The Practical Gardener

Oregon State University

Hi.  I'm Pam Geisel, Your Practical Gardener.  Today we’ going to talk about a horrible terrible little tiny pest called spotted wing drosophila.

So as it happened, I was out trying to prevent the birds from decimating my just-now-ripe cherry crop with bird netting. The anticipation for those sweet ripe cherries was building.  In just days, those beauteous little red fruit would be turning that deep shade of burgundy and I would be popping them right into my mouth.

David Silver / Creative Commons

Our gardening practices directly affect our community and our environment. There are many healthy gardening habits we can adopt that will lessen our personal impact on our surroundings, and in the process create a healthier environment.

There are basically eight areas of garden sustainability:

The Practical Gardener

Jan 30, 2016
David Lofink / Creative Commons

It's hard to believe, but the calendar says there are less than 50 days until spring. If you're at all like me, with all the welcomed winter rain, you haven’t spent too much time working in the garden — so now we're getting down to crunch time to get those winter orchard chores done.

What are the things do you need to be doing? The first thing: if you haven’t pruned your fruit trees yet, get that done. You have until about the middle of February to take advantage of the beneficial effects of winter pruning:

Takashi .M /

It's officially winter, and one of the fun things about winter: it’s time to purchase our bare root plants. Specifically, bare-root roses.

There are roses for every location in your garden — the perennial bed, the shrub bed, the garden border or climbers for trellises in arbors. They come in bright hot colors, or pale pastels to fit every garden color scheme. And while they do require a bit more care than some of our other garden plants, they can be just spectacular.

Simona /

TJ Gehling / Flickr,

Pest mitigation is an unfortunate part of the practical gardener's responsibilities, but a little prevention goes a long way. Host Pam Geisel gives some instructions to help ward off the bagrada bug — a little plant-muncher (who loves tomatoes and pomegranates) making its way up California. It's already been spotted in Sacramento and Yolo counties. 

Cynthia Cheney / Flickr, Creative Commons

As we get into September, the rainy season seems so close, yet so far away. Pam Geisel has some advice for working with these ongoing drought conditions to keep growing new vegetables as we wait for rain.

moss / Flickr, Creative Commons

Host Pam Geisel  talks about the rewards that come with the freestone peaches, in peak season right now. It's not always easy, but it's worth it. 

Get some tips on how to get a handle on squash bugs, those summertime pests that can overrun the home garden.