Rss Feed
Tweeter button
Facebook button

Archives for February 4, 2015

Students hear drought and water conservation message


INDIO, Calif. –

Winter rain storms have quieted talk about California’s drought.  

But it continues, as do efforts to save water because of our state’s three year dry spell.

A local water agency is continuing its effort to reach out to and educate the Coachella Valley’s youngest water users.

Education specialist for the Coachella Valley Water District, Kevin Hempe, visits schools throughout the Coachella Valley teaching a variety of water-related subjects.

Hempe was at Indio’s Amelia Earhart Elementary School recently where he spoke about the Coachella Valley’s first water users, the Cahuilla Tribe.

Old photos show tribal wells so shallow, some just 30-feet deep, the Native Americans simply walked into them. 

Hempe also spoke about our drought and how each and every one of these students can do something to save water.

“We still have our fingers crossed. We’re not out of the drought yet,” said Hempe.  “We have until April to see if we’re there.  Hopefully we get some more snow. Hopefully we’ll get some more rain, and hopefully we’ll come out of this drought this year,” Hempe added.

The Coachella Valley Water District’s Water Education Program directly reaches approximately 15,000 students each year.

Students learn how to save water while brushing their teeth and taking showers.

A 5 minute shower, instead of a 10 minute shower, would save 30 to 40 gallons of water a day.

Hempe said, “That’s like 115 million gallons a day.  That’s enough for 46 families for a whole year if everyone took a five minute shower instead of a 10 minute shower.”

Imported state water helps restore past aquifer overdraft. 

Students hear other water-saving ideas including repairing leaks, using a bucket when washing cars and using less grass and more desert plants when landscaping.

Our desert only averages 3 inches of rainfall a year.      

Hempe says the first settlers used the water, we use it now and there’s going to be people in the future that need it too. 

So we need to ensure that it stays in place, in the aquifer, so we have enough to pass on.

“That’s why conservation is so important,” said Hempe. “Because when you save water, it actually helps to save the aquifer.  Every little bit helps.” 

Article source: http://www.kesq.com/news/students-hear-drought-and-water-conservation-message/31049412

Learn about landscaping and mushrooms at free Master Gardener Seminar Feb. 7

Posted: Tuesday, February 3, 2015 4:00 pm

Learn about landscaping and mushrooms at free Master Gardener Seminar Feb. 7


0 comments

Want to learn some basic landscaping principles for your yard? Want to turn your barren yard into a garden sanctuary? Want to know how to identify common mushrooms and where and when to find them?

Find out at Christian County Master Gardeners’ free public seminar from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 7, at the Nixa Community Center, 701 N. Taylor Way, Nixa.

Register by noon Friday, Feb. 6, for the seminar at the Missouri Extension office in Ozark at 581-3558.

Tom Lakowske of Springfield will present “Creating a Garden Sanctuary,” using his own garden, Alta Birdsong, to illustrate basic landscape principles. Among the topics he will cover are building pathways, rooms, beds and borders; tricks to make a garden appear larger; six gazebo tips; and adding wow-factor finishing touches.

Lakowske is a board member of Friends of the Garden, member of Master Gardeners of Greene County and president of the Greater Ozarks Hosta Society and contributing writer to Ozarks Living (formerly Greene Magazine) since its inception. He designed and coordinated the renovation of the popular hosta garden at the Springfield Botanical Gardens in 2011. His website, www.swmogardens.com, is full of gardening tips and ideas, landscape designs, articles and games, a complete gardening calendar and a how-to series.

Dan Liles of Springfield will present “Common Edible Mushrooms and Their Poisonous Look-a-likes.” He will examine some of Missouri’s typical edible mushrooms and identify their poisonous cousins.

Liles is president of the Springfield chapter of the Missouri Mycological Society. When he’s not chasing mushrooms, he can be found birding with the Greater Ozarks Audubon Society.

on

Tuesday, February 3, 2015 4:00 pm.

