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Archives for February 25, 2015

Home, Garden & Lifestyle Show

Home and Garden Expo

Spring comes early to the desert. While the East Coast is still facing winter (according to Punxsutawney Phil), Laughlin, Bullhead City and the rest of the Southwest has been enjoying balmy days for over a month. But no matter the weather, the month of March usually means “Spring Cleaning.” Out with the old, in with the new, or maybe just fix the old to make it new.

Perhaps your contemplating installing new faucets in the bathroom, or putting down new pavers to create a path through a garden, or even a total kitchen redo? Maybe you have a plan of turning your backyard into a desert oasis for gatherings with family and friends.
With all the information available at your fingertips on the Internet and in home improvement and hardware stores, things can get a little overwhelming. Too many ideas can be just as daunting as no ideas. So where is a person to start?

Consider attending the Tri-State Home, Garden Lifestyle Show at the Edgewater’s E Center on Fri-Sun, Feb 27-March 1, to sort things out.

This event features hundreds of vendors dealing with all manner of home and garden facets, with many offering “show only” discounts, demonstrations and seminars. All bases are covered—landscaping, contractors, interior and exterior design, solar, kitchen improvement, entertainment modules, remodeling, and on and on. Well, as Brian Ross, show manager stated:

“So far we have about 160 booths covering cooking demonstrations; demonstrations on proper techniques for sharpening knives; remodeling concepts; furniture; air conditioning; hot tub companies; banks; glass replacement; pump companies; tower gardens; misting systems; water filtration systems; satellite TV; massage information; mattress companies; the latest in exercise equipment; alarm companies; telephones for the hearing impaired; pest control; landscaping; barbecue islands; heating and cooling; shade; general contractors; Southwest art…”

As we said, the list goes on and on…but you get the idea. This is one-stop shopping under one roof.

What’s it worth?

As we stated, sometimes spring cleaning means out with the old. But what if that “old” is worth something and if you chuck it, you are chucking dollars. Well, a bonus of the show at the Edgewater is the presence of one of the PBSAntiques Roadshow” appraisers, Daniel Buck Soules, who will be in attendance on Saturday and Sunday only.

Soules has appraised decorative arts, silver and collectibles on the popular PBS show since 1999. He attended the International Auction School in Deerfield, Massachusetts, where he graduated at the top of his class. Over the last 20 years Soules has been involved with museums, organizations, and historical commissions throughout New England, serving on the board of directors for a number of them.

If you are interested in having an item appraised, be advised it has to be small enough for one person to carry into the event. No large items, please. Now, if you have more than one small item and have someone with you carry a second or third item, that is allowed.

According to Ross, more than 75 percent of the vendors at the show are “home grown”—meaning they’re from the Bullhead City to Lake Havasu area. One group of those locals with invaluable knowledge is the Mohave County Master Gardeners. They will offer free educational tips and  tricks for people who may have discovered that plants that work in other parts of the country don’t exactly work in desert soil and climate.

“They cover the whole spectrum of what works well here and plants that thrive on low water,” Ross said. “There’s a whole sustainable movement going on in gardening. In some instances people are really getting into water harvesting, where they’re capturing rain water in various ways for reuse.”

For the kids…

Home Depot of Bullhead City will offer free hands-on children’s workshops throughout the weekend geared for ages 5 to 12. All children attending a workshop get to keep their craft as well as receive a certificate of achievement, a Home Depot workshop apron and a commemorative pin, while supplies last.

According to Ross, the workshops include things like building bird houses or learning about all the things in a tool box.

“Parents are urged to let the kids do their projects on their own so that it’s a big deal,” says Ross. “It’s a great way to build self esteem and build pride in their accomplishments.”

Sustenance…

There will be food and beverages available within the E Center helping to complete the one-stop shopping formula.

Early Bird bonus…

The first 200 attendees each day will receive a buy-one-get-one-free pizza or soft drink lunch at Wild Styles located within the Edgewater.

Times, tickets…

Show hours are Fri-Sat, Feb 27-28 (9 a.m.-5 p.m.), Sun, March 1 (9 a.m.-4 p.m.). Admission is $5 (see advertisement on page 19 for $1 off coupon redeemable at the box office).

For more information on the home show, see americanshowsinc.com or call 800-690-1993.

Article source: http://laughlinentertainer.com/?p=2470

Loggers decimate 40-plus trees at Gateway Center in Penn Valley

Nevada County is looking to file legal actions or impose penalties after more than 40 mature redwood, sequoia and other trees were chopped down over the weekend at Gateway Center in Penn Valley, allegedly in direct defiance of multiple orders from county officials.

“He just thumbed his nose at us,” said Nevada County Supervisor Hank Weston, of Sacramento-based Ethan Conrad Properties Inc, a commercial real estate firm that purchased the center in January. “I’m really upset.”

