A Special Publication of the I75 Newspaper Group Piqua Daily Call Troy Daily News Sidney Daily News
Gardeners anxious to spring into action Expert offers offers advice for novices, veterans, alike
John Anderson, second-generation owner of Andy’s Garden Center said that it is important to pay close attention to the weather this early in the season, as the official frost-free day in this area is May 15. However, he explains that some plants that do not grow well in the heat of the summer, like pansies, cabbage, lettuce and cauliflower, do great in early spring — and then can be replanted again in late fall. In fact, Anderson says that fall is really when one should begin preparing for planting in the spring by clearing away debris, leaves or weeds to prevent disease and further weeds from spreading once warm weather comes. “Weeds are a big issue,
BY SHERYL ROADCAP Ohio Community Media firstname.lastname@example.org PIQUA — With the abundance of warm weather and sunshine lately, it seems as if spring has arrived early this year, and as a result, it is likely that many gardeners are itching to get started. If you are among the anxious with a green thumb ready to get to work, perhaps the following information will be helpful for sprucing up your garden this spring.
and really you just got to stay on top of them. There really is no substitute for work by pulling them or using a pre-emergent weed killer, like Preen, which we have available here,” Anderson said. A pre-emergent, like Preen, is a granular fertilizer and weed killer that prevents weeds from germinating. Anderson recommends using a preemergent in mid-March, as long as you are not seeding anything, and says that it will not hurt pre-existing plants. A weed killer spray, like Round Up, will kill everything and should only be used in areas away from plants; this type of weed killer will not hurt the soil, and so it is useful for killing grass prior to extending a flower bed or
garden area. After using a product like Round Up, Anderson advises waiting at least two weeks before planting anything new. He also stresses the importance of always closely following the instructions on the label. Other important things to consider before adding new plants are the soil and the elements, like sun, wind and ice, for how well the plant, tree
or shrub will tolerate Ohio’s climate changes. Anderson said that the most common mistake people make is not amending the soil. “The soil is the most important thing, next to where you place them, as far as light; the soil makes all the difference in the world. It really is the major factor whether they are going to survive or not. So, you definitely
want to treat your soil and make sure it’s amended. And you can’t go wrong with anything organic, like compost or peat moss” Anderson explained. Those who live in a fairly new housing development, which is built upon mostly subsoil and/or have had difficulty getting plants to survive See Gardeners/Page 3
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Gardeners Continued from page 2 in certain areas, may want to have your soil tested to know exactly what type of fertilizer is needed for successful growth. The Miami County Ohio State Extension Office is a great resource available to Miami County residents for free agriculture advice from Master Gardeners/Agriculture Educators, and soil tests (usually for a small fee); their website also offers a bevy of free information and tips for successful planting. For the novice gardener, Anderson suggests starting with “container-gardening,” whether it be for flowers, vegetables or herbs — just be sure to use a large enough pot with a hole in the bottom for drainage, and to SHERYL ROADCAP/OHIO COMMUNITY MEDIA PHOTO closely follow the plant’s Andy’s Garden Center employees Dan Perreira, left and Tom Bigelow are busy container-planting roses in one of Andy’s greenhouses individual label for for the gardening season. growth. For the more exgardening club Andy’s also offers light a.m. to 5 p.m., and can be perienced gardener, An- this derson said that “the sky (which focuses on a vari- landscaping and in-home reached at 335-5550 or at www.andysgarden.com. is the limit,” but suggests ety of plants besides consulting services. For more information joining a club to make gar- Hostas). Andy’s Garden Center Anderson said that both in Piqua, located at 522 about soil tests or agriculdening more fun, like perhaps the Hosta College, of Andy’s Garden Centers Ann St., has seasonal ture help, the Miami which is open to the pub- in Piqua and Troy, which hours, March through County Ohio State Extenlic on Friday nights at the is celebrating its 50th an- June. The Piqua store can sion Office can be reached Upper Valley Career Cen- niversary this year, are al- be reached at 773-3081. at 440-3945 or at www.exter in Piqua. He said that ways available to answer The Troy location, 2310 W. tension.osu.edu. Informapeople come from all over questions face-to-face, or State Route 55, is open tion about the Hosta the country, as well as from the information Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to College club can found at Canada, to be a part of available on their website. 5:30 p.m., and Saturday 9 www.ihostohio.org.
