Ask an expert: Steep slopes create landscaping challenges

Gardening season is underway, and you may well have issues. For solutions, turn to Ask an Qualified, an on the internet dilemma-and-answer tool from Oregon Condition University’s Extension Assistance. OSU Extension college and Learn Gardeners reply to queries in just two company days, normally fewer. To inquire a question, simply just go to the OSU Extension website, kind it in and consist of the county in which you stay. In this article are some concerns asked by other gardeners. What is yours?

Q: I have to have to remove creeping evergreens on a slope and replace them with suitable ground handles. They must be lower maintenance and drought hardy. – Klamath County

A: 1 challenge several house owners facial area with landscaping steep slopes is soil runoff. The topsoil on hills can conveniently wash off, leaving an unattractive and muddy mess. In this scenario, you may want to take into consideration planting your hill with groundcover plants. There are various kinds of shrubs and flowers that can prosper on slopes, providing you a improved check out and lessening the odds of erosion. Just continue to keep in brain that you may well want to carry in some supplemental soil and an erosion mat to set up the crops if the current soil on the hill lacks the essential nutrition.

An additional well-liked possibility is to terrace sections of the slope within just your lawn to build flat planting regions. Developing various tiers on a hilly property will assistance you prevent erosion and allow you to add a wide variety of vegetation and landscaping features for a useful and eye-catching design and style. Retaining walls can consist of a assortment of supplies to best in good shape your space and finances, this kind of as stone pavers, wood posts or concrete. On the other hand, when thinking about elements that stand the take a look at of time, stone pavers are advisable. Moreover, when putting in any retaining wall, it is crucial to insert a great drainage procedure at the rear of the wall to avoid the wall from cracking or even collapsing.

Having vegetation to consider keep on a hill can be challenging, as slopes tend to erode promptly due to drainage concerns and soil runoff. If you do not want to terrace your slope, introducing rocks of different designs and measurements is a different way to keep the soil and enable your crops to grow to be set up. Adding purely natural features, this kind of as a rock back garden can give your slope a normal hardscaped search that’s equally visually interesting and necessitates significantly less maintenance.

Whichever approach you pick for landscaping your slope, it’s also vital to choose the appropriate kind of vegetation for the spot in which you dwell and your individual area. For illustration, deep-rooted crops can support stabilize soil, floor deal with vegetation are excellent for covering up unattractive places and ornamental grasses and perennials can be utilized to increase coloration and texture to your slope.

When picking out your vegetation, it’s also essential to retain upkeep in mind. Plants that never require shearing or a large amount of once-a-year clean up up can help you save you time in the prolonged operate. Here’s some more details. –Chris Rusch, OSU Extension Master Gardener

Is this string trimmer hurt?OSU Extension Support

Q: From the hooked up image can you inform me what I need to have to do, if something, about the wound on our dogwood trunk? Also, what you believe could have brought about it? – Polk County

A: The wound in the trunk is typical of damage from a lawnmower, string trimmer or some other form of collision.  The wound appears to be healing, as we would count on. Dressings are no lengthier regarded a good idea because they tend to trap bacteria in the wound. With air exposure by itself, the tree will mend the wound.

I do advise pulling the mulch back various inches away from the tree trunk. Also, the irrigation line seems to be too near to the trunk. The trunk does not gain from soil dampness. The most crucial position for irrigation is around the drip line of the tree or marginally outside of. That is in which the root expansion requires position. – Lynne Marie Sullivan, OSU Extension Grasp Gardener

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KatsuraOSU Extension Assistance

Q: What is wrong with my ‘Red Fox’ katsura tree? The leaves really feel like it is getting enough drinking water but the leaves glance funny on a handful of branches. We’re in Zone 8, dealing with east in Junction Town. The tree is on a deep-root watering system with two tubes and is watered for 22 minutes each individual 6 days. – Lane County

A: This is most possible the aftermath of the unexpected improve from cold and moist to blistering heat. We are observing numerous leaves with odd colors and even worse just now. – Pat Patterson, OSU Extension horticulturist, retired

Q: I have potted camellias and the pH of the soil is reasonably neutral. I’d like to reduce the pH to 5ish. What is the most effective way to achieve this target? – Yamhill County

A: You can modify the pH slowly and gradually in excess of time, which permits the plant roots to modify effortlessly. OSU Extension has an outstanding publication, “Acidifying Soil for Blueberries and Decorative Plants” which is a detailed tutorial in undertaking just that – creating the soil extra acidic. Soon after looking through the publication, appear for fertilizers for acid-loving plants in your preferred plant nursery. – Anna Ashby, OSU Extension Grasp Gardener

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Spider and beeOSU Extension Services

Q: Could you place into words what is going on with these 3 creatures – the spider, the bee and the one particular “waiting in the wings”? – Benton County

A: The spider is a goldenrod crab spider (Misumena vatia). They hold out on bouquets (which includes but not restricted to goldenrod) and ambush insect site visitors. Appears to be like it acquired the honeybee (Apis mellifera) on your sunflower that way and it is feeding on it. The other insect “waiting in the wings” is a little far more mysterious. It is a type of real fly (Buy: Diptera), but I can not see adequate depth to know for sure what kind of real fly it is. Apparently, there are small flies like that known as zombie flies (Loved ones: Phoridae, Apocephalus borealis) that parasitize and kill bumblebees and honeybees. Listed here is a url to a photograph showing a single of these flies on a bumblebee.

The adult zombie flies stalk grownup bees and lay their eggs inside them. Then the fly larvae hatch and feed internally in the bees altering their behavior and sooner or later killing them. I’m not absolutely sure if that is a zombie fly striving to parasitize the honeybee which is presently staying fed on by the spider, but that is just one likelihood. – William Gerth, OSU Extension Grasp Gardener

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Moist spring leads to smaller garlic headsOSU Extension Service

Q: I followed your OSU Extension pamphlet for increasing garlic and the bulbs under no circumstances bought quite huge. I bought good cloves and fertilized and watered a minor in the tumble. The tops came up, no bulb on top, planted in Oct and harvested very last 7 days. – Clackamas County

A: I’m going to allow you decide which cause you might be in a position to appropriate for following year in the next article about errors with garlic. My ideal guesses would contain planting as well early. We ordinarily advise November for planting here in the PNW. (I see that the OSU pamphlet claims September by means of November, but conventional wisdom says later is much better).

My other guess would be our rainy, rainy, wet spring. There was maybe just much too much h2o in the soil to enable for larger bulbs. I really don’t normally dig my garlic right until July, so I don’t know how mine have fared this yr, but an additional internet site claims small bulbs may possibly be related to soggy soils and we undoubtedly had that! Don’t give up. Plant what you harvested this calendar year or get new bulbs for subsequent fall, because when you do pull up a huge bulb with large fats cloves there is nothing at all superior. – Rhonda Frick-Wright, OSU Extension Grasp Gardener