The Waushara Argus
2014 Home & Garden Section Supplement to The Waushara Argus Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Waushara Argus, Wednesday, April 16, 2014, Page 2
How to guarantee your garden starts off on the right foot As winter slowly winds down, many gardeners cannot wait to soak up the springtime sun and get their hands dirty in the garden. Such excitement is not just good for gardeners, but can benefit the garden in the months to come as well. Late winter or early spring is a great time to get a head start on the gardening season. Even if gardening season is still around the corner, completing the following projects can ensure your garden gets off on the right foot. Clear debris One of the best things you can do for your garden as winter winds down is to clear it of debris. Winter can be especially harsh on a landscape, and gardens left to
the elements are often filled with debris once spring arrives. Dead leaves, fallen branches, rocks that surfaced during the winter frost, and even garbage that might have blown about in winter winds can all pile up in a garden over a typical winter. Clearing such debris likely won’t take long, but it’s a great first step toward restoring the garden before the time comes to plant and grow the garden once again. Examine the soil Soil plays a significant role in whether a garden thrives or struggles. Examining the soil before the season starts can help gardeners address any issues before they plant. Ignoring the soil until a problem arises can turn the upcoming gardening
season into a lost opportunity, so test the soil to determine if it has any nutrient or mineral deficiencies. This may require the help of a professional, but if a problem arises, you might be able to adjust the acidity or alkalinity of the soil and still enjoy a successful gardening season. Another way to examine the soil is less complex but can shed light on when would be a good time to get back to work. Reach into the soil and dig out a handful. If the soil quickly crumbles, you can start preparing for gardening seasoning. But if the soil is still clumped together, it needs more time to dry out before you can begin your prep work. Initiate edging
Edging is another task gardeners can begin as they get ready for the season. Edge plant and flower beds, but be sure to use a spade with a flat blade or an edger designed to edge flower beds. Such tools will cut deep enough so grass roots that may eventually grow into the flower bed are severed. Depending on how large a garden is, edging can be a timeconsuming task, so getting a head start allows homeowners to spend more time planting and tending to their gardens once the season hits full swing. Fight weeds Though weeds likely have not survived the winter, that does not mean they won’t return once the weather starts to heat up. But as inevitable as
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weeds may seem, homeowners can take steps to prevent them from turning beautiful gardens into battlegrounds where plants, flowers and vegetables are pitted against unsightly and potentially harmful weeds. Spring is a good time to apply a pre-emergent weed preventer, which can stop weeds before they grow. Though such solutions are not always foolproof, they can drastically reduce the likelihood of weed growth. Though gardeners might not be able to start planting their gardens in late winter or early spring, they can still get outside and take steps to ensure their gardens thrive once planting season begins.
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Flowers By Ken Plainfield 715-335-4262 A Unique Selection of Home Grown Spring Bedding Plants
Plant a self-sustaining garden Gardening is a rewarding hobby with thousands of devotees. Backyard gardens provide beauty and aesthetic appeal to a landscape, and they can be a source of homegrown food and a natural habitat for outdoor wildlife. A self-sustaining garden can be an efficient addition to any home, but gardens require upkeep and a certain measure of dedication. A self-sufficient garden is a garden that sustains itself through proper planning and execution. Such gardens can almost take care of themselves so long as the soil is healthy soil, the seeds are reused and organic material is produced. Self-sustaining gardens also represent a lifestyle where individuals are responsible for producing their own foods -- thus sustaining themselves without the need to shop for produce elsewhere. When planting your own selfsustaining garden, consider the following tips. *Start with soil. Healthy
soil is essential to a thriving garden. The soil must have the right pH, correct texture and composition, and be full of nutrients. Very often the native soil in yards is not adequate to keep a garden thriving. In such instances, the soil needs to be improved. Adding compost -which can be produced in the yard as well -- to the soil will enrich the soil with nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. *Maintain proper soil consistency. Soil that is the right consistency, meaning the optimum balance of sand, clay and actual soil, is another necessity for a self-sustaining garden. The ideal ratio should be 40 percent sand, 40 percent silt and 20 percent clay. Having the right balance of soil can secure root formation and promote proper drainage. * Test the pH. Certain plants need a specific pH in order to grow. A neutral pH range is typically ideal for growing vegetables. A pH tester can be purchased from a gardening center. Amend the
soil accordingly to get the soil back to its correct level. *Know the growing season. Vegetables should be planted during the season in which they will thrive. Peas, beets and cabbage, for example, are cold-temperature vegetables, while cucumbers, squash and melons thrive in warm climates. Plant accordingly so that the vegetables will have the best chances for success. *Purchase quality seeds. Use fresh seeds, particularly ones that have been harvested from your own garden the year before, to have the best chances for germination. Or buy seeds from a reputable source, like a garden center or an online retailer who specializes in vegetable seeds. *Start seedlings indoors. You may want to work with seedlings indoors so that you can monitor growth and care for them more easily. Then transplant the seedlings outside when they are stable enough for the elements.
