Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Gardening buffs can get some tips from a professional at "Gardening 101," a program that will be presented at the Dayton and Montgomery County Public Library, 215 E. Third St., at 2 p.m. Saturday.

Bob Butts, horticulturist at Cox Arboretum MetroPark, will offer suggestions and hands-on help for beginning gardeners.

Butts, a professional horticulturist at Cox Arboretum, will bring potted plants so that participants will actually get hands-on experience with some of his suggestions.

The program is free, but advance registration is preferred.

For information or to register, call the library's community relations office at 227-9541.

Gardening tips for abject gardeners

Looking at "Rufus T. Firefly," the voice in White Trash Gardening could make you laugh or lead you to hang up your trowel forever.

But the book by Mike Benton ($14.95, Taylor Publishing, 160 pages) has helpful gardening tips. Some chapter headings such as "Plastic Flowers and Other Perennials" or "Tire Beds: Gardening in the Round" belie his practical advice. He tells how to prepare a bed for planting by spreading sheets of plastic over the site to kill weeds and sterilize the soil.

Flowering perennials, says Rufus, are insurance against fussy neighbors who may not like your casual gardening style.

"For some reason, an overgrown yard with flowers never bothers people as much as an overgrown yard with weeds. I got perennial flower beds around all my trash piles," he said.

Cussing plants does as much good as sweet-talking them. He recommends taking a gun to the "Christmas poinsettia that your wife wants you to take out of the pot and put in the ground. It won't live after you transplant it, so kill it right there and be done with it."

Gardening tips in Taunton's

Taunton's Fine Gardening magazine is celebrating its 100th issue with 100 tips from readers. That's a lot of tips, and just about all of them are extremely simple. Mark where each seed went with a toothpick so you can distinguish seedlings from weeds. Use an old milk crate to sift compost. It's that kind of practical stuff. The rest of the magazine includes an article on ferns, another on creating a garden sitting area and a regional guide to garden grasses. The commemorative issue costs $6.99.

Gardening tips offered

The Tulsa Garden Center provided these gardening survival tips to make it through the pits--hot summer days--of the gardening calendar.

Proper watering is your landscape's best defense against hot summer days. Daily sprinklings encourage undesirable shallow, heat- exposed roots. Instead, water deeply several times a week.

Fertilize annuals about every 10 days to two weeks. However, never fertilize when the soil is dried out. Water first to avoid burning the roots.

Early August is the time to give roses a serious pruning. Cut back by one-quarter to one-third to ready them for their fall dis0play.

The zinnia is the heat-lovingest of all summer flora. Plant the seeds in early July and as late as early August. Because zinnias love the heat, germination occurs in a few days and the plants will be ready to bloom in a month.

To get the most out of your herb garden, don't let your plants flower. Nipping off tips makes for long-lived, bushier plants. This is particularly true of basil.

Calendar: Country Trips And Gardening Tips

Tips and Advice New York Botanical Garden, 200th Street and Southern Boulevard, the Bronx; (718) 817-8700.

Saturday and Sunday, from 11 A.M. to 4 P.M., is home-gardening weekend. Experts will offer advice. Suggested admission to the garden is $3; students, those 65 years old and older and children 6 to 16, $2. Antiques Festival Shaker Museum and Library, Shaker Museum Road off County Road 13, Old Chatham, N.Y.; (518) 794-9100, ext. 100.

A benefit antiques show will be held on Saturday, from 10 A.M. to 4 P.M. Admission is $5; children 12 and younger, $2. There will be an early buying session from 7 to 10 A.M.; tickets are $20. All Arts and Crafts Hanover Marriot Hotel, 1401 Route 10 East (near Interstate 287), Whippany, N.J.; (609) 397-4104.

Arts & Crafts Quarterly will sponsor a symposium on the arts and crafts movement on Aug. 21, from 9 A.M. to 9:30 P.M., and on Aug. 22, from 9 A.M. to 6:30 P.M. There will be visits to Craftsman Farms in Morris Plains, N.J., the home of Gustav Stickley, the furniture designer who helped establish the movement in America in the late 19th century. Symposium fee is $75.