Residents flooded Weston and other county officials with phone calls and dozens more posted their outrage on Facebook after workers from a Penn Valley logging company — contractors hired by Conrad — were seen at 5 a.m. Saturday and Sunday clear-cutting all the trees fronting Pleasant Valley Road, the center’s entrance driveway and those at the exteriors of stores.

“I’ve been out here 30 years,” said a Penn Valley contractor who asked his name not be used for fear of retribution. “This is the first time I’ve seen someone come in and rape a property.”

He said he has spoken to neighbors, friends and business people in the area and “everyone’s pissed” about the cutting.

“We don’t want to be like Roseville or Sacramento,” he said.

Weston agreed.

“I personally told (Conrad’s representative) not to cut any trees — we were very clear,” Weston said. “Even after permission was denied, maybe they still think it’s better to ask for forgiveness (afterward) than permission (before).”

Conrad’s representatives, however, deny that the county ever specifically told them not to cut down the trees.

They also question whether Nevada County has any jurisdiction over what private property owners do with their land.

“We’ve had no response from the county for the past two weeks,” said Dwayne Kulp, project manager for Ethan Conrad. “We met with them two weeks ago, and we were not specifically told we couldn’t cut down trees.”

Kulp said many trees on the property were “overgrown” and were blocking views exiting onto Pleasant Valley Road, “busting up concrete,” covering septic systems and encroaching on fire hydrants.

“The county planner seemed open-minded to our ideas of why we wanted to relocate the problem trees,” Kulp said.

Weston, meanwhile, said the actions directly disobeyed orders he and Nevada County Planning Director Brian Foss gave to two Conrad representatives they met with five weeks before the sale.

“We told them no trees could be cut down — they were part of the original landscape plan,” Weston said. “We said they could amend the landscape plan, or do trimming and maintenance ­— but no cutting.”

Foss also said that advice was repeated two weeks ago when a member of his staff met with Kulp at county planning offices in Nevada City.

Foss said the meeting was triggered when a potential tree logging bidder inquired of the county whether it would legal to cut the trees down.

Foss said they told the potential bidder it was illegal, and repeated that view at the subsequent meeting with Kulp.

“We told (Kulp) there was an approved landscaping plan and the trees were not to be cut down,” Foss said of the meeting two weeks ago.

He said a team of county legal and planning staff are looking into a potential lawsuit, fines, suspension of future permits, orders for replanting or other penalties.

Kulp, however, said Tuesday that he had a different impression after the meeting two weeks ago. After discussing the need to “relocate” some of the trees, he said he received an email from the county that they would charge $135 an hour to come to the Gateway Center and review which trees could be relocated.

Kulp said he did not agree to the fee and instead emailed the county, asking them to provide written legal documentation that they had jurisdiction over the property. He said he never got a response to his email.

Kulp said his staff was already working on a replanting landscaping plan. As to the appearance of being secretive by cutting early in the morning, Kulp said the loggers came in at 5 a.m. to avoid disruption to the existing tenants.

Residents, however, were not reassured.

“It’s stunning to me that they were able to do this,” said Jean Sexton, a former columnist for The Union. “It’s like they want to make Highway 20 look like Highway 80.”

Weston said he was under the impression that the reason for the tree-cutting was to increase roadway visibility of the stores at the shopping center in order to attract more tenants and increase customer traffic.

Conrad has already installed a large temporary sign to advertise for businesses who want information on leasing a space.

Weston said the trees were planted when the center was built in 1988 to provide shade and to offset the heat from the asphalt and concrete.

Weston said he also wondered whether the trees along Pleasant Valley Road were actually built in the county’s right of way. If so, Conrad might have violated county code by cutting them down.

The center was sold by former owners Gateway Center Partnership, whose partners voted in favor of selling the property to Conrad. The partners had no idea Conrad would cut down all the trees, according to sources close to the transaction.

Foss said county code enforcement staff members were at the site Sunday, Monday and Tuesday to cross-check the existing conditions with the original plans in order to quantify exactly how many trees were missing. He said staff had already counted “in the mid-40s” of trees that were gone.

“I’m like the ultimate tree-hugger,” Sexton said. “In this day and age when people are more environmentally sensitive, how can you mow down 40 trees?

“It’s very disturbing,” she said.

Sources said Conrad’s tree-cutting plan was not likely to affect the trees at the adjacent Union 76 gas station, which is owned separately. The owner of the station could not be reached for comment on Monday.

Conrad owns or manages at least several dozen other commercial properties in the Sacramento region, according to the website.

To contact Staff Writer Keri Brenner, email kbrenner@theunion.com or call 530-477-4239.