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Spring good time for home maintenance BY DANAE KING Ohio Community Media email@example.com Spring is a time for more than just cleaning, it’s also a good time to do maintenance on your roof and gutters. “There’s been so much wind and hail damage the last three years,” said Terry Gallimore, supervisor of Better Builders Service Inc. in Tipp City. “It’s good to look for loose shingles or shingles on the ground.” Gallimore also advised homeowners to check for leaks on the inside of their house. ”Check around fireplaces for leaks, around plumbing pipes and in bathrooms,”
Gallimore said. “Check for any stains anywhere in the house, if there’s a stain it means there’s a leak somewhere.” Rick Phillips, owner of Couchot and Phillips Roofing in Sidney, also had some tips. ”It’s good to have an overall inspection done,” Phillips said. Phillips offers inspections for $25 and recommends that homeowners have an inspection sooner rather than later. “Do the preventative maintenance to begin with,” Phillips said. “Twenty-five dollars is better than several thousand.” It’s best to not wait until you start having a leak, Phillips said. If there is a stain on the ceiling or walls of a house, Gallimore recommends the homeowner call a reputable contractor and get
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Experts say roof, gutter inspection good practice
Maintenance Continued from page 1 a free inspection of their roof. “Get advice on what to do to solve the problem,” Gallimore said. As far as gutters go, Gallimore said it’s good to check them as well. “Make sure it’s up in place against the board, and that it hasn’t come loose with the ice, snow and wind,” Gallimore said. Water can go between the gutter and
what’s called the fascia board and after that it can possibly get into the house, Gallimore said. “Don’t use gutter spikes,” Gallimore said. “Use hidden hangers, they screw into the gutter.” Gutter spikes are similar to nails and go into the board the gutter is connected to, while hidden hangers screw directly into the gutter.” For spouting and gutters, Phillips said to keep the down spouts clean.
”If they’re too heavy (and full) it pulls them away from the house,” Phillips said. Phillips recommended cleaning your gutters out twice a year, once after the leaves fall off the trees in the fall and then once in the spring as well. “It depends on the types of trees you have,” Phillips said. If there are a lot of trees around the house, it’s good to clean out your gutters once a year, Gallimore said.
Check paved surfaces for damage With the upcoming arrival of spring, homeowners should examine their driveway and other paved surfaces, including those of indoor garages. Identify all the potholes and cracks in the asphalt that
will have to be repaired. Stepping stones in walkways that have broken, chipped, lifted, or sunk over this past winter will also need repairing. Also check the home’s
foundation to ensure that no new cracks have appeared and that existing ones have not increased in size. Call in an expert to fill the cracks and solve the problem once and for all.
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Start lawn projects now BY TOM BARNETT Ohio Community Media firstname.lastname@example.org
PAVE THE WAY
Spring brings new life, color, warm days and yes, yard cleanup. In spring everything begins to grow rapidly after winter’s long dormant period. So, it’s time to turn attention toward getting that lawn back into shape — applying fertilizer, dealing with bare patches and mole hills — and mowing. And, after the long winter, there are bound to be old leaves, tree branches, weeds and the previously mentioned problems, since very few people do yard work during winter. And landscape experts say effective spring lawn care can prevent grassy
weeds like crabgrass from getting a head start. Where to begin? Do it yourself or hire a professional? Randy Harvey, lawn care supervisor at Evergreen Turf and Landscape in Troy says “the main thing early is to fertilize the yard and put down a crabgrass pre-emergence product.” He cautioned, however, not to seed right away a lawn that has been treated for crabgrass. “If seeding bad lawn areas, it’s often best to add top soil,” he suggested. “Last year was a good year for lawns with all the rainfall. There was a lot of seeding after hot and dry 2010. Lawns are in better shape.
