Pacific Northwest

February, 2009
Regional Report

Plant Peas

Plant garden peas now if soil is well drained and workable. Suggested varieties for our area include 'Corvallis', 'Dark Green Perfection', 'Green Arrow', 'Oregon Sugar Pod', 'Snappy', 'Knight', 'Sugar Snap', 'Oregon Trail', and 'Oregon Sugar Pod II'. If mosaic virus disease historically attacks your peas, look for resistant varieties.

Try New Vegetables

When planning next year's vegetable garden, try something you've never planted before. You may find a new favorite. This year I'm stretching my vegetable palette by growing collards, shallots, popcorn, bok choy (Chinese cabbage), and tatsoi (flat cabbage) for a change of pace.

Avoid Critter Damage

Watch for field mice damage on lower trunks of trees and shrubs and avoid additional damage by controlling weeds to remove hiding places, reinforcing any wire caging or plastic tree wraps placed around the trunk, and keeping mulch materials a few inches away from trunks.

Windowsill Gardening

When cold, wet weather keeps your kids inside, try cultivating a windowsill garden. All you need is a sunny spot and a few containers of soil. Herbs are an excellent choice for windowsills. A more complicated project is building a terrarium by carefully placing some moistened potting soil and a few plants (with roots) inside a clean mayonnaise jar. Cover the opening with clear plastic wrap.

Propagate Houseplants

Propagate split-leaf philodendrons and other leggy indoor plants by air layering. Here's how: Make a slanting cut about 1/4 of the way through the stem with a sharp knife. Insert a toothpick to keep the wound from healing over. Dust the wound with rooting hormone powder. Wrap the wounded area with moist sphagnum moss and cover it with plastic to keep the rooting medium from drying out. When roots form, cut the new plant off and pot it up.

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