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Stories tagged: Pat Munts


Pumpkins, ripe early, need special care

This week’s column is a collection of observations and random trivia collected from my circle of gardening buddies. • Are your pumpkins turning orange already? You aren’t alone. Our record-breaking …


Short bluegrass cuts down on mowing

Jacklin Seed of Post Falls has just released a new variety of bluegrass turf called My Holiday Lawn that matures at a much shorter height than conventional bluegrass and therefore …


Lush landscape blooms like jewel box of colors

Sitting in Jim Berger’s cool backyard in northwest Spokane on a recent hot afternoon was a little bit of heaven. Everywhere you looked, a jewel box of color was thriving …


Gardening: Late summer brings plenty of chores

Oh the joys of the late summer garden. The sunflowers are in their full glory, the Russian sage and salvias are providing the bees with pollen and nectar. The roses …


Tomato plants will need help beating the upcoming heat

Our vegetable gardens are happy to see the cooler weather of the last week or so. Hot weather higher than 85 to 90 degrees delays fruit set and puts a …


Euphorbia has irritating drawback

A few plants in our gardens come with “gifts” that can cause irritation to skin and worse in eyes, nose and mouth. Recently a reader contacted me after she had …


Gardening: Step by step, she’s meshed garden and home

When Helen Hansen first looked at her current house on Spokane’s South Hill, it was dark with few windows but did have a nice garden. She bid on it, but …


Steps to keep lawn alive in heat

Last week I talked about a bunch of pesky lawn insects that survived the winter. This week I am going to talk about caring for your lawn in our record …


Pat Munts: Certain larvae infest summer lawns

Have brown patches in your lawn? You may be a victim of a lawn insect infestation helped along by the mild winter. Adult crane flies resemble large mosquitoes and generally …


Pat Munts: Grafted vegetables full of possibilities

Reading seed catalogs can be dangerous. Like most gardeners, I easily fall prey to a few of their enticing offerings each year. This year, however, I fell hard for a …


Gardening: Beneficial bugs and right plants part of pest management

The garden season is in full swing and that means one thing: The bugs, weeds and plant diseases will be out in force. Fortunately, the era of reaching for the …


Gardening: Don’t let the heat fool you; hold off on planting

Hang on a minute folks. By the way the tomato plants were flying out of the WSU Spokane County Master Gardener Garden Fair last Saturday you’d think the vegetable gardening …


Gardening: Conifers an example of warm weather’s lasting damage to plants

In some ways it was nice to have a mild winter. The ground thawed out early and some of us got a jump on the gardening season. However this doesn’t …


Pat Munts: Asparagus grows well in weed-free site

Growing your own asparagus takes some patience, space and time. Asparagus plants are grown from year-old roots called crowns that are readily available at garden centers this time of the …


Pat Munts: Growing strawberries easy with preparation

It is heartening to see bins of fresh strawberry plants in the nurseries right now. This means by mid-June, gardeners should be eating fresh, sweet-tart berries. My favorite method is …


Better gardening can start in the classroom

There are a number of gardening classes and events coming up in the area between now and mid-May. First, the Washington State University Spokane County Master Gardeners are wrapping up …


Old rules don’t apply to gardening season this warm

Hold your shovels folks: At least one piece of local folklore is out the window this year. The general rule has always been that you shouldn’t plant warm season crops …


Long-lasting, easy-to-care-for witch hazel has many at-home uses

Almost every household I know of has a bottle of witch hazel tucked in a cupboard somewhere. This herbal remedy is commonly used as a natural skin cleanser and toner …


Time’s right to prune fruit trees

Mother Nature is playing games with us right now. First, unseasonable warm weather began to make gardeners think it was time to start spring chores. Then, last weekend a reminder …


Two trees come home from garden show trip

Last week was my annual sojourn to Seattle and the Northwest Flower and Garden Show. As always, it was wonderful to be in a place that was warmer than Spokane …


Plan rows, scan seed catalogs until dirt ready

These past few weeks of relatively warm weather have many gardeners champing at the bit to get in the garden. Robins have been spotted in several places around Spokane – …


Local plant-lovers have gardening covered

Pat Munts’ earliest gardening memories involve her grandmother. “I remember standing in my grandmother’s garden surrounded by tomato plants taller than me,” she said.


Odiferous, mysterious lily blooms in basement

Botanical mysteries are the norm during the growing season. But in the dead of winter, they can go a long way to liven up the dreary days. In this case, …


Gardening: Tomato varieties take on uncertainties of region’s growing season

As we muddle through the coldest and darkest part of the winter and wait for the warmth and green of spring, now is a good time to read up on …


Pat Munts: Software tool helps plan garden

I have received several of my favorite garden catalogs in the mail already, and the pages are quickly becoming dog-eared as I find things I want to try. There are …


Tradition of Christmas tree has roots in solstice rituals

As a kid, we always knew when it was getting close to Christmas. Boxcars filled with fresh-cut Christmas trees would start backing up on the rail line out of town. …


Texas landscape sharp contrast to Northwest

I was born on the West Side of the state and grew up playing in the forests and on Puget Sound around Shelton. We found our way to the dry …


Pat Munts: House plants can thrive despite low winter light

At this point on the calendar, we are close to the winter solstice when the region will have less than nine hours of sunlight a day for close to a …


Let urban turkeys know who’s boss

Today is Thanksgiving Day, so I hope everyone is getting ready for a good meal and time with family and friends. For me Thanksgiving doesn’t seem to have the same …


Tender plants, grafted roses need blanket of mulch now

As I was pulling the frozen tomato vines out of the garden last weekend, I discovered one of the prettiest end-of-the-garden treats: translucent, gemlike green and red balls that should …