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About The independent. (Vernonia, Or.) 1986-current | View This Issue
The INDEPENDENT, November 18, 2010
Can You Dig It?
By Schann Nelson
Columbia County Master Gardener
In this cold and dreary time I
have great trouble manifesting
the chores I know need to be
done into reality. Perhaps, if I
begin with a brief outline of what
needs to be done it will motivate
me to accomplish. More likely it
will serve as a list of stuff to re-
member to do before winter,
most of which won’t get done.
Clean up perennial beds and mulch to clear working
area under larger shrubs and trees.
Prune excess growth on established landscape and
fruit trees to shape winter growth.
Remove any remaining pome (apples, pears, and
Determine if fungal diseases such as black spot,
scab or powdery mildew are present. [More later.]
Find all the garden tools. Dry, clean, oil and sharp-
en as necessary.
Continue shaping garden beds by raking dirt up-
heavals (from the moles who come to eat the worms)
and other material that migrates into what you want to
In the likely event that one or more of the fungal dis-
eases IS present, decide what level of disease you can
tolerate and how much resource you can put into dis-
ease control. All of these options were selected from
the 2004 edition of Least Toxic and Organic Pesticides
for Gardeners, OSU Extension Master Gardener Pro-
gram. An exception is this note about neem: Neem oil
has become very popular as a broad spectrum fungi-
cide and insecticide. I’ve found it effective, but expen-
sive and terrible tasting, though it advertises that you
can use it up to the day of harvest. Now I save it for in-
door infestations of spider mites and white flies.
In the past, I’ve sprayed dormant oil over all the
leaves I could find on the ground, trying to hit that ‘dor-
mant’ period, but without early pruning and shaping.This
year, I’d like to hack away at overgrowth now, and spray
a low toxicity product such as lime sulfur (calcium poly-
sulfide) mixed with a horticultural oil (may be petroleum-
, fish- or vegetable-based) before putting up the Christ-
mas lights, instead of after. Since I have so many plants
that harbor fungal diseases over the winter, AND if I
were very concerned about further significant disease
reduction, I might consider a second or even third spray
before spring. Also I haven’t sprayed anything other
than summer oil for a couple of years.
One of the trickier things to unravel is the mecha-
nism of action of the products available. Since you are
actively trying to disrupt the life cycle of your target
pest, knowing when it’s most vulnerable can make
treatments more effective. For instance, horticultural
oils work by smothering mites, eggs and insects, but
degrade rapidly, thus are pretty much effective for in-
sects and mites only if you get a direct hit. However,
they also provide an anti-fungal protective effect by
physically disrupting fungi, interfering with attachment
to the host, and destroying fungal cell walls. This
makes both the heavier dormant oils and the lighter
summer weight oils an attractive weapon with very low
toxicity. If I add lime sulfur, I can expand the spectrum
of diseases affected with a contact poison that will con-
tinue to work along with the oil. Later, in the winter, I
could follow up with a copper spray to use up the
chemicals I have on hand. This stuff is described as
“highly toxic to humans and fish through ingestion or
inhalation” so I’ll have to suit up completely. It further
extends my arsenal to include a bactericide. It kills
spores by disrupting enzymes, so should have an ex-
tended period of action.
Be aware that the word “organic” on a pesticide la-
bel means almost nothing. Read the fine print to make
sure you are getting the least toxic product that you
want and not something else. Of course, you will follow
all package directions in regard to safe application of
any product you choose. It’s nice that so many things
are available, premixed and ready to use for homes
Want to play in the snow? Get a
Sno-Park permit before you go
As fall quickly turns to win-
ter, it’s time to prepare for your
favorite winter activities.
Oregon’s Sno-Park program
helps provide snow removal at
about 100 winter recreation
parking areas (Sno-Parks)
across the state. Sno-Parks ex-
ist in most of Oregon’s moun-
tain passes and in most ski,
snowmobile and snow play ar-
eas. A list of areas designated
as Sno-Parks is available at
www.tripcheck.com under “Tra-
If you park in a Sno-Park be-
tween November 1 and April
30, you need a valid Sno-Park
permit displayed in the wind-
shield of your vehicle.
