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Posts from March 2014

Tar Spot Disease on Maples

Don’t let the black tar-like spots on your maple tree make you fret. Though one of the more noticeable, it is one of the less damaging of the fungal leaf spot diseases. 

Tar spot symptoms look as if someone dripped tar on the leaves. A European tar spot that has found its way to North America can also attack Norway and striped Maples. These spots are thinner, less tar-like and surrounded by a yellow halo. 
 
You’ll see more spotting during summers following a wet spring. The disease organism survives the winter on the tar spot infected leaves lying on the ground. Raking and destroying the leaves will help reduce the source of infection but is usually not practical. Everyone in the area must do the same in order for this method of control to be effective.
 
So be patient and wait for a drier spring and the disease to run its course.
 
A bit more information: Chemical control is not practical, nor recommended. You must treat before the spots have developed and have complete coverage. This is difficult on large mature maple trees. Proper care is the best defense against this and other diseases. Water properly and mulch trees to keep them healthy.
 
 
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Waterwise Vegetable Gardening

You can grow garden fresh produce while conserving water and limiting the time spent watering.
 
Water gardens early in the morning to minimize water lost to evaporation. Always water thoroughly but less frequently to encourage deep more drought tolerant roots.  Use a soaker-hose or drip irrigation to slowly place the water directly on the soil where it is needed.
 
You can create your own slow watering device.  Use old gallon milk jugs to apply water where it is needed.  Punch several small holes in the bottom of the milk jug.  Fill with water and place next to your tomatoes, peppers or other large plants. The water slowly seeps into the soil where it’s needed.
 
And don't forget to mulch with shredded leaves, evergreen needles or other organic material.  Mulching helps keep the soil cool and moist, reduces weeds and adds organic matter to the soil as it decomposes over the season.
 
A bit more information: Most gardens benefit from an inch of water each week.  Monitor rainfall with a rain gauge and supplement as needed. Apply needed water in one application to heavy soils. Make two applications of 1/2 to 3/4 an inch of water in sandy soils.  Remember to let the weather and plants, not the calendar, be your guide.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
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The Edible and Ornamental Chokeberry (Aronia)

Though chokeberry is not an appetizing name, this four season beauty is making a big impact in edible and ornamental gardens.

Include this beauty in your landscape. Hardy in zones 3 to 9 it prefers full sun to part shade and tolerates moist and even wet soils. The white flowers appear in spring and glossy green leaves turn a beautiful crimson or purplish red in fall. The black fruit is edible and high in antioxidants and vitamin C. But nibble on just a berry or two as they are very tart and astringent. Or use the fruit for jams, baked goods and wine.
 
And if the flavor is a bit much for you, just wait and the birds will eventually feast on the fermented fruit in late winter.
 
Use these edible beauties as informal hedges, in mixed borders or rain gardens. Viking is a popular cultivar grown for its large black fruit and compact size.
 
A bit more Information: Chokeberries can be slow to establish, so be patient. The red chokeberry has similar flowers, fall color, but red fruit instead of black. Brilliant is an outstanding cultivar with waxy leaves, more fruit and excellent red fall color. Visit the Midwest Aronia Association’s website for recipes and more.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
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Easy to Grow Houseplant - Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra elatior)

Looking for a tough as nails houseplant? Consider the cast iron plant.

This unassuming houseplant tolerates low light, temperature extremes and irregular watering. It is also known as saloon plant because it was often found growing in the dark corners of bars.
 
You may have to do a bit of research to find a local source. Most garden centers only sell the straight species with solid green leaves that grow about 2 to 3 feet tall. The variety ‘Variegata’ has white stripes while ‘Ginga Minor’ has yellow spotted 15 inch long leaves.
 
Cast iron plants produce one long strappy leaf on each short stem that arises from the soil. Propagate new plants by dividing older clumps into several smaller sections.
 
Although most people know it as a houseplant you will find cast iron plant used as a groundcover in southern landscapes.  And some claim success growing this plant outdoors year round in southern New Jersey.
 