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Waushara Argus, Wednesday, April 16, 2014, Page 5
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Waushara Argus, Wednesday, April 16, 2014, Page 6
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Avoid buying packaged sets of tools. It is far better to take the time to choose each tool individually, according to your needs. A tool has to be of good quality, ergonomic, and adapted to you. Don’t hesitate to try them out in the store. For bigger, more infrequent jobs, keep in mind that it is possible to rent a wide range of tools, such as a bench saw, miter saw, jigsaw, router, biscuit joiner, stapler, sander, compressor, and the like.
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Waushara Argus, Wednesday, April 16, 2014, Page 10
Buy local instead of big box By Mehgan Kohls Stu’s Design Center The comparison of big box stores versus small retail stores is a continuing topic of conversation. Many questions arise when I am working with clients on interior design. What is the price difference? Why? What are the differences in product choices and quality? How is the service and product knowledge of the employees? What are the warranties and who do you contact with any issues? Some of the offerings at the small retailer I work for could be bought at a big box store, at least at a quick glance you would think they were the same product. Hardwood at a box store, for example, may contain up to 25 percent waste in an in-stock cash and carry product. Whereas smaller retailers, will have a minimal
percentage of waste because warranties. Most importantly, they order straight from the if there are any concerns after manufacturer with no seconds. the install we are more than This may mean you could be willing to visit the job site and buying four cartons at a box take care of any issues. store and only three cartons at Certain interior firstname.lastname@example.org a small retailer. ponents for blinds, lighting, As a small retail business, and faucets may be a lesser we take pride in informing our quality at the box stores, but customers on details of the seemingly look and are labeled FRANK MYRON BIALIK IV product they are buying. We the same as a small retailer. FREE ESTIMATES are trained and experienced This might mean another trip Pressure Washing • Insured in product knowledge, back to the box store to buy Business • Residential • Post Construction which transfers down to the another product after a few consumer so they are able years...not to mention any a Pittsville Modular Home.Other Example to take better care of their Build installation costs. Services Offered: purchases. Our timeline from of actual Heating costs for a home built in •Powerwashing (Siding) •Deck Cleaning when a customer comes in the As spring and summer •Gutter Cleaning •Full Exterior Cleaning door to a free in-home estimate Manawa, approaches 710 and Meadow home Lane. Heating 2,700 and the install is something we improvements increases, think •Screen Repair •High Dusting sq. ft.buying of ﬁnished living space for 12 months take pride in. about local, and let the •RV & Campers Exterior Cleaning We also stand behind knowledge and experience onsmall Natural Gashelp 1-06-12 to 12-06-12, our installers 100 percent from retail business Build a Pittsville Modular Home. Example and know that consumers youFurnace through your & projects. water heater $501.06. of actual Heating costs for a home built in are getting a Build reputable a Pittsville Modular Home. Example Subtract the water heater & you have only and professionalof actual installer, Manawa, 710 Meadow Lane. Heating 2,700 Heating costs for a home built in which will uphold product Manawa, 710 sq. Meadow Heating 2,700space for 12 months ft. ofLane. ﬁnished living
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Are you itching to start work in the yard? If so, you’re not the only one! Keep an eye on your lawn, because as soon as the ground has dried out you can start the big spring cleanup. While you wait you could start your gardening season by checking the state of your tools. Are your spades, rakes, secateurs, hoes, weeders, hand tools, and other indispensable devices in need of repair or replacement? Don’t forget about gardening gloves; a pair made of rubber is practical for working in wet soil and another pair made of a heavy fabric is always useful for big jobs. Perhaps you’ve already sowed some of your flower seeds inside. Many seeds have to be planted in January, February, or March, but April is the time to sow zinnias, nasturtiums, and celosias. You’ll find all the seeds you need at your favourite garden centre. Just be sure to follow the package instructions. One of the first jobs in the yard is to remove any winter protection, then clean up dead branches and leaves, turn over the soil in vegetable and flower beds, and add some compost. Some of your shrubs and rosebushes will also have to be pruned. If you were clever and planted some bulbs last fall, you’ll now be able to admire the fruits of your labour. Crocus and snowdrops are the earliest to appear, followed by a gorgeous display of daffodils, tulips, and hyacinths. Once the risk of ground frost has passed you can take advantage of a cloudy day to transplant your annuals and divide your summer-flowering perennials. Lastly, don’t forget to acclimatize your seedlings gradually before planting them outside. This simple precaution will make all the difference to their survival.
