Inland Northwest, High Desert

April, 2004
Regional Report

Buy an Extra Set of Measuring Spoons

You don't want to use the same measuring spoons and cups in the garage that you use in the kitchen. Hit the dollar store or wait for a sale and pick up a second set that never goes in the house. Mark them with an indelible marker.

Cover Up When Handling Chemicals

There are lots of good glove choices out there now. Some are coated with rubber to keep your hands away from chemicals. Still, it's a good idea to don a pair of latex (unless you're allergic to it) gloves first, then put your heavier garden gloves over them.

Plant Colanders of Pansies

Need more color? This time of year the weather is still "iffy" and you don't want to plant tender annuals or perennials yet. Pansies last a surprisingly long time, yet I hate to dig them out and replace them with something else later. Instead, I've put pansies in plastic colanders underneath my shrubs. They get a good mix of sun and shade, nestle into the beds nicely, and can be quickly plucked out when it's time for something that can better withstand the heat.

Wipe Out Grass in Ground Covers

Most ground covers do a pretty fair job of keeping grass at bay. But once in a while a few blades boldly break through. Kill the grass without harm to the ground cover by wetting an old sponge or rag with a low-toxicity herbicide, then wipe the grass with it. No drips. No accidental overspray.

Keep the Tags

Sometimes I forget that I put a new perennial in a particular spot last year and accidentally dig it up. Plants have a better survival rate at my house if I stick the name tag at the edge of the hole when I transplant. The plant grows up and hides the tag, but I can find it again the following spring.

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