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Companion Planting for Successful Gardening - Master Gardeners, Pend Oreille County, Washington

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Companion Planting for Successful Gardening - Master Gardeners, Pend Oreille County, Washington

Companion Planting for Successful Gardening - Master Gardeners, Pend Oreille County, Washington

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  • 1. Master Gardener and Pend Oreille County Extension News Visit our Website Issue 34 ~ Spring 2010 http://www.pendoreille.wsu.edu Welcome to our Spring Edition of “Gardening in Pend Oreille” A New Crop of Master Gardeners!Becoming a WSU Master Gardener is a two-part process. Basic training is the first part—and 25 intrepid PendOreille gardeners finished all the state training requirements last spring. These brave souls were the first totest the new, WSU on-line training program, supplemented by some “real” classroom time to bring in the localinformation. The second requirement for being a WSU Master Gardener is volunteering at least 40 hours oftime toward community gardening education during an “intern” year.Most of the trainees were able to complete thatassignment in 2009 (a few will be doing theirInternship this year instead.) Help us welcome thefollowing individuals as official, new WSU MasterGardeners: Terri Becker, Alicia Best, RosemaryChandler, Margie Fedderly, Carolyn Hargrave,Dorothea Hendershott, Mary Jokela, Mary Jones,Anita King, Donna Kirkpatrick, Lora Lee Lake,Barbee LeClair, Susan Lightsey, Harry Loskill,Sandra Loskill, Leslie McCormick, TamoraNewman, Sheila Pattinson, Suzanne Roebke,Heidi Sullivan, Pamela Tully. One of 2009-10s gardening "sun It’s our Annual Plant Sale event. spots" was my discovery of a robust, touted "stands up well to See the back page for more info. early summer heat...withstands It’s going to be exciting!! autumn frosts" spinach cultivar: Renees Garden Summer Perfection. Mild, sweet-flavored, crunchy leaves. But also nearly miraculous Pend Oreille County Survey hunkered-down-through-cold survival during Decembers couple-week siege unprotected in a “How is Pend Oreille County doing?” We are shady cold frame...and its resurrection in February, interested in hearing from you. Please take our the very same plants yanked unceremoniously from Customer Service Survey. You can fill out the last summers garden! survey online located on the bottom of our website’s home page at www.pendoreilleco.org Then theres another green favorite, arugula. I If you would prefer to complete the paper scattered some winter soldiering Deer Park seed; these guys practically leap from the soil. Consider survey they are available at the following their parent plant hanging seed pods from a half- locations: Counseling Services, Hall of Justice, barrel in Decembers wind! Watch for both the Courthouse foyer, Sheriff’s Office and the spinach and arugula at our Plant Sale. Extension Office. By Mary Jokela, WSU Master Gardener
  • 2. Gardens, Gardeners, and Food Banks By Carol Mack, WSU Pend Oreille County Extension Gardeners have a rich tradition of sharing the bounty when the crops start rolling in. In these trying economic times, our contributions can go a long way to help feed hungry families with fresh, locally raised produce. You can help local food banks this year by joining the Plant A Row for the Hungry (PAR) campaign, an initiative of the Garden Writers Association of America. www.gwaa.org/par The aim is to enlist the nation’s 78 million gardeners in helping to feed the hungry by donating fresh produce to area food banks. Donating food can beas simple as bagging the produce and delivering it to the local food bank.Another way you can help is through your support of our local Food Bank garden.For the third summer in a row, a collaborative effort between several county departments, the county workcrew, and community volunteers will provide fresh garden produce for the Newport Food Bank. The food isgrown with labor donated by the county work crew, under the management of Jerry Dalebout, crew supervisorfor the Sheriff’s office. According to Dalebout, most of the crew consists of people who have been sentencedto community service. The Sheriff’s office may also allow some inmates to participate after evaluating foreligibility and low escape risk. The crew has three to eight people working about 8 hours per week to plant,weed and water during the growing season.The garden is on county property near the Hall of Justice, off of Circle Loop. It was started in 2008 through aproposal to the County Commissioners presented by Dalebout, the Extension Office, and Nancy Ashburn ofthe County Counseling Services. Oliver Johnson of the county building and grounds department and ChrisDemlow with the Newport Cemetery also provided volunteer assistance in getting the garden set up.An unused greenhouse at Quail Manor was refurbished by the work crew and is used to start plants in thespring. Other than the use of vacant county property, garden expenses have been met entirely throughcommunity donations. Fencing, materials for raised beds, compost, and other gardening supplies have beencontributed by Ponderay Newsprint, local businesses and gardeners. The WSU/Pend Oreille County MasterGardener program has purchased additional seeds and supplies as needed