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We all see them… We all loathe them… Brown marmorated stink bugs. The amount of host plants for these stinkers makes it tricky to keep them at bay. They are not particular about what they eat and can become a huge problem very quickly.

I know firsthand these stinkers are lethal, they have destroyed my tomatoes many times. While there are solutions like pheromone traps and soap sprays, one of the easiest solutions we have seen is sunflowers and French marigolds. These plants attract the enemies of the stinkers. Bugs like ants, ladybird beetles, and lacewings pray on the egg masses. In addition to planting these beautiful blooms you can hang traps around your garden to help catch the adults.

Lastly, don’t wait or hesitate! While you might not see them now they will come if there is food to eat! So protect your crop early with these simple methods and keep your plants happy all season long!

Posted in Odds & Ends, Plant Care Tips, Why Organic.

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Chicka Chick Boom Bloom…

This is Harriet… She is a meat chicken we rescued just over a year ago. When we got her originally they told us she wouldn’t live past eight weeks. Harriet is a breed of chicken made specifically to grow fast, which she did, and be used as meat. We decided to see how long Harriet would live with a little diet and exercise. We are still in shock Harriet has survived this long… Harriet doesn’t have the ability to lay eggs but she brings a lot of love to the pack.

If you have ever given the thought to chickens we would highly recommend it! Not only is it amazing how fun these chicks are, but we get the most delicious eggs ever. Chickens are great when it comes to reducing waste. They will eat ANYTHING especially tomatoes… so we have to keep them away from the garden. But when it comes to garden the manure produced from these lil’ chicks is an excellent source of nitrogen.

Once composted for a minimum of six months the nitrogen increases the rate of photosynthesis. Not only do chickens love tomatoes but tomatoes, lettuce, squash, cucumbers, cabbage, corn, and roses LOVE the nitrogen in the chicken manure. You can also till the manure in four months prior to planting if you don’t want to mess with a compost pile. This organic element is an easy way to help your plants flourish! So if you’re considering chickens think about all of the areas that can improve. I’ll re-cap it for you:

1. Reduce food waste (Chickens eat everything!!)

2. You get all natural fresh eggs daily!! (Or save the life of a meat chicken…)

3. Chicken manure will feed your plants and invigorate plant growth!

Chickens can be a lot of work… so if you just want to restore your plant life you can find pre composted chicken manure in our Organic Mushroom Compost. Happy Spring Planting!

Posted in Odds & Ends, Plant Care Tips, Projects.

Sun Shine In…

Its a beautiful day to make some changes! Currently the men are out in the yard working on building new bins for our products! We are so excited about improving our facility to better serve you. This year is going to be an exciting year with improvements to our office and yard. We can’t thank our customers enough for their dedication to Dean Innovations Inc. We wouldn’t be able to do any of this without you!!

“Life is a garden, Dig it!”

6400 SE 101st ave PDX 97266


Hope to see you soon!!

Posted in Odds & Ends, Projects.

Slime that slug…

We all fight them, most of us use sprays or salts to stop them but there is something new people are using. This readily available item can help stop those slimy invaders. Wood ash… it’s that simple! Save a little of the ash from your wood stove or fireplace and apply is sparingly around the root of your plants. Best used on soils that are highly acidic or neutral as the wood ash is alkaline. It’s an inexpensive solution to a slimy problem.

We like this idea because it’s not harmful to our kids, animals, or plants! We love this idea because it’s something most of us have or can get free!

So when the fire is out save a little ash for this spring. Who knows it could keep the slim out of your garden for good!

Posted in Odds & Ends, Plant Care Tips.

Now is Your Time!

They say April showers bring May flowers, but what they neglected to mention was the preparation your yard / garden really needed! We are in the midst of a beautiful Spring and now is the best time to get your soil amended or start that yard renovation you have been dreaming about.

We’ve just started some new plant beds at home and we used the White Lightning and Mushroom Compost. I can not tell you how exciting it is to look out my windows and see the plant life flourish! It is truly amazing what a little dirt and time will develop.

So put your boots on… It’s TIME to plant, re-seed, amend, or start that new garden!

Don’t let the rain get you down. It might take a day, week, or month, but you’ll love your spring makeover when the sun stays and it’s time to fire up the BBQ.

Posted in Odds & Ends.

Hardscape alternatives- the way of the future

In Oregon we are just lucky, we get lots of water out of the sky. Our aquifers are among the richest in the nation, this also an area that Oregonians need to be much more aware…. How we treat the water that comes down Cats and Dogs most of the year.

In the past, the city builders just focused on getting the water out of our way. Depositing it as quickly as possible into the sewer-runoff systems laden with many chemicals from our parking lots and over-fertilized lawns which , we now know, to be very harmful to our natural environment.

What can we do? Rip up all the roads/ parking lots and over stimulated lawns???

It takes time to make changes, but Portland is among the most progressive and motivated sustainable city in the nation. Runoff from streets and all types of hardscape surfaces are being diverted into Bio-swales. The chemically laden water is being filtered BEFORE it re-enters the rivers

On the home front, many of our clients are breaking out that solid block of concrete in their driveway, and installing alternative solid surfaces. They are using Portland gravels for pathways, and as the foundation to the environmentally friendly paver systems. A  solid, yet permeable, surface intended to slow the rainwater down and allow it to naturally percolate down into the soils getting filtered before r-entering the aquifers below.

This change alone is helping tremendously to reduce the amounts of waste pouring into the creeks and rivers.


You are living in Portland, you are a part of the solution….. what are you doing this year to improve our collective water systems? Installing more gravel patios and walkways? De-commissioning your downspouts and creating your own mini-bios-wale?

