Lush, green summer lawns get their start in the spring
An attractive summer lawn doesn’t get that way overnight, said horticulturalist Mark Viette.
Applying fertilizer in the fall allows a lawn to establish a good root system, Viette said. So when spring comes, you can concentrate on some of the common lawn problems, including trees and weeds that compete with a thriving lawn.
Chickweed and Bermuda grass are common lawn spoilers. Using an herbicide that controls these pesky plants can help. You might need to reseed in the spring and fall to reestablish the lawn. Core aerating in the fall or winter also can help control weeds.
Grass seed can be put down in the spring or fall, Viette said, but it is important not to apply pre-emergence herbicides immediately after putting down seed.
Pre-emergence herbicides prevent weeds from germinating in the lawn, but they also can kill the grass seed.
Use a tool to loosen the grass before seeding. Scratch at the ground, and if you have a small area to seed, mix the seed with organic matter, and spread the mixture by hand or with a spreader. Use a topdressing such as straw, pine bark or compost to help hold in the moisture while the seeds germinate.
For a new lawn, be sure to use a starter fertilizer. For lawns that have just been seeded, use organic fertilizer to help feed it for an extended period of time, Viette said.
“In four to 10 weeks you will have a nice, new germinated lawn.”
Quiche is an anytime food that can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch or supper. There are many varieties of this type of pie—from vegetarian to seafood, and everything in between. Seasonal spinach is often found in quiche recipes like this one.
Source: Shelley Barlow of Suffolk
Here are the facts about egg carton labeling
The Egg Nutrition Center employs health and nutrition experts to provide balanced, accurate information on the complex issues surrounding eggs, nutrition and health. The center shares the following points about egg carton labels:
- Antibiotic-free: All eggs produced in the United States are antibiotic-free, even if it’s not specified on the carton. If a hen has an illness and is treated with antibiotics, all of her eggs must be diverted from human consumption, according to U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations.
- Cage-free/free-roaming eggs: These eggs are laid by hens that may roam in a building, room or open area, usually in a barn or poultry house. Cage-free systems vary and include barn-raised and free-range hens, both of which have shelter that helps protect against predators.
- Gluten-free: All eggs are naturally gluten-free.
- Hormones: The egg industry does not use hormones in production of shell eggs. A “no hormone” statement may appear on a label for shell eggs, but the FDA requires that it be accompanied by a qualifying statement that “hormones are not used in the production of shell eggs” to prevent misleading consumers that some eggs have added hormones.
- Natural: The U.S. Department of Agriculture identifies all shell eggs as natural.
- Organic eggs: These are eggs that are laid by cage-free, free-roaming hens that are raised on certified organic feed and have access to the outdoors.
- Pasteurized eggs: These eggs have been heated to temperatures just below the coagulation point to destroy pathogens.
Prevent fires where many of them start—in the kitchen
More fires start in the kitchen than in any other part of the home. And unattended cooking is the leading cause, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
Fire departments across the nation respond to more than 400 kitchen fires every day. Between 2007 and 2011, there was an estimated annual average of 156,000 cooking-related fires. These resulted in 400 deaths, 5,080 injuries and $853 million in direct damage, according to the NFPA.
Two of every five home fires start in the kitchen, with unattended cooking a factor in 34% of reported home cooking fires. Two-thirds of home cooking fires started with the ignition of food or other cooking materials. Cooking ranges accounted for 58% of home cooking fires, while ovens accounted for 16%.
To help prevent kitchen fires, take the following steps:
- When frying, grilling or broiling food, stay in the kitchen.
- Always maintain a kid- and pet-free zone within at least 3 feet from the stove.
- Turn pot handles away from the stove’s edge.
- Keep a lid and oven mitt nearby when you’re cooking, in case of a grease fire. If a grease fire occurs, slide a lid over the pan. Turn off the burner, and leave the pan covered until it is completely cool.
- Keep a proper fire extinguisher in an easy-to-locate position near the kitchen. Do not place it next to the stove; you may not be able to reach it if something on the stove is on fire.
- Periodically check your fire extinguishers to make sure they are charged. Check the owner’s manual for details on how to check the charge.