Margaret Lauterbach

Heart of Treasure Valley

Into the garden with Margaret Lauterbach

Idaho Statesman gardening columnist Margaret Lauterbach spends time in her early spring garden, reflecting on why we love gardening so much.

Margaret Lauterbach

Frost damage in the Treasure Valley this week likely to be minimal

We hit a cold bump early morning April 9 on our way to spring, but our weather bureau said the low temperature was 29 degrees Fahrenheit. Fruit trees in the Valley were in bud, some in full bloom, but that temperature drop should not have damaged our fruit crop. A frost table developed by Utah State University indicates that 28 degrees will cause some damage to apple, peach, pear, and cherry crops.

Margaret Lauterbach

This year, consider planting sweet potatoes

While you’re planning your garden, think about planting sweet potatoes. They’re very nutritious and easily stored after harvest. In the past, many of us thought of sweet potatoes as southern products, but that’s primarily due to the preferred method of post-harvest curing the sweet potatoes. That curing depends on exposure to 85 degrees F. and 90 to 95 percent humidity for four to seven days. We will not have either those temperatures or that humidity when we dig our sweet potatoes, about October.

Margaret Lauterbach

Plant plants that are nontoxic to wildlife

Gardening and farming are both a matter of co-existing with wildlife, from microscopic life in the soil to the large hooved animals in our area. Those of us who revere IPM (Integrated Pest Management) don’t bother to control destructive insects until the damage becomes too severe to tolerate. Some of us use beneficial insects to control the bad guys. The longer one gardens, the more one appreciates nature.

About Margaret Lauterbach

Margaret Lauterbach

The Statesman's weekly gardening columnist, Margaret Lauterbach has advised Treasure Valley gardeners on everything from sowing to composting to coping with the soils, pests and diseases of this unique climate. Send garden questions to melauter@earthlink.net or Gardening, The Statesman, P.O. Box 40, Boise, ID 83707.

Videos

Into the garden with Margaret Lauterbach

Idaho Statesman gardening columnist Margaret Lauterbach spends time in her early spring garden, reflecting on why we love gardening so much.
Katherine Jones kjones@idahostatesman.com
Into the garden with Margaret Lauterbach 2:35

Into the garden with Margaret Lauterbach

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