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Article source: http://www.theunion.com/news/15182463-113/loggers-decimate-40-plus-trees-at-gateway-center-in-penn-valley

Learn about drought tolerant landscaping ideas in Yucaipa



The Inland Empire Resource Conservation District and Yucaipa Valley Water District will host a workshop on drought-tolerant landscaping 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday at the Yucaipa Valley Water District regional water filtration facility at Crystal Creek, 35477 Oak Glen Road, Yucaipa.

Molly Bogh, co-author of the book “Life After Lawns,” will explain the process of converting a lawn from traditional turf to a water-efficient garden.

Cost is $30, which includes a copy of “Life After Lawns,” lunch and morning refreshments. Cost is $40 for couples who attend and need only one book.

Tickets are available at lifeafterlawns.eventbrite.com through Thursday. Scholarships are available.

More than 60 percent of household water consumption is said to be from outdoor water use. The workshop will walk homeowners through the process of trading their water-guzzling lawns for waterwise landscapes. Topics will include planning and design basics, how to kill the grass, building hardscape, irrigation and planting.

There will be time for questions and for attendees to get advice from homeowners who have gone through the process.

The Inland Empire Resource Conservation District is a public agency that provides preservation, restoration and education and outreach services to more than 25 cities and unincorporated communities in San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

For information, contact Katie Heer at kheer@iercd.org or 909-799-7407, ext. 102.

Source: Inland Empire Resource Conservation District

Article source: http://www.redlandsdailyfacts.com/lifestyle/20150223/learn-about-drought-tolerant-landscaping-ideas-in-yucaipa

Create a garden that engages senses

This spring, as you contemplate planting season and changes to your landscape, strive to make the garden one of participation. This is the ultimate in design and enjoyment.

By participation you might think I am referring to the outdoor cooking area or perhaps the fort or treehouse where the children play. Both of these could certainly be applied in the concept, but a garden of participation is much more than that.

The concept comes from getting your visitors, whether they are family or friends, to have a participatory experience by being pulled from one part of the landscape to another. Important to this design is not to reveal everything at once. You can’t see the whole garden from any one point.

Once out in the garden and in the first outdoor room, you notice another location revealed through a “door” or “window.” It’s not really a door or window. Looking through frame-like placement of trees or shrubs is like a window. It could be a gate, but probably just as easily served by a curved path or walkway.

As you and the visitors are enticed to go to the next location, you have become an active garden participant. In the new room or location, the room that was your starting point is now concealed. Whether the garden ends there is up to you, but hopefully it will continue to another room or two. Even in a small garden, curves play the role of hiding what is ahead.

These gardens can be ones of fragrance, encouraging visitors to stoop down to catch some exotic aroma. Around a corner hidden by evergreen shrubs might be a water garden, a bench, statuary, herb planter or something whimsical. All are features inviting participants to sit, touch or taste.

The conceal-and-reveal method of creating a garden of participation not only makes the garden interesting, but it transforms the home like almost nothing else can do. The play area may indeed be around the corner. The path that takes you to a woodland seating area or a hidden gazebo has not only revealed a hidden gem but becomes participatory by encouraging the visitor to sit and relax, taking in what nature has to offer.

Take a look in your neighborhood as you drive to work or school, or peer into a real estate buyer’s guides to see the homes for sale. It becomes woefully apparent that landscaping was put on the proverbial back burner at many homes. When you look at nice houses that have the mandatory five shrubs, two trees and little else, you get the feeling that the owner never really considered it a home, but only a stopping-off place on the road of life.

Spring planting time is just around the corner, and trucks full of trees, shrubs, flowers and hard features like furniture and fountains will be arriving soon. Now, however, is the time to look at your landscape and ask yourself if it is a garden of participation. Perhaps you are starting with what might be considered a blank slate. If you still have your native trees, consider yourself lucky.

If you look at your landscape and seem a little overwhelmed, consider starting with trails. Let things like changes in elevation, trees, shifting patches of light, and water guide and inspire you. Notice if animals have already given you some creative suggestions or your children who have already adopted the space. Take it in bite-size increments, and the gardening experience will be much more rewarding as it develops into one of participation as the months and years go by.

Article source: http://www.ocregister.com/articles/garden-652028-participation-trees.html

Whole tree logging

Local News

Historic farmland deal complete; 2 Puyallup Valley families will keep harvests coming

Article source: http://www.thenewstribune.com/2015/02/25/3656834/whole-tree-logging.html

Luxe, low maintenance landscaping

With weather like ours, living life in the backyard is practically mandatory. But with lives as busy as they have gotten, many people just don’t have the time to handle the maintenance it can take for a picture perfect garden.

“I have had a lot of customers in the past show me a picture out of Southern Living with a beautiful English garden and say that is what they want their yard to look like,” says John Puryear with Puryear Farms in Gallatin. “And I agree, it is beautiful, but it is our job to educate people that those things generally require a much higher degree of maintenance. And they are also very seasonal.”