“It’s been a mild winter and could be a banner year for insects, weeds and lawn diseases since they probably didn’t die out like in previously cold, snowy winters,” Harvey advised. Harvey said he recommends fertilizing again going into late spring or early summer and put down broadleaf weed control for dandelions, clover, buckhorn and other weeds. “In fact,” he said, “it pays to fertilize every other month throughout the year.” Asked about mowing, he said most people mow their lawns too low, causing damage from heat
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Lawn stress. “The best thing is to mow regularly at a height of 3 1/2 inches.” Harvey also advises homeowners to keep eyes open for moles and large numbers of birds on the lawn — “a sure indication of insects.” He also predicted the mild winter will create more insect problems since they’ve not had to winter as deep in the ground. At Kah Nursery and Garden Center near Botkins, Nick Baughman, landscape division vice president, shared maintenance tips for landscape beds. “Now is a good time to cut all perennials back about two inches from the ground and ornamental grasses to about six inches,” he began, “Cut roses and hydrangea, but don’t trim plants that bloom in spring. Trim lilacs after they’re done blooming around
Mother’s Day.” After trimming and preemergence, Baughman said mulching and slow release fertilizer should be placed around shrubs along with an application of slow release fertilizer for ornamental shrubs. “That’s about all that’s needed nearly spring,” he said. “After the threat of frost, annuals of seasonal colors may be planted.” Kah Nurseries offers monthly free clinics to gardeners and landscapers who register at kahnursery.com. Annual plant design will be discussed on April 21. Pre-registration is required. For do-it-yourself homeowners, www.ehow.com offers the following tips for yard cleanups: Clean up yard debris — limbs, leaves, trash and anything else accumulated over winter months — with a rake and lawn bags. Start a com-
post pile in a corner of the backyard and use it to dispose of both dry, dead leaves and grass clippings. And a warning. Always wear gloves when cleaning up old leaves, spiders and insects use dormant vegetation for shelter, Cut back overgrown bushes and shrubs with pruning shears or loppers, depending on branch diameter as fall and winter have provided growth opportunities. Reseed any grass areas winter may have killed off. Doing so prevents such areas from becoming mud puddles once spring rains arrive. Water the yard if it is dry. Providing it water via sprinklers or a hose may be just what it needs to green up and grow. Cut grass if needed, Doing TOM BARNETT/OHIO COMMUNITY MEDIA PHOTO so will not only improve appearance of a lawn, but also Those leaves, twigs and bare spots are back again. It’s time to clean up that ratty lawn. Local experts offer advice and suggestions. help grass grow.
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Winter is over Time to treat your vehicle to some spring-cleaning
Your house is in shipshape condition after a good spring cleaning. Now, even after a mild winter it’s a good idea to have your car or truck thoroughly inspected each spring. Typically, after all that snow, ice and salt, you’ll want to give your vehicle a good cleaning both on the inside and out. When it comes to cleaning the body, a specialized shop can ensure a topnotch job. They know how to clean all the trims and crevices where dirt and salt love to infiltrate. A good cleaning followed by a wax job will
leave your vehicle looking as good as new. Now that the weather is more enjoyable, this type of job can be the perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon — just be sure to use the right products and tools. Come springtime, the interior of your vehicle could also use some cleaning. The carpets are caked with dirt and salt. And the smell. If you have the time and energy, you can tackle this job yourself. On the other hand, a specialized workshop will know how to leave your vehicle’s interior looking and smelling incredibly fresh
and clean. Finally, don’t forget to rid your trunk and glove compartment of all the useless items and garbage that have been collecting over the winter. You should also check the pressure of your tires —including that of your emergency tire. You never know when you may need to use it. Spring can also mean the need for a new vehicle but what if you just don’t have the money? Fortunately, there is a solution to your dilemma: it’s time to go shopping for a used vehicle. But where do you start?