Article source: http://republicmonews.com/news/learn-about-landscaping-and-mushrooms-at-free-master-gardener-seminar/article_dcf983c2-a651-11e4-99e6-6b64dd5f1a0b.html

Ask a Master Gardener: How to grow citrus in Minnesota

Answer: Yes, certain oranges and lemons can be grown as houseplants, but you will be disappointed if you expect to harvest large quantities of fruit such as you would find in a supermarket. Commercial fruit trees are too large to grow indoors and could not survive our Minnesota winters. The most commonly found indoor citrus trees are Calamondin oranges (Citronfortunella mitis) and Meyer lemons (Citrus x meyeri). Less popular but often available are tangerines (Citrus reticulata) and Satsuma oranges (Citrus reticulata Blanco), which are really very sweet tangerines whose blossoms are especially abundant and fragrant. Calamondin oranges are small and sour so are not particularly good for eating out of hand. They do, however, make good marmalade and are colorful and fragrant plants. Meyer lemons are milder and sweeter than commercial lemons, are not abundant producers and need annual pruning to keep their size manageable. All citrus trees grown indoors have similar growth requirements. Indoor temperatures should be around 65 degrees, up to 10 degrees lower at night. They prefer a south-facing window with several hours of direct sunlight. They benefit from being set outdoors from about May-September, transitioning to a couple of weeks in the shade both going out and coming in. They are acid-loving plants so their soil requirements include plenty of peat moss. A mixture of 1/3 sterile potting soil, 1/3 peat moss and 1/3 perlite or vermiculite would be ideal. Fertilize plants at half-strength once or twice a month when they are actively growing (about April through September) with a fertilizer formulated for acid-loving plants. They need regular watering and wilt easily. Make sure they do not sit in water. Indoor citrus make attractive houseplants and have the added benefit of fragrant blossoms and colorful and interesting, though not abundant, fruit. Sometimes a plant will have blossoms and fruit at the same time. Just don’t plan to send boxes of Minnesota fruit to friends in Florida and California.

Dear Master Gardener: My grandmother had some bleeding hearts growing in her garden. Do they grow up here and if so, should I plant them in the sun or shade?

Answer: Bleeding Hearts (Dicentra) are hardy to zone 3 (40 degrees below) and are a wonderful addition to the shady garden. They are easy to grow and have lovely blue-green foliage with distinctively shaped flowers that dangle from arching stems. Plant them in light to full shade, ideally in a woodland garden. They grow best in loose, organic soil that has been amended with compost, rotted manure, leaf mold or peat moss and is kept evenly moist.

Dicentra cucullaria, also known as Dutchman’s breeches, has lacy foliage and small white flowers tipped yellow. It goes dormant after blooming in spring. Dicentra formosa “Langtrees” (Pearl Drops) and Luxuriant, which is also known as Western Bleeding Heart, blooms in spring and often reblooms throughout the summer if deadheaded. “Luxuriant” is vigorous and flowers freely. Dicentra-Hearts Series was bred in Japan. A variety that does well here is “Burning Hearts,” which has deep rose red flowers and striking blue-gray foliage. The Hearts Series, like other fringe-leaved Bleeding Hearts, bloom profusely during late spring and early summer and may bloom off and on throughout the rest of the season. Dicentra spectabilis is the Common Bleeding Heart with pink flowers. “Alba” is the pure white variety, which isn’t as vigorous as the pink varieties. In our climate, the Common Bleeding Heart blooms from late spring into early summer.

Dear Master Gardener: Our daughter is getting married at our home next summer and the grass in the area where we would like to have the reception looks quite bad. We would like to start a new lawn from scratch and have sandy soil. Do you recommend seeding or laying sod to have a wedding-worthy lawn?

Answer: That is a common question for those who want to establish a new lawn and there are advantages and disadvantages to both. The main difference between seeding and sodding is the time necessary for developing a mature or durable turf. Basically, sodding is transplanting a mature turf that has been cared for by a professional. There are many variables when it comes to seeding, which makes it difficult and often unsuccessful for a homeowner.