Instead of hard-to-care-for foliage, homeowners are instead going toward innovative hardscape options, which can be as subdued as a pathway of classic stone pavers, or as exciting as a 20-nozzle splash pad for kids to romp.

“It was big business last year,” Jared Crain of Crain Lawn Care in Gallatin says of hardscapes. “There are a lot of people doing that instead of just a deck. They are putting out the fire pits, and the fireplaces and the covered patios. They are really just trying to create more square footage outside.”

Crain says homeowners are looking to make special places outside that appeal to their desire to spend time with family, and that means bench seating out of retainer walls so they can huddle together and roast marshmallows. And, stone lasts much longer than wood decks that rot and weather over time.

People are definitely taking it from the inside to the outside, but Tennessee is a good climate for that until about July and August,” Crain says. “And then you just put in a splash pad.”

Add color

Of course, if you just have to have plants there are still plenty of options, starting with the old standby — trees.

“Ornamental trees and flowering trees are going to be your biggest bang for the buck with the lowest maintenance,” says Puryear. “Ornamental trees are a great investment for people who want landscaping but don’t want the high degree of maintenance.”

Tommy Cantrell from Tommy’s Garden Center in Portland agrees, and says people who want low maintenance plants should go for green velvet boxwoods or dwarf boxwoods.

“They are low maintenance and don’t get as big so they don’t have to trim all the time,” he says. “They are just easy to take care of and are hardy.”

For flowering plants, he says azaleas and abelias add color without needing constant attention.

“With the new butterfly bushes you get a lot of color, and the drift roses are probably one of the most popular,” Cantrell says. “They only get 2′ x 2′ and then bloom from spring until fall. That is a great plant and comes in several different colors.”

Want to deter mosquitoes? Add some citronella and lemongrass plants to the mix.

Time to plan is now

Puryear says the best time to plant deciduous material is during the dormant season, fall to mid spring, and the worst time is in the summer. So planning now is ideal.

“It does take several weeks to get the gears in motion and get everything set up to plant and make changes to the plan you want for your yard,” he says. “A lot of people are under the misperception that spring is a good time to refurbish your lawn and seed it. But really, the best time for a fescue lawn to be rejuvenated is in the fall, September and October.”

And if you need help deciding what to do, that is what the professionals are for.

“Come to us for advice and we can give ideas,” Cantrell says. “Take pictures of your house and the area you are wanting to work on and bring them to the garden center. It gives us an idea of what you are looking at and the areas that we have.”

Sumner County Landscapers and Nurseries

Alexander Landscaping

Facebook: Alexander Landscaping Co.

