30 Jul

Hibiscus Plants

Hibiscus, the fascinating flowering tropical plant, had its origin in Asia. It has spread to several parts of the world and is among the most popular garden plants. Hibiscus are also grown for landscaping and as hedges. Today, there are thousands of known varieties of the shrub. Many are hybrids. New types are still being discovered, bred and recorded. Sizes differ from less than 12 inches tall (Hibiscus trionum) to about 40 feet (Lagunaria patersonii). The life span of tropical hibiscus can be up to 50 years. In comparison, the hybrids have a shorter existence, approximately 10 to 15 years.

In the tropics, Hibiscus can be found thriving in the most difficult and desolate terrain. Some plants are dense and bushy, while others are thin and tall. The biggest attraction of the Hibiscus plant is the flower. Hibiscus come in many colors and sizes, and in areas where the temperature is above 70 degrees, it flowers throughout the year.

The leaves are normally elongated or oval shaped and about two to four inches in length. Usually the color of the leaves is dull green, glossy dark green or with a reddish tint.

The many medicinal, cosmetic and gastronomic properties of the Hibiscus go back to ancient times. Modern research has confirmed these properties and continues to reveal new ones. All parts of the plant are considered edible.

Propagation of Hibiscus can be made through cuttings or grafting or by germinating the seeds. Saplings and seeds are available from nurseries and florists. Seed germinated plants are unlikely to have the same characteristics as the parent plant because the pollination may not be from the same source. In fact, it is possible that a packet you buy may contain seeds from different parents and could grow into plants that vary in characteristics. If you have one Hibiscus plant, by using cuttings from that plant, a number of similar plants can be grown.

28 Jul

Home Improvement Equity Loans

Homeowners often need extra cash for home improvements. And often a homeowner will opt to take out a secondary loan, otherwise known as a home equity loan, to remodel the home. Some borrowers stay up-to-date on loan choices and elect to choose the home improvement equity loans. The equity
loans for improving home value offer cash to homeowners to make repairs or remodel the home, including external and internal repairs, carpeting, tiling, floors, borewell, painting outside and inside structure, roof repairs and renewals, pipe repair, structural modification, structural repair, and structural remodeling.

The maximum loan amount given to customers depends on the customer’s status with the lender. If the customer had prior loans and showed good faith, then the lender may offer 100% equity lending, while new comers may receive 85% more or less on equity lending. The loans are often extended 15-years; however, few lenders will offer longer terms or shorter terms, depending on the lender and the outcome of the application. The lenders present joint and single packages, however, are responsible if more than one party applies for the loan.

Home improvement equity loans come in fixed rate or adjustable rate options. Thus, the fixed rate is often the first choice, since the loans interest will remain constantand the borrower will not be subject to the vacilliations of the market.

However, the few that take out the adjustable rate loans are subject to pay higher or lower interest rates per quarter on the loan. Many home improvement loans require that an independent contractor oversees the improvements of the home; and thus home improvement loans are intended to improve the home, forcing the borrower to utilize the cash only for repairs and improvement. Few lenders will place penalties on home improvement equity loans to guarantee the loan is used for its intentions.

28 Jul

The Garden Hand Tool Introduction Part 1

Used for removing weeds and moss from between paving slabs, on paths or patios. Also for cleaning mower decks, tools, boot scraping etc. The sharp edges cut weeds whilst the hook removes the debris. Two of the most popular makes are the Wolf Garten Scraper and the Fiskars Patio Scrapper. Details can be seen below:

Wolf Garten Garden Scraper

Description

The FK-M multi-star Garden Scraper is intended for removing grass, moss and weeds from between slabs, from corners in walls, and stairs. The galvanized, hardened steel blade guarantees a long working life and a precise cut. All handles are suitable for the multi-star Garden Scraper.

Features

Application: Cleaning

Handle / Grip: All multi-star handles

Extras: Galvanized, hardened steel blade

Fiskar Quikfit Double Patio Scraper

Description

Renowned for innovative functionality, Fiskars is dedicated to produce garden tools that set new standards for the industry. Strong, lightweight, high performance tools make garden work more productive, which allows for more creativity and time to enjoy. Fiskars new QuikFit provides a full range of opportunities with one single shaft, as each head completes the perfect tool for every specialized task.

