Marianne Ophardt

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.

Marianne Ophardt

Garden Tips: Master Gardener program enjoys success year after year

Supposedly Albert Einstein said that the definition of insanity is doing something over and over again but expecting a different result. I wonder if there is a word for doing something over and over again and expecting the same result? For me, the words are repeated success. This January will be my 37th year training volunteers who want to become Washington State University Extension Master Gardeners.

Marianne Ophardt

Garden Tips: Good offense is best defense against tree borers

Now that we have almost closed the book on 2015, let us reflect a bit on the extraordinary weather of this past year. It is no surprise that summer 2015 was the hottest on record in the region, with a total annual precipitation of 3.72 inches. That is not much considering that 9.16 inches of moisture were lost through evapotranspiration during August. Plus, some areas experienced limited irrigation water.

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Koalas return to the Kansas City Zoo for the summer, fall

The Kansas City Zoo will be home for two koalas that are on loan from the San Diego Zoo. The koalas, Coedie and Burra, will be at the zoo through November.
Robert Cronkleton and Allison Long The Kansas City Star
Koalas return to the Kansas City Zoo for the summer, fall 01:41

Koalas return to the Kansas City Zoo for the summer, fall

Earth Day Cleanup by kayak at Casey Pond in Burbank 01:06

Earth Day Cleanup by kayak at Casey Pond in Burbank

Yakama National Tribal School students visit PNNL 01:39

Yakama National Tribal School students visit PNNL

Bellingham man made legendary 2007 Super Bowl guitar for Prince 01:06

Bellingham man made legendary 2007 Super Bowl guitar for Prince