Plants endure rough weather

By Marianne C. Ophardt, Special to the Tri-City HeraldNovember 9, 2012 

PASCO, Wash. -- Many of you know I am an ardent fan of Wave petunias.

Another company with Cool Wave pansies is PanAmerican Seed, the same folks that brought us the Wave petunias. This new line of spreading pansies is the first nonpetunia that PanAmerican Seed has judged worthy of their "Wave" brand.

Cool Wave pansies are vigorous spreading pansies that grow to a height of six to eight inches and trail from 24 to 30 inches. The tough, well-branched plants are covered with bright 1.5- to 2-inch flowers and stand up well to rain and rough weather. To keep the plants growing and blooming, they should be fertilized at planting time and regularly through the season.

While many gardeners probably will use Cool Wave pansies in containers as cool-season spring or fall annuals, they're rated as Zone 5 plants and are hardy enough to overwinter and return the following spring.

The current Cool Wave colors include Yellow (bright golden yellow), White, Frost (white tinged with blue), and Violet Wing (violet and white). Lemon (light yellow) also is available in Cool Wave mixes. These pansies will make great companions for spring flowering bulbs or with flowering kale and mums in fall planters.

Look for Cool Wave plants at your local nurseries. Seed for Cool Wave pansies are available from Park Seed Company at parkseed.com.

Wear appropriate shoes

An email that recently caught my attention was about garden clogs. Several months ago I related how important it is to wear garden gloves when working out in the landscape. A gardening friend related that the same goes for wearing the appropriate shoes to keep your feet safe.

While many gardeners favor simple garden clogs, some with holes that allow for air movement, a sturdier type of garden shoe or clog can provide better protection, especially from foot endangering gardening chores like digging, hoeing, mowing or weeding.

Gardengrips are clogs designed for men and women to protect their feet in the garden. Made by Lawngrips, they have full grain leather uppers with a rubber overtoe to resist water. Their "patented Grip-N-Go outsole provides traction on wet grass" and they have "a tough butyl rubber sole that holds up to shovel work."

Because garden clogs aren't generally considered stylish, female gardeners might prefer a slightly more attractive clog.

Lawngrips also makes an ultra-light weight gardening clog called the Nimbus and comes pink, purple, or orange. The Nimbus has many of the same features of the Gardengrips and they have a removable, washable and anti-microbial insole. These "provide support and comfort for all-day gardening."

So if you're in the market for a top quality garden clog that protects your feet and keeps them dry when it's wet out, check out Gardengrips available from lawngrips.com and other sellers. Protect those toes!

* Marianne C. Ophardt is a horticulturist for Washington State University Benton County Extension.

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