Home & Garden

Home and garden briefs: Boardman garden club looks for good yards

BOARDMAN, Ore., -- Does your front yard have "curb appeal"?

Boardman Gardening Friends, a garden club, will be out this spring and summer looking for outstanding front yards. If chosen "Yard of the Month" the owners will have a sign to display and a photo of the yard will be published in the North Morrow Times.

Anyone living in the Boardman community -- generally described as the area south of the Columbia River, west of Bombing Range Road, east of Tower Road, and below Kunze Road -- are eligible.

"Homeowners don't really have to do anything to be recognized, just make their front yard attractive with colorful flowers, interesting trees and yard art," wrote Carol Michael in an e-mail.

There's no money award, just recognition from the Gardening Friends and the community for your hard work.

Boardman Gardening Friends meets the second Monday of the month. For meeting information, call Margie Park, 541-481-2570.

Gardening magazine has guide on edibles

Putting in a vegetable garden, even if its just a container or two?

Need some help choosing and caring for your plants and ideas on how to use them?

The editors of Fine Gardening magazine can help.

Taunton Press -- publishers of Fine Gardening, Fine Cooking and Kitchen Gardener -- has selected articles from all three magazines and combined them into one, "Grow: Your Guide to Incredible Edibles."

This useful guide includes information on starting seeds, fertilizing, organic gardening techniques, insect and disease troubleshooting tips and recipes.

Cost is $8 each for volume one and two. Look for them where magazines are sold. Or buy directly from the publisher at www.finegardening.com.

Make chore of laundry easier on yourself

Whether you find doing laundry relaxing or were born to live with an overflowing laundry basket, the reality is that it's the chore that won't go away.

The Web site of the Soap and Detergent Association (www.cleaning101.com) has basic tips -- and some new tricks -- for washing your clothes.

-- Sorting laundry is very important, and this doesn't mean just separating the lights and the darks. Fuzzy sweat shirts, chenille or flannel robes and new towels might share their lint with whatever else is in the washing machine. Wash them in a separate load, and always keep them away from corduroys or permanent press garments that especially attract lint.

-- If you have a stain on a piece of clothing, check it after you've laundered it to see if it has gone away. If not, pre-treat it again and wash it for a second time. Drying could permanently set the stain.

-- Do not mix liquid and powder washing detergent products in the same dispenser compartments. This can cause "caking" which won't get your clothes very clean.

-- If you have bought a High Efficiency (HE) washer, make sure you use only special HE detergent, which is available in most supermarkets. HE detergents are specially formulated to be low-sudsing and to achieve maximum energy and water savings. Be wary of any detergent bottle or box that is labeled "HE Compatible" as most of these actually are just regular sudsing detergents.