Features

Versatile usage on patios and for removing grass, moss and weeds from between tiles and slabs

Dual usage in cultivating plant beds

Boron steel blades with carbon steel thong

Conclusion

These are just a selection of the scrapers available. For more similar products check out our Garden Scraper page.

Happy weeding.

Garden Hoes

A hoe is a useful agricultural tool used to move small amounts of soil which makes it ideal for your Garden. Common goals include weed control by agitating the surface of the soil around plants, piling soil around the base of plants (hilling), creating narrow furrows (drills) and shallow trenches for planting seeds and bulbs, to chop weeds, roots and crop residues, and even to dig or move soil, such as when harvesting root crops such as potatoes.

Dutch hoes are used to cultivate the soil and remove weeds without bending.

Draw Hoes have a blade set at a right-angle to the shaft and is used to draw soil towards the operator when making planting drills or when mounding-up potatoes.

Stirrup hoes are designed with a double edge blade that bends around to form a stirrup like rectangle attached to the handle. Weeds are cut just below the soil surface as the blade is pushed & pulled through the area. The back and forth motion is highly effective with cutting weeds in loose or breakable soil.

This can save hours of back breaking labour if you tried to do this manually. Two good examples of Garden Hoe’s are as follows:

Yeoman Cabon Steel Dutch Hoe

Dutch hoes are used to cultivate the soil and remove weeds without bending.

Features

The cranked handle is made from durable aluminium making it lightweight. The carbon steel coated head makes this hoe durable and hard wearing.

Draper 89097 Carbon Steel Draw Hoe Ash Handle

Features

Pressed steel blade with epoxy coated finish. Ash handle with clear lacquered finish. Sold loose.

Weight: 1.07 Kg

Draper Carbon Steel Dutch Hoe

Features

Pressed steel blade with epoxy coated finish. Head securely fixed to tubular steel handle. With black plastic hand grip with hang hole.

Other types of Hoes exist which are more specialist such as the Onion Hoe.

Hand Held Weeders

Other than the types of tools stated above we also have the small hand held tools that can be used to remove those pesky weeds from your Garden. These tend to predominantly be two or three pronged Forks but more specialist tools do exist such as the Dandelion Weeder.

A good Hand Fork is as follows:

Draper Carbon Steel Heavy Duty Weeding Fork with Ash Handle

Features

Epoxy coated carbon steel correctly hardened and tempered with plated ferrule and lacquered ash handle.

For those of us plagued by Dandelions on our Lawns

Spear & Jackson Elements Hand Daisy Grubber/Dandelion Weeder with 127mm Handle

Elements is a comprehensive range of strong, reliable, “no nonsense” tools providing great value for money.

Features

Hammer finish epoxy coated head for improved resistance to rust, scratches, humidity and alkalines in the soil

Weatherproofed (clear lacquered) Ash wood shaft for greater durability.

Shaft / Handle Size – 5″

These are just some of the many Garden Tools available to make our lives easier.

Details of more Garden Tools will be posted in our next article.

Happy Gardening!

28 Jul

Plants From Seed – Adapting To A Future World

After a plant has grown to maturity it will aim to produce an abundance of seed in order to create a new generation of plants. Annual plants complete this process then die within a year, biennials require 2 years to complete their life cycle and perennials can survive for many years.

Not only do seeds perpetuate the species into the future, more importantly they create a variety of individual seedlings. Some of these individuals will be more successful at surviving changes in the environment and as a result the species is able to adapt to new environments.

Plants grown from cuttings are essentially clones of a parent plant. This is a very useful feature when plants are grown as crops, but a serious weakness in the wild. The reduced ability of clones to adapt to changes in the environment increases their chances of becoming extinct. Hence in nature seed production is vital to the survival of flowering plants.

Over long periods of time seeds that are the result of sexual reproduction will allow for the evolution of new forms of plants and eventually new species. This process is happening at the moment throughout the world. This allows the plant world to replace the species that could not adapt to climatic and environmental changes leading to their extinction. Many plant species are close to extinction for natural as well as man made reasons and these are classified as endangered.

Practical use of seed production can be made on the hobby farm. Apart from growing crops the farmer can also be a hobby plant breeder. I plan to do this with olives. Each year I plan to grow a large number of seedlings and select some according to their foliage. Eventually I may find a seedling that will have the type of foliage I am looking for and this plant can be developed into a new ornamental olive variety. The same principle can be used when developing new olive fruits, but the process will take much longer as there is a need to wait until the seedlings produce a crop.

