Saturday, April 25, 2009

Feeding frenzy

We were out working in the garden this last week and couldn’t believe all the activity at the Ribes sanguineum. It is covered with mason bees, hummingbirds (sorry, I couldn’t get a picture of them) and other beneficial bugs. The funny thing about this plant… it is a volunteer. We think a bird did a little seed dropping, and voila, we have a new plant in the garden! Another great benefit of bringing birds to your backyard!
Check out the happy mason bee in our bee block. They have been busy with the ribes and all of the dwarf fruit trees we have in our garden.

Garden time

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Spring Break Part 2

This weekend is the real Spring Break!
The false Spring Break is a distant, sad memory, if you were hoping to have fun in the garden. Even as kids, we hoped for a warm Spring Break just to ride our bikes or run around with our friends. Our hopes of warm weather hasn't changed, just our activities.
My 'To-Do List' has gotten a bit long for this weekend. Does this sound like yours?
Buy Compost
Buy Tomatoes
Buy Lettuce & Onion Starts
Plant the above starts
Make a 'To-Do List' for next week

I have been ready to get the veggies started for a long time.
I have a new plan to containerize the tomatoes this year.
The big buzz is veggie gardening & container gardening had been popular for the last several years. I am going to combine the two.
Each year I am a bit disappointed with my tomato crop. The sprinkler system in the garden beds waters them all Summer long & they taste weak. There is not that robust tomato flavor I had when I gardened in Chicago. The intense heat in Summer sears flavor into the tomatoes. Many nights, it is still 90 degrees at 10PM. The tomatoes are fantastic.
In Oregon, our beautiful, cool evenings are great for sitting out of doors without mosquitoes & sweating to death, but not for ripening tomatoes.
I want my Chicago tomatoes, so I'm going to try tomatoes in pots. The theory is that the smaller soil volume, the solar radiation on the pot and control of water will make a more flavorful tomato. I can almost taste them now.
The lettuce is for early satisfaction for fresh from the garden produce. I love walking out the door & picking lettuce for my dinner salad. It's easy. Plant it just like planting petunias & let it grow. The onions are easy too. I plant them in a row and harvest
every 3rd or 4th for green onions. I leave the rest spaced & let them mature to be big onions later in the Summer.

When all the planting is done, maybe I'll get my bike out too. Hello Sunshine!

Take care,

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Garden ‘Fusion’

Time is tight around the home of Garden Time. We are not only busy with the Garden Time show. We also just finished the hugely successful Gardenpalooza event. The Garden Time On-line magazine is receiving rave reviews (you can sign up for your free copy on our website I’m also working on the new Fusion ( show. This new show deals with Home Improvement, Home Design and Cooking. You can find it on KOIN-6 at 7am on Saturdays and at 10am in Hood River on CGN-7. It features Ken Ackerman and Robin Burke as hosts.
I will be looking for ‘garden’ type ideas that we can do on the Fusion show. In fact, this weekend on Fusion we will be doing a story on indoor plants from Al’s Garden Center. Give it a look and let me know if you have any garden ideas that we can tie into our new ‘home’ show.

Garden Time and Fusion producer

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Gardenpalooza is here!

Well it is that time of year again. Gardenpalooza has arrived. People get really excited about this event. It seems to be the place a lot of people come to get their plants for their summer gardens. Gardenpalooza started 7 years ago at KPTV when I was producing the Good Day Lifestyles garden segments. There were a lot of smaller nurseries that couldn’t afford to advertise on the TV show. I was looking for a way to get them some exposure and to get people excited about the TV show (and about gardening). This event seemed to fill a need. Boy, did it ever! The first year we held it at the OSU Research Station near Charboneau and we overwhelmed the property. We had people parking nearly a half mile away and walking to the event. It also was a foreshadowing of future events. It was COLD and wet. We had the Millstone coffee cruiser there and they ran out of hot coffee, one of the few times that had ever happened to them. The OSU people loved us, but asked us to leave. It was hard to control all the people and keep them from wandering through some of the research plots!
The next year we moved to Hoffman Dairy Garden near Canby. It was a great location with lots of permanent covered areas in the barn. The only drawbacks were muddy parking and vendor space. The event really started to grow! After a couple of years Hoffman’s moved most of their activities to Hillsboro. I decided that we needed to stay south of Portland and near the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival, more activities in the same direction and we had become good partners in promoting each others events.
So we moved to Fir Point Farms! We have had the great pleasure of working with 3 different groups of managers at the farm and are excited to be working with the Femrite family for the first time this year. The Gardenpalooza event is now the property of Gustin Creative Group and the Garden Time show. It has become a labor of love for the Garden Time crew. We are still bringing smaller nurseries and other garden vendors to you. They have the latest in unique plants and cool tools, and in the past few years we have started to include garden artists too. Some estimate that we have been getting between 7,000 to 9,000 people every year and most of those years have been in the rain! We always hold out hope for dry weather, but local gardeners have shown us that they love their plants no matter what weather we have.
If you have visited in the past, we hope that you have had a good time. If you haven’t been out to see us, give us a try this year.

Jeff and Therese
Garden Time owners/producers