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Archives for March 14, 2015

News Briefs – Las Vegas Review

Student’s letter wins new furnishings for lounge at Rogich Middle School

On March 11, the teachers’ lounge at Rogich Middle School received a delivery of all new furniture and accessories, compliments of Walker Furniture’s 15th Annual “Valentine Teacher Appreciation Day” program.

Each year, Walker Furniture, in cooperation with the Clark County School District School-Community Partnership Program, has given students in Southern Nevada an opportunity to win new furnishings for their teachers’ lounge by writing a letter describing their favorite teacher.

This year, Rogich Middle School won, thanks to a letter written by sixth-grader Esther Hong on behalf of her history teacher, Lori Figgins. The furnishings included a new leather sofa and love seat, bookcase, coffee table, end tables, lamps, wall art and accessories.

For her outstanding letter, Hong received a cash prize of $100 from Walker Furniture. Also, Figgins received a $150 Walker Furniture gift certificate.

In her letter to Walker Furniture, Hong wrote about how Figgins keeps her students engaged by enhancing textbook terminology with practical examples of how important aspects of government work in real life.

Master gardener’s work awarded by city of Henderson

Master gardener training and expertise paid off for the Cinnamon Ridge Homeowners Association with the Premiere Community Award, presented by the city of Henderson.

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Debra Jacobson brought her desert gardening knowledge and designed the desert-friendly landscaping. Acting as the landscape adviser for the association, Jacobson assisted with this process.

“When I began this project a few years ago,” Jacobson said, “there were holes from old landscape plants that were taken out and 15 year old trees and shrubs that were in bad shape.”

Jacobson used native desert plants, contrasting rock and boulders and designed “pods” to serve as focal points throughout the quarter-mile area along Burkholder Road in Henderson. Inappropriate plants and shrubs were replaced with desert-hardy agave, yuccas, ocotillo and brittlebush, creating an award-winning landscape.

One important irrigation issue, friction loss in irrigation lines, was corrected by placing plants that need more water at the beginning of the irrigation line and putting lower-water-use plants towards the end.

Lamps Plus to host free home decorating workshop

Lamps Plus will host its first in a series of “Ask the Expert” workshops at 11 a.m. March 21 at its store at 8800 W. Charleston Blvd.

The 60-minute “Refresh Your Rooms” workshop will highlight the latest trends in interior design, style, color and lighting. Lamps Plus design experts will share design tips and offer easy, affordable ideas for transforming, updating and enhancing any room in the home.

Attendees are encouraged to bring their own project photos and plans for a free one-on-one evaluation from a Lamps Plus design expert after the session.

The workshop, which is led by an American Lighting Association-certified speaker and home specialist, is free and open to the public.

Call 702-242-4995 for information.

Downtown Summerlin to hold Saturday farmer’s market

Today, Downtown Summerlin will debut its weekly farmer’s market, curated by Kerry Clasby, also known as The Intuitive Forager.

Ninety percent of the produce at the market will be organic and pesticide-free. A wide selection of diverse and unusual fruits and vegetables not available through mainstream purveyors will be for sale.

For more than a decade, Clasby has been an organic grower, distributor and professional forager for celebrity chefs nationwide. Her team will help make more conscious food choices.

Throughout the season, the market will host cooking demonstrations, live music, classes dedicated to ecological stewardship and tasting events.

The Downtown Summer farmer’s market will be held 9 a.m.-2 p.m. today in the Pavilion (on Festival Plaza Drive between Rosemary Park Drive and Oval Park Drive) and will continue at the same time and place each week throughout the year. Downtown Summerlin is just east of the 215 Beltway between Sahara Avenue and Charleston Boulevard.

Article source: http://www.reviewjournal.com/life/home-and-garden/news-briefs-2

Tri-State Home Show offers inspiration this weekend

If you own a home, or you’re buying a home, remodeling a home, or just looking for ideas for your dream home, then you might want to head to the Chattanooga Convention Center this weekend.

The 49th annual Tri-State Home Show, sponsored by the Homebuilders Association of Greater Chattanooga, started Friday. With more than 500 booths featuring the latest products for the home both inside and out, association Executive Director Teresa Groves said the home show is one-stop shopping.

“Decks, sun rooms, kitchens, appliances, flooring — there are as many products as one could need, all under one roof,” Groves said.