Whatever the project, we have the drain-rock or gravel you need for the project !

So give us a call and let’s get you started  using our superior Portland gravels, organic soil amendments and organic mulch products.

Dean Innovations Landscape Supply (503) 281-1637.

Posted in Projects.

What is going on ?

I often get asked, as I am helping a customer load their truck with my beautifully split, perfectly dry,  clean burning  Portland firewood, about the changing of the leaves. What is going on, people ask, what causes the brilliant colors in our deciduous trees?

…just like you, they are preparing for winter….

Leaves are nature’s food factories.  Plants use sunlight to create a kind of sugar which they use as building blocks to grow. Leaves contain a chemical called Chlorophyll which helps them make the food, the process is called Photosynthesis which means, “putting it together with light”. Chlorophyll is what gives the plants their green color.

As summer ends and autumn comes, the days get shorter and the trees begin to shut down their food making factories in the leaves. The trees do this because in winter they will not receive as many hours of sun and they must rest and become dormant, essentially going into slow mode until the season changes and they can make more food to sustain their bodies. The green Chlorophyll disappears from the leaves,  but there is a small amount of remaining sugars in the leaves .  These trapped sugars have a chemical reaction stimulated by the cool evening temperatures and turn red, yellow, purple. Some trees do not have any sugars left in their leaves, only waste product- those trees such as Oaks, turn brown.

These colors have been inside the leaves all summer, yet because of the large amounts of green chlorophyll present, we cannot see them. As the Chlorophyll vanishes, the other colors are revealed.

It is the combination of all these things that make the beautiful fall foliage colors that we enjoy each year.

Now, don’t forget to get your home prepared for winter- we have all the hardwoods you need to keep you happy…. Until the sun, once again, returns !

Call us today at Dean Innovations for firewood and all your organic landscape product needs – 503-281-1637

Posted in Odds & Ends.

Wood is where it is at !

Whether I am snuggled in front of the fireplace in the living room, or spending time at my beach cabin, In my opinion, there simply is nothing better than the feel of a good wood fire. The heat that penetrates the room from a true wood burning stove is perfect for warming the bones. I will never be without the ability to make a fire for heat in my home.  I remember several years running when our power was out for an extensive period- We were so miserable….. EXCEPT in the room where the fire was burning. Ahhhh….. thank goodness for the wood stacked neatly on the side of the garage.

As we head into another winter season, don’t’ forget to get your clean, dry, perfectly spilt hardwood from our fantastic selection at the “yard”. We have the very finest quality of Juniper, Lodgepole, and premium hardwoods available for u-haul or delivery to you home.

Dean Innovations Landscape Supply (503) 281-1637.

Be sure to review the best operating practices for burning in your home:

  • Burn only clean, dry, and seasoned wood that has been split and dried for at least 6 months.
  • Burn hardwood rather than softwoods. Hardwoods are denser and burn more slowly and evenly, which produces less smoke. Hardwoods also provide more heat energy.
  • Never burn garbage, trash, plastics, rubber, petroleum products, paints, solvents, charcoal/coal, or treated woods. Burning these materials can be toxic and extremely harmful. These toxins can also foul catalytic combustors and flues.
  • Burn small, hot fires instead of large, smoldering fires.
  • Use small pieces of wood and do not overload the appliance.
  • Watch the chimney for smoke. Properly burning fires should give off only a wisp of white steam. The darker and thicker the smoke, the more pollutants the fire emits, and the more fuel it wastes.

Do not burn wood when the air quality is poor.

Posted in Products.

You can eat up now- good job.

‘tis the season to sing the praises of your labor all spring and early summer as you patiently weeded and organically removed any pests from your early garden vegetables. You should have your fill of Green beans and have canned up a few pints of dillys. The squashes are really in full swing along with the cucumbers and early tomatoes. The corn is as high as an elephant’s eye and you can literally sit down to a huge selection of nothing but freshly grown vegetables from your very own organic garden. Dessert will be fresh berries over lemon sorbet.  These are the evenings you live for as an Oregonian. All the plants are producing and yet slowing down, you can relax and take some time to eat, drink and be merry.

Good for you !

That’s all I have to say, no chores to consider, no projects to plan, just enjoy and let the certified organic garden compost do its thing. You done good, buddy !!

See you next week….. !

If you are still in the project planning, get going on the woodpile area of your driveway or shed. We have LOTS  of beautiful dry firewood to fill up your woodbox…..

So give us a call and let’s get you started  using our superior Portland organic soil amendments and organic mulch products for garden development and Cedar chips for those play zones !

Dean Innovations Landscape Supply (503) 281-1637.

Posted in Odds & Ends.

A way of life

I talk a lot about new garden projects, trying to encourage people to begin gardening.  There are many, many articles and studies written regarding the positive effects that occurs in our mental states directly influenced by our gardening hobby. Humans NEED to be caring and interacting with nature, it is in our evolutionary wiring and when we don’t interact, we become off balance.

This world that we live in has created a disconnection from natural environments that truly is a mistake. We at Dean Innovations believe that our natural products can help our society become whole and balanced …. One project at a time.

Gardening does not have a beginning and an end…. It is  an ever evolving cycle that we consciously choose to be a part of. We are garden crafters, honing our skills, editing our mistakes and always improving year after year.

Give us a call so we help you build on your success.  We are ready at all times to help you with your new projects or renovate any older garden areas that you may have.

Gardening with organic products makes you part of the solution and is a way of life that will make a difference for many years to come.

So give us a call and let’s get you started  using our superior Portland organic soil amendments and organic mulch products for garden development and Cedar chips for those play zones !

Dean Innovations Landscape Supply (503) 281-1637.

Posted in Why Organic.