NEIGHBORHOOD GARDEN FOR FEBRUARY 4, 2012

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IF EVERY ONE DID ONE THING

BY KENDALL WEYERS

NEBRASKA FOREST SERVICE

         

          If youíre feeling like your sustainability efforts are just a drop in the bucket, consider the following examples of dramatic impact if we all took the step described:

          The U.S. currently has over 40 million acres of turf-grass.  If each property owner converted only 10-25 percent of their turf, it would create 4-10 million acres of wildlife habitat, low maintenance plantings and productive gardens and the many associated benefits.

          Over 800 million gallons of fuel per year are currently used in the U.S. to mow our lawns.  If each property owner reduced power mowing by 25 percent (through turf area reduction, fertilizing less, using human-powered mowers, etc.) it would save over 200 million gallons of fuel every year, as well as reduce mower-generated air and noise pollution by 25 percent.

          The U.S. uses more than 76 billion gallons of water a day maintaining landscapes.  Itís estimated that 30-50 percent of that water is wasted through over-watering, inefficient design, broken sprinkler heads, watering pavement, etc. Thatís a precious resource going down the drain with all the cost (water extraction, pumping and pre-treatment, and runoff sediment and pollution) and no benefit.  Several billion gallons could be saved every day if each property owner simply watered their existing landscape efficiently.  By planting more drought-tolerant plants and taking other water conservation measures, the savings would multiply significantly.

          You may not get direct feedback on sustainability steps you take, but people do notice. Even if they arenít aware of the issues or donít agree, it does cause many to at least think about it. Though hard to measure, it can be argued that leading by example may have the biggest impact of all-changing the attitude of an entire culture.

(From The Seed, Nebraska Statewide Arboretum, Inc, Winter 2011, back cover. Reprinted by permission.)

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DAFFODIL CARE AND PRESERVATION

BY GEORGE EDGAR

 

          Sunday, March 9, 2012, will be Daffodil Sunday for the American Cancer Society. People across Nebraska can fight back against cancer and share hope for those facing the disease by supporting the American Cancer Society Daffodil Days. Be sure to purchase your spring flowers and support the research to find a cure for cancer. If you want to make sure you get some, the deadline for ordering is February 17, 2012. Call your local American Cancer Society to order or for more information.

          When your order comes in, they will have been trimmed once. To preserve these beautiful spring flowers when you get home, cut off at least 2 more inches of the stem under water.  (You donít have to be under water, just the stems.)  Leave the stems in this water for 15 to 30 minutes to re-hydrate the flowers then place in a vase with fresh water. Add a preservative if you have it. Replace the water every 2 to 3 days. Do not place the flowers in direct sunlight and they will last longer. 

          Most people do not realize that daffodils are unique in that they give off a toxic chemical in the water when they are cut that will harm other plants if they are cut or even placed in the same water. Therefore, be sure and dispose of this water after plants are re-hydrated. However, once the daffodils are re-hydrated they may be put in an arrangement with other flowers with no problem. 

          Both Gladys and I are cancer survivors. During a routine PSA test, and after a biopsy, it was determined that I had prostate cancer. It was caught in a very early stage.  I had 36 radiation treatments and did not miss a day of work.  I would leave my office in Omaha and drive the 60 miles to BryanLGH West Hospital, have my treatment, and go home for supper.  The next morning I would drive to Omaha. I have had no problems and my regular PSA test has stayed about 1.0 or below for over 17 years. I have a number of friends who successfully had surgery, but I chose radiation and did not have to miss work.

          My daughter was not as fortunate when she was diagnosed with cancer.  She died at age 37 from a brain tumor.  I hope the American Cancer Society is able to find a cure so that granddaughters do not have to grow up without a mother. My sonís partner of over 20 years was also not as fortunate as she died this past year from cancer way before her time. She is greatly missed by all her clients, her friends, and her family. 

          Buy a bouquet of daffodils and support the American Cancer Society. Then take good care of your flowers, and of yourself, so both live a long, healthy and beautiful life!!!

Copyright 2012