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Yeah, it's a motley assortment on today's post...
 
I get a monthly newsletter from the Utah State University Extension; I'm passing onto you a couple good resources they listed.  One is a short article, “So You Want to Raise Honeybees?”.  It lists some things you may or may not know, but need to, before deciding if getting a hive is a good idea for your situation.

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Another recent article is
"Care and Feeding of Indoor Plants"  

It's a real pity I didn't read this years ago;  during at least the first decade out on my own, I killed every houseplant that had the misfortune of being in my house.  There was only one exception; a ficus tree that came with my husband when we were first married.  I figured that was because he got it established; he'd had it for five years already before our wedding.  (Almost 18 years later, that same tree is in the corner of our dining room!)
And I can now keep a plant alive, proving I remember to water it.  (But not too often- apparently I drowned the first several plants.) 

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What can you do in the garden now?  As soon as any snow is off the ground, it's a good time to:

-prune most trees, particularly fruit trees- you're aiming to do this after the worst of the cold is over, but before leaves come out.  There is a previous post with some excellent videos on how to prune.
-prune shrubs that bloom in the summer, like roses.  They tend to be healthiest when pruned by about 1/3 each year, though you can cut them nearly to the ground if you have to.  That's a great way to get a wild bush back under control.  (This trick works with overgrown lilacs, too.)
-clean and sharpen your garden tools and mower blade
-trim and rake out any dead annuals left over in the garden from last year.
-add mulch to beds and around trees.  This will help moisture stay in the ground longer, getting plants off to a healthier start.
-plan your garden, if you haven't already.  Find a garden spot that will get at least 6-8 hours of sunlight a day.  Most stores have all their seed packets available by now, and remember you may already have seeds in your kitchen.  Don't start seedlings indoors, though, until about six weeks before they can go outdoors.
-plant peas, if you like.  They take about two months to produce pods, and are hardy enough to plant right now.  They'll do best in a sunny place that has some sort of shade around the roots; they stop producing if the plant gets too hot.
-transplant hardy herbs and bareroot raspberry and strawberry plants (if you're local and want any, email me!)

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Related posts:
How to Prune and Fertilize Fruit Trees, Shrubs, and Landscape Trees

Starting on Your Spring Garden

Start Thinking GARDEN (what seeds you may already have, how long they'll keep, when you can till, and more)

Gardening 101
 


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