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  • Sussex gardener in November
    Here it is -- November already. This article will give you the garden calendar update. For the First Week of November: Plant remainder of spring flowering bulbs. Pull up diseased-free annuals and add to compost pile along with leaves and leftover garden material. Cut back and mulch perennials. Mulching will insulate them from the winter cold, and cutting them back will give them a tidy appearance. Dig up dahlias, caladiums, gladiolus, etc. Wash away soil; dry, label and place in a bag or box; and cover with sphagnum, moss, saw dust, or perlite. Store in a cool, dry place. The S....
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  • 2010 Tomatoes - wet, cool conditions result in problems SG
    While at the State Fair, the Master Gardeners had several questions about Blossom End Rot on their tomatoes and bell peppers. I thought many of my readers may also be concerned about that and other common tomato problems. Therefore, I am reprinting the following article in hopes it will answer your concerns too. BACTERIAL SPECK: The fruit and leaves will have many tiny (pinhead size) and slightly raised brown-black specks. If you look closely on the fruit, these specks are bordered in white. On leaves, the border will be yellow colored. This problem is often mis-identified as bacteria....
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  • Tips to conserve water during heat wave
    In the yard: .Water your lawn either in the morning or evening – watering during the day is less efficient because of evaporation. Use straight-edged container, such as a tuna can, to determine how long you need to run the sprinkler. Put the can under your sprinkler and time how long it takes to fill that glass an inch. That’s how long you need to water. .Protect your plants with mulch. It helps conserve water by trapping moisture and keeping the soil cool. .If you’re asked to conserve water, don’t panic. Lawns can actually survive a few months without water, and they will recov....
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June 23 - CODE ORANGE for ozone concentrations
  • June 23 - CODE ORANGE for ozone concentrations
    Date: Wednesday, June 23, 2010 Action Day?: Yes Forecast Discussion: Wednesday is an Air Quality Action Day in Delaware! Mostly sunny and very hot on Wednesday. Ozone concentrations will reach the Code Orange range across the state. Extended Forecast: Hot weather continues on Thursday but strong winds and increasing clouds will improve air quality slightly. Moderate air quality is expected but a slight chance for Code Orange concentrations remains. Much less humid on Friday with moderate air quality. Help Clean The Air Tips: 1. Ride DART First State. Don't know what bus ro....

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  • “Happy Gardening!”
    For the First Week of June: .Check bedding plants and remove old flower heads to prolong the blooming period. Also, pinch mums for bushier plants. .Make another planting of vegetables, such as sweet corn and snap beans. .Thin out vegetable plantings; for instance, beets and lettuce. Read seed label for spacing requirements. .Feed roses every month until early August with 1/4 cup of 10-10-10 per plant. .Prune off new growth on your evergreens, if necessary, to maintain shape and size. .Spray fruit trees continually as scheduled. Read and follow label directions. .Prohibit children from rid....
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  • “A Time to Sow, and a Time to Thin…”
    This past week, the weather was so nice and warm and I had several telephone calls from residents asking me what vegetables they could now plant in their vegetable gardens. The following will help answer that question in case you are wondering, too. In May, plant direct seeding of string beans, lima beans, carrots, radishes, beets and squash (yellow summer, zucchini, and winter), cucumbers and melons and transplants of tomatoes and peppers (both sweet and hot chilies). You can also plant assorted flowers, both seeds and transplants. And don’t forget your herbs: Plant both seeds and/or transp....
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  • “Mmmm, Those Delicious Fresh Fruits and Vegetables”
    During the month of May and early June, many of the Farmers Markets throughout the state of Delaware will be opening, and farmers will be bringing their fresh produce for many of us to purchase. How lucky we are, because meeting and getting to know our farmers means we know our food. Buying local ensures we have really fresh food and a great way to keep our small farmers in business. It is important to remember that vegetables are usually at their best quality and price at the peak of their season. Purchasing produce when in season also ensures its freshness. Always check the characteristi....
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  • ¿De Quién es la Basura?
