Friday, April 23, 2010

Sprouts - Spring 2010

Sprouts Barbara Meyer, Editor

Hardy Plant Garden Club
Bend, Oregon
Spring, 2010

Dear Gardening Friends,
When I look ahead at the upcoming weeks, I realize that gardening events are just around the corner. There are many excellent programs available to Central Oregon gardeners, many of them free. Below I’ve highlighted all the events that are on my radar screen. I’m sure there are others that I’m not even aware of.

So, along with our club meetings, you’ll also find dates for garden-related activities including talks, classes, free potting and more.

Here’s an outline of some of what you’ll find in Sprouts, not necessarily in this order:
*Dues are payable now
*The attachment is a story about vegetable gardening in NE Bend
*Hardy Plant Garden Club meetings and summer schedule
*Libby’s Garden volunteer sign-up
*Spring Gardening Program Series presented by the Deschutes Public Library
*Fred Meyer Spring Planting Event
*OSU Master Gardeners™ Annual Spring Seminar & Garden Market
*OSU High Desert Garden Tour
*COCC Community Learning classes
*Master Gardeners™ Plant Sale
*Plus More!

Pay your $12 dues now! (if you haven’t already) Mail your check payable to Hardy Plant Garden Club to our Membership Chair, Shelby Smith at 935 SE Polaris Ct, Bend, OR 97702. Dues were payable March 1st. Shelby is giving you a grace period until April 1 at which time you’ll be dropped from the club if you haven’t paid.

Garden Club Meetings/Programs
All our meetings are held at the same location and follow the same format - 4th Tuesday of the month except the 3rd Tuesday in November and December to avoid conflicts with the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Summer months are Open Gardens.

Location Bend’s Community Center, 1036 NE 5th Street. Enter the Cafe through the back door in the parking lot behind the building.

Directions From the intersection of 3rd Street and Greenwood, go east on Greenwood 2 blocks and turn left on NE 5th. Bend's Community Center is on the right at the end of the first block. Corner of 5th and Kearney. Eighteen parking spaces and one handicapped are available in the parking lot behind the Center. Best access to this lot is from Kearney. We would like you to park in this back parking lot and enter through the back door. There is room for overflow parking in the north end of the Cash Connection parking lot across 5th Street. Please call a gardening friend if you'd like to carpool.

6:30 pm Social: Come enjoy refreshments and visit with your gardening friends.
6:45 pm Business Meeting plus Botanical Specimens, and “Let’s Talk Dirt”!
7:30 pm Program

Botanical Remember to bring a botanical specimen to share with the group. A vase is not required; any container will do.

Specimens On a small card, please write the botanical and common names; also your name so that we can ask you questions! We want to see what’s blooming in your garden that may be special to you or unusual or performing well.

Also interesting twigs, berries, etc. during the winter months.

March 23, Tuesday, 6:30 p.m.

"Making and Using Compost Tea" with Jason Deney
Jason Deney, a native Oregonian, grew up on his grandfather’s raspberry farm in Sandy tending to his family’s raspberries. He has spent his life learning about and caring for plants and soil. It is also his mission to teach and inspire others to responsibly care for their gardens and landscaping with the use of low-emission equipment, organic fertilizers and other alternative practices which have little or no harmful effects to the environment. Jason will speak to us about compost tea, a zero-impact product that will make your soil the healthiest it can possibly be, while enabling you to rely on less water and fertilizers.

April 27, Tuesday, 6:30 p.m.

Spring Plant Exchange
Share your plants with other members. Please use the plant description form at the end of this email.

May 25, Tuesday, 5:00 p.m.

"Moveable Feast of Gardens"
Barb Borlen is in charge of this evening, our first three Open Gardens!
The plan is for all members to go to house #1 at 5:00 pm and bring a hearty appetizer. After an hour or so visiting, munching and viewing the garden, we'll carpool to house #2 to tour that garden. Then, around 7:00 pm we'll carpool to house #3 to tour that garden. At about 7:45 pm we return to house #1, munch some more and then get in our own cars and go home!

June, July, August, any day, any time
It's Open Garden season! During these months we visit gardens - your garden, your neighbors' and your friends' gardens. Barb Borlen facilitates Open Gardens and she'll be looking for gardens in all stages of development and upkeep. We can learn from every garden, no matter its size, style, or condition. Please don't be shy. Let Barb know you'll volunteer to open your garden.

September 28, Tuesday, 6:30 p.m.

Fall Plant Exchange
Share your plants with other members. Please use the plant description form at the end of this email.

