Archive for March, 2011

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The Dinner Garden

March 31, 2011

Today is your last chance to pledge a quarter and a pack of seeds through In and Around the Garden’s fundraiser. Remember, one-hundred percent of collected funds/seeds will:

  • Help someone grow a garden in the future.
  • Provide vegetable seeds to the thousands of students who only eat when they get free meals at school.
  • Increase food security for families through gardening and lessening their dependence on public assistance.

Your donation is needed so please email me (inthegarden@softcom.net) for mailing instructions by tonight, March 31, midnight.

Thank you, Dianne 

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April Events

March 30, 2011

Outdoor activities and garden events are emerging like spring buds. Don’t miss out . . . view April events and start planning FUN for the whole family.

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Science in the Garden

March 28, 2011

Did you know:

  • Ferns can soak up poisons such as arsenic from the soil. Absorbed through their roots, arsenic is stored in fern leaves which can be cut off. Arsenic, once used to treat wood can still lurk in old roofs, decks, and playgrounds. (Purdue University, 2010, June 14)
  • Some common flowers have not-so-sweet or toxic nectars. Researchers found that both the sugar content and the toxins in nectar affected a honeybee’s memory for learned odours. Honeybees learned not to respond to odors associated with toxins within 20 minutes of eating toxins, and would retain this ability up to 24 hours after eating a toxin. This suggests that honeybees can react to toxins in nectar, but that this ability may mainly be after they have ingested the toxins. (Society for Experimental Biology, 2007, April 10).
  • A study lead by Dr Rebecca Dolan, director of the Friesner Herbarium, Butler University, found that over the past 70 years, Indianapolis’s native plants have been lost at a rate of 2.4 species per year, while over the same period 1.4 non-natives arrive each year. According to Dolan: “This study shows that our flora is becoming less distinctive.The team examined 2,800 dried plants collected around Indianapolis before 1940 and compared these with plants found at 16 field sites between 1996 and 2006. Although the city supports a similar number of plant species (around 700) today’s flora has fewer native plants and more non-native species, which have been introduced from other parts of the world and are now spreading on their own.” (Rebecca W. Dolan, Marcia E. Moore, Jessica D. Stephens. Documenting effects of urbanization on flora using herbarium records. Journal of Ecology, 2011)
  • In addition to polishing silverware, leather shoes, and houseplant leaves, minced banana peels perform better than other purifications materials. (American Chemical Society, 2011, March 10)

A little heath tip:

A daily dose of safflower oil for 16 weeks can improve health measures as good cholesterol, blood sugar, insulin sensitivity, and inflammation in obese postmenopausal women who have Type 2 diabetes. This is based on an 18-month study after researchers learned that safflower oil reduces abdominal fat and increases muscle tissue in a group of women after 16 weeks of daily supplementation. Researchers suggest that a daily dose of safflower oil in the diet (about 1 2/3 teaspoons) is a safe way to help reduce cardiovascular disease risk. (Reprinted by Ohio State University, 2011, March 21. Original article written by Emily Caldwell.).

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Soulful Plotting

March 25, 2011

Weed

Any plant (usually unattractive) growing out of place where it’s unwanted or interferes with desirable plants in the landscape. Generally weed seeds spread by winds. But seeds can also spread through domestic and commercial bulk or bags of manure, potting soil etc., and through transplants from neighbor’s yards and nursery plants.

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March 25, 2011

What a muddy mess with all this rain! So much for getting started on the spring checklist.

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Spring Checklist

March 23, 2011

When springtime rolls around and indoor chores expand to the landscape a checklist can create a sense of order. Time, money or bad weather may not allow completion right away, but a task list does inspire one to move forward and to prioritize the must-dos from the I-wants. Here are a few spring tasks to get you started.

  • Repair garden hoses
  • Reorganize garden shed
  • Clean bird baths and feeders
  • Test pond and fountain pumps
  • Replenish driveway road base
  • Remove old fly and wasp traps
  • Clean and repair outdoor furniture
  • Clear debris or turn into woodchips
  • Tighten screws in deck and re-stain
  • Wash exterior windows and screens
  • Clean and sharpen hand-tool blades
  • Check sprinkler heads and test timers
  • Tighten or replace stakes and tree ties
  • Transplant root bound plants to larger pots
  • Power wash walkways and patio hardscape
  • Repair and repaint wrought-iron fence or railing
  • Repair retaining walls, raised beds, and walkways
  • Clean gutters and splash trays under down spouts
  • Clean barbecues, wheelbarrows, and lawn mowers
  • Sterilize pots with 1-part bleach to 10-parts water
  • Remove standing water from saucers and unused pots
  • Organize and store tree stakes and fence boards out of sight
  • Repair loose and damaged fence pickets, trellises and arbors
  • Build or buy supports for peonies, peas, beans, tomatoes
  • Remove trees and/or branches that lean heavily against rooftops and fence lines
  • Dispose of hazardous chemicals according to county and city waste management guidelines

Chores such as these will keep the landscape looking pristine and life running more smoothly. For spring ‘gardening’ tasks, click on Monthly Tasks on the sidebar to the right.

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Reminder

March 21, 2011

Only 10 days left to get your ‘Quarter and a Pack of Seeds in. For quick and easy details email me at inthegarden@softcom.net

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