Good Gardening

John Fischer / KLCC

As the heating season approaches it's a good time to review the second law of thermodynamics, and possibly contradict your mother. We'll start with the hard one- telling mom she is wrong.

It is more efficient to let your house cool down at night, or when you are gone, and reheat it when you want a warm house than it is to keep it warm all the time.  

Good Gardening: Self-Seeding

Sep 14, 2020
John Fischer

If you have trouble getting seeds to sprout in the spring, this might be a good time to let nature help plant next year's garden.

Good Gardening: Free Favas!

Aug 31, 2020
John Fischer

A lot of people are having their first ever garden this year and I'd like to repeat a few time tested ideas for you. Those of you who already know everything, go outside and weed for two minutes, but you will miss details on a free seed give away.

Good Gardening: Thornless Berries

Aug 3, 2020
John Fischer / KLCC

You have to love the way blackberries grow in Oregon. Ouch. The taste, ouch, the abundance, ouch, and all the ways you can eat them. Ouch.

Living Less Unsustainably: Used Materials

Jul 20, 2020
John Fischer / KLCC

Many of us have been home more over the last few months. Enjoying the space, considering some changes, and maybe noticing a few things that need repairing or replacing.

Good Gardening: Pruning

Jul 6, 2020
John Fischer / KLCC

You won't hear me talk about ornamental plants much. I put my energy into things I can eat. But there are places near the house where edibles won't do well, so something pretty is better than nothing.

If you don't prune shrubs and bushes near the house, eventually you can't see out the window or get near the structure for maintenance. But to keep the form of the plant while controlling its height and spread requires pruning out full branches, not just cutting back the tops of existing growth.

Good Gardening: Fabulous Favas

Jun 1, 2020
John Fischer / KLCC

Here's a fabulous garden opportunity that you can't act on right now may be an exercise in bad timing, but if you don't see the results now, you won't be convinced to act when the time comes this fall.

Living Less Unsustainably: Rethinking Recycling

May 18, 2020
Love Cross / KLCC

We are participating in ordinary activities in different ways now, and have adapted to new circumstances.

Good Gardening: Weeds

May 4, 2020
John Fischer / KLCC

So you've planted seeds for the first time this spring- or the 50th, and sprouts are coming up- some of what you planted, and a lot of weeds. 

John FIscher / KLCC

If you've never had a garden before, you might be thinking about it now.  Here are some simple things you can grow in a small space, that will provide you and your family with fresh nutritious produce- and a fun outdoors activity.

Living Less Unsustainably: Wear Out Those Clothes!

Mar 16, 2020
John Fischer

Isn't it great when doing something nice for yourself doesn't hurt the planet, and helps other people too?Unfortunately, buying clothes and giving them to the thrift store doesn't fit that dream.

Good Gardening: Compost

Mar 2, 2020
John Fischer / KLCC

Your garden can produce a lot- of food, and of waste. Getting rid of the produce is easy- have seconds. And getting rid of the garden waste along with all your kitchen scraps is easy too because somebody else will do the work.

Residents of Eugene, Portland, Salem, Albany and Corvallis can put all their food scraps including meat and dairy into their green waste cans.  That is not true for any other areas in Lane County- ask your city counsellor if you want the policy to change where you live.

Living Less Unsustainably: Paper Plates and Potlucks

Jan 20, 2020
Love Cross / KLCC

When I go to a potluck, the first thing people ask me is a garden question. Well, actually the first thing they ask is "Did Laurie (my wife) bring a pie?"

Then it's then garden question, and then something on recycling. As a Master Recycler, Master Composter, and Climate Master, I have a good base of knowledge on Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling.

John Fischer / KLCC

In a weird way, you have to admire a good scam. We've been tricked into buying bottled water from Los Angeles instead of drinking our own MacKenzie River water.

Good Gardening: Pears

Dec 2, 2019
John Fischer / KLCC

When I was a kid I remember hearing about people getting a box of pears for Christmas. I had two thoughts.  Pears for Christmas- that's worse than socks. And how can you have fresh pears in the middle of winter.

