July 2019

Editor - Linda Goldser (7.16..2)

July DG+.jpg

At our two gardens, the end of June & the beginning of July brought cool mornings which makes pleasant weather for gardening. This weather with cooler mornings, though a bit warmer, continues through August. It is a time of transition between peak spring crop season and summer plantings and gives us time for clean up and maintenance tasks and for working on the garden infrastructure.

The first of the marionberries were harvested and they looked delicious, there are lots of blueberries, too. Summer squashes are beginning, and we have quite a few tomatoes that have set. Pole beans are happily climbing up various support options. Spring pea crops are being replaced with pole beans, carrots and radishes

Along with harvesting, our two main mandatory tasks are watering and weeding which is required to maintain a productive garden and takes a team of workers to accomplish every workday.

However, on a normal garden workday, in addition, we could accomplish several of the following tasks:  thin, fertilize, remove or apply row cover as needed, monitor plant growth & soil moisture, check for pests and treat as needed, mow the  surrounding grassy areas, install plant labels, dead-head flowers, install trellis systems, stakes and bird netting, train crops up trellises, re-sow or transplant crops, turn under cover crops, re-sow new cover crops, measure beds, haul away trash or yard debris and sheet mulch where needed.   click here to learn more about sheet mulching

Volunteers working at the two gardens range from as few as 10 to as many as 24 on a single workday with an average being about 15. Some days we get one or more community members who drop by to help or simply enjoy the gardens.  We always need more hands to help with the tasks and share ideas to help shape our ever changing demonstration garden so that it indeed becomes a garden to demonstrate gardening techniques to new interns and the community surrounding the gardens with a hope of someday becoming a destination garden for the city at large.


This past month, our harvest included parsley, chard, pea, shallot, cabbage, pac choi, radish, beets, artichoke, summer squash, scallions, onions, beans, carrots, cucumber, raspberries, marionberries and blueberries.

To date this season, we have donated about 820 pounds of edibles, coming from our Annex & Demo gardens, from PSU Learning Gardens, and from Master Gardener’s own gardens. A day’s harvest can be as low as 10 pounds or as high as 135 pounds, depending on the time of season or the produce being harvested.

Our harvest goes to area food banks who share the produce with individuals and families experiencing food insecurities. Our produce is donated to Meals on Wheels, The Richmond Clinic, Arieta School, DHS, The Food Bank and the Lane Elementary School Sun Program. We thank our Master Gardener delivery team for the extra time they spend delivering this produce.

At the gardens on any workday we may have impromptu herb tastings and lessons about different herbs and how to use them, insect or weed identification sessions, short lessons about anything anyone wants to know by those of us who might have more knowledge about that certain subject, like drip irrigation, pollinators, plant identification, plant deficiencies, insect or disease damage & treatment, etc……the list could go on and on.

Every workday at our gardens is a learning / teaching opportunity. We try to take time out of our garden maintenance for these type of learning-on-the-spot sessions as they come up. There is very rarely a workday where at least one volunteer does not go home having learned something new. And the social aspect of working side-by-side with fellow gardeners is wonderfully therapeutic as well.


Our Annex garden is getting lovelier by the day, as the native beds continue to fill out and grow larger, they bloom to attract a myriad of pollinators and supply habitat for those pollinators and the many birds who visit daily.

The annex is amazing when you think about it being only the second year in existence for native plants and the infrastructure and the first year of productively harvesting edible crops.

At the Annex, we installed a new mini storage shed on the west side of the main shed for safe storage of paperwork and amendments away from the main tool shed which gets quite busy during a workday. Also installed were four hose hangers which protect the hose bib pipes & keep the hoses off the ground when not in use and a harvest wash station where we can wash & weigh our produce properly before sending it off to donation.


What To Do When In The Garden

Wondering what you should be doing now in the garden? Mid-July through early August is the perfect time to sow certain greens, cole crops and root veggies for late fall, winter and early spring harvests. Plus there are always the never-ending maintenance tasks that need to be kept up on….

click here to read more about what to do now in the garden

Upcoming Events & classes at our Gardens

July 20 - We hold one Saturday workday each month (May through October on the 3rd Saturday of the month) as requested by interns and perennials who cannot make our weekday times. Our next Saturday work day is planned for 7/20 from 9-12. We need you, so come have fun with us and let’s learn from each other.


July 20 - Mt Scott Fuel’s 100th Anniversary Celebration  - we will have a Master Gardener clinic table at this event which is being led by Xuan Sibell – please contact Xuan  sibell4@comcast.net   if you are interested in working at this event and sign up on Cervis – come out and enjoy this event from

10AM to 2PM – 6904 SE Foster Road      

August 12, 15, 17 - Garden Art Mosaic Class – several days & times available - for more information and to sign up for this class please contact Eleanor at  Eleanor.burke.hardin@gmail.com

August 17 - Our August Saturday workday is 8/17 from 9-12, which coordinates with the open gardens for the Backyard Habitat and should be a glorious day to work in the garden and learn lots while having fun at the same time. No need to sign up, just stop on by and play in the dirt with us.


August 17 & 18 - Backyard Habitat Open Gardens event is from 9-3 at the Annex which was awarded the Silver Level last fall when our perennials were in their first year of growth, this event is being led by Nancy Fine – there will be a Master Gardener clinic at this event on 8/17 - please contact Nancy nancy.fine@multnomahmastergardeners.org  if you are interested in working at this event and sign up on Cervis.

   Garden locations, regular workdays & times

Come join us on our regular Monday and Thursday workdays at either of our gardens from 9:00 to 12:00. No need to sign up, just come on out and get your hands dirty - rain or shine. Also join us for our Saturday workdays which are the 3rd Saturday of the month through October – also from 9-12.

>>The Demo Garden is located at 6801 SE 60th Ave, between SE Duke and Flavel Streets, across from Brentwood Park.

>>Access to the Annex Garden is through a pedestrian gate at 6630 SE 57th Ave; look for the Master Gardener Demonstration Garden banner inside the gate; parking is on the east side of the street, follow the gravel path through the orchard to the garden.

NOTE: Parking inside the 59th street delivery gate is reserved for gardeners with mobility issues or who have deliveries or heavy loads.


This picture, courtesy of Heidi, is just too good not to pass on.
These are tromboncino squash in the Annex in full bloom.
Aren’t they beautiful?

Contact demogardennews@gmail.com for any questions, suggestions, ideas, comments…