The advantages to seeding rather than sodding are: more grass types and varieties from which to choose, stronger root system initially, and less expensive. Disadvantages include: takes longer to establish and moisture is critical, and for best results seeding should be done in late summer and early fall.

The advantages to sodding are: rapid establishment, relatively weed-free, good for slopes or areas prone to erosion, and it can be laid any time during the growing season. The disadvantages are: less selection of grass types, which could be an issue if you have shade (most sod grown in Minnesota is a mixture of Kentucky bluegrass) and it is more expensive.

Whether you seed or sod, preparation of the soil is extremely important and will simplify future maintenance. You may want to get your soil tested first to find out if the soil needs amending. Sandy loam, which is mostly sand with some silt and clay, is the best type of soil for growing turf. If you add “black dirt,” which is usually made up of silt and clay, carefully incorporate it into the native soil. If you need a large amount of fill to raise up an area, you may use good quality topsoil as long as it is less than 20 percent clay and free of herbicides. If your soil test suggests adding amendments, till them into the soil, then grade the area. You can use a roller to firm the soil slightly and now your site is ready for seed or sod.

If you decide to seed, the best time to seed is mid-August to mid-September as the conditions are more favorable for germination and growth and fewer weed seeds germinate at that time. You can seed in the spring, but the weeds that compete with grass germinate at this time, the root system doesn’t have time to develop before the summer heat stresses it, and high summer temperatures often reduce the chance for success. If you decide to sod, buy it as fresh as possible and lay it as soon as possible, ideally within one day after delivery. Lay sod on slightly moistened soil, staggering the joints.

If you are interested in getting more ideas on how to get your landscape ready for the wedding you may want to attend the 2015 Garden Expo sponsored by the Crow Wing County Master Gardeners being held at Central Lakes College on Saturday, April 11. One of the 26 seminars being offered is “An Invitation to the Garden: How to Create the Perfect Setting for Entertaining”. This seminar should appeal to anyone who wants to get information and ideas about getting their gardens and lawn ready for outdoor entertaining in general, but especially those hosting a big event, as the presenter will share photos and ideas about preparing for an outdoor wedding at their home. There will be 26 seminars offered at the Expo where you may get additional landscaping ideas and information that would be beneficial for hosting your big event.

February gardening tips:

• Spend some time this wintery month perusing seed catalogs and seed racks in stores and garden centers. Order seeds now to be sure you get what you want.

• Washing dust off houseplants will allow maximum light for photosynthesis. Either wipe leaves off with a damp cloth or set entire plants in the sink or shower and spray them.

• Pansy, impatiens, wax begonia, viola and snapdragon seeds should be started this month because they need extra time to mature to transplant size. It is too early to start most other seeds because they will tend to get leggy and weak.

• If you plant to start seeds indoors this year, start assembling supplies now. You will need pots, trays, fluorescent lights that can be raised and lowered, a timer and good potting soil.

• Check houseplants frequently for destructive insects. Cottony fuzz indicates mealy bugs; sticky, shiny honeydew suggests aphids or scale; pinprick discoloration means spider mites. See houseplant insect control on the University of Minnesota extension site on the internet.

• Roses are by far the most popular Valentine flowers. Consider other blooming plants as well, such as orchids, anthuriums, birds-of-paradise, or baskets of blooming bulbs.

Crow Wing County Master Gardeners are trained and certified volunteers for the University of Minnesota Extension Service. All information given in this column is based on research and information provided by the University. To ask a question, call the Master Gardener Help Line at 824-1000, ext. 4040 and leave a recorded message. A Master Gardener will return your call.

Article source: http://www.brainerddispatch.com/news/3670844-ask-master-gardener-how-grow-citrus-minnesota

Love your landscape in February at three free Township gardening events

The Paper is an online-only Community Newspaper Serving The Woodlands, SpringNorth Houston, Texas areas.  We Mash Traditional and New Media Journalism and have a staff of editors/journalists and community reporters/columnists who help us to bring timely and relevant content to our site on a 24/7 basis. 