Another interesting area of seedling production is in the production of plant hybrids. These can be produced when two closely related species are cross-pollinated. This may result in a new plant with features of both parents. An example of a hybrid is the plumcot. This was produced when an apricot and plum were crossed. This process also takes a long time in order to assess the features of the hybrids, but this is an important activity carried out by plant breeders in research centers. I have always wanted to cross a cherry and a plum in order to come up with a cherry- plum hybrid that is easier to grow in Melbourne then the current cherry varieties.

Maybe you can be the proud breeder of a new mouth watering fruit or vegetable and possibly make some money from royalties. Make up your plan, be patient and persistent, set your imagination alight!

27 Jul

N-tier Architecture In Asp.net

Architecture is an important feature and the very first step in the development of an application. n-Tier the term is used for multiple tier or multiple layers. n-Tier Architecture splits the solution process into different projects based on the business requirements. The main advantage of using n-Tier is that the complexity associated with the business and the process is reduced and it is easy to work with. The elements of performance, scalability and future development issues need to be considered when deciding on the architecture of the application depending on the priorities required.
The n-Tier application has three tiers or layers, they are called the presentation tier, the business tier and the data tier. Each layer interacts with the layer directly below, and has specific function to perform. Presentation Layer is responsible for displaying user interface to either programmer or end user. Programmer uses this layer for designing purpose and to get the data back and forth. In ASP.NET it includes ASPX pages, user controls, server controls and sometimes security related classes and objects.
The Business layer works as a mediator to transfer the data from presentation layer. In the three tier architecture the data access layer is not made to interact with the presentation layer. The architecture in ASP.NET includes using SqlClient or OleDb objects to retrieve, update and delete data from SQL Server or Access databases and passing the data retrieved to the presentation layer in a DataReader or DataSet object, or a custom collection object. The Data layer gets the data from the business layer and sends it to the database or vice versa. This layer is further divided into two sub layers Business Logic Layer (BLL) and Data Access Layer (DAL). DAL is responsible for accessing data and forwarding it to BLL. In ASP.NET it uses SqlClient or OleDb to retrieve the data and send it to BLL in the form of a DataSet or DataReader. BLL (Business Logic Layer) is responsible for preparing or processing the data retrieved and sends it to the presentation layer.
The Data layer gets the data from the business layer and sends it to the database or gets the data from the database and sends it to the business layer. In ASP .NET it is an SQL Server or Access database. It can also be Oracle, mySQL or even XML.
In an ASP.NET n-tiered architecture web pages do not make direct calls to the database. A given layer only communicates with its neighboring layers. ASP.NET Web pages should reference custom objects defined in the business object layer. These objects provide database information in a class structure.
The partitioning of ASP.NET applications into front-end, middle tier and back-end layers, the n-Tier architecture supports a more uniform, building block approach to application designs. Hardware and software for presentation, application and database functions can be scaled separately, and included more easily into complex e-Business environments.

27 Jul

Benefits of Growing Veggies on Raised Garden Beds

My husband and I have been growing vegetables and herbs on raised garden beds for more than 30 years now. We have moved a number of times but have recreated the raised garden beds in each location because of the many benefits. Our first home had a concrete backyard and it was the only way we could create a garden, but we appreciated the benefits so much that we have built raised garden beds at each of our subsequent homes. There are more than four benefits but these are the primary ones:

1. More Nutritious Food
The reason that raised garden beds yield more nutritious food is due to the fact that the soil is loose, deep, and rich in nutrients. It is not compacted since the gardener never walks on the soil. Plants benefit from the great drainage and speedy root development that loose soil allows. Earthworms love to call it home. Plants are placed closer together in a staggered or triangular pattern (often called square foot gardening) so that their leaves slightly overlap when they reach maturity. This means the soil stays shaded which inhibits weed growth and maintains moisture. Amendments to the garden beds that enhance the nutrient value cost less because you are not covering the pathways. Compost is added each year, mixed with the soil and peat in the beds, to replace nutrients and beneficial microbes. Healthy soil means healthy plants, which allows us to grow organic food.
2. More Abundance of food
Succession planting is easy with the raised garden. Once you have harvested the spinach, you can plant a crop of green beans in the same bed. It is easy to start a new row of lettuce or spinach each week so you have a continuous supply. Planning is important in an intensive garden like this. Once you understand the growth pattern and spread of the veggies in the garden you can combine more plants together. Spring scallions and radishes can be planted between the broccoli, cauliflower or cabbage, for example, and then harvested before these larger plants grow big enough to shade the entire bed. Keep a garden journal so you can remember where you planted the tomatoes, so that you plant them in a new location the following year and where you planted the beans that fix the nitrogen in the soil. You can also note what plant combinations work well together to control pests.