through funding raised at theannual Master Gardener plant sale.Roni Justice, a WSU Master Gardener who also volunteers with the Newport Food Bank, says that food fromthe garden is harvested weekly and distributed to over 200 households per month. Justice helps with theharvest, and fills in with watering and weeding chores when the work crew is busy on other assignments.According to Newport Food Bank manager Tamra Smrekar, the food bank received over 3500 pounds ofproduce from the garden in 2009.This fresh food provides much-needed addition to the canned, dried andfrozen food items usually given out. WSU Pend Oreille County Extension Food $ense Instructor MargaretMelampy has taught nutrition education classes at the Newport Food Bank, and says “We design our lessonsaround the foods currently being distributed, and it’s great to be able to use fresh vegetables in the recipeswe give out. The fresh food is really appreciated by the people who receiveit.”The benefits of this project also extend to the work crew participants.According to Dalebout, this is the first gardening experience for many of thecrew members. They appreciate the chance to learn something new, and atthe same time, do something so positive for the community.How you can help…..The food bank gardeners need: vegetable seeds, potting soil, drip irrigation supplies, mulch, compost,topsoil, weed barrier material, row cover fabric…Please call Carol Mack at 447-2401 or e-mailcmack@wsu.edu to arrange to deliver these materials. Or, you can make a monetary donation directly to theNewport Food Bank, PO Box 1952, Newport WA 99156 (specify it is for the Food Bank Garden project). FoodBank hours are Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 10 am to 12:45 for dropping off produce donations. Page 2 
  • 3. Book Report By Dixie Chichester, WSU Master Gardener Carrots Love Tomatoes: Secrets of Companion Planting for Successful Gardening By Louise Riotte There are many benefits of living in Pend Oreille County and oneof those is having access to large variety of gardening books availablefrom the Pend Oreille County Library District. It never fails that, whileperusing the shelves in the gardening section, I will come away with aharmful of interesting and informative volumes that I just can’t resist. Onesuch book was Carrots Love Tomatoes: Secrets of Companion Planting forSuccessful Gardening by Louise Riotte. Riotte’s well organized and easy to read book, based on her ownexperiences as well as some folklore passed down through generations,explores the idea that certain plants help other plants grow well, repel insectsand even repel other plants – all to the benefit of the gardener. The chapterslist our most commonly planted varieties in alphabetical order and thendescribe what other plants should or should not be planted as “companions” inorder to achieve the best results. For example, Riotte writes, “Parsley plantedwith asparagus gives added vigor to both.” As an example of bad companions,Riotte states that peas “do not grow well with onions, garlic and gladiolas.” Laterchapters discuss garden techniques, soil improvement, pest control, poisonous plants and garden plans,all in following with her theme of companion planting. Only a small amount of research on the internet tells us that there is actually no scientificevidence that companion planting really works. And Riotte herself admits that “it is a part of the garden-ing world that has never been fully explored”. So, as an ever curious and constantly experimentinggardener, I took it upon myself, after reading this intriguing book, to plant one of my garden beds onlywith tomatoes and Riotte’s recommended “friendly” companions. The outcome was a bed, approximately20 feet by 3½ feet planted with tomatoes surrounded by monarda, oregano, parsley, carrots, chives,onion, marigolds, amaranth and nasturtiums. And what were the results you ask? They were great! Mytomato crop, as well as carrot and onion, that year, was one of the best. Did companion planting makethe difference? That I do not know since tomatoes in other areas of my garden also did very well. Theone thing that I did learn is this - I am a big fan of companion planting not because I know it makes myplants grow healthier but because of the appearance of my beds. The bright flowers, herbs, onions,carrots and other plants mixed in with my tomatoes provided such a pop of colors, a variety leaf texturesand a mix of plant heights that that bed in particular was truly a feast for the eyes. I loved the look andform of this bed, now my favorite, so much that I hope to soon be planting all my vegetables with othercolorful, aromatic and companionable “buddies”. I enthusiastically recommend Louise Riotte’s book. Her information may not be based on scientificfact but her ideas seem to have a lot of common sense, are loads of fun to experiment with, and haveadded a whole new dimension to my gardening enjoyment. PEND OREILLE VALLEY FARMERS MARKET The Pend Oreille Valley Farmers Market will be located in Newport at the Pend Oreille Players building on the corner of Spruce & Union again. From the second Saturday of May to the end of October. Enjoy the freshest food around, and support local farmers! Page 3 
