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MID-ATLANTIC WEATHER WATCH FOR APRIL

Fair, colder  (1,2,3) with light snow in the northern part of the region, rain in the south   (4,5,6).   Fair and cool  (7,8,9) with showers or some snow in the north  (10,11,12).  Fair and cool again  (13,14,15,16,17);   STORMS   (18,19) turning fair and cool (20,21,22,23,24,25,26).  Fair and cool weather  yet again  (27,28) with more scattered STORMS   (27,28); fair, warmer   (29,30). 


MONTHLY GARDEN ACTIVITIES


BEST DAYS FOR FARM ACTIVITIES 

                                                       


THOUGHT FOR TODAY'S 

LIVING  

    

       "Perseverance provides more 
       rewards than that lucky break 
       we all are always hoping for.” 
                                                                                      John Gruber  (1768-1857) 

FARM & GARDEN

P

eaches and strawberries are perishable, but apples under the proper conditions will keep for weeks or even months.  Yet every year a large part of the apple crops goes to waste, even though prices for apples are high in the retail markets.

Reprinted from The Almanack of 1918

Dogwood should be pruned when the tree is in foliage because they will bleed if pruned during the dormant time.

From The Almanack of 1968

To prevent the line on your string grass trimmer from jamming or breaking, treat the line with a spray vegetable oil before installing it in the trimmer.

Turn any long-handled tool into a measuring stick.  Lay it on the ground next to a tape measure and using a permanent marker, transfer each inch and foot mark accurately onto the handle. When you need to space plants at a certain distance apart (from just an inch to several feet), you'll be ready with a measuring device already in your hands!

THE USEFUL CLAY POT

To easily remove the salt deposits that form on clay pots, simply mix equal parts white vinegar, rubbing alcohol, and water into an ol d spray bottle. Thoroughly spray the mixture on the entire pot and scrub vigorously with a stiff plastic brush. Let the pot dry completely before planting anything in it.

Be sure to always have garden twine handy when you need it by placing a ball of twine in a small clay pot, pulling the end of the twine through the drainage hole, and setting the pot upside down in a conveniently-located  (but out of the way) place in the garden. 

To protect delicate flowers and shrubs from damage when moving hoses around the garden make a hose guide around the beds with several clay pots.  First, drive a one-foot length steel reinforcement bar into the ground at the corners of the beds to be protected.  Then, "thread” two small clay pots through their drain holes onto the bar, one pot facing down and the other facing up. This guide will prevent the hose from causing damage to your plants as you drag the hose along the bed.

To create perfectly natural markers that will blend in with your garden’s natural look, print the names of plants or vegetables using paint or a permanent marker onto the flat faces of stones of various sizes and place them at or near the base of your plants or at the head of a row of vegetables.

You can easily rid your plants of aphids with a strong blast of water from the hose or with insecticidal soap but here is another suggestion.  Wrap a wide piece of masking tape around your hand, sticky side out and then gently pat the leaves that are infested with the little devils.  Be sure to concentrate on the undersides of leaves because that's where they like to hide.

The next time you boil or steam vegetables, don't pour that water down the drain.  Instead, use it to water potted patio plants or any indoor plants you keep.  You'll be amazed at how the plants will respond to the "vegetable soup."

Use leftover tea and coffee grounds to acidify the soil of acid-loving plants such as azaleas, rhododendrons, camellias, gardenias, and even blueberries. A light sprinkling of about one-quarter of an inch applied once a month will keep the pH of the soil on the acidic side.

  Chamomile tea can help to control damping-off fungus which often attacks young seedlings.  Just add a spot of tea to the soil around the base of seedlings once a week or use it as a foliar spray.

If you need an instant table for tea service, look no farther than your collection of clay pots and saucers. Just flip a good-sized pot over, and top it off with a large saucer. And when you've had your share of tea, fill the saucer with water, and your "table" is now a birdbath.

Potted plants that need a frost-free minimum winter temperature should be placed in a mildly-heated greenhouse or cool room in your home before the bad weather sets in. Water occasionally.