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Issaquah, Washington
December 9, 2009     The Issaquah Press
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December 9, 2009

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THE ISSAQUAH PRESS WEDNESDAY 9 DECEMBER 9, 2009 B5 Grow organic fruit, here? Yes, you can By Jane Garrison ost locals are tuned into the environ- ment. We are con- cerned about the overuse of chemicals in our yards and gardens, and when it comes to edible crops, we just say "no way" to spray. If something is so picky that it requires all sorts of chemicals to survive, we just get rid of it. But fruit trees are rather fussy, and what do we do when it comes to living with or without them? As many of you know, fruit trees are prone to problems of all kinds. But the fruit from your own trees is so good that it is hard to resist. Do we eat wormy, spotty fruit or do we spray? I really wanted to get to the bottom of this, so I did some digging. Here's the scoop! The best way to grow fruit trees I MASTER GARDENERS' comer organically in Western Washington is to select disease resistant vari- eties. Here we grow apples, pears, and European plums most suc- cessfully. Peaches, cherries, and apricots are difficult west of the Cascades, but if you choose the right ones, you can grow them in the right conditions. If you are new to this area the following varieties may not be what you are used to. Fruit trees here must produce in our cool, rainy climate. Here are some of the best choices: Apple ) Akane Spartan Prima Jonagold Pear Starkrimson 0rcas ) Bosc Asian pear Shinseiki Kosui Chajuro European plum Seneca Italian prune Sweet cherry Early Burlat ) Sam ) Stella Peach ) Frost Buy the dwarf or semi-dwarf forms bareroot in February or March. Plan for them now. Small trees are easier to prune, spray and clean up after. Choose a place with all-day sun and good drainage; they do not like com- pacted, tight soil. No matter how much care we take, we always seem to have problems with fruit trees. Apples here are known for scab, maggot and coddling moth. To avoid cedar-apple rust, plant apple trees away from juniper or red cedar. Pears get blight, scab and coddling moth. Plums suffer from blossom blight and fruit rot. Cherries are prone to bacterial canker, shothole and leaf spot. It sounds bad, but it doesn't have to be. The best control for in- sects is an immediate dean-up and disposal of infected fruit and leaves. Insects and some diseases spread from the dropped debris into the soil, overwintering to in- fect the trees the following year. Throw all debris in the trash, not the compost. Clean-up goes a long way toward eliminating most problems. If your trees suffer from fungal diseases, you may need to resort to an organic lime-sulfur spray. The toxicity of this mixture to warm-blooded mammals is low or nonexistent, but it could harm beneficial insects if used incor- rectly. It is not considered a threat to bees, people or salmon. Spray locally, and follow the instructions. If you do all of the above you should have your own wonderful fruit to eat. It will taste better than the stuff from the store, guaran- teed. Jane is a local master gardener and land- scape architect who gardens in glacial till on the plateau. Think holiday carbon monoxide saf As temperatures cool down, homeowners turn theft thermo- stats up and ovens on. Conse- quently, the risk of carbon monox- ide exposure also increases. In fact, from Thanksgiving until just after Christmas, carbon monoxide kills more people than any other time of year. You can't smell it like natural gas, or see it like smoke. Carbon monoxide is an invisible gas that builds up in your house and can cause dizziness, nausea and even death. Still, nearly one-half of Americans report not having car- bon monoxide alarms in their homes, according to a recent sur- vey conducted by BRK brands, maker of First Alert-branded products. For as little as $25, a carbon monoxide alarm can protect a SPREAD YOUR GOOD NEWs! Births, weddings, golden anniversaries, your llew$ yla www.issaquahpress.com home and family from potential tragedy. For maximum protec- tion, the Home Safety Council rec- ommends installing carbon monoxide alarms on every level of the home and near each sleeping area. The following safety products are available: Plug-in alarms that use electric- ity from any standard electrical outlet and have battery back-up start Battery-powered devices that provide basic protection Combo smoke/carbon monoxide alarms that help to protect from two dangers in the home Multi-gas alarms that provide protection from carbon monoxide as well as three explosive gases -- natural, propane and methane The kitchen stove is amongthe most common sources of carbon monoxide poisoning in the home. Industry experts recommend run- ning kitchen vents or exhaust fans anytime the stove is in use, but es- pecially during the holidays when stoves often are left on for long pe- riods of time. It also is a good idea to open a nearby window pe- riodically when cooking to allow flesh aft to circulate. Homeowners als0 should arrange for a professional inspec- tion of all fuel-burning appliances (such as furnaces, stoves, fire- Finding the right home is hard... Finding the right homeowners insurance ,lseasy.: See State Farm Agent: Kathy Johnson 392-2224 Gilman Station Issaquah KATHY.JOHNSON.B73D@STATEFARM.COM STATE FARM INSURANCE Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there. STATE FARM FIRE AND CASUALTY COMPANY HOME OFFICE: BLOOMINGTON, ILLINOIS places, clothes dryers, water heaters and space heaters} annu- ally to detect any carbon monox- ide leaks. Source: First Alert Free Recycling Computers, Ink, Toner f Printers, Monitors Appliances e'e"E Electronics -TVs, Stereos Cell Phones Medical Equipment Batteries - Car, Computer Scrap Metal, Machinery I Green Planet 425-996'3513 Mon-Fri 9:30AM - 7PM Sat 10AM - 3PM 1780 NW Maple St, Issaquah, WA 98027 www.lgreenplanet.org ./: I I I I I I ,, Cannot start fires Full factory warranty l Safe around kids - Money Back & pets Guarantee I 1-877-256-1558 ! Must Mention Coupon Code 6559 ! Call Now, Supplies Limited I For Real Pain Therapy... Thera-Gesic Pain Cream It Really Works...Compare and SAVE. 'Please bring a warm coat for my mommy.' Your donation can make wishes come true when the need is greatest. Send donation to Merry Christmas Issaquah c/o The Issaquah Press PO Box 1328, Issaquah, WA 98027 Name will be published unless anonymity is requested.