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Archives for May 7, 2017

Spring garden tips – Story | PAHomepage | WBRE and WYOU

Scott Township, Lackawanna County (WBRE/WYOU) It’s spring, and a lot of people are ready to get their gardens growing, we get some tips from experts.

 It’s still chilly, but there are some plants you can get going right now.  The experts say plants like cabbage, broccoli and Brussels sprouts can be planted  now.

 But it’s too cold for other plants like tomatoes and peppers.  They also say you can start by getting the soil ready for planting with extra nutrients.

 They also warn, if you have hanging baskets, take them in on cold nights to avoid damage. 

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Some tips as you prepare your spring vegetable garden

There is no doubt that growing a vegetable garden can be a rewarding experience, providing hours of mental relaxation, exercise and hopefully lots of delicious vegetables.

The home vegetable garden can also be a worthy adversary, frustrating even the most experienced gardeners with myriad issues from insect pests to diseases. While it is true that there are several potential problems lurking in the home garden, many of them can be prevented with proper planning.

Perhaps the most important decision a gardener will make is where to plant the garden.

When possible choose a site which has adequate drainage, adequate sunlight and is convenient. All vegetable crops need some direct sunlight to grow. Leafy greens, such as lettuce, need about four hours of sunlight, while fruiting vegetables, such as tomatoes, need more than eight hours of direct sunlight to produce well.

While the specific soil type is not important, an optimum garden soil would have good drainage, high fertility, good moisture-holding capacity and would be relatively easy to till. If you do not have such soil on your property, you may consider planting into raised beds, or try container gardening.

Finally, try to keep your garden close to your home. Being close to your home will make daily visits to your garden convenient and will help you notice any insect or disease problems before they can cause serious damage and will also make watering easier.

After selecting the best possible garden location, the next step is to decide which vegetables you are going to plant. Once you choose, select varieties which are recommended for your area, have good disease resistance and are suggested for planting in your area.

By choosing such varieties, you may improve your yields and potentially reduce your reliance on chemical controls. Your local Extension office or garden center can help you with variety selection.

It can be helpful to make a map of your garden. Your garden map should include important information such as variety, row spacing, plant spacing, planting date and fertility recommendations. This information can be saved and may help you decide which varieties to plant next year.

Another important benefit of keeping a garden map is that it will prevent you from planting the same type of crop in the same location every year. It may be possible to reduce the threat of many pests by simply rotating crops that belong to the same family into another area of the garden.

A simple method that is often used is to simply split your garden into four quadrants, planting a family of crops in each. These groups of vegetable crops can be placed into a different area of the garden every year, ensuring a good rotation.

Perhaps the greatest advantage of planning your vegetable garden is that it greatly extends the time that you can enjoy gardening. You can easily spend hours researching varieties, browsing seed catalogs and drawing garden plans. These activities can enhance your gardening experience and help you better prepare for any potential pests well before they become an issue.

Enjoy the 2017 gardening season!

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Ask a Designer: Decorating indoors with plants





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7 gift ideas for Mother’s Day |

It’s time to honor that special woman in your life. Mother’s Day is approaching, and whether you are buying for your mother, your wife, or both, consider some inexpensive alternatives or ways to save money on classic Mother’s Day gifts.

  • Flowers – Flowers are a popular Mother’s Day present, but you don’t necessarily have to pay flower shop prices. Instead of paying for a vase and the extra arrangement costs, find your own simple vase and make your own arrangement. You can find inexpensive yet beautiful flower bundles at most supermarkets that you can turn into a lovely bouquet on your own. Take the time to find out what types of flowers she prefers and which property is the most important to her (color, appearance, fragrance, etc.)
  • Plants/Landscaping – Mother’s Day is the perfect time of year to put out most new plants. Farmer’s markets and local gardening society meetings/sales can be great places to pick up plants without paying holiday markup at home improvement stores or nurseries.
  • Handmade Gifts – A well-thought out handmade gift can be worth far more to your mother than the money you spent. For example, customize a picture frame with sentimental mementoes and insert her favorite family picture. If you are a knitter, make her an afghan or a scarf. An Internet search of “Mother’s Day DIY gifts” should spur your imagination and help you find a project that your mother will love within your price range and skill set.
  • Refurbishing Projects – Does she have a favorite piece of furniture that is in need of repair or refinishing? If it’s in your skill set to do so, consider tackling this project. It might be difficult, or unwise, to do this as a surprise, so you may want to make the offer first.
  • Hobby Accessories – Does your mother have a favorite hobby such as knitting or gardening — or perhaps she likes to golf or rebuild vintage Chevys? Regardless of her hobby, find subtle ways to find out what accessories she needs. Take an interest in her hobby and you are likely to find a suitable choice. Shop well in advance so you can take advantage of any coupons or sales related to her hobby if you can, and try to use your credit card rewards. You can check your credit score and apply for credit cards with top rewards for free at MoneyTips.
  • Gift Cards – Got a hard-to-please mom? Consider gift cards so she can redeem them whenever she wants for whatever she wants.

Mother’s Day is chock full of sales, rebates, and coupon opportunities. Make sure you check your local stores, newspapers, and websites/social media for deals related to your choice.

Whatever you decide to shop for or make, start early. You will generally have the best selection and avoid pre-holiday markups. If you are making a Mother’s Day present, starting early gives you a little extra cushion in case you have a mishap. Mom probably won’t mind if her homemade gift is a bit late, but why take the chance?

The most important thing of all is to know your mother’s likes and dislikes. It’s a good idea to notice potential gift ideas throughout the year and stash them away for future reference. You are more likely to come through with a pleasant surprise that way (but make sure she hasn’t already bought the item for herself).

With a little time and effort, you can make Mother’s Day even more special. However, don’t forget to give your Mom the most important gift of all — your time and attention. This last gift on our list may not cost you a dime, but Mom will value it most of all. Let her know that you love her and would do anything for her, not just on Mother’s Day but throughout the year as well.

This article was provided by our partners at

To Read More From MoneyTips:

6 Cheap Ways to Entertain the Kids This Summer

Get A Better Deal On Your Interest Payments

5 Money Lessons to Teach your Kids


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Spring @ your library


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Horticulture program helps answer garden questions





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Garden Help: Master Gardener classes forming throughout Northeast Florida – Florida Times

Where to apply

For more information about the Master Gardener program in your county, contact the County Extension Office and request an application form. Application deadlines vary by county. In Duval County, the deadline is June 20.

• Duval County Cooperative Extension Office

1010 N. McDuff Ave., Jacksonville, Fla. 32254

(904) 255-7450,

• Baker County Cooperative Extension Office

1025 West Macclenny Ave., Macclenny, Fla. 32063

(904) 259-3520,

• Bradford County Cooperative Extension Office

2266 N Temple Ave., Starke, Fla. 32091

(904) 966-6299,

• Clay County Cooperative Extension Office

P.O. Box 278, Green Cove Springs, Fla. 32043-0278

(904) 284-6355,

• Nassau County Cooperative Extension Office

543350 US Hwy 1, Callahan, Fla. 32011

(904) 879-1019,

• Putnam County Cooperative Extension Service

111 Yelvington Rd., Suite 1, East Palatka, Fla. 32131

(386) 329-0318,

• St. Johns County Cooperative Extension Office

3125 Agriculture Center Drive, St. Augustine, Fla. 32092


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