Chances are you’ve already heard lots of horror stories about those who bought a used car and lived to regret it. But not all used vehicle purchases lead to misery. Dealing with a reputable used car dealer will ensure you find a vehicle that is virtually impeccable and, more importantly, guaranteed. However, there is a price to pay for this peace of mind. While it’s not nearly as expensive as buying a brand-new vehicle, it will still cost you. Alternatively, you can turn to those businesses that specialize in the sales
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of used cars and trucks that are a bit older but still in good working condition. Their prices tend to be more affordable, but they can still be out of reach for some people. In this case, look at what the smaller dealers in your area have to offer. Their vehicles tend to be more affordable, but they’ll probably be older, too. Finally, there are always private sales, which tend
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Spring-cleaning for the body a massage and skin wrap. A trip to the esthetician is also a good idea because you can treat your face to a deep cleansing, leaving it soft and glowing. All that’s left to do is to give your skin a hint of summer color. You can book a few sessions at a tanning salon (just be sure to protect your skin before and hydrate it after). If you’re concerned about the safety of UV rays, you can opt for a self-tanning cream. Many of these creams can even enhance the nat-
ural protective abilities of delicate skin against the sun’s harmful rays. After a long, cold winter, pamper your skin ... it needs it.
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After enduring the long, cold winter months, our skin is now dried, pale and lifeless. But not all hope is lost. It’s time to get busy with some intensive spring-cleaning. We are all anxiously awaiting the sensation of the warm rays of the sun on our skin, but before you store your winter coat at the back of the closet and pull out your summer wardrobe, you first have to shed your winter skin. When it comes to revitalizing your skin, exfoliation is vital. Not only will it make waxing easier by bringing out hair that is trapped beneath the skin’s surface, but it will also result in more even tanning by removing dead skin cells. The best way to exfoliate your skin is to start at home with an exfoliating gel designed for your type of skin. As summer approaches, finish the process at a spa with a professional treatment. The treatments offered at these centers are wor th the money because they are often combined with
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Don’t attack everything at once. Make a list of the chores that need to be done and complete them one at a time.
Spring to savings (NewsUSA) — Spring is all about fresh starts, which makes this the perfect time to reflect on your finances and rethink your saving strategies. Whether buying groceries or filing your taxes, here are a few tips to help you save this season: — Make every dollar count. As long as you pay off your balance each month, a credit card tied to a rewards program will earn you extra cash, points towards travel or other savings. One company, Upromise, gives its members money for college -- either for their savings account or to allocate towards student loans -- by offering 1 to 25 percent back on most purchases.
big. Check your local supermarket's circular for weekly sales, and stock up on non-perishables or items that are freezable. In addition to checking your Sunday paper, check Web sites such as CouponMom.com and SmartSource.com for printable coupons. And don't forget Upromise eCoupons, which are paperless and can save you up to $25 a month. — Save on your taxes. This year, save money and trees by filing electronically. Programs such as TurboTax or H&R Block's TaxCut allow you to e-file and receive your refund within two weeks. Plus, don't forget all your deduc-
— Take advantage of freebies. In this day and age, it's easy to forget that some things are actually free. Instead of purchasing the new bestseller or latest DVD, borrow it from your local library. There are also great ways to find items you need, secondhand. Since now's the time for spring cleaning, check out FreeCycle.org or your local swap shop for slightly used items. Someone else's throwaway could be your treasured find.
Do collect everything needed to complete the task beforehand. The more time you spend searching for cleaning supplies, vacuum cleaner attachments and whatnot, the more time it will take you to complete the task.
Don’t try to tackle everything yourself. Get your husband, kids or friends to help out so you can get things done faster.
Do read manufacturer labels. If a label says dry clean only or advises a spot test, heed the warning, else you may wind up having to make some purchases. Don’t invest too much time in any one task on any given day. A few hours a day on one or two tasks should suffice. Spend more time than that, and you risk burnout.
