Be frugal in the garden—divide large plants into smaller ones
No matter what you’re buying, every penny counts. And dividing newly purchased daylilies, hostas, tall bearded irises and ferns can save you money.
Dividing existing perennials every five to seven years can save you even more.
“When you see lots of shoots or the flowers start to look smaller, tired or too crowded, then it’s time to divide,” said horticulturalist Mark Viette.
When choosing new plants to divide, it’s best not to divide the ones in full bloom. If you are not worried about sacrificing the blooms for a year, use hedge shears to cut them off, and then divide.
“There are a couple of ways to divide the plants and make a lot of plants for your garden,” Viette said.
If a potted purchase has little plants growing in it, carefully pull them out and plant them separately. Make sure the shoots are the plant you want, and not weeds.
If the weather conditions are not favorable, you can divide the plants, put them back in the pot, and plant them outside when the soil is more workable.
When cutting plants in large containers, you can use an old saw or an old, rigid kitchen knife. Find a natural point to divide the plant, then cut through the crown, and pull the sections apart.
“If you buy a hosta with lots of shoots, you can make as many as 12 plants out of one $18 hosta,” Viette said.
Or you can take a $50 daylily that has not yet budded and divide it. Put your knife between the two fans, and once you hear a cracking sound, pull apart the two sections.
“Separate the sections, and replant shoots and any little plants and you just saved $50 or more,” Viette said.
Your taste buds will love some spuds
Yes, potatoes contain carbohydrates. But unlike rice, pasta and bread, potatoes are officially vegetables and contain a number of key nutrients including protein, vitamins and minerals.
Potatoes have no fat or cholesterol, and a medium-size potato has only 110 calories, according to the National Potato Council. The tubers also are sodium-free, contain 45% of the daily recommended value of vitamin C and have more potassium than bananas.
The potato is thought to have been domesticated in South America in 500 B.C. After Spaniards arrived on that continent in 1532, potatoes were introduced to France and the Netherlands. European leaders championed the potato as a food source for famine-starved populaces.
Potatoes grew in popularity as European farmers discovered they could grow them on a large scale on former grain land. They became a staple crop by the end of the 18th century. The first potatoes arrived in the American colonies in 1621, when Bermuda’s governor sent potatoes to Virginia Gov. Francis Wyatt. They became widely grown in 1719.
Rosemary Potato Frittata
What's tastier than potatoes with cheese? Add rosemary and you've got yourself one delicious dish!
Distracted driving causes thousands of crashes each year
Distracted driving caused 23,246 accidents and 120 fatal crashes in 2019, according to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles crash statistics.
Virginia DMV statistics from 2018 revealed that the jurisdictions with the most distracted driving crashes were Fairfax County, Prince William County, Virginia Beach, Hampton and Newport News. The counties with the most fatalities were Prince William, Fairfax, Fauquier, Hanover and Spotsylvania.
Virginia law now prohibits drivers from holding any personal communication devices while driving a moving vehicle on the state’s roadways. It still is permissible to use hands-free technology to make or receive phone calls while driving—the ban only prohibits drivers from directly handling their devices.
Manipulating a cellphone while driving increases your crash risk by 2,300% because it involves all three kinds of distractions—manual, visual and cognitive.
Minimize your risks by following these tips:
- Avoid eating and drinking while driving.
- Set your GPS and radio before you start driving.
- Turn off your phone, or put it out of reach if necessary.
- Secure your pets, as they can be a major distraction.
- Ask for help! Use your passengers to make a phone call, change the music or get directions.
- Buckle up! Your seat belt is your best defense against a distracted driver.