1512 Rock Springs Road, Bethpage

615-841-3768

A Better Cut Lawn and Landscape

701 Yvonne Drive, Goodlettsville

615-390-4755

Bennett Lawn Care and Landscaping

Facebook: Bennett Lawn Care and Landscaping

P.O. Box 1131, White House

615-389-4002

B T Landscaping

btlandscape.com

1206 Dickerson Road, Goodlettsville

615-851-1675

Cobb Nursery

245 Cobbs Lane, Gallatin

615-451-5151

Coy’s Lawn and Landscaping

coyslandscaping.com

1215B Willis Branch Road, Goodlettsville

615-855-1289

Douglas Lawn Landscape

douglaslawnco.com

1025 Barry Lane, Gallatin

615-347-8216

Downs Tree Service

Facebook: Downs Tree Service

1080 Jackson Heights Road, Goodlettsville

615-586-3637

Five Star Lawn and Landscape

330 Pole Hill Road, Goodlettsville

615-522-6238

Goodlettsville Garden Center/Mitchell’s Landscaping and Lawn Care

Facebook: Goodlettsville Garden Center

606B N. Main St., Goodlettsville

615-851-4202

Greener Lawns and Landscaping

greenerlandscapesnashville.com

805 Park Drive, Goodlettsville

615-582-4721

Hendersonville Garden Center

Facebook: Hendersonville Garden Center

1009 W. Main St., Hendersonville

615-822-3089

JB Donoho Nursery

333 Jackson Road, Portland

615-325-2427

JC Landscaping Tree Service

413 Hog Back Ridge Road, Bethpage

615-426-5082

Lakeside Gardens

659 Butler Road, Portland

615-325-2735

Long Hollow Gardens and Nursery

longhollowgardens.com

2064 Long Hollow Pike, Gallatin

615-451-2666

New Beginnings Landscape

newbeginningslandscape.com

919 Conference Drive #4, Goodlettsville

615-256-8873

Pine Haven Landscaping

tennesseedrainage.com

3039 Greer Road, Goodlettsville

615-456-0110

Premier Landscaping and Irrigation

5113 Austin Peay Highway, Westmoreland

615-636-1616

Puryear Farms

Puryearfarms.com

1490 Cherokee Road, Gallatin

615-452-8948

Reliable Lawn Care and Landscaping

Reliablelawncaretn.com

425 Brookview Drive, Gallatin

615-260-6188

204 Anderson Lane, Hendersonville

615-260-6188

113 Covington Bend, White House

615-672-9112

Rock Bridge Cottage Nursery

635 Rock Bridge Road, Gallatin

615-230-8733

Roger’s Garden Center

Facebook: Roger’s Garden Center

340 W. Main St., Gallatin

615-452-9530

Southern Nurseries

Southernnurseries.com

136 Center Point Road S., Hendersonville

615-824-3883

Star Landscaping

Facebook: Star Landscaping

Gallatin, 615-587-7749

Thompson Landscape Services

thompsonlandscapeservices.com

1108 Lake Rise Overlook, Gallatin

615-568-4738

Tommy’s Garden Center

Facebook: Tommy’s Garden Center

305 N. Broadway, Portland

615-325-2140

Twelve Corners Nursery

twelvecornersnursery.com

335 Nichols Lane, Gallatin

615-451-2874

Young’s Nursery and Greenhouses

musiccityflowers.com

1955 Nashville Pike, Gallatin

615-452-5825

Ward Landscaping and Lawn Care

1020 Slaters Creek Road, Goodlettsville

615-851-6901

Wilkinson Plant Center

Facebook: Wilkinson Plant Center

3020 Highway 31W, White House

615-672-3919

Wood’s Landscaping

woodslandscapingllc.com

1003 Rebecca Place, Gallatin

615-989-1174

Article source: http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/local/sumner/2015/02/24/luxe-low-maintenance-landscaping/23949481/

Arizona Gardeners: 10 tips for a great spring garden in Pinal County

Now that the really cold weather appears to be behind us and the temperatures are slowly warming, it is time to put in a spring vegetable garden. Vegetable gardens provide delicious and highly nutritious entrees  for the dinner table. There is nothing better than a fresh Caesar salad right out of the garden. I like to grow eggplant and cook up a batch in the Dutch oven outdoors over the coals. Watching and working with plants can add a new dimension to your life. It can be a source of physical activity. It can bring an awareness of the wonderful world right outside the back door.  

We expect the average date of the last killing frost in central Pinal County to be somewhere in the first or second week of March, somewhat later in the higher elevations. Of course, that date will vary with local conditions throughout the valley. The lower valley areas will remain a little colder longer than those located up on the sides of hills. Recently, the last frosts and freezes have come in late January or early February. For that reason, we are recommending that you plant early, now would be good, and then watch the weather carefully. 

By the end of the second week in March, it generally is pretty safe to put in frost tender plants. On the occasions of those late winter storms that drop temperatures below the freezing mark, young, susceptible plants can be covered with quilts, blankets or other cloth coverings for the few nights where damage might occur.  

The path to a successful vegetable garden is not difficult or long. Ten carefully considered steps will make it easy to set up and nurture a successful garden.

First, choose an area with plenty of sunlight. Most vegetables, especially fruiting vegetables, like tomatoes, squash and melons, do best with full sun exposure. Leafy and root vegetables will tolerate partial shade. Do not plant gardens under or near trees or large shrubs; their roots will rob fertility and water from the vegetable plants. Do not plant vegetables in the narrow, shaded space between houses and walls. They just will simply not do well.

Second, a loose, fertile, level, well-drained soil is best for vegetable gardens. If possible, avoid heavy clays and high sand soils. If caliche is present, it must be dug out and removed. Avoid areas that are crusted with alkali salts or infested with bermuda grass, nuts edge or Johnson grass.  

Third, the success of a garden can be greatly influenced by the varieties that are selected. Choose from recommended lists and from those known to do well in this area. It is a good idea to try one or two new varieties each year. This will not only provide an interesting change from year to year, but also search for that new type that performs just right for specific local needs. Plant them next to your old favorites for comparison. Keep a diary from year to year as to what varieties perform best.

For mini-gardens, try the dwarf and the more colorful varieties. Seed catalogs will be a great help in finding these specialty varieties.

Fourth, organic matter makes the soil loose and easy to work and improves water-holding capacity, drainage and aeration. Manure, compost, peat moss and leaf mulch are materials commonly used. Composted manure is easy to use and is relatively free of weed seeds.  

Apply a layer of organic matter two to three inches thick on the garden area about one to two months before planting, if possible. Work it into the top 10 to 12 inches of soil. A thorough irrigation at this time helps leach harmful salts from the root zone. If poultry manures are used, apply them at half the rate of other manures.