A bit more information: So consider adding a cast iron plant to your indoor décor. Though the flowers are small, brown and not real showy, you’ll get a little greenery with minimal care. Check on-line sources if you are having trouble finding this or its more decorative cultivars at your local garden center.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
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Lime Tree Birth Tree for March 11 to 20

Lime Tree Birth Tree for March 11 to 20
 
If you were born between March 11th and 20th your birth tree is the Lime tree. You are said to be intelligent, hard working, hate fights and stress and can be jealous, but extremely loyal.
 
Now before you go out and invest in a citrus plant, consider that lime is the common name for Linden in the British Isles. This group of trees is also called basswood and Tilia.
 
Basswoods grow in zones 3 to 9, generally prefer full sun to part shade and moist soils.  They produce fragrant yellow flowers in summer that the bees enjoy. In fact, basswood honey with its floral scent and complex flavor is considered one of the best in the world.
 
Large linden varieties make great shade trees, while smaller ones have been used as street trees, pruned into hedges or planted along walks and roadways to create allees in the landscape and public spaces.
 
A bit more information: Lindens also have great fall color. The leaves turn a beautiful yellow in fall. The common name lime is supposedly an altered form of lind. And the word linden originally was used as an adjective meaning “made from lime-wood”.
 
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Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a Bit of Greenery

Add a bit of greenery to your St Patrick’s Day celebration with a green or purple leaf shamrock plant. You’ll find them in garden centers, florists and even grocery stores.

Grow these holiday plants in a bright location to keep them blooming and growing. Water thoroughly and often enough to keep the soil slightly moist, but not wet.
 
Newly purchased plants do not need fertilizing for several months. Use a dilute solution of any flowering houseplant fertilizer if your plants are actively growing and in need of a nutrient boost.
 
And don’t be alarmed when your plant starts to yellow and dry. It is normal for these plants to go dormant for a short period. Reduce watering frequency as the leaves start to yellow and dry. Place the plant in a cool dark location until new growth begins. Then bring it back into the sunlight, start watering and enjoy the show.
 
A bit more information: The original shamrock plant was likely a white clover. It symbolizes the arrival of spring, the season of rebirth.  St. Patrick is said to have used the Shamrock plant when he spread the word of Christianity in Ireland. He used the three leaves to symbolize the Holy Trinity, the father, the son and the holy spirit.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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Who's Ready To Party!!!

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Kidd and I had a great time this weekend at the St. Patty's Day parade in downtown Milwaukee!!! Have fun, but party responsibly!

