Hello, it's 07:26AM April 1, 2015

LatestHomeAndGarden



Tobacco budworm been eating at your geranium buds?

Over the last couple of weeks we’ve had reports of unwanted visitors in greenhouses. These are the tobacco budworm (Helicoverpa virescens), also known as geranium budworm or petunia budworm. Tobacco budworm attacks geraniums as well as petunias, nicotiana and, occasionally, roses. The damaged buds fail to open and a failure of flowering (“loss of color”) is often the first injury observed. Petals of emerged flowers ar …

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Carol Barany: Whenever you opt to prune roses this year, here’s how

Old wisdom advises that it’s time to prune the roses when the forsythia blooms. This year, the neighborhood forsythias bloomed weeks early. My roses, paying no attention to the date on the calendar, fearlessly leafed out in a show of solidarity. I know many gardeners are concerned with the potential for late frost damage, which would make a second pruning necessary, so they’re sitting on their pruners for now. I thre …

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Basic buying tips for the garden staple that brings a whiff of spring

Nothing signals the return of spring like a smelly pile of mulch. Aside from its questionable stench, mulch plays an essential role in landscaping, from boosting curb appeal to retaining moisture and suffocating weeds. But before you hire a landscaper or get out the wheelbarrow, you’ll first need to decide how much mulch you need. ■ Bulk and bagged mulch: Landscapers and garden centers sell mulch in bulk or by the ba …

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WSU Extension Master Gardeners: Plant now and you, too, will have asparagus next year

So you decided to plant asparagus last year, and this year — you have asparagus! Asparagus is a long-lived perennial vegetable. If you planted healthy, disease-free crowns (root systems of 1-year-old plants grown from seed), each crown should produce a half pound of spears per year for 15 years or more if cared for properly. Gardeners in zones 4 to 6 have a wider selection of varieties. If you are planting asparagus …

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efficient solutions for bathroom storage

Six in the morning on a Monday — your alarm goes off. After rolling over and pressing snooze more times than you’d like to admit, you spring out of bed and run to your messy bathroom, knowing you have less than 20 minutes to get ready. You spend the first five minutes searching for the hairbrush. Frustrated and behind schedule, you realize you can no longer wait to find a storage solution for the clutter. Professional …

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In the Garden: Smitten with sweet peas

My grandmother grew pink sweet peas to cover tattered tar paper siding on a shed in her tiny garden on the east side of Buffalo. I remember my sister and me picking the flowers and seed pods for potions and perfumes we concocted for our dolls. Since both of those plant parts are poisonous, we must have been warned not to eat them. Sweet peas have a reputation for being sulky in Yakima, more inclined to summers fille …

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Blame those house pops, creaks on dry air

AKRON, Ohio — Chances are things in your house have been going pop in the night. Or creak. Or groan. What’s going on? Nothing sinister, assures Elwin Robison, a professor in Kent State University’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design. When the temperature plummets outside, so does the relative humidity in our homes as we crank up the heat. That dryness causes the wood parts of a home’s structure to shrink …

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WSU Extension Master Gardeners: The dirt on soil

With the gardening season approaching, it would seem appropriate to discuss the structure, texture and the pH (acidity, alkalinity or pH neutral) of the soils in your garden or raised bed, as these greatly affect the growth, health and productivity of your plants. Did you know your soil has “pores”? A productive soil is permeable to water and is able to supply water to plants. Your soil’s permeability (how well water …

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Gardening Tips



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Floral recycling makes the most of blooms

West Palm Beach, Fla. — This charity recycles happiness. Petals With Purpose takes flower arrangements from wedding, anniversary and bar and bat mitzvah celebrations and delivers them to people who are sick, alone or troubled. “We go to the places most in need of joy, maybe some that are off the radar and not getting much attention,” said Brittany Agro, the nonprofit organization’s founder. Agro’s frustration with try …

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Pink bathsrooms: Hot or not?

When Stacey Lopis’ friends see the bathroom in her 1960-vintage Hawthorne ranch, they all say the same thing: “You have to get rid of the pink tile.” Pink bathrooms. They were built by the millions in 1950s and 1960s ranches, Capes and split-levels, but they get no love from today’s homebuyers — even the young buyers who are drawn to other midcentury styles in architecture and design. “As much as the midcentury modern …

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In the garden: Grow a tower of potatoes in little space

Americans have rediscovered fresh, locally grown food, they love it, and, increasingly, they want to grow it themselves. Last year, 35 percent of all American households, 42 million of them, grew food at home or in a community garden. That’s more vegetable gardens than we’ve seen in a decade, according to “Garden to Table: A 5-Year Look at Food Gardening in America,” a special report of the National Gardening Associat …

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WSU Extension: Rev up for new gardening season at workshop series

Save the dates — the annual Master Gardener Spring Workshop series is scheduled from 7 to 9 p.m. each Wednesday in March. All presentations will be held at Pacific Northwest University’s Butler-Haney Hall, 200 University Parkway, Yakima. The cost of the seminars is $10 each or $30 for the complete series. You can attend any or all of these presentations. Check-in is at 6:30 p.m. and seminars start promptly at 7 p.m. …

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In the Garden: Proper pruning pays off with indoor bouquets

The ease of bringing flowers into the house for bouquets is what drew me to gardening in the first place. I discovered the beauty of foliage and grasses along the way, but I still crave home-grown flowers, especially in these gloomy days of late winter. Wish you could speed up spring’s arrival? Now’s the perfect time to gather branches from an array of trees and shrubs for early forcing to bloom indoors. The flower bu …

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Home life gets easier with high-tech devices

From compact appliances to touchless toilets, today’s home devices are designed for streamlined operations. And with homeowners spending more time than ever on their smartphones, designers are responding with apps … More →