Good Gardening: Reminders for Fall

Nov 4, 2019
John Fischer

Master Gardener John Fischer here with KLCC's Good Gardening.  I try to give you lead time when I pass on ideas to help your garden be more productive or attractive.  But it 's easy to lose track of tasks for the future when the present is so demanding. 

Good Gardening: Cabbage

Oct 7, 2019
John Fischer / KLCC

Master Gardener John Fischer here with KLCC's Good Gardening. Sometimes careful planning, and benign neglect can produce the same results in your garden.  Having grown cabbage for many years, I know that leaving the base of the plant in the ground after harvesting the head of cabbage will allow three to five cute little "single serving" cabbages to grow where the first head was cut off.

Good Gardening: Grapes

Sep 9, 2019
John Fischer / KLCC

Pests and disease can cause problems for your crops. Like you don't get to eat what you grew.  Resistant varieties have helped reduce disease problems, but resistant does not always mean immune. And to make things more confusing, the same plant will show different levels of resistance in different locations.

Good Gardening: Summer Lettuce

Aug 5, 2019

It can be tough to keep harvesting lettuce - at last edible lettuce-  through the heat of summer.  The first planting has gone to seed and since many fall vegetables won't sprout in warm soil, you can be left with no salad on the table.

Good Gardening: Color!

Jul 1, 2019
John Fischer / KLCC

The color and sheen of your vegetables can tell you a lot about how they will taste before you even take a bite. 

Good Gardening: Weeds

Jun 3, 2019
John Fischer

When your garden fills up with weeds, it's tempting to scowl at your neighbors’ dandelions, and assume all your problems came from over there.

It's more likely that most of the weeds sprouting were from seeds left over in your soil from last year, or the year before, or the year before...  And even more likely that the weeds are sneaking into your vegetable patch underground.

Good Gardening: Variety

May 6, 2019
John Fischer / KLCC

I don't spend much time on flowers, but this year the combination of a sudden spring after the April deluge has made them irresistible even to a dedicated edibles grower.  And there is a lesson coming for both ornamental and food gardeners.

Good Gardening: Raised Beds

Apr 1, 2019

  I don't like raised beds. Gasp- Huh Ok- In most situations I don't like wooden raised beds.  There are a few reasons to have a raised garden area. The soil will drain, warm, and be workable a little earlier. And if you have mobility problems or issues that keep you from getting down to ground level, a raised bed can be useful. But there are ways to avoid the ubiquitous wooden walled boxes that have sprouted up in so many yards, and still get the results you want. Mounded beds with no wooden support will help with drainage and warm the soil better than a box.

Good Gardening: Damaged Trees

Mar 4, 2019
John Fischer

This may not come as a surprise to you, but my fruit trees know more about weather forecasting than I do.

Two years ago my peach and nectarine trees bloomed in February, and despite some frosty spring weather, the trees produced a bountiful crop.  This year the flower buds have just started to swell, and flowering is probably a month off.  Nature knows.

That doesn't mean your trees don't need your help to thrive, and stay alive during times of winter weather.

Good Gardening: Seeds

Feb 4, 2019
John Fischer


Good Gardening: Cardboard Can Ease Planting

Jan 7, 2019
John Fischer / KLCC

It is cold, wet and gray outside. But if you can get out there for five minutes now, planting a tree or new shrub in the spring will be much easier.

Good Gardening: Adapting To Climate Change

Dec 3, 2018
John Fischer

Here's a quote from the March 1895 Eugene weather summary written in early April.    "While the coast range passes are still blocked by snow, they are expected to open in the next two weeks".  Yes the weather is different, and we must adapt to the changes in the way we garden. 

Good Gardening: Repeat Harvest

Nov 5, 2018
John Fischer

For many vegetables, harvest is a one day affair.  The carrot is either in the ground, or on the table.  And once you've picked the carrot, it won't grow back again.

Good Gardening: Become A Master Gardener

Oct 1, 2018
John Fischer

Want to learn how to master all your garden problems?

John Fisher

Many kitchens and pantries in the area are currently dealing with CFFI and AFFI:  Chronic and Acute Fruit Fly Infestation.

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