(photo courtesy of WISN 12 News)
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Halloween in Hollywood
Kelly Ripa & Michael Strahan just keep outdoing themselves every Halloween on LIVE!  Each year they dress up using themes from some of the hot topics from the past year.  Orange Is The New Black, Walking Dead and Downton Abbey were just a few of their transformations this year. You can find all of the videos here and some of the images below.    A photo posted by Kelly Ripa (@kellyripa) on Oct 10, 2014 at 8:17am PDT       A photo posted by LIVE with Kelly and Michael (@kellyandmichael) on Oct 10, 2014 at 7:14am PDT     A photo posted by LIVE with Kelly and Michael (@kellyandmichael) on Oct 10, 2014 at 11:21am PDT     A photo posted by LIVE with Kelly and Michael (@kellyandmichael) on Oct 10, 2014 at 9:07am PDT     A photo posted by LIVE with Kelly and Michael (@kellyandmichael) on Oct 10, 2014 at 8:28am PDT     A photo posted by michaelstrahan (@michaelstrahan) on Oct 10, 2014 at 6:28am PDT
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Live From 30 Rock!
It's The Today Show's annual tradition - Halloween dress up day!  And they did it true SNL style.  Which skit do you think won for best dressed?  Spartan Cheerleaders, Mary Katherine Gallagher, Wayne & Garth, Blues Brothers, Pat or Mom's Jeans? Happy Halloween!   Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy
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Pee Wee's Back
Pee Wee Herman's coming back. Actor Paul Reubens was on The Tonight Show the other night, and let it "leak" that there's a new Pee Wee movie on the way. Judd Apatow is producing, and an as-yet unnamed director That's going to make a lot of Pee Wee maniacs happy. But here's something that made me happier. Paul Reubens as Pee Wee Herman doing the voiceover for the new Avengers movie trailer. Check it out!  
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Peter Pan's Clock is Ticking
NBC's live production of Peter Pan is just over a month away - premiering on December 4 - so the PR machine is starting to rev up. Yesterday, The Today Show played host to the new Peter - Alison Williams - and a couple of former Peters - Sandy Duncan and Cathy Rigby. It's always nice when the future meets the past. And this meeting was pretty cool.     Peter Pans Past and Present! Can't believe I got to spend my morning with Cathy Rigby and Sandy Duncan on the Today Show. I asked them as many questions as we had time for. These women (and Mary Martin) inspire me to no end. What an unbelievable honor. #PeterPanLive #OurShadow A photo posted by Allison Williams (@aw) on Oct 10, 2014 at 6:46am PDT And the first promo has been released too - check it out. Does Christopher Walken fit the bill as Captain Hook?  
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Earning a Black Bear Belt
A video posted to YouTube a couple of weeks ago is going viral these days. Two black bears, taking to the streets of Rockaway, New Jersey and duking it out. The fight starts in someone's front yard, then rolls into the street. Check out the video - but if you're prone to motion-sickness, you might want to pop a dramamine first. See if you agree that the bears sound a little bit like the Three Stooges when they're actually fighting...  
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Whatcha Up to These Days, Jerry?
Jerry Seinfeld is probably one of the best-known comedians on the planet these days. Certainly in the Top Ten. So what's he been up to lately? From the looks of this promo, he's been busy taping his web series, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. He picks up a comedian in a classic car, and they zoom off to have coffee and chat. Fun concept, fun results. And the new season starts November 6.     (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#xfbml=1"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk')); Post by Jerry Seinfeld.
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Hey, Nice Gourds!
It's Halloween, and that means it's pumpkin-carving time. Some people just cut triangles out of the pumpkin, scoop out the seeds, toss in a candle, and boom! It's jack o'lantern time. Not this young lady. Not sure who she is, but it looks like she submitted her photo to The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Take a large pumpkin. Cut it in half. Cut out holes for your legs in the bottom half.. Carve out the top, and put it aside. Cut a couple of holes out of the top half of the pumpkin. String those pieces together with candy corn. Put the whole thing on, and you've got a pumpkini     (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#xfbml=1"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk')); Post by The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
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Too Much Wine on Your Hands?
The wine critic for The New York Times clearly has too much time on his hands. In his column this week, Eric Asimov took the time to point out that Kerry Washington - who plays Olivia Pope on Scandal - is drinking her wine all wrong. His critique: "She habitually grabs goblets by the bulb rather than the stem, as a wine lover would. She never swirls and sniffs, the ritual that non-wine drinkers alternately find amusing, affected, or annoying. She guzzles rather than sips." Someone needs to tell this guy... (1) Olivia's a fictional character. (2) It's probably cranberry or pomegranate juice she's sipping. (3) He should get a life.  
