Vitamins for Plants
“I got the buckets, did you get the juice?” I inquired of Earl as we gathered our shovels and buckets to load up the truck for a landscaping job. A strange question to ask, but one of us always asks “Got
the juice?” and we never leave home without it.
So what’s the juice? Many years ago I worked for a nursery where the owner said we should always use B vitamins when we plant shrubs or trees. I balked at the idea as did another employee, Earl, who eventually partnered with me in a landscaping business he continues to operate—with me working for him! But back to the vitamins for plants idea. We did as we were instructed and mixed a product called “Quick Start” in water and made sure each shrub we planted got an amount appropriate to its size. We weren’t halfway through the planting season when we noticed some
When we looked at plants we’d put in the ground three or four weeks earlier, the growth spurts or flower sets were amazing! Plants were healthier, more vigorous and better looking than we might otherwise have expected of newly planter material. Since that season Earl and I have fined tune the process and we both are willing to emphatically state that following our guidelines we will guarantee you larger plants sooner, more flowers or fruit, and overall healthier plants within six weeks of planting. More than this, we have found the survival rate of trees and shrubs using our “juice” regimen is higher than without; over the past 15 to 20 years we’ve been juicing plants our survival rate remains at 97% or higher.
So what does one do before planting a tree, shrub, vegetable plant, perennial or annual? Juice the plant! We stick with our tried and true product: Miracle Gro Quick Start. In simple terms, what’s is in the bottle is fertilizer. But what sets this product apart is the ratio of 4-12-4 with the 12 being phosphate which is the root stimulator of fertilizer. We are convinced this basic formula does more to prevent transplant shock than anything else one might do. So what’s the process?
Whenever we do a landscape job we line up our three or five gallon buckets and one of us or our minions fills them at least three-fourths and we add two to three liberal capfuls of Quick Start to each bucket. While we dig holes we plot the plants—in their containers—into the buckets for a good soaking. When the hole is ready we pull out the plant, let it drip into the hole as we remove the pot, and then, after we rough up the roots, plant it as we would anything else. When we finish an area we dump the remaining juice on the plants and move to the next ones.
We have successfully used the juice in planting annuals and vegetables and the results are noticeable. With small plants in six packs or in small pots, just dip it into the bucket until all the bubbles are gone—oh, yes, when plants go into the juice don’t remove them until the bubbles stop telling you the root ball is soaked—and then plant them. It gets no easier than that!
Grilled Tri-Tip Beef
Whole Tri-Tip, about 2 pounds
3 Tbsp Cremer’s Rub Me Tender Seasoning
1. Sprinkle meat with rub and massage lightly alll over. Cover and refrigerate at least an hour or as long as overnight. Remove from refrigerator an hour before cooking.
2. Prepare charcoal grill or heat a gas grill to high. Place roast on grill and sear one side well, 6 to 8 minutes, checking for flare-ups. Turn the roast and sear the other for about the same time. Then lower gas to medium-high or move the meat to a cooler part of the charcoal grill.
3. Turn meat again and cook another 8 to 10 minutes. Flip and cook again. A 2-pound roast will require about 20 to 25 minutes total cooking time. The roast is ready when an instant-read thermometer reaches 130 degrees when inserted into the thickest part of the meat.
4. Rest roast on a cutting board 10 to 20 minutes. Slice against the grain. The roast is shaped like a boomerang, so either cut it in half at the center of the angle, or slice against the grain on one side, turn the roast and slice against the grain on the other side.
Summer Flea Control
DEAR PAW’S CORNER: Temperatures are really warming up now, and with it, I know, will come the annual onslaught of fleas on my dog, cat and all over my house. Is there any way I can get rid of fleas for good? — Charlotte in Columbia, Maryland
DEAR CHARLOTTE: Flea infestations are incredibly annoying and tough to beat --even when you think fleas have been eradicated, they often come back. Winter temperatures often send these pests into dormancy or at least reduce their activity, but they return with a vengeance in spring and summer.
A pre-emptive attack could make a big difference in this summer’s flea wars. While you may not notice adult fleas on your pets just yet, flea eggs or larvae may be present on their fur or throughout the house.
Start by talking to the veterinarian about the best treatment for your pets. Many owners swear by one-month topical treatments that are applied to the back of a dog or cat’s neck, but others are leery due to potentially serious side effects. Consider alternatives if you’re not sure.