Saturday, Late March or Early April, Fred Meyer Planting Event

Our Bend Fred Meyer does not yet know the exact date of this event so you’ll want to stay tuned.

This is where you purchase a container or bring your own container(s) (best to check with the store as to how many allowed), purchase plants and then the good folks at the Fred Meyer Garden Center will actually plant your purchases for you using Black Gold Potting Soil! What a deal!

Saturday, April 24 – Let’s Carpool to the . . . . .

Annual Spring Gardening Seminar & Garden Market presented by the Central Oregon Chapter of OSU Master Gardeners™ which will be held at the Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center, Middle Sister Building from 8:00 am-4:30 pm. At the General Session, Genetically Modified Organisms will be the topic presented by Gail Langellotto-Rhodaback, Statewide Coordinator of the OSU Extension Master Gardener Program.

Classes include hardy perennials, vegetable gardening, raising chickens, food preservation, dwarf conifers, worm composting, hobby greenhouse, growing apples and more!

The registration packet and information will be available around the middle of March on the OSU Extension website - or call 541 548-6088.  $10.00 per class pre-registration, $15.00 per class on event day

The Deschutes Public Library presents its Spring Gardening Program Series – Free

All programs are held in the Bend Library Brooks Room.

Wednesday, March 10, 6:00-7:30 pm

A Landscape of Ultimate Simplicity

Wednesday, March 17, 5:30-7:30 pm

Gardening with Perennials

Wednesday, March 31, 5:30-7:30 pm

Vegetable Gardening in Central Oregon

Saturday, April 10, 1:00-2:30 pm

Composting and Organic Gardening Made Easy

Wednesday, April 14, 6:00-7:30 pm

Reducing Water by Harvesting and Reusing Rainwater

Master Gardeners™ Plant Sale – Saturday, June 5, from 9am to 3pm, at Bend Senior Center, 1600 SE Reed Market Rd, at the Larkspur Festival. There will be annuals, perennials, herbs, and vegetables.
OSU High Desert Garden Tour – Saturday, July 17

This all-day garden tour will feature Bend area gardens. What a wonderful way to get ideas for hardscaping, plants and different styles. There’s nothing better than visiting and applauding the results of our gardening neighbors! Stay tuned by checking their website

COCC Community Learning Classes

We are very fortunate to have great gardening classes available to us through COCC! Registration is open now. Check out pages 14, 15 and 19 for classes. Some of our garden club members teach these classes.

Thank you Kathy Gault for Herbs for a Kitchen Garden and Create a Flower Essence First Aid Kit, and David Stetson for High Desert Native Plants. Alana Markle will teach Residential Landscape Design. Although not a garden club member, we have visited Alana’s garden on the SE corner of NW 7th and Trenton. If you walk along the curb, you’ll see just how talented a designer she is! I live practically across the street from her and every day enjoy the plantings and hardscape she and her husband created.

Some Club Information to Keep on Hand

Officers President Maureen Klecker 388-4174

& Treasurer Barb Wehrle 598-5393

Chairs Membership Shelby Smith 389-5827

Open Gardens Barb Borlen 382-1753

Programs Sue Jensen, Eileen Peberdy, 419-4214, 382-3835

Hospitality Lena Hartshorn 389-3567

Sprouts Editor Barbara Meyer 382-4849

Libby’s Garden Carolyn Bostwick, Sus Prowell 420-9617, 389-1357

Ron Steinberg, Barbara Meyer 318-9192, 382-4849

Maureen Klecker, Advisor 388-4174

Monthly Schedule Overview

Jan Meeting/Program July Open Gardens/Field Trips

Feb Meeting/Program Aug Open Gardens/Field Trips

Mar Meeting/Program Sept Meeting/Plant Exchange

Apr Meeting/Plant Exchange Oct Meeting/Seed Exchange/Program

May Open Garden Tour & Feast Nov Meeting/Program

June Open Gardens/Field Trips Dec Holiday Party

At the garden club board meeting on February 6, 2010, a Mission Statement was created: The Hardy Plant Garden Club promotes knowledge, interest, and the pleasure of successfully growing plants that thrive in Central Oregon, and seeks to inspire the community through the stewardship of Libby’s Garden.


Hardy Plant Garden Club, Short Story

The Hardy Plant Garden Club was formed in 2000, originally as a local unit (study group) of the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon (HPSO) which organizes many garden related activities throughout the year. Although our club no longer requires membership in that Portland organization, we believe it is an excellent resource for gardening programs, plant sales, tours to gardens in other countries, etc. A handful of Hardy Plant Garden Club members also maintain membership in HPSO.

