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Gardening

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NEW YORK (AP) — Front stoops have long welcomed visitors to city homes, and have served as gathering spots for friends and neighbors engaging in what urban design activist Jane Jacobs called “the sidewalk ballet.”

While spring is the ideal time to begin digging and growing a traditional vegetable or flower garden, plenty of planning and other tasks can be done at any time of the year. Gardeners spend most of the summer watering, weeding and watching young plants grow. Fall is a good time to plant trees, shrubs, bulbs and some perennials. And winter is a perfect time to start ordering seeds, planning out your rows and getting organized. There’s no wrong time to start — but these tips might make it easier for you!

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LONDON (AP) — People across Britain flocked to shed shaggy locks and browse for clothes, books and other “non-essential” items as shops, gyms, hairdressers, restaurant patios and beer gardens reopened Monday after months of lockdown.

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Spring in the vegetable or flower garden is a carefully orchestrated series of events. The goal is to keep things moving forward with the warming season, taking into account weather predictions and, because those are just predictions, average spring warming trends where you garden.

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Many Flagstaff residents are seeking ways to connect with their neighbors this summer with the promise of warm weather and COVID-19 vaccinatio…

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Digging loosens the soil so roots can penetrate more easily. But digging when the soil is too wet or too dry can ruin its structure. Dig only when the soil is moist enough to form a loose ball in your fist but dry enough to fall apart when you drop it. Use a spade or spading fork to gently turn the top 8 to 12 inches of soil, mixing in the layer of organic matter you’ve applied. In vegetable gardens and beds of annual flowers, turn the soil only once a year — in the spring before you plant.

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Get rid of the sod covering the area you plan to plant. If you want quick results, you can dig it out, but it’s easier to smother it with newspaper. A layer of five sheets is usually thick enough; double that if your lawn is Bermuda grass or St. Augustine grass. Spread a 3-inch layer of compost (or a combination of potting soil and topsoil) on the newspaper and wait. It’ll take about four months for the compost and paper to decompose.

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Almost all vegetables and most flowers need about six hours of full sun each day. Spend a day in your chosen spot, and watch how the sun moves across the space. It might receive more sun than you think.

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Is this going to be a vegetable garden? An herb garden? A flower garden? If you choose to grow flowers, do you want annuals, which you must replant each year but which give color most of the summer? Or do you prefer perennials, which have a shorter bloom time but come back year after year? You can mix any of the above — after all, it’s your garden. Just one bit of advice: Start small. ’Tis better to succeed just a little than to fail grandly.

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Since it’s gardening and landscaping season, rearrange your shed or garage to make tools and equipment more accessible. Manual tools like tillers or shovels can be hung on garden tool racks to free up floor space. Place regularly used tools in a garden cart, whose portability saves you trips to the shed or garage. Move large equipment such as lawn mowers closer to doors so they’re more accessible.

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