On Aug. 20, at 6:30 P.M., there will be a party at Craftsman Farms to benefit the Craftsman Farms Foundation. Tickets are $100. Reservations are required. New York and Beyond 92d Street Y, 1395 Lexington Avenue; (212) 996-1100.

Walkings tours from $15 to $20 include Harlem (Sunday, 1 to 4 P.M.), Ellis Island (Sunday, 9:15 A.M. to 12:30 P.M.) and City Island (Aug. 29).

Day trips in August will include a tour of the Culinary Institute of America and the Vanderbilt Mansion in Hyde Park, N.Y. (Aug. 20), and the Dutchess County Fair in Rhinebeck, N.Y. (Aug. 29). Fees for day trips are $40 to $75. Reservations are required for all programs.

Gardening Tips, Lead Reduction Workshop

There will be free Water to the Weather gardening workshop on May 2 and May 19. Participants will learn to maintain a healthy garden or landscape with efficient watering tips and resources. Multnomah County residents receive a free conservation kit.

Call to register at 503-284-6827 x109c or email water@communityenergyproject.org. The workshops take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Rain or Shine at 13126 NE Airport Way, Portland, and Tuesday May 19th 6 to 8 p.m. at Community Energy Project, 422 NE Alberta St.

There will be a free LeadSafe Home Projects workshop on May 21. Participants will learn how to safely conduct small lead paint disturbing projects. Qualified participants receive a free lead safety kit, and access to borrow a professional-grade dual sealed HEPA vacuum cleaner. Call to register at 503-284-6827 x107 or email lead@communityenergyproject.org. The workshop is Thursday, May 21 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Community Energy Project, 422 NE Alberta St.

Andrea's top gardening tips

Use the nets in washing powder boxes for small quantities of bulbs such as crocuses or to hang lavender flowers to dry.
Recycle name badges you are given at meetings by taking out the card inside the plastic sleeve and using a bright coloured pen or braille to name plants.
Keep a diary of which plants to be aware of throughout the year, and notes to remind you to move, prune or provide support at the right time.
Make a wormery - it will provide you with liquid fertiliser from kitchen scraps. Ensure a constant supply of leaf mulch from the autumn fall which you can gather and leave to break down in black bags in a dark corner.
Grow strawberries and tomatoes in hanging baskets - it will keep slugs away.

Blooming Great Gardening Tips

We asked readers for their gardening tips. For every submission we print, we are giving away a signed copy of Steve Whysall's new gardening book, The Blooming Great Gardening Book (Whitecap Books, $19.95). Here are some winning entries:

We all love the bright colours of annuals, but they only live for a season. Because of this they need lots of nutrients to keep them going and going into fall. Adding compost alone only provides about 50 per cent of the nutrients a plant needs. A great way to make up the missing 50 per cent is by using a water soluble fertilize such as Miracle Grow every two weeks. You'll have the biggest, brightest annuals on the block.



I use plastic cutlery as markers for where seeds are planted. A permanent felt pen is used to record the names of seeds on the plastic. Knives and spoons work best. These are freebies if you collect them after picnics. They readily withstand rain and last all season.



Grow yellow and orange mushrooms in your garden! Over the years we've been gardening, we've found that inverted rinds are the best slug catchers. It sure beats beer. Just rinse off the rinds in the nearest pond and give the fish a boost at the same time.



My gardening tip is a very simple one. When doing your fall clean up, take time to edge the beds sharply. When you look out the window in the winter, things may look messy from winter detritus but come spring you'll be amazed at how neat and tidy the garden seems. Dirt from the sharp edging can be tossed on to the beds to add to the mulch around plants.


New Westminster

I was cleaning the outside of our patio door with ammonia. It drifted into the ground. When I finished I noticed dead slugs along the ammonia drift line. So I made up a five per cent solution in a spray bottle and I merrily sprayed the plants that slugs love and watched the slugs drift with ammonia solution. I now arm myself with this sprayer every time I am in the garden. In spring, spray around