Fifth, a fertilizer containing both nitrogen and phosphorus, when applied before planting, will benefit most garden crops. Although soils vary in fertility, a typical fertilizer application would be one to two pounds of 16-20-0 ammonium phosphate fertilizer on a 10-by-10 square foot area. Be sure to spread the fertilizer evenly across the entire area. Also, three to five pounds of sulfur on the same area will combat the natural alkalinity of the soil.  These materials should be plowed, tilled or spaded into the top six to eight inches of soil shortly before planting.  

Sixth, irrigation is necessary for all garden crops in Arizona because of limited and uncertain rainfall. Add sufficient water to keep the soil moist, but not saturated, throughout the root zone of the plant and throughout the growing season. Because excessive fluctuations of soil moisture adversely affect plant growth and quality, regular applications of water need to be made to prevent the soil from becoming too dry.

Seventh, early March is a good planting season for both a late winter and spring and early summer garden.  Beans, beets, carrots, eggplant, peppers, radishes, spinach, and sweet corn can all be planted up to March 15.  Cucumbers, melons, squash and tomatoes can be planted through March. Generally, the earlier these latter plants can be started, the more chance they have of putting out a crop before they are attacked by the heat and diseases of summer.  

Eighth, watch for weeds. The soil abounds with the seeds of many plants. These seeds have accumulated over the years lying dormant in wait for just the right conditions for germination and growth. A vegetable garden provides those conditions. Removal of weeds will enhance the growth of desirable plants. Even small weeds can slow down the progress of new seedling vegetables, so pull them early.

Ninth, early spring gardens are often attacked by aphids, mealy bugs and other insects. These populations can explode quickly so a careful watch is important. Early infestations of these insects can usually be controlled by spraying them with a strong stream of water from the hose. Beneficial insects, like lady beetles, lace wing larvae, and big-eyed bugs, will be attracted to these insects and will often clean up these pests if the population does not get out of hand.

Tenth, harvest and enjoy the vegetables in a timely way. Many vegetables produce better if they are regularly harvested. Early removal of tomatoes, squash and melons keeps the plants in the production mode. An overload of ripe fruit tells the plant that it is time to shut down and lay off fruiting. Leafy vegetables, like leaf lettuce, will produce new foliage when the original leaves are harvested. By following this suggestion, even small garden plots will be highly productive.

With a little planning, some tender care and considerable good, old-fashioned work, a gardener can soon be enjoying the fruits of all labors.

Article source: http://www.trivalleycentral.com/trivalley_dispatch/home_and_hearth/arizona-gardeners-tips-for-a-great-spring-garden-in-pinal/article_d0131804-bc62-11e4-9af0-a7a605e4bc03.html

Arizona Gardeners: 10 tips for a great spring garden in Pinal County

Now that the really cold weather appears to be behind us and the temperatures are slowly warming, it is time to put in a spring vegetable garden. Vegetable gardens provide delicious and highly nutritious entrees  for the dinner table. There is nothing better than a fresh Caesar salad right out of the garden. I like to grow eggplant and cook up a batch in the Dutch oven outdoors over the coals. Watching and working with plants can add a new dimension to your life. It can be a source of physical activity. It can bring an awareness of the wonderful world right outside the back door.  

We expect the average date of the last killing frost in central Pinal County to be somewhere in the first or second week of March, somewhat later in the higher elevations. Of course, that date will vary with local conditions throughout the valley. The lower valley areas will remain a little colder longer than those located up on the sides of hills. Recently, the last frosts and freezes have come in late January or early February. For that reason, we are recommending that you plant early, now would be good, and then watch the weather carefully. 

By the end of the second week in March, it generally is pretty safe to put in frost tender plants. On the occasions of those late winter storms that drop temperatures below the freezing mark, young, susceptible plants can be covered with quilts, blankets or other cloth coverings for the few nights where damage might occur.  

The path to a successful vegetable garden is not difficult or long. Ten carefully considered steps will make it easy to set up and nurture a successful garden.

First, choose an area with plenty of sunlight. Most vegetables, especially fruiting vegetables, like tomatoes, squash and melons, do best with full sun exposure. Leafy and root vegetables will tolerate partial shade. Do not plant gardens under or near trees or large shrubs; their roots will rob fertility and water from the vegetable plants. Do not plant vegetables in the narrow, shaded space between houses and walls. They just will simply not do well.

Second, a loose, fertile, level, well-drained soil is best for vegetable gardens. If possible, avoid heavy clays and high sand soils. If caliche is present, it must be dug out and removed. Avoid areas that are crusted with alkali salts or infested with bermuda grass, nuts edge or Johnson grass.  

Third, the success of a garden can be greatly influenced by the varieties that are selected. Choose from recommended lists and from those known to do well in this area. It is a good idea to try one or two new varieties each year. This will not only provide an interesting change from year to year, but also search for that new type that performs just right for specific local needs. Plant them next to your old favorites for comparison. Keep a diary from year to year as to what varieties perform best.