There are three types of per-
mits: a $25 seasonal permit, a
$9 three-day permit good for
three consecutive days, and a
$4 daily permit. All DMV offices
and permit agents at winter re-
sorts, sporting goods stores
and other retail outlets sell
these permits. Private agents
can charge an additional serv-
ice fee. A list of permit agents is
available at www.tripcheck.com
under “Travel Center.” To be-
come a Sno-Park permit sales
agent contact DMV, Vehicle
Mail at 503-945-7949.
The seasonal permit also is
available by mail from DMV.
Send a written request with
your return address, phone
number, and a check or money
order to DMV, Vehicle Mail No.
1, 1905 Lana Avenue, Salem
Parking in an Oregon Sno-
Park without a permit may re-
sult in a fine, so be sure to ob-
tain a permit and display it on
You may notice that my spraying schedule diverges
wildly from what you might read on a product label,
particularly a dormant oil spray. I really am saying, start
NOW! You’ll have a hard enough time finding a day
that meets the necessary criteria: reasonably sunny
and dry, calm and not windy, well above freezing, and
when you have the time, the equipment and the ener-
gy to do it! Beyond those mundane considerations, we
simply do not share a climate with most of the rest of
the country. There is always something growing, usu-
ally growing a lot, in every season. Recommendations
that assume a dormant winter period when everything
is frozen and sere, are difficult to interpret at best, and
often simply don’t apply.
Spraying things in your yard has gotten a bad rep –
with a little attention it can be an easy and effective
way to encourage the environment, wherever your
small corner of earth is. If it sounds like I spray all the
time it is only because I am writing about what I
COULD do if I had the resources and the desire. Since
the sun has actually come out for the first time in days
I think I’m going to go prune or rake or, yes, possibly
even SPRAY something!
V ERNONIA F OURSQUARE C HURCH
S T . M ARY ' S C ATHOLIC C HURCH
P IONEER B APTIST F ELLOWSHIP
Carl Pense, Pastor
850 Madison Avenue, Vernonia
Sunday Worship Service: 10:30 a.m.
Children’s Sunday School
Rev. Luan Tran, Administrator
960 Missouri Avenue, Vernonia
Mass Sunday 12:00 Noon
Religious Educ. Sunday 10:30 a.m.
John Cahill, Pastor
939 Bridge Street, Vernonia
Sunday School 9:45 a.m.
Sunday Morning Worship 11:00 a.m.
Thursday Prayer 7:00 p.m.
S EVENTH D AY A DVENTIST
V ERNONIA C OMMUNITY C HURCH
Larry Gibson, Pastor
2nd Ave. and Nehalem St., Vernonia
Morning Worship, 11:00 a.m.
Sabbath School 9:30 a.m.
957 State Avenue, Vernonia
Sunday Worship 9:45 a.m.
Children’s Church (Blast!) 10:15 a.m.
Nursery 10:15 a.m.
High School Youth 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday Prayer 6:00 p.m.
Preschool: Open House soon
A SSEMBLY OF G OD
Wayne and Maureene Marr
662 Jefferson Ave., Vernonia,
Sunday School 9:45 a.m.
Morning Worship 11:00 a.m
F IRST B APTIST C HURCH
359 “A” Street, Vernonia
Sunday School 9:45 a.m.
Sunday Worship Service 11:00 a.m.
Wednesday Prayer Meeting 7:00 p.m.
V ERNONIA C HRISTIAN C HURCH
Sam Hough, Minister
410 North Street, Vernonia
Sunday School 9:45 a.m.
Sunday Worship 11:00 a.m.
(meets in Youth & Family Center)
Home Group Meeting throughout
the week at various locations
N EHALEM V ALLEY B IBLE C HURCH
Gary Taylor, Pastor
Grant & North Streets, Vernonia
Sunday School 10:00 a.m.
Morning Worship 11:00 a.m.
Wednesday Service 7:00 p.m.
C HURCH OF J ESUS C HRIST
OF L ATTER D AY S AINTS
Marc Farmer, Branch President
1350 E. Knott Street, Vernonia
Sacrament Meeting, Sunday 10 a.m.
Sunday School & Primary 11:20 a.m.
Relief Society, Priesthood and
Young Women, Sunday 12:10 p.m.