We have the honor of maintaining Libby's Garden, a public show garden adjacent to the Arts Central Education and Resource Center (formerly Mirror Pond Gallery) in downtown Bend which pays tribute to Libby McGeary, one of our founders.

Meetings begin at 6:30 p.m. with a social gathering followed by a business meeting and speaker/program. During the summer months Open Gardens replace our monthly meetings. Days and times vary, usually beginning in the afternoon, however.

Success of the Hardy Plant Garden Club relies upon cooperation and clear communication between the board and members. Together a viable gardening group can be sustained.

Libby's Garden – What to do when you volunteer

Libby’s Garden, adjacent to Arts Central Education and Resource Center in downtown Bend, is our treasure to preserve and nurture. As you know from your own garden, a beautiful urban space doesn’t just happen all by itself. Libby’s Garden Design Team, along with Hardy Plant Garden Club volunteers, have redesigned, added and tilled new soil amendments, planted, weeded, deadheaded, removed trash, and done an excellent job of maintaining this display garden. Now it’s time for all of the rest of us to pitch in and do our share. Here’s your opportunity!

A calendar has been circulated with the request that you commit to caring for the garden for one week, any day(s) of the week, during the months of April through October. Email or phone Barbara Meyer now with your selection. You’ll find Barbara at or 382-4849. If you are unable to be there for the week you indicated, please find another member to take your place. Please inform a member of the Garden Design Team of any changes.

Responsibilities include weeding, deadheading, picking up litter and trash (which blows in and is thrown in). Do not rake, prune, dig or transplant. Just tidy up. If you have a question about what or how to deadhead a plant, please ask. If in doubt, don’t do it! Be sure to wear gloves heavy enough to protect your fingers and hands from objects such as cigarette butts, broken glass and cans. You never know what you’ll find! You only need to bring your gloves, hand pruners, weeding tool and a bag for collecting the debris. Toss the bag in the nearby dumpster or garbage can. Also, please clean up around the heat pump. There is a small rake and broom with dustpan next to it. Look for a weeding tool in the sunken rectangular water control box next to the round one. There’s also a laminated, color article about deadheading. There are often extremely difficult-to-see weeds growing among the stepping stones. You need to get about 12” from them to even see them, they are so well camouflaged.

Libby's Garden Summer Maintenance Schedule – 2010

Please mark your week on your calendar.

Your week begins on Monday.

April 5 Shelby Smith

April 12 Jeanie Carmichael & Joey Mount

April 19 Sue Jensen & Cindy Harvey

April 26 Joan Alles

May 3 Patricia Moreland

May 10 Martina Muller & Ed Kerber

May 17 Linda Williams

May 24

May 31 Chris & Ray Miao

June 7 Stephanie Black

June 14 Roberta Bowles & Lena Hartshorn

June 21

June 28

July 5

July 12 Sandra Weible

July 19

July 26

August 2 Barb Borlen

August 9

August 16

August 23

August 30

Sept 6

Sept 13

Sept 20

Sept 27

Oct 4

Oct 11

Oct 18

Oct 25

Please use the form below to identify your contributions at our May and September plant exchanges and the October seed exchange.

Plant Description

Donated by

Common Name Botanical Name

Bloom Time

Flower Color & Size

Height Width


Soil (moist/dry/drainage, etc.)

Growing Habit (climbing/trailing/upright/spreading, etc.)

Self Seeding?

Hardiness (needs protection?

Ruminations on Veggie Gardening in the Banana Belt of Bend

I thought you might enjoy reading about one family’s gardening experiences. Sean shared this with his COCC colleagues last month, and I thank him for agreeing to share it with us. Sean and his family live about a half mile south of Sky View Middle School, in Quail Crossing.

Ruminations on Veggie Gardening in the Banana Belt of Bend

February 10, 2010

By Sean Rule, COCC Math Dept.

I love winter…don’t get me wrong. As the snow falls outside, I’m reminded of one of the many reasons my wife and I moved here. However, something happens to me starting each January…maybe it’s some strange biological clock triggered by the turning of the calendar from one year to the next (or that I grow weary of continually slogging my snow bike up Archie Briggs to COCC), but I begin to think about spring, turning the pond back on, and the wonderful veggie garden we sprout every summer.

