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Monday, October 19, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Staff > Features > Susan Mulvihill > Stories
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Most Recent Stories

June 7, 2020, 1 a.m.
My husband, Bill, and I really enjoy watching the British gardening program “Gardeners World.” In the U.K., it airs every Friday night during primetime, and the broadcasts are an hour long for most of the garden season.

May 30, 2020, 7:28 a.m.
I know I’m not the only one who has been stunned by the way the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our daily lives. The past three months have been surreal. In addition to disrupting so many of our routines, it has affected gardeners.

May 23, 2020, 11 p.m.
Our pollinator garden’s first growing season was a journey of discovery as we watched the plants grow and bloom while observing the variety of insects that visited them. While we didn’t see any monarchs, plenty of other butterflies stopped by.

May 16, 2020, 2 p.m.
Culinary herbs are the easiest edible plants you can grow. With no known insect or disease problems, they are a breeze to grow. Herbs add such a flavorful dimension to all kinds of dishes. If you plant them right outside your door, they’ll become an integral part of your cooking.

May 9, 2020, 6 p.m.
You don’t need a garden plot to grow fresh produce. Planting vegetables and herbs in containers is an excellent alternative to conventional gardens. By finding the sunniest location available, you will be successful.

May 2, 2020, 2 p.m.
I think it’s safe to say the tomato is everyone’s favorite veggie to grow. Try as they might, grocery stores just can’t offer us fully ripened, flavorful tomatoes. As a result, we gardeners crave them through the fall and winter months and put them at the top of our planting list.

April 25, 2020, 10 a.m.
With the month of May just around the corner, it’s time to think about growing warm season crops in the garden. In the Inland Northwest, it’s usually safe to plant them after May 15, although one should always keep a close eye on the weather forecasts.

April 18, 2020, 1 p.m.
It seems like no matter which savory dish I make, onions always play a prominent role. They are easy to grow, so let’s take a look at how to have the best results with them.

April 11, 2020, 2 p.m.
Flowers are one of the most delightful aspects of a garden. The sheer variety of blossom colors, plant heights and leaf shapes is mindboggling. Some have pleasant fragrances, which adds another dimension to the experience. It’s fascinating to watch butterflies and other insects that visit them, as well.

April 4, 2020, 11 a.m.
Some of my favorite cool-season crops are beets, spinach and Swiss chard. They all belong to the same plant family (Amaranthaceae), so they have the same cultural needs and potential insect problems.

March 28, 2020, 1 p.m.
Who would have thought that having trees cut down would allow us to meet more neighbors and promote the concept of growing a garden?

March 21, 2020, 1:50 p.m.
Cabbage family crops are some of the tastiest veggies a gardener can grow. The most frustrating thing about growing members of the cabbage plant family is that they tend to be bug magnets.

March 14, 2020, 2 p.m.
If you love eating artichokes, you’ll be happy to hear that growing them in Inland Northwest gardens is doable. It just requires fooling them a bit.

March 8, 2020, 6 a.m.
Seed-starting is the most important skill a gardener should have. While it might be easier to purchase seedlings at garden centers, growing your own plants from seed has benefits. For one thing, you can grow unusual varieties that aren’t available elsewhere. It’s also more economical to grow a bunch of plants for the price of a packet of seeds.

Feb. 29, 2020, 2 p.m.
I guess I’m going to have to swallow my pride today. In a 2018 column, I wrote about how my husband, Bill, has been trying to take over the vegetable garden. He particularly enjoys growing peppers and has slowly been expanding his allotted growing space whenever my back is turned. When polling my Facebook followers on gardening topics they would be interested in learning more about this year, you can imagine my surprise – and dismay – when I read this one:

Feb. 22, 2020, 10:21 p.m.
Gardening is a learning process. If things don’t go according to plan, we take notes, do a little research and remember that there’s always next year. Last year, many Inland Northwest gardeners were inundated with earwigs that caused a lot of damage. I had the same problem.

Feb. 1, 2020, 2 p.m.
Who enjoys doing fun DIY projects? And what if those projects involved gardening in the dead of winter? Today’s topic is winter sowing, and I’ll bet you will want to get started as soon as you’ve finished reading this. If you haven’t heard of winter sowing before, it seems like it’s all the rage these days. I’ve heard about it on podcasts, watched videos and read social media posts extolling the virtues of this unusual technique.

Jan. 4, 2020, 2 p.m.
Now that the holiday season is behind us, gardeners can focus their attention on planning this year’s garden. If you’re like me, you’ve had a steady stream of catalogs arriving in your mailbox. Now is the perfect time to find out what’s new while taking stock of what’s left of your seed collection from last year. The average shelf life for vegetable seeds is listed in the information box. It refers to the period of time when you can expect good germination (sprouting) rates. These are general guidelines since some seeds are viable for a lot longer than we give them credit.

Nov. 30, 2019, noon
Strolling through your yard looking for potential materials is half the fun. Greenery from conifers such as pines, firs, spruce, yews and junipers makes an excellent base for wreaths and swags.

Nov. 2, 2019, 3 p.m.
It’s a good thing the holidays are coming because they distract gardeners from missing their favorite outdoor activity. But if holiday preparations aren’t enough, there are plenty of ways to get your garden fix this time of year. Start by surrounding yourself with plants in Manito Park’s Gaiser Conservatory. It is filled with tropical and subtropical plants and seasonal displays. The conservatory is closed Wednesdays but open the rest of the week from 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Oct. 5, 2019, 2 p.m.
Is it just me or was this the fastest gardening season ever? The late burst of wintry conditions we experienced from February to April prevented us from getting an early start. But the fact is fall is here, and it’s time to wrap things up.

Sept. 28, 2019, 2 p.m.
When fall arrives, gardeners transition from outdoor gardening to indoor activities. Yet they miss the connection they had with living plants. Tending houseplants is the perfect cure to this problem and can be just as enjoyable.

Sept. 21, 2019, 2 p.m.
This summer, my husband, Bill, and I have been treated to some delightful interactions with the birds in our garden. We’ve enticed hummingbirds to sit on our fingers while they sipped from tiny feeders and watched baby quail blissfully napping in the shade of the daylily patch.

Sept. 14, 2019, 2 p.m.
Dahlias are one of the most prized late-summer bloomers. With their incredible array of colors and types, it’s every gardener’s dream to have a garden filled with these lovely flowers.

Sept. 7, 2019, 2 p.m.
For this year’s fall banquet, the Spokane County Master Gardeners is bringing in Joe Lamp’l, host and executive producer of the Emmy Award-winning PBS program “Growing a Greener World.”