Do clean from top to bottom. The dust will settle as you clean, so you will want to start at the top to avoid having to go over what you have just done. Don’t dismiss the importance of decluttering. If you see something you no longer use or want, get rid of it. The less you have to clean and put away, the quicker you will get a task done. Do take steps to simplify spring cleaning in the future. Have your granite countertops sealed and your carpet protected to prevent stains from setting in. Don’t be afraid to bring in pros for tasks that call for it. Go ahead and drop off your drapes at the dry cleaners rather than attempting to clean them yourself.
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— Make traveling more wallet-friendly. What's bad news for the travel industry is good news for consumers -major price slashing. With the down economy, destination hot spots such as Disney World are now offering huge deals. Do some online research to find out which package works best for you. Additionally, save administrative fees by booking directly through the airline's Web site. If your schedule permits, try for a Wednesday departure, typically known as the cheapest day to fly. — Never pay full price on groceries. While some expenses are easy to cut, groceries are a line item you can't ignore, but with a little preparation beforehand, you can save
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Inspired by spring Because our mood is often influenced by the season, it’s common to get the sudden urge to redecorate when the colors of spring start to emerge after the winter. Beautifying our surroundings is akin to carrying nature’s awakening into our decor, to the renewal of life, especially as it centers around the pleasure of entertaining and living comfortably in our homes. This year’s design trends are influenced by four key factors: cute, raw, re-
fined, and a mix of these. All these influences are inspired by the 1950s, meaning they are a combination of kitsch and contemporary. The cute element is found in carefully designed small objects, the raw in natural materials such as various types of wood and natural fabrics, and the refined is represented in the care brought to elegant decors and in the choice of accessories. Once again this year, the colors of walls, accessories, and floor coverings cre-
ate a lively atmosphere, springing from all these latest trends. Our decor becomes a tonic to draw us away from the winter blues. Among this year ’s colors, candy pink and lemon yellow are definitely at the top of the list, along with turquoise blue, apple green, and all the acid tones. Neutral shades inspired by nature keep their role as a base color to contrast with brighter shades. They are available in warm, cold, or metallic tones.
Covington, Ohio • Botkins, Ohio
Used ZERO-TURNS '07 '08 '11 '97
223 227 227 614
/ / / /
52" 61" 61" 44"
$5,495 $6,595 $7,450 $2,295
'96 '04 '92 '97
'09 BADBOY LIGHTNING Z / 60" '05 BUSH HOG ES2044B1 / 44" CUB CADET M60 / 60" '00 DIXON ZTR4423 / 42" ‘04 DIXON RAM / 50"
GRASSHOPPER 616 / 48" $1,995 618 / 52" $5,000 720 / 52" $2,500 721D / 61" $6,250 $6,499 $4,495 $6,950 $1,995 $2,750
'01 721G / 52" '99 721G / 52" '05 722D / 61" '10 727T ' 61"
'06 JD 997Z TRAK / 72" '08 LANDPRIDE ZT72 / 72" '03 LANDPRIDE ZR44 / 44" '04 KUBOTA ZD28 / 72" '06 KUBOTA ZG23 / 54"
$6,250 $5,450 $6,500 $8,750
$9,850 $5,495 $3,750 $7,200 $3,995
19161 Kentner Rd. 10120 W. Versailles Rd. USED RIDING MOWERS Botkins, OH 45306 Covington, OH 45318 CUB CADET 185 LO BOY $2,750 JOHN DEERE 235 / 48" $1,995 937-693-3848 937-526-4851 '02 CUB CADET 2518 / 48" $1,200 JOHN DEERE 240 / 46" $950 ‘96 FORD 800-860-4851 CM272 / 72" $6,900 ‘95 NH LS45 / 48" $1,495 800-646-1091 GRAVELY XDZ2722 / 72" $9,800 NOMA LXT1646 $500
Home entertainment, culinary voyage You don’t have to rent a cottage, travel south, or spend a fortune to fully enjoy spring break. Here are a few ideas to break the routine and have some fun with your kids. There are many ways to get active. One option is to go bowling as a family. You can award prizes at the end of the game: highest score, best average or most enthusiastic. For entertainment, popcorn hour is the best. Go to the theater to see that anxiously awaited movie that is sure to please everyone. You can also organize a movie night at home and invite your friends. You can embark on a culinary voyage; simply choose a country and prepare one of its traditional dishes. During the day, everyone does a short research on one aspect of the chosen country (dress, music, geography, history, wildlife). Then, as you share the traditional meal, you can also share what you have learned about this country with the other members of the family. To connect as a family, big and small can rally around a board game, or you can organize a quiz by preparing a series of questions that every member of the family must answer: favorite foods, favorite movies, small quirks, bad habits, biggest qualities, best memories, etc.
