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Spring Flowering Trees with Edible Fruit

Edible crabapples are larger and great for canning. (Image by JMiall)
Sometimes in our home yards and gardens, we plant primarily for ornamental purposes, but perhaps we overlook the fact that attractive plants can also provide food. The following flowering trees have both attributes. All are easily grown in western Oregon and Washington and garden-worthy, even without their food value.
Serviceberry
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Spring Garden Tasks for a Happy Garden 2022


Spring is here! Officially it was March 20th, but I knew it was spring as soon as I saw the daffodils emerge. The hellebores have been glorious this year, but as their late-winter flowers slowly fade, new colors appear in the garden. The red stems of the peonies have started to peek out after being dormant all winter, the early […]

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Best New Herbs and Vegetables for 2022


Each year, I look forward to writing this article because it’s fun to research and write. Vegetable gardening is popular, and with popularity comes variety and loads of new enticing introductions each year. 2022 is no exception. New prettier, tastier, more disease-resistant vegetable pickings are many, and with inflation on the rise, I hope more people will give home growing a try. Inexpensive fresh […]

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Cold Frame Salad Gardening

Cold frames are like outdoor mini glasshouses for winter vegetable and herb growing.
Garden-fresh eating does not have to end in the fall. The onset of chilly weather means it’s time to enjoy cold-frame salad gardens filled with easy, cool-season greens, root vegetables, and annual herbs. These crops are fast to germinate and grow, and they will tolerate serious cold weather if your frame garden is […]

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Growing and Harvesting Popcorn


Popcorn is one of those crops that can last all year long until your next crop if you dry and store it correctly. And, as with any vegetable, growing your own offers more opportunities to try different delicious and unique types. Kids love to grow popcorn as well. There is something satisfying about picking off the dried kernels, jarring them up, and popping your […]

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The Cult of Extreme Heat: Raising the Hottest Peppers


Hot peppers have a cult following. Those that eat, hybridize, and grow the hottest peppers in the world are all part of the wicked hot-pepper culture where Scoville Units below 1,000,000 are too cool to be cool. Breeders and growers choose only the most dangerously scorching Capsicum fruits on the planet. Each year, newer, hotter peppers appear in the pursuit of extreme heat.
Hot peppers […]

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Summer Garden Tasks for a Happy Garden


July, 2021 –If ever there was a time that showed the benefits of adding compost to the soil, this past week was it. With temperatures in the Portland, Oregon area setting records for all-time highs, plants suffered just as people, pets, and wildlife did. We generally experience mild summer weather, but one afternoon this week our outdoor temperature was 114 […]

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Nine Water-Saving Garden Tips to Fight Drought

A combination of protective row covers, mulch, and drip hoses will dramatically reduce water loss.
Hot weather drains garden plants dry and reduces productivity, especially when rain is scarce. More and more gardeners have had to change the way they grow because heat and drought limit the season. Rather than getting discouraged, they have learned smarter gardening techniques and how to stretch resources. Approaching the garden […]

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Growing and Using Fresh Stevia Leaf


You’ve probably heard rumblings of stevia before. Found in many soft drinks and juices, many people find the taste strange and not at all like sugar. I agree completely with you! When tasting stevia in its white powder or liquid form, I found it to be bitter yet super sweet at the same time, but fresh stevia is different.
Green stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) is what I […]

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How to Weed Gardens: Tips, Tools, and Timing


Weed competition drags gardens down in every way. Ignore your garden for just a couple of weeks, and weeds can take over in a flash–turning once tidy, pretty beds into a tangled mess of green interlopers with no room to spare. If you use the right tools, techniques, and timing necessary to stop a weed takeover, it will save you trouble and reward you […]

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