Cheney Free Press -

Articles written by Margaret A. Swenson

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Gardening by Osmosis

We should bee proud! Washington State is a forerunner in developing legislation for protecting pollinators. May 12, 2021, Governor Inslee signed SB 5253 to provide funding to, among other pollinator health concerns, help to ensure... — Updated 3/23/2023


Is winter finally over?

Goodbye, Winter! How many times have we said this the last six weeks? Maybe this time it is for real. A look at the forecast gives us hope for warmer temperatures but not too much encouragement to wager when to lock up our snow... — Updated 3/16/2023


Gardening By Osmosis

There is much ado about lions and lambs this time of year. It seems those species are confused about who will win the ‘First of March’ contest. I don’t dare bet on either one. I can guarantee, however, that leopard’s bane,... — Updated 3/2/2023


Gardening by Osmosis

What are Neonics? Neonicotinoid pesticides are contributing to the loss of beneficial insects, especially bees and their ability to pollinate many of our favorite food crops. Honey bees, that have come in contact with plants... — Updated 2/23/2023


February in the garden

February 2023 We may actually be able to be in the garden or close to it this month. Inside we can trim and fertilize herbs we wintered over. An application of half strength indoor plant food will regenerate healthy growth. After... — Updated 2/9/2023


Gardening by Osmosis

Just before the ‘Big Weather Change’ several weeks ago, I brought my green tomatoes in the house. They have been ripening nicely in their cardboard boxes. I am concerned though, that my grandchildren think red tomatoes grow in... — Updated 11/3/2022


Gardening by Osmosis

October 24, 2022 October rains: Our grass is green and ready for snow It won’t be long now so we won’t have to mow. Plants in our gardens so hardy and true Loved all the rain and the farmers did too. Missed is the sunshine so... — Updated 10/27/2022


Gardening by Osmosis

My garden quilt blankets its bed. Seeds that were sown have become the fabric of the garden. Patches of pumpkins, rows of ripe beets, corners of carrots; their feather tops waving. Layers of leaves where zucchini can hide. Fine... — Updated 10/20/2022


Gardening by Osmosis

It is hard to sew on a sunny October day, but not hard to work in the garden. Though I have cut a few pieces of fabric for my quilt, I hear my garden calling. There are bird feeders to fill for those winter residents and other... — Updated 10/13/2022


Gardening by Osmosis

Did September slip as quietly and quickly from your calendar as mine? I was just making my to do list for August and the month was gone. Fortunately or unfortunately, most of those things can still be done in September. Check with... — Updated 9/29/2022


Fantastic time to grow dahlias and garlic

The air is different. Its coolness presses against my face. The sounds in the sky are different too. Most of the birds have finished rearing their young and have flown on. Platoons of chattering blackbirds high in the pine trees... — Updated 9/22/2022


Sedum to the rescue

I’ve heard of fried green tomatoes but fried pink petunias? I was disappointed when I came home from the lake to find my hanging baskets of petunias dry and brittle beyond recovery. I had planned an outdoor barbecue and was count... — Updated 9/15/2022


Rain Barrels

Its time to dig and transplant iris to where you want splashes of color next June. If you don’t have iris in your garden there are usually neighbors or friends who are eager to share their beauties. If not, rainbows of colorful... — Updated 8/4/2022


Gardening by Osmosis

The spotted lanternfly is invading Washington State. No, it is not that cute little firefly we read about in stories of the Northeastern part of the US. This insect is a serious pest on grapes, hops, fruit trees, ornamental’s and... — Updated 7/28/2022


Worms and shade

When I was a little girl the boys chased me with earthworms. I hated them, the boys too! I learned to tolerate then appreciate them and the boys. I have since learned more about both. I will share what I know about worms only! The... — Updated 7/21/2022


Gardening by Osmosis

The lavender harvest is usually around the middle of July. Before then, to find yourself in a French Provincial Paradise of fragrance, a trip to lavender fields in Spokane County is a treat for your eyes and your olfactory. Look... — Updated 7/14/2022


Colors of the Rainbow

Together with my friends in the rainbow, we embrace the world. Yellow colors the world with light and warmth, blue manages the skies and the seas, red moves nations’ lifeblood, purple uplifts mountains and royalty, and orange col... — Updated 6/30/2022


Gardening by Osmosis

Even though the neighbors line up to take pictures of your impeccably weed-free, absolutely straight rows of vegetables and Better Homes and Gardens has made an appointment to feature your garden in their next issue, or NOT! The... — Updated 6/30/2022


Gardening by Osmosis

My sister makes the best raspberry pie. She says the ticket to growing healthy berries is to start with new plants. Raspberries are not fussy about soil pH and seem happy with Spokane County gardens' soils. Prepare the soil with a... — Updated 6/23/2022


Moving day

My green babies are ready to go outside. The soil temperature is nearly 55 degrees and there is no snow on Mt. Spokane. My new irrigation system with drip lines is set up; importantly, I have a new tube of sunscreen. I’ll get a... — Updated 6/16/2022


Gardening through Osmosis

This is Lilac Loving time. We have been waiting a year for it and it is finally here. The hardy varieties that came with the pioneers have adapted especially well in Spokane... — Updated 6/2/2022


Gardening by Osmosis

There is much talk among Spokane County gardeners about raised beds. I’m not referring to the bunk beds your kids and grand kids jumped from but the intentionally framed structures surrounding an ample amount of soil. However, th... — Updated 5/19/2022


Gardening by Osmosis

If you belong to the DIYG’s “Do it Yourself Gardeners,” temptations at nurseries and garden centers are endless. I find the tool isle especially intriguing. Glittering steel rakes and battery-powered diggers and weeders, Ah,... — Updated 5/12/2022


Gardening by Osmosis

Again, I found myself at the grocery store with a bad attitude. Are you kidding me? I fumed at the produce manager—$3.00 for a green pepper? I stomped out of the vegetable section, bought some packets of seeds and left the store... — Updated 4/28/2022


Gardening by osmosis

All you windowsill gardeners, container, raised bed, and in-ground gardeners too, by now you have probably named most of your plants. Rosemary, Thyme, Sage and their friend Parsley,... — Updated 4/14/2022


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