  • 4. Kale: the Super Vegetable By Dixie Chichester, WSU Master Gardener Kale is a green, leafy vegetable in the cabbage family Brassicaceae but unlike cabbage, kale does not form a head. The new tender leaves are harvested and added to salads while the older leaves are cooked in a variety of ways and used in a manner similar to spinach, collard greens and chard. There are many reasons why kale should be a staple in any vegetable garden in Pend Oreille County. It is an extremely hardy plant and our early Pend Oreille County frosts will actually sweeten the taste. The attractive leaves come in a wide variety of textures and colors from dark green, pale yellow, to grayish-blue, through purple, red and almost black.And best of all, kale is packed with vitamins, minerals and carotinoids. Nutrition ActionMagazine rates kale as one of the top 3 healthiest vegetables with only collard greens andspinach ranking higher. Kale prefers full sun but will benefit from a bit of shade in the hottest summer weather.It will also thrive in partial shade and cloudy climates. Plant kale seeds in rich, slightly alkalinesoil 4 weeks before the last frost. Seeds may also be started indoors under grow lights andtransplanted into the garden. For a fall crop, plant seeds in July. When direct seeding kale, sowseeds ¼” deep, 3 to 4 seeds together at about 12 inches apart. Water well and keep the toplevel of soil moist, especially for drier mid-summer planting. Once the seedlings are severalinches tall and are showing at least 2 sets of leaves, snip off all the weaker plants leaving thestrongest one in each group. To deter cutworms, place a tuna fish or cat food can (with top and bottom removed)half- way into the soil to act as a collar. Irrigation is especially important to help young plantswithstand intense sunlight and heat of summer so keep plants lightly moist. Mulching the plantswith 1-2 inches of organic matter keeping the mulch an inch away from the plant will help keepthe soil moist, feed the plants and control weeds. Harvest kale when leaves are large enough for intended use. Pick the outer leaves andkale will keep producing new inner leaves. Mature kale plants survive to 10 degrees F. so, if youcan find them under the snow, you can harvest well into the winter. And if you have a greenhouse or cold frame, you can grow kale in all but the darkest days of the year. The different types of kale are usually classified by leaf form and texture. The Scotchkales have very curly leaves while the Siberian kale leaves are flat. Pend Oreille County MasterGardeners have had best results with Winterbor and Redbor (2 Scotch kales) and Red Russian(a Siberian kale). Japanese kale, edible but not quite as tasty as other kales, is primarily used fordecorative garnishes or ornamental purposes. One of the most attractive varieties is theNagoya Garnish Red. It has a mild flavor and grows just like regular kale but the frilly, fanshaped leaves with purple centers and green edges make it a spectacular addition to anyvegetable or flower garden. The colors will actually become more intense as the weather coolsin the fall. And this spring, you can purchase Nagoya Garnish Red kale at the MasterGardener Plant Sale. Kale is nutrition packed, easy to grow, can be cooked in a variety of ways and is a mostattractive plant. So, why are you waiting? Plant kale this summer and enjoy! Page 4 
  • 5. (The following recipes, among many others, were found on the internet by doing a search for “Best Kale Recipes”.) Bobby Flay’s Sautéed Kale 1 1/2 pounds young kale, stems and leaves coarsely chopped 3 tablespoons olive oil 2 cloves garlic, finely sliced 1/2 cup vegetable stock or water Salt and pepper2 tablespoons red wine vinegar Directions Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until soft, but notcolored. Raise heat to high, add the stock and kale and toss to combine. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.Remove cover and continue to cook, stirring until all the liquid has evaporated. Season with salt andpepper to taste. Mashed Potato Cakes with Kale (from Cooking Light) 12 cups water  1/4 cup sliced green onions 1 bunch kale, trimmed (about 4 ounces)  3 cups diced onion 1 tablespoon butter or stick margarine  3/4 teaspoon salt, divided 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage  1 tablespoon olive oil 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper  2 2/3 cups (1-inch) cubed Yukon gold or Cooking spray red potato (about 1 pound)Sage sprigs (optional) Directions Bring water to a boil in a Dutch oven; add kale. Cover and cook over medium heat 5 minutes or untiltender. Remove kale with a slotted spoon, reserving cooking liquid. Chop kale and set aside. Add potatoto reserved cooking liquid in pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until tender.Drain; partially mash potatoes. Stir in kale and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Preheat oven to 400°.Heat oil andbutter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, diced onion, andchopped sage. Cook 13 minutes or until browned. Combine potato mixture, onion mixture, green onions,and pepper. Remove from heat; cool slightly. Divide potato mixture into 8 equal portions, shaping eachinto a 1/2-inch-thick patty. Place patties on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for20 minutes. Preheat broiler. Broil patties for 5 minutes or until browned. Garnish with sage sprigs, ifdesired. Yields 4 servings at 2 patties each person. Baked Kale Chips 1 bunch kale 1 tablespoon olive oil1 teaspoon seasoned salt Directions Preheat an oven to 350° F (175 degrees C). Line a non-insulated cookie sheet with parchmentpaper. With a knife or kitchen shears carefully remove the leaves from the thick stems and tear into bitesize pieces. Wash and thoroughly dry the kale with a salad spinner. Drizzle kale with olive oil andsprinkle with seasoning salt. Bake until the edges brown but are not burnt, 10 to 15 minutes. For varietysprinkle with garlic powder, chili powder, lemon pepper, etc. Try this recipe in a dehydrator rather than aconventional oven. Page 5 