For mini-gardens, try the dwarf and the more colorful varieties. Seed catalogs will be a great help in finding these specialty varieties.

Fourth, organic matter makes the soil loose and easy to work and improves water-holding capacity, drainage and aeration. Manure, compost, peat moss and leaf mulch are materials commonly used. Composted manure is easy to use and is relatively free of weed seeds.  

Apply a layer of organic matter two to three inches thick on the garden area about one to two months before planting, if possible. Work it into the top 10 to 12 inches of soil. A thorough irrigation at this time helps leach harmful salts from the root zone. If poultry manures are used, apply them at half the rate of other manures.

Fifth, a fertilizer containing both nitrogen and phosphorus, when applied before planting, will benefit most garden crops. Although soils vary in fertility, a typical fertilizer application would be one to two pounds of 16-20-0 ammonium phosphate fertilizer on a 10-by-10 square foot area. Be sure to spread the fertilizer evenly across the entire area. Also, three to five pounds of sulfur on the same area will combat the natural alkalinity of the soil.  These materials should be plowed, tilled or spaded into the top six to eight inches of soil shortly before planting.  

Sixth, irrigation is necessary for all garden crops in Arizona because of limited and uncertain rainfall. Add sufficient water to keep the soil moist, but not saturated, throughout the root zone of the plant and throughout the growing season. Because excessive fluctuations of soil moisture adversely affect plant growth and quality, regular applications of water need to be made to prevent the soil from becoming too dry.

Seventh, early March is a good planting season for both a late winter and spring and early summer garden.  Beans, beets, carrots, eggplant, peppers, radishes, spinach, and sweet corn can all be planted up to March 15.  Cucumbers, melons, squash and tomatoes can be planted through March. Generally, the earlier these latter plants can be started, the more chance they have of putting out a crop before they are attacked by the heat and diseases of summer.  

Eighth, watch for weeds. The soil abounds with the seeds of many plants. These seeds have accumulated over the years lying dormant in wait for just the right conditions for germination and growth. A vegetable garden provides those conditions. Removal of weeds will enhance the growth of desirable plants. Even small weeds can slow down the progress of new seedling vegetables, so pull them early.

Ninth, early spring gardens are often attacked by aphids, mealy bugs and other insects. These populations can explode quickly so a careful watch is important. Early infestations of these insects can usually be controlled by spraying them with a strong stream of water from the hose. Beneficial insects, like lady beetles, lace wing larvae, and big-eyed bugs, will be attracted to these insects and will often clean up these pests if the population does not get out of hand.

Tenth, harvest and enjoy the vegetables in a timely way. Many vegetables produce better if they are regularly harvested. Early removal of tomatoes, squash and melons keeps the plants in the production mode. An overload of ripe fruit tells the plant that it is time to shut down and lay off fruiting. Leafy vegetables, like leaf lettuce, will produce new foliage when the original leaves are harvested. By following this suggestion, even small garden plots will be highly productive.

With a little planning, some tender care and considerable good, old-fashioned work, a gardener can soon be enjoying the fruits of all labors.

Article source: http://www.trivalleycentral.com/trivalley_dispatch/home_and_hearth/arizona-gardeners-tips-for-a-great-spring-garden-in-pinal/article_d0131804-bc62-11e4-9af0-a7a605e4bc03.html

Tim’s Tips: Think spring by readying your garden tools

Posted: Wednesday, February 25, 2015 3:00 am

Tim’s Tips: Think spring by readying your garden tools

Tim’s Tips Tim Lamprey

The Daily News of Newburyport

You know we have had a long stretch of cold weather when the temperature hits 40 degrees on Sunday and it feels like a heat wave has arrived. 

I would guess that boredom has set into your life if you like to garden. There is definitely not a lot that you can do outside at this time of the year. Why not take the time to prepare for the coming spring? (Yes, spring will arrive this year!)

Do you have any garden tools that may be a few years old? The pruning shears probably need to be cleaned and sharpened. The old sap and the rust that build up on the blades makes it hard to get a clean cut from your pruners.

You can clean up the sap by using some rubbing alcohol. Place the alcohol on a rag, and wipe the sap until it comes loose. You can remove the rust by using some steel wool or sandpaper to buff off the rust.

Once the sap and rust have been removed, you can sharpen the pruners. You will find that the blade has a flat side and a beveled side. It is the beveled side that you want to sharpen.

Using a fine metal file, sharpen the edge by following the angle of the bevel. Unless there are major gouges in the blade of the pruner, you should only need a few passes with the file to sharpen the blade.

Once you are done with the cleanup and sharpening, you should apply a bit of oil to the blade to prevent any further rusting. You should also clean and sharpen any other garden cutting tools, too.