If you would like to Submit a PR Release or Story/Feature Idea for publication consideration in The Paper, click on “Info” in our top navigation menu and then on “How To Submit News” in the sub-menu.  All submissions are subject to our site policies.

 

Article source: http://fatcatwebproductions.com/ThePaper_2014/md-thenews/content/love-your-landscape-february-three-free-township-gardening-events

Eastern Iowa Home and Landscaping Show 2015 details

Don Engebretson, “the Renegade Gardener,” will be featured at the Eastern Iowa Home Improvement and Landscaping Show, Feb. 6-8.

He’ll join other seminar presenters, including Jacob Kvinlaug of Marshalltown, an expert on zero-net energy homes, at the 64th annual event at the Five Sullivan Brothers Convention Center in downtown Waterloo. Nearly 200 home improvement and landscape professionals will be present at the show.

Hours are 3 to 9 p.m. Feb. 6 , 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Feb. 7 and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 8. . Admission is $6 for adults and children under 12 are free. Friday matinee admission is $4 from 3 to 5 p.m.

Co-sponsors are the Waterloo Exchange Club and Iowa Show Productions.

“Tbis is the place where people can come and compare products and get ideas, whether it’s putting on a new roof or siding or building a new home, making interior design changes, looking for new windows or landscaping your yard. There will be plenty of new products to look at, experts to talk to, interesting seminars to attend,” says Barb Miller of Iowa Show Productions.

Homeowners can consult with new home contractors and remodeling experts. Displays will feature exterior and interior products and projects, trends in home entertainment systems, geothermal systems, sun rooms, hot tubs and spas, fireplaces, home organizing systems and decking. Other exhibits will include kitchens, windows, doors, garages, real estate, insulation, furniture, carpeting, art, heating, cooling, cookware, asphalt, sewing, siding, security systems, vacuums, landscaped gardens, lawn tractors, mowers, chippers and more.

Kathy Flack and Katie Bell, interior designer members of the American Society of Interior Designers will showcase room designs.

Seminars planned are:

Zero Net Energy Homes, Jacob Kvinlaug, 4 p.m. Feb. 6 and 1 p.m. Feb. 7

Common Gardening Myths and the Mayhem They Cause, Don Engebretson, 5 p.m. Feb. 6 and 3 p.m. Feb. 7

Emerald Ash Borer Facts, Sheila Sartorius, 5 p.m. Feb. 6 and 2 p.m. Feb. 7.

Top 10 Gardening and Landscaping Blunders and How to Avoid Them, Don Engebretson, 7 p.m. Feb. 6, noon and 6 p.m. Feb. 7.

Kitchen Design Trends, Randy Herman, 11 a.m. Feb. 7.

Kitchen Design 101, Jenny Ferson, 4:30 p.m. Feb. 7.

Homebuilding 101, Todd Redig, noon Feb. 8

Stages of Bath Design, Katie Bell, 1 p.m. Feb 8.

Pond Ideas for Your Yard, Bernd Wittneben, 2 p.m. Feb. 8.

Article source: http://wcfcourier.com/lifestyles/home-and-garden/eastern-iowa-home-and-landscaping-show-details/article_6c77dc3f-958b-503a-84a0-04f16e99917e.html

“Mastering Organic Gardening and Landscaping”

“Mastering Organic Gardening and Landscaping”

Presented by Bill Hlubik, Professor, Rutgers University

Director/Agricultural Agent, Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County 

Director, the EARTH Center

Tuesday, February 24, 2015 at 7:30 PM

County Administration Building, One Bergen Plaza, Hackensack, N.J., 1st Floor Meeting Room

(Home of the County Extension Office)

Refreshments at 7:00 PM; Announcements at 7:20 PM

Join Master Gardeners for an enriching presentation on mastering organic gardening and landscaping.  Bill Hlubik will demonstrate how the proper use of genetics, culture, plant placement, and soil amendments can stimulate beneficial micro-organisms and transform soils to provide a healthy environment for plants and people. We will learn how to reduce the use of pesticides, fertilizers and water in landscapes and gardens.    

