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Tuesday, October 27, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Vegetable garden is priceless amid the pandemic

The other day, I had this rather tasty meal: a baked zucchini sliced lengthwise, with each half filled with a saucy mixture of sausage, tomatoes, onion and garlic. The plate included steaming boiled potatoes.

In the Garden: Even a small spot can yield big and tasty results

I’ve set aside a 3-by-8-foot raised bed in my garden to illustrate how this is possible. Yes, just 24 square feet will produce a bounty of flavorful vegetables. I have chosen three easy crops to grow – tomatoes, zucchini and bush beans.

Prison gardens provide food for inmates’ tables, spirits

It’s been almost 10 years since Dan Stockwell sat in Kitsap County Jail, waiting to be sentenced to life without parole on charges of child molestation. Now, he’s a gardener at Airway Heights Corrections Center, harvesting vegetables and drawing up landscape plans for a garden just a few yards from his cell.

Grow your garden with grafted veggies

How would you like to be on the cutting edge in your garden this year? You will get your chance by going to the WSU/Spokane County Master Gardener Plant Sale and Garden Fair on Saturday, where they will be selling organic grafted tomato plants for the first time. So what’s the big deal about grafted veggies?

In the Garden: Why your hopes were squashed

Last year, I received quite a few emails from readers wondering why their summer squash plants weren’t producing. Some plants started to develop a squash only to have it shrivel up and fall off. Others looked great and bloomed profusely, but never produced anything. That’s frustrating and annoying for any gardener, to be sure. One of the most common causes of this problem is a lack of pollination. Perhaps there weren’t many pollinators present in their gardens when daytime temperatures were cool early in the season. This problem usually resolves once the weather warms up.

In the Garden: It’s a cool time to grow potatoes again

Potatoes are one of the most enjoyable cool-season crops to grow. Not only are the plants attractive but it’s also great fun to dig for buried treasure in the fall. For years, I thought potato-growing was a snap. Unfortunately, I had a rude awakening three years ago while growing Yukon Golds and Rose Finn Apple fingerlings.

In the Garden: Start with crops that like to stay cool

It’s almost time to start planting cool-season crops. These veggies can be planted in early spring as soon as the soil is dry enough to be worked with. How do you know when that is? Grab a handful of soil and squeeze it, then poke your finger into it. If it looks like a mud pie or falls apart in damp clumps, it’s too wet. But if it crumbles apart, soil conditions are perfect.

New garden publication, gadgets, LED lighting available

Just like the garden, my inbox is in need of a good spring cleaning this week. So here are some of the choicer pieces that gardened up. The first is a new WSU Extension publication for vegetable gardeners, Home Vegetable Gardening in Washington. This is not just a how-to garden publication, though. This has everything from picking the best site for your garden to where to go for information on preserving and storing your harvest.

In the Garden: So many veggies, so little time

When it comes to choosing veggie seeds to grow in my garden, I have a terrible time narrowing it down to a select few. After all, the photographs in the seed catalogs make each one look so appealing. Once again, there are plenty of new and cool vegetables to try. Ever grown celery? I haven’t but the Tango variety listed in the Seeds of Change catalog (www.seedsofchange.com) was specifically developed for growing in northern climates. Tango is an early variety, requiring 80 days to reach maturity.

Growing beans over an arbor pays big dividends

It’s time for an update on how my vegetable garden is doing. The plants didn’t get off to the best of starts because of cool temperatures in May and June but since the warm weather hit, they have been making up for lost time.

Savvy gardeners holding steady on tomato plants

When it comes to growing veggies, the tomato has to be everyone’s favorite. And why not? The taste of a homegrown, sun-ripened tomato can’t be beat. Right now, I have 20 robust tomato plants in my greenhouse that are eager to be planted in the garden. Much as I’d like to grant their wish, that just about guarantees a late frost. I didn’t go to all the trouble of raising them, only to have them wiped out after one cold night.

Get ready to plant squash, pumpkins

It’s just about time to start planting warm-season crops in the vegetable garden. This includes beans, corn, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and summer and winter squash. In this region, our average last day of frost is May 15. I plant beans and corn in the garden at that time and then wait another week or two before planting the rest of the warm-season crops, depending on the weather.

Time to try new varieties of veggies

‘Variety is the spice of life.” That old adage is certainly applicable to my vegetable garden where I enjoy trying new varieties. Over the years, I’ve tested new offerings against the tried-and-true vegetables. The results haven’t always been successful, but it helps me find varieties that are best suited for growing in the Inland Northwest.

Time to reflect on the gardening season

I just love the fall. It’s such a beautiful time of year and our weather has been delightful. But the downside of fall is that the gardening season is coming to a close. This means it’s time for clean-up and an assessment of how our gardens performed this year.

Gardeners have been growing as a couple for nearly a decade

It’s fun interviewing a couple of avid gardeners when they happen to be married to each other. Especially when both have very definite ideas about what should be planted in the garden and each has very distinct areas of the landscape that they call theirs. This is the case with Nancy and Patric Sazama. She is co-owner of Vino! A Wine Shop and he is the regional project director for Impact Washington.

Odd weather has left us with winners, losers

How is your vegetable garden coming along? It’s safe to say the biggest challenge Inland Northwest gardeners have faced this season has been the weather. One of my crop failures has been the eggplants. They still look about the same as when I planted them at the end of May.

Ripening days in garden numbered

OK, its time for Plan B for vegetable gardeners. We have about six weeks to get stuff ripe before our traditional first frost date. How do we salvage the rest of the growing season? Cool season crops like peas, lettuce, beets and carrots are doing very well this year. Even peas that are normally gone by now are going strong. People are reporting monster-sized potato plants and bumper crops of spinach.

Ripening days in garden numbered

OK, its time for Plan B for vegetable gardeners. We have about six weeks to get stuff ripe before our traditional first frost date. How do we salvage the rest of the growing season? Cool season crops like peas, lettuce, beets and carrots are doing very well this year. Even peas that are normally gone by now are going strong. People are reporting monster-sized potato plants and bumper crops of spinach.

Store garden’s bounty for taste of summer

Vegetable gardeners got lucky this fall. In spite of downright cold weather through most of the summer, we got just enough Indian summer to ripen up most of the garden stuff. When it did freeze, the frosts came with enough warning to get most of the produce out of the cold. Now what do you do with it?

Store garden’s bounty for taste of summer

Vegetable gardeners got lucky this fall. In spite of downright cold weather through most of the summer, we got just enough Indian summer to ripen up most of the garden stuff. When it did freeze, the frosts came with enough warning to get most of the produce out of the cold. Now what do you do with it?