3. Easy Access
A raised garden bed is best if it is no wider than 4 feet so that the gardener can easily reach to the center of the garden bed. This is the ideal type garden for the person with physical handicaps. The person with arthritis, knee problems, or hip problems has access since they dont have to get to ground level or kneel on a sore joint. I often sit on a five gallon bucket with a seat when working in my garden. A raised bed garden would be accessible to a wheelchair if the pathways were built wide enough and smooth enough. It is easiest to use because of the height of the bed which can be adapted to the person or situation. Our beds have started just 8 inches above the ground but as we have added compost and mulch we have raised them much higher, up to 24 or 36 inches above the ground.
4. Less Maintenance
A raised garden bed is easy to maintain. The only tools required are a trowel and a garden rake. We sometimes use a spade to turn over the top layer but not always. I mentioned earlier that weeding is less since they pull out easier and are inhibited by the close spacing and shading of the veggies in the garden. Simple mulching with grass clippings is usually enough to stop the weeds until the plants are established. Once your organic raised garden is established it is sustained only with compost. Compost can be added from your compost bin in the spring, fall, or just any time if you use it as a mulch layer. Our beds are rich with microbes and earthworms. We have a lot of trees so in the fall we mow over our leaves and put the leaves onto the beds. In the spring they are broken down enough that we just turn them in with a spade or a trowel.
Save yourself time and money gardening on raised garden beds. You need only dig, fertilize, and water the beds, not the paths. You dont need to weed as much when crops grow close together, because weeds cant compete as well. You dont need a tiller because the soil is never compacted.

24 Jul

Get Plant Equipment Training and Crane Training in Northampton

If any manufacturing business owner can run his business in a nice way and all the safety measures can be maintained properly then the proprietor will be in relaxed mood and can get the mental satisfaction. The proper business running method can be adopted by the sincere business proprietors who are really thinking about the safety of the staffs of related concern and industry also. All the safety rules and regulations can be maintained in appropriate way in the assistance of safety training.

In the association of safety training provider Safety On Site has achieved their popularity. They have beautifully arranged a wide range of safety training in their training program. Plant equipment training is one of the vital training programs. Under this training program some basic trainings are available, how to run the equipments and machinery, how to get the maximum benefit, how the staffs get safety feeling within the period of their working hours etc.

Crane is one major part of the industrial apparatus. You should know the proper method of the operation of the crane. Without the crane training you cannot do your work properly. Safety On Site provides the crane training in Northampton. If you do not take the crane training properly any types of accidents may take place in your manufacturing unit.

As a safety training provider Safety On Site gives a high value to every aspect of the training and also pay their hard attention to client’s need. If it is needed then this safety training provider firm organizes different types of courses which serves the client’s meet.

The employer and the employees also get the benefit of this important training. It cannot be said that no disaster will happen in the concerned unit by getting this safety training from Safety On Site. But it can be said that the probability of happening the disasters will reduce to minimum number. In spite of taking all the safety measures if any industrial disasters take place in your manufacturing unit you and your staffs can take all the preventive measures in the industry.

If anyone among your staffs get hurt it is necessary to provide him the first aid. This is very essential safety step for your unit. So it is necessary for you and your staffs to attend all the vital safety training programs. Both of the party will be benefited through this.

As a being a deputy chief of well being & security coaching organization we research and provides concerned to the staff a crane training Northampton.