  • 6. The Benefits of Thickets in a Firewise Landscape By Dixie Chichester, WSU Master Gardener Every year, we residents of heavily forested Pend Oreille County, all need to deal with the potential problem of wildfire. Fire fighting professionals tell us that it is not a matter of “if” but a matter of “when” our properties may be in the path of a destructive wildfire. And as gardeners, in order to make our landscapes Firewise, we need to give this fact special consideration when deciding types and placements of plants in our yards and gardens. Plantings within 30 feet of our homes should be minimal in number and always consist of varieties plants that are fire resistive. If these fire resistive plantings are well placed andproperly maintained, they will not add fuel to any oncoming fire or endanger our homes in any appreciable way.However, many of us gardeners who enjoy lush plantings around our homes find ourselves a bit frustrated indealing with the wise theory of “Lean, Clean and Green” within that 30 foot perimeter around our houses. Not onlydo we enjoy plenty of plants outside our doors but these plants provide us with many benefits. So, what is a safety-minded gardener to do? The answer is to plant small thickets! A thicket is defined as “a group of trees or bushesgrowing closely together”.And these thickets, properly sized and placed in strategic areas, can do a great job in replacing large stands ofcontinuous vegetation that formerly made our property a fire hazard. The key is in planning, spacing, plantselection and maintenance.Planning involves determining the goals you have for your planted thickets. What do you need them to do for you?Should they provide privacy, block an unsightly view or dusty road, buffer anoisy neighbor, attract wildlife, control erosion, create an attractive focal point,establish a microclimate or act as a windbreak? The next step is to determine Master Gardener Plantwhere you need the thickets to do their jobs. Go into your house, look out ofyour windows and evaluate your views. Go out onto your road or driveway Clinicsand look back toward your house to determine areas you don’t wantpassersby to see. Sit on your porches, decks and patios, appraise your views Extension Officeand decide where you desire privacy or wildlife viewing areas. Pay attention 418 South Scott Ave, Newport 447-2401to the prevailing winds on your property and note where a windbreak might be Or email questions tovaluable. Evaluate any and all locations for plantings. cmack@wsu.edu.The next step, determining spacing, is extremely important. Remember to Beginning in May to Mid Septemberkeep your thickets relatively small and widely spaced apart. For example,instead of one long hedge to buffer a road, plant several small thickets that Plant problem samples and/orare staggered and widely spaced. That way, should embers from a nearby insect samples may be left at the Extension Office any day,wildfire ignite one of your thickets, the fire will remain in that one thicket and Monday through Fridaynot spread any further. Make sure the thickets are not too close to the house,wooden fences, propane tanks, wood barns, garages, any other structures or Newport Libraryeach other. The space between thickets should be at least 9-10 feet apart to 116 S Washington Ave, Newportkeep fire from easily spreading. 447-2111. On Thursdays,Choose wisely the types of plants that make up your thickets. Pick only plants 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.that are fire resistive. These are plants that have high moisture content in their (Only call during clinic hours)leaves and have water-like sap. Most of our native species of broadleaf trees,shrubs, perennials and groundcovers are fire resistant. Know which plants do North County Plant Clinic inwell in your microclimate. Pick varieties that are adapted to the amount of sun Ione Public Library at the Ione Community Center, 210 Blackwell,or shade in that specific area and well suited to your soil types. Also consider Suite 1, Ione, each Tuesday.other factors like the plant’s ability to provide food or shelter for wildlife, how 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.tall it gets and how much it spreads. All of the plants in one thicket shouldhave the same sunlight, soil and water requirements. The more you knowabout your chosen plants and the planting location the better.Finally, all plants in a firewise landscape must be properly maintained. A well watered, green thicket is less likely toignite. Cut out all dead growth; rake away all dry and dead debris and keep plants pruned to keep the volume ofvegetation as low as possible. Or better yet, choose plants that don’t create a lot of seasonal dead branches anddebris. Protecting property from damaging wildfire is just another item in a long list of gardening challenges weface every season. But hey, it’s worth it…we live in Pend Oreille County! Page 3 
