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LatestHomeAndGarden

In the Garden: Gardens need care ahead of first frost

Frost is nature’s way of bringing the gardening season to an end. Honestly, there have been years when I hoped Jack would arrive in mid-August, bringing an early dormancy for the garden and a tired gardener. This year, I wish this warm, glorious growing season would linger for months. The reality is that the first frost will arrive by mid-October, most likely on a night of clear skies and calm winds that allow radian …

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Gardening gadget works as both a bucket, watering can

The growing season is just a memory, but it’s not too early to start planning for next year. Heck, if you have houseplants, you won’t even have to wait until next year. That preparation can go beyond what vegetables and flowers to plant and on to new garden implements, particularly cool new garden implements. Behold: Colapz. Colapz, by Colour Wave, is a combination bucket/watering can for the gardener with space limit …

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Photos/video: Fall comes softy to Yakima Valley

Summer is fading and being replaced by crisp, shorter days and cool breezes. For the farmer, the landscaper and the gardener, autumn brings new experiences and new challenges each year. Soon the Valley will be covered in a rainbow of colored leaves, but for now, the changes are much more subtle and small. …

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Smelly pests are invading Yakima-area gardens

We have had a number of questions in the Master Gardener Diagnostic Clinic about “stings,” discoloration and sunken areas that turn pithy under the skin, especially on tomatoes and peppers. Adult stink bugs are a well-known family easily recognized by their shield-like shape, five-segmented antennae and for producing a most disagreeable odor when provoked. They come in various shades of green, brown and black. There …

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Carol Barany: Help migrating monarchs with showy milkweed

The longest insect migration on Earth is underway. Monarch butterflies from the eastern United States and Canada are flying to overwintering sites in the fir forests of central Mexico, and the monarchs that spent the summer breeding in the western U.S. and British Columbia are migrating to the southern coast of California, where they roost in branches of cypress, eucalyptus and Monterrey pine. Returning to the North …

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Ohio ‘Gingerbread House’ models 19th-century charm

AKRON, Ohio — Susan McKiernan can’t quite figure out where her obsession with older homes and 1840s English antiques comes from. When she was 8, she created a drawing that showed where her laundry would hang one day. At 11, she was taking the bus to Stagecoach Antiques in West Akron. And she once told her mother she wanted a kitchen with windows to let in light on three sides. “I mean, who thinks like that?” she said …

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Gardens becoming vital to ecosystem

In an age of environmental woe — climate change, habitat loss, threats to beloved pollinators — should we change the role and the look of our gardens? You won’t have to read many pages of a new book, “The Living Landscape,” to get your answer. Authors Rick Darke and Doug Tallamy argue that our residential landscapes are surprisingly barren places that could be transformed into oases for plants, animals and, ultimately …

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Master Gardeners: Use these tricks to get your peppers to turn red

Q. I love red sweet peppers, but I never seem to get them to turn red before frost. Have any suggestions? A. Sweet peppers, such as California Wonder, need at least 20 days after they have reached the mature green stage before they turn red. Since peppers come from the tropics and semi-tropics, they don’t really start to actively grow until the soil and air temperatures are quite warm. There are, however, a couple of …

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Decorating the typical college room is big business

So much stuff, so little style. The dream dorm room was just not happening. Five years ago, Karen and Amanda Zuckerman hit the malls and big-box stores to decorate Amanda’s freshman dorm at Washington University in St. Louis. The offerings were ... well, underwhelming. “She wanted something special,” Karen Zuckerman says. “She wanted a home away from home that reflected her style.” The mother and daughter cobbled tog …

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For a low-maintenance garden, turn to natives

Is there such a thing as a low-maintenance garden? Some landscapers and horticulturists will tell you no — every garden needs maintenance of some kind. For the most part, they are right. There are high-maintenance and lower-maintenance gardens. It’s all about plant choice — right plant for right space — and giving plants room to grow without crowding. It’s also about the plant types you select. Plants that need const …

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Angie’s List: Rules for writing — and reacting to — online reviews

As online reviews become an increasingly common tool to help consumers make everyday decisions, from where to eat to which roofer to hire, it’s important to keep a few basic guidelines in mind. I’ve been in the consumer-review business for almost 20 years. Here are my top three rules for consumers to consider before sharing a business or service provider experience with the world: • Be honest. You have the right to w …

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Carol Barany: Choose grasses to match your space, soil needs

As it turns out, she was right. I was skeptical in 2008 when one of the best American garden writers, Tracy DiSabato-Aust, included several ornamental grasses in her favorite “Fifty High Impact, Low-Care Garden Plants.” Back then, I vowed that I would never welcome ornamental grasses into my garden again. Years earlier, I planted lyme grass (Leymus arenarius) and gardener’s garters (Phalaris arundinacea ‘Picta’), two …

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Master Gardeners: Plant herbs for colorful, flavorful garden addition

As we progress toward the last few weeks of summer and our thoughts turn to preserving our harvest, it follows that we want to add flavor, spice and seasonings to our produce. If you would like to grow your own herbs to enjoy fresh and/or dried, here are some basics regarding how to proceed and have a successful outcome. According to a national gardening survey, more than 14 million households in the United States gro …

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In the Garden: Sow a September salad

It’s the peak of the vegetable harvest in Yakima and our dinner plates are piled with luscious heaps of beans, corn, summer squash and tomatoes. But it’s far from over. While the days are shorter and nights are cooler, there still is great gardening ahead. In fact, fall is the best time for growing salad greens. Why not take a break from making pesto and preserves and sow some gorgeous greens to enjoy long after the …

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Use landscaping to deter intruders

Done right, landscaping can do much more than attract compliments and boost your property value. It can help you repel intruders, both human and natural. Landscaping experts who have earned … More →