21 Jul

Spanish Colonial Revival Style Architecture

Spanish revival architecture is hugely popular in California, and increasingly across the nation. The mission revival style and colonial revival styles grew in popularity at the beginning of the 20th century, but people today still chose to emulate the Spanish style when building their homes and public establishments. Why do people continue to use this Spanish style? I argue that the Spanish colonial style represents the very beginnings of the United States on the west coast, and this time in the US history continues to spark peoples imaginations. The aesthetic elements are iconic, and people still commission architects to create the homes of their dreams in this style.

The Spanish Colonial Revival style was created in the United States in the 20th century, and it was sparked after the opening of the Panama Canal. The novel Ramona also had a great influence on the popularity of this architectural style. The early Spanish colonies of North and South America had their particular style of architecture brought from the homeland, and this style was them updated to accommodate the new century in the US. Between 1915 and 1931 this style was all the rage, and movie stars in Hollywood clamored to get their Hollywood hills homes built in this style. Mostly the single-level detached home saw this style. On a personal note, my own grandmother has one of these homes in California, and its pink!

The Spanish Colonial Revival style is very similar to the Spanish Mission Revival style, but with a few key differences. Its also similar to the pueblo styles of the west and southwest, and influenced as well by the arts and crafts movement that was the foundation of these architectural styles. The iconic use of smooth plaster, stucco walls, and chimney finishes, clay tile roofs, terra cotta and concrete ornaments is still a highly noticeable, recognizable style. Other elements include porches and balconies, and Roman arcades and fountains. Youll also see canvas awnings. The most important Spanish Revival architect in California was George Washington Smith who practiced during 1920s and 1930s. Perhaps his most famous house is the Steedman House in Montecito, CA, now a museum called the Casa del Herrero.

But there are other architects who took this Spanish style across the globe. Take for example a lovely Spanish Revival building in St. Louis, by the architect T.P. Barnett, son of George I. Barnett; another famous architect in St. Louis. The T.P. Barnett building is particularly interesting because it also has Art Deco influences, making it one of the most unique buildings in the Grand Center region of St. Louis. Certainly the next time youre in St. Louis, you need to visit this Spanish Revival building on Washington Avenue.

15 Jul

Home Improvement Everything That You Wish For Your Home

Statistically speaking, Maryland is the second wealthiest state in the United States, with an average household income of $61,592. And where money and wealthy people get together, there is also a booming home improvement Maryland industry. This business development is partly due to the fact that Maryland is so closely located in the neighborhood of Washington DC business center.

This arrangement seems utterly fair: back in the eighteenth century, Maryland ceded the land selected by President George Washington to the federal government, thus establishing what we know today as Washington DC. In exchange, DC business axis enhances an economic growth for the joined states of Maryland and North Virginia. If Washington DC were a state, it would rank first in population density and 35th in Gross State Product. When compared to other states, DC business area provides a considerably high number of jobs, therefore a low rate of unemployment, because all DC businesses are economically upholded by the presence of the federal government.

DC businesses hosts countless contractors, numerous nonprofit organizations, law firms and lobbying firms, catering and administrative services companies and quite a few other industries, among which home improvement industry. As a working example, home improvement Maryland companies have at least one dealer or a branch in DC business area. If youre looking for the best home improvement Maryland companies, you can get all the information you need with an effortless mouse click. A first-class example would be welcomehomewashington.com, recommended as a trustful searching source for prominent Washington DC, Virginia and Maryland home improvement and service businesses.

When accessing the welcomehomewashington.com website pages, you step into a world of architects and remodelers, contractors and builders, kitchen and bath remodeling aspects, interior finishing, outdoor living or other area services. Experts in home improvement Maryland services are committed to offer their customers to remain the vanguard of remodeling technology. Only the best available materials are brought into play and the finest possible workmanship is provided for the works. Some of the home improvement Maryland contractors and builders are specialized in smoothly operating garage doors, porches, decks, custom siding or gutter covers. Others are known as specialized dealers of weather shield wood window and doors for MD/DC/VA region. Moreover, if you wish for a sunroom, solarium, conservatory or greenhouse, the home improvement Maryland entrepreneurs will build them for you and grant a lifetime limited warranty.

DC business centers are entirely reliant on the services provided by home improvement Maryland companies. Numberless DC business offices need to be spruce up for thousands of employees to invade them, so cleaning services are required on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Have you seen offices without air conditioning and heating systems? Me neither. And when the air conditioning or heating systems stop, chances are for the offices to quickly become an agonizing place to be.