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Baby Makes Three
Jessica Biel is pregnant. At least, that's what the folks at RadarOnline.com are reporting. Jessica and her hubby, Justin Timberlake, are expecting a child in another seven months or so - the first for both of them. Like any good reporter, I had to find another source before reporting this news. And looky here - HipHollywood.com had the story six days earlier. So it's got to be true, right? I mean, if HipHollywood.com says so, and then RadarOnline.com says so without saying that HipHollywood.com said, so, then it's got to be true. That's the fourth law of journalism, I believe.  
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What Wine, What Candy?
It's an annual adult dilemma: what wine goes best with which candy? Fret no more - the folks at vivino.com have come up with the Ultimate Guide to Pairing Wine with Halloween Candy. Your prayers are now officially answered. Skittles, for instance, go with a dry white or a sweet white. Kit Kats go with sparkling wines or a medium red. A dessert wine goes with just about any sort of candy - which you'd expect. And poor little Sour Patch Kids - they pretty much go with nothing. Now we know what makes them sour...
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Mystery Solved, Sooner or Later
Investigators are pretty certain they've found a piece of Amelia Earhart's plane. The aviator disappeared over the Pacific Ocean about 77 years ago, while attempting to fly around the world. The aluminum aircraft component was found on an atoll called Nikumaroro, somewhere between Hawaii and Australia. Oh, and the debris from Amelia's twin-engine plane was found in 1991. Looks like they sent it to the We'll Get Around To It Eventually forensic laboratory.  
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Game of Thrones Grilling
George R.R. Martin, author of the books that spawned Game of Thrones, showed up on Late Night with Seth Myers the other day. On the couch with him, Amy Poehler, there to promote her own book - not quite as epic as George's, but still, a literary work. Amy showed how much she knows about GOT by quizzing George about who uttered certain lines of dialogue. The results are very, very funny.  
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Is It Mother's Day Already?
Someone needs to stop Snooki from procreating! Seriously. Check out the video she did for US Weekly. She talks about a lot of things, but key to the conversation is her new daughter, Giovanna. "Giovanna just turned one month yesterday," Snooki said. "All she does is eat and s--t and sleeps… she just lays there. I think once Giovanna starts to actually move and crawl and run around, that's when s--t's gonna hit the fan." Doctor Spock must be whirling in his grave...  
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I'm Sorry, What Are We Selling Again?
Miley Cyrus rolled out a new ad campaign, serving as the new spokesperson for MAC cosmetics Viva Glam line. Check out the ad, which was posted to Miley's Instagram yesterday. She's selling lipstick and lip gloss. Other than the brand name positioned in the center of the ad, do you see anything that says, "Hey, I'm selling lipstick and lip gloss" in that picture? I don't know - maybe the products get photoshopped in after the fact?     Every $ from the sales of my #VIVAGLAM will go to @MACAIDSFund to help those affected by HIV! πŸ’‹πŸ’‹πŸ’‹ Una foto publicada por Miley Cyrus (@mileycyrus) el Oct 10, 2014 at 1:45 PDT
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Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner
Terra and Drake nailed this Dirty Dancing routine and surprised their wedding guests.  You'll smile and even get a tear watching them dance.  What a beautiful couple!  iframe>div>
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Leave My Lips Alone!
Kylie Jenner - the youngest and hopefully the last of the Kardashian-Jenner clan - has declared that she wants the world to stop talking about her lips. A couple of weeks ago, there was all sorts of speculation out there on whether she'd had plastic surgery to make her lips look fuller and more luscious. Now, she wants people to "just talk about something new, at least." Here's a thought: maybe we don't talk about the Kardashians and Jenners at all. Wouldn't that be heavenly...? That's Kylie on the right, by the way. DON'T LOOK AT HER LIPS!     i love you A photo posted by Kylizzle (@kyliejenner) on Oct 10, 2014 at 5:28pm PDT
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Charades, or "Shahrodds"?
Ewan McGregor dropped by The Tonight Show the other night. And these days, no one can just drop in to The Tonight Show without participating in a bit of some sort. The chosen activity: a game of charades, Ewan versus Jimmy Fallon, with rocker Jeff Tweedy and basketball great Charles Barkley joining in the fun. And it is fun. Especially the British versus American banter. Check it out!  
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God is Not a Magician with a Magic Wand
