Thurston County Connection Newsletter
Thurston County Connection
Thurston County Connection
December, 2014
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This Month's Articles

Changes at Thurston County Superior Court

(More) Changes at Thurston County Superior Court

County Benefits from “JBLM Day of Service”

It’s official!

Health Systems Doing a Good Job of Tracking Illnesses

Families Welcome New Members

Perfection is Reality for County Waste Water Treatment Plant

Less Leftovers, More Joy

The Klondike Kings and the telegraph to nowhere

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 This Spring, Put Nature to Work for You.

Some tips to help with your yard and garden.

The birds and the bees are stirring and so are the plants in your yard. Whether yard care fills you with joy or dread, here are tips to help you get the most out of your efforts.

First and most important is to take cues from nature. In a new landscape choose plants that will thrive with the conditions in your yard. The more closely you match the needs of the plants for water, soil, sun, and space with your conditions, the easier it is for the gardener and the plants. If your yard is already established, notice what grows well, and then replace plants that are struggling with those that thrive in your landscape. Think of it as your back yard version of “Survivor.” Nature shows us that something will grow with or without your help, so your mission is to choose plants you enjoy, and that work well with the natural conditions.

This does not mean you need to settle for a yard full of weeds! Resources to help you choose the right plant for the right place include the Common Sense Gardening Plant List, available in racks in several county buildings, as well as the garden section of many nurseries and stores in the county, and on our website (see below). Another great source for sturdy, attractive plants is the Great Plant Picks web site which includes more than 600 plants that thrive in the maritime northwest.

Mulch, Mulch, Mulch! It’s nature’s triple-bottom-line. Use mulch to reduce pests and weeds, save water, and feed the plants. Choose mulch made of organic materials such as leaves, grass clippings, wood chips, compost, or other organic materials. Apply fine mulch such as compost around flowers or vegetables, and coarse mulch such as wood chips around shrubs and trees. Apply mulch a few inches deep around plants and trees, but keep it away from stems or trunks. Invite birds into your yard to help keep pests at a level that will not harm plants. Even seed-eating birds feed insects to their young. Encourage beneficial insects with flowering plants such as yarrow, asters, marigolds, and dill.

Beauty Need Not Be Toxic If you’ve planted the right vegetation for your yard, and have mulched well, weeds shouldn’t be a big problem. If you need to reduce weeds or pests, take a non-toxic approach. You can either pull the weeds mechanically, or spot-spray the problem area with a non-toxic solution. For tough problems, see the new Environmental Health integrated pest management website, at IPM.

Call Us with Garden Questions For more gardening advice, contact the Common Sense Gardening program at 360-754-4111 (TDD 360-754-2933), or visit The Website

By Jane Mount-Joy Venning

Make the move to a more natural garden space. Make the move to a more natural garden space.