If you go

* What: Tri-State Home Show
* When: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday
* Where: Chattanooga Convention Center, 1100 Carter St.
* Admission: $7; age 16 and under free. $1 discount for anyone who brings a canned good for the Chattanooga Area Food Bank.

She said the home improvement side of the housing industry has been clawing its way back since the recession, particularly in the last three years.

“Homeowners are going to be remodeling more in 2015,” Groves said. “People are wanting to do more to their homes, whether it’s purchase a new one or remodel an existing one.”

Two of the big trends this year, she said, are outdoor living areas which often incorporate kitchens, lighting and elaborate landscaping; and tiny homes, which typically have a footprint of 200 square feet.

Daniel Weathers, affiliated with a company called Little Digs, stood on the deck of a $35,000, 179-square-foot “tiny home” built from western red cedar. Weathers said the movable, cabin-like retreats, which sit atop double-axle trailers, have been gaining in popularity over the last few years.

“The tiny-home movement started up about five years ago, but with the success of HGTV shows like ‘Tiny House Hunters’ and ‘Tiny House Builders’ and people struggling with the economy trying to reduce debt or simply downsize, it’s really grown,” Weathers said.

Friday was Senior Day at the home show, so many of those in attendance were couples looking to do just what Weathers was talking about — downsizing Bob and Mary Rawson of Cleveland, Tenn., just sold their home and are looking for a smaller fixer-upper.

“We come to the show every year,” Mary Rawson said. “There are so many good ideas at this show.”

Empty-nesters Mike and Judie Flynn of Ooltewah are also downsizing, and said they came to get ideas for remodeling their kitchen before they sell their home. Though harder to find, there were a few younger couples in the mix as well. Paul and Carrie Turcotte had their East Brainerd home on the market, but after deciding to keep it, they made a wish list of the improvements they wanted to make. They were looking to get ideas for a two-car garage they’re looking to build, and maybe some general inspiration.

“If you come here, you don’t have to envision things, you can see it,” Paul Turcotte said. “This show makes projects tangible.”

Contact staff writer Will Healey at whealey@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6731.

Article source: http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/local/story/2015/mar/14/home-show-offers-inspiratiweekend/293273/

Home Builders to hold Expo

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Article source: http://www.sheboyganpress.com/story/news/local/2015/03/14/sheboygan-county-home-builders-association/24758023/

REALTORS® Home & Garden Show Features Do-It-Yourself Workshops

Whether you’re looking to do small updates or a complete overhaul, the 91st REALTORS® Home Garden Show presented by Unilock offers all the tools and inspiration to hammer out a game plan. As the country’s longest-running home and garden expo, it continues to highlight industry leaders in renovating, landscaping, decorating and gardening.

Returning March 20 to March 29 to the Wisconsin Expo Center, the REALTORS® Home Garden Show features dozens of free workshops – all led by insightful experts at the Solutions Stage. Topics such as decorative paint techniques, landscaping to attract birds and gardening in small spaces are among the seminars that will give do-it-yourselfers a toolkit of practical tips and creative ideas.

Brushing Up on Decorative Finishes
Decorative paint techniques and faux finishes have been transforming rooms for decades. Now the latest trend, chalk painting, comes center stage. At 1 p.m. on March 20 and 4 p.m. on March 28, Lynita Wolf, owner of Barcelona and distributor of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint®, presents Refresh Your Home With Chalk Paint – a how-to demo on obtaining a velvety, matte finish or wax appearance on old furniture, walls and floors.

UW-Extension Consumer Horticulture Agent Sharon Morrisey returns to the show to prove you don’t need a lot of yard to create a big impact. Speaking on Container Gardening at 5 p.m. on March 20 and at 4 p.m. on March 29, Morrisey will share small ways to spruce up patios and balconies with annuals, perennials and tropicals.

Melinda Myers, nationally known gardening expert, TV/radio host, author and Birds Blooms columnist, visits the show during its opening weekend. Presenting Building a Beautiful Garden at 12 p.m. on March 21 22, and Seasonal Containers for Every Size and Style Landscape at 4 p.m. on March 21 and at 2 p.m. on March 22, Myers will teach homeowners how to build a gorgeous garden from the ground up. Both sessions are sponsored by American Transmission Company.