Bill Hlubik is a Professor at Rutgers University and serves as the Agricultural and Resource Management Agent for Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County.  Bill is the Director for the EARTH Center and the RCE of Middlesex County.

Bill teaches undergraduate agricultural and horticultural courses and Extension programs to students and clientele throughout the state and the northeast.  Bill helped to organize and teach the statewide Organic Landcare Program which just graduated it’s third year of organic land care professionals. Mr. Hlubik has conducted research on the development of new strawberry cultivars for the northeast as well as disease control of ornamental and vegetable crops.    Bill grew up on a farm in Burlington County and continues to help out with the family farm in the production of vegetables, grains, specialty crops and beef cattle.  Bill has expertise in plant pathology, horticulture, agricultural production, turf management and organic landscaping. Bill is a graduate of Rutgers University.

Article source: http://www.paramuspost.com/article.php/20150202182538298

Tips: Safety for seniors starts at home, continues in the community

With nearly 50 million citizens age 65 and older living in the United States and Canada, seniors represent one of the fastest growing population segments, but also a demographic commonly targeted for crime. As the senior population continues to increase — it’s expected to nearly double by 2050 in the United States and 2035 in Canada — so too does the need for senior safety education.

As part of its ongoing commitment to keep consumers safe through every life stage and season, Master Lock offers top safety tips for seniors:

Lock Up Home Safety: Typically a place of comfort and refuge, seniors should never have to worry about safety in their own home. For added protection beyond traditional door and window locks, safeguard sliding glass and patio doors with the added strength of a door security bar and consider a home alarm system to alert against intruders. Keep doors locked both when you’re home and away.

Be Alert When Out and About: Property crimes represent the highest share of crimes against those 65 and older — nearly nine out of 10, according to the National Elder Law Network. Seniors should be alert and aware of their surroundings when out of the house and to keep valuables protected. For example, always lock cars, even if they’ll only be unattended for a few minutes. Keep packages and valuables out of sight, and always check the area around your car before entering or exiting. When out in public, women should wear their purses close to their body and men should carry their wallet in an inside coat or front pant pocket.

Secure Personal Items in a Group Home Environment: Misplaced or stolen belongings are a frequent complaint of nursing home residents. Keep valuables safe by storing them in an easy-to-use, locked safe that only you and a trusted companion know the combination to. Secure those small items, such as credit cards, jewelry or cash in a portable safe, while while larger items, like documents or memorabilia, can be stored in a fire-resistant safe.

Protect Against Identity Theft: Mature consumers (ages 50 and over) represent the largest demographic of identity theft victims, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Why? Consumers in this age group typically have more assets than younger consumers, making them ideal targets. Reduce your risk by never carrying your Social Security card; shredding documents that contain any identifying information; keeping personal information such as bank statements, Medicare statements and Social Security numbers in a locked safe; and storing credit card numbers in a safe location for easy retrieval if they’re lost or stolen.

Think Twice Before Divulging Personal Information: Seniors are also major targets of fraud, such as telemarketing scams, according to the American Association of Retired Persons. Follow the general rule of thumb that if an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. Never rush into signing anything, and never give your credit card, Social Security, Medicare or bank account details to anyone over the phone. When in doubt, check with the Better Business Bureau or police.

Pomatto and Bosler are account associates with JSHA, which represent Master Lock Co. and other brands. For more information: http://www.facebook.com/masterlock

Copyright © 2015, Daily Press

Article source: http://www.dailypress.com/features/home-garden/dp-fea-hg-tips-0212-20150203-story.html

Experts offer favorite winter gardening tips

A new feature of the Get Up and Grow Column that you will see from time to time will feature four favorite tips from the Minnetrista’s Horticulture and Grounds crews.

Home gardening does not have to come to a complete stop in the winter months. If you like to get out and tinker around a bit, here are four things that you might want to try.

