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One of the most important steps in home orchard care is making dormant sprays to control overwintering insect pests, and tree fruit diseases. Dormant sprays with orchard crops are generally applied from about 50% leaf fall in November to bud break in late February, depending on the type of f…

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Question: I really enjoyed growing my own fresh herbs and vegetables this summer. Is it possible to grow them indoors during the winter? And if so, can you provide information on how to go about it?

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EDITOR’S NOTE: The columns of Bill Duncan are being reprinted in The News-Review. Duncan, who died in November 2011, wrote a weekly column for The News-Review and The Capital Press of Salem from 1981 to 2011. Duncan wrote the following column in November 1991. His thoughts are still pertinen…

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Question: My doctor has informed me that I need to add more vegetables to my diet. I went to the Farmer’s Market Saturday morning and found the most odd-looking green vegetable called Kohlrabi. Can you tell me about it?

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Tis the season for fake spiders, light-up ghosts, tiny candy bars, and tacky costumes. All that Halloween stuff can make your bank account balance look downright scary!

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Question: I planted a whole row of Leyland cypress trees to act as a screen. They’re quite large now, but one by one, they are turning brown and dying. What is causing this and what can I do to save them?

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Question: In spring I planted cilantro and lettuce. Both were doing really well, but now the cilantro is just producing flowers and the lettuce is getting really tall and the leaves have become tough and bitter. Can you tell me why these plants are doing this and what can I do to make them g…

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Question: I bought a home that has an established garden spot, flower beds and a few fruit trees. This was my first year of managing these spaces, and I’ve experienced enough success to make me feel like my hard work has paid off. Even though summer is not over yet, I’m thinking ahead to wha…

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Question: This has been a year of extreme weather events from January with temperatures in the 60s, a late February snowstorm, a March freeze with temps in the teens, an April frost, 90 degrees in May and a few summer thunderstorms with hail. It seems odd to say this, but my vegetable garden…

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Question: I’ve heard the flowers and berries of elderberry plants can be used in pies, syrups, juices, wines and jellies. Can you tell me more about elderberries and how to grow them in our area?

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I really thought that this summer would be the one; the summer I have dreamed of since moving out to the beautiful countryside of Douglas County. The big one. The infamous, rainbow-unicorn of motherhood bragging rights — the screen free summer!

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Question: I would like to have more bees, birds and butterflies in my yard. I’ve heard adding native plants will help attract them. Can you provide information about growing natives and suggest plants for our area?

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Poisonous plants and Hügelkultur are just two of the features included in the eighth annual Spring Garden Tour, hosted by the League of Women Voters of Umpqua Valley.

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Weekend getaways in the great outdoors can be a great way for families to break from the norm and spend some quality time together while getting some fresh air. Such trips are popular, as the U.S. Travel Association notes that nearly three out of four domestic trips are taken for leisure purposes.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: The columns of Bill Duncan are being reprinted in The News-Review. Duncan, who died in November 2011, wrote a weekly column for The News-Review and The Capital Press of Salem from 1981 to 2011. Duncan wrote the following column in March 1991. His thoughts are still pertinent t…