If any of your tools are in really bad shape, now may be the time to replace them before the season breaks and you really need to get a new pair of pruners, lopping shears or hedge shears.

Did you know that your hand trowels and shovels work better when they are sharpened? If you look closely, you will notice a beveled edge on your trowels and shovels. Using a metal file to put a new sharp edge on these tools will make it a lot easier to do the digging in your gardens.

If you have a garden hoe or a pair of grass shears, they also may need to be sharpened. All these tools may have rust that needs to be removed with steel wool. By getting these tools ready now, it will make it easier to begin gardening when the weather breaks. 

Another thing that often gets overlooked until the season hits is finding the gardening gloves. If you are like me, the gloves can get pretty beat-up by the time winter sets in. I don’t know how it happens, but I always manage to find a usable pair of gloves — but they are both left-handed!

Take some time now, and go through your pile of gloves. Check out the condition, throw out the useless ones, and match up the right and left hands.

Now would also be a good time to decide if you need a new pair of gloves. You will find that many pairs of gloves come in sizes. Gone are the days of one pair fits all. If your hands need extra-small or extra-large or something in between, you can now find gloves to fit. 

Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.  

¢¢¢

Tim Lamprey is the owner of Harbor Garden Center on Route 1 in Salisbury. His website is www.harborgardens.com. Do you have questions for Tim? Send them to ndn@newburyportnews.com, and he will answer them in upcoming columns.


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Wednesday, February 25, 2015 3:00 am.

Article source: http://www.newburyportnews.com/news/lifestyles/tim-s-tips-think-spring-by-readying-your-garden-tools/article_587cccc9-20a5-5cfa-aecf-d8d5b4fbe8e4.html

Tim’s Tips: Think spring by readying your garden tools

Posted: Wednesday, February 25, 2015 3:00 am

Tim’s Tips: Think spring by readying your garden tools

Tim’s Tips Tim Lamprey

The Daily News of Newburyport

You know we have had a long stretch of cold weather when the temperature hits 40 degrees on Sunday and it feels like a heat wave has arrived. 

I would guess that boredom has set into your life if you like to garden. There is definitely not a lot that you can do outside at this time of the year. Why not take the time to prepare for the coming spring? (Yes, spring will arrive this year!)

Do you have any garden tools that may be a few years old? The pruning shears probably need to be cleaned and sharpened. The old sap and the rust that build up on the blades makes it hard to get a clean cut from your pruners.

You can clean up the sap by using some rubbing alcohol. Place the alcohol on a rag, and wipe the sap until it comes loose. You can remove the rust by using some steel wool or sandpaper to buff off the rust.

Once the sap and rust have been removed, you can sharpen the pruners. You will find that the blade has a flat side and a beveled side. It is the beveled side that you want to sharpen.

Using a fine metal file, sharpen the edge by following the angle of the bevel. Unless there are major gouges in the blade of the pruner, you should only need a few passes with the file to sharpen the blade.

Once you are done with the cleanup and sharpening, you should apply a bit of oil to the blade to prevent any further rusting. You should also clean and sharpen any other garden cutting tools, too.

If any of your tools are in really bad shape, now may be the time to replace them before the season breaks and you really need to get a new pair of pruners, lopping shears or hedge shears.

Did you know that your hand trowels and shovels work better when they are sharpened? If you look closely, you will notice a beveled edge on your trowels and shovels. Using a metal file to put a new sharp edge on these tools will make it a lot easier to do the digging in your gardens.

If you have a garden hoe or a pair of grass shears, they also may need to be sharpened. All these tools may have rust that needs to be removed with steel wool. By getting these tools ready now, it will make it easier to begin gardening when the weather breaks. 

Another thing that often gets overlooked until the season hits is finding the gardening gloves. If you are like me, the gloves can get pretty beat-up by the time winter sets in. I don’t know how it happens, but I always manage to find a usable pair of gloves — but they are both left-handed!

Take some time now, and go through your pile of gloves. Check out the condition, throw out the useless ones, and match up the right and left hands.

Now would also be a good time to decide if you need a new pair of gloves. You will find that many pairs of gloves come in sizes. Gone are the days of one pair fits all. If your hands need extra-small or extra-large or something in between, you can now find gloves to fit. 

Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.  

¢¢¢

Tim Lamprey is the owner of Harbor Garden Center on Route 1 in Salisbury. His website is www.harborgardens.com. Do you have questions for Tim? Send them to ndn@newburyportnews.com, and he will answer them in upcoming columns.


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Wednesday, February 25, 2015 3:00 am.

Article source: http://www.newburyportnews.com/news/lifestyles/tim-s-tips-think-spring-by-readying-your-garden-tools/article_587cccc9-20a5-5cfa-aecf-d8d5b4fbe8e4.html