Marianne Ophardt

Marianne Ophardt

Garden Tips: Water wall devices can protect plants from frost

Like gardeners elsewhere, local gardeners like to get a jump on the season by planting tomatoes before May 1, the average date of the last spring frost. However, because tomatoes are warm-season plants, early planting with frost protection does not necessarily lead to an earlier harvest. Tomatoes need warm soil and air temperatures to grow and prosper.

Marianne Ophardt

Garden Tips: Spring Garden Day planned April 23 in Kennewick

Last year, someone asked me how I handle the stresses of everyday life. One of my strategies after a particularly hard day is immediately going out in the garden when I get home. However, I have trouble simply sitting and relaxing there. I have to be doing something, like watering, deadheading flowers, scouting for insect pests or hoeing weeds, but I do occasionally pause to listen to chirping birds or watch the gentle honeybees visit the flowers.

Marianne Ophardt

Garden Tips: Pretty petunias provide color all summer long

When it comes to petunias, I am a sucker for a pretty face. However, while a pretty petunia may pique my interest, I need to know more before I can commit. I need to know if the petunia is heat tolerant and well behaved. Can it be counted on for continuous bloom through the season? Will it get leggy in late summer? Is it self-cleaning, not requiring the removal of spent flowers to keep it blooming?

Marianne Ophardt

Garden Tips: Manage Bermudagrass in home lawns

There are two main types of grassy weeds in home lawns: annual ones that come up from seed each year and perennial ones that persist from year to year, growing from roots and runners that survive the winter. Controlling grassy perennial weeds is a challenge. There are few, if any, chemicals available that will effectively kill the offending weed without harming desirable grasses.

Marianne Ophardt

Garden Tips: New veggies judged superior

From time to time, I have written about the All-America Selections. These are new flower and vegetable varieties that have been judged to be the best performing new varieties for gardeners. All-America Selections is an independent nonprofit organization with the mission of “promoting new garden varieties with superior performance judged in impartial trials in North America.”

Marianne Ophardt

Garden Tips: Consider planting unusual fruit

Fruit trees are a lot of work because of the pruning and spraying needed to keep them healthy and productive. The only reason to grow fruit trees in is because you want the tasty fruit of a variety you cannot get in a grocery store or at a local farmers market.

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