Vegetable Guide

Vegetable Guide

When do I plant my vegetables?

That’s a really good question. Most vegetables are planted in Spring between March and May. Some need to be in the ground early, while others, such as tomatoes, need the soil to warm up and all danger of frost to be past.

Harvesting

It’s so exciting to eat fresh veggies straight from the garden. For most vegetables, the best time to harvest is in the early morning, especially any leafy vegetable. There are some such as tomatoes that are more flavorful when harvested in the afternoon when they have been warmed by the sun all day.

Aside from knowing when to plant your garden and getting yourself ready for a bountiful harvest, companion planting is also a fantastic way to maximize space and efficiency of your garden.

Companion plants are beneficial friends in so many ways. They can help increase the nutrients in the soil, chase away damaging pests while improving pollination, some can be used as stakes for support or provide shade for roots that benefit from a little cover, others such as basil and tomato can enhance the flavor.

 

 

Planting – Harvesting – Companion Plant Guide

 

How To Grow Strawberries in the Pacific Northwest

How To Grow Strawberries in the Pacific Northwest

Types of Strawberries

 

June-bearing – Produces one heavy crop of large fruit around md-June. These are preferred varieties for making jams and preserves for freezing. Hood being the most iconic as it was created in Oregon specific for our climate.

Everbearing – Produces two crops, one in early summer and another in late summer. The berries are a bit smaller in size, are very tasty and preserve well. These strawberry varieties are known to do well in containers.

Day-neutral – Produces consistently throughout summer until first frost, often presented in the same category as Everbearing. Day-neutral will set fruit regardless of how long the day is. Also does well in containers, tastes sweet, and is an excellent choice for a steady supply of fruit.

Alpine – Also known as the “Wild Strawberry”. These hardy evergreen perennials are very well behaved as they do not produce runners. The fruit is small but pack intense flavor and fragrance. They are great in window boxes, containers, as a nice groundcover. Producing sweet little fruit all summer.

 

Choosing a Site

 

Strawberries will need at least 8 hours of sun each day. Soil should be rich, well drained, sandy loam. A slight to medium acid soil is best. Due to strawberries’ high-water requirements, the soil needs to have plenty of organic matter to help hold moisture for growing plants. It is wise to amend the soil with compost prior to planting.

 

Planting Strawberries

 

It is important to plant as early as possible in the spring. Snow or light frosts will not hurt the plants. Plants should be planted in rows 12-18 inches wide. Plants should be planted 12-18 inches apart. Set plants with roots straight down. Care should be taken so that the plants are set with the crowns level with the top of the ground. This is especially important to the strawberry’s survival and overall health. Be sure to water the plants well after planting.

Strawberries can also be grown as edible edgings, in hanging baskets and in strawberry jars.

 

Harvesting

 

Berries will be bright red, slightly firm, and juicy when ripe. The berries will also have a natural shine. Strawberries should be picked at their prime – they do not ripen after picking.

Best harvesting is in the early morning hours and refrigerated at once.

 

Maintaining Strawberry Plant Health

 

To keep your plants healthy and productive over the years, follow these few steps:

  1. Runners should be removed for the first two years so the plant can put its energy into growing healthy roots and production. After that, let those runners propagate future plants. Be aware of over-crowding.
  2. Be very diligent about weeding, especially while plants are young and trying to get established.
  3. Fertilize with all-purpose fertilizer in early Spring and again when flowers appear with a high potassium tomato fertilizer.
  4. As soon as harvest is complete, mow off the leaves using your lawn mower set at the highest setting or cut down to 1 inch.
  5. Rototill to narrow row width to 12-18 inches. Remove excess plants to leave 3-5 inches around each plant.
  6. Maintain adequate moisture throughout the growing season.
  7. Mulch in November when plants start to go dormant. This will help with fluctuating temperatures.

 

A lifelong Oregon resident, Drake has been passionate about plants since childhood, beginning with propagating and growing flowers at his grandfather’s nursery. He opened Drake’s 7 Dees in 1974, while earning degrees in Business and Horticulture from Oregon State University. He later expanded into the design/build side of the industry, allowing him to combine his passion for plants with his love of family by maximizing the quality of family time spent outdoors.

Drake is co-founder of the Oregon Landscape Contractors Association and is a Landscape Industry Certified Manager (LICM)—a designation that less than two percent of landscapers have attained. Additionally, Drake serves on the Board of Directors for the Portland Japanese Gardens, widely regarded as one of the seven best Japanese gardens outside of Japan.

Drake is married to former Oregon Speaker of the House, Lynn Snodgrass. Together, he and Lynn received the Farm Bureau President’s award in 1999 for their service and dedication to agriculture in the state of Oregon. Drake and Lynn have two wonderful daughters, two talented son-in-laws, and seven grandchildren. In his spare time, Drake enjoys camping, water and snow skiing, reading, and of course, gardening.

Born and raised in the Portland Metro Area… Tim has had an appreciation for the outdoors from a young age.  Inspired by our local beauty ranging: the Mt Hood National Forest to salty, sea spray of Cannon Beach, the arid high-desert of Central Oregon to the rugged terrain of Steens Mountain – Tim sought higher education at the University of Idaho in their Landscape Architecture department.  Graduating with honors in 2004, he returned home to establish his professional career.

Now making his home in Sandy, Oregon – Tim and his wife [Nicole] are raising two happy and healthy kiddos and 4 fur-babies.  Between soccer, football, cheerleading, girl scouts and other extra-curricular activities… the Sellin family are heavily involved in their community and church family.  Since college, Tim has spent 13 of his 17 years with Drake’s 7 Dees and has ‘set roots’ in anticipation of long-term growth at the family-focused company.  Having spent his time away from Drake’s in a ‘boots on the ground’ capacity, Tim has fostered a love for the operational/production side of landscape business, as well as the design/sales.

His goal in life as well as business is to put others first.

Bachelor of Science Landscape Architecture, BSLA… 2009
California Polytechnic University, Pomona… Cum Laude
American Society of Landscape Architects – Honor Award

Steven has 15 years of experience in the residential landscape design/build and garden center industry, including 9 years with Drake’s 7 Dees. Steven also has experience working with the National Park Service in Yosemite on sub-alpine restoration projects, as well as volunteer experience as a Peace Corps Volunteer serving the community of Zaouiat d’Ifrane in Morocco.

Together, Steven and his wife Anna have four lovely children, all 5 years old and under! In his (very limited) spare time, Steven enjoys camping, hiking, archery hunting, and cooking. Steven’s passion for his work lies in helping others, through design to envision a more beautiful space that, once built, becomes a reality that improves their quality of life.