Q. I have hard water deposits on my canning jars and pressure canner lid. How can I remove those?
A. Vinegar will help to remove hard water deposits on the lid and jars. On your canner lid, you can dampen a paper towel with vinegar and wipe deposits off. If they are still resisting removal, soak the lid in a mix of vinegar and water. It’s a good idea to check vent ports and weight for any build up, and remove with vinegar. For deposits on canning jars, soak in vinegar water. To prevent this in the future, add vinegar to the canning water before processing to prevent hard water deposits.
Q. I have a white powdery substance on the leaves of all my vegetable plants, and my neighbor said I’m over-watering. What is causing this problem?
A. The white powdery substance is a mildew, most likely powdery mildew. Excessive moisture is not usually the case, but lack of sunlight and cooler temperatures are often at fault. Horticultural oils can reduce powdery mildew if you need an immediate fix, and in the future, research cultivars that are less susceptible to infection by powdery mildew.
Q. How big is agriculture in Washington, and what are the top six crops produced?
A. The top six crops in Washington in 2013 were: apples, which were valued at $2.2 billion; milk, valued at $1.2 billion; wheat, valued at $1 billion; potatoes, valued at $792 million; cattle and calves, valued at $706 million; and hay, valued at $675 million. That year, Washington had the highest value in any state in America for apples, sweet cherries, grapes, pears and hops. Agriculture in Washington employs approximately 160,000 people and contributes 13 percent of the state’s economy.
To submit a question for this column, please call the WSU Extension office in Kennewick at 509-735-3551.