Pope Francis, head of the Catholic Church, sort of set the Church on its ear this week, He declared in front of a gathering at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the Pope said that both evolution and the Big Bang Theory are real. That's the theory that substances collided in space eons ago, setting the universe in motion, not the TV series about the geeks and the blond. He said that God is "not a magician with a magic wand." Which sort of takes away the buzz for kids who grew up thinking Harry Potter was God...  
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Bazooka Swats Fly!
This could be the most bizarre story of the week - well, so far, anyway. A 75-year-old property owner in Marathon County, Wisconsin is at odds with the local government about the use of his land. The government says he's using the land for non-zoned purposes. They've demanded that he remove certain equipment, or pay a fine of $500 per day. The property owner disagrees strongly, and has refused to move the equipment in question. The dispute's been going on for a while, and with the bill rolling up toward the $100,000 mark, the county decided it was time to collect. So, send in the tax collector? Not so much. Send in two dozen police officers and an armored SWAT vehicle. Because the 75-year-old was deemed "argumentative." The sheriff's department offers no apology.“I’ve been involved in about five standoff situations where, as soon as the MARV showed up, the person gives up," said a representative, "saving time, money and increasing safety. People may not always understand why, but an armored vehicle is almost a necessity now.” Talk about overkill. Here's what the SWAT vehicle looks like - the video is from a few years ago, when the sheriff's department acquired it.  
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How to Get Yourself Hurt Very Badly
English pop star Robbie Williams shared videos of himself entertaining his wife in the delivery room at a hospital as they awaited the arrival of their second child. So, despite his wife Ayda being all smiles afterward, you can bet that Robbie will get some significant payback - and I'll bet very quickly. Here's what he did wrong, in no particular order: He took videos of his wife in labor. He posted videos of his wife in labor. He sang to his wife while she was in labor. One of the songs he sang, while she pushed very hard, was "Let It Go," from Frozen. Oh, yeah, he's gonna be hurtin' for certain!   "Frozen" RW x https://t.co/dmGhbqElHE — Robbie Williams (@robbiewilliams) October 27, 2014
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Space Race Gets Scary Again
We've gotten pretty complacent about launching rockets into space. Yesterday's launch of the Antares rocket from Wallops Island, Virginia changed that. The rocket, carrying supplies to replenish the International Space Station, exploded about six seconds after launch, just barely off the launch pad. Luckily, no one was hurt. The only injury was to the pride of the news photographers covering the event from a bunker well away from the event, but still close enough to be hit by the shockwave. Check out the video...  
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What Halloween Candy Are You?
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Is It Taunting, or Celebrating?
Supermodel Gisele Bundchen posted a photo to Instagram Sunday, after her husband, Tom Brady, and the New England Patriots, beat up on the Chicago Bears. Final score - 51 to 23. And here's Tom and Gisele, getting ready to head home after the victory, flashing a triumphant "51." Five fingers on his hand, one on hers. I suppose it all depends on whether you're a fan or not. If you are, celebration. If not - well, okay, it's still a celebration. Never mind.     So happy for my love!!! Go Pats!!! 51 points!!! πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘ A photo posted by Gisele Bündchen (@giseleofficial) on Oct 10, 2014 at 2:40pm PDT
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Proof of Life, Unfortunately Required
I've never quite understood the death hoax thing. Someone starts a rumor that a celebrity has passed away. A news organization grabs hold of the rumor and starts reporting it as fact. Then Facebook grabs hold of it, and boom, the celebrity is no more. It happened this weekend to Judd Nelson, the actor who made a splash with The Breakfast Club and... Well, The Breakfast Club. The internet had him dead and buried. So he had to send the Los Angeles Times "proof of life." A picture of himself, reading the Sunday Times. Funny how THAT's not making the rounds of the internet...   Judd Nelson didn't die last night. He sent us this photo to debunk the rumor. http://t.co/FrIUzW4VmV pic.twitter.com/OjuBPgnutt — Los Angeles Times (@latimes) October 26, 2014
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This Frozen Will Melt Your Heart
Okay, this might be the coolest thing a bunch of tough guys has ever done... Members of the Boston Bruins visited Boston's Children's Hospital, dressed as characters from Disney's Frozen. It's become a Halloween tradition for the team. Players dress in their own costumes, usually sharing a theme, and try  to bring a little fun into the lives of the patients at the hospital. Mission accomplished, boys! "Just here to put smiles on their faces" B's make annual Halloween visit to @BostonChildrens: http://t.co/kwOl8K477A pic.twitter.com/2GMidHp79a — Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) October 27, 2014
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