11 Jul

House Plant Care – Insect Control in Garden Fruit Plantings

Growing fruit in the home garden can be an interesting, fun and rewarding hobby. This does not happen without a great deal of work. House plant care can be very easy with a few tips to keep them healthy.
Control of pests (diseases and insects) is an integral part of the care necessary to obtain good results. Insect infestations reduce yields and lower the quality of harvested garden vegetables and home fruit plantings. All plant parts may be injured by insects. Some insects bore into roots, seeds or stems. Others destroy crops by chewing on the succulent foliage, stems or fruits. Plant diseases are carried by certain insects. Control can be maintained all season by a combination of cultural practices, mechanical control, biological control and chemical applications.
Cultural practices such as pruning, sanitation, variety selection and selecting open, sites for planting are necessary for good pest control.

How to Use the Spray Schedules

Most fungicide (disease control product) and some insecticide (insect control product) applications are effective only if applied preventatively. The timing of these preventive sprays is based on the growth stage of the plant and forms the foundation of the spray charts that follow. In very rainy seasons, sprays may need to be applied more frequently than the schedule given in the following charts. Wet weather favors development of the disease causing organisms and more chemical protection is needed. Also, rains can wash off the fungicides and insecticides. When rain occurs before a spray has dried or if rainfall totals more than 1 inch within 24 hours, the spray should be re-applied. Fungicides provide more benefit when applied before a rain than after, because protection from infection by disease-causing organisms is needed when plant surfaces are wet.

Additional Spray Tips

One of the biggest mistakes home fruit growers make is to allow their trees to grow too tall. If trees are maintained at a manageable height, it is easier to spray them properly, as well as to harvest the fruit. Proper pruning practices reduce the amount of spray needed and permit better coverage. The type of sprayer used depends on the size of the fruit planting. For most plantings of small fruits or for a few small fruit trees, pump-up sprayers are adequate. Trombone-type sprayers are helpful for taller trees. For the increased spray volumes required by larger home orchards, power sprayers are recommended. Honey bees and other pollinating insects must be protected from insecticides, which will kill them. Do not spray fruit plants with insecticides while the plants are in bloom.

Pesticide Safety

Most of the pesticides suggested for use are low-toxicity materials. However, some precautions are needed:
Keep pesticides in the original, labeled container.
Keep pesticides in a locked storage cabinet, away from children or pets.
Read the label each time before you use the product.
Wear rubber gloves, goggles, a long-sleeved shirt, long pants and a hat when mixing and applying pesticides. Refer to the label for required protective gear.
Handle the pesticide carefully when mixing. Avoid breathing dust or vapors. Wash any chemicals off the skin immediately with plenty of water.
Never apply insecticides and fungicides with a sprayer that has been used for weed killers.
Do not spray if it is windy.
Mix only as much as you need. Do not store diluted spray mixtures from one application to the next. They will lose effectiveness and are unsafe.

Multipurpose Fruit Spray

Growers with small fruit plantings may want to consider multipurpose fruit spray products. These materials are widely available, convenient and will serve most pest control purposes. They are mixtures containing a fungicide (captan), and usually two insecticides (malathion and methoxychlor). Multipurpose sprays are produced by several companies and sold under names such as Home Orchard Spray 7, Tree Fruit Spray, All Purpose Fruit Spray7, General Purpose Fruit Spray7 and others. Certain brands contain an additional insecticide, carbaryl (Sevin). Mixtures containing carbaryl should not be applied to apple or pear until 21 days after petal fall, as it causes the fruit to drop.

