Q. I have something that looks like clover in my lawn and in my landscape beds. It has small yellow flowers and reddish clover-like leaves. I have applied a lawn weed killer to my grass, but it does not kill it. What is this weed and how can I control it?
A. It is hard to identify a weed from a description, but it sounds like you have oxalis, or creeping woodsorrel, in your lawn. It is not killed with the typical lawn herbicides containing 2,4 D, MCPP and dicamba. Look for a lawn herbicide containing triclopyr, and it should provide better control.
Q. I bought a plum tree that was wrapped in burlap. Should I remove the burlap before planting?
A. Yes, remove the burlap once the tree is in the hole. The hole you dig should be twice as wide as the root ball, and backfilled with dirt and compost.
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Q. I am making some salsa for canning, and I usually use the recipe in the Ball canning book. However, this time I would like it spicier. Can I add more hot peppers to the recipe?
A. The first safety check with salsa is that you have a recipe designed for canning. The recipes in the Ball book are tested and approved for canning, so you have a safe recipe. To make the recipe hotter, do not add extra peppers. Instead, trade out some of the milder peppers for hot ones. For example, if it calls for 2 cups of long green chilies, you can adjust to 1 cup of long green chilies and 1 cup of hot peppers. Never increase the amount of peppers, because the recipe has been formulated for a controlled level of acidity. Extra ingredients will throw it out of balance. For spices, it is acceptable to add dry spices, but not fresh. Be aware, some spices become bitter with the heat treatment of canning, and it might be more favorable to add them once the jar is opened for eating.
Q. Why does grass-fed beef have yellow-colored fat rather than the white fat we are accustomed to seeing in the beef case at the grocery store?
A. Fat from cattle that are finished on grass or a predominately forage diet is yellow because of carotenoid pigments found in forages. One in particular is beta carotene, which is a precursor to Vitamin A. Excess beta carotene is stored in the fat and imparts the characteristic yellow color. The yellow fat is a reflection of the animal’s diet and is wholesome from a consumer standpoint.
To submit a question for this column, please call the WSU Extension office in Kennewick at 509-735-3551.