Take a cultural spring break Spring break doesn’t mean that your brain has to remain idle. Why not take advantage of this week to learn while having fun? How? Simple, just visit places that sharpen children’s critical reasoning and fire their imaginations. The first destination: the museum. Every region is full of beautiful expositions waiting to be discovered by the public. In a few hours, youngsters can learn a lot about the history of their community, or many other entertaining subjects.
Very often, because the facts are so bizarre, they remain imprinted in the memory of children forever. Later during the week, why not head to the public library? Invite the kids to research the subject they explored at the museum, or help them choose a good storybook so they can practice reading as they entertain themselves. For a grand finale to this cultural week, why not drop by the movie theater? A good movie for the whole family is always a popular treat. With a bag of popcorn to top it off, what could be more pleasant?
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Mannington Black Isle Hickory 5” Engineered Hardwood reg. 6.99
SALE 3.79 sq.ft.
Natural Stone 3x6 and 4x4 reg. 5.99
SALE 3.99 sq.ft.
Ol’ Virginian 3”x 3/4” Solid Hardwood *Made in USA* SALE 2.89 sq.ft. Color: Oak Saddle
(while supply lasts)
Pergo Unibest Laminate with Attached Pad 35 Year Finish Walnut and Almond Cherry reg. 2.99
NO WAX VINYLS in stock reg. 10.99
SALE AS LOW AS 4.99 sq.yd.
SALE 1.99 sq.ft.
SELECT 8X11 Area Rugs SALE $179 Many to Choose From reg. 199
Carpet with Attached Pad reg. 9.99
SALE 4.99 sq.yd.
Hundreds of Carpet and Vinyl Remnants! 2265506
As Low As $.79 sq.ft.
MAKE YOUR DOLLAR COVER MORE FLOOR!
WHOLESALE CARPET OUTLET 301 EAST MAIN ST., GETTYSBURG, OH
HOURS: MONDAY-FRIDAY 8-8 SATURDAY 9-5
MOHAWK • SHAW • CORONET • BEAULIEU • QUEENS • ALADDIN
Please Please Call for Call for Current Current Prices Prices
SILVER STERLING Flatware & Other Sterling Items WE BUY OLD PAPER MONEY! We carry coins for collectors, gold and silver bullion coins - a complete line of coin supplies. We have proof and mint sets and proof silver eagles. Call or stop in and browse.
We Pay Top Prices!
For old Military Medals and Badges, Pilot Wings, Leather Fighter Jackets, Flight Helmets, Gear and Goggles, U.S. Military Insignia, Paratrooper Wings, Boots WWII Jump Jackets and Pants, Air Corps Squadron Patches, Shoulder Patches and Jacket Insignia, Fighting Knives, Bayonets, Daggers, Swords, Field Equipment, WWI and WWII German and Japanese Souvenirs. Any American Army, Navy, Marine Corps - WWI-WWII, Spanish-American War or Old Indian Wars, Uniforms, Hats, Helmets, Award Documents, or Medals.