Marianne Ophardt

Marianne Ophardt

Garden Tips: Repotting orchids is easier than you think

Today, you can go into almost any store that sells houseplants and find blooming orchids available at reasonable prices. Orchids are no longer exotic plants grown only in the tropics or by experts with greenhouses. You and I can grow them fairly easily in our homes, but the care does differ from that of other houseplants.

Marianne Ophardt

Garden Tips: Fall lawn care pays off next spring

Fall is the most important time of year for fertilizing your lawn. Applications of lawn fertilizer in early September and again in late October to early November are the two most important times of year to fertilize your lawn. Even though grass top growth slows during the cooler days of fall, grass plants continue to grow sideways by producing tillers that become new grass plants. By fertilizing in late fall, you promote the production of healthy tillers that will result in a denser turf next year.

Marianne Ophardt

Garden Tips: Watch for destructive Japanese beetles in Northwest

The Tri-City Herald’s Garden Tips columnist Marianne Ophardt is a horticulturist for the Washington State University Benton County Extension. Marianne Ophardt in her garden tips column talks about how Japanese beetles have been found in Oregon but hopefully not Washington state. The Japanese beetle “is probably the most devastating pest of urban landscape plants in the eastern United States.”

Marianne Ophardt

Garden Tips: Now is a good time to consider planting cover crops

Garden Tips columnist Marianne Ophardt is a horticulturist for Washington State University Benton County Extension. Marianne Ophardt in her garden tips column talks about cover crops, and that they are planted and then tilled back into the soil, primarily for the purpose of adding organic matter. Cover crops also reduce soil erosion from wind and water, and the the relief of soil compaction by crop roots.

Marianne Ophardt

Garden Tips: Why are the evergreens dying?

I noted earlier this year that our past three summers have been abnormally hot, with record-breaking heat. Even before I started getting calls about dying arborvitae, pines, cedars and other conifers, I predicted that stress caused by extreme heat and inadequate watering practices was going to lead to the decline of many area trees. We cannot do anything about the weather, but we can try to avoid the same problem in the future.

Marianne Ophardt

Garden Tips: What’s that beetle eating leaves on my plants?

We can consider ourselves lucky in this area because we have not had to deal with the voracious Japanese beetle. This leaf-feeding beetle is the scourge of gardeners in the eastern part of the U.S., where it chows down on hundreds of species of plants. This includes vegetable and fruit crops, flowers, trees and shrubs. The adult beetles skeletonize leaves by feeding on their upper surface and leaving only veins behind.

Marianne Ophardt

Garden Tips: Spring weather brings fire blight to area roses

In our region, it seems like abnormal weather has been the norm in recent years. This is so frustrating for gardeners like me and you. My tomatoes are just sitting in the garden and hardly growing. At the beginning of the month, it seemed like the weather was turning hot, so I removed the protective water-wall cylinders that were providing extra heat to the plants. A week later, the weather has turned cooler and unsettled.

Marianne Ophardt

Garden Tips: Praying mantids eat bad — and good — insects

Not long ago, a local gentleman called me because he had rescued several mantid egg cases that were laying in tires that were being hauled away. He had heard that mantids were beneficial and wanted to protect the egg cases until they hatched. I am not an entomologist, so my knowledge of mantids is not vast, but I have learned a little about them because they are frequently encountered in gardens.

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Lionsgate
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