Home & Garden

Jan. 16, 2010: WSU extension Q&A

Q. Is this a good time to prune my fruit trees?

A. Yes, the dormant season is a good time to prune fruit trees and landscape trees. Without the leaves on the tree you can see the framework of the tree better. However, you might want to wait until February or early March when the weather is nicer and the chance of damage from severely cold temperatures is past.

Q. I left my baked potatoes in the oven overnight. I was planning to make hash browns with them the next morning. My friend told me they weren't safe to use, is that true?

A. Cooked vegetables, including potatoes are considered potentially hazardous foods and therefore need to be kept refrigerated to be safe. When left at room temperature over two hours, all cooked vegetables could cause food borne illness. Reheating or cooking foods that have been mishandled can't make the foods free from illness causing bacteria.

Q. How can I stop my flannel sheets from shedding?

A. Flannel is a napped fabric. This means, when it is manufactured, large brushes are run over the surface to create the "fuzz." This fuzz is what feels so good and keeps us warm. It also is the fuzz that sheds when we wash the sheets. There isn't anything you can do to stop the shedding. The shedding is worse when the sheets are new. When washing the sheets, use plenty of water and do not overload the washer or dryer.

Q. I am an amateur winemaker and want to know more about growing grapes and making wine. Are there any good local resources?

A. Community colleges will offer courses. There also is an online certificate program offered through Washington State University, which may fit your schedule better if you have a day job. Find more information on the certificate program at wine.wsu.edu.

-- Questions should be called in to the WSU Extension offices in Kennewick at 509-735-3551 or Pasco at 509-545-3511.