Keeping Your Home Garden Healthy
At 4 p.m. on March 22, August Hoppe, general manager of Hoppe Tree Service, presents Common Insects Diseases of the Landscape – a guide into pesky pests to watch for, how to rid them and maintain a healthy landscape. Hoppe returns on March 27 to educate homeowners on Pruning Small Trees Shrubs at 3 p.m.

Scott LeMarr from Honest Home Inspections brings his expertise to the stage at 3 p.m. on March 20 and at 1 p.m. on March 27. Presenting Mold and Your Home, LeMarr will talk about the dangers of mold, how to spot it and how to prevent it.

Tomatoes are a common staple in many gardens and a healthy addition to many meals. Providing valuable tips for growing plump and flavorful tomatoes, Joey and Holly Baird from the Wisconsin Vegetable Gardener will reveal their secrets during How to Grow the Best Tomatoes at 5 p.m. on March 27 and at 6 p.m. on March 28.

Bird Lovers Unite!
Angela Pipito, horticulturist with Stein Gardens Gifts, joins the line-up for unique ways to make your backyard a bird’s paradise. Learn essential combinations of trees, shrubs, perennials, vines and groundcovers in Plants to Create the Perfect Backyard Bird Habitat sponsored by Stein Gardens Gifts at 2 p.m. on March 21.

Gardening for Hummingbirds, another presentation that will chirp bird lovers’ ears, takes place at 12 p.m. on March 29. Michael and Kathi Rock will teach gardeners how to create a sanctuary for hummingbirds through the use of plants, wildflowers, shrubs and trees, as well as the best feeders to bring you up close and personal with these special birds.

Planting New Ideas
Nicholas Staddon, Director of New Plants for Monrovia Growers, travels the world looking for the latest trends in new plants. During his seminar, Dancing with the Stars…Plant Stars! sponsored by Stein Gardens Gifts, attendees can pick up new gardening techniques and unique plant ideas at 12 p.m. on March 28 and again at 2 p.m. on March 29.

Get the scoop on the newest plants of the season from Proven Winners® with Creating the Garden Your Neighbors will be Jealous Of at 2 p.m. on March 28. Sponsored by Stein Garden Gifts, Pat Seibel from Four Star Greenhouse will discuss potential ways to design and use Proven Winners® plants, as well as how to maintain them.

If you go
The 91st REALTORS® Home Garden Show presented by Unilock is at State Fair Park March 20 to March 29 (Closed March 23 24). Show hours are Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Wednesday and Thursday 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tickets are $8 for adults, free for children 12 and younger, and free for active military with ID. To learn more, go to www.mkehgs.com or call (414) 778-4929.

Article source: http://www.jsonline.com/homes/additionalfeatures/296096951.html

Don’t let this week’s spring thaw fool you

The Tidal Basin remains covered in ice close to the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C., on March ten, 2015.(Photo: Shawn Thew, European Press Agency)

What is being dubbed “The Large Thaw” may be bringing record-setting warmth to substantially of the country and putting pleased faces on folks in the Northeast this week, but never be fooled by the glow.

Winter isn’t over however and some of its most vicious storms have battered the nation in March. Not surprisingly, forecasters are calling for more snow in components of the Northeast for winter’s last weekend prior to spring officially arrives March 20.

The worst snowstorm ever recorded in terms of casualties happened in March 1888. Identified as The Good Blizzard, far more than 400 people died when as a lot as 50 inches of snow fell throughout the Northeast. The storm was so fierce that much more than 200 ships reportedly sank.

A bit closer in memory is the so-known as The Storm of the Century in March 1993, which left much more than 300 dead and billions of dollars in home damage along the Eastern seaboard.

Today, Canada’s Weather Network is calling for a late start out to spring, reminding viewers that “March is a winter month.” Ice on the Wonderful Lakes and deep snow cover across the Atlantic area will contribute to slower warming, it reported. That’s critical intel for those living in the northern United States.

Meanwhile, the southern U.S. is receiving sopped with heavy rains and flood watches. With tropical moisture impacting the Gulf Coast and snow melt — albeit in drips and drabs — threatening other areas, there are some actions you can take to prevent much more harm than what this winter has currently triggered.

Attempt building a rain garden next to driveways and walkways to assist with water runoff by sponging water on far more impervious surfaces such as asphalt and cement.

Such gardens can cease water construct-up, thereby thwarting basement and street floods. They also cease excess water from getting into drains, which aids mitigate water pollution. As runoff flows, it can choose up pollutants and toxins, facilitating their travels to water sources or shorelines.

