The Press-Dispatch

April 7, 2021

The Press-Dispatch

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The Press-Dispatch Home and Garden Wednesday, April 7, 2021 S-15 "From roof to foundation, we've got you covered!" Like us on Facebook! WE NOW ACCEPT: Quality Work. Affordable Prices! Quality Work. Affordable Prices! f Heritage Cabinets, located on State Road 61, just south of Winslow, is your source for custom cabinets and furniture. Don't be fooled by the BIG BOX stores. We custom design and build your cabinets right here in our shop. That means we are not limited to what is sitting on a rack in some warehouse. We build your cabinets to fi t YOUR space! More than once our customers have told us that we saved them hundreds and, in some cases, thousands over the BIG stores. Let us show you the difference that individual, personal service can make when designing your new kitchen, bath or furniture! Why settle for less? Give us a call today and let us build your dreams! 606-541-9371 OWNED AND OPERATED BY MARK WEDEKIND Think you can't afford custom kitchen or bath cabinets? Think Again! Preparing garden beds for spring and beyond Gardening enthusiasts may have been thinking about their landscape plans throughout the winter, eager to once again get their hands dirty with soil. Whether a home gardener is making preparations for ed- ible crops or beautiful flow- ers, he or she must take time to make the soil amenable to planting. To establish hearty, durable plants, gardeners can focus on three main areas: ad- dressing soil composition, cul- tivating and adding nutrients. Soil composition Many gardeners prefer growing a variety of plants in their gardens. Such an ap- proach requires taking inven- tory of the type of soil in one's garden and making the nec- essary modifications so that the types of vegetables, herbs, shrubs, or flowers that will be planted can grow in strongly. In fact, according to the plant company Proven Winners, the most important step to devel- oping good roots is preparing the soil. Take a sample of the soil and examine it to see what is present. If the soil is too full of clay, too sandy, too dense, or too loose, that can lead to problems where plants cannot grow in strong. Work with a garden center to add the right soil amendments to make a rich soil. This may include organic compost or manure, which will also add nutrients to the soil. Cultivation Cultivating the soil can in- volve different steps. Removal of weeds, errant rocks, roots, and other items will help pre- pare the soil. Mother Earth News suggests working on garden soil when the soil is damp but never wet; other- wise, garden soil can become messy and clumpy. Use a dig- ging fork or shovel to lightly turn the soil when it's most- ly dry. Gentle tillings also can open up the soil to incorporate the nutritional amendments and relieve compaction that likely occurred from freezing temps and snow pressure. Till- ing also helps with drainage and oxygen delivery to roots. The DIY Network suggests turning over soil at a depth of 12 inches to work the soil — about the length of a shovel spade. However, the resource Earth Easy says that existing garden beds have a complex soil ecosystem and simply top-dressing with compost or manure can be enough prepa- ration for planting. Garden- ers can experiment with the methods that work best for their gardens. Nutrition Testing the pH and the lev- els of certain nutrients in the soil, namely nitrogen, phos- phorous and potassium, will give gardeners an idea of oth- er soil additions that may be needed. Soils with a pH be- low 6.2 often can benefit from the addition of lime several weeks before planting. Soil tests will determine just how much fertilizer to add to the soil. Complete fertilizers will have equal amounts of nitro- gen, phosphorous and potassi- um. Individual fertilizers can amend the soil with only these nutritional elements that are needed. Top-dressing empty beds with a layer of mulch or com- post can prevent weed growth and preserve moisture until it is time to plant. If existing shrubs or plants are in gar- den beds, use more care so as not to disturb roots or dig too deeply. Preparing garden beds takes some effort initially, but can be well worth the work when plants flourish through- out the growing season. Understand hardiness zones before planting Gardening benefits the en- vironment in myriad ways. Maintaining natural land- scapes and preserving green spaces can reduce the collec- tive carbon footprint of the hu- man race. Trees, flowers and other greenery filter the air and create welcoming habi- tats for all species of animals and insects. Many home gardeners set out each spring to create land- scapes that cater to all of the senses. But choosing plants that are unlikely to thrive in certain climates can lead to dissatisfaction and premature plant demise and may require gardeners to use more fertiliz- ers, pesticides and other not- so-Earth-friendly techniques to help plants thrive. One of the more important steps gardeners can take be- fore spring arrives is to edu- cate themselves about plant hardiness zones. Hardiness zones are defined by the aver- age climatic conditions of the region and are broken down into various zones. The US - DA Hardiness Zone map di- vides North America into 13 separate zones. Each zone is marked by 10 F incremental differences from the last zone. In some versions of the map, each zone is further divided into "a" and "b" regions. The National Gardening Association says the USDA Hardiness Zone Map was re- vised in 2012. The latest ver- sion was jointly developed by the USDA's Agricultural Re- search Service and Oregon State University's PRISM Cli- mate Group. To help develop the new map, the USDA and Oregon State University re- quested that horticultural and climatic experts review the zones in their geograph- ic areas. As a result, the zone boundaries in the 2012 edition of the map have shifted in ma- ny areas. Canada's Hardiness Zone map, updated in 2010, us- es nine different zones. Zone maps are tools that show where permanent land- scape plants can adapt. Home gardeners who are looking for shrubs or perennials to last year after year should recognize that such plants must tolerate year-round con- ditions, including the lowest and highest temperatures and the amount of precipita- tion. Snow cover and humid- ity also can impact a plant's propensity to thrive. While zone maps are not perfect, they can be useful in planning and ensuring the survival of future gardens. Plant and seed manufactur- er Burpee says that other fac- tors to consider that also af- fect the viability of plants in- clude wind, moisture and soil conditions. The company of- fers an interactive zone find- er on their website that will in- dicate the hardiness zone as well as average first and last frost dates. Visit www.burpee. com/findgrowzone to enter a zip code. Learn more about plant har- diness at planthardiness.ars. In Can- ada, visit the site www.plan-

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