Things To Do This Month
- Pull a few weeds when it's a nice day. Roots come out so much easier in damp soil.
- Place a cold frame over rows of winter vegetables.
- Prune roses down to "knee high" to prevent wind damage.
- Ask Santa for a soil thermometer.
- There is still time, but hurry, to plant garlic for harvest next summer.
- Bait gardens and flower beds for slugs during rainy periods. Use traps or new iron phosphate baits, which are pet-safe.
- Learn a some new things about the world of gardening.
- Be sure you have returned the Parks and Recreation registration form for signing up for the 2013 season.
The Lake Oswego Parks & Recreation Winter/Spring 2013 Activities Guide will appear in mailboxes on December 8, 2012 and registration opens on December 10, 2012 for classes beginning January 1 through May 31, 2013. Be sure to read through the guide to find out about all the latest gardening classes and activities for your agricultural and horticultural interests at Luscher Farm.
To register for Parks and Recreation Classes, click here.
Check out the extended walking trail along Rosemont Road. Lake Oswego has completed paving on another section of pathway as well as a small parking lot to the east of Rosemont Stables. West Linn will continue to build their pathway next year. Eventually the public will be able to walk as far as Carriage Way and then down to the Willamette River.
When you come to the Farm on a nice dry day, walk through FRCC's Clematis gardens west of the farmhouse. They have added some beautiful stonework and handicap accessible parhways that give the gardens a very professional look. They recieved a generous grant for the project.
Did you know?
Frost can occur even when the air temperature remains above freezing. How? Official temperature measurements are made 5 feet off the ground. When it's 35 degrees there, it can be cold enough right at the ground level for frost to form.
The Scoop on Climate Zones
Gardeners hear about climate zones, but are often confused by two different systems of zones and maps. What's Up?
Well, for years we had the U.S.Department of Agriculture's Hardiness Zone Maps that divided the country into 10 zones based winter minimum
temperatures. Each zone is divided into a and b sections. The USDA states "growers can determine which plants are most likely to thrive" by using their maps. We are in USDA Hardiness Zone 8b.
Many years later we started hearing about the Sunset Climate Zones. The Sunset method of zoning considers a broad range of factors including winter minimums, summer highs, elevation, proximity to the coast or mountains ranges, rainfall, humidity and growing seasons.
We are located in Sunset climate Zone 6.
I'm a fan of the Sunset method and here's why. I think it gives gardeners a much more accurate picture of which plants will thrive here, not just survive our winters. As an example, we may have the same cold winter temperature as Phoenix, but the two areas certainly have different plants growing in the areas. There are so many other factors influencing plants, such as length of growing seasons, winds, amount of sunny days, drainage, soil, amount and timing of rainfall, microclimates and others. I think this method gives gardeners a much more accurate picture of what plants will truely thrive in their gardens.