This time of year, we are sometimes blessed with occasional warm temperatures and sunshine.
These are the type of days that are excellent for finishing the last of the garden chores. One chore that should be done is the removal of the plant debris from the last of the vegetable plants that were standing before the frost killed them. Debris left in the garden can provide a place for insects and disease to overwinter. You should not incorporate any plant debris into the soil that possibly is diseased. If in doubt, throw it out.
Pathogens can survive and infect vegetables planted the following year. It is equally important to rotate your vegetable crops. Before you forget, create a quick layout of the vegetable garden and what plants you planted in each area to avoid planting the same family members in the same area for four years. This practice will help to reduce disease on vegetables such as tomatoes and peppers, both favorites among gardeners.
Ginkgo biloba — a polite tree
Ginkgo biloba, sometimes referred to as maidenhair tree or just ginkgo tree, is a versatile, beautiful, trouble-free tree with very polite characteristics. Ginkgo can be used as a street tree, large shade tree, or as a specimen in the landscape. The many different cultivars vary in height and width from 75 feet to a six-foot dwarf. This is a slow-growing tree in its youth and will increase the grow rate as it matures. Be sure to purchase a male as the female trees will produce and drop seed pods that are very messy and smelly. The bright-green, fan-shaped leaves have two distinct lobes as the botanical name, biloba, indicates. In the fall, the ginkgo changes from bright green to canary yellow. The striking yellow color makes them stand out in the landscape. Ginkgo has no serious pest or disease issues and adapts well in most environments. It does require full sun and prefers a moist but well-draining soil. The ginkgo tree possesses one more unique characteristic; it drops all or most of its leaves at the same time. This makes for easy fall clean up. In all, Ginkgo biloba is a beautiful, versatile, trouble free and polite tree.
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Kim Hupman is the OSU Extension horticulture program assistant.