WSU Extension Q&A: What to do with bedraggled petunias

August 1, 2013 

Q. I have a number of trailing petunias in pots. They looked good until the hot weather arrived, but now they look bedraggled and are not full of flowers. Did I do something wrong?

A. No. Vigorous vining petunias can become leggy and produce fewer flowers by mid-summer. You can rejuvenate them by cutting them back about half their length. Give them some fertilizer and be sure to water.

Q. Can I use Round-up on the weeds around my vegetable garden? Will it harm the vegetables?

A. Roundup, or glyphosate, is a broad spectrum herbicide. It will harm or kill any plant foliage that it comes into contact with.

Q. I have been reading about teff hay and was wondering how does its quality compare with other hay crops?

A. Teff makes excellent horse feed. Teff hay also can be used for beef cattle. In Oregon and Washington variety trials, teff hay had a Relative Feed Quality (RFQ) ranging from 78 to 108. On average, quality equaled that of full-bloom alfalfa. In other research from Oregon, with varying irrigation and nitrogen rates, teff’s RFQ ranged from 86 to 169. Therefore, teff is not a replacement for dairy-quality hay, which typically has an RFQ of 180 or above, but makes an easy feed for horse owners since it is not as rich as alfalfa.

Q. I’m working with a 4-H summer youth program with a wide age range of children. Any suggestions as to how I can make meetings/activities interesting to all ages?

A. First of all, learn about the developmental stage of the younger children. For example: on average, third-graders have an attention span of about 30 minutes broken into two 15 minute segments. But you still can expect them to be fidgety.

They enjoy puns and jokes, like to be admired for accomplishments, and need to be reminded of safety since they love to be challenged and will try almost anything. As you modify things for the younger ones, do so for the older ones. Have them try a teaching role or mentor role that will challenge them as well as assist you.

If you would like more information about this topic, email Natalie Kinion,

w Questions should be called in to the WSU Extension offices in Kennewick at 735-3551 or Pasco at 545-3511.

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