An appeal to the green thumbs in the readership

Spring is here in Oregon and I’ve got plants popping up all over the new homestead. I need help identifying what I have (suggested Websites, books, etc. would be helpful — along with outright identification from you readers). Some stuff is wild, beautiful and fleeting, like this little red flower that popped up on the lawn.

Yard Party

Other stuff is invasive or ornamental with no inherent nutritional or habitat value to my burgeoning wildlife sanctuary and backyard farm. What should I keep? What should I pull out? What should I replace it with? And how do I manage it? For example, the rosemary bush below was sprawling out of control this spring. The logical action was pruning. But a lot of the branches have turned brown and died. Was it my fault? And what now?

Yard Party

On the upside, we’ve got some interesting food popping up on the raised beds. Good stuff, including lettuce, celery and some stuff I’m not too sure about. The first picture below, looks like red-leaf lettuce — not sure when to harvest it, but it looks good. Then there’s this little guy in the second shot — I swear I’ve seen it in a salad. We’ve also got celery popping up (third photo down), but I’m not too sure what to do with it. Does it need staked? It’s gone feral. Lastly, rainbow chard is popping up, but I know how to handle that I guess. Seems like I need to take anti-slug measures.

Yard Party

Yard Party

Yard Party

Yard Party

I’ve got some random flowers popping up in shady spots, like the flowers below that were growing in the ultra soggy, shady spot under the apple tree. We’ve got the little guys in the second and third shot that are growing under a doug fir in the side of my front yard. Last photo is back by the pond/swamp.

Yard Party

Yard Party

Yard Party

Yard Party

We’ve also got a fair share of shrubs. I’ve pulled down a bunch of bamboo (which I’m sure is coming back). There are a lot of others, some of which may be helpful, others not so much. It’s pretty early to figure out what’s what, but we’ve got a lot flowering now and that’s great.

Yard Party

Yard Party

Yard Party

In other news, I put in a big old bed for blueberries and they’re doing pretty well — though some seem to be getting more light than others and growing quicker. It may even out once things get warmer. I also planted some cilantro and parsley in the bed, but these ridiculous temperatures have pretty much kicked them over.

Yard Party

Yard Party

Anybody want to identify this ivy creeping all over my place?

Yard Party

Anyway, I guess that’s it. If you have any ID’s, advice, or other info feel free to pass it on.


About mstansberry

Matt Stansberry currently lives in Eugene, Oregon with his wife and son.
This entry was posted in Homestead, Oregon and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to An appeal to the green thumbs in the readership

  1. Burt Banner says:

    this is a great reference site:
    for vegetables/edibles:

  2. Pete says:

    What’s going to happen to all those plants when you become a goat farmer?

  3. Alex says:

    Looks like Burt’s got your back with respect to ID’s; can’t be too much help given my thorough n00b status in Oregon horticulture.

    You may not want to put blueberries and herbs in the same spot, given that the former tend to like more acidic soil.

    Baby greens go for a mint at farmer’s markets back east; tender little lettuce leaves are delicious. Of course, you can wait longer to much ’em if you desire.

    I looked here for that second green:

    When I first saw it, I thought romaine. But the points on the edge of the leaves may mean red mustard. Or it may be something else entirely.

    Our celery never needed to be staked. Those stalks are generally plenty strong on their own.

    Prune the dead parts of the rosemary away and read up on the timing for your next go. Some plants don’t like being zapped before the cold season.

    If you have some stale beer, try putting a dish of it out next to any slug-affected plants. They’ll drown and die. {insert joke about your least favorite boorish sports fans here}

    And as for what happens to the plants when he goes goat, my bet is that the goats will graze ’em down and produce delicious cheese.

  4. Burt Banner says:

    you can also try crushed eggshells around each plant, or try placing a piece of wood or cardboard near/in front of bed,this becomes a slug hotel hide-out, then occasionally lift , gather and remove. If your slippery inhabitants are too much, then try a product called sluggo (pet safe, friendly).

  5. onemuleteam says:

    One of those plants is a rhubarb. The red leaf lettuce needs to be harvested before it bolts–sends up a shoot for reproduction and also before it gets too hot as it will turn bitter and taste terrible. There are special slow bolting variants for the summer but generally they all turn bitter really fast in the heat.

    Eat em’ youngish. yum.

  6. onemuleteam says:

    On second thought could be Kale–but the lettuce advice is definitely good.

  7. mstansberry says:

    Awesome advice. Thanks guys.

  8. Bpaul says:

    I second the egg shells advice on the slugs — beer works great but can be time consuming (gross if you let em rot in there too long, check often). they also hate crossing copper — if you can find a way to conveniently surround the plants with a copper strip (garden supplies sometimes have copper tape for this purpose) you can cut down the number of slugs as well.

    I second also the red mustard on that green leafy I.D.

    The first of the flower shots, right below the rainbow chard, looks to be Coltsfoot. You can look it up and see if it fits.

    You may already know this, but the second to the last flower, before the reddish one, is Fragrant Daphne. Pretty much my favorite scented flower — of all time. LOVE that stuff.

    I agree that the rosemary may be protesting the timing of your pruning. Just look up the appropriate time or shoot me an email and I’ll go find it in our pruning book — blasted tired right now, but if you have problems let me know I’ll find out for ya.

    Blueberries really do like acidic soil. Coffee grounds (not in excess but a bit, worked into the top of the soil) make them very happy. Also, they like mulch. I’ve heard crazy things, like raw wool (unprocessed) to mulch them… apparently they love that. Some folks just use sawdust.

    That’s all my tired brain can dig up at the moment, rock on.

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