echoptHere are few questions that have been asked by many of our customers over the years…Of course, always feel free to ask us how to best care for a specific plant or pest problem. If we can’t give you an answer on the spot, we have access to the right resources to help you!

Q: “I am interested in plants that don’t require a lot of water. What are my options?
A: Some drought tolerant plants gardeners might consider include perennials such as Yarrow, Penstemon, Purple coneflower, Russian sage, Hummingbird mint,Blanket Flower, and Salvia (garden sage). Don’t forget to include ornamental grasses such as Maiden, Blue Oat, Blue Fescue or Fountain Grasses planted throughout your perennial beds. Ornamental grasses provide color and texture year round, and they have the additional bonus of being very deer resistant! Annuals, although not as drought tolerant as perennials can be successfully utilized in a xeriscape. Examples include Sweet Allysum, Marigolds, Sunflowers,Portulaca and California Poppies.

Q: “What can I plant in my vegetable garden that will survive the chill of fall and early spring?”
A: Carrots, Chard, Spinach, Kale, Broccoli, Cabbage, Peas and Lettuce can survive cool temperatures in early spring and late fall. However, in our central Oregon climate winters are too severe for year-round vegetable gardening unless you use season extenders such as a low tunnel combined with row cover. Check out Eliot Coleman’s excellent books on year ’round vegetable gardening in zone 5 and become inspired to push the zone! 

Q: “I am interested in organic gardening. What are some pesticides and fertilizers that I can use?”
A: Cottonseed meal, blood meal, fish and kelp meal, manures are examples of organic fertilizers. Organic fertilizers typically do not contain high concentrations of nutrients but they are excellent soil builders. By organically amending soil, gardeners will increase the beneficial microorganisms in the soil while building soil structure. At the Madras Garden Depot, customers will find a complete line of organic fertilizers and pesticides. We offer our highly regarded All Purpose 5-5-3 organic fertilizer in bulk, so you get just what you need, when you need it! 

Q: I would like my yard to be in full bloom from spring to fall. What plants would you recommend to ensure a colorful growing season?”
A: For true year-round plantings, you cannot forget evergreens, both broadleaf and conifers as the “backbone” of our gardens. Please stop by and our staff can assist you with garden & planting ideas that speak to your site and will maximize the beauty of your yard and garden. We also are excellent at sourcing unusual plants and trees.

Q: “I have a shady spot in my yard that I would like to landscape. What might grow well in those conditions?”
A: Hosta, Astilbe, Heuchera, hardy ferns, Chinese dogwoods, foxglove, hardy ferns and geraniums are just a few of the plants that will work well for you. Our staff will be happy to assist you with the plants you need. .

Q: “When should I prune my trees and shrubs?”
A: Late winter/early spring is an excellent time to prune while most plants are in a dormant stage. However some shrubs, such as lilacs and rhododendrons, respond best to pruning directly after blooming. Feel free to ask our staff about the best pruning times and techniques for your specific plants.

Q: “Do I need to divide the rhizomes in my iris bed? What about other bulbs like tulips and daffodils?”
A: Yes. Iris, Tulips and Daffodils need to be lifted and divided every 2-3 years in order to keep them blooming. However, there are many daffodil varieties and a hybrid type of Tulip called Darwin tulips, which naturalize beautifully without the need for division. Also, they are fun to give away when you get an abundance of them! We stock our top-sized spring blooming bulbs in early fall.