Q. How do I become a 4-H volunteer?
A. There are many ways to volunteer with the 4-H program. There are three levels of volunteers, all of whom must complete a Volunteer Leader Application, available on the Benton-Franklin County 4-H website or by visiting the Pasco Extension office. From there, depending on the leader position you are most interested in, we can direct you to the training series we offer four times a year. If you are interested in volunteering, call the Franklin County Extension office in Pasco at 509-545-3511 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q. What is the best time of year to cut back the tops of ornamental grasses?
A. Ornamental grasses are usually cut back in late winter, before new growth begins. Leaving the tops on during the winter provides interest in the winter landscape. However, it is important to cut them back in late winter, before new growth begins.
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Q. Do squash bugs survive over winter? Is there anything I can do this fall to prevent having them next year?
A. Squash bugs overwinter as adults in garden debris or in other protected areas. In the fall, remove all cucurbit plants and other debris in and near the garden to discourage adult squash bug survival. The following season, plant cultivars, which are less susceptible to squash bug feeding damage. If you must plant susceptible cultivars, start them early, so that plants can be larger and healthier as they become infested with squash bugs.
Q. How important is it to tarp your hay?
A. In this down market, if you do not have good-quality hay, you may have a hard time selling it. Losses can occur from rain, snow and sun damage. Don’t forget to stack hay in a place where rain will not run onto it. With the record rainfall we have had, additional losses could occur if hay is not protected. If you feed your own hay, the quality losses will affect your feed. Increasing from 20 percent to 25 percent harvest moisture to a range of 25 percent to 34 percent increases dry matter loss from 6 percent to 11 percent over six months of storage.
To submit a question, call 509-735-3551.