Osu_vertical_2c_o_over_b_medium Oregon State Extension Service

Oregon State University has experts in a variety of topics, including gardening, horticulture, livestock, 4-H, family, childcare, managing money, forestry, natural resources, and many more. If we don't have the answer, we will find someone who does.

(This group currently has 4 experts available to answer questions)

Questions asked to this group

Cover crop termination

Hello! I’m having trouble finding information on how and when to best terminate cover crops. I have heavy clay soil in my veggie garden which I ‘tilled once in 2017 when I built the garden but am trying to do no-till. I’d like to try a cover crop this year but don’t want to till it in next spring. Assuming it survives winter (it did the first time I planted one) how do I incorporate into the soil to maximize benefit? And when should I do so? I’m at 1300 feet with a partially shaded garden so plan to focus on cool weather crops next year. Thanks in advance!

Clark County Washington Posted about 5 hours ago

One plant changing to four different pink colour shades

I found a hollyhock plant six years ago. It was always a medium pink. This year, this same plant has produced four different shades of pink, from deep burgundy to deep pink to medium pink and finally light pink. Different stalks seem to be producing different colours. Is this possible or should this happen? Why does this happen? Should I try to save seeds from each coloured stalk? This was very surprising to me. I grew up with my mother growing lots of hollyhocks and I never remember anything like this happening. Your help would be greatly appreciated.

Outside United States hollyhock Posted about 8 hours ago

Crepe myrtle pruning when transplating

I'm going to move a 3 yr old CM this winter. Is it ok to prune down to 12-16 inches above ground to start growth over in Spring?

Multnomah County Oregon crepe myrtle Posted about 10 hours ago

Is this a Murder Hornet?

This bug was found in a batch of cooked crawlfish. It appears that the head is gone. One wing is gone and the other is deteriorated.

Clatsop County Oregon riparian aquatic insect Posted about 10 hours ago


I found this big spider inside. I’ve tried to identify and it’s looks like a hobo. Can I please send picture & maybe you can help. Thanks!

Josephine County Oregon spider identification Posted about 11 hours ago

Winterizing a drip irrigation system

Hello, For years I've been lax about winterizing my drip system, and I keep paying for it with emitters that fail in the spring, apparently because lingering moisture has frozen and damaged the diaphragms. I do take off the end caps of the 1/2-inch lines, let those lines drain and then replace the caps. But I haven't, as some sources suggest, used compressed air to blow out the lines. Some years, I've had to replace a quarter of the emitters. I'm researching compressors and reading up on compressor fittings ... who knew they were so complex! I wondered whether anybody in your shop has some expertise on using compressed air to clear drip system lines. Obviously, I won't need a lot of pressure, so I don't have to buy one of those big-tank things, but I've never owned or worked with a compressor. I will have to figure out how to connect the compressor to my system, somehow, which means adaptors. I run water from an outdoor hydrant through PVC pipe and then into a dozen 1/2-inch lines that distribute water through the 1/4-inch lines to emitters. Each of the 1/2-inch lines has 10 to 25 1/4-inch lines attached (and each line has its own pressure regulator). It's a makeshift system that I've developed over the last 15 years, with standard stuff from Portland Nursery and Home Depot — from the likes of Accu-Drip, Gilmour, DIG ... . It does a decent job of keeping grounds around our bungalow watered. Our lot is 45 feet by 90 feet, with no lawn. Most of the plantings are herbs, flowers and shrubs — and the annual token tomato. Thanks for any help you can provide. Tim Fought Portland

Multnomah County Oregon drip irrigation Posted about 13 hours ago

Mushrooms found in cow manure composting pile in south-western Oregon

Hi, We have cow manure (mixed with wood chips, mostly alder) composting at our place that we acquired from a local, organic dairy in the area. Very quickly these mushrooms started popping up. We're wondering what they might be! Have you seen them before? Thanks a lot! Happy equinox -'Ohana Springs Farm

Oregon Posted about 13 hours ago

canning rataouille

I made a batch of ratatouille using the Moosewood Cookbook recipe. Can I add lemon juice and do hot water method of canning? Can I do something to make this recipe canning-safe? My other choice is the freezer, but prefer to can it-- it has tomatoes, zuchini, onions, eggplant and seasonings.

Multnomah County Oregon food safety home food preservation Posted about 14 hours ago

wildfire burned tree recovery

Our property was subject to severe wildfires this month. We need a professional to assess which trees will survive and which must be removed. Can you refer us to people with this expertise. The property in question is on the N. Santiam river in Gates, Oregon, with 8 completely burned homes, so there is a substantial job for someone. Thanks Donna Loveland

Marion County Oregon Posted about 15 hours ago

Rhody problem

What can I do for this creek side rhody. I tried iron, magnesium, blood meal and heavy pruning. It is on a hill creek side. The rhody right next to - 3rd picture is healthier but barely

Multnomah County Oregon rhododendrons Posted about 15 hours ago