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(This group currently has 6 experts available to answer questions)

Questions asked to this group

Arsenic in soil

We moved into a house in Vancouver WA that had treated lumber for the raised vegetable beds. After placing the soil in piles and removing the treated wood and building new beds I decided to have the soil tested for arsenic. The results for arsenic came back as 7.3 ppm. I built my own 17” raised beds and the previous beds were only about 7”. I also have more beds compared to the old beds. My questions: What are considered safe levels for arsenic in the soil? Would it be safe to place the contaminated soil on the very bottom of my higher new vegetable beds and if not, how do I dispose of the old soil? I appreciate your help with this because others I have contacted either don’t reply back or give me links that don’t answer my questions. With planting season here I don’t want to miss the window to get my beds prepared. Thanks again. Judi Gordon

Clark County Washington Posted 2 days ago

dwarf cherry trees

We are cherry growers in North Cebtral Washingtonm, a number of tears ago I planted a North Star cherry and grafted it to Bing for dwarfing effect, when it was full grown, the tree was about three forths the size ofr Bing on mazzard (the tree has been removed). I intend to graft North Star on to one of the new dwarfing rootstocks to find out if there would be additional dwarfing if I gfrafted Bibg on the North Star, in effect the North Srar wouuld be an interstem. .Question, has there been research along those lInes and if so,where could I access that information? Thanks, Jack Feil, East Wenatchee

Douglas County Washington Posted 4 days ago

Tansy Ragwort

Hi There!
We want to hand-pull tansy ragwort on our rural property while the soil is still wet. We have some very established patches and some less dense areas. These are semi-wild fields, no grazing or haying. Can we just leave the rosettes roots-up on the field to dry out and rot? Is there a cover crop seed that we could/should spread as we clear the tansy? I'm not finding much online about those questions. We'd like to help the other plants out-compete the tansy.

Clark County Washington Posted 5 days ago

Star Jasmine showing signs of distress

We inherited a big, beautiful star jasmine when we bought our house 5 years ago. Well established, I’ve been cutting tendrils back from the house and walkway each year. I am afraid this year’s snow storm and sitting snow for two weeks may have damaged it. It has red leaves and some spots but a lot of it is still green. What is the best way for me to salvage it?

King County Washington Posted 6 days ago

Plum, pear, tree maintenance

I would like some advice on what the next steps for training / thinning / pruning should be on these three trees that I had friends of trees plant. Two are new to me this year and one is about six years ago. The old plumb always seams to get curving branches that want to grow straight up, I am struggling with getting the structure that I want. The new Comic pear is already 8 + feet tall and straight as a bean pole, I have started to train several branches but I think I should take the main leader out this winter. The Plumb has OK structure but it also seams like the leader should be removed. Thank you

Clark County Washington pruning fruit trees Posted 7 days ago

wild rabbits

Any idea how to deter/repel wild rabbits from lawns and gardens? I've tried all the commercial "repellants", the online vinegar solutions, etc. and nothing works. Thanks.

Clark County Washington wildlife damage management lawns and turf rabbits Posted 10 days ago

What is wrong with my plum tree?

I planted two plum trees years ago. One is doing great, the other isn’t. I have attached a few pictures, what could it be? And what can I do to help my poor tree? Thank you!

Snohomish County Washington Posted 14 days ago

Winter cover crop rye grass disaster

Hi there,

In the effort to turn a garden area that formerly was covered with hops, gravel, and landscaping fabric into our kitchen vegetable garden, we sowed a winter cover crop from seed which was advertised as "soil builder" and consisted of crimson clover, vetch, and rye grass last fall. This spring we hand-turned that into the ground using spading forks and then dug out mounded beds. Two week later, we are still hand-weeding and hand-turning clumps of rye grass that just won't die. I'm worried because I know it needs 3-4 weeks to break down before transplants can be planted as the soil will be too hot with all those plants decomposing. I'm also concerned about the persistent rye grass and grass-root competition our vegetables

I'm wondering what the best course of action is from here. We have discussed continuing to just monitor and uproot any grass that survives, covering with black plastic to attempt to solarize until mid-May, or rototilling the mounded beds. Are any of these the right option? Or is there another course of action that we should follow? The soil is also very clay dense and although we are continuing to break up the clay and planning to add two inches of compost before we plant, I am concerned it might be hard on the transplants. We have already conducted a soil test and added an appropriate amount of lime when we turned in the cover crop.

Thank you so much!

Washington cover crops Posted 16 days ago

Rubric for small pasture management

The NRCS monitoring rubric seems like it really applies to BLM land not small, heavily managed private pastures. What should be measured to determine success? Stubble height, live plant cover, plant diversity, noxious weeds? And how many samples per acre for statistical viability. Please advise. Thank you, Carrie King King Conservation District 928 925 1406

King County Washington Posted 20 days ago


is Preen safe for wildlife? I have a little wild rabbit living in my backyard and under my deck. I want to apply Preen but don't want to hurt this little cute bunny. I was told by a nursery it was safe but another I was told maybe not. I was told it is safe for dogs.

Spokane County Washington pesticide safety Posted 21 days ago