  • 7. Upcoming events: June 5th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Tiger-Fire Workshop June 12th . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . Forestry Field Day Introduction! June 13th & 14th . . . . . . . . . Rhubarb Festival I would like to introduce myself, July 10th & 11th . . . . . . . . . . Lavender Festival my name is Carla Pogson. I am August 2nd . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Garden Tour the new Office Manager/4-H May to September . . . . . . . . .Plant Clinics Aide at WSU Pend Oreille County Extension office. We Call the Extension office for more information or visit ourwould like to say goodbye & good luck to Lisa website at www.pendoreille.wsu.eduHemphill—she will be missed. GOT TREES? You won’t want to miss……….. Idaho—Washington FOREST OWNERS FIELD DAY June 12, 2010 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Athol Idaho. (15 miles north of Coeur dAlene) Whether you own a few acres or a large tract of land, this educational event is for you! You will learn how to plan and implement sound forest management practices. Join the more than 7000 people who have already attended events across the State. Choose from over 30 different sessions on topics including forest health; using a GPS; growing edible mushrooms in your forest; wildlife damage control; weeds; aquifers; wildfire; tree planting; plant identifications; small scale forest technology; chain saw safety and many more! For additional information, and to download a flyer to register for the event, go to http// ext.wsu.edu/forestry and click on Washington-Idaho Forest Owner’s field day. Back by Popular Demand! Wildfires and Fuels Workshop - Saturday, June 5, 2010 from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. inside the Fire Station at the Tiger Intersection of Highway 20 and Highway 31. As landowners in Pend Oreille County, we must all work together to make our homes and properties safe from wildfire. This free workshop will teach you how. You will learnwhen and how to thin and prune while at the same time improving the health of your trees. Discoverhow to create a defensible space around your home. See how to build a slash pile and safely burn slash.There will also be sessions on Firewise landscaping techniques; how to attract wildlife to your property;how to incorporate hardy, native plants into your landscape; the best plants to use to re-vegetateimpacted areas and how to maintain your Firewise landscape to keep it safe throughout the years. Acomplete team of professionals from WSU Extension, County Fire Departments, Department of NaturalResources, Department of Fish and Wildlife, Cascara Consulting and local fuels reduction contractors willall be on hand as presenters. Dress appropriately for some outdoor sessions. Bring a sack lunch.Beverages and cookies will be provided. Please pre-register by calling the Extension Office at509-447-2401.
  • 8. Serving Pend Oreille County since 1918. That Enriches Your Life. Extension, Your Source for Information Newport WA 99156 PO Box 5045 S. 418 Scott Avenue Master Gardeners WSU/Pend Oreille Extension NEWPORT WA 99156 PERMIT No. 40 POSTAGE & FEES PAID PRESRT STD MASTER GARDENER 10TH ANNUAL PLANT SALE -BEST EVER! After two years of winters that wouldn’t stop, Pend Oreille gardeners are jubilant about our early spring weather this year. Landscapes and garden plots that were still under two feet of snow last March are ready for planting this year. The early spring also means that Master Gardeners have been busily dividing perennials, starting seeds and gathering other goodies to be ready for the an-nual spring plant sale. Proceeds from this help support all of the other community projects that ourvolunteers do, from garden tours, schoolyard gardens and plant clinics to Gardening in Pend scholarships for graduating high school students. Besides helping a good Oreille is  published  cause, your purchases are locally grown and adapted to this area.  by WSU Pend Oreille  The 10th annual WSU/Pend Oreille County Master Gardener 2010 Plant County Extension. Please Sale will be held on April 24th at the Stratton Elementary School gymnasium, visit our website: 1201 W. 5th Street in Newport. Doors will open at 9:00 a.m. and the sale will http://pendoreille.wsu.edu run until plants are sold out or noon, which ever comes first. The sale will offer or call if you would for purchase a wide variety of annual and perennial vegetables, flowers, like any further Informa‐herbs, shrubs, and trees, all grown by area Master Gardeners. tion about our programs.   (509)447‐2401 Cooperating agencies: Washington State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Pend Oreille County. Extension programs and employment are available to all without discrimination.Evidence of noncompliance may be reported through your local Extension Office. Persons with a disability requiring special accommodations while participating in any Extension program maycall (509) 447-2401 at least five days before the program.Subscription notice: If you do not want to receive this newsletter, or are receiving more than one copy, please notify Extension. 509-447-2401.