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September and October in western Oregon is usually still very warm, with daytime high temperatures often in the 70s or 80s, while much of the country experiences their first frost or freeze and the gardening season comes to an end. This lovely fall regional weather condition for Douglas Coun…

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Question: My pepper and tomato plants are looking good and starting to set fruit. Last year, just before the peppers and tomatoes started to get ripe, the side facing the sun got scorched. How can I keep that from happening?

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Question: I remember visiting my grandmother in the winter years ago and she was still serving fresh tomatoes from her summer garden. How did she do it? I wish I had paid attention!

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The OSU Douglas County Master Gardener Plant Clinic, 1134 SE Douglas Ave., Roseburg, has open on a modified schedule. Experienced volunteers are available to answer gardening and landscaping questions 1-3 p.m. Mondays, Tuesday, Wednesdays and Fridays.

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I feel like the mom in me comes out when I offer life advice, but these practices have been prominent enough in my daily life to not want to scream from the roof tops or, just for loves sake, write and share. In no particular order these are five things that highlight the most important part…

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Question: I am a beginning gardener and would love to grow vegetables for my table but I am concerned about pesticides I might use on plants getting into the nearby river. Do you have any solutions for this dilemma?

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Question: How can I grow better peppers? Some of my transplants either die or fail to thrive. If the plants grow well, the weight of the peppers tend to break the branches before they are ripe, and if they get ripe, the peppers get burned by the sun.

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Question: I’ve been noticing these globs of foam on some of my landscape plants and strawberry leaves. It looks like someone spit on my plants! What in the world?

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Question: We have property with forest trees and have found unusual growths on the trees this year. Some growths are hard and fan-like, while some are squishy pouches on the tree trunk. Are they mushrooms?

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This time is forcing many of us to really slow down. Whether out of work, working from home or not in the professional world at all, many of us are in the thick of life and parenting from a decidedly new angle.

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This is the first time as a nation we have dealt with a crisis of this magnitude without an end in sight. I’m scared, and that’s a bold statement for someone who feels like she’s got to be the rock of the family when a deadly pandemic is sweeping our nation and world.

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Question: I know that taking care of my garden soil is probably the most important factor in having a successful garden. However, when I go to a garden center, I am overwhelmed by the many choices available with different bags of material that I could add to my garden. I want to add only wha…

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Question: I am an avid gardener and have my schedule worked out very well. Now, I am watching my grandchildren and the schedule has gone out the window. They want to help but I am not so sure they really can or if I want it. They are 3 and 4 years old. Any suggestions?

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Question: I’d like to use ladybugs in my garden as natural predators to help my flowers and vegetables. Is there a better color of ladybug to buy and how do they help gardens?

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One of our most important jobs as parents is to teach our children the fundamental skills they will need throughout their lives.

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Question: I’m thinking about taking out some of the turf in my landscape and creating some “islands” of different plantings. I’ve long admired some of the ornamental grasses and wonder if you can give me some pointers on using them in my yard. Should I be worried about them becoming invasive?