Sanitation and Cultural Practices

APPLE AND PEAR
Apple and pear trees are subject to serious damage from pests. The following practices will improve the effectiveness of the pesticides and may lessen the need for sprays.
Plant disease-resistant varieties. Varieties resistant to cedar-apple rust, scab and powdery mildew are also available.
Rake and destroy leaves in the fall, if apple scab, pear scab or pear leaf spot are problems. The organisms that cause these diseases overwinter in infected leaves.
For cedar-apple rust control, elimination of the source of spores – cedar trees – is effective but not always possible. Removal of the galls caused by the fungus on cedar trees is helpful. Pruning trees according to recommendations improves control of all ground diseases. In well-pruned trees, air circulation and sunlight penetration are improved. This helps control diseases by promoting rapid drying after rains and dew. Penetration of sprays into the canopy is also better if the trees are well-pruned.
Prune out and destroy all dead or diseased shoots and limbs during the dormant season. This helps reduce fire blight, fruit rots and certain leaf spots, as the organisms that cause these diseases overwinter in the wood.
PEACH, PLUM AND CHERRY
Peach, plum, cherry and other stone fruits are commonly affected by serious pest problems and, as a result, a conscientious spray program is needed. The following sanitation and cultural practices will improve the chances of success and may lessen the need for sprays.
Prune trees according to recommendations, to allow better air circulation and sunlight penetration. This helps control diseases by promoting rapid drying after rains and dew. Penetration of sprays into the canopy is also better if the trees are well-pruned.
Remove the overwintering structure for the brown rot fungus, old mummified fruit left hanging in the tree or on the ground.
Control of black knot of plum and cherry is dependent on removal of the knots before they begin to produce spores. In late winter, prune out and destroy these rough, black swellings or tumors that develop on limbs and twigs.
Avoid planting peach varieties that are highly susceptible to bacterial leaf spot. Examples are Elberta, Halehaven, Rio- Oso-Gem and Sunhigh. Chemical control of this disease is very limited.
GRAPE
Most home grape plantings will require a preventive schedule of pesticides, since certain pests such as black rot can completely destroy a crop of fruit. However, the following sanitation and cultural practices will reduce the need for pesticides.
Keep vines well-pruned according to recommendations, to prevent overgrowth of vines and dense canopy. Pruning promotes air circulation and sunlight penetration, thus more rapid drying after rains and dew. Penetration of sprays into the foliar canopy is also better if the vines are well-pruned.
Remove mummified berries (shriveled, dry, raisin-like). Clusters on the vines as well as those that have fallen to the ground should be removed. Also, destroy infected canes that have been pruned off. For control of grape root borer, mounding soil makes it difficult for larvae to reach the roots or adults to emerge. Mound some soil 1 foot high for 12 feet around each vine between early and mid-June.
STRAWBERRY
An intensive, preventive spray program is generally not needed on strawberry. Treatments can usually be made on an as-needed basis. The following sanitation and cultural practices will reduce the need for pesticides.

Bed renovation immediately after harvest is crucial to managing pest problems. Renovation involves narrowing rows, mowing leaves, removing weeds and fertilization. Rake and destroy cut-off leaves and stems after renovation.
Maintain narrow rows throughout the growing season (maximum 18 inches wide), to maintain good sunlight and air penetration of the canopy. This provides good berry formation and rapid drying after rains and dew.
Plant varieties with resistance to red stele and leaf spot. Where anthracnose is a problem, consider the resistant varieties Delmarvel and Sweet Charlie.
Control weeds throughout the growing season. Weeds increase disease by shading the plants and by interfering with air circulation. Weeds also harbor many insect and mite pests.
Mulch with straw before berries begin to lie on the ground, to reduce gray mold and leather rot (fruit rots).

Safe Handling of Insecticides

Home gardeners can control insect pests with reasonable safety by observing these safety rules:
Keep insecticides in the original, labeled container.
Keep insecticides in a locked storage container.
Read the label each time you use the insecticide.
Measure the amount to be mixed carefully.
Do not exceed the recommended rate of application.
Handle the insecticide carefully when mixing to avoid splashing of liquid concentrates and billowing of dusts and powders.
Wear protective clothing and other personal protective equipment as dictated by the label.
To protect yourself when mixing insecticides, it is suggested that protective clothing and equipment, such as chemical-resistant gloves, a long-sleeved shirt, long pants and protective eyewear, be worn.
Wash all insecticides off the skin immediately, using plenty of soap and water.
Avoid breathing the spray mist or vapor.
Always mix insecticides outdoors near a source of water.
Clean up any spilled materials to prevent children from entering a heavily contaminated area.
Apply insecticides to only those plants listed on the label.
Observe the time intervals between the last application and harvest.

The severity and type of pest problems on garden vegetables usually vary considerably from year to year. During most growing seasons, consistent production of high quality vegetables is assured only with the use of pesticides for insect control. This is not to suggest that vegetables cannot be grown without pesticides by using nonchemical methods, but it will usually take more effort on the part of the gardener.