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021316hgWestLife

Sick of winter? Get a headstart on spring

By Erin McIntyre

A little bit of springtime is the most amazing gift in the doldrums of winter. I think of February and March as a type of gardener’s purgatory, where we’re trapped in anticipation of warmer times where we can dig in the dirt, ...


How can I improve our soil?

By Dennis Hill

We had a simple home soil test done that shows the pH is at 7.0 but phosphorus and potassium are high and nitrogen is low. What can I do to improve the quality of my soil for better plant growth and lawn? — Glenda The numbers you have ...


020616hgWestLife

Sharing is one of the best parts of gardening

By Erin McIntyre

One of my favorite things about gardening is sharing and the anticipation. For gardeners, planning the BEST GARDEN EVER in our minds when it is bitterly cold outside is a type of fantasy we share that lets us retreat into memories of warmer ...


Don’t let cold frame dip below 25 degrees

By Dennis Hill

If we use a cold frame, what is the lowest temp we could place our overwintering geraniums, lantana, etc. out? — Tom Lantana will generally be more cold hardy than geraniums, and within lantana, some varieties will be hardier than ...


It’s smart to go by the best-by date for seeds

By Erin McIntyre

Welcome back to our seed-
ordering survival tips. This week I want to talk about dealing with a consequence of over-ordering seeds, besides the obvious financial investment. I must confess, I’m guilty of this. I have this problem ...


If you want to keep the strawberry pot, bury it

By Dennis Hill

I have a terra cotta strawberry pot with some strawberry plants in it. Can I keep it in my shed over the winter? — Kelly The first thing I’d want to know is if you want to keep your strawberry pot for another year. If so, then ...


Considering varieties of tomatoes to grow

By Erin McIntyre

So, you’re shopping for seeds. Before you get too deep in this oohing and ahhing over the glossy photos in the seed catalogs, it might behoove you to consider something: Many catalogs will tell you which varieties are resistant to ...


Watering is key to a healthy Burr oak

By Dennis Hill

The seedling Burr oak we planted about seven years ago is now about 10–12 feet tall, but I’m not sure how best to continue caring for it. Water comes from the grass sprinkler system, and we have never run a hose to the tree. This ...


Lots to consider in ordering seeds

By Erin McIntyre

Welcome back to our seed- ordering survival tips. Last week, we talked about exercising some restraint and just taking time to enjoy those seed catalogs before committing financially to ordering. Today I want to address a question I get ...


Options for winterizing potted roses in the valley

By Dennis Hill

How do you winterize/care for potted roses? — Molly There are two issues in bringing a potted rose through the winter successfully: cold and water. Many roses can be a bit marginal for cold hardiness here to begin with, but ...


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