Waushara Argus, Wednesday, April 16, 2014, Page 11
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Waushara Argus, Wednesday, April 16, 2014, Page 12
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Master Gardeners plan changes for annual plant sale The Waushara County Master Gardeners are busy planning their annual Plant Sale scheduled for May 17. This year’s Plant Sale will be held at the Waushara County Fairgrounds to provide more room, better parking, and easier access to the facility, and will be extending the hours of the sale from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. The sale will include many perennials grown by Master Gardeners as well as ground covers, herbs, grasses, vegetables, woodland and native plants, and some shrubs.
Varieties and selections may vary from past years but there is always a great assortment available. Proceeds from the fundraising event will be used to support educational opportunities for the public such as speakers and donations to all Waushara County libraries. The Master Gardeners also purchase plants and maintain more than a dozen public gardens throughout the county. The Master Gardener group also spends many volunteer hours at the Hancock Research Station.
The group has built raised beds to help show visitors how to grow a square foot garden; restructured many of the perennial gardens to make them more like home gardens; and maintained the pond area and plantings. The Master Gardeners are currently planning the annual Research Station Twilight and Garden Tour to be held Aug. 5. The tour will feature the gardens, offer educational booths for visitors to learn more about gardening on the Central Sands, and provide riding tours of the Research Station facilities.
Waushara Argus, Wednesday, April 16, 2014, Page 13
Waushara County Master Gardeners
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Waushara Argus, Wednesday, April 16, 2014, Page 14
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How to revamp your kitchen in the blink of an eye Kitchens are the heart of the home; they are where we prepare our meals, sit down to eat together, and entertain family and friends. That’s why it’s so important to have a functional kitchen, one that reflects our tastes as well as the latest trends in interior design. Replace the cabinet hardware Simply replacing your old handles with a more up-to-date style can change the look of the cabinets at very little cost. Change the faucets Exchange your leaky old taps for a new mixer faucet. Single-hole, professional style faucets are still in all the showrooms. Choose a good quality model, as you’re going to be putting it to a lot of use. Install a backsplash Installing a ceramic tile, molten glass, metal, or decorative stone backsplash changes the look of any kitchen in the blink of an eye. Replace the lights Lights play a key role in any functional kitchen — there’s
nothing worse than a poorly lit work surface. A good choice is to opt for adjustable spotlights, which can be directed where you most need them, whether it’s towards the counter, the stove, or the sink. Pendant lights over the dining table are also an important feature. Transform cabinet doors You don’t necessarily have to rip out your old cupboards and replace them with new ones to transform the look of your kitchen. You could just replace the doors if the casings are still in a good state of repair. And if the doors are also in good repair, you could keep them and just have them refaced. Lastly, if you have old, solid wood cabinets (probably in non-standard sizes), the best solution is to simply paint them. Paint the walls Painting is always a great solution for transforming your kitchen, and it involves very little cost. Choose light tones that reflect the light and you’ll turn your kitchen into a place where the whole family will want to spend time together.
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Get kids excited about gardening Many adults understand the joy of gardening, but gardening can be equally fun for children as well. While some adults may feel that certain children do not have the patience or perseverance to see plants grow from seeds to adulthood, selecting plants that are hardy and sprout quickly may be the key to igniting a love of gardening in Choosing seeds that sprout quickly can hold the attention of children who are new to gardening. Many different plants fit this bill. Beans, peas, sunflower seeds, and bell pepper seeds are easy to start and germinate quickly. In addition, many leafy vegetables, such as chard, lettuce, spinach, and mustard, germinate in three to five days. Herbs, such as basil and parsley, also sprout fast. All of these plants are good options for introducing children to gardening, as each provides quick gratification. To further interest children, it is a good idea to plant seeds in a way that allows youngsters to monitor the progress of growth. Use a transparent container, such
as rinsed-out glass jars and canisters, to house the plant. Such containers give kids an unobstructed view of the process, during which children can plot the progress of seed germination and easily spot root and stem development. Once the seedlings grow larger, they can be transplanted Many seedlings can sprout with water alone. Children can easily grow new plants from clippings of a mature plant left resting in a shallow cup of water, and seeds may not even need soil to germinate. Kids may have luck sprinkling seeds on a dampened, crumpled-up piece of paper towel. Cotton balls also make a good place to nestle seeds. Either material will hold on to water, keeping the seeds moist until they sprout. Afterward, the seedlings can be carefully moved into a soil-and-compost mix. The paper towel and the cotton balls will decompose and add to the organic matter already in the soil. Edible plants often make good choices for children because kids can reap the rewards of their efforts. Herbs can be sprinkled onto food,
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or fruits and vegetables can be grown in containers and then served at mealtime. Kids can show pride in their accomplishments, especially if they have tangible results on the dinner plate. Children who want to try something different can explore other types of plants. Aquatic plants, or those found at the pet store to grow in aquariums, can be easy to grow. They need little more than a container, fresh water and sunlight. Cacti and other succulents are also fun to explore. These plants are quite hardy in that they can stand up to moderate abuse, such as failure to water frequently enough. The unique appearance of cacti make them interesting focal points for an indoor garden. A love of gardening that’s fostered inside can also be explored outdoors. Set aside a plot of dirt where kids can sow their own seeds and tend to their own gardens. This hobby can help children learn patience and hard work while fostering an appreciation of nature.
