biology

Garden Wise: Getting the most out of your basil plants

Basil (Ocimum basilicum) with its rich, dark green leaves, redolent of anise and clove, is the most popular commercial culinary herb in America. Whether incorporated into pesto, paired with tomatoes and mozzarella or added to your favorite Italian dish, basil is a kitchen and garden staple. Along with its culinary popularity, what makes it so valuable to nurseries is its preference for a tropical climate. Even in warmer climates, it is a tender perennial. In local gardens, it is grown as a tender annual which provides nurseries repeat sales every spring.

Garden Wise: Synergy in nature: Plants and fungi working together

Last year a neighbor asked me how she could get rid of fungus. She told me that she was digging in her garden and noticed that the roots of some plants were covered with white fungus. I told her to leave the fungus alone. This advice sounds crazy to gardeners who simply want to protect their plants from predators. They know that most diseases attacking plants are fungal. What they often don’t know is that fungi do far more good than harm.

Range ecologist: Grazing gets bad rap

TWIN FALLS — When it comes to greater sage grouse management, grazing often has a bad rap. But the two greatest threats to the iconic bird’s survival are wildfire and invasive species, and grazing can help reduce both hazards.

Collaboration thrives at Rock Creek Ranch

Rock Creek Ranch embraces 10,400 acres in a series of succulent meadows surrounded by miles upon miles of quality range land below the shadow of the Smoky Mountains in Blaine County.

Collapse at salmon farm renews debate about fish farming

SEATTLE — A marine net pen holding 305,000 farmed Atlantic salmon collapsed recently, releasing thousands of fish into Puget Sound and renewing concerns that a new proposed salmon farm could harm wild salmon stock and cause other environmental damage.