Funny…when I lived in Delaware (which gets feet of rain per year, almost no late frosts, and boasts a long growing season), I never had a veggie garden. For that matter, I never aerated my lawn, weeded, nor even watered plants outside. No, I had to move to the high desert, with its short growing season, need for soil amendment, and mandatory irrigation to become a veggie gardener (cue Shawshank Redemption score). At least weeding’s easy in the loose “soil”.

This piece is a totally anecdotal collection of my ideas on gardening at 3200 feet (the NE side of town where we live is the lowest in elevation, and, therefore, is a little warmer than the remainder of town). It’s entirely open for criticism and suggestions; that’s how I learn most of the time. It will also most likely be amended in the future as I learn new tricks. I hope you can find some of it useful!

Where We Plant – Living in the NE side of town, we are blessed with minimal tree coverage on our lot (just a few small junipers), and a nice southern exposure for our garden. In the late spring to early fall, the sun will rise in (roughly) the northeast, swing around to the south in a huge arc, then set in (roughly) the northwest. A southern exposure maximizes warm nourishing sun rays for your veggies. We’ve created some raised beds out of rocks, and run some drip irrigation to the area for watering. Our garden beds are about 30 feet by 10 feet in total area, but I want them bigger. We’ve also amended them with sheep poop (OK, OK…manure). Soil in Bend is notoriously crappy for growing veggies except some root varieties, but, if you can cut the soil with some nutrients, the plants will be fooled into thinking they’re somewhere with lots of sun and good soil. If you need soil amendment, check Craigslist under “free”. Other good things to use for soil amendments nutrients are last year’s crops (tilled under) and sawdust.

What We Plant – Unless you have a greenhouse or cold frame or something that keeps fragile plants happy with artificially warm temperatures at night, you won’t be growing things like melons and peppers in Bend. We plant (with great success) corn, broccoli, zucchini, pumpkin, potatoes, squash, sugar snap peas, tomatoes, and pole beans. I’ve tried carrots and lettuce, but haven’t gotten them to succeed like the other species yet. This year, we’re going to try out asparagus (planting this year, for harvest in following years) and some raspberries.

Make sure that you plan your garden to allow your plants space. Most seed packets will tell you how far apart to place seedlings or seeds. Also remember that certain combinations of crops grow symbiotically; one combination we’re going to explore this year is the native American “three sisters” (corn, pole beans, and squash) planting idea.

When We Plant – A quick Google search will reveal that the “average last frost” in Bend is around July 28th. As a stats guy, I find this a little humorous (and meaningless). Saying Bend’s Average last frost is any date is like saying that Bend gets “300 sunny days a year” (hey…wait a minute!). If I waited until July 28th to plant crops, I’d never be able to grow anything. If you want a planting timeline chart, consider this one from OSU. However, I use the old adage passed down to me from neighbor…”When the snow’s gone from Black Butte, it’s time to plant”. If Bob Shaw predicts a random late frost, run out and put some covers over your plants in the early evening to keep them safe. I’ve also lined the area in between the rows of veggies with black material to absorb sunlight during the hottest part of the day; then, the heat is released at night around the plants’ roots.

How We plant – This part should actually be first, I suppose. I’ve found that many crops (broccoli, squash, corn, beans) can be directly seeded into the ground sometime in June. However, our delicate little tomatoes require a jump start, so we start them from seed inside in March. One lesson I’ve learned…keep the cats away. They seem to love tomato shoots. Also, I keep tomatoes out of the garden proper. Instead, we’ve built knock – off Earth boxes to keep them (and, potentially, other) “fragiles” safe. Make sure you put wheels on them…they get heavy! See, certain crops like broccoli can withstand some frosts safely (we get broccoli well into November), but tomatoes…well, they’re pretty wimpy. So, we plant the tomatoes into the earth boxes in the garage, wheel them out to enjoy the daily sun, then back in the garage to protect them from cold weather (and deer!) at night. We actually got our last heirloom Black Russians off the vine in the garage in mid – November, and had the sauce made from the final Romas with my family at Christmas!

Having your own veggie garden is so rad. Digging in the dirt and finding earthworms, releasing ladybugs to act as natural pesticides, marveling that an 8 – foot cornstalk’s entire genetic code is contained in one kernel…these are truly magnificent things. We save seeds from each year’s harvest to use in the following years; some of our heirloom tomatoes are in their 3rd generation now. Plus, there is nothing gastronomically more wonderful (nor nutritious) than pulling veggies off the vine and eating them minutes later.

I hope, if nothing else, you learned a little about what is possible in the wonderful, albeit challenging, world of Bend veggie gardening.