Inland Northwest, High Desert

January, 2001
Regional Report

Keeping Parsley


If you have some parsley plants outdoors, here's a good way to have fresh stems close at hand when cooking. Snip the ends of stems and put them in a glass vase filled with water. Place the vase in the refrigerator or on the counter. They'll stay extra fresh and look pretty on the counter until you're ready to use them.

Make Herbal Spice Bottles


Save those pretty little glass spice bottles you buy and wash them out. If your indoor-grown herbs get out of control, cut them back and dry in the microwave what you can't use fresh. Store the dried herbs in those glass bottles for future cooking projects.

Gnat Control

If you see black flies around the soil of houseplants, you may have gnats. These small flies are harmless to plants and people but can be annoying. To control them, let the surface of indoor potted plants dry out between waterings or place a layer of coarse sand or fine gravel, 1-2 inches thick over the soil surface.

Buy Pots


Often you can purchase pots at a discount this time of year. For a fresh look, try a decorative ceramic pot that you can grow houseplants in now or colorful flowers in this summer on your deck. Set your old planter, catch-tray and all, inside the new pot. Plants won't mind, and you get a better-looking pot.

Make an Edible Centerpiece


A great indoors project to do now is to start some lettuce and nasturtium seeds to make a decorative, edible centerpiece. Plant a collection of red- and green-leaved lettuces in a wide, shallow bowl. Sprinkle in a few bush-type nasturtium seeds. Let them grow in a windowsill but move the bowl to a table when you have guests, and invite them to graze on this delicious centerpiece.

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