    La salud reproductiva en los Estados Unidos se encuentra en un descenso constante mientras que la producción de sustancias químicas continúa aumentando. La gran mayoría de aquellos que son afectados por problemas de fertilidad, abortos naturales, partos prematuros, y enfermedades congénitas son personas de bajos ingresos y comunidades de color. Muchas de estas comunidades están localizadas en barrios que están cerca de vertederos de químicos, plantas de energía, y otras instalaciones que contaminan la comida, el agua, y el aire. Por ejemplo, las mujeres asiáticas estadounidenses quienes viv....
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  • 40th Anniversary of Earth Day
    In 1970, a Senator from Wisconsin named Gaylord Nelson raised his voice and called on every American to take action on behalf of the environment. In the four decades since, millions of Americans have heeded that call and joined together to protect the planet we share. Since that first Earth Day 40 years ago, we have made immense progress – from the landmark legislation of the 1970s, the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, to the conservation of America’s precious landscapes. And since taking office, my Administration has worked to build on this progress. We have made a historic investment in ....
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  • “Composting Is a Win-Win”
    This year the winter snow storms caused lots of damage by breaking and tearing branches from many of my landscape shrubs and trees. So, most of my April has been pruning off, trying to repair injured plants and cleaning up my flower beds. Pruning makes them healthier and able to repair themselves for this year’s growing season. That’s why I am so happy I have a compost pile; one, to have great organic material to add in planting holes to help new plants get a boost for growing, and second, to have a place to put my pruned pieces and other old plant debris. I am recycling this compost ar....
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  • Sussex County Master Gardeners Helpline goes live April 15, 2010
    The Sussex County Master Gardeners are pleased to announce the opening of the Sussex County Garden Helpline for the 2010 gardening season. The Helpline is a free and valuable gardening resource for the residents of Sussex County. Master Gardeners are able to provide information and help on a wide variety of gardening topics including: lawns, vegetable gardens, perennial gardens, shrubs and insects. The Helpline will be open from April 15, 2010 through October 15, 2010. Master Gardeners will be manning the phones from 10:00 a.m. to Noon and from 1 to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday.....
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  • Moles are ruining my lawn...Oh, my!
    One pest that I get telephone calls and e-mails on almost all year long is moles. Moles are small mammals that create underground tunnels that are evident by mound-type (runways) across lawns, gardens, pastures and woodland areas. These are used as travel lanes and cause damage to grass and other plants by disturbing and sometimes destroying roots, tubers and bulb systems. Moles create the tunnels in search for food, which consists of mature insects, snail larvae, spiders, small vertebrates, grubs, and earthworms. The last two are their favorite foods. Because they eat many “bad” insect....
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  • April gardening calendar
    The following is your garden calendar for April: The First Half of April: Feed shrubs and roses -- read label directions for special instructions. Take a soil sample to determine the exact amount of nutrition the soil needs to grow and produce flowers and vegetables. Mow lawn if grass is over 2-1/2 inches tall. The ideal mowing height is two inches. Closer cutting weakens the lawn and opens it to invasion by crabgrass and other weeds. Allowing the lawn to grow too tall gives it a ragged appearance, may create problems with accumulated clippings, and will cause matting if played or trampl....
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  • Germinating Old Seeds
    April is fast approaching and many of us will soon have our gardens amended and prepared for the new growing season. And if you are like me, you have seeds left over from last year, the year before and some seed packs dating back four or more years. When you have old seed packs, you have to ask yourself, “Should I plant these, throw them out or test them for quality and germination rate?” My answer would be to test them. I remember my dad testing seeds in our kitchen before he would make any decisions on their fate. To do a germination test, count out 10 to 20 seeds. Then spread the seed....
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  • Planting Potatoes
    Boy, after this winter and all of the snow, we gardeners are more than anxious to get our garden soil ready for the early spring cool season plants and seeds. Unfortunately, most soils are going to be too wet for tilling and preparing a seed bed. How can we tell if our soils are too wet? Go to your garden site and scoop up a small handful of soil, put it in the palm of your hand and squeeze it; if it stays in the palm shape, it is too wet. If, when you open your hand and the soil ball falls apart, that’s good news. Your soil is dry enough to be worked. One early spring crop that the old ....
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