How do I prepare my rhubarb plants for winter? Ask an expert

Fall is in full swing and there is plenty to do in the garden. Maybe you have questions. For answers, ask an Expert, an online question-and-answer tool from the Oregon State University Extension Service. OSU Extension faculty and Master Gardeners respond to inquiries within two business days, usually less. Just log in to ask a question OSU Extension website, and enter the county where you live. Here are some questions asked by other gardeners. what is yours

Question: What should I do now to prepare rhubarb for the winter? When will I pull the rest of the stock and cover the crowns with mulch? – Lane circle

Answer: Rhubarb is a hardy perennial vegetable grown for its cool-season flavor in pies and sauces. Winter temperatures should be below 40°F to break dormancy and stimulate spring growth. Summer temperatures averaging below 75°F are needed for best growth. When harvesting rhubarb, no more than half of the branches of any plant should be cut in preparation for winter. If more is cut, it can cause the plant to weaken and die.

If you don’t divide your rhubarb plants this fall, the remaining branches and leaves can be removed after the first dying frost. Do not eat any part of the rhubarb at this time, the toxin, oxalic acid contained in the leaves will transfer to the leaves and make them inedible. Also remove the weeds at this time. Any weeds and debris can harbor insects and diseases that can harm rhubarb plants.

About three inches of mulch can be added after the soil freezes. Waiting until after the ground freezes helps keep the plants dormant and prevents them from eating or damaging the plant’s roots over winter.

A publication on rhubarb care that you may find useful is: Grow Your Own Rhubarb. – Jan Gano, OSU Extension Master Gardener

DogwoodOSU Extension Service

Q: We have a small mini-dog tree planted in the spring of 2021. Apparently, it has not grown. And it bloomed only the first year. The leaves are dry and have red/gray spots. Is it possible to resurrect this little tree? – Lane circle

A: Dogwoods are susceptible to fungal leaf spot diseases. Leaf spot causes small round to angular grayish spots with purple to red borders. Most likely, our water source contributed to the development of this disease. Although leaf spot generally has little effect on the health of the tree, if repeated over several years, it can eventually weaken the tree.

To control leaf spot, remove and destroy all fallen leaves as leaf spot overwinters on infected leaves. Avoid overwatering to reduce the time the leaves stay wet. Prune dead branches to improve air circulation, which will help the leaves dry out faster when wet. More information on leaf spot can be found at Dogwood (Cornus spp.) Leaf spots.

Be sure to provide your dogwood with a healthy growing environment that includes proper water, sun, and soil conditions. This will help increase your tree’s resistance to disease damage. This site has general information about care: Dogwood. – Jan Gano, OSU Extension Master Gardener


By mid-summer, the artichoke plant should send out flower buds. Oregonian file photo. Oregonian files

Q: I just moved into a house with globe artichokes about 6 feet tall. This summer they produced quite a lot of Jerusalem artichokes from these sprigs, but they were pretty “fiery” after about an hour of cooking (they were all small-medium). Now I read what to do for pruning, because they turn brown and the leaves die. I couldn’t find much in this size.

I don’t think they were ever cut and so my artichokes weren’t very good. What should I do now? How much should I reduce and when should I do it? – Lane circle

A: After the plant bears fruit, cut it back to just above the ground and apply a heavy layer of mulch. Remove spent (no longer bearing) branches during the season. – Pat Patterson, OSU Extension program horticulture assistant, retired.

The family business raises bees and harvests raw, superfood-rich honey

The Oregon State Beekeepers Association has a swarm call list where you can find a volunteer beekeeper living in your area. File image. Andre Maloc | NJ Advance Media for

Q: We have a rapidly growing colony of bees on the stones of our front porch. We would like them not to be destroyed, but to be returned to their homes. What resources are available to find help? – Deschutes County

A: The Oregon State Beekeepers Association has a swarm call list where you can find a volunteer beekeeper in your area who can help you with swarm capture or honey bee hive removal, depending on convenience and risk. participates. Here is the link to access the herd call. – Ramish Sagili, ODU Extension bee specialist

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