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Articles written by Erika Stewart

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    Erika Stewart, Mason County Master Gardener|Dec 21, 2023

    Only two flowers really represent Christmas: poinsettias and amaryllis. We can't grow these plants outside in our climate, but we can regrow them indoors. Instead of relegating these flowers to the compost heap when they finish blooming, save them for an encore appearance next year. Follow the following instructions to ensure your success. Amaryllis In my experience, amaryllis is easy to carry over into the next holiday season. After the flowers have faded, continue to grow the plant as you...

  • Pick your jack-o'-lantern

    Erika Stewart|Oct 20, 2022

    The idea of using pumpkins for jack-o’-lanterns is such a tradition that it’s hard to imagine anything else would ever have been used, but rutabagas were. In Germany, rutabagas, turnips and potatoes were hollowed out and used as lanterns to celebrate fall harvest festivals. This custom spread to the British Isles and was then brought to America by immigrants. Here Native Americans introduced the immigrants to pumpkins. Pumpkins became used for many things, including jack-o’-lanterns. Thus a tra...

  • Discover intriguing ways to grow vegetables

    Erika Stewart|Feb 17, 2022

    Vegetables are usually planted in rows. That’s tried-and-true, but we have other ways to plant a garden. Gardeners are experimenters, so maybe you’d like to try one or more of the following vegetable planting methods. Square-foot garden: First, enrich your garden box soil with compost, fertilizer or composted manure. Then divide the box into square-foot sections with a grid of wood or any other marker that will survive gardening season. Each square is planted thickly with one type of veg...

  • It's almost time to start your vegetable gardens

    Erika Stewart|Jan 27, 2022

    We are moving toward that wonderful time of year when we can start our vegetable gardens. Considering the price of produce, growing your own vegetables from seed is good economy. I'll share some tips I've learned over the years to help you maximize success. You will need containers, soilless seed starting mix or peat moss, potting soil and seeds. The containers can be purchased or use what you have on hand such as yogurt cups, cottage cheeses containers, or anything that can hold soil. Put...

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