To plant a rain garden, use native plants that adapt nicely to the local climate. Wildflowers, shrubs and ferns are fantastic bets. The soil mix is essential to draining: 60% sand, 20% compost or biochar and 20% topsoil.

Rain garden not your style? You can also build a berm, a small mound or raised garden placed in front of the area you are trying to defend or redirect water away from. By using soil, grass and extra water-friendly plants you can redirect water flow.

Landscaping upkeep can also do far more than defend your house: it can save lives and avert injuries.

Dead trees, dangling tree branches and debris can all get tossed by high winds, causing harm. Flying debris causes most deaths for the duration of wind storms.

Examine your home for downed and damaged trees and clean up what might have been buried beneath all that snow and ice.

Spring could be just around the corner, but do not get tripped up prior to the turn.

Thomas M. Kostigen is the founder of TheClimateSurvivalist.com and a New York Instances most effective-selling author and journalist. He is the National Geographic author of “The Intense Weather Survival Guide: Realize, Prepare, Survive, Recover” and the NG Kids book”Intense Weather: Surviving Tornadoes, Tsunamis, Hailstorms, Thundersnow, Hurricanes and A lot more!” Follow him @weathersurvival, or e-mail kostigen@theclimatesurvivalist.com

Extra FROM THOMAS M. KOSTIGEN:

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USA These days

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Our editors found this article on this site using Google and regenerated it for our readers.

Article source: http://www.bulletinecho.com/us/don39t-let-this-week39s-spring-thaw-fool-you-h4446.html

Gardening with former ECHO executive director – The News

The global organization Ecological Concern for Hunger Organization, ECHO, headquartered in North Fort Myers is dedicated to teaching sustainable agricultural practices in 165 developing countries — so one would expect nothing more than its co-founder to have a thriving garden.

What is a little surprising is that it’s not the veggie garden visitors are first introduced to, but rather, it’s Dr. Martin Price’s ornamental flowers: his begonias and caladiums and just a month ago, a flourish of impatiens. In his role, he’s studied a host of issues — from serious or obscure — to foster nutritional crop development, but like so many other transplants, he missed vibrant foliage.

Price, who has a Ph.D. in biochemistry and three years of post-doctorate research in agriculture at Purdue University, arrived in North Fort Myers with his wife, Bonnie, to turn ECHO into a viable mission with a focus on science and compassion in 1988. They lived in the A-frame on the property until building their own home in a nearby gated community two years later to allow collegiate interns to live at the nonprofit.

But it surely didn’t take long for the couple to begin missing the splashes of color they loved to soak in on neighborhood walks back North, so Price set about designing his own planting system that could boast a few features: minimal water usage, no chemical pesticides, light fertilization and year-round appeal.

Standing in his front yard on a recent chilly winter day, the soft-spoken man wearing a plaid shirt and soil-wiped gardening denims, asked, “If you look down the street, how much color do you see?”

It grew silent. Clearly, the lawns up the street were barren of blooms. “It’s fairly rare in Florida, other than in upscale homeowner association communities that have commercial landscapes where you have to know all the chemicals and so forth,” he said. “If they’ve tried, they possibly failed” he said of the region’s residents who don’t attempt perennial color in their landscapes.

In the beginning, 20 years ago, he had some fits and starts himself. Tree roots seeking water posed a major threat to his landscaping island plantings. “Tree roots are fierce. They’re active 12 months of the year,” he noted.

Step by Step with Dr. Price

After consideration and research, Price came to the conclusion that begonias and caladiums “had the highest potential” in this area. Price established his garden at the lowest elevation (bottom) of a sloped mound. Here’s how Price created his ornamental landscape island, in his own words:

“I bought a row of 11 cement mixing trays that can be purchased for around $7 each at places like Home Depot and Lowes. I leveled out a curving spot for the garden into the slope, arranged the trays into the curve, drilled drainage holes into the sides of each tray about two inches from the bottom to create a water reservoir. I placed bricks loosely (no cement) to make it look like a planter. I placed an empty, one-gallon flower pot in the middle of each tray, then filled the trays with a commercial potting mix.