1. Have you ever thought about planting grass seed in the middle of winter? Sounds silly, but it works. Here’s how. In the month of February, try scattering grass seed into a bare spot on your lawn. The natural freezing and thawing that goes on will draw the seed into the soil ensuring good seed to soil contact. In the spring, the soil warms up and the seed already in place will grow. Try it. It works, and it is easy. — Steve Scott, grounds manager

2. While you’re sowing your grass, toss some hardy annual seed into your garden bed! Annuals are classified as hardy, half-hardy, and tender, according to their tolerance for cold. Hardy annual seed not only survives the freezing winter, it often requires it! Many species must be exposed to cold in order to germinate. Some examples are poppies, larkspur, columbine, and clarkia. Check your seed packet for hardiness information before sowing. — Elaine Vidal, gardener

3. Now is the time to prune! I don’t care if it is cold out; if you care about your trees get to it. No wait; make sure you know what you’re doing first. Poor pruning is worse than no pruning. No topping either! Find out what you need to do for your apple and pear trees at tinyurl.com/minnetrista-pruning. Learn about shade tree pruning at tinyurl.com/minnetrista-pruning2. — Dustin Stillinger, horticulture manager

4. Are there any large tree seedlings or shrubs in your yard, or fenceline that you’d like to remove? If you simply cut them back they’ll resprout in the spring. To get rid of them for good, treat the stumps with an appropriate herbicide. And remember, always follow the herbicide label. — Clair Burt, gardener

The Minnetrista Horticulture and Grounds staff who write for Get Up and Grow Column includes horticulture manager Dustin Stillinger, grounds supervisor Steve Scott and gardeners Clair Burt and Elaine Vidal. Together, all four are responsible for overseeing the beautiful 40-acre campus. They can be reached at 282-4848.

Article source: http://www.thestarpress.com/story/life/home-garden/2015/02/03/winter-gardening-tips/22787647/

Interview: Community Garden tips

ALL RIGHT, WE ARE HERE WITH ALISON DUNCAN FROM FORSYTH CORPORATIST EXTENSION. YOU ARE GETTING READY TO PLANT, RIGHT? IT IS TO GOLD TO BE OUTSIDE, BUT THIS IS THE GREAT TIME TO LAND, AND THAT COOPERATIVE EXTENSION, WE WILL BE DOING TRAINING FOR THE COMMUNITY GARDEN MENTORS, SO IF THERE IS ANYBODY OUT THERE WHO REALLY WANTS TO LEARN MORE ABOUT COMMUNITY GARDENS OR GET INTO BALLS WITH COMMUNITY GARDENS, THEY SHOULD COME TO OUR TRAINING. IT WILL BE GREAT TO HAVE THEM. WALK US THROUGH. FOR THE MENTORS, WE LIKE TO GIVE THEM THE SKILLS TO HELP COMMUNITY GARDENS SUCCEED. A LOT OF PEOPLE THINK THE COMMUNITY GARDENS IS ALL ABOUT THE GROWING OF THE PLANTS AND VEGETABLES — IT IS NOT? [LAUGHTER] IT IS ALSO ABOUT COMMUNITY ORGANIZING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT, SO IT IS ABOUT GIVING THOSE SKILLS. THAT IS WHAT WE WILL BE FOCUSING ON, AND WE WOULD LOVE TO HAVE FOLKS COME. IS THERE A COST INVOLVED? NO, IT IS FREE. WE WILL BE HOLDING IN MARCH 21 AND 28 FROM 9:00 A.M. UNTIL 3:00 P.M. ON BOTH OF THOSE DAYS. IT WILL BE AT THE FORSYTH COUNTY AGRICULTURE BUILDING ON FAIR TIED CHILD ROAD — ON FAIRCHILD ROAD. HOW DO PEOPLE SIGN UP? YOU CAN SIGN UP WWW.TINYURL.COM/GARDENMENTOR.

Article source: http://www.wxii12.com/news/interview-community-garden-tips/31070162