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Growing delicious vegetables Would you like to eat some deliciously fresh vegetables this summer, grown in your own garden? Now’s the time to get to work. In April, or as soon as the soil is no longer waterlogged, roll up your sleeves and get out your shovel and garden fork. Preparing the soil is a crucial step. Loosen the soil to aerate it and carefully remove any weeds. If you want to produce big, beautiful vegetables, be sure to add compost and organic fertilizer, such as a seaweed fertilizer or bone meal. One thing is sure: improving the quality of the soil in your garden will guarantee a better harvest. To sow seeds or plant seedlings? It’s your decision, but if you choose plants you’ll have to wait until all danger of ground frost has passed before starting your vegetable garden, or use a cold frame to protect them. If you decide to sow seeds directly outdoors, you’ll find lots of seeds that thrive in cool weather
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at your garden centre. But beware: seeds have to be sown at the right moment according to the hardiness zone you live in. Here again, you should only sow your seeds when all risk of ground frost is passed. If your patience is being put to the test, why not start your seeds indoors? During April you can start preparing your garden with all kinds of seeds: tomatoes, peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, and the list goes on. For a garden brimming with vegetables, be sure to water and weed throughout the summer months. If you get busy now, you can look forward to crunching into your very first carrot in only a few short weeks!
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Eight guidelines to follow for a functional kitchen Remodelling a kitchen — now, there’s an ambitious project that has to be carefully plan n ed down to the smallest of details. 1. Aim for a userfriendly room: Make sure that all elements are close to hand. 2. Create well defined zones: Group elements together in five distinct activity zones (cook ing, washing, storage, preparation, and daily provisions) to make your kitchen user-friendly. 3. Provide adequate storage: Plan sufficient storage room for everything so you can leave worktops free for what they’re supposed to be used for: working. 4. Build cupboards right to the ceiling: Full-sized cupboards mean lots more storage space. 5. More drawers: Exchange the lower cupboards for drawers, which give much easier access to their contents, including things hidden right at the back. Install oversized
drawers for even the garbage, recycling, and compost. 6. Include a spacious work surface: Be sure to plan a zone specifically for food preparation, ideally a kitchen island, and make certain that it is big enough to spread out all the ingredients of a recipe.
7. Build-in your appliances: Camouflage the microwave oven by building it into a cabinet or under the island. 8. Install well designed lighting: Don’t skimp on light. Install lights in the ceiling and under the cupboards, as well as dimmers.
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Fast facts about grass A lush, green lawn is coveted by many current and would-be homeowners. Not only can a beautiful landscape make a home feel more welcoming, but it also increases the resale value of a property. Frequent watering, proper fertilization, pest management, and mowing are all essential components of lawn maintenance. But there is more to those beautiful blades of grass than just aesthetic appeal. The following are some interesting facts about grass that even the most devoted lawn enthusiasts might be surprised to learn. *Grass is defined as any plant of the family Gramineae, a group of vascular plants that grow across the globe. *There are as many as 10,000 varieties of grass in the world. These range from grass to rice to wheat to bamboo. *Many grasses are annual or perennial herbs with fibrous roots and rhizomes. *Grass can withstand many different climates and has been discovered at the North Pole and at the equator. *Twenty percent of Earth’s vegetation is comprised of grass. *Grasses have been
transformed into paper and home decor items. Bamboo, which is a type of grass, is frequently used for flooring because it is durable and sustainable. *Grass is mostly comprised of water, which makes up about 80 percent of grass and 90 percent of grass clippings. *A typical lawn will have about six grass plants per square inch. Some lawns may have millions of grass plants. *The average lawn releases enough oxygen to sustain four families of four.
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