Over the years I developed a surprisingly easy rotation system of begonias and caladiums that operates year after year. It can be started either by planting caladiums in late spring or planting begonias around Oct. 1. The caladiums are perennials that grow from bulbs. The caladiums die down early in October and I cut down any that remain, then mix some fertilizers into the soil and plant one begonia from a 4-inch pot on each end of the tray. Then I mulch heavily so the trays are no longer visible. For the winter months, it is an attractive massive display of begonias. When weather warms up, the caladium bulbs come up and by March through May, it is at its best, with complementary colors and leaf shapes of begonias and caladiums growing together. In June, the begonias die from intense sun, higher temperatures and diseases. It is then a massive display of caladiums until fall, and the cycle repeats. So about the only work is the fall planting and fertilizing, and the only expense is buying 22 begonia plants once a year.

Patience with impatiens

If we had caught up with Price two months or so ago, he could also explain how impatiens worked in the arrangement. However, a lethal impatiens disease that’s swept parts of the nation, South America and Europe is thriving in Southwest Florida.

“I had them six weeks ago,” he said on a late-February day. “Now, they’re all gone.” True to his nature, Price was holding on to some sickly remainders.

“I’m keeping them to see if they produce new stems,” he said optimistically.

Downy mildew has been causing problems the last few years in impatiens walleriana elsewhere in the United States, Europe and South Africa. SunPatiens and New Guinea impatiens are less common, and have limited color options, but they aren’t susceptible. According to the University of Florida, impatiens “are one of the most popular bedding plants across the nation, and Florida is no exception.”

The downy mildew is a particular problem in South Florida in garden centers, according to UF. The disease festers in cool, damp conditions.

Since retiring as executive director of ECHO a few years ago, Price has been working to adapt some of ECHO’s techniques for rooftop gardening designed for Third World cities to become a little more modestly “upscale that make them attractive and welcome even in a gated community.”

As the educator and agricultural expert he’s long been admired as, Price is likely to make that happen — and maybe find a way around the impatiens problem.

If you go

What: ECHO’s Global Food and Farm Festival

Hours: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday

Where: 17391 Durrance Road, North Fort Myers, FL 33917

Directions: 1 mile east of I-75, Exit 143, Bayshore Road. Festival is on left before Lee Civic Center.

Admission: Advance tickets $5, free for children 10 and under. Tickets day of are $7, free for children 10 and under.

Details: Special tours and workshops: live cooking classes, 40-plus variety bamboo tour, “how-to” gardening, fruit tree grafting; demonstrations on peanut butter grinding, hands-on learning, alternative energies, interactive exhibits, fresh-squeezed sugar cane. Also features make-and-take crafts, exotic food samples, farmer’s market and food trucks.

Information and tickets: echonet.org

Wholesome Container Gardens

In addition to the Dr. Martin and Bonnie Price’s ornamental flower beds, their front yard is abloom with a large container garden full of pungent, orange-disk nasturtiums — showstoppers with the additional punch for adding a peppery flavor and a healthful boost to salads.

Head around to his lanai and back yard, and the world kale, broccoli, lettuce, tomatoes, chives and whole garden of eating thrives in mostly container gardens.

Researchers and educators at ECHO are major advocates of using container gardens for a host of reasons. And Price has two specific methods for making highly effective gardens for the average homeowner — drilling holes in the side of the container for drainage (root rot is any plant’s nemesis) and placing an empty pot in it so you can see if a lot of rain/water/moisture is being held, or not. He calls this is “monitoring well.”

There are many reasons and situations to consider container gardening instead of hoeing the back quarter-acre:

Easily adaptable for use by handicapped persons

Soil conditions on site may not be conducive to gardening if they’re too infertile, acidic, alkaline, root-choked, wet or rocky

Avoid nematodes and/or soil-borne diseases

Creates flexible landscaping that can be shifted for changing seasonal light conditions, severe storms or freezes or simply moved to another property or to a place, including a school or office building

Better water usage and minimization of nutrient run-off

Cost effective because it invites the reuse of all types of materials

Article source: http://www.news-press.com/story/life/outdoors/2015/03/14/gardening-former-echo-executive-director/70280674/

Judi Lloyd: Free programs, a herb sale and March gardening tips

The first Third-Monday landscape tour at the Craven County Cooperative Extension grounds will be March 16 at 5:30 p.m.  It’s a free event and a great way to learn about plants that grow well in our area. This month’s Third-Saturday workshop will focus on small fruits and tree fruits. It will also be at the Extension grounds on Saturday, March 21 at 10 a.m. For more information on either of these, contact Tom Glasgow at 633-1477.

