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Portland Nursery

October Tips from OSU's Jan McNeilan

he fall is in full swing and there is a lot to do in your garden before the really bad weather gets here. To get some tips we visited with Jan McNeilan for the tips of the month. Did you know you can still harvest and enjoy tomatoes even when your plant starts to die? Just pick off the translucent green and light pink fruit and bring it inside to ripen. This fruit has already started to ripen and it just needs a little time to finish. You can also harvest your green tomatoes and use one of the many recipes for green tomatoes to enjoy that fruit. Jan also showed us her favorite bean from this past season. It was a Della Fave Pole Beans from New Dimension Seeds. These are huge beans and they even start to turn purple as they ripen. We have tried these in our garden and we agree with Jan. These are delicious!

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Jan also showed us her okra plants. She had started with 3 plants and she was able to harvest one small fruit from just one plant. The message here? If you had a bad year in your vegetable garden, don’t worry. This was a bad year and you should try again next year to grow your own vegetables. Even experienced gardeners have a bad crop every so often!

We then headed inside Jan’s greenhouse to check out some of her other garden projects. Jan was getting her spring bulbs organized and she had some tips for us there too. It is not too late to get your bulbs in the ground. In fact you can plant your bulbs through the end of December and still enjoy their spring color. Just remember that if they are late in the ground they may be a tad late in their blooming in the spring. Either way it is good to get them in the ground instead of in your garage. Also, when you order your bulbs they will come with instructions on how to plant your bulbs. Follow these instructions if you have any questions. The bulb company wants you to be successful so they put together some really nice instructions for you to follow.

Finally, we looked at peony roots. If you have ordered some and you can’t get them in the ground you can preserve them for a short time if you lightly moisten them and store them in a dark place. Don’t forget about them! They will need to be planted soon too. These are just a few tips for your fall garden to learn more, check out the OSU Extension website for a more comprehensive list.


(Original air date: 8/26/2007 on GardenTime TV. See the GardenTime web site for more videos and information about the show)

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