - but colder than that and they will turn to mush.

So, to answer the question, YES!

You really do have to protect your tender succulents from the cold.

What can you do? There are several ways you can minimze your loss.

Winter Damage

It’s spring and you may be wondering why we are talking about winter damage. It is because we have had unusually lengthy cold spells this year during periods of little rain.

How has that affected the plants? Plenty! You may be seeing a lot of die-back on plants you have had for years. The shrub that you put in late last year is not budding out. Some vines don’t seem as vigorous. The plants in your pots are more brown than green.

brown tipped leavesPlants needed time to acclimatize to the winter weather. We had sudden drops in temperature that lasted for two or more weeks at a time, and it happened early in the season! This caused damage to plants that had put out new tender growth late in the fall. It also did a number on the early blooming shrubs like the Camellia, particularly the sasanqua. Those buds froze and you will now have to wait while more are formed for next year’s flush of blossoms. Daphne, evergreen clematis, and some rhododendrons fall into this category.  Pay extra attention to them this year to ensure strong growth.

Even some of the broadleaf evergreens are showing damaged top leaves of a choisiadamage. The dry, cold winds sucked the moisture from them. This was most evident in the choisia but luscious new growth is coming out now. You can remove any damaged leaves. It won’t hurt the plant and on some, may aid new leaves to form at that spot.

The lack of rain early in the season also left some plants dehydrated and less able to cope with the stress from the cold. Remember plants need regular moisture in warm temperatures as well as cooler ones.

The air temperature was much colder than the soil temperatures. Because of this, potted plants lose about two temperature zones of hardiness. If the pots were small or the plant roots close to the outside edges, there was a good chance the roots froze. Time to start anew.

Some shallow rooted perennials were also killed by the cold as were some plants marginally hardy to our area, especially in the higher elevations. These can be removed.

What else can you do about this?

At this point, wait and watch for new growth coming from the ground as with the hardy fuchsia. Your Kaleidoscope Abelia may look dead but be patient. It may surprise you.

Test the viability of any shrub by making a tiny scratch on the bark with your fingernail. If there is green underneath, there is a good chance of it coming back. If not, prune back any dead branches. Prune any evergreen vines back to new growth.

Once your patience has worn thin, it may be time to take the opportunity to try new and different additions to your garden. Change is good.

This is a great time to plant trees and shrubs. Their roots can be established before the dry of the summer and definitely before the cold of the next winter!

 

What's Blooming 10.06.2016 Fall Color

Shrubs with Great Fall Color

'Sunshine' ligustrum

'Red Elf' pyracantha

'Orange Rocket' barberry

And to add to the season, try some of these...

It’s Fall…Should I Be Doing Something with My Lawn?

Mowing:

Although fall is known as a time when plants start to go dormant, it is usually a time when our grasses come out of their summer dormancy and begin to grow again. Mowing may pick back up if you didn’t irrigate throughout the summer. Mowing 3-4 times a month is recommended for keeping a lush, healthy lawn.