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Written by J.K. DePeal, Garden Writer   
Thursday, 15 April 2010 15:07

April opens the door to the garden season ahead

April, named for Aphrodite the Greek goddess of love, is here and it will not be long until Northwest Ohio’s full garden season will be in bloom.

April’s flower is the sweet pea, which, in the language of flowers, means “good-bye” or “departure,” and this month does say good-bye to winter weather and hello to the warmer months ahead.

Yes, the sweet pea seems a good choice for this intermediary month.

With the warm days we have enjoyed this month, many gardeners have had the chance to get out to clean and prepare their beds and gardens for May. Right now, with very little growth in the garden, it is easier to see what needs to be removed, pruned and cleaned out. Dried plants and foliage from last year can be trimmed and dead plant material should be dug out and discarded. Avoid actually working your garden soil until it is thoroughly thawed and dried out enough to form a ball that will hold its shape when squeezed in your hand, but which will break up easily when pressed with your finger.

As soon as the soil can be worked, you can divide late-blooming perennials such as daylilies, asters and sedum. These will have time through the summer months to put on new growth and get established in their new locations.

Social Security News
Written by Erin Thompson, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist in Toledo, OH   
Thursday, 15 April 2010 15:05
A new “twist” in the law may save your Mom some cash

Mom has always been there to nurture and take care of you. Mother’s Day is the perfect time to give back and look out for her. If she’s having a hard time paying for her prescription drugs, tell her about the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan and the extra help available through Social Security.  If your mother or any special woman in your life is covered by Medicare and has limited income and resources, she may be eligible for extra help to pay her monthly premiums, annual deductibles and prescription co-payments. The extra help is worth an average of $3,900 per year.

Perhaps you’ve looked into the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan for Mom before, and discovered that she did not qualify due to her income or resources. In 2010, the law has changed. As Chubby Checker will tell you, a new “twist” in the law makes it easier than ever to qualify for the extra help. It’s easy to figure out whether Mom is eligible for the extra help. To qualify, she must be receiving Medicare and:

Get growing
Written by J.K. DePeal, Garden Writer   
Thursday, 11 March 2010 14:54

“Think spring” with indoor blooms and green

March, with its warm, sunny spells and continuing cold, gray, wintery, weather, actually brings some plants into bloom.

Very early spring bulbs, witch hazel and hellebores will bloom this month as forerunners of the gardening season to come.

One early bloomer that is in full flower now is the primrose, or primula. A bright, cheery plant, its colorful blooms can be found in many of our garden centers in March. Primulas sport bright, green almost lettuce-like leaves and the flowers bloom on stalks that arise from the center of the plant. Fairy primrose produce white, pink, or purple mini-blooms while other varieties have larger flowers in red, yellow, purple, pink, etc., with contrasting throat colors.

Care of the primrose in your home is relatively easy. They prefer to be located out of direct sunlight as they like indirect light and cooler temperatures. Water your primula as needed and do not allow it to dry out. Every two weeks, give the plant water-soluble fertilizer and pinch off any spent blooms.

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