It’s time again for Trent Woods Garden Club’s annual herb sale. They have a good selection of high quality herbs grown at a nearby herb farm. The herbs are sold in 4-inch biodegradable and compostable pots for $3 each. There is also a 16-inch oval, terra-cotta colored plastic container pre-planted with six or seven herbs for $16, a perfect hostess gift or for your home. All of the herbs are Certified Naturally Grown, an organically grown certification for smaller farms.  Orders are being accepted now through March 19. They may be picked up on April 25 at the New Bern Farmer’s Market.  There will be herbs available for purchase on that day but for a more varied selection and to be sure you get the ones you want, contact Jane Ferree at 637-2348 or janecferree@embarqmail.com and request an order form. Proceeds from the Herb Sale help fund a scholarship and other community projects.

I will be the featured speaker at the Friday, March 20 noon Lunch and Learn held in the New Bern Public Library. My topic is Adaptive Gardening (or Gardening in our Golden Years!) Bring a sandwich and get a few helpful ideas on this subject.

The free Roundtable on vegetable gardening presented by the River Bend Community Organic Garden that was scheduled for last month, but cancelled due to weather, is re-scheduled for Thursday, March 26 at 6:30 p.m. For more information on this event or to RSVP, contact Dee Smith at 634-3192 or howwwdeeee@embarqmail.com.

OK, I’m back to my monthly garden and lawn care tasks.  

Trees and shrubs: you can still transplant trees and shrubs before the hot weather gets here; remove broken, dead or diseased limbs; trim summer blooming shrubs including Butterfly Bush and Knockout roses; DO NOT trim hydrangeas as their stems contain this spring’s flower buds; avoid the temptation to severely cut back crape myrtle – instead only remove broken or crossing branches and cut off old seed pods; apply slow release fertilizer around drip line of trees and shrubs.

Lawns: do not water dormant lawns; wait until at least May to fertilize established lawns (and June for centipede).

Flowers: broadcast a slow release fertilizer on perennial beds. And, if you’ve been following my articles in past years, you know that my favorite is cottonseed meal ($21 for a 50-pound bag at Williams Farm and Garden).

Vegetables: you can direct sow beet, pea and lettuce seeds as well as planting seed potatoes, but it is way too early for tomatoes, peppers, etc. unless you are starting them indoors.

We have to take advantage of our gardening days when weather permits as I know all of you gardeners are chomping at the bit to get started!

 

Judi Lloyd lives in River Bend and can be contacted at judilloyd@yahoo.com.

Article source: http://www.newbernsj.com/news/local-columns/judi-lloyd-free-programs-a-herb-sale-and-march-gardening-tips-1.450947

The prettiest primrose: Alan Titchmarsh’s tips on growing primulas

Planted in a pot, you can put your polyanthus on a garden table or a windowsill where they are closer to your eyes and more easily admired.

The only problem is that one plant will not be enough, but that is easily remedied since the rosettes can be divided up after flowering and potted individually. Grow them on in small pots of the compost mixture through the summer in a spot where there is dappled shade rather than scorching sun, and by next spring you will have good-sized plants that will bloom again.

Alternatively, you can grow a larger number of plants from seed. They require light to germinate but don’t need much heat – just shelter – and the seedlings can be pricked out into trays and then transplanted into pots when they are large enough.

They are the sort of plant that will bring out the collecting instinct in you and they make great gifts for gardening friends who will be flattered to be given one – pot and all.

So by all means grow the larger polyanthus if you like, but add a touch of class with the gold and silver-laced types as well. They really are addictive.

Don’t miss Alan’s gardening column in today’s Daily Express. For more information on his range of gardening products visit alantitchmarsh.com.

Article source: http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/garden/563436/How-to-grow-primulas-Alan-Titchmarsh

Gardening with Mother Evelyn: 15 tips for a happy, healthy garden

March is the big month to plant your vegetables and herbs.

Today, it is practically unpatriotic to not have your own vegetable garden. I agree! It makes sense to use our garden space for something more than succulents.

Hint No. 1: Don’t try to grow more than you will eat or share with your family. If you enjoy zucchini squash, that’s wonderful. But zucchinis grow fast, and they are monsters! Winter squashes like butternut are different. They will keep in a cool place for months. Healthy and delicious, whether summer or winter.

