Fertilizing House Plants

Potted plants need to be fertilized, especially if in the same pot and soil for a long period of time. Many types of fertilizers are available and any may be used according to label directions. Select one which gives the best results for existing growing conditions. Do not fertilize dry plants as the roots may be burned. Water, then fertilize in a day or two. Resting house plants need no fertilizer.
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Garden Hose Storage

The best way to store a garden hose neatly is to keep it rolled up on a hose reel or hanger. But often you need to stack the hose temporarily between watering jobs. If you just coil the hose into layers of circles, it can lead to tangles when you later pull the hose off the stack. Instead, loop the hose into a figure-eight pattern as you gather it up, layering the figure eights over each other. The pattern will let you pull the hose off the stack virtually snag-free.
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Stiped Cuts

Ever wonder how golf courses and athletic fields achieve the striped cuts? By simply cutting in a back and forth pattern the grass will tend to lay in the direction of the sun. By constantly repeating this you can "train" the grass to achieve this effect. Cool season grasses stripe better than warm season grasses.
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Watering New Shrubs

Water new shrubs once a week the first summer with 5 to l0 gallons of water for each depending on the size of the bush. Take care to get the water under any mulch, which absorbs a great deal of moisture and robs the soil below. Pour water right down the stems so it goes into the root ball, and does not run off on the ground. During very hot sunny days, spray the tops and water lightly in addition to the weekly deep watering. Do not fertilize the first year, except possibly for half strength liquid fertilizer at planting time, or plant rooting hormone additives one can use. Fertilize normally the second year in the spring.
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Shoveling Safety

Before you go out to shovel the snow from your driveway and walks, take a few moments to prepare yourself for what is often a good workout. Do few stretches, drink plenty of water and dress in layers. Boots with good traction are a must, as are gloves that allow you to firmly grasp the shovel's handle. Never try to lift more than you can carry and avoid smoking as it reduces oxygen needed for such strenous work.
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House Plant Insects

nsects can live in house plant soil. The most common of these is the fungus gnat. The adult lays eggs that produce small white maggots. The maggots eat fungi growing on the organic matter in the soil but they can feed on the roots. The insect is most likely to be a problem when the soil is kept too moist. The maggots can be seen wriggling on the soil surface when the plant is watered. A malathion drench will control the insects but the pesticide may be more harmful to the plant than the insects.
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