Next, treat your home for fleas — using a carpet and upholstery treatment designed for both adult fleas and their eggs. You’ll want to tackle not just the carpet and dusty corners of the house, but the furniture and any linens, such as curtains, that aren’t frequently cleaned. Keep pets out of rooms until the treatment you’re using has been vacuumed up or washed away.
Through the summer, brush your pets’ coats daily, checking for fleas. Vacuum and dust at least once per week.
Send your questions or tips to email@example.com.
© 2015 King Features Synd., Inc.
Buddy Lee Doll
Q: I have a Buddy Lee doll that I received in the late 1940s. It is still dressed in its original Lee overalls and cap. I rarely played with this doll, so although it is not mint, it is in excellent condition. I have been offered $150 for it, but thought I would check with you first. — Barbara, Laguna Beach, California
A: Buddy Lee dolls have molded hair, painted eyes and are jointed at the shoulder, with stiff hips and legs. They are dressed in Lee clothes. Most of the Buddy Lee dolls I have seen do not have their original clothes, so this makes the one you have especially desirable. Ones with composition heads were made during the 1920-1948 period, and the later ones with heads of hard plastic from 1949-1962. There were other variations, too. For example, Buddy Lee dressed in a Coca-Cola uniform, John Deere clothing and as a gas-station attendant also were manufactured.
According to “Blue Book Dolls & Values” by Jan Foulke and published by Hobby House Press, your doll is valued in the $450 to $550 range, so my advice is explore more options before you accept the offer you have.
Q: I have about a dozen perfume bottles that originally belong to my grandmother. Most of the bottles seem to be from the 1930s and ‘40s. How can I find out more about them? — Steve, Rye, New York
A: One of the better organizations for collectors is the International Perfume Bottle Association. Contact is www.perfumebottles.org, and 732-492-2003. There are several excellent references. One of my favorites is “The Wonderful World of Collecting Perfume Bottles: Identification & Value Guide” by Jane Flanagan and published by Collector Books.
Q: I have a large-size book of Norman Rockwell illustrations, suitable for framing. How much are they worth, and how can I find a buyer? — Eva, Olney, Illinois
A: Your question is impossible for me to answer. You did not provide me with the edition and publisher. Without that information, I cannot establish a value. Most Norman Rockwell collections I’ve seen have generally sold in the $25 to $75 range, again, depending on condition, edition and publisher.
Write to Larry Cox in care of KFWS, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Due to the large volume of mail he receives, Mr. Cox cannot personally answer all reader questions, nor does he do appraisals. Do not send any materials requiring return mail.
© 2015 King Features Synd., Inc.
Four Ways To Keep Your Pet Happy In Hot Weather
(NAPSA)—Pet parents who are cool to four important facts can help their furry friends flourish during the warm weather months.
1. Heat Can Bring Frightening Sounds of Thunder. Storm phobia can seriously affect the quality of life for pets.
Barbara L. Sherman, Ph.D., DVM, suggests you reward pets for calm behavior. Treat your pet to a special “inside” toy when he exhibits calm demeanor; he’ll associate good behavior with special toys.
Also, make sure she can get to a favorite hiding place and feel safe when the lightning flashes and the thunder rolls.
2. Keep Paws Cool and Smooth. Brandon McMillan, professional dog trainer and host of the CBS hit show “Lucky Dog,” says, “When the temperature hits 85 degrees or higher, most dogs begin feeling uncomfortable. Depending on your pet’s coat, the temperature can feel 15 to 30 degrees hotter.” Let your dog walk through the grass or on a cool surface to help her feel better. McMillan recommends placing your hand where your pet will walk. If it’s too hot for you, most likely, it’s too hot for your pet, too.
You may want to move your walks to after dark. To keep your pet safe from traffic at night, you can get a leash and collar from the Petmate Max Glow in the Dark collection. Let it soak up the sun all day and it will glow automatically when you’re out with it at night.
3. Exercise Gradually. An animal’s body temperature can rise rapidly due to his or her furry coat and that can increase the odds of heatstroke. McMillan advises pet parents to bring water with them on long walks during the hotter months.
In addition, increase your dog’s play time gradually. Try toys such as Petmate’s Chuckit! brand Ultra Sling, a pocket-sized launcher for a variety of fetch toys.
4. Heatstroke Signs And Symptoms. The ASPCA advises pet owners to watch out for:
• excessive panting
• staggered breathing
• increased heart rate
• drooling and vomiting.
These can be signs of serious heatstroke or other illness and should get you to contact the vet or emergency animal hospital immediately.
For further pet facts, tips and products, visit www.petmate.com.