No. 2: Take advantage of special speakers. Garden centers have workshops all spring. For instance, at Weidner’s Gardens on March 21-22, there will be a whole weekend with cooking demos, tomatoes, herbs, spring vegetables and very good speakers (full schedule at weidners.com). Take advantage of all the chances you can to soak up knowledge and ask the experts.

No. 3: Plant the right plant at the right time. Hubbard squash and those other hard winter squashes don’t need to be planted right now. The same with pumpkins. Pumpkin seeds planted now will give you ripe pumpkins way before Halloween.

No. 4: Plant what you like to eat. If your family loves tomatoes, then plant lots. If you are the only tomato eater, then one or two plants is plenty! If Mexican salsa is always on your table, then it makes sense to plant lots of different tomatoes and peppers. You can freeze the extras. You can easily grow enough to make all the salsa you want, fresh or frozen.

No. 5: If you have a choice, plant veggies that cost the most at the market. Snow peas are just as easy to grow as regular peas. Snow peas cost $3 or more a pound and you don’t have to shell them. Green beans are different. You will get lots of fresh small batches just right for dinner. Keep picking, and green beans will keep producing.

No. 6: If you have the space, go for some perennial vegetables, like asparagus and artichokes. Berries like blueberries pay off and are full of antioxidants.

No. 7: Leave the melons for the inland gardeners. Melons need heat to get sweet. No heat, no sweet! You can grow a pretty melon on the coast, but it won’t taste great. And melon vines take lots of space.

No. 8: Herbs are an absolute must! Yes to all of them. They are ridiculously easy to grow and expensive to buy. Three large herb pots near your door will bring you fresh herbs year- round.

No. 9: Ethnic vegetables make sense only if you can use them in your cooking.

No. 10: Make an art project of your vegetable garden space by including some gourds. Let them dry and then cruise Pinterest for easy dried gourd projects.

No. 11: Expect that all of your peas, squashes and cucumbers will get mildew. Live with it. They will often continue to produce, even when covered in mildew. When it gets too bad, pull the plants out and plant new ones.

No. 12: Expect some failures. It’s not the end of the world, and chances are it isn’t even your fault. Some of your tomatoes will get tomato wilt, a virus or become food for your friendly gopher. If your tomatoes had a problem last year, choose a different spot. Tomatoes don’t want too much nitrogen or too much water. They will have more flavor if they are kept just a bit on the dry side. That doesn’t mean no water, but lots of water will not give you a better tomato.

No. 13: Know your space. Most of today’s gardens don’t have a lot of space. In a small garden, sweet corn is not a very good return on your investment of space.

No. 14: Good soil with lots of organic matter is your foundation to success. Bad soil, bad growth: i.e., not many vegetables. Do add mycorrhiza to your planting mix. Weidners has one that is called Mycos. It sounds a bit weird, but a teaspoon per plant will help your plant better use the nutrients and fertilizer. You will have lots more yield and a happy, healthy vegetable garden.

Success or failures, what matters is enjoying your garden, eating what you grow and not worrying about the failures. Just having a garden will make you a winner.

Article source: http://www.encinitasadvocate.com/news/2015/mar/13/evelyn-weidner-happy-healthy-garden/

Garden tips: The dollar store shower curtain, two ways

shower curtain

shower curtain



Posted: Friday, March 13, 2015 8:45 am
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Updated: 10:02 am, Fri Mar 13, 2015.

Garden tips: The dollar store shower curtain, two ways

By JEN KOPF | Staff Writer

LancasterOnline

A plastic dollar store shower curtain can be one of your most frugal gardening helpers. Good Housekeeping magazine suggests keeping one folded or rolled up in your car trunk over the next couple of months — that way, when you’re out at the nursery or pass a roadside plant stand, you can quickly line your car trunk or back seat before transporting plants. It’ll save you a muddy headache. Another option? Use a vinyl shower curtain, cut to fit, to line wood planters. Poke some holes in the bottom to allow some drainage. When you water, more moisture will be held in the soil instead of soaking into the wood, and your planter will last longer. 

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Friday, March 13, 2015 8:45 am.

Updated: 10:02 am.


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Home And Gardening,



Garden,



Garden Tips,



Gardening,

Article source: http://lancasteronline.com/features/garden-tips-the-dollar-store-shower-curtain-two-ways/article_ff519b8c-c814-11e4-9bb7-6777355f911c.html